Thursday, May 23, 2013

away we go.

i swore when i left UT almost 2 years ago i would never go back.
to say it’s not my favorite place in the world would be an understatement.
it’s home for a lot of people, but i just was never one of them.
the pace is a little too slow, the towns a little too small.
not to mention it holds some of my deepest heartbreaks and loneliest nights within its history.
that being said, it also is home to some of the best people i know.

so here i am, happy to break that promise to never go back.
i am headed out east this weekend.
to soak in the love of some of my favorite people and take a time out from my crazy city girl life.
see you on the other side of memorial day!
xoxo.

{photo via pinterest}

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

tuesday, april 30th.

ever have a particularly bad day?
yah, well today was one of them.
all weekend long i knew the storm was brewing, when you can just feel that the other shoe is going to drop.
and drop that shoe did.
but as the eternal optimist i try to be, whenever i have a particularly rough day i try to focus on all the good days that come in-between the few bad.
so today, whilst in the middle of the tumble, i recalled my most recent perfect day.
tuesday, april 30th.

i woke up that morning kind of like any other day except this was THEE day i had been waiting for, the official start to nhl playoffs!
the ducks were still in it {RIP}, we had a fresh slate ahead of us, and we had tickets to that night’s opening game.
 but even MORE important to moi, the Blackhawks were starting their series against the Minnesota Wild.
double the fun!
i went to work in team colors wearing my orange ruffle dress from ann taylor.
the morning flew by and whilst at lunch with my favorite kardashian, i received an email from the Chicago Blackhawks organization informing me that an article i had submitted to them MONTHS ago was chosen to be published in the playoffs edition of Blackhawks Magazine.
ummm…color me speechless!
MY article and MY picture were going to be in the most important issue of Blackhawks magazine to date?
that english degree hanging on my wall finally paid off.
wheeeee!

the day continued until finally it was time to go home.
i turned the Hawks game on the second i got into the car only to hear Minnesota score the first goal of the series. ugh.
minor detor...but moving ahead.
an hour later i arrived at the pond {or honda center, depending on which company you associate the building with} to a welcoming sea of orange and black.
these were my people...hockey people.
naturally thee lil bro was not only already there, 
but the FIRST person in line to get into the stadium.
he then surprised me with our NEW seats!!
due to one INCREDIBLY generous person in our lives, our tickets had been upgraded to the FRONT ROW!!
as in row A. as in on the ice. as in i was going to get to pound on the glass all night long just as i had always dreamed!
thee wild child in me could hardly wait.
they let us into the stadium and flanked us with lots of fun free items.
we made our way down to our seats where we met the next best part of my day, Rhoda.
Rhoda has season tickets and right as i was going to give fair warning of my exuberant cheering tactics {i’m loud and i curse} her husband leaned over and said, “i just want to warn you, she gets a little crazy.”
to which i replied, “honey, i may wear a lot of makeup but i can get just as roudy as one of the boys at these things.”
instant bffs.
Rhoda was just about the friendliest, sassiest, most fun person i have ever met in my life.
it was like meeting who i hope to be 30 years from now.

{my favorite, cam fowler, on the ice for warm ups}

{opening credits: an amazing sight}

after the 1st period the game was tied 1-1, but i was more worried about the hawks score.
i kept telling myself they had probably lost, the day had been SO great already there was no way they were going to win the game.
and then there it was flashing on the jumbo tron, 
hawks win in overtime 2-1!
hallelujah chorus please unite.
{koivu arguing with the ref, naturally}

 {hilllleerrrrr}


 {my hockey family}

we spent the rest of the game pounding on the glass, chatting with new friend Rhoda and trying to best those pesky red wings.
with the score tied at 2-2 i had all but given up hope that we would actually win.
no day is THAT perfect.
but it was.
the ducks beat the red wings on the opening night of the playoffs 4-2.
i sat in the front row and watched my little brother cry tears of shear joy as the lights dimmed and the ducks skated out to a sea of orange rally towels and screams louder than your mind can comprehend.
it was the day little old girly moi got published in a hockey magazine.
the day i had one of hundreds of fun lunchies with one of my favorite friends, each of which i try to never take for granted.
it. was. the. perfect. day.
xoxo.

{primary photo via pinterest}

Sunday, May 19, 2013

b&w of the week.


 best dressed of the week: 
nicole kidman
only ms. kidman herself could make neon orange shoes look like the classiest thing since chanel pearls.  holy hannah, how does this woman find a way to look different AND perfect on every carpet she walks?  this look came from the opening night of the cannes film festival in france and i am obsessed with all the detailing along the bodice and the hemline of the dress.  she is a modern day hollywood princess, for sure.  i am also obsessed with the tea length skirt; and yes, even those neon orange shoes!  but what threw me over the edge for this look was her make-up.  the self confessed one-time-i-did-botox-and-will-never-do-it-again kidman has had her moments in recent years on the carpet where she looks farrrr too constructed.  but the dress is so playful and her makeup mirrors that look flawlessly.  she looks PRETTY!  and elegant.  just like my nikki k. of old times.
ps - i'm coveting that lip color.

worst dressed of the week: 
eva longoria
this is a sad, sad, case of a gorgeous woman in an ugly dress.  a lot of people dressing badly is just not getting the right look for their body.  but this dress wouldn't look good on ANYONE...it's just an ugly, ugly dress.  and i really am not sure what wavelength longoria nor her stylist was on when this was the outfit picked for her big night out.  i mean, don't get me wrong, i always love a good sequin sensation.  but this is a sensation ain't no one feelin'.  yuck.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

preparing for motherhood {one day}.

so i was asked to give a talk in church on mother’s day.
{in the mormon religion each sunday different members of the congregation are asked to give a speech, if you will, regarding different gospel principles and life values}
you know, to enlighten the congregation on my expert mothering tips?
you can laugh, that was a joke.
i was absolutely surprised when asked.
i think it went well.
i hope it did.
preparing for it was nothing short of a humbling experience, i can tell ya that much.

i have been asked by several different people who were in the congregation and others who have heard about it via friends and family to post it on the blog.
i usually shy away from religion on this because it is not up for discussion nor debate.
being a mormon is something so sweet and dear and sacred and personal to me.
i believe what i believe and i am incredibly happy in it.
so this post is like opening up the deepest layer of who i am to the entire world.
the talk is long {i was asked to do 12-15 minutes} and may not be word for word what i actually said on sunday, because i don’t really write down my talks, but rather just a list of points i want to get across.
below are probably thee most honest words i have ever spoken.
so here they are, from my heart to yours...

i love movies. i love watching them and reading about them and the idea of telling a story through the medium of film. in one of my favorite movies of all time, the main heroine is trying to write a great novel.  she has written a few, but nothing that has stuck with people.  upon receiving advice from a dear friend he tells her you must write what you know, and you will find success.  in going along with this advice, today i have written and now speak only on what i know.  this mother’s day talk will come from quite a different perspective than you are used to hearing and perhaps expecting, seeing as i was just as surprised as you might be that i am the one up here today.  what i know personally is not of actual mothering, but the preparation and anticipation of it.

a dear friend posted an article this week titled, what it’s like to not be a mother on mother’s day.  in it, the author says:

i wouldn’t mind it, though, if women weren’t categorized by those who have children, and those who do not.  because where would i belong?  i do not have my very own children, but i have mothered.  we all have.  we all at one point or more have been a strong and permanent influence on another’s life.

i love how clearly she states that the natural feeling of being divided on this day is irrelevant, because every woman has had the opportunity to be a great influence on another’s life.  as oprah {who you know to be my favorite; i think she is so smart} once said, biology is the least of what makes someone a mother.  i look back on the women in my life who have helped me prepare for motherhood, including my actual mother and a strong group of mother figures around me, and these are all women who know.  in a 1997 general conference talk, Sister Julie Beck said, the responsibility mothers have today has never required more vigilance. more than anytime in history, we need mothers who know.  so here are four things i have been taught to prepare for my own motherhood, by women who know…

one: sacrifice.
the dear women of my life have taught me the value of sacrifice and that through determined faith, great blessings come from this principle.  my favorite song to sing in church is praise to the man.  it’s a dear hymn to me because of my days in Scotland.  chances are if i am playing the piano for a congregation you are sitting in, you are singing this song!  my favorite lyric of the song is, sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven.  in a talk given by Elder Robert K. Dellenback in the 2002 general conference, he states:

sacrifice comes in many forms and may not always be convenient. latter-day saints make a covenant with the lord to sacrifice.  by doing so, we surrender our will to His, dedicating our lives to building up His kingdom and serving His children.

women who know understand this.  they live it.  even when it seems stale, even when it seems after countless hours of prayer and faith nothing will ever come, even when it is less than convenient, women who know understand the importance of sacrifice.

two: blessings of the temple.
continuing through her talk, Sister Beck elaborates,

mothers who know honor sacred ordinances and covenants.  these mothers know they are going to sacrament meeting, where covenants are renewed [and dress their families accordingly].  these mothers have made and honor temple covenants.  they know that if they are not pointing their children toward the temple, they are not pointing them toward desired eternal goals.  these mothers have influence and power.

one of the greatest lessons i have learned in my life on the value of the temple is from my own dear mother. one of the lovely things about living and working in Scotland was that the Scottish people would much rather play than work.  seeing as i only worked tuesday-thursday, i had my long weekends to roam free and explore.  being an English major, this was a dream come true as i was in the land where authors of past wrote some of their greatest masterpieces.  while over there, my mother kept gently reminding me of the temple a few hours away in preston, england.  finally, as my internship was coming to an end, i decided i would make the trek out to the temple that coming friday.  i called them up to see when the baptismal font opened and what i needed to bring.  the kind lady on the other end informed me that they usually don’t do baptisms on fridays, but she would gladly make arrangements for me to come in on that day.  friday came and i woke up at 4:30am to be ready and on my train by 5:30am.  i arrived at the chorley train station and boarded a bus that dropped me off at the “preston” stop…aka: the middle of nowhere.  i walked along a dirt road until i came to a parking lot that had the lds stake center on one end and a garden path down the other. the path was lined with wooden benches and centered by arches of greenery and flowers...jane austen fans, please swoon with me in unison.  i mean, i was half way expecting mr. darcy to appear right there.  clearly…i am still waiting.  once the path opened up the temple sat on a beautiful hill overlooking pastures of sheep and tiny cottages.  it was without a doubt the most beautiful thing i had ever seen.  i walked into the temple and introduced myself and the lady told me the temple president requested to meet me.  he came out with open arms and said, sister!  we have had a great miracle this morning!  a father and son called from your great providence of philidelphia and wanted to know if they could do baptisms at the last minute.  normally, we wouldn't be ready for them but because of your call earlier this week we are.  even more, they need a sister to help with the female names and i said, 'well brethren, you are in luck.'  my dear girl, the Lord always provides.  and as i was sitting in the baptistery waiting, i realized the truth in what the temple president told me…the Lord ALWAYS provides.  the Lord is so aware of our individual needs and leads us to having those needs fulfilled.  i needed that experience.  i needed to fully understand the miracles that can occur through the blessings of temple attendance.  if we are doing what we are supposed to be doing, the Lord will always provide.  and i thank my sweet mother for instigating that lesson into my life.

three: the power and great importance of the atonement.
one thing people are often quite surprised to hear about me, given my girly outfits and the high heels; the lipstick and the hair, is that i love hockey.  jameson is the true hockey aficionado in our family, but i started watching it years ago to find some common ground for us to relate on and ended up falling in love with it more than i should have.  i love the anaheim ducks, but my favorite team is the chicago blackhawks (and yes, i loved them before they were winners).  now the blackhawks had a pretty incredible season, and as they wrapped the normal season up they went on a fun winning streak.  on the night they were set to record their 12th straight win, they were also set to continue on their way to winning the president’s cup, an award given to the #1 team in the NHL.  with 2 minutes left on the game clock, the hawks were down by one.  the face off started and to our great luck the puck went to marian hossa.  if you don't know hossa, just know he is the guy you want to get the puck when your team is a point down.  as he sped down the ice the captain of the blackhawks, jonathan toews, broke away from the pack.  now, i might be a titch biased, but toews is without a doubt one of the best players in the NHL.  in terms of getting the puck to the back of the net, you are a guaranteed go with these two working together.  the announcers were as excited as ever, basically just calling how the puck would be scored, rather than if.  now the boys raced down the ice as the time dropped, but toews’ skate crossed the blue line before hossa did with the puck and the ref blew the whistle for an off-sides call.  in hockey, if you get an off-sides call the clock is stopped, puck possession is taken away from you and you are called to face off in your defending zone, all the way on the other side of the ice.  the clock started again with the face off, but the hawks weren't quick enough and they lost the game.  that night i was talking to jameson about the game and rambling on and on about the off sides call...how could toews get an off sides?  he is supposed to be the best in the business?  he knows better than to let his skates cross the blue line before the puck?  that is the EASIEST rule in hockey to follow!  he shouldn’t be making such a silly mistake like that.  and of course, jameson came back with his normal defense telling me i am WAY too hard on hockey players.  but later that night i got to thinking, clearly still not over my beloved team’s loss, and i realized how many times we are off sides in life, and how easy it is to get there.  as members of the church, or as people investigating further into the church, we know the rules that Heavenly Father asks us to abide by.  they are not hard rules to follow, rather quite simple.  yet, how many times in life, whether knowingly or unknowingly, do we get caught off sides?  it is an easy call to get.  but thankfully, through the power of the atonement Heavenly Father has given us a solution for those times.  in his April 2007 Ensign article titled, the point of safe return, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf said,

the Atonement of Jesus Christ is the gift of God to His children to correct and overcome the consequences of sin.  God loves all of His children and He will never cease to love and to hope for us. the plan of our Heavenly Father is clear and His promises are great.

as an extreme perfectionist to my core, mistakes are never easy for me to get over.  but through the great influence of my mother and other women in my life, i have been taught that being perfect is far less important than understanding the value and real power of the atonement of Christ.  that when we get caught off-sides, the game does not simply end.  rather we can start over again.  it is never too late, hope is never too far gone, and as i learned in the temple that day in the middle of England, the Lord will always provide.

four: patience.
i am sure any mother can give you daily, sometimes even hourly, examples of having to exercise great patience with her children.  although an adult, i am still a child of two wonderful people who continue to have to exercise patience on my behalf and the decisions i make.  in terms of my personal preparation for motherhood, patience has become the most important principle of all for me to learn, as so many of my deepest and most sincere desires are yet to come.  my favorite scripture is in the doctrine & covenants, 98: 1-4, where it reads,

verily i say unto you my friends, fear not, let your hearts be comforted; yea, rejoice evermore, and in everything give thanks.  waiting patiently on the Lord, for your prayers have entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth, and are recorded with this seal and testament - the Lord hath sworn and decreed that they shall be granted.  therefore, He giveth this promise unto you, with an immutable covenant that they shall be fulfilled; and all things wherewith you have been afflicted shall work together for your good, and to My name's glory, saith the Lord.

Elder Holland gave a talk not too long ago in which he reminded us, some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don’t come until heaven, but for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ…they come.  i was raised by a mother who taught me to dream as big as my heart desired, and thus i have grown into a woman with big dreams.  i dream of living in new york city and working for the NHL.  i dream of traveling the world and being in a position where i can make a sincere difference.  but at the end of the day, when i am on my knees in a conversation solely with my Father in Heaven, He knows of the even deeper and more important desires of my heart…a temple marriage, the opportunity to be a kind, opinionated {haha}, but good wife, the dream of being a mother to my own children and raising an eternal family in the gospel.  and although right now in my life i am merely in the stages of preparing for these blessings, i know they will come.  as Elder Holland so lovingly put it, in this life or the next, they. will. come.

i can't pretend that at times it seems life would be so much easier to go "off-sides" and find a way to get exactly what i want right now.  but i know the path Heavenly Father has planned for me is far greater than one i would carve out for myself.  and with faith, patience and persistence it will all fall into place so perfectly.  i am forever indebted to the women in my life, many of whom are sitting in this chapel, who have taught me the lessons i need to learn to be ready for that great day.

brothers and sisters {and now my dear readers} no one has an easy life, and no one knows everything about what has happened nor what is to come.  life is full of questions, some of which will never be answered.  i hope for things in life that many people already have.  this doesn't mean that their lives aren't laced with troubled times and heavy burdens.  but one thing i know to be absolutely certain is that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is true.  i have questioned it and yet my Father in Heaven has always provided a way to re-affirm what i already knew to be true, which is...that God lives.  He loves us so dearly.  He has given us a sure plan to be able to return to Him.  The Book of Mormon is true and it has the power to become our greatest guide through good times and bad.  i know that Thomas S. Monson is a modern day prophet of God, who leads and guides us with love and devotion for our well being.  i am grateful for my family.  for parents who raised my brothers and i in a home centered on love and acceptance and truth.  just because they did an incredible job with the three of us does not mean we were easy to handle at times...they have great patience.  but above all, i have a testimony of the atonement of Christ.  it was and forever will be the single greatest act of love on this earth.  through that sacrifice we are all equal.  through that sacrifice we always have someone who understands our frustrations and our happiness.  through that great sacrifice we have the ability to return to Him.  i am grateful.  i am incredibly blessed.  in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

{photo via pinterest}

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

return of thee king.

as it is the middle of may,
my mind & spare time are in full hockey playoff mode.
it's on my tv at work, on the radio in my car, on my phone messaging alerts, on my tv at home and on my internet home page.
thee little bro and moi live for this stuff.

granted, im cheering for the blackhawks to go all. the. way.
tears will be shed if they don't.
but, seeing as i hope my far in the future address {one day, maybe?} to be in the nyc zipcode i cheer for my future home team third {behind my current home team, anaheim}, as to not subject myself to culture shock during the big move.
i'm smart like that.

the new york rangers came in to the playoff series on the low end of the totem pole with the expectation of getting knocked out pretty early on by the washington capitals and their scoring superstar, hockey legend alexander ovechkin.
but the rangers have a legend of their own.
they call him the king.


the rangers have never won a 7th game outside of madison square garden in franchise history.
they also didn't win a single away game in this current quarter-final series.
meaning at the start of game 7 last night in DC...every odd was against them.
except for the 6'1" ken doll they have in net.
henrik lundqvist.
who didn't let a single goal past him as the rangers went on to beat the washington capitals 5-0 and oust their dreams of winning the 2013 stanley cup.

now ladies, many of you don't understand how a girl who spends her spare time focusing on curls, glitter and bows could give a care in the world about hockey.
so i will finally let you in on my dirty little secret...the men.
baseball players are nice, and football stars have a great back side, but the men of hockey are on a whole different level.
when watching the right team, hockey is the basic equivelant of an armani fashion show if he were to produce a winter line of hard helmuts and oversized sweatshirts.
with a little bit more sweat and blood.

i let my twitter friends in on the news last night,
and thankfully, utah twin jen got the message.
now i dare you NOT to google him.
go ahead and try now.
xoxo.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

betty crocker?

yours truly is headed into the kitchen this weekend.
when you grow up with all brothers you are usually the one left in charge to cook when cooking is needed.
and on mother's day children guided cooking is needed.
i mean, i'm not terrified.
but let me tell you the story of this time,
{more like last week} 
when i participated in our Cinco de Mayo Top Chef competition at work and my boss quickly learned that i don't really know how to make guacmole,
{literally looked up a recipe on google that morning}
let alone the proper way to cut a tomato.
he quickly became very concerned for my well being, 
or more for the well being of my future husband.
the best thing i know how to make is reservations.
bible.
now, i am not a terrible cook.
but somehow problems always weave my way.
always. always. always.
have you ever ruined those no-nothing roll up and slap em in the oven rolls?
i have.
yep, just burned those suckers right up.
 
so here goes nothing...
please feel free to drop the bets on how long it will take before i burn myself, the food, or the entire house down.
the silver lining is that my brother bought me an amazing apron so i at least look the part.
and that's half the battle in life, right?

happy mother's day weekend to all.
mine is the best, but i am sure yours are all pretty great too.
xoxo.

{photo via teen vogue}

Monday, May 6, 2013

just believe.

my darling bestie {adrienne} sent this quote 
to me the other day.
so naturally, i did a screen shot for future reference.
i read it over and over and over again.
and it never ceases to bring me a silent, but sweet joy.
because i know it is true.
and on most days, that is everything.
xoxo.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

guest post: gatsby the great.

as a most sincere apology for being MIA the past few weeks, 
{playoffs have started...don't be offended} 
i decided to give you, my most beloved readers, a prezzie!
below is an amazing adventure to kick start our summer of fun here on the blog.
that's right, a GUEST POST!
a post by the best writer i know,
{she teaches high school English}
and one of the best friends i have ever had.
i consider it no small coincidence that two of thee absolute dearest ladies in my life are named jodi with an "i".
{if you ever meet one keep them close, they are the best}
this particular jodi with an "i", better known as thee bestie on this blog, partied with jay gatsby himself this week at the NYC premiere of The Great Gatsby.
i was all that jazzed when she offered to do one, considering i had already planned on begging for one if the offer didn't come.
here is her story... 

 
My love affair with Jay Gatsby started in junior year English and never stopped. I've since read the book countless times, so many times that I have most of it memorized at this point. I've watched the Robert Redford movie many times, and taught it to my students twice. My dog's name tag says "Daisy Fay" for heaven's sake. The book just captivated me. It's everything I love about literature. Fitzgerald's prose reads like poetry. Every line is beautiful; every word carries weight. It's an English teacher's dream. I've loved teaching it and seeing my students begin to pick up on the idea that a book can be more than a cool story. It can change you. Anyway, I'm rambling. 

Back to the juicy stuff...
I first heard that a Gatsby remake was in the works about 3 years ago and immediately started counting down the days, especially when I learned that Baz Luhrmann (of Romeo+Juliet and Moulin Rouge) was directing it and none other than Mr. Leonardo DiCaprio would be the star. My love for Leonardo was born long before my love for Gatsby. You see, the image of him as Romeo looking through the fish tank hung above my bed all through adolescence. I've seen just about every one of his movies and think he's the biggest evidence that the Oscars are rigged. 

A few weeks ago, I saw on Gatsby's Facebook and Twitter pages that they were having multiple contests for people to win tickets to the world premiere in New York. I emailed my brothers and kindly requested they enter the contest for me even though it was a huge long shot. My brother, Chad, quickly wrote back, "Who enters contests when you have connections?" He told me not to get my hopes up but that he had talked to his friend who is a high-up at Universal Records about getting us into the premiere. Not get my hopes up? Please. I about passed out. Well, a couple of weeks went by when Chad finally called, on my birthday to be exact, and told me that he'd scored 2 tickets and that he'd be in NYC for work with a swanky Times Square hotel room if I'd like to fly out and join him. Basically, he guaranteed that he'll never need to give me a birthday or Christmas present ever again for as long as I live. 

After arriving in New York, taking a nap, looking out the window on the magic of Times Square, and consulting Miss Bradley about hair style suggestions, I got ready in my prettiest dress and my sparkliest heels, trying to tell myself that there was no way I'd met Leo, that seeing the movie before everyone else would be enough.
 
We got there early to see the stars arrive at the red carpet. Slowly they started pulling up in black tinted Escalades. Florence Welch of Florence + the Machine arrived and I happened to be standing next to the workers who were checking people in and I heard them go, "Oh, check in Isla Fisher," so I kindly told them that it wasn't Isla; it was Florence, although I wanted to tell them that not all redheads look the same. They said, "Thanks," then told me very firmly that I couldn't stand where I was standing. Carrie Mulligan arrived with her husband, Marcus Mumford. Baz Luhrmann arrived. Jay Z sans Beyonce. But all I wanted was to see Leo in real life, even though they were keeping the stars pretty guarded from us. I wouldn't be able to get close, but I'd be able to see him and take a picture. Leo arrived, I snapped a few photos, freaked out a bit that I saw his face, his beautiful face, in real life, and then my brother and I headed in to the theater.
 
 
We walked through the lobby and were about to go up the staircase to our seats when we realized we were standing right by the door that led in from the red carpet. Holy crap. If we waited there without getting told to move, we'd see every single star walk in. Within a few minutes, Florence walked in. No one was around, so I asked for a picture. She obliged, but she wasn't very friendly. You've got good pipes, Flo, but your style & personality leave something to be desired.
 
Then a few of the movie's actors walked in, some of the lesser knowns, then the incredibly beautiful Isla Fisher walked in. She was pretty rushed, but she said she'd take a picture, put her arm around me, and then asked if Chad got the picture before rushing away. 
 
Then Gayle King, Oprah's wing woman, walked by, so I grabbed a pic just for Jessica, Oprah's biggest fan. She told me that she loved my necklace...twice. So, basically, I felt very important. 
 
The tickets said 7pm and it was like 7:15 at this point, so we were a little worried we'd get in trouble for not being in our seats, but we decided to wait it out just a bit longer. Chad and I made a plan that if Leo approached, he'd be walking fast, so I'd throw him my camera and he'd have to snap pics of him, even if I couldn't get IN a pic with him. 
That's when I noticed Martha Stewart walking towards the door. I told Chad to take a picture of her, but that I didn't care to be IN a picture with her. I mean, Martha's cool and all, but just not a big concern of mine. Anyway, that's when I noticed who was walking in right next to her. The one. The only. Leonardo. I shoved the camera in Chad's hands and walked over to where he'd have to pass right by me. They stopped right next to me and Martha asked for a photo. After like, a hundred hours of taking that single photo, I asked Leo if he'd take one with me. (A ccccrazy dude tried to hand me his iPhone to take a picture of him with Leo. I flat out ignored him. It was awkward.) Anyway, Leo looked at me and said, "Sure" and started to ask where the camera was (people were starting to crowd at this point) when his publicist started pulling him and telling him he had to go. I pointed where the camera was and he turned to smile for it quickly. I mean, come on! He was so nice! I was absolutely not expecting him to turn for the camera with how many people were trying to get photos with him and how rushed he was. Besides Martha I was the ONLY person to get a photo with Leo. And her photo probably isn't very good because I was all up in their business. I thanked Leo profusely, while looking super psychotically excited. It was only afterward that I realized that I'd completely grabbed his bicep while thanking him. Probably shouldn't go around grabbing celebrities, but whatever, he didn't get upset, so I'm just going to assume he liked it.
After he left, it was seriously a blur. You know how big events... proposals...weddings...the birth of your first born...can be blurs? That's how meeting Leo was. Within minutes of it happening, it felt like a dream. I could hardly believe it. But the important facts will warm my heart forever...I met Leonardo, my favorite actor, at the premiere of an adaption of my favorite book, and he is just as good looking in real life, and he's NICE. Oh so nice! I fully expected him to be too big of a star to be nice to me and take a minute of his time. But he was so nice. 

As for the movie, it was absolutely perfect. I think some people might have a hard time with the artistic licenses that Luhrmann took, but, to me, they only added to the drama, the intrigue, the excess of the time period that Fitzgerald was trying to expose in his novel. The disjointed music added a unique and modern flair. And the acting was phenomenal. I expected Leonardo DiCaprio to be perfection, and he was, but I was blown away by Carey Mulligan and Joel Edgerton, in particular. I love that the literary symbolism, which is so easily lost in book adaptations, was carried through so flawlessly to the big screen.
 
It felt like a fairytale. It was truly a night that most normal folk don't get to experience. I can't wait to teach the book again, and "accidentally" slip in the picture of me and Leo in the middle of some lesson.