Saturday, June 28, 2014

mersh ma

Dear Erica,

Today, you are getting married. Today, you are going to walk down an aisle, look Ryan in the eye (through tears and smiles) and forever promise to be his wife. Today, you become a Lobdell. To say I am excited, emotional, happy, thrilled... It just wouldn't do it justice. And maybe it seems silly that a friend, an outsider of the marriage, is just as overjoyed about you getting married as you are, but, I'm silly like that. I just can't think of anyone more deserving of this immense happiness, that's all. When I think about you finding Ryan and finding your forever in him and getting married, well it brings tears to my eyes (literally, I'm misting over here!) You have the most honest, sincere, genuine, loving heart and I love seeing that heart bursting at every seem (thanks, Ryan!) You give so much time and effort to those around you - caring for, loving on and celebrating your friends, family and coworkers, it's about time we repaid the favor. So, I'm thinking about hosting a party tonight in your honor. Do you think you can make it ;) 

At the beginning of my sophomore year of college, if someone would have told me I'd be standing up in your wedding, I would not have believed them. Though, truth be told, I would have been thrilled at the idea. See, for those of you who don't know, I had a secret crush on Erica. She joined Kappas as my age, but in the class below me and I just thought she was the bees knees. But, I didn't have the guts to talk to her, because while I'm one half extrovert, I'm the other half introvert and I thought there's no way that cool girl would want to be my friend. When my friend, Melissa, got Erica placed as her little in the house, I was raging with jealousy, though I'd still never said two words to her (I know, I'm kinda a creepy stalker. How do you think I got Stephen to marry me?!) I finally decided to compliment her ring one night while sitting near her in chapter, asked her to take a picture with me on Key Sis night (though I had to be slightly intoxicated for the gumption to do that) and when we got placed as roommates for the following Fall, well I might have peed my pants a little at the idea. 

And then we were living together, with Melissa, and it was like we'd known each other our whole lives, the three of us. I'm pretty sure people said we went to the bathroom holding hands and I don't think I can deny it. We just fit. They were there with me in my pink moose slippers, Green Bay Packer sweatpants and oversized Auburn sweatshirt that was drenched in Stephen's cologne as we made it through our long distance relationship, and that, I'm sure, did not an ideal roommate make! They were there when I got engaged and I accidentally, drunkenly asked them to be my bridesmaids before I had planned on asking them to be my bridesmaids. Oops! (I blame the disaster that is Halloween in Corvallis.) And they were there on my wedding day, fixing my dress, holding my bouquet and smiling with me as I became a Wall. 

And, maybe most importantly, Erica was there with me as I walked in my journey of finding faith. One night, sitting in the Kappa dining room, supposed to be studying, it just sorta came up, and unlike every other time it had in my life, I didn't run away from the conversation. When I made the decision to get baptized, she was standing on the beach cheering me on, because that's the kind of person she is, folks. Erica just screams, "Jesus!" He is in everything about her and you can't help but see Him when you look at her and hear Him when she speaks. She is chasing after His heart with full force and her relationship with Jesus motivates me and mine daily. She loves Him and keeps Him at the center of all her relationships and it shows. She is a beautiful woman of Christ and I know that He is wrapped all around her love for Ryan. She is inspirational, to say the least.

She was there for me for everything in-between, like moving me out of Oregon and off to Alaska, and has been there for me ever since, like when I told her I was pregnant and then introduced her to Uriah the day he came home from the hospital. 

So, Erica, there's that. "Our story", if you will ;) And typing it out and finding all these old pictures brought back so many memories and smiles, and so many "thank you's" came to my mind... Thank you for befriending me and opening up to me, because I know you do that selectively. Thank you for accepting Stephen as a friend and letting him fart his way through the Bachelorette episodes in the Kappa basement. Thank you for showing me Jesus's love in your life and holding my hand through Bible studies. Thank you supporting me in my relationship with Him and encouraging me, standing on the beach watching me hyperventilate from the freezing waves and crying with me when it was all said and done. Thank you for standing by my side on the day I said "I do" and for always praying for my marriage. Thank you for loving my son like a true aunt. Thank you for letting me be apart of your life and your marriage - I am truly, truly honored. 

As you embark on this new adventure in life, I pray for you and Ryan to always keep Christ at the center, and that He leads you in your love. I pray for teamwork, trust, honesty, loyalty and friendship between you. I pray for understanding, encouragement and both lust and love. I pray for weekend hiking trips and beach getaways. I pray for long, hard work days ending in talks snuggled under the covers. I pray for laughs and happy tears and so many smiles. I pray for stupid fights that end in wrestling matches on the bed. I pray for all the little things, the important things. And I pray for babies, lots and lots of babies! ;)

Happy Wedding Day to you, my dear! And the start of your very own happily ever after... MERSH MA!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Pacific City

Some grainy iPhone pictures of our trip to Pacific City, because I can never remember to pull out my actual camera. It was too short of a week with the very best of company in excellent weather. 

 ^^ Traveling through the airport and loading up our rental car was... interesting. We were quite the sight, I'm sure! Three adults, three babies, three carseats, three bags! Woof! ^^

^^ Miss Remi Ann is always this happy! You can lay her down in a room by herself and peek in on her smiling at the walls and ceiling light. She is just too cute! This was her reaction to Nana the first time on the deck of the condo. I think it's safe to say, she loves the beach as much as we do. ^^

^^ On our first morning at the coast, Uriah woke up at the butt crack of dawn. Also known as 4:30 am. After all my attempts at getting him back to sleep failed, we headed out on a morning walk in the crisp air on a totally empty beach. It was heavenly. It's a regular thing for the two of us to talk a morning walk together, but this one was extra special - on my favorite stretches of sand with Uriah sleeping against my chest... I was very aware of God's presence that morning and I could feel him listening to my prayers. (A post on my morning prayer routine coming to a blog near you... someday. Hopefully soon.) ^^

^^ Our fist day involved more beach walking and coffee drinking and cinnamon roll eating. As every day should, in my opinion. Uriah loved the waves so long as he was in someone's arms, and a little to my disappointment, he preferred Nana's. But she had no complaints ;) ^^

 ^^ Pool time! ...Uriah's favorite time! Maybe a post about postpartum body image will be making it's way to the blog soon, too. Almost 16 months later and I still cringe over the idea of getting in a bikini, despite what anyone says. But, I think all women feel that way. So there you go. Me in a bikini in a body I haven't learned to love yet with the best reason not to love it in my arms. ^^

 ^^ Across the street from the condo, bunnies can be found in the RV park. We've never really pointed out the bunnies in Uriah's books because I didn't think he'd know what they were - he'd never seen one in real life before. But he was in love! He dragged his blanky out of the stroller and walked over to the bunnies saying "nigh nigh" - he wanted to sleep with them! I'm convinced we need to get him his very own :) He's also a little in love with uncle Byron ;) ^^

 ^^ Really, though, does it get any better?! ^^

 ^^ Our day trip to Cannon Beach was a success! Ashley and I spent one week every summer there growing up and it was so fun to watch Uriah walk the same streets. We hit up our favorite lunch spot, dug our toes in the sand and bought some Bruce's Salt Water taffies to go. ^^

^^ You guys, this girl...! She is the absolute sweetest! Her hugs and kisses melt me and when she told me, "Allison, you look like a princess!" Well, I died. ^^

 ^^ Up and behind the point of Cape Kiwanda! It offers such a gorgeous view of the ocean and the rock (Uriah's favorite part of the beach, maybe!) ^^

 ^^ Blury, but a favorite nonetheless. Not just because I love my swimming suit, because I do, but because of that smile on his face and the excitement the blur represents - this kid is a total water babe! ^^

 ^^ We made a last minute run to the store with Nana while our clothes were in the laundry, so we improvised - Harper's coat and uncle Byron's hat. Stephen wasn't impressed, but I thought he made a very cute homeless girl ;) ^^

^^ And last, but not least... Ashley, if you didn't want these pictures to end up on my blog, you shouldn't have hijacked my camera ;) ^^

Monday, June 16, 2014

for him.

As a Father's Day present to Stephen (though really much more for me) I planned to take some mother, son pictures on the coast with my momma. I put them together in a slide show with music and showed it to Stephen on our quiet Saturday night snuggling in bed. We watched it again and again - ogling over our beautiful baby boy.

Stephen, I hope you always know how loved you are by Uriah and I. Loved and appreciated and respected and admired and cared for and... I could go on and on. You are remarkable, Stephen, and we are the absolute luckiest to have you.