Thursday, December 20, 2012

Laura and Aaron's Christmas Cards

{All of these cards are now available at Vivian Elle's Etsy Shop. Click here to visit!}

I have to show off this Christmas card.

It's totally one of my pre-made designs (you can get it right here from my Etsy shop) and I previously stated that I would only show custom Christmas designs on the blog.  But this card is a little extra special to me, because of who I made it for.

Meet Laura, and her little girl, Liya.

Laura and I became friends in college. We suited together our senior year, and along with our friends Ruth, Amanda, and Lisanne, we kind of became a little group. After college, we decided that we needed to make sure we kept in touch, so we planned on taking a trip once a year to visit each other.

So in 2005, we all met up in Seattle, where Amanda and her husband, Jason, lived.

In 2006, we met up in D.C., where Ruth was living, and took a quick trip to Annapolis, Maryland, to visit Lisanne's home, too.

In 2007, we met in Charleston, SC, where Laura and her husband, Aaron (a pilot in the air force), were stationed.
In 2008, we came back to D.C. to celebrate Ruth's marriage to her Australian army man, Andrew. I would put a picture here if I had a picture of us from that wedding (sad, I know). Instead, here is a random photo of us that I like.

Our friend Ruth is eating an apple in this photo. For some reason, that gets me every time.
Unfortunately, after Ruth's wedding, we lost her to Andrew (stupid marriage!) and they moved to Australia, where they're still living today.

So in 2009, when we got together in Michigan for my very own wedding, Ruth wasn't with us, but we still managed to have a little fun with help from some more college friends.

And the last time I saw these girls was in 2010, when we got together in Dallas, and took a few days to go up to Altus, Oklahoma, where Laura and Aaron were stationed at the time.

The trouble with asking some random person outside of a saloon to snap a picture of you.
Because of all of our trips together (and emails and phone calls), we knew when Aaron and Laura started trying to have kids. We also knew when they were having trouble trying to have kids. Then we knew when they started undergoing tests to see why they weren't having kids.

And it was really hard to see that happen to our friend. It was hard to know that she was struggling. It was hard to know that some of her other friends were having kids and she wasn't able to be as happy for them as she'd have liked. It was just hard to know that there was something that so many people had no problem doing that she was having such a tough time with.

But then something great happened. Laura and Aaron attended a conference where they found out more about adoption. After years of struggling, they felt like it was time to move forward. It was time to step out of their comfort zone. It was time to start filling out paperwork and getting references and waiting and hoping for a referral to come their way.

I'll never forget when Laura called and said that they had decided adopt. There was a peace and joy in her voice that I hadn't heard before. There was a sense that this was what all of those hardships had led them to.

And I'll definitely never forget the call when Laura told me that they'd received a referral from Ethiopia (after they had waited so long and been so patient). She told me about the little girl, about what she looked like, about her travel plans (Aaron deployed around the same time they had to fly to Ethiopia so Laura ended up bringing her sister-in-law along).

So, after nine and a half years of marriage, a trip to Africa, and a two month stay with a family in Ethiopia, Laura brought her little girl back to the U.S. where Aaron was waiting at home for them. There was something special about knowing that Laura had met her daughter for the first time, but there was really something special about knowing that Aaron, Laura, and Liya were home together, just like they should be.

So here are Laura and Aaron's Christmas cards. She picked the 'Year in Review' design, which I think was perfect, since so many people were invested in her year and I know they would want to read a little recap of it.

I so want to let these cards speak for themselves, but I do just want to say (for you font lovers out there) that the fonts are Cafe Rojo and Antipasto.

I couldn't believe how stunning this picture was when Laura sent it to me. But as beautiful as the photographer's work is (Mallory Krieger, by the way), the most beautiful thing about the picture is the huge grin on that baby girl's face. And let me tell you, she should be grinning, because she hit the jackpot with parents like Laura and Aaron.


  1. I burst into tears (at work) when I saw Liya's face. Sweet sweet baby, and sweet couples for changing her life!

  2. This is so beautifully written. Thanks for sharing their story :)

    1. It was definitely my pleasure. What a precious niece you have!