I'll start with the Patriarch. Pastor Mike, as he will always be known to me, pastors the church where I grew up. I spent a dozen years in the back row of his church (I wanted to sit up front, but Mom tells me it was easier with little kids to stay near the exit), except for Vacation Bible School when all the kids filled in the front row for a rousing rendition of Onward, Christian Soldiers. When it was time for church camp over the summer, he always stayed in the Director's Cabin. That always made me feel important, that my pastor was in charge of the whole camp. He baptized me in the super-sized bathtub at the front of the church when I was seven, renewed my parent's vows on their 25th wedding anniversary, officiated my wedding two years ago, and he'll preside over my sister's vows this summer. We love him.
Miss Debbie. I should probably graduate from calling her that, but she'll always be Miss Debbie to me. She is joy embodied. Scroll down a few photos to that black and white of just her, smiling from the soul, and you'll see what I mean. She is absolutely delightful and her energy is completely contagious. She has that sort of laugh that crinkles at the corners of her eyes, the kind that comes from a woman who knows peace and joy and contentment. I suppose when you're married to the kindest man on Earth, you made two dapper sons (youth group heart throbs, hey!) and they married two gorgeous women and, as these things go, you now have two tender-hearted grandsons, you have every reason to smile. The photo session was a Mother's Day gift to her after two! years! of asking for family photos and she soaked up every moment, every shutter click, every shot. I like that kind of gusto in a woman.
And I have to thank Jill for setting this whole shindig up. She messaged me a few weeks ago and it said, "I am Mike and Debbie Yoho's daughter in law. I married Davey." I was all, "Okay Jill, I know who you are because you married my church camp crush and my inner 8 year old doesn't like you." I kid! Jill is the sweetest, most laid-back lady I've met in a long time. It's so easy to like her. I think it has something to do with her curly hair as all curly-tops I know are turbo-fun. She is such a delightful mother, she gets in the grass, the dirt, the dusty front porch (sorry I turned your adorable pants into a candidate for a Tide commercial), to make sure her boys enjoy themselves. I know how stressful it can be to get your kiddos into their best clothes, to make sure they smile, only to worry about grass stains and mud pies. Jill and Davey embrace it. Jack and Harry are totally pickin' up what they're throwin' down, too, because they laughed and played and totally didn't care about the laundry.
Meaghan and John. Meaghan, who I will forever associate with church camp when me and my friend Jane would badger her with dating questions over enormous piles of junk food; how giggly-stupid excited we got when John drove up to visit her at camp and had a bottle of Drakkar Noir in the glovebox. Dreamy, right? And they're a little quieter than the rest, but if you pay close attention you'll catch the glances and hand holding and the sweetness between them.