I am blessed to have so many amazing women in my life so it was difficult to choose bridesmaids. I chose these women because each of them is connected to a different era of my life and each of them represents a different group of girlfriends that have taught me so much and given me so many memories.
My dear sister… She’s basically my life-long “little buddy” and the obvious choice as my Maid of Honour. Since she was little, we have had a very unique bond… She’s been my baby sister, the little doll I got to dress up, almost like a daughter to me at times (I’m 7 years older) and, other times more recently, she’s been my very wise and insightful confidant. No matter what, through all the ups and downs, what has stayed true is our deep love and connection as sisters and friends. What I love about my sister is her many facets. She is insanely talented – a dancer, singer, songwriter, artist, studious learner, writer… the list continues. She has the capacity to make you roll on the floor in laughter, move you to tears through dance and song, or help you through a challenge with a gentle insight. Having her beside me on my wedding day and for the rest of our lives is something I treasure.
Claire Robinson (or Stephenson, by the wedding day)
Claire and I go way back to Kindergarden at Eastview Elementary School and were joined at the hip through high school, creating many memories at school trips, summers at Cultus Lake, first crushes, and even obsessions…. we were both “in LOVE” with Canuck superstar, Pavel Bure, and we were convinced that one of us would be marrying him. Claire is getting married to the man beyond her dreams just two weeks before me (it’s not Pavel Bure — he’s better and his name is Chris) and I am honoured to be a bridesmaid in her wedding! Claire has an adventurous spirit and spent time traveling and/or living abroad in England and Japan for a number if years before becoming a teacher in West Vancouver. Though we see each other less than we’d like, through it all, we have maintained a very strong connection. I describe Claire as my constant; no matter where we are and what happens in life, we “fit”. We love and appreciate each other unconditionally and somehow just being with Claire always reminds me who I am. I love her gentle honest spirit, her carefree laugh, and her eagerness to have fun.
One of the things that bonds Annette and I is our thirst for growth, empowerment, support and development, so it’s fitting that we met at a course back in 2003. We were light friends for a couple of years, enjoying each other’s presence at group events, courses and classes, and through it all, I think we recognized ourselves in each other. Although we are both intense, passionate, committed learners, we both have a rebellious side to us that constantly questions what we are learning because we both value authenticity, an open mind and, although we like to learn from others, we are clear that the best answers are the ones we seek and learn for ourselves. We both met our men around the same time but Annette moved faster than me; she is married (I was honoured to be a bridesmaid for Annette, too, when she married her charming and clever husband, Andrew) with two adorable, free-spirited, already-empathetic and smart young daughters. I admire Annette for her dedication to her family, friends, and anyone who needs a hand or a heart to lean on. There is truly nothing Annette can’t do.
My sweet, sweet Ange… or “Angel” I sometimes say. When I first saw Angela, it was at a business networking function. I noticed her from across the room (you can’t help but notice this woman’s traffic-stopping beauty) and observed her interacting. She was so darn sweet and I thought to myself, ‘there is NO WAY this woman is THAT NICE’… but, in fact, she is. Angela is ball of love and cheer. Her driving force seems to be to do whatever she can to bring happiness and empowerment to those around her. As a car-driving Mary Kay Senior Director, Angela has lead so many women to find themselves and their inner confidence and always with a gentle and honest encouragement. Angela and I became friends through business but “fell in love” when, a few years back, she suddenly found herself without an assistant make-up artist and jokingly asked if I did makeup. When I surprised her by saying yes, it gave us a chance to spend some time together outside the networking world. In a very short period of time, Angela stepped up and in to my world and has been there to support me in my business, my relationship with David and in my growth as a woman. You cannot help but love her. And, by the way, I was also honoured to be bridesmaid at Angela’s wedding and, since that day, she and her devoted husband, Greg, have started their family with a beautiful, bouncing baby boy.
Analies and I date back to twinkles in our fathers’ eyes! My mom and Analies’s mom (“Auntie ‘Rene” I call her) were friends in nurses training many years ago and ended up having us girls only 2.5 months apart. Analies and I, along with the rest of our families, made many memories together, growing up. I remember summers roaming the grounds of Beachwoood (in Birch Bay, WA) on our bikes and feeling so independent and grown up, to late nights falling asleep at eachothers’ houses when our parents were partying, to Analies’s fairytale wedding to her hubby, Ken, when I got to be a bridesmaid for her. Analies is a committee wife, daughter, friend and teacher. She’s always there for the ones she loves. She’s someone I feel will be in my life for many years to come and I look forward to continuing the legacy our mothers’ started and, eventually, each growing our own families.
Wow, I don’t even know how to introduce these great men in such a short few lines. There are a lot of common threads with my friends that cannot be summarized in such a short time: Hockey, golf, camping, poker, music, road trips, football, school, girls, adventures, stories, and just incredible memories that I loved sharing with each of them. Many of those memories we all share together as we were all very close friends growing up together.
I met my brother when I was born and it was a real treat. For the next umpteen years of my life I got to experience getting picked on, beat up, neglected, outcast, and rejected. And that was just how his friends treated me! I would not change it for the world. I have become a better person in my life from the good things my brother has been able to teach me, even if it is just by example or a kind word. Steve is a hard worker and wants to provide a life for his family that is filled with fun, love, and memories. With his wife Wendy, Steve has a family of four kids that bring a smile to anyone’s face. Steve is a committed family man and finds a way to participate in one way or another in all of the events that all of his kids are in. I don’t know how he finds the time but I admire him for all that he does. My brother is wise man and I’m glad to have the relationship with him that I do. I am very thankful for his love and support.
I met Luke before Grade 9 when he moved to our city. This kid with roots from Winnipeg, MB seemed like he would have no trouble fitting in with our west coast lifestyle (as elementary as it was…) Hockey was our first introduction to each other. Luke and I have shared a lot of memories and stories as we’ve grown up and I can always count on him for a laugh or a friendly ear. We played hockey together for a number of years and that alone can give anyone more stories than you need. Luke loves to have fun and doesn’t take himself too seriously, although when it comes to serious, Luke is a devoted father to his three children and devoted husband to his wife, Ashley. Every time I am going to plan something with Luke I have one prerequisite for myself: have a nap, because it’s going to be a long night.
I met Trevor in Grade 6. Another ‘foreign’ elementary school student; this kid had Australian heritage! Crazy… Trevor and I lived on the same street for most of our childhood and spent a lot of time participating in crazy adventure and playing hockey and sports. As we grew a little older we also shared a workplace, a business that his father was the owner of. Trevor and I even had the chance to get out of the country and ended up backpacking around South East Asia for a few weeks. Trevor and his wife Corene have created a beautiful family with three children. Trevor is very active in coaching hockey and spends a lot of his free time supporting and helping his community and his children.
I met Angus before there was even school. The transition of pre-school to kindergarten was enough to bring Angus into my life. We spent many years through school and hockey growing into great friends and sharing many amazing (and ridiculous) times together. Angus is always good for one memorable story (either creating or reciting) at any time… Angus is also a committed father to his children and shares a beautiful family with his wife Tania. Angus is an adventurer; a real outdoorsman for sure. He loves to be on the water, on a trail, or sleeping under the starts in the middle of nowhere. Doing that all at once on the same excursion is even better!
Another first meeting…birth, for me. My oldest brother, Rod, has been one of my biggest cheerleaders. Supporting me through my challenges and successes in life he has always had my back. Surprisingly, even though Rod grew up the strongest and toughest kid, he never once beat me up! (unlike some other guy named Steve…) Rod is also a committed father to his daughter and makes his free time available to help coach her teams year round. His heart is immeasurable and he always brings a warm smile good cheer to any occasion. He makes a perfect fit to round out the men standing up with me on my wedding day.