Thursday, February 10, 2011

i have awesome friends and family.

this past weekend was by far one of the best weekends everrr. my mom has apparently been scheming a surprise party for quite sometime. since she is not a good liar at all, i knew something was going on, but i never in a million years thought it would be this.

on friday night i was woken up at two in the morning. i had taken my contacts out and i am blind without them, no exaggeration. i was surrounded by a crowd of blobs. my initial reaction was that i was about to be robbed and tortured by gang members, but when the camera started flashing i was able to make out the figures. my friends from college were in my room in virginia! four of my best friends from college drove from tennessee to come see me before i left. i moved back home after graduating from school in tennessee so my opportunities to see my friends are few and far between. luckily my sister was available to play paparazzi and this was my reaction (excuse the 2am fashion and hair):

after getting all my friends settled in i assumed that this had been the surprise my mom had been trying so hard to keep from me. we all went to lunch the next day with my mom and dad and then the girls and i went shopping. after shopping my friends said we should stop at my mom's house to pick up the playstation so we could play american idol karaoke. never one to turn down an opportunity to belt it out, i wholeheartedly agreed. when i got to my mom's place i could not find parking anywhere, but since i am not the brightest bulb in the box, i didn't realize something else was going on until i saw the giant kazakhstan flag hanging from my parent's front porch. i could see my mom inside the window flashing pictures. (can't you just see her sneakiness). i walked inside to find a house full of friends and family:

unbelievable. once i got in the door i realized that my two best friends from home were sitting in the living room. one had flown all the way from colorado for 24 hours to see me (i still choke up at this) & the other drove down from philly. this was my lovely and most attractive reaction to seeing them:

we have been best friends since i was 2! it was at this point that i made a beeline for the kitchen to try and hold back the tears. (see what i mean? awesome friends and family). luckily my bf's dad was in the kitchen to help me pull it together. thank you mr. mazzella! (those of you who know me well know that i am no crier. my sister got mad at me for not even crying in my sister's keeper) i was then able to take in the awesome decorations, sunflowers and kazakhstan! (shout out to pops for finding kazakhstan flags galore, including pins for everyone to wear! & to mrs. hill for lending her beautiful russian dolls!) they really outdid themselves:

there was tons of delicious food. my parents printed out maps of kazakhstan and hung them around the room. they also printed my training address onto hot pink envelopes for everyone to take, along with a packet of sunflower seeds that encouraged prayers and love for me on my adventure! to top it off my mom had all my friends print out pictures of us together and put them together in a journal. everyone wrote me a little inspirational note inside the journal to cheer me up if i am feeling blue. simply fabulous. i also got loaded up with tons of goodies for kazakhstan. i am lucky to have so many great teachers in my life because i wouldn't even know where to being with school supplies. i now have a full collection complete with tips!

honestly one of the most emotional and enjoyable moments of my life.

these are my best friends from home. 21 years of friendship makes for incredible stories and beautiful memories. i am truly blessed.

these are my girlfriends from college. i am always stunned with how lucky i am to have the most amazing friends in the world. we had a great time catching up this weekend. from listening to brandis sing one karaoke song after another at a volume that no human should reach to taking "my last picture in america" in front of the staute of liberty at red robin it was a moment of relief and love that i needed amongst the stress of packing and goodbyes. we even took the opportunity to put up a stunt before we get too old. (holly watched and laughed saying no to being tossed in the air, much like college. =)

back to the harder stuff,


  1. I don't even know you and I teared up reading about how much your friends and family love and support you! Good luck during your service. I know you will truly be missed by all the people in your life!

  2. Hope I post this correctly this time! Emily, I am SO impressed at the way you bounced right back after a horrible lesson day, and you were able to find JOY later that day. Many people let the down times keep them down, beating themselves up. I'm quite certain that is not what our Heavenly Father would ask of us. Life is too precious to allow a day to be TOTALLY ruined, and you've found that secret, dear girl. I pray that you will pick up the Kazik language with great leaps and bounds, and that barrier will begin to dissapate. You are doing phenomenal work, and I know you make your Mamma proud! Much love - Kate Mauck, from Hollywood, Maryland