This is going to be a fatty post, so get ready.
This weekend I had the world’s greatest honor of being a bridesmaid in my dear friend Tamara (Rather) O’Nan’s wedding. Tamara and I met about 5 years when she started volunteering at my churches high school group and I was just a lowly freshman.
(This picture is actually from the first night we met)
Looking back, this was such an interesting time in my and her life and I can totally see God’s hand in putting us in each other’s lives. The first couple of years of my high school career at Grace, I was literally the only girl and one of the only freshman. With a surplus of volunteers and few girls to take the attention of these leaders, I gladly stepped up and took the role of the annoying stalker who wouldn’t leave Tamara alone. Due to both of our heavy involvement in the church, we started to see each other a ton. Sunday mornings at church, Wednesday nights at high school group, every other Thursday for Rear Unit, Friday for lunch and probably at least once more throughout the week. I used to joke that she was probably so sick of me, but had to hang out with me because she was getting paid– actually, it wasn’t so much a joke. I’m still not totally convinced she wanted to be spending quite so much time with me. Either way, willingly or unwillingly, quickly after meeting Tams I knew that she was a very special person and was going to play a huge role in my life.
Throughout high school, the conversations we shared over many, many, many Chipotle burrito bowls were so influential in shaping what kind of young woman I wanted to be and she showed me that, above all else, my relationship with God was something that was the most important thing in my life.
Favorite Tams moments:
Here we are in Tahoe… or maybe Mammoth. This was seconds before I was pelted in the eye with a ball of ice. (Thanks again for that, Clark)
This was the last day of our trip to New Orleans. This field was just begging to be frolicked in.
This is from a mock photo shoot we coordinated for a high school event that never ended up happening. At least she got some good training for her new role as Newport Beach Trophy Wife.
Little known fact: Tamara was my #1 alcohol supplier in high school. Just kidding– she only did it a few times. Just kidding again. The truth is, we’re just cooking. I was boring in high school.
Here are our children that we share custody with. I don’t think Tim is aware he just married a single mom. Just kidding. Long Story. Moving on.
Halloween at the roller rink. We are supposed to be our high school group leader and his wife, Brady and Lindsay.
70’s bowling. Self Explanatory.
Just picking up some onions and tampons at the market. What else do you really need?
Here we are in Chile. I’m the one in the blue hoodie and red hat most likely complaining about the weather or something stupid.
Looking back on the last 5 years of my life almost all of my greatest memories involve Tamara in some way. We’ve shopped (way too much), we’ve traveled the globe, we’ve dyed our hair, we’ve laughed ridiculously hard, we’ve (mostly me– actually, pretty much all me) cried together and every time we hung out, I would wonder when she’d realize that she was spending way too much time with a lame high schooler and want to hang out with her real friends.
Enter Tim. I was just telling Tamara the other day that the very first time we hung out, I remember driving in her car and hearing her tell me all about her boyfriend, Tim O’Nan, and how they were planning on getting engaged and married within the year. …That was six years ago. Now, I’m not even going to begin to try and break down the ins and outs of Tim and Tamara’s relationship because, although I was around the whole time they were dating, even I don’t know how everything went down. And I would definitely be lying if I didn’t say that sometimes I wondered about how things would turn out for the two of them. But let it be said that I have watched the the ebb and flow of their relationship for over 5 years and no one is better for Tamara than Tim. The way God has worked in their relationship is unlike anything I’ve ever seen and when they got engaged this summer, I could not have been happier for them.
Tamara and I were able to hang out just a few days before they got engaged and we were joking about the fact that when she did get engaged, I expected to be first in line as a contestant in the running as one of her bridesmaids. So a few days later when Tim actually did pop the question, I was so worried that Tamara would remember that conversation and feel pressure to actually ask me to be in her wedding because she thought I expected to be or something. So (still so insecure that Tamara considered me an actual friend) and to avoid any undue pressure, I made sure to quickly let her know that I did not in any way expect to be in the wedding and all of our previous conversations were obviously me just joking. I knew that my only role in her wedding was to give her tons of unwanted input and unwarranted advice.
Well, I went off to school and a few months passed by. One day I was innocently checking my e-mail when I got a message from Tamara. I opened it up and this vintage-y video started to play. As I sat and watched I started to get bored and wondered what the point of this video was (sorry, Tams). I was literally just about to close the window when some words popped up on the screen. “Will you be my bridesmaid?” And then I started to scream. And then I started to cry. And then I started to wonder if there had been a mistake. So, I picked up my phone and called Tamara and left her a very fast and very loud voicemail that went something like this. “HI, TAMARA! IT’S ME, JULIA! I JUST GOT YOUR E-MAIL! DID YOU JUST ASK ME TO BE IN YOUR WEDDING!? OH MY GOSH! ARE YOU SURE!? I DON’T WANT YOU TO FEEL LIKE YOU HAVE TO!? YOU CAN CHANGE YOUR MIND! BUT IF YOU’RE SERIOUS, I WOULD ABSOLUTELY LOVE TO! LIKE, I WOULD LOVE TO! SERIOUSLY! BUT DON’T FEEL ANY PRESSURE! BECAUSE I UNDERSTAND IF YOU DON’T WANT ME TO! BUT I WANT TO! BUT…ANYWAY, CALL ME! ONLY IF YOU WANT TO! I KNOW YOU’RE BUSY! K. BYE! TALK TO YOU LATER! BYE!”
A couple hours later, Tams called me and explained that there, in fact, had been no fluke and I was actually supposed to get that e-mail and she really did want me in her wedding. Since then, I have been the world’s most attentive absent-tee bridesmaid. Every time I skyped with Tamara, (who, by the way, was/is also simultaneously completing a rigorous PA program while planning her wedding) I would pepper her with annoying questions like “So, how are you feeling? Are you stressed? What do the flowers look like? Are you nervous? What are we eating for dinner? What do I have to do? Am I going to have to give a toast? What if I faint walking down the aisle? Oh, wait– this isn’t about me. It’s about you. Are you nervous? What’s for dessert?”
Months went by and I was shocked that I still hadn’t gotten the call that she’d found someone else to be her 6th bridesmaid and it was my time to graciously bow out (which, I kid you not, I was totally expecting to happen.) The days on the little countdown on my computer got less and less and I was so excited to fly home to be in the wedding. And finally, I did. Besides the fact that I missed my flight home and I was a bit under the weather this weekend, things could not have been more perfect. Seeing Tamara in all her bridal glory made me so happy to be involved in such a special day. Tamara obviously looked so beautiful, Tim looked so handsome and the wedding was absolutely flawless. Being in their wedding was an honor that I will never ever forget and I am so happy to be a witness to this beautiful marriage. I could literally go on and on about Tamara and the wedding and me, for that matter, but I’m going to stop myself before I bore everyone to death.
My pictures kind of suck, but I grabbed a few on the big day. Here’s me and the beautiful bride!
Look who showed up! Don and Linda sure do clean up nice, eh?
This picture cracks me up. I have absolutely no rhythm whatsoever, but I had so much fun dancing the whole night. Me and my AMAZING heels pulled it off without any major face plants.
Tamara and Tim are currently honeymooning in Mexico but, if you guys are reading this, thank you so much for involving me in such a special day and I am so excited to witness the amazing things in store for you both. I’m just going to enjoy this time before you guys realize that it was a huge mistake to have me there.