I've been thinking a lot lately about how the beauty of this event has been all about meeting new people and having perfect strangers rise to the occasion and say, "I'll do anything to help." I didn't really know Jenny Eckton before putting this concert together, and I still don't know her all that well. I certainly hope our interactions don't end here. She has been the backbone of the silent auction (which is happening on her blog right now!) and has put in hours and hours of service with absolutely nothing in it for her. Thank you Jenny--a hundred times over.
I first met Stephanie eight years ago. She was sitting in a room at the church, waiting for a midweek youth activity to begin. All I had heard about this new leader was that she was a ski instructor at Sundance. I introduced myself and found her very easy to talk with. You could just sense how . . . cool she was (is). I found out that she was a newlywed (very newly), and a month or so later we discovered that we were expecting babies around the same time.
Stephanie has taught me a lot. She taught me to not be afraid of color -- from the red of her lipstick and the photos I saw of the red cape she wore on her wedding day, to the bold colors of the walls of her home, I saw that my life didn't have to be beige. She taught me that people can be sustained healthily without eating meat, something that I had wished to know about, but I hadn't ever known someone personally who had lived that way. She taught me that it's okay, even wonderful, to wear fishnets to church . . . I've never looked back. It was Stephanie who encouraged me to begin my blog in 2005. When we moved into our new home, Stephanie brought me a small rug and a copy of Real Simple magazine; the rug remains in my living room right inside my front door, and my love affair with that magazine has been long-standing.
Stephanie reminds me that I'm not old-fashioned for wanting to serve my husband and children. She helps me remember that I'm not the only one who had no desire to go to college, but instead have children at a young age and exclusively stay home with them. She shows me the love and loyalty that sisters ought to share, something that I desire for myself as well as for my four daughters.
Stephanie, you're a rockstar. Thank you, THANK YOU for being you. I love you.