Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Woodward Family

We Love You Woodwards!

Five Years and Counting (is that right Stac??)

Go Trojans! "Hey wait is that Nick Lachey over there??!!!"
(inside joke ha ha)

Our First Pregnancy Together with Noah and Reese

Gabe's First Olympic Trials in Long Beach
(yes he went once and came VERY close to going a second time this past Summer in Omaha)

I wanted to post a couple tributes to my closest friends. I'll start with Staci Woodward since I just got some really great pictures from her today.

Staci and I met at Marriage Builders, a young marrieds Bible study through our church. We met close to five years ago. I remember Staci saying that she saw me the first night and said, "I want to be friends with that girl" and I felt the same way. Our husbands got along right away with Gabe being gregarious and outgoing and Shannon being milder and a bit more reserved. They have grown closer over the years as Staci and I have alongside them.

We've gone through so many major milestones together since becoming friends. We decided we wanted to get pregnant together - such pressure. She got pregnant first and I died thinking she was leaving me behind...two weeks later I was pregnant. We've cheered Gabe on as he trained hard, eventually making it to the olympics winning a bronze medal. We've had babies together, learned how to schedule our infants' naps, nurse and train their hearts together. Looking back over our friendship I'm so thankful to have shared all these fun times together. Staci promises that with her next baby I can be her labor coach (along with Gabe of course) pushing her along without pain medication. We will see how that goes. That for sure will be another post. :)

Staci is someone who is everyone's friend - she makes every person in the room feel special. Everywhere I go someone knows her. In fact I was just at church last week and met a new couple who of course know Staci. She is the encourager yet also the gentle corrector. She is a wealth of information and the most generous person I know. Every time she visits (they moved to Bakersfield a couple years ago) she brings me fun little gifts, books that I can borrow or keep that she thought I might like, fun lotions and soaps, anything she sees that she thinks I might like. Staci is also all heart. I remember not wanting to call her when we first found out Jordan had some major problems because I knew she'd be devastated. She was and she just cried and cried on the phone, completely wrecked. When I was having Jordan the Woodwards came to our house to get things ready for us since we weren't prepared a month early. She brought her bassinet, put it together and cleaned the house. She kept Noah and brought him to see us each day. When Jordan was in the ICU in L.A. for a week Staci (along with Megan Seager) gathered gift cards from local restuarants for us (all my favorites of course because she knows me so well), she brought me new clothes from Target, a pair of shoes, and small items she knew I might need or just want. She dropped everything and came as always.

She and Gabe love Shannon and I enough to be here for us during the good times and bad - they love us enough to speak biblical truth to us challenging us to grow in areas we are lacking. I know the post is about Staci but I can't help but note my appreciation for Gabe's relentless persistence and dedication to our spiritual growth. As I wrestled through understanding election and predestination Gabe wouldn't give up. He challenged me, showed me scripture, gave me things to read and then hashed through it some more with me. I'm so thankful.

Staci has helped me become a better wife, caring for Shannon and growing in the area of homemaking, finding joy in hospitality. She has helped me become a better cook and baker, a better decorator and a more stylish dresser.

I could go on all day. I am so thankful for her in my life and so blessed to call her my friend. Through distance and distractions I pray that our friendship grows stronger over the years to come. I pray that Gabe and Shan continue to grow closer over time too.

Thanks Woodwards for being our friends!


RebeccaMillsap said...

We were sad not to have gotten to know the Woodwords better, prior to their move! They both are such welcoming people! Beautiful photos! What a great friend who's been able to be there for you through the years! Reminds me of a "spiritual hero" that Carlynn spoke about at retreat!

Carrie Steele said...

I'm with Rebecca. We joined about the same time as the Millsaps and also missed getting to know the Woodwards. What a wonderful tribute. It makes me wish I knew them more.