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Sunday, May 18, 2008


Well, she did it. We all did it. Twice. What a busy, crazy couple of days, and now my girl is a college graduate, which I don't suppose I'll ever be, and so I'm really quite pleased and proud. Go UNM!

We headed down to Albuquerque on Friday, getting there in time to check into our hotel and clean up for the 5PM ceremony. This was the small ceremony, just her department, so it was pretty compact and painless. The first picture is of Lauren in her room at Kappa, ready to get that gown on and go grab a diploma.

First stop, the ceremony, in a very crowded little hall on campus.

Afterwards there was, of course, lots of hugging and laughing and picture-taking. I have some video too, but that will wait another day or two... I have to figure out how to edit it into something tolerable.

Lauren and Mom...

...and with some of her friends. Aren't they all just so darn beautiful?

Sisters - Julia & Lulu...

And of course, the Proud Parents with their Graduate...

Possibly even more impressive than a college degree is the fact that she managed all those stairs in these shoes...

On to an evening of celebration. We were joined by our friends Eleanore Macnish (famous beadmaker and wonderful friend), her husband Tom, and daughter Elizabeth, and Lauren's Kappa Sister, Estella. Dinner was at the Nob Hill Bar & Grill, which truly is an "upscale joint". We had a a great time!

After dinner, Tom and Eleanore took us to the Press Club. It's a members-only sort of place, but it's not what you'd expect... Right in the middle of Old Albuquerque, on top of a hill that once overlooked miles and miles of sagebrush, sits a three story log cabin that was built by an architect for his family. At some point he apparently built another one just like it at the south rim of the Grand Canyon. Years later, the cabin became a fraternity house, and later was turned into this "club". The place still looks like a frat house. They added a well-stocked bar, a pool table, a ping-pong room, and a gas grill on the patio. Members pay $200 a year, and I'm told many of the members are doctors who work at the nearby hospital. What a strange and perfect spot to wind up our graduation night. Here's a ghost-busting website that tells more of the history. And here's Estella, Eleanore, and Lauren - at the bar of course!

Later that night, Lauren called to say that she'd decided she wanted to do the all-school, big ceremony the next morning. This was a total surprise to me, and I have to admit, I wasn't very happy about it. We'd just finished all that graduating and celebrating, and I was tired. I was hoping to do something fun like go to the zoo on Saturday. To get up early and listen to a bunch of boring speeches again just seemed mean. So we compromised. Rick, Julia, and I went to get some unhealthy-but-fun breakfast at the Waffle House, and then arrived, after most of the speeches were finished, at Graduation II, The Sequel, in time to watch Lauren walk and get her (way better) diploma. We sat so far away, I couldn't see her at all, and was totally caught off guard when they called her name. But you know, now that it's all said and done, I think it was good that she did it. This one seemed much more real, and now she won't have any regrets or feel like she missed something.

After another fine meal at the Range Cafe (I'm going on a diet today), we loaded up a few bags and boxes of Lauren's things to store here at home. She has to be out of Kappa today, and is moving into a friend's cute little house to spend the summer. I get it - she doesn't want to come home to Taos and work the same job she had all through high school. It' time to do something new. Very exciting. So now I guess our nest is officially empty... sigh...

But wait! You remember Heidi, the little wiener dog we've puppy-sat for several times? Her Kappa Mom is also moving on, and needed a new home for Heidi. We raised our hands high, and jumped up and down, saying, "Pick us! Pick us!". And she did! So Lauren has moved out, sort of, and Heidi has moved in. We're so happy to have her. And I think she's adjusting well here, for her first day back at Camp. Here she is in her new bed, just hanging out next to me in the office, while I show you my world, in words and pictures...

Congratulations Lauren!!!
And Welcome Home Heidi!!!


Anonymous said...

Way to go Lauren!!!!!!!

I'm glad that your mom did the "right" thing and watched you go through the big ceremony. I bet she had tears in her eyes when you walked up and received your diploma, I did for my daughter.

Good luck with your future plans.

Beadily yours
Susan Feldkamp

Michelle in the UK said...

Congratulations Lauren !!!! ;o)
Looks like you all had a lovely, lovely day ! We don't have that kind of ceremony over here in England, but it looks wonderful ! It's nice to have friends the other side of 'the pond' !
Kim ~ you look lovely too !
Good luck for the future Lauren !
Best wishes to you all,
Michelle x

Michelle in the UK said... the way, dear little Heidi, she looks so cute ! ~ you'll be happy to have her home Kim !

Jean said...

this is all so wonderful to read I don't know what to say!!! I feel like crying!Yay!!!