Oh wise people of Groupthink, I did indeed survive my first tattoo appointment, just as you predicted.
While I was halfway to the studio they called and asked to push the appointment back an hour. Peachy recommended an excellent place in the neighborhood so I got a tasty burger before I went in. Then I found I had lost my ID and had to call my dad (whom I haven't lived with for years) to dig up an old photocopy of my passport and text me a picture. Crisis averted.
We went over the design, since I hadn't seen it drawn out yet. Then I spent a full 2.5 hours under the needle with only one little break to look at it. We did the whole outline and almost all the shading. I'm so impatient to see it finished!
At the next appointment we add color to the thistles and put the pictures on the book pages. Then I have final in February for any leftovers.
The pages will have a bee & a stalk of wheat to represent my maternal grandparents, a fish and a butterfly for my paternal grandparents, and a rose and a hummingbird for my god mothers. The design is so cool because I can add onto to it in any direction with more pages with other things that are important to me. I absolutely love it!
Thank you all for your support and encouragement!