sketchbook: maybe i’ll be a ghost. or maybe not.

I swear this post has an art-related angle. Or at least, I’m gonna pretend it does 😉

I had grandiose plans last week. In addition to Hannah’s True North logo, I’d applied for a Craigslist gig to be a children’s book ghost illustrator.

By Tuesday (…tomorrow…), I have to generate two illustrations in a particular style to get to the next step of the application. And my very forward-thinking “plan” had been to finish the first on Saturday night, and do the majority of the second on Sunday.

Because my only other plans for Saturday was to meet up with my mom and bridesmaids for lunch and a movie. (Beauty and the Beast!!!!) We’d be done by like 6:30, and I’d have plenty of time to paint. Right? I mean, it’s just lunch and a movie.

It wasn’t just lunch and a movie.

There’s so much I could say about what actually happened. I wrote it all down, but it was even longer than this novelesque entry, so it shall not be posted. From taking the wrong turn on the highway and seeing my fiance trying to sneak past me, to forgetting which restaurant I was supposed to go to, to not having my ID and almost not being let into the movie theater – it was a ridiculous day.

And I didn’t see it coming, at all.

When my friend Amanda and I got to the restaurant, the lady at the desk was supposed to lead us to our reserved table. Except she didn’t stop at a table; she headed toward a door at the back of the restaurant. My brain is really slow most of the time, so I wondered why my mom had booked a separate room for just the five of us.

But I didn’t have much time to wonder. I walked in, and that slow brain of mine practically screeched to a halt.

It wasn’t just the five of us.

My mom was there, of course. As was Vicki, my maid of honor, and Jessie, my other bridesmaid.

And my dad. And Cassie from the gym. And all my girlfriends from the Collective. And my closest coworkers. And my cousin and her daughter. And a “She Said Yes” banner in the corner.

My brain slowly clunked through, one by one recognizing faces and piecing it together, each new face registering another level of omggggg-ness. Meanwhile, I think I was squealing. I almost backed out the door, my hands over my mouth, as everyone smiled and laughed and cheered and videoed.

For a while, I honestly wasn’t sure what to do – normally I’d go to someone and hug them – but where the heck do I start??? It was an entire room full of people I love and I had no idea how to begin hugging all of them.

So I started with my mom.

I couldn’t believe it. I literally had just that week asked Geoff if he knew if I’d get a bridal shower, or if, ya know, it was too close to the wedding and oh well. He’d told me to talk to the girls when I saw them on Saturday.

I think this answered my question.

I went around the room, hugging everyone. I ended with dragging Vicki off the chair (where she was recording the whole thing) and giving her a hug. This girl had just taken a huge test that same morning, and somehow loved me enough to pull all of this together with the help of my mom (who’s simply fantastic), and Amanda (who convinced me to drive up with her so apparently she could keep an eye on me), and Jessie (who I’d practically given a heart attack that week by trying to reschedule the timing of this “lunch and a movie”).

And just as I thought I’d gotten through it, Geoff and the kids walked in. They’d been on their way here to surprise me too, when I’d gone and almost ruined the surprise by seeing them on the road.

It was ridiculous. I’m still floating.

And I consider it an excellent reason to not get home until after 9:30 p.m. and not get any painting done that night. And I’ll use it as my excuse for being distracted the next day and not getting much painting done that day either.

And if I don’t get those ghost illustrations finished in time for the Craigslist gig, I will survive.

Art projects are cool. But my gosh, feeling this loved by friends who somehow pulled off a genuine surprise bridal shower… I don’t even have the words. <3

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