October 22, 2016

Those once-in-a-life-time kind of things....

I seem to make grand plans about "coming back" to the blogging world after an extended absence....only to disappear without a trace after about 3 posts.

I do 'umbly apologize.

I mentioned in my previous post that I would be gone on a weekend trip, and while I had a very good excuse for my absence then, I suppose I don't now. After all, that post was nearly a month ago.

But let me try to focus. I don't know if you've heard or not.....but, if you missed the exciting news, let me now enlighten you. In September, I had the immense blessing of attending an event that allowed me to meet not one, not two, not three, but FIVE blogging friends.
Oh yes, Arthur, I did.

What event could it possibly have been? Why, this one. :)

I just...how do I type this while remaining coherent and somewhat mature?

But.....I said five blogging friends, didn't I? 


I have no words. I met five blogging friends, five friends very near and dear to my heart.
photo credit:moi
I don't know how I can possibly tell you all that I wish to share with you. I will try my very best to make it long enough that all of my interested readers are satisfied, but short enough that you aren't bored out of your minds—and that I don't go insane trying to write about it all. ;)

moi again
I met Heidi and Èowyn first. I've been blogging friends/penpals with these darling girls for about three years now, and meeting them was a literal dream come true.
My mom was traveling with me (Naomi, I really admire you for flying across an ocean all by yourself. I couldn't imagine doing this trip alone, and I was only traveling across a few states!) and when our plane arrived I was....well, I was a nervous, excited mess. Nervous mostly because I was so afraid of making a bad first impression. I usually get nervous meeting people for the first time, but I kept telling myself it was ridiculous to be nervous. After all, I did know these people. I just never met them. :P
And then,  I hardly need explain why I was excited because I WAS MEETING HEIDI AND ÈOWYN.
Friends: 1940s:

Despite my nerves, my mom kept telling me everything would be wonderful. I should have paid more heed to her, because my mother is always right, and everything did indeed turn out wonderfully. There was no awkwardness when we met, only an abundance of hugs and smiles and squeals. :D

This sort of "reunion" was repeated later in the day when Olivia and her mother arrived! Èowyn and I had the privilege of meeting Olivia first and the whole hugs and smiles and squeals scene was repeated again....and again later when Heidi met her....oh, it was all such great fun. :D

From here on out I will be telling you different highlights of the trip, in order to shorten this narrative. ;)

~Talking and eating and laughing together at the rehearsal dinner was SUCH fun. We admired the strung lights (below is a photo) and the "no admittance except on official party business" sign on the kitchen door. We watched a slideshow of photos of John and Heidi through the years (cutest thing ever ;)) and exclaimed over the music playing (Èowyn and I both share a love for Ricky Nelson's music, and when she pointed out that a song of his was playing, I may or may not have squealed in delight!),  and marveled again and again and again that WE WERE TOGETHER. I honestly couldn't count the number of times we said things like, "Can you believe it?" "We're together—in the flesh!" "This still doesn't seem real!" "You're a real person!"

Ahem. Okay, perhaps we didn't say that last one, but I'm pretty sure we were all thinking it in some way, shape, or form. ;)

~I suppose this would be a good moment to tell you the not so fun part of the trip. I had an awful cold. Actually, Olivia was also getting over a cold, and together we were pretty pitiful. Despite the fact that I could hardly speak (my voice broke so many times, and I can't tell you how embarrassing it was) it was still one of the best times of my life. While not having a cold would have made it all better, I wouldn't actually say it made it worse. :)

~Another thing we all loved was being able to talk about all of YOU. Yes, you! Our blogging friends. It was so amazing being able to say "I'm going to miss Emma Jane's posts" or "Did you hear about Hamlette's John Wayne blog party?" for instance, and know exactly who the other person was talking about! And don't worry, everything we said about allll of you were wonderful things, of course. ;)

~Olivia and I were able to have breakfast together (with our moms, who got along splendidly together, much to Olivia's and my delight!) while everyone else was preparing for the wedding! We both share a nonsensical love for "free" hotel breakfasts and....yeah. We had fun. ;)

~Olivia and I also amused ourselves by wandering the hotel whenever we were unneeded and our friends were busy with wedding preparations. We went wherever the wifi was strongest so we could watch videos together, such as this one or this one.

~When we were ushered to our seats in the church (wedding time!!), I still believe to this day that the usher was confused as to whether we were relatives or friends. ;) Olivia and I were by ourselves at the time, and when we were placed very near to the front of the church, we started wondering if perhaps we had been misplaced! Then, when we saw Jessica and Rosie sitting a few rows behind us, we decided to be rebels and move to sit with them. ;) (I kept expecting an usher to scold us, but nothing happened.) Of course, once we saw them behind us we had to go sit with them, even if we were in the right spot. After all, we wanted so much to witness the wedding with them—and blogging friends stick together!

Pin for Later: Cinderella's Dazzling Pictures Will Take Your Breath Away  But Cinderella is too busy dancing to notice.:

~Heidi's musical choices were so perfect; we couldn't stop sighing and squealing over them. She had pieces of music from Cinderella, Pride and Prejudice '95, and Ever After.
As if that wasn't perfect enough? Her first dance with her own Mr. Knightley was this.

~Witnessing John and Heidi's wedding was, of course, the entire point of the trip and oh such a special thing. The ceremony was beautiful, and seeing my dear friend promise to love, honor, and cherish her husband for the rest of her life was so special and amazing. :')
(If you'd like to see some wedding pictures, here's a post she wrote!)

~After the wedding, it was time for the reception! It was such fun talking and laughing with Jessica and Rosie, eating delicious pie together, watching the dancing, and participating in the catch-the-bouquet-thing! (Is there a name for that?) (Oh, yes, isn't it called the bouquet toss?) Due to circumstances, the toss was done twice and Rosie caught it in the second time, saving me from being hit in the face with it. Thank you again for that, Rose! :D (Also, we're all looking forward to attending your wedding, now. ;))

~We were asked by so many people "Are you the blogging friends?" It was indeed such great fun to answer in the affirmative. Some people seemed rather confused by the notion, but more often than not they found it very exciting and fun. (One lady asked us if we minded the term "the bloggers". Of course we told her we didn't! :D)

~Dancing together was such fun, even though I cannot dance. :P  All five of us danced together with a bunch of little girls, who were such fun to watch twirling and running on the dance floor. I believe they danced much better than I ever could. ;)

~ All of us blogging friends got to help decorate Heidi and John's getaway car (after trekking almost the entire parking lot looking for it haha) with balloons and streamers and paper flowers and it was just great fun all around. :)

~When bidding farewell to the new Mr. and Mrs., everyone threw rose petals, which was quite lovely, but that meant that soon Rosie and Jessica had to leave as well and....sigh. I couldn't believe how quickly everything was coming to an end.  Hugs and sad smiles went around, and it felt like the Fellowship was starting to break up. :'(

~After the wedding, Olivia and I were once again left with time on our hands. We had a mini photo shoot outside, and here is one photo we took for the express purpose of "putting our faces upon the internet."
Well. kind of. ;)
me on the left, Olivia on the right

~Soon, everything was over except for one more highlight of the day....watching a movie with Èowyn, Olivia, and Èowyn's sister. Which was....simply a dream come true! I mean, honestly. We bloggers talk so much about movies and books and the like. What could be more amazing than watching one together?! The movie we chose was Belle. Èowyn and I hadn't seen it yet, and many thanks to Olivia, again and again, for bringing it because it's now one of my favorite period dramas. :) It was simply so lovely, and, as Èowyn noted, the part where John shouts of his love for Belle.....*sighs and cries and smiles all at once.* So incredibly beautiful. <3

Sam Reid & Gugu Mbatha-Raw in Belle -one of my new favorite movies! If you haven't seen it, watch it! You won't be disappointed :):

~Finally,  Èowyn, Olivia, and I had to say a final goodbye. I was leaving in the wee hours of the next morning for my trip back home, and so there was no hope of seeing each other over breakfast or such. I still laugh when I wonder what the hotel people who watch the security cameras thought of the girls having a big group hug in the hall of the hotel. It was very much like this:

A short night's sleep, and two flights later, I was home. Sadness and happiness were mixed together in my heart. I cried many times, because already I missed these special friends.This was a trip I never expected, and adventure I honestly didn't deserve to receive—especially considering how sad I was afterwards that it was over, instead of focusing on the goodness that it happened.

Give thanks to the Lord for He is good and His love endures forever Psalm 106:1  Isn’t it lovely how reassuring this verse is. His love endures forever! That’s a really long time. His love for us will never run out… it will never fade. Now that’s something to give thanks about! If you’re a lover of plants like we are, display this bible verse by some of your favorite succulents. #bibleverse #bibleverseprint #christianart #christiandecor #instantdownload #mysheephearmyvoice #psalm:

Despite the moments of sadness, I was and am and forever will be so thankful to God. He gave us a weekend overflowing with good things, and it will forever be one of my most treasured memories.

Girls—I love you all!! I'm so blessed. Each of you are amazing and being able to not only call you my friends but to have met you is such an enormous blessing to me. I have no words to describe it! This was a trip I will carry in my heart forever. It was certainly a once-in-a-life-time experience. (Although, I hope it's not a once-a-life-time-meeting! ;))
heehee Does this remind you of anything?

Ps. Make sure you read Èowyn's post about the trip here. It's simply beautiful and perfect in every possible way. :)



    This post is so delicious and ahhh and gahh and YOU GIRLS ARE LUCKY AND JUST WOW I'M SO GLAD YOU GOT TO DO THISSSS ONCE AGAIN I REPEAT YAY. :-P This post was perfectly written - I especially relate to the goodbye ending thing. LIKE UGH IT IS HARD TO SAY GOODBYE.
    I love the picture of you and Olivia.
    I love that Heidi and John are married and that they had that first dance.
    And that Rosie caught the bouquet! :-)
    And that you danced.
    And that you HAD SO MUCH FUN. :-)

    I'm sorry you had a cold, though!! :-( That's annoying. Also, yeah, flying is kinda scary. It was okay though - I actually tend to act more mature when I'm on my own, because I have no-one to whine to and hide behind! (No really, it's true. :-))

    This post made me happy.
    The end.

    ~ Naomi

    PS My nudging in my last email helped, hahahaha.


      I KNOOOOOW. Goodness, I can't get over it myself and......:D :D :D :D All the smiles. :)
      I'm SO glad you liked the post!! And that you loved all those highlights....and YES. Why are goodbyes so hard? :'(

      Haha, thanks. It was hard, but so worth it. :D Ohhh, that's true. I forgot about that. I tend to act more mature when I'm by myself, too--for the same reason you mentioned. :) Although, I'm sure I'd still be really scared inside! :D

      I'm SO glad it made you happy. :D :D :D *hugs* I was so excited to finish writing the post and be able to share it with you all! Our blogging community is the best. :)

      Ps. Hahaha, I think it did. ;P

  2. AGAHAHAHAHAHAGAGAGAHAHAHAHHAHA!!!! (aka my attempt to type out a gurgling squeal)

    THIS POST IS BEAUTIFUL, NATALIIIIIIEEEEEE! You captured it so well. Mah gash.

    I just...no words!!!

    Thank you for writing this :)

    1. HAHAHAHA I knooooooow. I just....*waves hands helplessly and laughs because I don't know how to properly express myself*.


      Awwww, thank you for being so wonderful!!! (-whisper- I know you're really busy, but I'm looking forward to your post, as well. It'll be amazing. Just sayin'. ;))


    1. NAY WE CANNOT. I mean...yes. Yes, we can. ;) :P

  4. THIS POST!!!!! I hardly know what to comment on it, except that I agree with everything you said!!! IT's just a beautiful capsule of the time. :)

    For the last weeks leading to the wedding as soon as we knew how many blogger girls were coming, I would suddenly just randomly exclaim "THIS IS GOING TO BE THE MOST EPIC MEET-UP EVER!" and by the goodness of God, it was!!!!

    I LOVE how you quoted one of your "people". Arthur seems like the sweetest. :)

    Mothers are the cleverest things because MY MOTHER IS LIKE THAT TOO!! I always seem end up deriding myself later if I don't follow her advice. :)

    I'm so glad we had the rehearsal dinner as a kinda warm up to the wedding and THAT RICKY NELSON MOMENT! Definitely one of the happiest for me, too!!! :)

    "Knightley Approves"- Hilarious!!!!

    I love you, too, girl!

    *many warm hugs*

  5. (Olivia, I love your attempt to write out a squeal. :))

    1. Éowyn, haha, glad you liked it! As you can tell I put a lot of effort into it ;)

    2. Oh, Èowyn, thank you!!!! I'm SO happy you liked it. :D

      It was!! Oh, God is so good. :) The meet-up went above and beyond all that I hoped--it was just so wonderful!

      Heehee, I think he's rather sweet, too. ;)

      Really? Haha, that's so funny! We really must learn to listen to our mothers. ;)

      I'm so glad that was one of your favorite moments, too. And yes! The rehearsal was so fun and relaxed. :)

      Thank you!! *hugs back*

  6. What an amazing post! I'm glad you had so much fun! :D

  7. It sounds like you all had LOTS of fun!! I actually just met two blogging girls too!

  8. Comment #4: those hugging gifs are soooo accurate to that situation. We were basically them :D And haha, I'd never thought of the security camera before!! We got many strange looks that weekend, I'm sure ;D

    1. I love all your comments peppered about everywhere, because it makes this comment box feel like the party all over again. :D
      Heehee, I knoooow. Do you remember when we walked into the hotel and were so busy talking that we didn't know those guests from the wedding sitting the lobby were saying "hi" to us? ;P That was an awkward moment. :D

  9. YOU GUYS IM GRINNING! =D Sounds like you had a fabulous time!! Oh I wish australia was not so DARN far away!!

    1. Evie, thank you!!! We did! Oh, I wish so, too! Maybe someday... :)


    This is crazyyy!!!!!! You actually got to meet 5 blogging friends?!!! My head it kinda spinning. That must have been such a magical, living-in-a-dream feeling!! I'm so happy for you, Natalie!!! :D

    I loved reading this. Honestly, I've no idea what to say! That's so sweet your Mum went with you. :)
    Oh, what a horrid thing, to have a cold! That happens to me a lot - I'll be looking forward to something, and JUST when that week comes BOOM. I'm knocked flat by a horrid cold. Oh well, I'm so glad you made the best of it, then. :)

    Woooow, she danced to that song off Emma?! I LOVE THAT.

    Oh, wow, I LOVE the fact that Rosie caught the bouquet! Haha, how fun! (I never quite understood that tradition, so much, haha. It's just rather funny, that's all.)

    Dancing must have been such fun! I've not danced at a wedding before, I don't think. :)

    ALSO. THAT PHOTO OF YOU AND OLIVIA. :O :O :O :D :D :D :D :D It made me so HAPPY and EXCITED to actually see you (or part of you, haha)!!! You're both so pretty. :') (And I think Olivia looks quite a lot like Lorna, off the movie Lorna Doone. ;)) You're so tall, Natalie! I always wanted to be tall. :P I'm a midget, heh. (A little less than 5'4.)

    Yes, Belle is a beautiful movie. :) My favourite part is when John Davinier shouts 'YES I LOVE HER! I LOVE HER WITH EVERY BREATH I BREATHE!' <3 CHILLS.

    Saying goodbye is pretty much one of the hardest, most bittersweet things ever.

    This is just amazing! I'm done.

    ~Miss Meg


      I knoooow. It was, honestly. Quite magical and surreal and...wow. It's STILL kind of hard for me to wrap my head around. :D

      Haha, colds seem to come to me right before big events, too!

      It was so sweet! <3

      Heehee, it was immense fun! I have no idea how the tradition started, but whichever girl catches the bouquet is supposedly the next to be married.

      I never danced at a wedding either, until now. :) It WAS fun!

      Awwww, thanks!! You know what, you're right! She totally does. I didn't even think of that until you mentioned it. :D Haha, well, I've always wanted to be shorter. ;) (I'm 5'9"-ish)

      THAT'S MY FAVORITE PART TOO. We all went a little crazy at that part. ;)

      It is. :(

      Thanks so much, Miss Meg!!

  11. I . . . I don't know how to respond to this post. Except to say, "I love this."

    And I love YOU, sweet friends <3 Natalie, Olivia, Eowyn, Heidi, and EVERYONE ELSE.

    I'M SO HAPPY I GOT TO MEET YOU ALL IN PERSON. I just . . . aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagghhhhhhhhhhh, I have no words right now. Literally. None.

    That Sam-and-Frodo gif is perfect.

    1. Awwwwwww, thanks, Jessica!! <3 <3

      I knoooow. Eek, words just don't describe how wonderful it was. *hugs*

      (I'm glad you liked that one. :D)

  12. Natalie, Natalie, now what can I say to this? This is just gorgeous. It made me miss you guys hardcore all over again. You are awesome people and meeting you was truly a blessing ... Got to get some sleep now, got study group tomorrow for a VERY IMPORTANT midterm exam. I love you all :D

    1. Rosie, I'm SO happy you liked it!!!
      Meeting you was such a blessing, too. <3 I'm never, ever going to forget this trip! :D
      (I hope all your exams went well!)

  13. Yippee! I was waiting for this post! :D And oh! what an absolutely DARLING post it turned out to be!! I loved hearing all the details of what you girls did. It sounds like you had a wonderful time!!!

    Gaaahhh. I find I haven't the words to express myself properly on this subject. I'm just SO HAPPY you girls got to meet and that you had such a good time!! And I LOVE that picture of you and Olivia! *smiles* And I'm so sorry you felt sad when it was all over. :( And I hope you can all meet again REALLY SOON (only this time I'm going to have to be there, too, or else I'm going to be really jealous! Haha! ;))

    Loved. This. Post. !!!!!!!!

    That's all.

    1. Awww, thanks, Miss March!! I'm happy you enjoyed it. :D

      I knoooow. And oh my, YES. You simply must be at the next meet-up. Like, rain, or snow, or sleet. YOU SHALL BE THERE. :D

      Your comment made me really happy. :) Thank you!!!

  14. Wow, blogger meet-ups are so wonderful. What a fabulous occasion for you to meet. Thanks for sharing the details. This was delightful.


  16. Also odd q but how tall are y'all I'm a short bean


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