Our wonderful graduation began a few days before we actually graduated. We wanted to try something different than usual with our hair, so Hannah put my hair in curlers and I straightened hers.
We also managed to do Science and History at the same time. :)
After dealing with the hair spray and stiffness that requires straight hair to stay curly, I decided to just go natural. :) And Hannah decided it wasn't worth re-straightening her hair on Saturday for an hour, so she left hers like it is.
The days before our graduation was filled with planning, thinking, and preparing! Finally, the day arrived and we packed up the van and headed to my grandparents house to set up for the party. (I really wanted to have our graduation party at our house but with all the addition construction going on, we had to do it somewhere else.)
Some grad decor. :)
Before I go on, I must thank Lexi for being the photographer for the day and capturing every picture you see in this post! :)
After everything was set up (which took little time with all of us helping!), we ate a quick lunch then Hannah and I went upstairs to put our dresses on and get all spiffed up. :)
Our lovely dresses!
After we were all ready, we headed off to the Richmond Convention Center!!
We didn't put the caps and gowns on until we absolutely had to...it was hot that day! :)
Daddy parked in a parking lot right behind the Convention Center, so it was easy access to the building.
Trying to figure out who was going where and when. :) [Don't ask about my weird face..I have no idea what I was thinking!]
Daddy and Mommy went with Hannah and I to the Graduation Rehearsal and everyone else went into the Exhibit Hall. :)
After the Rehearsal, all the graduates went and donned their caps and gowns. Then we lined up and went to take a "group graduate photo". On our way to the spot where the group photo was to be taken, we saw our family and some of our friends waiting. Lexi managed to grab a photo of us too!
After the group photo, we went back upstairs via the escalators (and got clogged at the top! :) and waited for the ceremony to begin. We practically did nothing other than stand, wait, and talk to the other graduates around us for about 45 minutes. While we waited in the side hall, Mama and Daddy and everyone else grabbed their seats in the conference room.
It's kind of hard to tell what that blue blurb is in the middle of the photo, but it's a picture of Hannah and I when we were little. While guests were getting seated, a photo slideshow of all the graduates was playing.
There's our names!!! We were very close to the end, thanks to the "W" that starts our last name. :)
A little after 3:30 P.M. all the graduates filed into the conference room amidst the clapping and cheering of all the guests and parents. :) We found our seats and sat down. And I would tell you what else happened but here's a picture of the program that will explain it much faster:
Mr. Boyer's invocation speech was wonderful. I loved it (made me tear up at one point!) and I wish I could get it on C.D., so I could listen to it whenever I want. The title of the speech was "Greatness: No Excuses" and exhorted us to not be followers but to be leaders, to not take for granted all our parents did for us, and so much more. I wish I could remember every word he said!
After Mr. Boyer spoke, the presentation of the diplomas began!! Since we were close to the very end of the graduate group, we were one of the last to go up on stage.
Hannah and I (the two girls in front of the guy in blue) getting ready to go up on stage!
While we waited in a nice line by the stage, we were handed a bouquet of flowers to give Mama. Since Hannah was the oldest (and the letter of her first name was before my own) she received her diploma first. Then it was my turn! I really wasn't that nervous to be up on stage in front of thousands (yes, there were thousands) of people to receive my diploma. I just locked eyes on Mama and Daddy (who came up on stage to give me the diploma) and the nervousness disappeared. :)
Once all the graduates received their diplomas, had their picture taken, and proceeded back to their seats the ceremony was pretty much over! (And I can honestly say that we were glad it was over...every single graduate stood up and clapped as hard as they could for the last graduate...we were all tired of sitting for over 2 hours! :)
Of course, I am skipping over some details, but after that we headed out to the van to go back for our party.
The ceremony went longer than expected, so we were about 30 minutes late for our own party! Thankfully, though, we have great family and we didn't have to worry about someone picking up the pizza, or who was going to welcome guests, or who was going to make sure all the food was out, because our family members did it all! Thanks guys!!
Once we arrived at Paw-paw and Na-naw's house we took some quick pictures before going inside:
With our wonderful principal and teacher. :)
Mi familia...love all these guys!!! (The little ones faces crack me up! :)
With Grandpa and Grandma (and someone else...). Thanks for the pic, Grandma!
We forgot to tell everyone about this table, but we had a photo album of our senior pictures (taken by none other than my very talented Father!!) on display. We also had space for people to write notes in the back, but no one really knew, or noticed the album, so the "Notes" page went empty. Oh well! :)
Once everyone was gathered and inside, Daddy prayed over the food and everyone dug in!
We had tons of food at the party!! Salad, pizza, chips, pasta salad, gold fish (for Hannah :), fruit, veggies, etc. We definitely did not starve that night!!
The pizza was delicious!!!
My favorite drink of the night was definitely the punch! Who can go wrong with sherbert and ginger ale?!
Going through the buffet line!
Daddy quickly fixed up some watermelon for us too!
Eating out on the deck!
Erin grabbing some pizza. :)
Welcoming the Jacksons! :)
Hannah talking to Mrs. Jackson about something that's obviously amazing. :)
Grandma and I. :)
This is Kelly, one of Hannah's good friends, talking with Hannah. I thought the series was too cute not to post! :)
After eating and fellowship, we had our delicious ice cream cake! Daddy started everyone singing "Happy Graduation" to the tune of "Happy Birthday" and it was, quite honestly, rough-sounding yet sweet. :)
Seth iced (and decorated) the massive cake before it was brought outside. :)
Serving it up!
The cake was perfect and absolutely delicious! Mama did a wonderful job!!
Hannah and Kelly indulging in some cake. :)
Grandpa relaxing. :)
Next came present time!
Hannah and I were overwhelmingly blessed by the kindness others showered on us for our graduation! Thank you to any and all who wrote us cards, sent us money, or wished us well...we greatly appreciated it!!
Let the opening begin!
Hannah received this beautiful white gold and diamond necklace from Grandpa and Grandma.
Loved these earrings I got from Grandpa and Grandma!! (They match my birthstone necklace perfectly!)
Lydia helped me out. :)
Caleb bought Hannah and I this wonderful book for our graduation. It's (not that) Complicated is an amazing book written by Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin. I would love for every girl to read this book...it is packed full of wisdom about how to handle guy-girl relationships in a Christ-like way. It's helped me so much!!
Daddy and Mama saved their gifts for us for the end:
Reading their notes...
Hannah and I both received personalized photo albums from Mama and Daddy.
After we admired the photo albums, Mama said to open them. We did and inside one of the photo sleeves we found a piece of paper that said we were going to visit our Compassion children!! (For years we have sponsored 6 children through Compassion International and enjoyed every minute of it. "Sponsoring" a child means you pay about $38 per month to provide an impoverished child with food, an education, and the opportunity to learn about Jesus. We would highly recommend that you look into sponsoring a child!!) My girl, Luz, is the same age as me and she graduated from school this year as well. She's wrote and said she wishes she could see me one day and, after she wrote that, I started praying I could go visit her. So when I found out that my prayer was answered, I started crying. :)
We had to give Mama (and Daddy) hugs after we saw our gift! :)
After all the presents were opened, we had Mama and Daddy sit down together and we read them a letter. You can watch the video here, at Hannah's blog.
Then we presented them with a small gift: some candy and a gift card to Chili's and Sweet Frog for them to go on one free date night! :)
After we gave the gift to Mama and Daddy, we just enjoyed spending time with our family and friends some more!
Talkin' with Allie, our cousin.
Another cousin, Asher, playing in the den.
To close the night out, everyone gathered in the den to watch a slideshow we put together of Hannah and I through the years.
The slideshow began with when we were babies and then ended with our senior pictures, which you can see in this post, here.
There you have our graduation! Sorry this post was so long in coming, it just takes a lot of time and thought to put together a post like this!
I still have posts to do on Father's Day, the work they did on the addition last Saturday, and Hannah's birthday (which was yesterday!). Hopefully I'll make time to post more soon!