my favorite laugh.

When Evan finished his first semester of—official—nursing school, I did a little celebratory dance for the occasion.

And—of course—I watched the video over and over, because I’m addicted to that laugh. The beginning of this journey feels like so. long. ago. Because it’s been a really long journey—this whole Evan-in-Nursing-School thing. He has worked nights at a local restaurant to make it all work financially. He has pulled multiple all-nighter to study, write, and make it all work academically. He has been there for me as a husband, friend, and teammate. I’m amazed and impressed. And SO PROUD.

So for the end of his LAST semester in nursing school, I had an idea. On a trip with Allison, I told her about my idea to lip-synch a mutually beloved Drake song for Evan. Her response: “Well, obviously, I should do the Nicki Minaj part.” [this—and many more reasons—is why I love her so.] So we proceeded to have a weekend in Jackson where I relived my best middle school sleepovers and recorded MANY music videos. [the best. the funniest.]

So we went for it. And then we thought, “Maybe this would be even MORE fun if we asked some of Evan’s friends to participate.”

Evan was officially done with classes on Thursday and we were both just so ecstatic. Ev had to work Friday night, so I set it all up. I wrote on our chalkboard, “YOU DID IT!” I left him a card…

omg_youre_done_2

…with a bottle of whisky. The card included the reference, “I want some whisky!” which was from the night Evan found out he was accepted to Montana State University’s accelerated nursing program. A bookend bottle of whisky. [note: that post ALSO includes a strong Drake reference.]

I tried to stay up and wait for Evan, surprise him with all this love and then surprise him with this video I had waiting.

But I fell asleep on the couch. And could not be awoken. It was a long day!

So the next morning, I was shakey and excited and nervous and just wanted to show Evan this video. This ah-mazing video that our friends made so incredible.

So we were drinking coffee and I said to Evan, “Ohhh noooo… shit! I just got some bad feedback on a video I’ve been working on for FIB.” [lies.] [also, FIB = First Interstate Bank… a regular client.]

He was bummed for me. [gotta love him.] I asked if he’d watch the video with me and tell me what he thought of it. He stopped working on bikes to gladly watch. I set up my computer to secretly record on the coffee table [black tape over the Photobooth light, brightness turned alllll the way down so the screen is black… you’re welcome].

Oh my goodness. That laugh. So much of that laugh. Worth all the late nights. All the hard weeks. All the shitty months. All the alone togetherness. All the tears. Worth it.

I love it. I love him. I love this laugh. I love this video. Don’t even try to make me stop watching it thousands of times over.

[and all I can say is…]

results are almost.

so many things are just so bright. [the excitement inside.]

first off, get excited with me. listen to this song and dance through the rest of reading this…

i am working on final projects for my first semester of grad school… eee! it feels so right. filled with creative energy, i want to create, collaborate with everyone. let’s do this.

graphics i’ve worked on lately:

made that for a work blahg post.

i made this for my dear friend jared’s 30th birthday. he’s very mountainous. i bet he does have birds living in his beard. wouldn’t surprise me one bit.

new Smeethens Home visitor tradition:

i’ve seen this movie twice in the last two weeks:

it was even better the second time. obviously, i recommend it.

okay, now listen to this song and then kiss the one you love. if you can’t find any lips that press back, dance hard and smile… results are almost identical:

[get it.]

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

to celebrate, let me show you some of my favorites…

this will always be the most hilarious halloween video ever made:

i definitely held true to this theorya of halloween costumes…

since i went as billie jean king and my bearded manfriend went as bobby riggs…


i don’t know how i feel about how easily identifiable i was as billie… but at least i wasn’t explaining my costume all night.

also, my mom’s very favorite halloween joke: https://rachellaurenmarie.wordpress.com/2009/10/31/my-moms-favorite-halloween-joke/

and then there’s this. not exactly halloweenie, but eerie in the best way. it’s a long video, and i think i’ve posted it before, and yes, it’s forever long, but i love it:

[happy halloween, lovelies!]

ghetto hikes and ghetto bikes and polica.

In an effort to blahg more, here I am.

It’s just because I want to share more.  I sit at a computer all day, almost every day, and I find all of these things and want to share with someone, laugh with someone, dance with someone.

And so my effort starts here.  Sharing more.

This is the funniest thing I’ve seen lately: Ghetto Hikes.

My favorite, thus far…

From Ghetto Hikes, to Ghetto Bikes…

I am constantly amazed at how awesome bikes are… what they do for different people.  The same vehicle, so different to everyone.

And then this song, because I love it…

[okay, two… i very much love this band…]

[haters gone hate. blahggers gone blahg.]

rogue deer wandering.

Anna and I have been friends since the days of Alpinist magazine.

We lived in the Swamp House together, with her gorgeous sisters, awesome boyfriend [dan], and random interns…

We’ve been on many an adventure to Yosemite, danced on tables in Vegas, made tons of Valentines for loved ones together, ran together, skied together, laughed together, cried together, moved together, grown together… I couldn’t think of my life without miss Anna Davis… and her ah-mazing pick of a partner, Dan… who has taught me so much as an awesome friend and always played the role of [fun] big brother when needed.  [side note: no one rollerblades faster than dan abraham.]

So, when I found out that Dan and Anna were tying the knot, not only did I insist on making them some sweet Save-the-Dates…


…but I really was gunning to be IN the wedding.  I’ve told Dan and Anna [“danna”] this since the beginning.  I just love them so much!  And I was there when they started living together!

So, when I asked Anna who her officiant would be, she said, “I’m not sure… but Dan is taking applications.”  And I jumped at the opportunity!

I sent the following to Dan…

[note of disclaimer: these documents are filled with inside-jokes and a few things that could maybe maybe be found offensive to certain peoples… but were only said in grasps for humor. enjoy!]

“In Regards to the Open Officiant Position

Dear Mr. Abraham,

How many weddings have you been to?  What?  I can’t hear you.  People who have been to more than fifteen weddings can’t hear when people try to talk about attending under ten weddings.  It’s science.

In attending these 15+ wedding ceremonies (and being in most of them), I’ve become quite the expert at how they are supposed to go.  And, sure, I’ve had my criticisms:

• Too much crying.

• Too much cleavage.

• Wait, are you kidding?  We’re singing?

• Too long.

• Too many children.

• Not enough attractive groomsmen.

• Where are the little cups of wine that are usually passed around?

But I believe that those criticisms have helped me grow as a potential officiant of your wedding.  And although I would love for you to have a ceremony just like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-94JhLEiN0 , I will cater to your wishes for this very special ceremony… Plus, I know you guys are more of a Lil’ Wayne couple.

Attached, you will find a résumé listing all of my qualifications for this coveted position.  I will give you a call later in the week to follow up with you.  Please feel free to call or email me if you have any questions.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Rachel Stevens”



And I thought I was just hi-larious.  I thought I had won… no matter if I got the gig or not.  But then, I was just sitting at work [in MIssoula] and got up to check my office mailbox [which is miles away from Jackson… where Anna and Dan live], when I found the following folded up in my mailbox.  Unbelievable!  How did she do it?!


[note: the highlighting and note were obviously added later… when scanned in and emailed back.]



I really cannot wait to be a part of the ceremony of such good friends declaring that they’re in it for the long haul.


Precious, exciting times ahead!


anna and myself canoeing on string lake, summer 2011, photo courtesy of miss grecious.

we embrace our love/friendship and go.

This weekend has been brutal.

Why?  Oh, because my whole Texas-dwelling family was privileged enough to attend the Austin City Limits Festival.

Brutal?  Because I couldn’t be there with them.

Convincing my brother to go see Pretty Lights:

…and getting back a rave review.

Having texts sent throughout the days of favorite songs by favorite artists and then at night, being sent videos from “the youtube” to show just how incredible certain shows were… painful.  I love my family so much and I love Austin so much and I love live music so much… aww, man!  [bratty pitty party going on here.]

And though I was bumming, I smiled all weekend at the thought of how much fun my fam was having.  I loved every little bit of sharing they did with me… helping me feel like I was there… like I was remembered/loved/there in spirit.

My favorite thing that I got from my family this weekend was an email from my dad, received last night, that hardly mentions any music… but, somehow, he captures a music festival [the joy] perfectly…

“freebie field trench reporter:

     It was a perfect day, no hypebole intended.  We all had free ACL passes, Stevie Wonder & 25 other major acts in attendance.  We had clouds, a miracle in itself, then RAIN: are you kidding?  My oldest & dearest Tx Chainsaw Massacre house roomates/friends (77′) let us park in their driveway 4 blocks away from the entrance.  They are so dear & kind & just returned from a badly needed vacation in Maui where Mom&I honeymooned/recovered in 81′.  We embrace our love/friendship and go.

    Walking downhill in that wonderful old S Austin neighborhood with various parties ‘goin’ on’ ,10 minutes later we are going thru the front gate in a lite rain & its NOT 105 degrees under unmerciful sun hoping that someone doesn’t throw a butt on the ground to start a fire.  Miraculously pleasant compared to the last 6 months of biblical Drought.

    We hook up with other couple whose kid also ditched ’em, and have a great & wonderful time. 10hrs later our kids decide they need a ride home.  We reunite & head out with 60,000 other people walking down the street, goin home, shuttle, aftershow, bar, club, or wherever.

     We take a right uphill turn apart from the herd. Its been a long & glorious day with less than usual severe physical demands under the elements, but yet we are tired & we trudge to return to our car, uphill.  Mom has been doing fantastic all day with her leg endurance but now she voices concern as we go straight uphill.  She takes my arm for support.

    “I have some good news & some…….”  Good news is the1st part is straight up & the hardest, Bad news is its all uphill.   We trudge.
    We crest the hill to take an immediate left turn & there is a party ‘goin on’ at the first house we see at the top of the hill.  As we turn, on the curb on the right is a group of people mostly young women holding a bottle of whiskey saying ‘show us a tit & get a sip, men included’.

    I immediately lift up my bright yellow tshirt & get my sip and Mom & Ry move over to the other side of the street & don’t talk to me for the next block.

    It was a great hike back & so much family fun, how many times can you say that.  A pleasant drive home with a phone call from you to add to that.”

And in about ten minutes, they’ll be watching my all-time fave, Arcade Fire, and I’ll be listening to “The Suburbs” in my kitchen, drinking wine, being there in spirit, dancing, singing, embracing the love/friendship.

just drop your dress a little bit…

When I lived in Australia, Skyping with my family was the sunshine for me.  Seeing my family was great, needed… but my daddy really stole the stage.

He would have a pile of props [unseen from the shot] and use them in a conversation filled with more puns than your own dad has used in all his life in that one conversation.  Example…

– Now, Rocky, I’m not HORSIN’ around…

[picks up a toy horse and makes it gallop across the screen.]

– Your mom and I have been going HOG-wild at the thought of talking to you.

[makes a stuffed pig and shakes it in front of the screen.]

And I would try not to laugh [old teenage instinct], but I couldn’t help myself… and I could hear my momma not helping herself in the background… her laugh making the room brighter.

Oh, how thankful I was for that webcam.  And I remember that webcam well… I remember the day [to night] I installed it very vividly… what a pain that was.

Cursing under my breath like no one would believe…

– How old is this sh*tty computer!?  Did we even have f**king moving-pictures when this damn thing was made?!

New parts, new programs, updates, taking apart some things, putting some things together… and then, HOURS later… voilá!  It worked!

Thank god.

So, when I saw this video, I immediately thought of my parents.  In 25 years, if I’m not in the vicinity to offer up my cursing-filled help, and my parents need to install a new webcam in their “vacation home”, this is what that will look like…

I love you, Momma and Daddy.

Let’s Skype soon.