Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Playing catch up.

I mentioned in my last post that I'd be back to fill you in on what I've been up to and why I haven't been a regular blogger.  So, here goes!

On May 15th my daughter graduated from college.  YAY!  Here she is walking in to the large tent where the graduation ceremony was held.  I expected a reserved, formal atmosphere but it was not that at all!  The administration - professors, speakers and the college President - arrived first and lined up on both sides of the sidewalk outside of the tent.  Next came a group of bagpipers leading the graduates as they walked down the sidewalk and received applause, high fives and cheers from the administration.  It was very exciting!  As they processed into the tent there was more applause, lots of hugging and yelling and an all around festive atmosphere.  So much fun.

But let's back up a bit.  I should explain that we live in Minnesota and my daughter attended Willamette University in Salem, Oregon.  We were thrilled to have some of our family members attend the graduation - my parents, her dad, his parents and his sister.  We all arrived on Friday and graduation was on Sunday so we had some time to do some sightseeing.  On Saturday we drove to the Oregon coast which is beautiful!  It was an overcast, chilly day but we had fun anyway.  In this picture my daughter, Emily, is in the front and she is surrounded by the family members I mentioned.

On our way back to Salem from the coast we visited the Cristom Winery where one of Emily's friends (her freshman year roommate) was having a graduation party.  The flowers and grounds were beautiful and we had such a great time.

That night we dined at the Willamette Noodle Company, an Italian restaurant where Emily worked while she was in school (that's me in the white jacket).

Willamette is a beautiful University with red brick buildings and lots of green space.  Before I left for Oregon my good friend Peggy suggested that I be sure to take some pictures around campus and it was a great suggestion.  Thanks Peggy!

Across the street from the campus is the Oregon State Capital building - look closely - it's a white building so it blends into the background in this photo.  On top of the building is a gold statue of a man - I'm sure he was very important but I can't tell you who he is.  Let's just call him Gold Guy.  Anyway, Ali Edwards' husband, Chris is a State Senator and spends time in that building.  So there's a little scrapbooking connection for all of you scrapbookers out there!

Back to the graduation.  The ceremony was wonderful and lots of fun.  Bill Nye (the science guy!) was the Commencement speaker so that was entertaining, and the graduates were surprised to find out that as they crossed the stage to get their diploma from President Pelton they got to shake Bill Nye's hand.  Very cool.  President Pelton is leaving Willamette to head to Emerson College in Boston so this was his 13th and final Commencement Address, which made it even more special.

We had so much fun over the course of the weekend and I am so proud of Emily for graduating with an Art History degree.  I let her enjoy it for approximately 5 minutes before I reminded her that now she has to find a job!  The important thing is that she is back in Minnesota and although I enjoyed getting to know more about Oregon over the past 4 years I'm so glad that she came home.

Here's a final photo - Emily with some of her friends.  It was very windy and there were parents, grandparents and friends all around with cameras so it's not the best photo but it is a clear reminder of the event and we will look at it and remember all of the fun we had.

Next post - the long drive home . . . in a U-Haul.

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