THE TEXT
It was a year ago that I got the text. The text from my sister in law (and auntie extraordinaire to my two sweet girls) saying, “Hey sister, is it ok if I bring a friend to Olivia’s birthday party? His name is Adam.” 
I dropped the sparkly paper snowflakes I was using to decorate the windows and immediately messaged my husband: “AMBER IS BRINGING A BOY TO THE PARTY!!!” (At some point I must have messaged her back to say yes, of course, but I only vaguely remember that part because the memory is drowned out by my other excited exclamations.) 
Even though she is the second-youngest of five siblings, Amber is like the beloved mother hen of the bunch. She is always around to help cook and clean and decorate for holidays and family gatherings while the rest of us show up right on time or a little bit late. She is always organizing games, doing nail art for everyone (including her brother, Aaron, when he is unfortunate enough to fall asleep on the couch after Easter dinner with his hands exposed), and making homemade glitter slime for the kids to smear all over each other and themselves. We don’t even have time to worry about the mess because she then whisks them all upstairs for a bath and brings them back squeaky-clean wrapped up like burritos in fresh smelling towels with their adorable, wrinkly toes sticking out one end and wet, curly heads sticking out the other.
Needless to say, we ALL love Amber. 
So, when she casually mentioned bringing a guy to a family function for the first time ever, it was a pretty big deal. 
THE PARTY
When the day of the party finally came, of course we were all Ooooohhhing and Ahhhhhhhhing over my adorable one year old in her her little pink tutu birthday dress as she daintily smeared blue cupcake frosting on her face, but we were also definitely all watching Adam out of the corner of our eyes and trying not to be too obvious about it. It did not take long at all to see that he fit right in. He was quiet and easy going, in a relaxed and friendly sort of way that makes people feel comfortable around him. I couldn’t imagine a better compliment to Amber’s slightly more outgoing, fun-loving personality. It felt like he was already part of the family, and it weirdly almost seemed like he always had been. 
THE CALL
Fast forward about a month, and my husband, Aaron, and I were just settling in for an after-the-kids-are-finally-in-bed Netflix binge session when we got a random FaceTime call from Amber’s phone. When Adam and Amber both showed up on the screen with giant grins on their faces, it was pretty obvious what was going on. “Oh my gosh, they are totally engaged!” I whispered to Aaron offscreen. 
“Guess what!” Amber said, barely able to contain the joy that seemed ready to bubble up and spill through the screen. 
“What?” I prompted excitedly, not wanting to steal her thunder. 
“We’re married!” She gushed. Now her happiness really was overflowing. “We eloped yesterday!” 
Looking back, I feel like we almost should have been more shocked, but it just seemed so right. These two amazing people had found each other and knew they wanted to be together, so why wait? They jumped in with both feet and haven’t looked back. 
These are Amber and Adam’s engagement style post-elopement photos, taken at Panorama Point near Hood River, Oregon. I will be writing about the next part of their story, the post elopement ceremony and reception, next week, so stay tuned and I’ll see you there! <3 
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