Mariah Slusser: Mariah and I have been friends since we met in college at the UC Davis Equestrian Center. We both enjoyed competing for the team and caring for the horses for which we held such passion. We also both enjoyed a good party, and many occasions found us breaking numerous rules in the United States Pony Club manual. Ironically, Mariah is now involved with the Pony Club in an administrative role. Both Mariah and I followed our hearts after graduation; I to the breeding and training of Quarter Horses, and Mariah to the big leagues, working with US Olympians Karen and David O’Connor at their training facility in Virginia. During our escape from reality into the horse world, Mariah and I remained in close contact, even visiting each other from opposite ends of the continent. Upon Mariah’s return, we once again followed our hearts, and began working together at American Express Financial Advisors in the Bay Area, and even became roomies for a brief stint. And yet we’re still great friends. Mariah has supported me through some interesting times in my life and I am proud she will stand as my Maid of Honor.
Hillary Chan: 10 years younger, 6 inches taller, and 10 times more attitude! I can honestly say I’ve known Hillary her entire life. When she was growing up, I was in charge of her daycare during the weekends and summers. We had tons of fun together, singing and watching Disney movies. As I got older and more involved in school and sports, I wasn’t home as much, and when I left for college I was home even less. During that time, Hillary grew from a 6 year old kid into a high-schooler. And as fate would have it, one of my first teaching assignments was at my old high school, working with her Agriculture class. She was my best and toughest student all in one. I also had a chance to work with her at Oasis Quarter Horses for a couple of summers, and realized what a cool person she had grown into. She’s my little alter-ego and I couldn’t be happier that she’ll be standing next to Mariah as my other Maid of Honor.
Carrie Gifford: Carrie and I also met in college at UC Davis. She and I had a few classes together, and even attended each other’s classes just to sit in the back and do crosswords together. Go figure… Carrie was instrumental in my development of a caffeine addiction, as she worked at Mishka’s (best darn white mocha on the planet!) and presented me with an espresso machine for my 22nd birthday (which I bequeathed to Hillary last year…). Carrie shares my love for good food, good wine, good laughs, and good times. We shared a summer at the Roughing It Day Camp in Lafayette, where I lived with her parents for the summer (yes, they still like me…). In all our adventures at the Graduate, where “dollar drink” night taught us the meaning of “plastered”…in all our adventures in experimental cooking, in all our adventures at throwing parties, in all our relationships, good and bad, we’ve managed to stick together as great friends. I cannot wait to see her standing in line to support me on my special day. And, by the way, she’s making the wedding cake.
Jessica Drushell: Mother of a darling daughter Julia and one on the way…the newest addition will arrive before the wedding…and a great friend of mine. Jessica is my mirror and my confidant. Since I’ve known her (we met at UC Davis), she’s always been super-honest with me. Good friends are the ones that say, “Yes, you’re making a mistake,” and “Yes, that makes you look fat,” and so on. She’s always been able to help me find my blind spots, and calls me out when I’m being dishonest with myself. Jessica once told me that I needed to get a grip and pull my head out of an undisclosed area…and that gave me more respect for her than she could ever imagine. We’ve been each other’s shoulders; for crying on, for leaning on, for laughing on. I can’t ask for a better woman to stand beside me, because she’s been there through it all with me. It’s only fair that I share the best part of my life with her, and not just the worst ones!
Michelle Nicolas: Where would I be if Michelle had not come to work in the same office as me? Probably working at a temp agency somewhere filing false insurance claims…In fact, it’s Michelle that got me heading to SF to cut loose and party…which is how I met Steve…so I guess I really owe her one. Anyone who can help the bouncer walk you out of a club and not laugh their butt off is a good friend in my book. Michelle even maintained a relationship with me after I smeared cake all over her face at her birthday party…see photo…But seriously, this is the girl in the group that taught me to party hearty and smile pretty. Her sister and brother-in-law will be our wedding photographers…and they’re just as caring as her. Thanks Michelle, for being a part of my special day!
Kimmie Chappell: Ah, Kim Diggity. Only known you for a year, but such an interesting year it’s been! Kim has helped me understand the inner workings of the male Chappell mind…which can be quite daunting if you’ve not lived with it for your entire life…and I thank her for all her insights. She’s helped me find ways to harass Steve that I never would have come up with on my own. AND she knows all the cool places in SF to eat! Not to mention she likes the Dead Hensons. Did I mention that she totally takes care of the kitties for us too? They love her…she comes in the door and they’re salivating…Pavlov’s rule at work. Totally excited to have such a cool sister in law, and even more excited that she likes her bridesmaid dress!