This is us--the Class of 2011. Don't we look dignified and mature? That's me on the far right. Strangely, I look like I'm levitating, not jumping. I have no idea what that's about...
I graduated with five people I have known for my entire life, and one person that I haven't known so very long, but who is absolutely indispensable now. : ) I graduated in front of my beautiful church family that we have been a part of for over twenty-two years.
I got to graduate with three awesome girls--Lindsey (called her Pansy when I was two years old, named a doll after her, stood under a table with her and shoved her over because we were arguing about who got to be in charge when we played house), Juli (been friends since the beginning of time, and next-door-neighbors for years and years, convinced her to jump out of apple trees), and Hadley (have actually not known forever, but have recently discovered I can't live without her).
Sadly, Beka, sister-of-my-soul, didn't graduate with us, but she was there all day for hugs, hair arrangement, makeup, and lots of moral support. Actually, she was more nervous than I was about my speech. : )
Thanks to my brother Daniel, we got pictures, despite the fact that both of the photo-holics were quite occupied by graduating. I get frustrated that I can't take pictures at events that I'm involved in...
My People. The ones that have been awesome forever and ever, but especially in the last few years, after the rest of my siblings abandoned me to get married and all. : ) Bethany was amazing that day... she got all the stuff I totally forgot about packed into the car, she took pictures, even though she's totally insecure about even holding my camera, she let me borrow her Shoes of Beauty, in general, kept my brain from shooting out of my ears, and looked absolutely beautiful.
And Benjamin. He brought me a fruit-loop donut right at the moment at which I needed it so desperately. That boy wouldn't smile, until Daniel said "well, Ben should have lots to be happy about!" at which point he thought of his girl, and then, he smiled.
And my sweet, sweet Mama, who has been amazing, strong, and beautiful forever and ever, the end.
The whole clan. All the married ones and the soon-to-be-married ones. And the squeezable nieces. But two are missing, because they were taking naps. ; )
These are My Other People. Sam and Juli, the ones we've known forever and lived next to for nearly forever. The ones with the fabulous sunglasses and nice hair cuts.
Favorite. picture. ever. Even though I look really scary. It's actually totally classic for each of us. ; ) It's my desktop background, and probably will be until the end of time.
Then I seized my camera and took pictures, which calmed me down.
Hadley is so beautiful. : )
My two-year-old niece being enviably serene.
Apparently Benjamin took this picture... of Rebekah, his brand-new fiancée, who came and helped with makeup and was wonderful, despite having just gotten engaged about 12 hours before. And it was her birthday. She rocks.
Then there was that last minute panicking and frantic dashing-around-and-touching-up-hair that usually happens before, well, everything. And as I scurried up the stairs into the foyer, Ange started playing The Song. Because she's awesome.
Hadley and I clutched each other and screamed and laughed and panicked and knew that we would remember that moment for the rest of our lives.
Then we took deep breaths and walked up the aisle to this beautiful, beautiful song.
It didn't even feel real, walking up there, grabbing my notes, and then talking into the microphone. I got through that speech though, and I didn't crash and burn and want to die of shame afterward. God is so, so good to me.
Hadley and Juli dueted marvelously.
Great exhortation from a great man.
I didn't get emotional at all until, right before my parents came up to give me my diploma. When Benjamin came up in his beautiful blue polo shirt that I will always associate with that moment, and handed me a dozen red roses. My very first dozen roses that I have ever gotten. And then it was hard to keep myself from collapsing in a blubbering heap, especially when my mom came and said sweet things and I got my diploma and hugged them.
Then everyone sang the Doxology, a capella. Which, by the way, I want to happen at every important moment in my life.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow,
Praise Him, all creatures here below,
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host,
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
Then we were free.
Notice the hair? and the blurriness? Yeah. I was moving fast.
I retrieved my camera for the reception and dance, and took pictures of us in our elation and freedom and BLISS.
Beka, who could breathe again because I didn't burst into tears/throw up/go into hysterics during my speech. I know she was worried. ; )
The One Who Gave Me the Flowers. He is a keeper.
And then there was dancing. : )
Because sometimes, when you're happy, the choice is to either run around in circles, screaming and laughing hysterically, or, to dance.
It was a good, good day. The kind of day where you love everyone and want to hug people constantly. The kind of day that ends by squashing up with four other girls and watching a romantic comedy. And then talking and talking and laughing and laughing and then going to bed and whispering until you fall asleep.
And now summer has really begun (even though it's raining). And it's a summer that is all sparkly and free in front of me, since there is no black mass of doom called school that comes when it's over.
p.s. the title? I couldn't resist the reference to this song. that phrase gets stuck in my head all the time...