And so the celebrations continued, long into the night.
As if receiving a Mission Call, dropping off my older Sister at the Missionary Training Center, and turning 20 all weren’t enough to handle in one week, my best friend of 7 years got married. I went the night before to have one last slumber party and to help out with all the last minute preparations, and I’m so glad I did! I love the Angus family, and it felt like we were wee lassies once again.
It was the most beautiful November day I have ever seen, and I loved being able to be a part of Melissa and Jared’s big day!
Remember this post? Way back in July? Well it happened, and I can’t even believe it came that quickly.
I came down for one last Sister Saturday, which we filled with all of the Clifford Sister’s favorites: Just Dance 2,3, and 4; Keeping Up with the Kardashians; our favorite episodes of Gilmore Girls and The OC (Chrismakka of course); crawled in my bed for a final viewing of our all-time favorite Harry Potter 3; and ended the night by staying up until the wee hours of the mourning viewing One Direction and Justin Bieber’s videos.
On November 11th, the celebrations (for lack of a better word) began for Sisar Clifford’s farewell….
Once again, fate aligned and it worked out perfectly for me to go assist my Best Friend of 7 years to pick out a Wedding Gown and begin all the wedding preparations. Somehow in the mix we were able to get some… “practice engagements” done. Take a look at this new gorgeous couple:
I’m in love with this couple…
and may the odds be ever in your favor.
My older sister is pretty neat.
So maybe super neat. Possibly even Brilliantly Neato. She’s quite the adventurer. 6 weeks in Uganda, 6 months in Taiwan, and 2 weeks in Hong Kong and Thailand. Not too shabby ‘eh? But last week the biggest adventure thus far was officially determined- and we couldn’t be more THRILLED.
As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, going on ‘missions’ is encouraged for the young-adults of the church. Through Kamille’s experience in Taiwan she decided that going to serve the Lord was what she was supposed to do next. After a long and complicated process of putting in her papers in Asia, her call was supposedly on the way. Her arrival back into the US also meant that any day (well, we’d expect a Wednesday..) her call could jump out of the mailbox. The only problem? My parents weren’t exactly on this continent at the estimated time of arrival. So we had a plan to let her do whatever she wanted with it.
So, when I walked in from work one afternoon to Kamille reading what seemed to be a large packet with a picture of a baptism in front, it obviously could only be one thing- THE CALL.
You could say it was one of the more awkward and uncomfortable situations I’ve faced in my kitchen. It was an inner battle of “Do I ask her? Should I pretend I didn’t notice her shoving it under her backpack with wide eyes? Does she want to talk about it? What in the heck is going on, I just want my nutella!” Eventually, she explained the sitch.
Her call had been there for a week, and hid it as to not be tempted to open it without our parents. One week couldn’t kill, right? WRONG. But she still didn’t open it…. until she received a SECOND smaller envelope in the mail a week later. Now, any straight-minded person would be at least somewhat concerned as to what the second envelope contained. So naturally, she pulled it out of the mailbox and BAM right through the envelope she saw in big letters “********,*******”; which led her to an extremely hard decision as to whether or not she she tell my sister and I to help surprise the parents, or to wait and tell us all together. She broke, and and told us where she would be serving for the next 18 months come November 21st, 2012. She videoed our reactions, but considering I am hysterically sobbing into my palms for the majority of it, I think I’ll pass every posting that baby to the internet.
The next step was deciding how to tell my parents. It was absolute KILLER not being able to tell anyone for 24 hours, but it just made telling my parents all the sweeter! If the church knew how many people we had to lie to about her call… I think they’d revoke it. Our original plan was to have a display with native items and the flag to her country, but after our parents caught a flight that got in 5 hours earlier we decided to surprise them as they came down baggage claim. However, my Dad was the first to come down and completely surpassed us; until he heard my mother squealing from the top of the escalator and basically jumping over the poor bystanders. Seriously one of my favorite memories of my family of all time. Unfortunately, I got too preoccupied and the video isn’t the greatest. But I had never been so thrilled for my sister and to see my parents so shocked and confused but completely overwhelmed with joy at the same time. It rocked.
Soon after the baggage was picked up, the car loaded, and many squeals/hugs/tears were shed in the middle of the Salt Lake City baggage claim we were on our way dinner. Where Kamille informed us that she couldn’t hold it in any longer and that she had invited friends and family over to surprise them with the exciting news.. in an hour. Great planning, Koke. It all turned out great and i’ve never enjoyed watching people’s reactions as much as I did that night. But who could blame them?! Her call is so unbelievingly random, yet so crazingly perfect.
So where is she going?
WHAT. THE. HECK.
How was that one year ago today? I swear it was only this morning I was getting ready to go to my first prom. That week was one of the funnest, craziest, exciting, nerve-wrecking, exhausting, thrilling, and emotionally draining week of my life.
I LOVED High School. It changed my life, or more like sculpted it to what I want it to be. The memories, connections, experiences, and friends that were made are priceless to me, and worth every blood, sweat, and tear. Mostly tears.
These pictures are some of my favorite pictures of all time. It was such a great day!
I miss these kids, this town, my family, and the feeling of normalcy. I can’t wait to go back for the summer and have part of my childhood back!
I remember sitting in my seat with my cap and gown in my hand listening to my best friends’ speak about the future and where it would take us. I think mine has turned out even better than I could have dreamt in one year.
First off- who knew that I would be spending my one year mark in the freaking Alps. I mean I have most definitely dreamt about an experience like this since I was breathing, but not now and not like this, as an Art Major. That was definitely never part of any of my plans.
Second- I knew I was going to love being an Aggie, but I didn’t think it was going to be this incredible!
Third- I never thought I could get find such fantastic people as I did in high school. However, I became obsessed with a group of girls I like to call my Bestie Roomies. They’ve surpassed anything I’ve ever known.
Fourth- I had no idea how infatuated I could be with a group of people. But seriously. These kids, this program, this school, this community, and their inspiring love has taught me more than I can say. Being an Ambassador is still unreal to me, and this program still amazes me everyday. They won me over from day 1.
Looking back, my life has been so incredibly blessed in more ways than I know. Year One has been incredible, but I can’t wait to see what Year Two brings.
Once a Wildcat. Always a Wildcat.
Although I rarely say it, my two sisters mean more than anything to me.
And tomorrow the littlest one graduates from good old Woods Cross High School. Know what that means? The Clifford sisters’ are all in the real world, and more importantly that as a family we survived the public school system. I have a feeling that these next few years are going to be incredible for the Clifford family.
With the departure of the oldest to Taiwan, it’s been a long five months. I think Maddy and I are more than ready to have Kamille back to guide us into the world of music and pop culture gossip once again. 36 day’s until July 5th- the most epic day of our summer. And our California dream trip. I seriously CANNOT wait!
And to Miss Maddy Jo-
Good luck tomorrow little chickling! You’ll need it. I hope you’ve been practicing walking across the stage so you don’t trip. I am so sincerely sorry that neither of us could be there to cheer you on in person like you were for us- but just know that we are cheering you on harder than ever from two continents!
I am crazed and amazed that you are graduating, because you are my baby sister, but am SO proud that you stuck it out and made the best of each day that you could and learned to love whatever was given to you! Thanks for bringing your personality to this family and for learning to love who you are!
Boy Howdy, do I love Prague!
Prague was the third largest city in the 1400’s (with Rome in the lead and Istanbul/Constantinople in second), and the city shows it. In the Old Town square there is over 10 centuries of architecture displayed. And let’s not forget that the real Prague is buried 6 meters below where it is now due to flooding.
We took a free walking tour around the city and learned some quirky legends and such.
This is called the Astronomical Clock. It is a clock- that is astronomically functioned (obviously) and tells the positioning of the planets as well as what zodiac it currently is, the time (an hour off because there was no Daylight Savings), and what Nameday it is. At each hour there is a show with the clock with figures that dance around it. The most interesting story about this clock is the maker. After completing and installing the clock, they blinded him to ensure that he would make this the only beautiful clock in the world. Unfortunately, he became so depressed he went to the clock, stuck his arm in the gears, and bled to death. Prague is a cheerful place.
We had an interesting group of people with us on our tour today. We met a couple from Munich who are originally from Provo. The wife and her sisters are the founders/creators of Moochie bags- the purses with the magnetic interchangeable covers, and she has been here running the business for about a year now. We also met some young backpackers, who always have the most interesting stories. One reason I love to travel so much is because you always meet the most fascinating people. A girl from Australia just finished at the ‘Uni’ and is traveling Europe and Asia for a year- she really enjoyed our chaco’s and didn’t know what Tom’s were. One student from London was traveling around for only 24 days, and there was another Australian who was about to start is PhD in Biochemistry and decided he’d travel from Beijing to Vienna first; with a pitstop in Salzburg for his cousin’s wedding. He’d be gone a total of 5 months. People are awesome!
We walked all over, and the tour lasted more than 3 hours. It is such a quirky place! There is so many things to say about this wonderful city, but I’ll just show you in pictures. Make sure to keep an eye out for the mummified hand (hung in a church to warn against theft- duh), and the crazy old lady that decided to come poke every man in our group in the middle of our tour. Hilarious to say the least.