I’ll never forget the first time I met her. She came down the hallway of the student dorm with a stride mimicking what would happen if skipping and gliding had a love child, and I thought ‘Oh God, she’s one of THOSE…’. For all I know, she was probably singing something about a spoonful of sugar as well. A mutual friend introduced us and in her high pitched voice with a smile as wide as the east is from the west she said ‘So you are American?!?! I just LOVE Americans! It’s my dream to go to New York someday’. I looked down, rolled my eyes and thought ‘yup, she’s definitely one of THOSE’. Frighteningly optimistic, always bubbly, friends with everyone…definitely not the type of girl that I would ever become friends with. But as any good staff member of a bible school would do, I smiled back, shook her hand and told her New York is every bit as wonderful as in the movies. And then I moved on.
Somewhere along the way, Patti and I ended crossing paths often – cell group at church, Sunday morning music team, leadership team, among other things – and slowly we became good friends. That friendship grew as the years passed and together we embarked on the uncharted territory of our dreams, climbing over every obstacle that came in our way, and stood arm in arm as we figured out some of life’s deepest complexities…like the difference between baking soda and baking powder or WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH DANISH MEN?!?!?. I listened to her weigh the pros and cons of working at one large company over another, always inspired by the strongest and most well known international businesswomen. And after a devastating heartbreak she would text me at midnight almost every night to see how I was doing and if my text back gave her any indication that I was having a rough night, she would immediately hop on her bike and come over to my apartment to cry with me. And then she would tell me that everything is going to be ok as she offered me some Ben & Jerry’s chocolate brownie ice cream which, if she wasn’t already promoted to BFF, definitely scored her some friend points in my book.
Patti is still that optimistic, bubbly, wide smiled girl that I met 7 years ago but since then she has become so, so much more than that to me. She is one of my dearest friends, someone who chooses to love and encourage me despite every flaw I have, and a woman that I have immense respect for. We’ve been through so many of life’s ups an down together. She cheered me on as I took a huge risk of moving back home to start my own business in a saturated market where I had no connections or contacts, and I got to witness her eyes completely light up as she saw Times Square for the first time, walked the streets of 5th avenue, and ate a Magnolias Bakery cheesecake.
When Patti called me last summer and told me she met a ‘really amazing guy’, my heart sunk. I was already defensive for her because I didn’t want her to have her heart broken, yet again, by some guy who was never good enough for her anyway. But as the weeks passed she kept talking about this Latin lover named Ernesto that she was really falling for, fast and hard. Much to my relief, I had a trip to Denmark scheduled for a couple weeks later and told her I’d like to meet him. It was just prior to my arrival that they became ‘official’ so, naturally, I had only one goal for that particular trip…not to get to know Ernesto, but to make it very clear to him that he better not break her heart, or ELSE. The three of us planned on meeting the first Sunday I was there but, for a reason I can’t remember, Patti was unable to make it. So there we sat, this guy named Ernesto and I, as I tried my best to be kind as I grilled him. He told me during our chat that he felt like he was at an interview and he told me just last week that meeting me that Sunday morning was harder than meeting Patti’s father for the first time. Secretly, I am very proud of this. 😉
Over the last few months I’ve been able to get to know Ernesto a bit more and, while he may not be my BFF yet (he hasn’t brought me any Ben & Jerry’s…), I can say without a shadow of a doubt that Patti has found an incredible, incredible man. I am beyond excited to be there this summer to support them as they promise forever to each other and I am so, so honored to have such incredible friends as these two. 🙂
This week while I was in Denmark I got together with these lovebirds for an engagement shoot outside Patti’s [stunningly gorgeous] apartment in Copenhagen. These photos are a perfect representation of them as a couple and their relationship. As they walk through life hand in hand, always bearing a smile and offering a glass of wine to whoever visits them, the world better watch out because they are unstoppable and are destined to be world changers.
Love you two more than you know and I can’t wait for June to come… 🙂