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Friday, May 30, 2008

Ring Dance! (Part III: Ring Christening)

The Ring Christening is definitely the highlight of the night! It's a fun tradition (as long as you like your date!). Basically, the date drops the ring into a champagne glass and that's the first time the cadet gets to see the ring. The cadet then drinks the entire glass of champagne (sparkling cider in our case, of course) with the ring and passes it to his date... with his mouth. Once the date has it in her mouth, she takes it off, puts it on his finger, and voila! The Ring Christening is complete. I don't know if anyone knows where that tradition came from but those cadets sure don't mind it!

The unveiling of the ring:
Each squad has one cadet christen their ring at a time, while everyone else watched. We were first, so the pressure was on!
Passing the ring! (This was the easy part...)
It's obviously a good time :-)
Lastly, I put the ring on Matt's finger...

... and that was it! He's officially a SENIOR!!!

...which means he & his friends get to spend the rest of the evening showing off their hard-earned rings.

Next: The last Ring Dance one! Ice sculptures, chocolate fountains, our future wedding cake...

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Ring Dance! (Part II: Dinner)

Dinner was held as a "dining-in" at Mitchell Hall. Tablecloths, centerpieces, champagne and silver all helped transform the room into something suitable for a fancy affair.
After socializing for a bit, we all found our name cards and took our seats within the cadets' squads. (Go Bulldawgs!)
The event began with official toasts to leaders in the military and in the country. It was really neat! After toasts, they passed out the rings. You would've thought it was Christmas morning in there! The cadets weren't allowed to open them until the Ring Christening ceremony an hour later, though, so Matt just stared longingly at his ring ...
But I got to peak! I even snuck a picture while he had his back turned. Love it! Totally worth the almost $1,000 :-). Crazy that so many cadets spend $5K+ on theirs.
After dinner, we heard from, Keni Thomas, who earned a Bronze Star for Valor as a squad leader in the real-life Black Hawk Dawn.
He talked about Black Hawk Down, obviously, and about leadership & character. It was really inspiring, especially there at the Academy where all the cadets are such high-quality people. Keni is a country singer now and was actually on the Grand Ol' Opry on Monday, so at the end he sang his song, "Not Me." Listen to it if you get a chance!

Next: The Ring Christening (everyone's favorite part)!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Ring Dance! (Part I: Arrival)

Ring Dance was AMAZING! We're so excited that Matt is finally a senior--for many reasons, #1 being that we can get married when he graduates, of course! Ring Dance is something the cadets look forward to all through their years at the Academy, and for good reason. It's a very fancy, memorable affair with a dining-in, dance, and many formalities and traditions. For example, during dinner we had a flag ceremony, toasts (to the President of the United States, etc.), a guest speaker, and the ring christening, to name a few. There's nothing quite like it! It is really neat to be a part of and made me even more proud of my fiance and my country.

I'm going to apologize in advance for posting one million pictures in the next few days but this is how I show Matt our pictures so bear with us! You might learn a thing or two about Air Force Academy in the process. I'll just start off the posting marathon with some of the pre-dance arrival pictures :-)
There is someting about a man in uniform...
He is just SO handsome.
Our group for the weekend! Matt's 3 best friends (Anthony, Mike & Chase) and their super fun dates (Brynne, Natty & Jenna):

The fountains in the Terrazzo (our favorite place at the Academy):

And this is a quick shout-out to my incredible Mom who made my dress off of a sketch I drew for her! It's next to impossible to find a gown long enough for a tall girl with heels. I'm lucky to have a mom so talented and sweet to devote all of that time to me!

Next up: Dinner!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Blondes & Brunettes

Sterling & Alicia came to play last night and we had so much fun! First, we ate a delicious dinner at Pizza Factory...
And then watched American Idol...
And voted for the first time EVER (for all of us). We all text voted but Nicole has Tmobile, so she was stuck having to call a million times to vote.The Clarks brought over V's chocolates (yum!) and Lil' Buddy...
Who is fun to play with but left a "tootsie roll" in the kitchen. Good thing my dad was prepared!
Oh, and around midnight the boys decided that we had to play Mario Kart on the Wii. Those boys take their fake driving pretty seriously! (That's why Alicia isn't by Ster in the picture--they couldn't push pause for two seconds to let her walk in front of the tv haha).
Then the girls gave it a try and were just as good (right, boys?). It was all of our first time's playing so it took us until 2 a.m. for both couples to get into the top 3 of the cup but we were pretty proud of ourselves anyway!
Fun night! And now we get to rest up for our big weekend--Ring Dance at USAFA!!! It's when the new seniors get their class rings and it's a pretty big, fancy deal (think White House ball, not college dance). Matt asked me to go with him an entire year ago, so this has been a long time coming and we are SO excited! We'll most definitely have plenty of pictures soon.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Mondays at the office...

... are such a bummer! Especially when a) it is a GORGEOUS day outside (remember that one time I was a Californian & had weather like this ALL the time?) and, more importantly, b) my super cute/fun/all-those-good-things fiance is in town, enjoying the gorgeous day! Seriously, I need more PTO. That's all :-)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Seussical the Musical

Christian's junior high did Seussical for their spring musical and it was so fun! Not only was Christian one of the Wickersham Brothers (plus the runner-up for the Cat) but my 5-year-old brother, Kaleb, was the Elephant Bird that hatches at the end. The highlights?

We all found out that Christian has an incredible voice (where is it on Sundays, hm?) and that basically all of the junior high girls are in love with him... and Kaleb totally stole the show! Seriously. They usually use a lame stuffed animal for the elephant bird because kids can't handle it, so having this adorable little kid walk out and do such a great job was a fun surprise for the audience. He most definitely had more people coming up to him afterward than any other character! And yes, he LOVED the attention.

The best part, though, was the first time we brought Josh (my little brother that just turned 3) to the play. Joshie ran up to Kaleb after and yelled, "You're the best elephant bird EVER!" He was so proud of his big brothers. So cute.

This is Christian giving Horton a bad time...

and then the Wickersham Brothers enjoying their applause:

Kaleb taking a bow with Gertrude & Horton:
The stars:
Kaleb & Joshie, who felt like dressing himself & being a cowboy that night :-)
Too fun.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Liz's Wedding!

Speaking of friend's weddings... Liz & Ryan are married! Their wedding was on Tuesday (just like ours will be--Liz and I think alike) in the Salt Lake Temple with their reception at Tuscany. Everything was beautiful--Liz, Liz & Ryan together, the weather, the wedding--all of it. They are the greatest couple and I am still SO excited that they're finally married! I just love Liz to death, love Ryan for her and couldn't be happier for both of them! Here's just a few pictures for the other wedding lovers out there...

Mr. & Mrs. Call

They're in love :-)

With her family

Their first dance, with John singing in the background
Friends at the Temple
Bridesmaids at Tuscany
And with my favorite BYU Athletics' hosts, the Fowlers.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Women's Conference... Plus One Boy :-)

Women's Conference was last week! It so does not feel like a year ago that my dad followed my mom and I around for two days so that she could take care of Gabe (who was 6 months old) in between sessions... but it was! This time we got to come without my dad and without any babies, which was nice :-) We met up with my aunts Lisa & Kim on Thursday...

...and then I met up with my future sisters-in-law for dinner and some shopping. So fun!

Then it was off to Colorado again on Friday. Matt is finishing up his semester so we spent a lot of time working on papers and fun things like that (we really did have fun). We took a break from the homework on Saturday night and did some shopping of our own. Matt's specialties are finding cute heels for me and cool sunglasses for him--too bad we can think of other ways to spend $135 (plane tickets, for example).

Oh, and this is us at 10 pm at night when we finally got around to eating dinner at good ol' Texas Roadhouse. We LOVE that place!

That night we rented 27 Dresses & watched it with a few other cadets. Poor boys, because even I didn't like the movie... although it did make me love my friends even more for choosing cute bridesmaid dresses.

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