Monday, October 24, 2011

letter to my sister.

Dear Mrs. Elizabeth O’Quinn,  

A month ago today, you said “I do.” It’s strange to think it’s already been a month and at the same time - it’s really only been a month? 

Thank you for asking me to be your MOH.  It meant more than I think you will ever know, that as my older sister you genuinely wanted me to play that role - and that you didn’t just feel like it had to be me because I’m your little sister.  And I might have grumbled a little bit about making those Love Books, or the hours I spent making those postcards or whatever craft I was doing, but I wouldn’t have traded that time in the world with you for anything. 

It’s been a long time since we were little girls.  In reality, part of us we will probably always be those little girls – especially when we are together. We curl up, watch some OTH, spend way too much talking about pinterest and DIY crafts, and eat eggless cookie dough.   But now you are a wife. And I have to admit, that I was slightly nervous about how our relationship would change.  You wouldn’t need me to be your best friend anymore because Jason would now fill that role.  I realize now, I didn’t need to be nervous.  Jason has been your best friend for years.  But so have I.  And that won’t change.  Our parents raised us in such a way that has allowed us to lean on each other, encourage each other, fight with each other, and love each other.  That’s not going to change just because you’re married and living with a boy.  And especially since you married Jason who understands that we will go to some crazy concerts, do DIY crafts, watch way to much Gossip Girl, start singing randomly, and love Duke basketball more than – well anything.

Your wedding day was beautiful.  You were stunning. Jason cleans up nicely.  The weather was perfect. The band was awesome.  And the guests were the best.   Every single detail you wanted, and we were able to make happen, just added to the wonder of the day.  To see you so happy on the 24th night of September, and every day since, is all any of us wanted.

I’m lucky you’re my friend but even luckier that you are my sister.  And I guess I’ll survive with Jason as my brother. :)  I’m excited to see what your “happily ever after” has in store for the two of you. 

At the rehearsal dinner, I read you two a little blessing and it may be a month later, but my wish for you is still the same.  So here it is again: 

May the light of friendship guide your paths together. May the laughter of children grace the halls of your home.  May the joy of living for one another trip a smile from your lips, a twinkle from your eye. 

And when eternity beckons, at the end of a life heaped high with love, may the good Lord embrace you with the arms that have nurtured you the whole length of your joy-filled days.
- Irish Marriage Blessing. 

Happy you’ve-been-married-a-month-and-there-are-lots-more-to-come!

Much Love,
the mule to your nag, your never disappearing shadow, the little one to your sissy, your partner in craft crime, your younger sister.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Summer of Laughter and Love

It is so hard to believe that it is almost the end of summer. And what a summer it has been. 

Graduation has come and gone. 
And now its time for some new adventures in a different type of wonderland.   The past couple of months have been full of special memories, that I can't help but want to share.  

Lizzy is getting married in September. No new information there.  But this summer has been full of celebrating her and Jason.  
There have been showers/parties: 

(you can't really see J's but it says J OQuinn with a 9 - since you know their wedding date is 9/24 - these fab jerseys are their gifts from Kevin)

(this might be my fav from the most recent shower)

We've been finalizing the details: 
(okay so she and mom addressed and mailed - but I was there to take pictures)

And of course there have been dress fittings, but I'm not sharing pictures of those. :)
At the end of the day, when all these events are done, I can't help but think how happy I am for my sissy.  She is my best friend, someone I've looked up to all my life. And I am so honored to be her MOH and that I get to watch her and Jason begin this next stage of their lives together. 

There was also another wedding in my life this summer. My dear, sweet, wonderful friend Hannah is now a married lady.  Hannah was my saving grace my freshman year at Meredith and I am eternally grateful for her love and friendship.  We have been through/done so much together from falling in love to heartbreak to bad grades (those were few and far between ;) ) to dealing with crazy (but wonderful) parents to studying abroad to mid-week movie dates and so much more.  I loved being her MOH and taking a late night Wal-Mart run with her the night before the wedding.  The photographer captured this moment that is only slightly posed but so naturally us - always laughing at/with each other. 

Congrats Han! :)

My life may seem like wedding central right now (and to some degree it is) but I've also got to have some concert fun. 

As you may know, Lizzy gave me tickets to NKOTBSB for my birthday and the concert was July 23rd.  We have both ALWAYS been a huge Backstreet Boys fans and to be able to see them (and Donnie Wahlberg - i only have a small crush) was simply the greatest.

I made us some t-shirts and we did not hesitate to enjoy ourselves. Sadly, as great as iPhones are - pictures from a distance/super darkness don't turn out so great.  Buuuttt Matthew Morrison from Glee, New Kids on the Block, and the Backstreet Boys all put on a live show worth seeing.  And yes, Matthew Morrison did sing Gold Digger. 

(and why yes, those are in fact side side ponys.)

On the 27th, we went to the American Idol concert.  And made t-shirts for that too. 
 Our real adventure with this concert had more to do with locking the keys in the car pre-concert. But thank goodness for the kind people at the RBC center and the AAA guy who got the keys out free of charge post-concert.
 And what concert isn't complete without a late night gas station trip where a fire truck shows up?
And then there was Thursday. Where I got the most cryptic voice mail ever from my friend Zack.  Which basically ended in lots of squealing on my part and having to keep big news from someone I would normally call to share big news with for TWO days! I about died. 
But then finally I got the text with the fantastic news. 
Nataleigh and Zack are engaged! 

I don't know two people that deserve this much love and happiness in the world.  I am so excited for them as they begin this next journey of their lives together.  As we celebrated on Sunday, I can honestly say I've never seen her happier (Zack too I guess).  The love that these two share is pure and beautiful.  I am honored to say that I've gotten to watch as they fall in love and am looking forward to watching them continue their love story, as they get to work on the "happily ever after." 
Congrats Nataleigh and Zack!

Saturday, May 7, 2011


Two days. 
Two very busy and hectic days. 
Two days that are coming way to soon. 

Today was filled with practices galore. and me learning how to make good rhymes. 
(Thanks dad for all your help!). 

After practice, I celebrated a good friend (sweet Claire!)'s birthday with dinner at olive garden. She just thought it was your everyday graduation celebration dinner. Lo and behold it was really to celebrate her! And since then, I've been sitting in their apartment. decorating caps. and rhyming some more. (If I was really good, i would try and make this rhyme as well but I'm way too tired). 

See at Meredith, many of us decorate our gaps for graduation. And my friends and I had an unplanned decorating party. Mine was already done so I helped some people with theirs! 
It was so much fun and relaxing and just what I needed.  And in return, they helped me with my rhymes.  We discovered the elevator was a great source of inspiration (along with 

we got to remember, smile and giggle. and this will be one of those nights i look back on and am thankful. 

so thank you to my wonderful friends. you helped make my time at Meredith even the better. 

Thursday, May 5, 2011


3 years ago I was moving out of my freshman dorm. 
3 months ago I was taking the exit exam. 
3 days ago I was getting ready to take my last college exam. 
3 hours ago I was asleep. 
3 hours from now I'll be at a fitting for my MOH dress for Liz's wedding. 
3 days from now I'll be graduating from Meredith College. 

The number 3 has always been my favorite number.  I'm not sure why, maybe it is because it is a capital E backwards. Maybe it has something to do with the Holy Trinity.  Maybe it's because on the third day, God created sea and land and vegetation. And without all that where would we be? Maybe it is because three is an ODD number, and I do love those Odds.  Maybe its because I can at least count to three in all those foreign languages I learned while in school (that would be Latin, Spanish, French and Italian in case you were wondering). Who knows? All I know is that in icebreakers if you asked me what my favorite number was, I would say 3.  

Really all of that is irrelevant.  Except for the fact that in 3 days (count them: uno, due, tre - there's that Italian for you) I will be graduating from college.  I will be saying goodbye to the place that has come to be home and to the people who have come to be sisters. 

At this point, I'm not so sure I'm ready. I'm not sure I'll ever be ready.  Don't get me wrong, I could not take another test or write another paper for the rest of my life and be a happy girl. But I'm not ready to pack up my things and leave campus. Especially since I am one of the many who are unsure about what happens come May 9th. 

We are entering the real world. The world of salaries, bills, weddings, births, reunions, vacations we have to pay for, house buying and so much more.  And we may not be ready, but we don't have a choice. And yet, I bet we all still do it with as much grace and poise as we can. 

I'm sure there will be nights where we hate our jobs because they don't pay us enough so we can pay the bills.  Those will be the nights we pull out our Cornhuskin' DVDs or our Class Day pictures or we look down on our right hand and remember that everyday is a gift. And everyday ends so that a new one can begin. We will find ourselves smiling without even realizing it as we think about that very last 4 am Cornhuskin' practice. And those bills will start to not look so bad. Hopefully. 

And then in five years, heck probably in November, we will back.  To see each other again and catch up. And we will tell each other only about the good days because we won't even remember the bad ones. 

Meredith has been the perfect place for me.  I learned. I grew up. I acted goofy. I figured out who I am as a person.  As I'm getting ready to leave, I have no regrets in coming here.  This place, this Wonderland, has become home. The next three days are busy and hectic. And they will be over before I know it.  So here is to making the most of these days and enjoying every last second. 

Congratulations Class of 2011! 

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous.  Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." - Joshua 1:9