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 fiancĂ©e, 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...

Saturday, May 28, 2011


When I first saw the preview of this movie, I wasn't terribly interested. It looked a little too out-in-space for my tastes. But then basically everyone I know was like "we watched Thor and it was awesome, and you would love it!" or "it was awesome, and you will totally love the guy" or in Hadley's case, "OH MY WORD you have to see this movie! Thor is the love of my life." Also, Benjamin told me "the actor got so buff that he wouldn't fit into his suit."

I decided I should see it as soon as possible. Last-minute-planning, of which I am so fond, resulted in my mom, sister, and I meeting my friend Hadley at the mall to watch it in 3D. I have never seen a movie in 3D, but I had this vague worry about the eyewear. 

Actually, the glasses were pretty great. Hadley and I had many awesome and immature moments with them. We're totally keeping them forever and ever.

And the 3D was pretty awesome, too. Basically, it made all the battles and shattering glass and beautiful people seem like they were RIGHT THERE in the room with you. Very nice. Very nice indeed.

I. loved. it. It was one of the cleanest new movies I have seen in a long time, the story was awesome, and it was just a downright good movie.

And they were right. So, so right. I totally fell for Thor. He is so my type, it's ridiculous. I mean, he even overturns a huge table. I loved how he was arrogant and hot-headed and impulsive, and that he learned from his mistakes.

 I loved that he was a gentleman. The whole time. Unlike some guys who I love (cough cough IRON MAN). From the very beginning he was totally respectful and insanely awesome toward the girl. 

His eyes are blue, his hair is blond, he's huge, and he reminds me of a lion. All good, good things.

Had to make this picture extra-large because it's such an awesome moment and he looks like a BEAST. I'm pretty sure he is the most ripped guy I have ever seen aside from those that have gone into the freak-show territory. By the way--mud? I love it.

As much as I would like to spaz out about the other reasons I love him... I'm not going to because I don't want to give anything away. : ) 

I actually don't think I've seen Natalie Portman in anything, so I'm not a fan, but she did an awesome job and I loved her awkwardness. : ) And that her name was Jane. By the way--did anyone else notice the Jane/Tarzan connections? Or... was that just my sad brain which is prone to pulling Tarzan into way too many things? 

Love this part. : )

The dad was awesome. He just was.

And the gatekeeper--yes. Just yes. The end credits revealed that he was Idris Elba, who I love just a little bit. 

OKAY. Let's talk about Loki.
This has caused a lot of strife in our house as my sister and I quarrel bitterly. It usually goes like this:
Me: "Loki is so BAD and CREEPY and I can't believe you LIKE him!
Bethany: "No, he's just misunderstood!"
Me: "NO, he's BAD. And Thor is beautiful and wonderful.
Bethany: "NO, Thor is lame! His face is like a box. His nose is a disaster. 

Me: "YEAH RIGHT. He looks and acts like a lion. And Loki looks and acts like a SNAKE."
Bethany: "NO, he's awesome! He was meant to be awesome. They just made him wrong."
Me: "Have you seen his mouth?? Creepiest thing ever."
Bethany: "No." *checks* "Okay, it is a little weird."
Me: "HAH."
Bethany: "But he's still amazing."
Me: "I can't believe you're my sister."
To see more of her thoughts, read her post. : )

I mean, not only is Loki weird and greasy and his hair is receding and creepy and crawly on his neck, but his color is green whereas Thor's is red. Um. I think this makes things clear. Plus. That part when Thor cries? When the tear drips off his face? Yeah. Never, ever, ever, forgiving Loki. I'd like to shred him with my nails. Which are nice and long right now, incidentally.

It was awesome watching it with Hadley. We tried not to scream and weep and laugh too much... but there were only three other people in the theater, so I don't think we made anyone too mad. : )

Yep. It's an epic movie. Go and see it.