The first time I met Abbey was on a rainy February afternoon over sliders and salads at AleWorks. The second time was a sunny day in March at Starbucks, when I was being interviewed to be her assistant. I wanted the job because it was in Sonoma County where Sam lived, and because they offered housing. I didn't realize then that the most incredible thing I would gain from the position was a true, loyal, and assuredly lifelong friend in Abbey.
Fortunately, we instantly clicked. The nature of the jobs meant that we'd be spending hundreds of hours cramped in a tiny office together, so the fact that we got along so well was a blessing. We spent the summer drinking Dr. Pepper, eating a lot (Abbey was pregnant and I thought I should have a snack whenever she did), making up songs about the campers, and having deep conversations. Our office was usually filled with laughter, though we did manage to get a little work done here and there.
Abbey was my first friend in Sonoma County, the first to really know me. It meant a lot to me since I had left all my friends back home and was in a new, unfamiliar place. She really wanted to know me. She remembered names of my family members she'd never met, asked how my sister's pregnancy was going, and remembered details about friends from home ("Marci is the one who just got engaged, and JulieAnn is getting married in June, right?"). Every conversation with Abbey reminds me that she truly values who I am and cares enough to remember the silliest little details. I would love to learn to be more like her in this way, actively listening and making people feel like what they are saying is the most important thing in the world.
I must also say that Abbey quickly picked up my humor and slight sarcasm, which was delightful. Sometimes people have a hard time figuring out my sense of humor, but Abbey is quite witty and was able to keep up. :) She could even handle me when I was extra feisty. It makes me respect her all the more.
Besides being hilarious and fun to be around, Abbey is incredibly organized. I asked her to be my wedding coordinator because I was sure I would be able to trust her completely to make it all happen. She went above and beyond my expectations. My wedding day was incredible; every time I thought of a last minute task, she told me she'd just completed it, without my having asked. She knows me well enough that she was able to anticipate what I might want, and carried it out with speed and grace. Amazingly, some of her organizational skills rubbed off on me when we worked together, though I could still learn a lot from her in this area. She and her husband opened their home to me the week before I got married, so we were together day and night finishing up last-minute details. That week is full of some of my favorite memories, and I will forever be in her debt for making that day so special.
Even though Abbey is one of the most amazing people I know, she's very humble and refreshingly real. Whereas she has every right to brag about the amazing wife and mother she is, she's more likely to readily admit that dinner is a Trader Joe's frozen specialty. I get so tired of women who seem intent on proving that they are the perfect homemaker, that their hero is Martha Stewart, or that they make their own organic baby food. There's nothing wrong with any of those things (in fact, Abbey probably makes her own baby food!) but it's the attitude that bothers me. There's not an ounce of competitiveness, or the feeling that she needs to prove herself in any way. The fact that she allows herself to be a real person and doesn't pretend to be perfect enables me to do the same.
I could go on and on about her honesty, integrity, and thoughtfulness, but the more I write the more I think of more things to say, and I worry this blog will never end. Suffice it to say that her friendship is a blessing from God and that I'm so thankful to have her to laugh with and learn from.