The coolest people in the world :)
My brother who has been through it all with me. From wrestling as kids to... well wrestling as adults, he has been a source of encouragement and loyalty. I am so proud of the man that he is becoming and so proud to have him stand by me.
Wow, what to say about the best sister in the world? I say that in all honesty and without hesitation because Nessie is a true blessing in my life. Not many older sisters can say that they look up to and are inspired by a younger sibling, but I've been encouraged by her for a long time. I've always told Ness that the reason why she's so smart is because when we were kids we would play 'school' all the time and I was her teacher. I assigned lots of homework and she never failed to do every task...she continues to have that same passion for learning today, which is why she'll make a great teacher some day! Although, I wish she lived closer to Atlanta, I know she's happy in Chicago pursuing a degree in elementary education at Trinity International University. I LOVE YOU NESS!
My boy since high school with whom I have been through it all. We were (and still are) practically inseparable. He is the loyal friend who was always there to make me laugh but always was honest and would tell me if I was doing something stupid. I love him like a brother and am so proud of the man he has grown into and I am so glad we both made it alive so he can stand with me on this day.
Amanda(Bond)Stockton, her twin sis Amber(Bond)Lauwers, and I go all the way back to kindergarden. Growing up, we lived a half mile apart and we called ourselves neighbors because in the country there were no houses between us. Manda has been through it all with me, whether it was riding bikes to basketball camps in the summer when we were younger, going to jr. high and high school dances, going to Las Vegas on our 'senior trip'(with my parents-ha!), and visiting each other while I was at Trinity and they were at Taylor. I thank God for providing me with a girlfriend that has a great sense of humor and is always trying to make someone laugh. Amanda, you are a true blessing to me! Amanda and her husband Lance were married in December 2007 and currently live in Memphis, TN.
Why would you not have your lawyer in your wedding party? (haha) Other than that, Jeff and I have been friends since high school and looking back on the good times I still laugh (really hard). Jeff is a friend I can always count on no matter the circumstance and I am thankful for that. I was honored to stand next to him this summer as he got married and I am so glad he will be standing by me.
I basically could write the exact same thing that I wrote for Manda here because they're both equally important to me. On a more serious note, Amber, like Amanda has experienced much of my life right by my side and probably one of the most important activities that the twins and I were involved in was our youth group. I specifically remember in either 6th or 7th grade when the girls had invited me to a youth rally that they were having at their church. That night while the preacher was giving a powerful sermon I strongly felt God tugging at my heart. I had already accepted Christ as my Savior when I was younger, but it wasn't until that night that I began to get really exited about what God had instore for my life! I'm forever grateful to Amber, Amanda, and the entire Bond family for being the best 2nd family a girl could ask for! Ber, you are such a light for Christ and have always been an encouragement to me with your faith! Must be why your 3rd graders love you so much!
Amber and her husband Whit were married in August 2007 and currently live in Charlotte, NC.
Zack was my college roommate and teammate at Trinity. Zack was pretty much the best roommate and friend a guy from the south would ever want to have. I believe the greatest thing I could say about Zack is that I would hope that my son would have a college roommate like him. From countless nights of pillow talk to some crazy pranks, we had a great time together.
Sarah is none other than a blessing from above! She went out on a limb and asked me to be her roommate at Trinity when she didn't even know me...the rest is history. Sarah has been an encouraging, loyal, fun, and honest friend to me from the very first day in Johnson Hall room 202! Basically, we were constantly together in college. From being roommates, playing soccer for TIU, running a marathon, and just hanging out, we rarely knew what it was like to be apart! We had some of the greatest trips to Florida over Spring break every year that we still laugh about today! I remember countless moments of laughing out loud for several minutes with her over a hilarious episode of Friends and then a few minutes later sharing prayer requests and praying for each other while crying! I've always admired her caring and loving heart; nobody was/is better than Sarah at sending out 'just because notes' to her friends and family! I will also always respect and appreciate Sarah's ability to tell me the truth whether I want to hear it or not. I doubt anyone has a friend like her that can be so blunt with me and tell it like it is, but love me so much at the same time. What a Godsend you've been to me! Sarah currently lives and works in Chicago, IL.
Where to begin? My uncle who has been more like a brother throughout my life. I love and respect him for his unfailing loyalty to family which only is rivaled by his love for hunting. Every trip to Mississippi since I was a teenager has been filled with some great times and quality chats with Joel. I love him dearly, and I am honored to have him stnd with me on this day.
I met Elyse for the first time when the Renfroe family came to Chicago for one of Calvin's games in 2004 and we clicked right away. I remember thinking, there's no way this girl is 14; she's taller than me, mature, and so pretty! Today, Elyse is still taller than me, mature, and even more beautiful! We share a love for sports, quality time with family, deep conversations, eating at nice restuarants, and shopping(duh!). I love the fact that since I'm marrying Calvin I get to have another little sister and brother(no, that's not the only reason why I'm marrying him!). Elyse and I can be in a room full of people and give each other one look or make a face and we know what the other person is thinking. I can't tell you what an answer to prayer it is to be marrying into such a fun and loving family. I look forward to many years of great memories with all of them! Elyse just completed her high school education and lives in Atlanta, GA.
My brother from another mother. Andy's passion for life is one thing I enjoy and have learned from him so much throughout our friendship. Any guy who would make a duct tape suit for 80's prom or drive a pizza across the state to you is definitely the best kind of friend any guy could ask for.
Ashleigh, (middle girl in the pic) is another definition of a quality friend. We met at Trinity and played soccer on the women's team together. She was the best RA (resident assistant) that any group of girls could ask for and a very close friend. She made dorm life very relaxed and fun when most RA's stuck to a list of rules. Being the best RA on campus our junior and senior years was just one of her many attributes to me. We became great friends our senior year and I absolutely loved going into her room for a 'just because' visit. We would end up talking for a couple hours about who knows what and laugh til we cried. :) We've also shared a lot of fun experiences together helping out with youth group. So many stories and laugh out loud moments were captured on the Fall and Winter retreats! Ash's love for Christ and others is so apparent in her life; that's why I went to her for lots of advice. I felt as though she had some larger phone line to God than anyone else because she was and is so grounded in Him. I know that if I needed anything, Ash would be there for me; she's such a loyal friend and I thank her for that! Ashleigh currently lives and works in Chicago, IL.
Late night pillow talks, teaching sunday school to little kids, some roadtrips, and crashing a wedding go a long way in a friendship. Dave has been an excellent friend and I have always admired the way he helps people. It might sound funny, but Dave is one of those guys if you need some help he is always willing, and certainly able when it comes to heavy lifting.
Graver has been a good friend to me since college. He is the kind of guy who will always tells you exactly how he sees things and I respect him for it. An all around man's man who I am very glad to call a close friend.
My cousin (cuz) who has been like a little brother to me thoughout my life, just a little farther away geographically. We have always made the most of our quality time with some heart to heart "man talk" and many fun memories. He is a good guy with the potential do great things and I look forward to experiencing that with him.
I was 10 years old when my mom and dad told me that I was going to be a big sister again and I was so happy! For me, it meant always having a 'real life' doll to play with and babysit; life couldn't get much better for a little girl who loved playing house! When Grant was about 1 month old, I brought him into my 4th grade class for show and tell; yes, that's how proud I was! Now, 13 years old, I can't imagine life without him. Although, I'm sad that I only had a few years at home with Grant before I was off to college, it makes coming home to visit so much fun! One of the best things in life has been watching him grow up. I LOVE going to his athletic events, watching and playing sports with him, laughing til I cry at one of his jokes, praying with him, and simply sitting on the couch with him! As you can see, my family means the world to me! Grant lives in Mattoon, IL and will be in 8th grade this fall.
Every guy dreams of getting married to a girl with a cool little brother and I am getting to live that dream. Grant and I have become close and shared many good times together already . I am certainly looking forward to many good times to come with my new little bro.
Kristen and I lived on the same floor my freshman year at Trinity. She was a junior at the time and I remember going to her with all my questions about where to do this and that on campus and what classes I need to take. I recall one specific instance where I was freaking out over a brochure that was due the next day in one of my classes and I had no clue how to make one. Kristen came to my rescue and stayed up with me that night until it was complete. She was and is willing to help with anything that stresses me out. By the end of the school year, Kristen realized how much of a procrastinator I was/am and started to help me pack my things up because my check out time was in a couple hours and I didn't have much accomplished--like I said, always willing to help! That was a year filled with late night dance parties, watching Saved By The Bell episodes until 3am, raiding other floors with shaving cream and toliet paper, and many other fun excursions, most of which were initiated by Kristen! She has the ability to make some of the most stressful and unpleasant circumstances funny and that's what I love about her! Kristen currently lives and works in Chicago, IL.
Erika, Trisha, and Sarah are my 3 girl cousins from my mom's side of the family. These small town, country girls are so sweet, beautiful, and lots of fun! I have always loved how close our families are and what a blessing it is to have these girls be a part of our wedding! Some of the best memories I have of trips to grandma and grandpa's house always involve them. From sledding in the winter to swinging in the tire swing during the summer, we've had some great times on the farm! And those unforgettable memories of manicures, pedicures, and 'crusin' with the windows down and music blaring when they would make it down to Mattoon every Summer. :) I love each of them as if they were my own little sisters and am very proud of them all. I know God has great plans for their future and I can't wait to see how He uses them for His glory. Erika will be a sophomore in high school this fall, and Trisha and Sarah will both attend 8th grade in the fall. All 3 girls live in Bushnell, IL.