Friday, April 30, 2010

are we there yet?...YES!

Prepare yourselves for picture overload & the rundown of a day we've been looking forward to for a very long time...

Richard's parents and brother came up from St. George Thursday night. I'd planned to shower that night so that we all didn't have to fight over the bathroom Friday morning, but my plans fell through when our water heater was BUSTED. Liz (mother-in-law) and I got ready at my gym bright and early Friday morning, while the boys woke up to a nice ice-cold me high maintenance, but that's just not how I roll. Despite that little surprise, and the rain that we were "blessed with," the day got off to a great start. Hmmmm, maybe we were just really excited that this graduation thing was finally here! Here is Rich, getting ready on his way into the Dee for the Commencement Ceremony.

Ready to go in his cap, gown, and honors cords & medallion. My little scholar.

Here he is with his good buddy Adam Rollo...from homework to P90-X, these guys really bonded.

Our seats were perfect - we sat right where he walked into the arena!

President Thomas S. Monson (I like to call him Tommy) received an honorary Doctorate and was the keynote speaker. He reminded us that the ABC's really stand for Attitude, Belief, and Courage. He's the best story-teller there is, and he definitely didn't disappoint. It was exciting to see Presidents Eyering and Uchtdorf there cheering him on, too!

Here he is with his proud family, Liz, Tyson, & Dale.

I know this picture is really not a good one, and definitely doesn't flatter either of us, but it was the only picture taken the entire day of just the two of us. I know, I can't believe it, either, but there you have it, folks.

Quinn & Kristy Bate are friends from our ward (actually, Kristy and I go all the way back to 7th grade!). It was fun sharing this day with so many people we knew!

Here he is getting ready to walk across the stage and receive an empty diploma-holding folder (the moment we'd all been waiting for)...this is also the moment when Shirl (the hippest grandmother in the history of grandmothers) leaned over to me and asked why Richard was the only one wearing jeans and white sneakers. Neither of us had even thought about him dressing up - it was the norm at my graduation, but then I didn't graduate from the business college!

My sisters...we were clearly very well-behaved the entire ceremony.

Graduate from college? Done & done!

Again, with the proud family.

Richard & a friend from class.

The umbrella really completes this picture, don't you think? It looks like my dad is about to lift off & fly to London to be some kids' nanny.


Dayna, Shirl & Grandpa Tony. We love you guys!!!

Richard with our friend, fellow graduate, & fellow Utah Jazz & Lost fan, Rory Sayama.

I seriously have the luckiest timing ever...Richard's graduation present was waiting on our doorstep for him when we got home from his graduation. What could it be?
A new Clear Play DVD player, baby!!! He got me one for my graduation last year, but it was a dud, so I invested in the new model. It works like a charm, so we've been watching all the rated R's we can get our hands on!

We all headed out to my parent's house for a BBQ after the ceremony. You better believe we decked my Mom & Dad's house out with all the purple graduation decorations I could get my hands on (thanks to Sarah, Chels, Dakota, Mom & Dad for the help!). Richard proudly bleeds purple! Once a wildcat, always a wildcat. High School Musical, anyone?

Saturday we took a little trip over to FroGurt & LOVED IT!

And later we stuffed our gourds at Texas Roadhouse. Mmmmmm cinnamon butter...

Thanks to all of our family and friends who helped us celebrate Richard's big day. And thanks to Rich for letting me make such a big deal out of this whole thing. I know you'd be just fine spending it like any normal day, but the girl you married is (like I said before) a little more high maintenance than that. I'm so proud of you, and thrilled to have time to spend with you again - I just had to kick off this new phase of our life with a bang.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The two most beautiful things about Springtime are...

These lovely flowers picked fresh from my friend/neighbor/landlord/idol Heather, and...
the fact that this guy is graduating on Friday!!! One last project and I'll get my husband/best friend/butter to my bread & breath to my life back.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Missionary moment on the could I forget?!

Meet Audrey Flack...

I met this fabulous lady on the plane ride home from NYC last month, and I can't believe I forgot to put this in the post about our trip! Anyway, here's the story:
I don't know how, but I messed things up when I bought our plane tickets online, so Rich & I weren't sitting together. I was sitting between Audrey and another girl. I fell asleep for a little while, but when I woke up I overheard Audrey talking to this guy right across the aisle from her, Sean, an environmental lawyer from New York. She was telling him that she was on her way to BYU to give a lecture on feminism in art, and she was curious as to why a school like BYU would want a lecture on that kind of topic. She didn't know any Mormons, and she wasn't sure what to say because she didn't want to offend anyone. Well, Sean said he had a couple of Mormon roommates and went on to tell her what he knew about "the Mormons." All of it was pretty accurate - his friends had gone on missions.
I was totally eavesdropping, and I kept thinking that I needed to say something. I knew if I didn't that I would kick myself for it later, and probably always regret it. Their conversation went on for about ten minutes, and the subject changed a few times, but kept coming back to Mormons. I should also mention that I'd stocked up on some pass-along cards before our trip because I really wanted to give some away on our trip - I've heard so many people tell stories about their missionary experiences while traveling, and I wanted one of my own...I got it, alright!
I leaned forward and said hello to Audrey and Sean. I told them I couldn't help overhearing their conversation, and that I was actually a Mormon. Audrey was thrilled! She asked if she could pick my brain, and that's exactly what she did for about an hour and a half. The first question she asked was, "What is your belief system?" I could NOT believe I had those dang pass-along cards in my purse, but I pulled the one out with the Articles of Faith on it and gave it to her. She read each one and asked me questions afterward. We talked about everything from the Word of Wisdom to birth control, the prophet, and Jesus coming to the Americas after he was resurrected. It was AWESOME!!! When the plane landed she thanked me and invited me to come listen to her lecture the next day. She would also be playing in a banjo concert later that evening if I couldn't make it to the lecture. Yep, the banjo. She just kept blowing my mind! When we got off the plane, I waited for Richard to come from the back of the plane - I was soooo excited to tell him about my plane ride! He was pretty excited to hear about it, too. I introduced him to Audrey as we were waiting for our luggage at the bag claim. My feet seriously didn't touch the floor for the rest of the night.
That night I had a volleyball game that my Mom and sister Chelsea came to. I told them all about it, and Chelsea said I should definitely go to the lecture. I thought about it all that night and the next morning. While I was at work, I called my Mom to talk to her about it. I'd found out what building Audrey would be speaking in & what time. Mom told me to google her, because if they'd flown her all the way out here she was probably a big deal. I did, and she is just kind of a big deal in the art world! You can google her if you want, but let me just tell you that she's pretty much a pioneer for every woman in art. She's a painter and sculptor, and she's amazing. My head was kind of spinning at this point. I called my Dad to see if he'd go with me, and he said yes. I picked him up after work, and we booked it to Provo. We got there a little late, and when we peeked into the room it was PACKED! The only empty seats were in the very back, and of course the entrance was at the front of the room where she was presenting. We stood in the hall, and we were just about to bag the whole thing when another couple of people walked into the room, so we just followed them right in. I can't tell you how glad I am that we didn't leave! It was amazing to see her artwork and hear about her experiences. And it was so cool to see so many people in awe of this lady I didn't know I should be in awe of when I met her the day before. Crazy.
After she finished, Dad, Rachel (my BFF who met me there for moral support), and I went up to the front to see her. They stood to the side while I waited in line to talk to her - I don't know why I was so nervous, but I was. When I got to her I said, "Do you remember me from the plane yesterday?" and she said, "Rachel!" and grabbed my hand. She couldn't believe I came to see her, and she yelled for the guy who'd invited her to speak. She yelled, "Mark, come here! This is the girl from the plane I was telling you about!" And he came up to meet me. He shook my hand and we talked for a few minutes. He said she hadn't been able to stop talking about the 24-year old married Mormon girl from the plane all day. And he said I was her new angelic icon, which was a joke, but meant a lot to me because she is a feminist artist, so I know meeting me must have meant something to her, too. There were so many people who wanted to talk to her, so we had to say goodbye, and we hugged each other. I just about lost it right then and there, but I was able to hold the tears back (surprisingly!).
Mark walked us out to the hall where he shook my Dad's hand and mine again, too. He thanked me for preparing her for them, and said that she'd been asking more questions all day long. I know it wasn't me. I was in the right place at the right time, and I just happened to have that pass-along card! I was a tool in my Heavenly Father's hands, and I've never been so happy to be used! My heart was seriously pounding out of my chest.
We left, and Dad bought me some fish tacos for dinner. It was one of the craziest and best days of my entire life. My Mom told me I should write Audrey a letter and send her a Book of Mormon, and I think I will. I can't stop thinking about her. I never knew you could love someone so much who you don't even know! I am so thankful for the opportunity I had to meet Audrey Flack. The experience I had with her has changed me forever.