Monday, May 2, 2011

Strong The Ties

When Steve and I were undergrads at Cal Poly, we were part of Alpha Gamma Omega, a national Christian Fraternity. He was a member and I was a Little Sister. The joke was that LSM (Little Sisters of Maranatha) wasn't a "dating pool" but really, in all actuality, many couples came out of that group because we were together all the time and were like a big family. It's amazing how, even after so many years, when we're together with our AGO friends, it's like no time has passed. We're still a big family-a loud, boisterous, loving family.

When we all got sick last week, Steve and I both thought it was inevitable that we would have to miss a very anticipated wedding weekend of one of our friends from the fraternity. If any of the boys were still sick we could not leave them with grandparents (not their responsibility at all to take care of our puking children) so we had really tried to accept the fact we probably wouldn't be attending. This made us SO sad at the thought because we knew that a TON and I mean a TON of our friends from AGO would be there and the guy getting married was one of Steve's old roommates and very important to Steve so we SO badly did not want to miss it.

As the weekend approached we fully expected Isaac and Caleb to finally be coming down with the flu bug and for some reason, it skipped them-to our utter delight of course. So off we went. We had the time of our lives. We stayed with our amazing, faithful friends and laughed our heads off. And then we were off to the festivities.

Ellie had a great night with her Daddy and all our friends. Here she is with Auntie Steph. Even though Stephanie had the night off from her two children, she constantly helped me with Ellie, holding her, feeding her and getting me food. Love you Steph.

It was a beautiful wedding. Our friend was literally beaming the entire day and his wife was just stunning. Truly we have prayed and hoped for a wonderful wife for this friend and she is just so much more than we could've ever dreamed for him. God is so faithful!! God is so kind and lavishes us with good things doesn't He?

So the wedding was joyous and Steve and I simply soaked up as much time with our precious friends as we could. There was so much laughter, telling stories, hugs and celebrating together. At our table alone there were ten children amidst the five families present and our friend Andy raised his glass and reminded all of us how good God has been to all of us and our families. Amen.

For those of you interested, here are some of the precious people from our past that have helped shape us into the people we are today. God has used all of them tremendously over the years to encourage us to be better Christians and better spouses, and now parents.

These are my girls. All I can say is that I love them. Pure and simple. Steph was my Big Sister in LSM and we've been such close friends ever since. Jill and I became much closer after I got married. Don't know what I'd do without her. Seriously don't know.

Isn't she beautiful? (She just might kill me for this but oh well.) Here she is full-term with #2, a boy. Never saw a more beautiful, radiant, expecting mom. Over the years, she and her husband have seriously been rocks for us. Wish we still lived close but love how we can just pick-up where we left off. We love you guys more than you know-100%!

I've known Donna since high school and was thrilled when she married Corey as she was the perfect match for him ever. So fun to see them and meet their adorable daughter Faye. That sweet little girl can party let me tell you. She was grinning and smiling at everyone even though it was way past her bedtime I'm sure. Seriously, she was so much fun in her beautiful polka-dot dress.

These two were the first ones who talked to Steve about us getting married before graduating. At the time we assumed we'd just have to wait another two years for us both to finish but they really encouraged Steve to think outside the box and that it could be possible for us to get married before that. I'm SO glad they did. For us, it was the best decision. We hadn't seen them in so long but it was seriously refreshing and wonderful to see them again. They also helped us get our first apartment as it was theirs before us. Love this couple. Wish we weren't so far away and could hang out all the time.

These two are just well, the best. I've known Andy since high school. Steve and I feel like we've grown up with them as we all dated and got married close to the same time. They're people we can be totally real with and they'll still love us-thank God! We are so incredibly blessed to have them in our lives. Pretty much would do anything for their family at any time or place, no questions asked. Just love 'em and are thankful for them.

These are our engagement buddies. We got engaged within days of each other and married within weeks as well. So fun to catch up on their lives. Such amazing people!!

Below are as many LSM that we could gather at the time. All the way to the left is Sonja and I wasn't able to catch her with her hubby (pictured all the way to the right) but they are an amazing, cornerstone as well. They have served AGO tirelessly for years and we have always looked up to them tremendously (they are a few years older than us). I never tire of seeing them and catching up with them. Love 'em.

As many of the guys that could be gathered are pictured below.

All of us circling up around the couple (a few extra people joined in and I don't think they had any idea what was going was pretty funny!) At every AGO wedding, all the AGO guests circle up around the couple and sing the fraternity song and then dog pile the couple with a massive group hug.

Such a blessed time. There were so many people there that we love dearly who I simply didn't get to mention or didn't get a photo of but we truly love you all and it was a blast to see you and how God is blessing each of your families!!

And thanks to the grandparents (both sets) who took our three older monkeys so that we could get some precious time away to celebrate and see friends. We love you guys so much and are so thankful for you!!

Strong the ties that bind together, men with hearts so true.
Staunch the love of Christian brothers, loyal through and through.
Alpha Gamma Omega we will thy name uphold
Fighting, striving, working, winning
For the blue and gold.

Loyal sons of California, men of AGO (and Little Sisters!)
Pledge their all to Poly's laurels, as they watch them grow
Alpha Gamma Omega we will thy name uphold
Fighting, striving, working, winning
For the blue and gold.


  1. Oh Nikki!

    And I'm so sad I didn't get an extra hug and say goodbye! It was super duper great seeing you, as always. Although I may be older, I look up to you in many many ways. Your wisdom is far beyond your years.

    Love you girl!

  2. Wonderful post and fantastic time together... although way too short! :) We just love you and Steve and always look forward to seeing you guys!

    So happy for Beaker and Janelle! What a wonderful wedding! Thanks for sharing all of these great photos. I'll hopefully be sending ours out soon.


  3. I love that you posted about this. Saturday really reminded me once again the significant impact AGO and LSM have had and continue to have on my life - for one, my hubby, and second, my closest friends in the whole wide world! And yes...I am going something because you posted those pics. Just kidding;)

  4. Just saw this Nikki! What a joy to share that day with you and Steve and everyone else. Glad to hear that your boys didn't get sick!