Favorite Things: Day 23 Summer
I first met Summer in the beginning of Summer 1998. I had only lived in Seattle for a year and we met at the graduation party Dana Jill threw for Jared. Within minutes of meeting (along with our other friend Freya, who I also met for the first time that day), we were fast friends. In fact, the 3 of us spent the rest of the weekend together talking art, poetry, faith, spirituality, and of course, boys. Or rather, the boys were in hot pursuit of my 2 new gorgeous friends. I quickly got used to being the "chopped liver" friend. A year later, Summer brought her new beau Colin and her brother Ryan over to the house where I lived to watch "So I Married an Axe Murder", and thus began my relationship with my husband.
Our friendship went through a rough transitional period when we both got married...I think it was tricky figuring out how to go from friends to sisters-n-law. My pregnancy and birth of Sam quickly erased any hurt feelings or misunderstandings as Summer was determined to be the most loving and present auntie ever, a role she relished and has never ceased to fill despite the 2,000 physical miles between us. She drove up from Eugene, OR as soon as she heard I went into labor and slept on a hospital couch until Sam was born.
Later, when Ryan and I were going through a very tough year (that's putting it mildly), she was my constant confidante, my encourager, my listener, never telling me what to do, never judging me, but helping me to process through everything and when I chose to reconcile with Ryan, she once again drove up from Eugene and lived with us until 6 weeks after the birth of Oliver, helping out in every way imaginable so that I could have a healthy recovery. Night after night, she watched Conan O'Brien on our couch and cuddled baby O so that Ryan and I could get some much needed sleep. To this day there is a very special bond between "Olba-bear" (as Sam used to call him) and Mimi (the name the boys call her).
Honestly, the fact that both Summer and Ryan are in my life are evidence that God loves me in a tangible way that I don't think I ever quite got before I knew them. How many women marry a guy and land a best friend as a sister-n-law in the process? Maybe more than I know, but I count myself blessed beyond measure to have Summer as my sister-friend.
Now she's a Mama to two extraordinary girls, my nieces, and we share an ever deepening bond as we journey through parenthood together. Despite the fact that her brother is my husband, we're able to have honest and candid conversations about marriage and what it means to be a wife and I'm constantly inspired to love Ryan better through watching the example she sets with Colin.
She's an incredibly talented photographer who feels too weird about self-promoting to actually make a go of it commercially and a girl whose fashion sense is always fun and boundary pushing.
You'd be hard pressed to find a more loyal, hard-working, dedicated, honest-to-a-fault, fun, creative, flawed-but-determinedly-working-it-out person who I can call literally any time, day or night and know she'll pick up the phone and have something wise and funny to say. She's a one in a million gem.
I love you Summer.