Sunday, May 30, 2010

Favorite Things: Day 23

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.


  1. Amen. She is one of my very favorite things too, which is another reason why I know you and I would be fast friends in real life too.

  2. so sweet, i don't even know her & i teared up reading this - the power of steadfast friendship is an amazing thing.

  3. You are one lucky girl to have Mrs. Summer as a sister. She is a wonderful and very deserving "favorite thing" :)

  4. That Summer is a good egg, isn't she?

  5. this is summer and i hijacked ryan's account. I just really can't agree more, i'm such a cool person. i'm actually my favorite thing number 31...bye!

  6. I can't wait to meet this lady in person. And I wish we could coordinate so that my sister could be in town. And Kate, Blythe, and all of other FTP posters!

  7. wow ryan. that was low. "I'm such a cool person" I think I could have done better than that...I would have said, I'm astounding, magnificent...any number of adjectives but cool? lame-o.

    steph. what could I possibly say to follow such a beautiful sentiment. I know you know I feel the same towards you...and that having you for a sister and a best friend has been one of the greatest joys in my life. Some days I honestly don't know how I'd make it without you...(yes that sound cheesy but it is true)
    also. you make cool kids who I am so thankful to know and get to be auntie mimi to...
    and I'm willing to look the other way when it comes to the fact that you married my know, we all make wild and crazy choices here and there...;)
    (note the ooozing dripping sarcasm in that last statement please for those randoms reading this who don't know my brother...I named my first born after him for god's sake...he must be half way decent)