Ohh, my friend Monique. Where do I even start? I met Monique over a handful of years ago, when she was interning at the church I used to attend. She was an intern, I was a youth leader. (Perhaps even in my last year of high school.) She was loud, charismatic, always had me laughing and freestyle rapped with the best of them. I don’t know how our friendship happened (Truly, I can’t remember. Help me out Monique? We just started hanging out?) but even after she went back to her home church and I moved churches, we stayed in touch.
Monique is an incredible woman. We’ve had so many heart to hearts over the years and although she jokes I am her younger-but-wiser-friend/mentor, she teaches me when we meet. She teaches me the beauty of vulnerability. Monique has an honest heart. She has a willingness to share where she has failed, and a joy when she speaks of how Jesus is changing her daily. There’s no pretending with Monique – and I want to be able to say the same for my life.
Some of my favourite memories have to include anything we do in Abbotsford together: trips to the mall or eyebrow threading appointments in Indian strip malls. (Seriously. The first time I got my eyebrows threaded she was speaking in Hindi to the technicians the whole time and then “translating” it to me. You can imagine, her translations included “We’re just working out your dowry here and gonna find you a nice young man” and “She’s confirming you want your eyebrows SUPER THIN.” Hahaha.)
On a warm September day, Monique and I went for a run/walk at the track near my house and chatted over salads for dinner. General updates on life, work and her weight loss journey. (Monique has lost over 100 pounds in the last 2-3 years. Amazing.) She mentioned a friend she was getting to know named Matt. October comes and boom, dating! We have coffee in the new year and boom, things are going well. Few months later, engaged! I’m thrilled to be attending their wedding in August but I wanted to shoot their engagement sessions as a gift. Because I love Monique.
It was so much fun to meet Matt and see these two together. We laughed a lot. And I approve of her choice. It was the best evening together. Even if we didn’t have any signs for props… ;) – Monique texted me before the shoot, “U know what’s lame? … He stole my heart so I stole his last name… Firstly, none of this is true. There was no stealing. Second. You’re having engagement photos. You need handmade signs to illustrate that point… what happened to subtlety. Third. It’s the least creative thing ever. Google images “he stole my heart” and the 33,000 photos that come should show how cliche it really is.”
Hahahahhaa. I just loooove her.