At the risk of alienating/ offending my sisters whom I have not blogged about how fantastic/ inspirational they are on their birthday (Stephanie did complain about it), I wish Alison a happy birthday and will now express how I grew to love and admire her.
I thought she was stuck up when I first met her. Now, this has happened to me many times before, where I totally misjudge someone, but in my defense, the first time we met, she did not talk to me at all. Our husbands were lifting buddies (Kevin frequently came home and told me how Skule's thighs were the size of tree trunks) and one night, the boys decided that both couples should go out to see a movie. We met at the Vagens and I don't think Alison even said hi to me, and then didn't talk to me the whole night. I was not used to this, because usually, when we went out with a friend of Kevin's, the wife and I would chat about whatever ( I can't even remember what it was back in those days, with no kids to discuss, what was there?) and leave the fellas to their "man" talk. So, I wrote her off as stuck up, unfriendly, and shallow. Fast forward about a year. We each had our first baby less than a month apart. She came over when her baby, Elsa, was a couple of weeks ago and was super friendly and told me all about her childbirthing experience (I remember that she in transition and kept focusing on the thermometer number to get her through the dilation, then after she had Elsa pronounced that she wanted to do it again!) and handed me chocolate. Could this be the same girl?! I was shocked, to say the least. After I had Dillan, it was the dead of winter, we had one car, which Kevin took to work since I was still on maternity leave, and not easily getting in the groove of things. That's when Alison saved me. I don't know where we went, but she would come get me and Dillan and we would go shopping, hang out, or whatever. Without her, I may have stayed in sweats and a t-shirt for years.
Alison is super crafty (like crafts, not sneaky). She has made me holiday curtains for my kitchen that are so great that I change with each holiday, that make it festive and fun in our kitchen. She's been my rock through crummy times in my life. A time when I thought that there wouldn't be a day when I wouldn't wake up crying. I can't believe that I ever thought she was stuck up. She is a friend to everyone, even people that I would never be friends with (sorry, Mom, I am not your perfect daughter). She's taught me how to be a good friend I miss having her close to me, and in the same ward where we can discuss other people's imperfections. She is smart, well educated, and amazes me at all that she can do. Alison is so much stronger than me (not strength, but spirit-I would beat her in a lifting competition). She's an exceptional mother with beautiful children. I am so grateful that I have this dear, lifelong, eternal friend. I am so blessed to have her. And to think that she's only turning 29. Love you, Al!