One of the great blessings of life is having true friends; those people in life who really know you, who not only see you in your shining moments of sweetness or kindness, but who see you at your stupidest and most sinful, and love you anyway. The people who accept you for who you are, but challenge you to grow and change all the same. The people in life who serve not only as friends, but often unwittingly as an example. The Clarys are this to Justin and I, and so much more. They're family.
It's fun to think back to early TBS days. Ian and Vicky engaged but not yet married. Justin and I friends, but nothing more... me talking to Ian and Vicky with thoughtful discretion about "some guy" that I was falling in love with, but who I didn't think returned my affection. I remember asking them for advice about something, thinking that they had no idea who I was cryptically referring to. They told me later "of course we knew you were talking about Justin." Oops. Thankfully it all turned out OK in the end.
Here we are, almost a decade and a whole bunch of kids later. God has been so good.
We were thankful to celebrate another birthday with the crew. ('The crew' includes the Bells, but alas, no usable pictures with them from this night.)