Met the funniest lady the other day. She was the grant writer for a homeless project for teens in Colorado Springs called UrbanPeak. For the past 10 years, she and her college roommate have been taking annual road trips throughout the country. They decided they would like to “share” their adventures with someone… so here is what they do.
Like in the movie Amelie, they take pictures of a garden gnome where ever they go. But this is where it gets crazy: 10 years ago, they picked a name and address out of the Denver phone book. Every year, they send pictures and letters to the people at this address, describing their adventures. Sometimes they mention, “stopping by Denver and looking forward to trying your jello salad.” This is so fun, and crazy. I wish I could see the reactions of the recipients. Of course, they sign fake names, but always the same fake names. It is awesome.
Just got back from Colorado. My best friend Amy works at UrbanPeak with this lady. Our whole family loaded up in the car to visit Colorado Springs for Amy’s wedding. It was an adventure. The first 2 days were spent driving while a continuous loop of Barney, Elmo and VeggieTales played in the backseat. It really wasn’t bad – the kids were happy, so I was happy. Then Friday morning, wedding activities started up right away. Arabella was the flowergirl, and I was the matron-of-honor, so we went with the other bridesmaids to get our nails done. This was a big adventure. Arabella is not too fond of people holding her hands still, so I ended up painting her nails myself. Then we jetted back to Amy’s house, where we realized we were running late for Amy’s next appointment. So Joel came to pick me up with a car full of fussy boys. Uncle Tim accompanied us to a local deli, Woogle’s, for a chaotic lunch. Then dress-rehearsal time. The wedding was to be held up in the mountains about 45 minutes away.
The rehearsal was a disaster. There was a gentle rain for most of the rehearsal, bringing into question the plans for an outdoor wedding the next day. At first glance, an indoor option seemed pretty and do-able. The lodge of the Lost Dutchman was gorgeous, with an indoor waterfall with a raised platform in front of it. But the manager of the lodge did not make this option simple… she complained and complicated things until Amy was extremely frustrated. My favorite phrase from the evening: Amy said, “I am putting the “ass” in assertive.” Anyway, we left the rehearsal praying against the rain, and at a very high level of stress.
But the rehearsal dinner was a great redemption of the day. At a cozy little tavern in a small mountain town, the dinner was intimate, casual, and fun. The groom, Brad’s, extended family put together an “Almost-Wed Game” in the style of the Newlywed Game. They let Amy and Brad earn Old Navy & Chipotle bucks to spend. It was very cute. Amazingly enough, out of about 40 questions, their answered matched on all but 2 or 3.
Saturday, we got up to another overcast day, threating rain. I accompanied Amy to get her hair done for the wedding. My sweet brother Tim created a contingency plan of tarps to cover the guests during an outdoor ceremony in the rain. But when we headed up to the lodge, the sun started peeking through the clouds. The wedding was performed outside, dry and beautiful.
It was a neat setup. The ceremony was performed on a hill outside the lodge. Then, while the wedding party took pictures, there was fishing around the lake. Then came dinner. Then dancing! Arabella didn’t perform too well as the flowergirl – stage fright, of course. But man, she performed during the dancing. That little princess danced non-stop for about 3 hours. She danced with almost every person at the wedding. It was really cute (unbiased opinion!).
I have known Amy for about 8 years. I just finally met Brad on Friday. But they seem like a good match. Over the past 3 1/2 years, I have observed their relationship from afar. It was good to finally meet him. He really made a good impression by trying to get to know me in the midst of a chaotic weekend. I hope this first year of marriage goes by quickly – it’s a hard one!
Amy is the closest friend I have ever had. We met in 1997, as we both entered ASC (Aggie Sisters for Christ) at Texas A&M and ended up living in the same apartments. This may be a wierd thing to say, but having Amy around made it fun to be single. She understood me, and was a great companion, so I didn’t feel like I had to have a guy around all the time. Even after college, when I went to India, she was the only person who really seem to understand my journey. She happened to move to Colorado for the Dale House while I was training for India in Colorado Springs, so she put me on the plane for India, and she picked me up after I got back. I have watched her grow so much. It was hard to give her away to Brad.
Back in 1997, ASC had a formal in Dallas. Amy and I weren’t dating anyone, but we still wanted to go. So, she called a high-school friend to take her, and I told her to get her brother to go along with me. I had never met Chris, but I figured, “How bad could it be.” The beginning of the weekend, before the formal, Chris and I didn’t even speak – ackward! But we all got dressed up, and the evening turned out to be fun. Chris is really senical, but I gave him a run for his money. After that, I would call him a friend…
I’m telling this story for a reason. This weekend, Chris and his awesome girlfriend Deanna were at the wedding (of course). Chris was friendly, and Deanna was a big help with the kids. Throughout the wedding, while I was juggling my three children, Chris would say, “Wow, you really have to know how to multitask.” or some other comment. They all sounded supportive and nice. So, I was surprised to hear this story the next day:
Tim, my brother, went out with Chris, Deanna, bridesmaids, etc to a bar after the wedding. I guess Chris had never been introduced to Tim. Chris randomly said something like, “Wow, can you believe how crazy Heather’s little brats were?” (paraphrase from heresay) while Tim was sitting right next to him. In true Tim form, he let a 5 second pause go by, then extended his hand, saying, “I don’t think we have met – I’m Heather’s brother Tim.”
This really shouldn’t bother me. I shouldn’t even let it. But it does. I like to think that people are real when they interact with the kids – if they don’t like them, ignore them. But if you are going to look at them, look with love.
Okay, well, I will stop ranting. I needed to get that out. Thanks for reading.
The rest of the trip was pretty nice. We spent Monday and Wednesday with Amy and Brad. On Tuesday, we ventured to Denver to visit some other friends, Lauren & Ella, and Brent & Courtney. We only had about 1 hour to play at Lauren’s, but that was probably for the best since the kids bonked Ella in the head about 3 times in an hour. Then we did dinner with Brent & Courtney… seeing them was great. Joel and I were refreshed by our time with them. They are missionaries at heart like us, but they struggle with day-to-day life like us, too… parenting, working, marriage. Their dreams are going to take awhile to achieve, just like ours. A lot to identify with. I feel sad they live to far away.
We got home on Thursday night, spent yesterday recovering, and I am back at the Star of Hope today. Life is always crazy, always exciting… sometimes I dream of being bored!