Monday, July 6, 2009

is it possible to over celebrate?

Thanks for the picture, Julie.
If it is, I think I may have done that. Not that graduating from college isn't a huge deal, especially for someone who started college in 1998, attended seven colleges / universities, paid out-of-state tuition too many times to count, changed her major, took time off to earn money for school (and serve a mission), and is just finishing up as she approaches her 30th birthday. I mean, come on, that really is cause for celebration. And celebrate I did.

First, Wendel and I went out to eat at McCormick and Schmidt to celebrate. We mostly went there because we had taken prom pictures for some kids in Seattle and they were going there for their prom dinner, which inspired us (don't worry, we didn't sit right next to them). I can't link you to what I had there because they change their menu daily but it was halibut with this amazing hazelnut sauce and fresh berries. I loved it.

Then there were my sweet friends who joined me at The Cheesecake Factory for a girls' night to celebrate. (Thanks, Mel, for planning and organizing this.)

Left to right: Katie, Laurel, Jocelyn, Stephanie, Crystal, Me, Jamie, Jackie, Aleisa, Melanie, Ashlee, and Dana. On the right are the yummy Thai Lettuce Wraps that Crystal ordered.

There was also this fun girls' day back in May.

Then I met Rob and Julie, some friends from school, at Mandolin Cafe the next day for a celebratory lunch.

We missed you, Jess. Sorry you couldn't be there.

There was also the "last day of class potluck," which involved a lot of picture taking.

[Click on image to see it bigger] We didn't plan the bright was just so nice outside, everyone dressed that way. Do you like how Julie, Jessica and I are joined at the hip and are in every picture together with one or two additional people joining us? It's true to how these past two years have been for us so it's only appropriate.

My family came into town for my graduation so of course we all went out to eat the night before. We went to Anthony's, one of our favorite seafood restaurants. (Wendel's dad surprised us all by sneaking away from the table and paying for everyone. How sweet of him!)

Left: Wendel and his dad Right: My brother, Tyson, and our mom

The seafood salad my dad ordered.

Then of course there was commencement, which was a monumental occasion.

The three of us. We made it!

ETA: Me with Tasha. She graduated from the Master's program (so jealous!) Tasha was the president of Phi Alpha and I was her secretary.

Waiting for our names to be took forever with 1,000 names.

Me with my mom

My grandparents

Wendel's parents

My dad and brother

Commencement was actually kind of emotional for me. I worked so hard for so many years and really stuck to my goal so it was awesome to walk down that carpet to the cheesy music and put a capstone on the whole experience. It was kind of surreal.

A really cool thing happened at commencement. The chancellor of UWT highlighted me, among five students out of 1,000, for my community service efforts. I was so touched and honored that she chose me! I wasn't sure that it would happen (I only knew that I was a candidate) so I only told Wendel and no one else. It was fun for my family to be surprised when it happened. Hopefully this little highlight will help my chances of getting into grad school?

After commencement, my dad made a wonderful meal for us. He is quite the cook and the food he makes is always a treat, so that is what I wanted as my graduation gift from him. We had a crab broil with potatoes and corn, "adult macaroni and cheese" (which really isn't dirty but more so one of the most amazing things you can consume) and homemade bruschetta. Everything had to be prepared very quickly because my ceremony went over and my dad had to leave for the airport at 3:30. That meant he had only a couple of hours to shop for the food and prepare it. Things were a little crazy but it all came together and was amazing.

This picture does not do that pasta dish justice.

It was fun to have family here to help me celebrate. I'm so grateful for the opportunity I've had to be in school these past several years (thanks to Wendel's support) and I'm so grateful that my undergrad is behind me. Yay!


Aleisa said...

Congratulations Ashley...and no it is not possible to over celebrate, you deserve it! That is so awesome that you were highlighted ... congratulations again!

Becky said...

You deserve every moment of celebration, and more! And what an honor to have such a public highlight of your personal achievements.

You sure do have a lot of love in your life. I especially enjoyed seeing how big your girls night dinner was. Truly a happy occasion.

Mel said...

I agree with the others- you deserve all that celebration and then some! You look sooo pretty in your grad pictures. I love your hair like that! I'm so happy you graduated, but for selfish reasons because now I'll get to see you more.

Katie Tyler said...

Ashley! your hair looked so pretty for graduation! I love it! :) way to go

jack!e said...

I'm so happy for you Ashley! You are amazing! And you're hair looks adorable curled like that. ;)

Mandy Prince said...

Congratulations Ashley! It tooke me a number of years too, to get my undergrad degree, so I know how wonderful it feels to FINALLY get it! Happy Day!

My Wonderful Life said...

Ab, I love that picture of you and Wendel. It was so fun to see the pictures and relive the experience. I am so proud of you and love you so much.

imbritney said...

What a great celebration! You deserve every minute of it. and, who says you have to stop celebrating? :) We're only sorry that we couldn't come to share it with you. Neither of us could get the time off work, but would have loved to have been there!


lilly and dilly said...

AWWWW ab im sooo so proud of you! that was such a great blog update- i'm really sad I couldn't be there. You totally deserve every bit of that- you have been in school for a very long time! yay!! all those pics are soo soo cute. I like your hair curly like that. ps dad looks freakin skinny, don't you think? has he lost a lot of weight?

Stephanie said...

I agree with everyone else. You TOTALLY deserve it AND your hair looks great curly. I know you worked really hard, so CONGRATULATIONS!!

Marci Coombs said...

Congrat's Ashley! What an AWESOME accomplishment!!!