Saturday, August 25, 2007

the wedding party: vickie

meet vickie, one of my maids of honor. one of my very best friends. she and i are yin and yang - we honestly couldn't be more different if we tried. :) she is a night owl, and i am the early bird - getting up when she goes to bed. i can't imagine life without her.

i believe we met through the grace of god. when i graduated from the university of portland, i wanted to return home to volunteer at a life teen parish in the area. i asked the youth minister of the current program to give me a referral to the closest life teen parish near tacoma, and he gave me two options, and i ended up choosing st. vincent's in federal way. and vickie was the new life teen director at st. vinnie's.

this is one of the earliest pics i have of us digitally - from july 2000. we had the dream team there - imagine the peeps below all serving on the same youth ministry program...jonathan (carlson), me, jeremy, paula (michael g's cousin), michael g, my brother, stella, and vickie at the helm.

one of my most favorite memories is early on when were were volunteering, and stella (the other maid of honor) and i hated each other. vickie was stuck mediating a meeting which evolved quickly into yelling and screaming - as stella is just as subdued and reserved as i am. who knew we would end up being best friends?

august 2000...mike's junior year of football. vickie and i made cupcakes for the boys in mike's house - half were yummy white cupcakes and half were white cupcakes with raisins, peanuts, chocolate chips and something else that i can't remember. the boys ate all of them. :)

vickie and i have been a ton of places together (among them: canada - twice, ohio, new york, hawaii, pennsylvania, florida, oregon, iowa, and arizona)...but this trip was definitely among the best. we flew to steubenville, ohio to go to a young adults weekend, and then headed north with them to canada for world youth day in toronto with 800,000 young catholics from around the world. we're on the maid of the mist at niagara falls. little did i know how handy those ponchos would end up being.

wyd lasted for several days - and on saturday, we hiked to downsview lands for the vigil, to camp out, and prepare for the papal mass the next day. since i am NOT a dirt person or a camping person, i wasn't thrilled at the idea of camping out with a half million people in 80 degree weather and very few showers...and europeans who didn't indulge in showers anyway. i was getting a little claustrophobic that night (since you couldn't sleep in tents - and there were so many people)...and vickie found out that it was supposed to rain that night...and rain hard.

i just started crying. i was miserable and now i was going to be soaked and have to wear wet clothes for the 5 mile hike out the next day. this was her element - and was absolutely not my element. unbeknownst to me, she had packed some garbage bags and saved our with her help, i curled up in my sleeping bag, which was inside garbage bags and wore my poncho over everything. when the skies finally opened up at 6 am and poured buckets of rain...i was as ready as i'd ever be. there were literally rivers of mud that came down around us...but i survived. we got up at 7 am to find a bathroom, but they'd already shut down the access to prepare for the arrival of pope john paul ii.

so we waited. and we waited. we realized that we were right along the path that he would be travelling, so we waited some more. i then realized that my camera was stashed safely in my sleeping bag - and it was too late to run and get it. here i was...about to be passed by the holy father, and my camera was 200 yards away from me. you can imagine my frustration.

vickie reminded me that it was the experience...and i didn't need the camera. a few short minutes later, el papa was on his popemobile, waving to us just eight feet away. words can't explain what that was like. he said the mass for hundreds of thousands of people in several languages and was cracking jokes, sharing his wisdom, and giving us a glimpse into his world. it was amazing. and vic and i got to share it together.

the next year (2003), the estrogen militia was formed...and we headed to cannon beach for our first ever girls retreat -- without high school kids. all of us were involved in high school youth ministry - and it was a blast to be able to do one for ourselves...

january florida at the shrine of mary, queen of the universe. we took in disneyworld, universal studios, and caught a hit and run driver in our convertible. we were superheroes. :)

july the poulsbo fireworks show that mike was about 10 days after her house had had a massive fire while were were at steubenville northwest. (the irony -- we attended the conference with st. andrew's, and jonathan was one of the volunteers on-site for st. martin's)

august 2004 at st. andrew' the retreat for the core team. we both ended up at st. andrew's when michael g was the youth minister there (before he moved to western). it was the last year that vickie and were able to volunteer together before she moved to ellensburg.

spring 2005 on our adventure to arizona...

july 2005...with the estrogen militia at the ft. lewis fireworks show...

september 2005...the first time she and i returned together to visit st. vincent's.

the estrogen militia (+2) put together the 2006 girls retreat for st. andrew's. other em gals in the pic are all in a row - amy, rachael, kili and lindsay.

august mike and kristine's wedding...

fall 2006 in can you not love this sign?!?

november 2006...stella, vickie and i on maui...and now that you've seen us cute and tropical...'s what we looked like when i made us get up at o'dark hundred to watch the sunrise from the top of haleakala. it was around freezing 10,000 feet up on the island, and we bundled up in the car until just before sunrise. this is what we saw...above the clouds and as the sun rose.

it should also be noted that it was absolutely hysterical when we locked stella out of the car right after this pic was taken. she started screaming about how evil we were in front of a hundred people.

vickie's birthday in 2006...where we're both #1 and #1.

the #1 and #1 story originates from michael g's smoothie shop, tsunami smoothie, in federal way. i learned how to put mud on a wall (check that, brownrices!) and how to use a staple gun. vickie and i found a black can of spray paint, and across one of the upstairs walls we painted "vickie and shelley are #1 and #1" - which was about 50 feet long. it was awesome.

vickie sue, i am so grateful for your friendship. you challenge me, love me when i'm a pain, and are caring to no end. thank you for the adventures, the super secret missions, and being part of my family. i love you!

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