I met Stephanie at a support group for girls. Actually it was a bible study that my mother led. Almost the same thing.
We read a book about becoming a good wife. At the time it was totally irrelevant…I mean, I was a junior in college and not about to get hitched any time soon. And the girls were really nice. I mean, like UBER nice. Like Reese Witherspoon nice. Totally different than my friends at school…most of who were more like Paris Hilton. Nuff said.
So one time, I told a joke. Shocker, right? Usually the moment after I tell a joke, there is this awkward second of silence and then I can’t hold it in anymore so I bust out a giggle. Yes, I am a self-laugher. So I was completely surprised when I heard a chuckle from beside me. It wasn’t a fake or weird laugh out of curtesy…it was real. I knew I fell right then and there. I must be this girl’s friend.
After a couple times of hanging out, which included taste-testing at a local micro-brewery, sunbathing, and delivering cookies to a fire station wearing this:
I knew we would be friends forever. I haven’t laughed that hard since.
Then Steph met Justin. Sweet, bold, blue-eyed boy with the darkest tan I had ever seen.
They met online. eHarmony to be exact. Strange world we live in. But as kookie as their relationship started, it ended up being one of the most caring, and patient and loving friendships that I have ever gotten a chance to witness.
Eventually, that book we read together so long ago was suddenly becoming relevant.
Not that Steph needs a book.
You see Stephanie is one of those girls that is light years older than her shell of a body. She is like Benjamin Button – except in reverse. She was born with a brain and a spirit of an old fogie. Not in the sense that she likes to sleep a lot or talk about the good old days where she walked uphill to and from school in the snow. No. That’s not her at all.
Steph is mature.
She observes the world around her and isn’t afraid to ask questions. She is an idealist of the highest degree…always striving to do the best that she can or encouraging the best out of the people around her. If something isn’t going peachy-keen…whether it be her job, or a relationship, or just LIFE, she doesn’t blurt it out right away putting her foot in her mouth…she prays about it. I mean, who does that?!? Not me…I constantly have foot-breath. I mean, complaining is so much easier!
And Justin is no different. He’s one of those men that you could only wish to marry your best friend. If Stephanie was a wise old owl, then Justin would be the oak tree that supports her. Sure, she lived in Georgia all her life but as soon as she met Justin, her zipcode changed. She moved to California with her new mate. Afterall, it didn’t matter where they lived. He was her new home.
Almost one year after tying the knot, Stephanie handed him a small box with a bow. Inside was a pee-stick. They were going to have a little baby girl.
Willow was born in November of 2008. I got the chance to meet her about a month ago…and let me tell you, she was the perfect mix of mom and dad. I absolutely adore the baby-mullet she rocks and the fact that she opens her mouth as wide as possible when she gets excited. She is basically the most expressive baby I have ever seen. She could even control her eyebrows. I have been working on that since sixth grade…and this kid can do it straight outta the birth canal.
So you might be wondering how Stephanie and Justin and even baby Willow have influenced our lives and helped us make our house a home. Probably the biggest way was through a piece of advice. Steph once told me that she believes that promising to love our family meant protecting them. And not just by keeping a fire exstinguisher nearby or pushing them out of the way of oncoming traffic. She said that the best protection that you can provide was from ourselves. WHAT?! Steph explained that protecting your children and your spouse meant shielding them from uncontrollable outbursts of anger, discouragement, and unforgiveness.
That little piece of wisdom has come in quite handy when Jeremy and I tackle home improvement projects. And although, I can’t promise that we haven’t screamed or cried when it comes to drywall or painting…we do attempt to apply the advice no matter what we do.
Oh and she got me a kick-butt teapot too 🙂
Hope you enjoyed learning a little more about our friends! If you are confused on why I post about the special peeps in our life, you can read this post to get the low-down. But for now, I would love to hear something from you. Please consider sharing…you never know who might need to hear exactly what you have to say!
What is the best piece of advice that you have ever received?