Tuesday, May 31, 2011

now we are free

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.

by Bethany
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.

by Bethany

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...


  1. I'm glad your speech went well. :) That dance at the end looked like fun. :D What sort of dancing was it?


  2. Ah, singing the doxology. It's the most beautiful thing like, ever :)
    Aww, a dozen roses. How sweet.
    Looks like you had a great time! Your friends seem lovely.

    Have a great day!

  3. I love this post. Absolutely love it. That's all I have to say. :)

    ~In Christ, Larkin

  4. Congrats! Cute pictures, I think if you had an umbrella with you in the first one. .. you would have looked like Mary Poppins floating away :)

  5. amazing pictures!!

  6. Congrats! I'm glad that your speech went well. All of your pictures look so beautiful. :) The dancing pictures look absolutely great!

  7. This post was absolutely perfect. The pictures, the words, the joy that was put into words all combined and made me get tears in my eyes. I could feel your joy... I could feel your freedom.

    what do you have planned for the future? (jeremiah 29:11).
    Love ya, girl! In Christ,
    cassia (aka acacia).

  8. Ah! Wonderful post! =) Wow, you're so pretty! =) I can't remember the last pose that actually had pictures of *you*! =) You and Benjamin look so alike. :P That dancing looks like a blast, and I love your dress, and your shoes, and everyone's dresses. And Benjamin's shirt. =D

  9. Congratulations on graduating! What an exciting time! I'm sure you did a wonderful job on your speech. You and your friends look so beautiful in those pictures, I love your dress. =) The dancing looks like it was tons of fun. I'm glad it was all so wonderful!


  10. Congratulations! That is so exciting! I bet it feels wonderful to have the whole world open in front of you now. Unfortunately, I still have this year to finish (by working frantically) and then next year to finish. Reading about how so many others are coming to the end of their school years sure does provide inspiration for finishing up one's own work.

    Good luck!!

    ~Liz B :)

  11. What a fabulous time! Congrats my fellow graduate! :) I have to wait till the middle of June for my commencements but my friends and I will be celebrating more next year when my sister, dear friend and a host of old friends graduate. This year my fellow state-side graduates and I will celebrate at each other's grad parties. :)

  12. Wonderful pictures--I love the one of your niece, it's perfect! And congrats on graduating, such an accomplishment!!

  13. It was an awesome day.
    And I love you. <3

  14. Congrats! Hope you had an awesome day!! You are all so beautiful. And handsome. :) Were you doing the Virginia Reel? I love that dance! :)

  15. Congrats on graduating! Looks like it was was a blast and totally amazing!

  16. You look gorgeous!
    --Love MCat

  17. Oooh! Congrats!!!!!
    That dancing looks sooo fun! Did you do the Virginia Reel? I went to a ball once and we did the Virginia Reel, among other things. It was such a blast! Dancing is the best way to celebrate. :)

  18. Congratulations! Beka sounds like a true friend.:)

  19. Congratulations!! You look beautiful and I love your dress!

    By the way, I love the photo of you all skipping down the street. I could SO see my brother doing exactly what the boy in the photo did. Hehe ;)


  20. Congrats! You look gorgeous.

    ♥ sécia

  21. I think I already said this but congratulations again! And you were real close to my size of graduating class - there were only 9 of us.

    I thought you'd already given your speech when you posted it the other day. If I had known I'd have sent you some of my best calm-down-it'll-be-okay speech tips! I'm a textbook introvert so public speaking doesn't come naturally to me. It took several years of classes and having to give them (completely against my will) and then ironically teaching speech.

    LOVED all the happy, jumpy photos. And I have never, ever seen a two year old being serene so that was precious. :)

  22. How fun! I loved all you pictures! I envy your being done with school. :)
    BTW Your sister looks a little like Aunt Olivia from The Road to Avonlea. :)

  23. Woohoo! Congrats!!! Can't wait 'till I'm "free" next year :) I loved the photo of you all jumping. Your graduating class was delightfully small. I'm a little disappointed because my class is going to be about 60, our homeschool group's largest graduating class to date.

    I loved reading your speech earlier! it was great :)

  24. I enjoyed reading through this post! And looking at the pictures. You looked absolutely lovely!

  25. looked like a blast! especially the dancing. what kind of dancing was it? swing?
    my graduation ceremony is sunday. i am graduating with five other girls, no boys this year. its' going to be an outside picnic. lets hope for pretty weather!

  26. "Because sometimes, when you're happy, the choice is to either run around in circles, screaming and laughing hysterically, or, to dance."
    No joke, one of my favorite quotes ever!
    I'm so happy you did a post on this day- you were all WAY too beautiful not to!
    (And... being in the 'whole clan' pic made me all super mushy and teary and excited... all over again... =)

  27. Congratulations on graduating!!! This was such an awesome post. I loved every bit of it! :)


  28. Congratulations on graduating. You looked gorgeous by the way, and the pictures are great.

  29. congrats, friend!! i love this post. :)

  30. Aww, what a wonderful post! :)

    Our church has a graduation too! My sister graduated this year, they all (well my sister declined) had to say speeches, and the Dad's do too (although MY Dad was working), but we didn't have a dance. Haha

    Very fun! Congrats! :)

    -Rachel Lynn

  31. this is such a beautiful collection :)
    thumbs up

  32. I can't help thinking of Mary Poppins when I see that picture of you "levitating." :-) And I like that you can see me and my family coming in (late) in the picture of you walking up the aisle.

  33. I just found your blog through Raising Homemakers and I love it! I can't wait to read more of your stuff. :)


  34. Suzy, this is such a sweet post! Love. :) Hey, This is the night, feeling alive.

  35. love all those pictures!! and lovely post! Congrats on graduating! :0)

    much love♥♥

    P.S. you are DROP DEAD GORGEOUS. seriously.

  36. Congratulations! It must feel absolutely wonderful to be graduated! From the pictures, it looks like it was a beautiful day.

    Love and Blessings,

  37. He descubierto tu blog y me ha encantado.
    Si lo deseas te invito a visitar mi blog.
    Besossss. Manoli

  38. Congrats!! What a great post! I love all the pictures!

  39. In the current market environment, several householders are seeking
    methods to save lots of money, the other solution that has grown to
    be prevalent, would be to take advantage on refinancing mortgage payday loans cafeteria
    christians have to have a new and worthwhile cause -- think about


Comments make my day.