Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Sullivans :: Family Lovin'

"For some moments in life, there are no words."
David Seltzer


I've been sitting here for the last 30 minutes starting to write something, then erasing it. Starting again...aaaaand erasing it. It seems that there are no words to tell you about this family, and who they are in my life. It seems that I can't find a way to tell you this 21+ year story of how they have loved me, and fit me in their family - as a granddaughter, daughter, sister, and friend. The simplest way I can put it is that I love them all very much, and have been immensely blessed to have them as part of my family.

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So it all starts with Jenni.....
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....who is (as most of you know) my life long best friend. She is the calm to my crazy, she is the ground to my flight, she is my comfort and my companion. And? She's beautiful.

Then there's Tyler....
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...and despite my immense annoyance that's he's taller than me....he is the first brother I ever had in my life, and I have the biggest soft spot for his soft spirit and tall, lanky self.

Then comes Hannah....
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....who is leaving for Texas next month to follow where she has heard God call her. While I am so proud of her for it, I'm going to immensely miss her being home. She is a little firecracker, and I am quite fond of her beautiful face.

And then there's Ben....
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....who is quite athletic and (sigh) taking after his brother in height. I'm most likely to find him in front of the xbox performing some sort of world dominance. He is just slightly crazy, much prefers to have something to occupy himself with, and has perfected a dry humor.

Last on the line comes Michael...
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....who has always been about 4 years older than his age, says the straaaangest things in the world, and is an unending source of entertainment. He is very loving, has many friends, is ridiculously funny and awfully darn cute.

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Then there is Lynn and Gary...
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...who are wonderful, wonderful people. They are encouraging, loving, and great listeners. They are practical and real. They have completely open lives, and have blessed a lot of people through that. They care for their family with excellence, and they love each other deeply.

And then? Then there's Omi and Opa.....
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....better known as Frank and Christa to many others :) They are a couple that have fought for each other throughout the years, and still stand together today. They are a grand example of deep love, and lasting love.

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All these people make up a bonus family for me. It is immensely humbling to be loved by the group of them, and I never take lightly having them to call my own.


Now - although these photos have all been tidy and neat and pretty....this family is nuts. Truly :) I just had to pull a few of these examples to make sure you get the full impression!


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Love you all.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Cal and Kassi :: Engaged!! (Williams Bay, WI)

Sometimes in life you just get lucky. Like truly "how on earth did I end up with _____" lucky. For me? I have a really long list of those kinds of things. My family, my husband, and a few select, very treasured handful of true best friends.

This girl? She's one of them.

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She is one of the very few that get me in all of my complete spaziness. She truly loves the good, the bad, the ugly of me. She's seems to always have time despite her life happenings. On more than one occasion she has literally dropped everything to meet me. She is unendingly patient, and forgiving, and understanding, and gracious, and empathetic. We've been through a few bouts of arguments and all-out wars over the years, but I know without a doubt that she loves me.

Now. Perhaps you wonder why I am saying all of this about her and I, when this is a post about her and Cal. I tell you this because it is the best way I can tell you about the woman that Kassi is. It is the best way to showcase the woman that Cal fell in love with.

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Perhaps it is just friends bragging rights - but Cal? You've got yourself quite a woman. And the truth is? I wouldn't like you so much if I didn't know that you know it! :)

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Kassi will be the same kind of wife that she is a friend. With 100% of effort, total dedication, and selfless focus.

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I'll be honest and tell you that everything I know about Cal is through Kassi's eyes. Distance in location haven't given us a lot of time to spend together. But there are a few things I know about him.

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I know that he values relationships with his friends. I know that he values his family. I know that he works hard, and will be an amazing husband to my friend.

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I know that he will cherish her, and love her, and hold her. I know that he will be a rock for her. I know that he will make choices in life with Kassi at the front of them.

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And most importantly - I know that I can trust my Kassi Kay with him.

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....I have beautiful friends....

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And they have cute men :)

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We took pictures up in Williams Bay - Cal's hometown. Being near the water was very important to them...and apparently there was something about expensive boats...

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These next three are my favorite from the day - for very specific reasons. Let me explain:

First - the obvious: SHE LOVES HIM so much. And she's so dang happy. And she fits with him. Perfectly.
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Second - Kassi understands me in my spaziness for one very good reason: birds of a feather flock together :) She can get just as stubborn, just as geared up, and just as charged as I can. And Cal settles her. Not pats-her-on-the-head-there-there settling, but he listens....absorbs her. He settles and calms and restores the parts of her that go thin. This photo to me has such a heavy stillness to it, and it strikes me.
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Third - I know it's blurry, I know it's bright, but MAN I love this photo. Her hair, her squeezed shut eyes, her laughter in motion. I wish for many, many, many more moments of joy like this.
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I love you both. And I can't wait for the wedding!!

CLICK HERE to see the slideshow