I remember the first day I met you. You were cracked out on bulk candy of some sort sitting on your Beta House bedroom floor with the most extensive array of crafting materials I’d ever seen strewn about you in heaps. Plastic bins were overflowing with puffy paints, fabric scraps, green and purple candles, ribbons, and paint pen markers. Jennie was there squealing along with you, as p. Wang and I, backpacks securely attached via the waistband-clippy-thing, surprised you at the bedroom door eager to impress our older and infinitely cooler actives.
We became fast friends after I finished pledging. You were a little scary during. Just saying. I don’t know what we did all the time, I just know we laughed a lot. You always had the craziest ideas. We’d take pajama trips to Vons for strawberry cake mix, apply for waitressing jobs at local bars when were still underage, hijack lawnmowers at the fraternity houses, sit for hours watching who knows what on television, take naps under our desks at work (wait, that was just me), and initiate apartment-wide water fights during finals week.
Your senior year was a hard one for me. Just having returned from an intense and incredible study-abroad experience, I was high on reckless behavior and having fun. But mostly, I was high on myself. Perhaps it’s a common experience among twenty-one year olds or maybe it was the beginning of my eventual (still in progress) maturity developing. Who knows, but that semester is not one I’m proud of. My grades slipped…a lot. I lost too much weight as a result of a diet consisting solely of Red Vines, chicken nuggets, and wine. I got really sad and I did and said some really hurtful things. In retrospect, I know I wasn’t doing these things to be mean. I was doing them because I was trying to be funny. I was trying to make myself feel better about the mess I was making of my own life. You were on the receiving end of part of that sadness and I’m still sorry.
Whew. Enough of that. The picture above is funny, right? I think it was Boone’s first time with a popsicle. Don’t worry, we fixed him right up and turned that sucker around. Pure Joy.
I was thrilled to have you and Geoff photograph my wedding. Seeing you again after 5 years was wonderful and easy and normal. I’d been feeling guilty forever about my behavior and not having the right words to express my regret, I pretended it never happened. You did too. Thank you.
I sort of feel like I got to know you again through your photography. I followed your blog like a stalker (still do), and my pride in you as MY friend grew and grew. I forwarded your url to anyone and everyone I knew who was getting married. You became an inspiration to me. I was thrilled when I learned we were moving back to the States to Raleigh, a mere two hour drive from where you lived.
Our paths began to cross more frequently. On your first visit, when we were both still un-pregnant, and kid-less we connected over lunches and coffees and discussed marriage, friendships, religion, and business. We picked right back up where we left off. Laughing and giggling and sharing. The silences weren’t awkward the way they sometimes are with new friends, and you always made yourself right at home when at our house. I loved that.
When you began to visit with Geoff, I go to know the dude in the pictures and behind the other lens. Your Geoff is a great human being. That’s all I can say to describe him. He’s humble and kind and generous and encouraging and helpful. And that’s just with ME. Someone he barely knows. You picked well. I dig him.
A few months after my Big Zoom showed up your sweet Boone came. Those first days were scary. We prayed for you nightly and I’m so glad I know Boone. His joy is overwhelming and contagious. He’s a pleasure and so sweet. I cannot get enough of his sweet curls, and belly-out wobbly-legged sprint, and unsolicited hugs. He’s a perfect mix of both you and Geoff and I can’t wait to watch the boy he grows into.
Cheyenne. It’s been long and short 12 years we’ve known each other. I hope you know how lucky I feel to have you and your family in my life. Your advice and honesty is so appreciated. Your dedication and creativity is inspiring. Your humility and grace are overflowing. Thank you for sharing your family with us. We really love you guys and had such a wonderful time with you over the weekend.