We realized at the beginning of the tennis season there would be a conflict with the state tennis tournament and prom if we advanced to the semi-finals. But that was so far in the future there was no need to worry about it. As the regular season came to an end and the tournament bracket was created, the possibility of a conflict grew exponentially – but there wasn’t much we could do except let it play out. At the end of tournament play on Friday night, we knew we had to make a plan for Saturday. She was scheduled for the quarterfinals in the morning and semi-finals were the same afternoon – an hour away from home. After some detailed calculations we realized if she made it to the semi-finals, the only way she had a chance of making it to her prom pictures (which is important to a senior girl) is if she brought everything with her to the match to get ready for prom.

When we got to the tennis center that morning, we found they had a shower and a mirror so we had a plan for our worst case scenario! Luckily, after winning in the morning, we made a few phone calls and found a friend of a friend who didn’t live too far from the tennis center who kindly offered their home to Hallie to get ready for the dance.

After losing in the semi-finals, she took a short moment to grieve her loss and then we rushed her over to get showered and changed and dolled up. We were so grateful to this mother who opened her home to us – she was our lifesaver that day.

Hallie’s time to get ready was short and before long we were back out the door driving to downtown Phoenix to meet up with her group who was already together shooting photos. She didn’t like her hair – it wasn’t really prom worthy. Her eyes were still a little red and swollen from the tears earlier. She was still hot and sunburned from the previous 48 hours. And she was exhausted – rightfully so.

But when she showed up – those friends celebrated her beautifully. (In fact, they were the same friends who showed up the day before at the state match). They cheered for her as she walked up and there were hugs all around. She got there just in time to shoot some photos before the party bus took them all to dinner.

These friends lifted her spirits and there was a pep in her step as she hugged me before making her way to the bus.

They had the best time – just like I knew they would. They have such a good energy and never seem to have troubles having fun. Of course, she came home and crashed the next day – she used what little energy she had left at prom and by Sunday she was done!

And I can’t forget the creative way he asked! She was gone one afternoon and she came home to quite the surprise.

And to answer, she was waiting on top of his house when he got home from work one day.