Congratulations to Jimmy!!!

I am so proud of my dear, sweet husband. He graduated last night with his Bachelor's in Business Management.

Here's the story behind the day:
We woke up early, early to get to the HP Pavilion by 9:00am to drop Jimmy off for registration. We went to turn around and received a concerned call from the graduate. He said that the information from his counselor was erroneous and the graduation didn't start at 10:00am, but at 1:30pm!!! We were having family coming in to town for the graduation and there were already well on their way to the venue. Plus, we had a reservation at a restaurant for 2:30... there was no way we were going to make that reservation. After much scrambling and cell phone usage, we got all guests to the Hotel Sainte Claire for brunch and cancelled the reservations for later that day. The hotel was very accommodating, elegant and delicious! I highly recommend it. Then off to the graduation where there were over 1,000 graduates... we counted. And guess what?! They read every.single.name. It wasn't too bad (only because I took Kaitlin outside to ride up and down the escalators for an hour) After much waiting and listening, Jimmy's name was read and we got to cheer for 1.5 seconds before the next name was read- It was thrilling. I cannot tell you the emotions that went through my head at such a rapid pace. My heart is swollen with pride, love, reminiscence and pure joy. I cannot believe the journey that we have shared together. He has been strong, patient and hard working. Congratulations!!!


Girls' Camp Recap

I go to our church's girls' camp annually and just have a total blast every year! For the fourth year in a row I have been able to work with the 16-18 year olds. My FAVORITE! I just love giggling and goofing off. Here are some of my favorite moments from the week:
  • I love dogs. I have always been a dog person, which usually means cats are not on my list of priority animals. Actually... I kind of hate cats. Not like I would hurt a cat, but I just suppose I have too much of a self esteem issue to like a pet that hates me. When I went to the craft shack to make a little something for Kaitlin, the craft leader and very good friend of mine came to me laughing. She started by apologizing to me. Apologizing for not sticking up for me in the exchange that had just occurred. You see, two of the girls in my unit (group I was a leader of) came to the shack looking for a gift for me. While the craft assistant, another good friend of mine, was sifting through buttons she made a sarcastic comment about a hideous cat pin. The girls took the sarcasm as truth and were convinced that I loved cats, especially when on an enameled pin circa 1986. They excitedly snatched the pin and decided to make a ring for me out of it. My loathing for cats nearly matches my inability to wear a poker face. So my friends who worked in the shack knew there was no way I could receive a gift without looking ungrateful and appalled at quite possibly the ugliest ring ever. Their warning was fair- my reaction was not. I spent the week jumpy just waiting for the presentation of a gift that I knew would require a fake-genuine smile. I practiced every night in the mirror. On the final day of camp, the moment had come. Two of the sweetest girls came to me with a darling little gift all wrapped up for me. I cringed (I think only on the inside) "Well," I thought, "here goes nothing..." and I cautiously opened the gift. Inside the carefully wrapped package was a huge, amazing, perfect for me ring. It was so beautiful! Those girls had set up the story from the very beginning! They had the craft girls tell me about the pin so I would be surprised. I had no idea and that is was made the gift even better.
  • One morning, I woke up groggy and stumbled my way into the kitchen in our lodge. Everyone else was sleeping soundly, so I quietly grabbed a croissant and sat among the snoring girls to enjoy a moment of semi peace and quiet. As I was silently putting pieces of the croissant in my mouth, I noticed that it smelled terrible. I kept sniffing at it, but the smell was faint. Then I noticed it was not the croissant the stunk, but my hand. As I put my hand to my nose I took a perplexed and lengthy sniff wondering how it come to this point. Then the previous night's sleep dawned on me... I had slept fearful of keeping my bunk mate awake. Rather than let out loud and copious gas from the heavy meals I had been eating, I would hold my cheeks open every time I felt the urge to let one go. So, instead of a loud noise to accompany my rumblings, there would be a near silent whoosh! Once I came to the realization I had indeed been eating a fart croissant, I did three things in this order: 1) Laughed very loud, 2) Ran to the kitchen to wash my hands, 3) Sat down and ate the rest of my croissant.
  • Some how, I had let it slip that I am terrified of aliens. I am truly afraid of alien movies and those silly fair trinkets with the alien heads on them seriously freak me out. One night, I walked out to the car to go get a cd with one of the girls. When we came back to the lodge, the lights were all out and I heard a strange clicking noise. Out from behind the the table came a thing crawling at me with a glowing, freaky head. I got so scared that I pushed the girl I was with in front of me and was ready to book it. She started screaming and I was ready for the little green monsters to take me away. After a few more moments the girls finally turned on the light and I saw that the alien was really just glow sticks and a head lamp on someone crawling all over the ground. I was really shaken up, but I felt really bad for the girl I pushed in front of me. I am sure that if I had the ability to speak I would've yelled, "Take her!"

p.s.- they got it on video... just waiting for that one to pop up on youtube.

I think I'll save the spiritual stories for tomorrow.


Tough Stuff

I am in charge of the sixteen to eighteen year olds at an annual girls' camp for our church. I've had the honor of cooking with one of my YCL girls (YCL= youth camp leader), for eight weeks. It has been a blast. At first I was nervous because it was part of a disciplinary action taken from some events last year. She is not a bad kid at all, but just had the unfortunate situation of not living up to my expectations. I tend to be pretty tough on those poor girls.

Well, my nights cooking with this amazing girl were just fabulous. I had a great time doing what I love and getting to know her even better. I know this year will be a complete success! Honestly, last night being my final night cooking with her was sad for me. It was nice to spend some one on one time with one of the greats of the upcoming generation. It makes me sad to think of all the things teenagers are going through these days. Just going to high school is a war zone. I admire all those that get through it alive with their self confidence and values intact.

Now for a funny clip from my favorite high school movie:



We LOVE the new hike we've been going on lately. I could do without the copious amounts of cow pies... but the view is worth it. Unfortunately, I do not have one of those fancy-scmancy cameras to take a really great picture of what I see in real life. You're just going to have to believe me when I say it's amazing!

p.s.- I recommend waiting until you get to the car to have a picnic... wind+cowpies+thistles=cranky mommy


It was nice to have a funnel...

We scattered my Grandmother's ashes at sea over the weekend. We scattered my Grandfather's ashes nine years ago on the same battleship. Things have changed (for the better) on the battleship and it was very pleasant to have the ashes not blow back in your face. Ha!
We really enjoyed our day in the city and on the boat. I could've done without the seven miles of walking! Although I am a natural at exaggerating- the seven miles is no tall tale, folks! I actually did walk that much in one day. I would not recommend it, especially if you are required to be pleasant to out of town visitors...
One attempt at doing a panorama picture... what I find funny is that the sailboat was going the same direction, so it looks like they are twins! Uncle Steve, Mom and Uncle Paul

Another try at panorama...
Our fat and happy little tug boat. It follwed us around like a little puppy.

Alcatraz from the front and back.

Under the Golden Gate bridge.

When on a boat, it is a requirement to get a picture of a port hole. I threw my mom in there for good measure.

Going under the Bay Bridge