JDP senior Anna was just 6 years old when I first met her. I actually heard about her long before I met her from my then 6 year old son Tad. He kept talking about a little girl in his first grade class that he he played with and made him laugh. He mentioned that her mom helped in their class and said they looked like they could be brother and sister.
So of course I was eager to meet this little girl. She was over for a playdate and that was the start to a friendship that would connect our families over the last 12 years. The Cook’s help to add the infusion of girl touches to our very boy driven lives around the DiDio ranch! They help us decorate for Christmas, they introduced Tad to pumpkin carving (b/c of my irrational fear of slicing off a finger), they tear up the dance floor with us every New Years, they slice potatoes for hand cut fries on the pool deck and the list goes on of memory making precious times to us! Melissa, Anna’s mom, is still saved in my phone as “Anna’s mom Melissa” even after all these years! 😉
Having watched JDP senior Anna grow from the little pixie with a big smile to a young woman of beauty and strength has been such a joy. To know Anna is to love Anna. She has a flare for the dramatic that keeps her audience in stitches when hanging out and has made her right at home on stage in multiple theater productions over the course of her life.
Her first performance was in Annie and how fitting that the last show of her highschool career will be Annie as well! She’d love to play Lilian St. Regis, Rooster’s girlfriend! Regardless of the role she lands in, she’s be a shining addition to the cast. I’m sure there will be more than a few tears shed closing night!
Her best high school memories have come from her time in shows like Little Mermaid. She’s loved her time in Pocohontas, Bye Bye Birdie and As you Like It as well. She’s been under the choral direction of Mr. Andrews since she was in third grade and can hardly believe her last season is approaching. There’s something about the leaders who wrangle the artistic souls in their charge with a finesse to call out the best in them while encouraging them to take risks. Anna is so multi talented–she sings, dances, plays piano and acts! She’s at home on stage in a way that often surprises her but brings her great joy every time she takes the leap to do so.
Anna is a bit of a perfectionist and holds high standards for herself in pursuit of the goals she has for her life. She thinks she’d like to be a nurse which will be such an incredible gift to those who will be in her care. She loves big and has no issue going toe to toe with anyone when looking out for those she loves.
I still remember the little girl who played rec soccer with Tad, who was always being encouraged to be more physical. Then one day she just executed this amazing footwork to dribble through the entire team to move the ball all the way up the field. We all sat astonished wondering where that came from.
That was a very visible demonstration to never underestimate this young woman. She’s got a fire inside her that is going to light the way for many through this life. Her love for her family, her God and her friends is fierce. Anyone fortunate enough to do life with Anna will know the great love and devotion she has to give. I cannot wait to see what your future holds sweet pea–may the Lord always smile upon you and be your joy through this life!