In today’s day and age, selfies reign supreme. In fact, how many selfies have you taken today? One? Two? Ten? Well, we don’t judge – we know just how hard it is to get those angles, get that lighting, and get that selfie on point. Known as the ‘self-portrait’ photograph, the selfie has reinvented the photograph game.
Rather than giving your camera to a complete stranger and hoping they don’t run off with it, you can get an awesome picture of yourself by the tap of a smartphone. Yes, it’s as easy as that! As well as giving us the chance to show off our brand new highlighter, selfies have also given us the chance to communicate on a deeper form.
No, we don’t talk about the meaning of life at 2 am with our best pals and our smartphones, but we can communicate with these selfies in a different way to talking in person. After all, that’s what Snapchat is all about. We can have conversations about nothing and everything through a simple selfie, we can make our exes jealous with selfies on Instagram, and we can even send selfies through the likes of iMessage and WhatsApp. The opportunity for selfies is endless, but one of the most heartwarming uses of the humble selfie is that we can use these photographs to communicate with those who are further away than we would like.
We can send a message and a photograph to our friends and family as we travel the world and find ourselves in the souks of Morocco. We can send photographs to our pen-pals who have slowly but surely become social media pals, and we can even surprise our family members with epic photographs – just like the one in this story. In an attempt to surprise her daughter at college, one mom decided to take a selfie of herself lying on her bed. In her eyes, it was harmless. However, when her daughter noticed that something wasn’t quite right about the selfie, the whole situation took a turn…
The humble selfie
Ahhhh, the humble selfie. Does it get much better than finding the perfect lighting and using the perfect filter to create the selfie of dreams? We think not. Over the years, selfies have been used more and more to communicate with others. Perhaps you’re traveling the world and updating your family on your exploits, perhaps you’re studying in another country and want to check in with your friends, or perhaps you’re trying to surprise your daughter while she’s at college. That’s exactly what one mom decided to do in May 2016, but she had no idea that the selfie she took on her daughter’s bed was not as innocent as she thought. In fact, the truth is so much more intriguing…
The mom in question
However, to truly understand this question we need to learn a little more about the mom in question. Who is she? Why did she take the selfie? What was so unusual about the selfie? Well, we think it’s about time we said hello to Deanna Pilling! As a New York City native, Deanna is used to living in the city with its fast pace and its people. Yet, one day the mom-of-four decided that she wanted to escape the city for the day and help out one of her daughters. She decided to make the round-trip to Utah State University to bring her daughter back from college for the summer. Little did she know that her trip wouldn’t be as fool-proof as she thought.
A doting daughter
Of course, no mother daughter story would be complete without another character, so we now have the pleasure of meeting Deanna Pilling’s daughter, McKenna! After being raised through The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, McKenna knew from a young age that she wanted to devote her life to God and do his work. Because of this, she is now known as Sister McKenna Pilling of the LDS Church and is spending her time working as a missionary for the church. In fact, she is currently working in Las Vegas to spread the word of God.
A college experience
However, McKenna hasn’t always been Sister McKenna Pilling. She joined the church as a missionary in January 2017 and had previously studied at college. In 2015, McKenna enrolled at Utah State University and intended to embark on a course that would set her up for a professional career. Although she enjoyed her college experience, McKenna soon realized that she had a higher purpose in life, so applied to become a missionary. Her application was accepted, so McKenna needed to move out of her dorm. This is where Deanna comes in…
A heartwarming surprise
Deanna Pilling was excited for the new journey that her daughter was embarking on, and she wanted to give her a helping hand. So, without giving her any prior warning, Deanna decided to drive across to Utah from New York City and surprise her daughter. She wanted to help her daughter pack up her things, and she wanted to drive McKenna back home to the Big Apple with her. In her eyes, it was going to be a heartwarming surprise that would make her daughter happy. Unfortunately, things didn’t exactly go to plan.
Because it was a fairly long drive and Deanna wanted to spend as much time with her daughter as possible, she decided to set off early and surprise McKenna in the morning. She knew that it would take them a while to pack up all of her daughter’s things, and she knew it would take them a while to carry it all to the car. She wanted to ensure that everything was perfect and that things went down without a hitch. Despite all of this planning, it wasn’t long before Deanna encountered her first problem.
An empty room
In fact, Deanna was shocked to see that McKenna’s room had already been stripped bare. Although she had planned to spend a few hours making sure that all of her daughter’s posters, decorations and belongings were perfectly stowed away, she soon realized that she didn’t have to worry about that at all! McKenna had seemingly been proactive and had already packed away her things. The walls were clean, the decorations were down, and the floor was covered in boxes. She was amazed that her daughter had prepared herself for coming home so early.
All by herself
Because she had arrived so early, Deanna didn’t know what to do. The room was clean, the boxes were all ready to go, and her daughter was nowhere to be seen. She was all by herself. To pass the time, Deanna decided to have a little lie-down and chill out until her daughter arrived. So, she jumped onto her daughter’s bed and got herself nice and comfortable. The mom wasn’t done just yet, though. She knew that she needed to hurry her daughter along, and she had the perfect plan.
The perfect selfie
To start off the surprise for her daughter, Deanna fluffed up her hair, put on her best smile, and took a selfie of herself lying on McKenna’s bed. She then decided to send the photograph to her daughter through iMessage, to give her a little hint that she was not back home in the Big Apple, but was instead waiting in her dorm room in Utah. To accompany this perfect selfie, Deanna sent a message saying “Look where I am” and asking her daughter where she was on campus. She just wanted to see McKenna.
The dorky mom
When McKenna received the selfie and the message from her mom, she was completely taken aback – and her next message proved that! However, McKenna was also not too surprised. Over the course of her life, McKenna’s mom has built up a reputation for herself as a “dorky mom” who is always finding herself in trouble. She often gets lost whenever she is walking or driving somewhere new, she often leaves the price tag on new clothing, and like many parents, she just cannot understand how to use technology! But this time she had gone the extra mile…
A little weird
In fact, during an interview with TODAY after the incident, Deanna spoke a little more about her personality and the situations she can often find herself in. In this interview, Deanna noted that she was like “The Absent-Minded Professor.” Although she has a big heart, she often lacks common sense and general knowledge of the modern world. She also noted that she often gets herself into weird and wonderful situations without meaning to, and often has to deal with the repercussions. It sounds like a load of fun and games in the Pilling household!
Laughing at herself
Although Deanna has noted that often gets herself into unfortunate circumstances, she has learned to live with this aspect of herself. This fun-loving mother has been able to laugh off some of the weird and wonderful exploits that have come her way, and she has been able to move on from them. It’s a good thing this is the case because it takes someone with a strong head on their shoulders to look past the disastrous selfie that Deanna took on her daughter’s bed. At least, that’s what she thought she was doing.
An unusual response
When Deanna sent the selfie to her daughter, she expected a surprised and elated response. After all, McKenna had no idea that she had driven all the way to Utah to pick her up! However, Deanna has since learned that situations don’t always work out in the way that you think they will, because the mom did not receive a warm or excited response from McKenna. Instead, it was a confused and intrigued response. As soon as Deanna looked down at her phone and read her daughter’s reply, she knew that something had gone drastically wrong…
Deanna stared at her phone and couldn’t believe what she was seeing. Instead of being excited at the prospect of her mom lying on her bed, McKenna was confused. After all, she was lying in her own bed! She was celebrating the end of exams by chilling out in her dorm and waiting to go home when she received the text from her mom stating that she was supposedly in her bed. So, how could McKenna and her mom both be in her bed at the same time?! It was at this moment that the reality of the situation dawned on McKenna.
A knowing plea
McKenna hoped that her realization was all just a horrible dream, but she decided to check with her mom anyway. So, she text her with a tentative “Please tell me that you’re not in someone else’s dorm.” McKenna just couldn’t wrap her head around the situation at hand and was worried that one of her friends or fellow college students would walk in to see her mother on their bed. She couldn’t even think of how embarrassing that would be and waited impatiently for her mother to reply to her text message.
A dreaded realization
As Deanna took in her surroundings and read the news that her daughter was safely tucked away in her own dorm, she came to a dreaded realization. She was in the wrong dorm! She had spent the past few minutes lying on a complete stranger’s bed and taking photographs of herself in the room of someone she didn’t even know. What made the situation even more bizarre was the fact that she walked past other students in the dorm and said hello to them, believing that they were McKenna’s dorm-mates…
A mishmash of emotions
By the time Deanna had fully taken in her situation, she had already run out of the dorm room in a wave of panic. She was feeling a mishmash of emotions and was panicking about what could have happened. What if someone had walked into their room and saw her lying on their bed? What if she had waited there all day for her daughter? Deanna started to feel sick, so new it was the best idea to leave the room as soon as possible to get to safety – and her daughter’s real dorm room!
Finding the real deal
After intruding on someone else’s dorm room, Deanna knew that she had to actually find her daughter’s room. So, she wandered around campus and tried to locate McKenna. After a tour of the campus, Deanna eventually stumbled upon McKenna in her room. The pair ran into each other’s arms and hugged it out. Neither of them could believe what the heck had happened to them in the past hour or so, and McKenna couldn’t believe that her mother was actually standing in front of her. It had been a whirlwind adventure, but it wasn’t over just yet…
A social media storm
When the initial shock of their situation calmed down, McKenna and Deanna started to see just how hilarious their situation was. In fact, McKenna was so bowled over by their experience that she decided to share a screenshot of her mom’s text on Twitter. Although McKenna expected the Tweet to be a hit with her 1,427 followers, she didn’t expect it to cause a social media storm. Since posting the Tweet on May 5, 2016, McKenna’s tweet has since rocked up more than 40,000 likes and over 19,000 retweets!
An incredible goodbye
After her mom surprised her in her dorm room, McKenna said goodbye to college and said hello to her missionary work. It was an incredible goodbye to her college life, and was definitely an experience that would help her remember her college days with a full heart and a full body of embarrassment! Nevertheless, it was a situation that she would never forget, and one that showed her just how amazing her mom was – even if she was a little dorky at times! It was a hilarious moment to remember.
So we already acknowledged that the story of her mother’s selfie went viral went they took it back in 2016 – but why? Was it just because her mom was accidentally in someone else’s dorm, or was there another reason? Perhaps the reason it got so much attention was because people thought there might have been something accidentally inappropriate in the picture. Something tells us people thought her mom sent McKenna something she didn’t intend to…
The big return
But enough about why the photo went viral… the fact of the matter is that it was hilarious, and people enjoyed the story. 18 months later, it’s time to catch up on the life of McKenna. In fact, this picture was actually taken very recently, when McKenna finally returned home from Las Vegas. She said that Vegas would have her heart forever, but that she was happy to see her parents again. And when you see this picture, how could she not be?
21 on 21
It turns out that McKenna actually just turned 21, and that her birthday is on August 21st. As a result, she wrote the witty and appropriate caption for this Instagram picture, “21 on 21… thanks for the all the birthday wishes!” As she stands proudly in front of the Manhattan New York Temple Church of Latter Day Saints, it seems like no accident that she chose this picture to post on her birthday. Her faith means so much to her.
But for all of you young men out there who have been writing lovelorn songs over this young lady, you may have to hold your horses there for a second. And that’s because she actually has a boyfriend, one who she’s actually been with for quite a long time now. His name is Jordan, and the pair have a number of cozy Instagram pictures together. If you don’t believe us, you are more than welcome to check them out for yourself.
It might be fate
If you were doubting the legitimacy of McKenna and Jordan’s relationship before, something tells us you won’t doubt it now. It’s always cute when a couple gets put on the jumbotron for the Kiss Cam segment, but let’s be real: no one ever expects it to happen to them. But apparently these two lovebirds indeed have something really special, because they were lucky enough to be chosen by the jumbotron, and shared a big kiss for the entire arena to see.
Everyone needs themself a good bestie, and if there’s one thing we haven’t mentioned in this article, it’s the bestie of McKenna. Her name is Maddie, and these two clearly are quite fond of one another. When McKenna posted this picture on her Instagram, she wished her friend Maddie a happy birthday, and thanked her for being the best roommate. She also thanked her for going on a summer Eurotrip with her. Clearly these girls have a sisterly love that will last through the ages.
Aboard the Knight Bus
McKenna wrote that she “took the Knight Bus to Hogwarts today.” Of course, any Harry Potter fanatic would mention that the Knight Bus typically doesn’t take people to Hogwarts – the Hogwarts Express does. Either way, it’s clear that McKenna is a diehard Harry Potter fan, and if any fan of the series thought she was cool before, chances are she just became even cooler. She may even give the likes of Hermione Granger a run for her money.
Empire state of mind
Everyone needs a little bit of a city spirit in their lives, and let’s just say that McKenna has got the spirit by the truckload. She is a hardcore New Yorker through and through, which you can tell obviously by her Yankee hat, and the fact that she’s surrounded by folks wearing Yankee hats. The truth is that if there’s one city with residents that swell with pride over their town, it’s New York. They don’t call it the city that never sleeps for nothing.
Social media star
It would appear that even though McKenna’s viral story garnered a lot of attention because of its hilariousness, there may be another reason why people are so interested in hearing about it. Is it possible that people think she has what it takes to be in show business? Not everyone has a flair for taking good quality Instagram pictures such as these, and it’s very possible we could have a rising social media star on our hands.
Even though we’ve heard a lot about McKenna’s affinity for the Church, we haven’t heard much about what she likes to do for fun. Something tells us that this beach photo was taken well before she started her mission in Vegas, but if there’s one thing we can be sure of, it’s that this girl knows how to relax. There is pure serenity etched in her face here, and if she takes any of that positive energy to her other endeavors in life, we expect great things from her!