I believe the day was August 1st, 2007 when I met her. Eric had just driven up to Seattle from Humboldt County, and I had been in our apartment for about a week. We were newlyweds, I had started work at UW the week prior, and he was searching for a job. He had a phone interview for an Apprentice at Boulevard Park Presbyterian Church a couple days earlier and told me that the Youth Pastor, Brian, wanted to have us over for dinner that evening. The planner in me freaked out because he told me this while I was at work a couple hours prior to when we were scheduled to be at their house, in a different part of Seattle. I arrived home, we then attempted to make our way from Bitter Lake to Renton on the 405 during rush hour- what a crash course we experience that day! Here I am, freaking out because we’re stuck in traffic, calling Brian to let him know that we were going to be late. How late? We had no idea. Traffic was crawling, even in the carpool lane.

We eventually made it, and although I have no idea how late we were, we were welcomed into the Aaby’s home with open arms. We met Brian & Elisabeth, and their girls Halle & Audrey. I remember we ate great food, wondered if we were being asked a trick question when Brian asked us if we wanted a beer (mind you, Eric was not hired at this point and we had no clue where BPPC stood regarding alcohol), hit it off with the girls as well as Elisabeth. I distinctly remember at one point trying not to get too excited about this amazing family because Eric might not even get the job, and we could end up not getting to know them further. I then thought that maybe we would be able to hang out even if he didn’t get the job. I then tried to stop thinking and be in the moment (still working on that…) because I was having a great time. We left, gushed about how great they were, and held our breath until we knew whether he was going to be hired or not. Thankfully he was hired that weekend and we were able to get to know the Aaby’s better. A whole lot better!

Today is Elisabeth’s birthday and I was delighted to be able to have lunch with her, Halle, and Will (the newest addition, he’s a year older than Charis, and they were smiling at each other today- so cute!). I am privileged to know Elisabeth and to call her my friend. She blows me away with the way in which she loves God and her family and I aspire to be a great mom like her. Eric and I love the kiddos and were overjoyed to receive the coveted “Best BabySitters” award from Halle last year (as she was with her aunt she told her she was having so much fun, it was almost as much fun as she has when she is with Eric & Jen) and were excited to be at the hospital the evening of Will’s birth. Elisabeth is an incredible writer (her blog out-blogs my blog everyday), a gifted speaker (she’ll be speaking at MOPS next week!), and a great friend.

Happy Birthday Elisabeth! Now it’s time for a girls night together!