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!


  1. I love this, Allison! Such amazing pictures and gorgeous tribute to your sweet friend.

  2. Why thank you, friend! You would like her ;)