Today, I had what I believe was a pretty perfect day.
I went to bed just.....embarrassingly early last night. It was a Friday night and I was so exhausted that I was in bed by midnight. This morning, I went bridesmaid dress shopping with Kali, Kelly, and Larissa.
Once upon a time, I was an awkward high-schooler who struggled for months to find a prom dress that looked like it could possibly be cinched, pinned, paper-clipped, and otherwise adjusted in time for prom. Each year, I quickly lost my enthusiasm for dress shopping as I went from store to store, my carefully saved money becoming more and more crumpled as I changed out of my clothes for the 30th time in that day, only to be disappointed by yet another ill-fitting dress.
Not only did this put a damper on my prom experience, but it also left me with a gnawing fear that one day, a perfect man will propose to me and I will have to go looking for a wedding dress and none will fit me and I will end up spending a small fortune on a dress that doesn't even fit me, and all because I fell in love.
Today, my confidence was bolstered as I tried on the bridesmaid dresses with Kelly and Larissa. Although I'm not going to be a bridesmaid, it was fun to try on the dresses. Besides that, both of the dresses I tried on fit me amazingly well. I am now confident that one day, when I am engaged, I will be able to find a wedding dress that fits!
After this lovely window shopping excursion, I went to work. I was only there for about two hours, and although no famous people came in, it was still a nice day at work. I put a sign on the tip jar that said: "Tip if you love America!" And we actually did get quite a few tips, so I guess the people here do love America.
Lizzie drove me home from work and I quickly got ready for Stadium of Fire. It was my first time going, and I was beyond excited. I dressed up cowgirl, since Carrie Underwood was the main performer. Winnie kind of picked my outfit (aka, I sent her like 8 pictures and she told me what to wear :) Thank you!!) which ended up being my white skort, red shirt, cowgirl hat, and white boots. I also curled my hair.
Luckily I was able to avoid any and all issues with traffic, since I live at Raintree, so all I had to do was walk down to the stadium. Dahl's family was having a picnic outside of the stadium and gave me some food when I got there. It was delicious! I gave them some barely expired ice cream sandwiches I got from work. I love contributing.
Soon after I got there, it was time to go into the stadium and be seated. I got tickets for Kelly and me for her birthday so we were sitting together. I'm so happy we got to go! The opening acts were all pretty good, but my favorite was Jenny Oaks Baker. She plays the violin, and tonight she played Aaron Copeland's "Rodeo," or parts of it. This was awesome because I played that in orchestra a few years ago!
Jenny Oaks Baker was a beautiful performer. She looked so happy while she played and it was just fun to watch her. She was so comfortable on stage, so pleased to be playing the violin, and of course, so good at it.
The Five Browns also performed. They are a group of five brothers and sisters who all play the piano at the same time. I got one of their CD's a few years ago for Christmas, when I really played the piano more, and I liked it a lot. Watching them live was not something I liked a lot. They played an arrangement that included the theme from Star Wars and, I think, MarioKart. They all played on baby grands arranged in a circle so they were facing one another. But they didn't look at each other, or at the keys. It seemed to me like their eyes were just rolling in all directions. Their heads twitched, their bodies hunched down at times, and then straightened, as they felt the music. I felt uncomfortable and got the impression that they are snobby and wouldn't like the music I listen to.
Besides which, I think they were the most un-American part of the evening. I don't think that Star Wars really defines America. Aaron Copeland is an all-American composer. Carrie Underwood sang her most America-centered songs. The Osmonds sang some of America's favorite songs. We saluted the troops and recited the Pledge of Allegiance. I didn't feel any sense of patriotism when the Browns were playing, even though they were good at the piano. I mean, obviously.
One of my favorite things about the night was when we said the Pledge of Allegiance. Growing up, we would say the Pledge every single day in school, and I would stand to say it, no matter what else I was doing. I have always loved the Pledge, but for some reason, it has recently started to make me reallll emotional. The last two times I've said it, I've gotten teary, just thinking about how much I love America. I think I loved America before I was even born. In fact, I think that is part of why I was born in America, because I loved it so much.
Carrie Underwood sang the National Anthem. Has anyone ever heard a more beautiful song than our nation's anthem? No, you have not. If you think you have, you are wrong.
I was so excited when Carried Underwood came out. Kelly and I were the funnest people in our section. I'm not saying this to brag or because I want more boys to want to take me to concerts because I love them so much and if they take me they will undoubtedly have a fun time, simply by being in my presence. I'm saying this because everyone else in our section was apparently in a competition where the person who looked the most bored was the winner. I'm no expert, but I think the man right next to me was a pretty tough competitor. The entire time that Carrie was on stage, being awesome, he sat with his arms folded across his chest, staring stonily ahead.
But I couldn't be bothered by his behavior, or by anyone else around me. Kelly and I sang along with Carrie the entire time. We were almost recruited to be her backup singers, because we were so good at it. We clapped at all the appropriate times. We were pleased as punch to be there. We were model audience members.
The only thing I would do differently, if I were Carrie, is I would have stayed on-stage for about two hours longer, until I had sung every song I had ever written. I would have had costume changes, too.
I think Carrie Underwood is positively adorable. She invited us to sing along before almost every song. She mentioned God and said that she had been "blessed" and was just "so lucky." She was grateful to the audience. She sang songs about America and about God. I think my favorite was when she sang "Jesus, Take the Wheel," and at the end, sang "How Great Thou Art." It was beautiful! I was thrilled! Yay Carrie!
It's too bad that my invitation to her wedding is still lost in the mail.
After Carrie was done, the fireworks began! It was probably the best fireworks show I have ever seen, in my whole life. They shot off some on the field and some in the sky. They had patriotic music playing. (Kelly and I sang along to 76 Trombones, as well.) It was all very beautiful. The dancers danced again, with some twinkly lights that created a magical effect.
In an effort to alleviate traffic, there was a dance party right outside of the stadium immediately following the fireworks. It was really family-friendly, so there were younger kids, college students, and women with fanny packs all in the crowd. Next year, I plan to go to the dance party whether or not I got to the actual Stadium of Fire. Kelly, Dahl and I danced for a little while before walking back to Raintree.
Do you think we went to bed after that? Oh, nooo, we did not! We went to set off some more fireworks! This was never legal in Maryland, so it was my first time, and it was really fun. Some cops came by to politely request that we not vandalize the model home in front of which we were shooting off the fireworks, joke with us, and then leave. There were three of them. I think they were the Three Nephites because they came out of nowhere, just suddenly walked up to us, and they joked about how we were in trouble for eating skittles when "the fact is, this is actually Fast Sunday, so...."
So I guess, although no famous people came into Coldstone, some famous people diddd approach me on a deserted road at one in the morning. I will consider this night a success.