Aug 20, 2015

"she lives — no, she thrives." // johanna // senior photos

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let me tell you the story of a girl who was brave as she was kind. 
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a quiet storm that is going to change the world.

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johanna and i went on our traditional tea at the teahouse on the los rios in san juan capistrano. instead of squealing over the baby succulents and the gold rimmed tea cups on the white table clothes, we greeted them like old friends, asking "has it already been a year?" we talked of our previous visits to the tea house and about taking our someday-highly-probable-tomboyish children to tea {because, let's face it, life is ironic}, imagining their chagrin as we pat napkins to clean their pudgy cheeks and their sour faces as they sip apricot tea. marriage and someday-families are not as foreign, fairy-tale conversation topics as they were before. the conversation died down, and we closed our eyes when the sun dappled through the trees to fully savor one moment of time standing still. it's a funny thing when you grow older — how one feels pressed between the fading past and a weighty future, always trying to hold on to something that's tangible.
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we laugh now because most of our friendship is made up of "how on earth did THAT happen?" moments. to this day, she doesn't remember how exactly she found this little spot of the blogging world. I remember first clicking onto Johanna's site five years ago and gathering the courage to ask to become pen pals with "the old fashioned girl." a year later i met her in person; two years later i spent a week with her and her family — a rather unorthodox tradition that has yet to be broken. and five years later after many blog comments, letters, packages, Skype calls, FaceTime calls, iMessages, Disneyland trips, handfuls of three-hour long-distance phone calls, three week annual visits, a yosemite adventure, and four years of high school later; we're here. i've had the pleasure of following this young lady's journey from being a twelve-year-old homeschool impromptu speecher to her becoming a stunning state champion dramatic interper. and while maybe we haven't been together in person to experience the "big" moments of our lives, we've been there for each other. i think that's what i love best about her: she makes me realize i'm not alone in anything. we're in this together. 
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i think people are often surprised when i say that my best friend and i have known each other through high school even after 300 to 3000 miles have separated us. but if they honestly knew this gem, they'd instantly recognize people like her aren't ones that you simply let go. despite the growing pains. despite the distance. despite the busyness. despite all that this life likes to throw at you. you hold onto them. no matter what. 

sometimes you see God's fingerprints, sticky and blatant on people who touch our lives.  
that's what i see when i think of her
johanna, you're going to move mountains in college.
we're in this together, okay? 
xx // your almond joy 


  1. what stunning pictures & young lady!

    and your friendship journey together is quite sweet + amazing!!!

  2. Lovely pictures! I thought that looked like San Juan Capistrano:)
    I always love your posts about/with Johanna. What a sweet, sweet friendship to treasure!

  3. oh oh oh! this is so lovely and heartfelt and true. despite the growing pains. how true. ♥ xx

  4. You have some SERIOUS talent. YOu are so gifted.
    your blog design is the cutest, by the way!