Saturday, August 11, 2012

Going Away Week(s)- Picture Posting

I have been so lucky to have the last two weeks to spend with my friends and family. Several events have made this time special.

Sunday, July 29, my family went to have family portraits taken. This is the first time we've had professional pictures by a talented, independent photographer, Jessica Wiedmaier. She's also hilarious and was able to say things (inappropriate things) to get my brother to smile, which was great.

My favorite picture of Tav & me.

The best family shot.
That Thursday, my best friend, Leah, flew into town. She lives in the Cleveland area and we went to Oberlin together. Mike, my other best friend, drove in from Bloomington, Indiana. It was very special to have them here to celebrate. Friday, August 3, we went to my favorite bar, Ernie Biggs Dueling Piano Bar and had a blast.
My dad paid the pianist to bring me on stage and sing an inappropriate song.

Jessica (photographer extraordinaire), Hubert (Mike's boyfriend), Dad, Mike, Mom, me and Leah.
The next day, Saturday, August 4, was my going away party. Andrea, a friend from work, hosted the party at her parents' beautiful house. There were about 40 people there and I felt so blessed to have such a great group of supportive friends and family.
My mom made all of the food and the sangria. My dad brewed a special beer. It was all awesome.

Patti (Mike's & Jessica's mom) bought me an amazing hat that I plan on wearing constantly.

The biggest surprise made me cry...my high school English and Journalism teachers showed up, along with my best friend from high school, Andy. I wouldn't be the writer or teacher I am today without them.
Sunday was filled with shopping (as was the Friday prior). My friend, JoLynn, works at Nordstrom, and she prepared a room for me with clothes already picked out, in my size, ready to try-on. I bought several Egypt-appropriate items. Monday morning, August 6, Leah, Mike, Hubert, Jessica and I went to the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens. Jessica brought her beautiful baby girl, Claire, who I claim is the only baby that makes me want to have children like right now.
Mike and Leah experience the art.

Baby Claire makes me want to have a baby now.

Jessica and Mike try to figure out where we are.
Then, I had kind of a crazy week. I tried to see everyone I could and got serious about my packing. Thursday, August 9, I went to Lawrence with my mom to experience a historic occasion. My granddad and his four siblings were getting together for a reunion with a few of the sons/daughters/cousins sprinkled in. I felt so honored to be at the table with these amazing people, who held each other together during the depression and had successful lives.
Highfill Reunion(ish)
Tomorrow the reunion continues in Potter, KS, where the siblings spent their childhood. Sunday will be a day when I focus on my own family and the very important food, spaghetti. I leave you with my largest suitcase, which looks a lot lighter than it probably is.

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