I’m hitting publish on this post from one of the most beautiful areas of California, if not the world, Sonoma County. I’m here on blog business and I’ll be telling you all about it very soon, but first I wanted to share our busy and very memorable Memorial Day Weekend.
Adam (Boy #4) arrived home from college late Friday night to spend the long weekend at home and attend his brother’s college graduation ceremony. Oh, the joy, when your child comes home from college. You adjust to them being gone, and then they walk in that door and….oh, happy day!
Jake (Boy #2) graduated with a BFA in Animation/Illustration from San Jose State University on Saturday morning.
Being Jake’s parents has been an easy job. Since he was a very small child he has always been kind, intelligent, talented, compassionate, and caring. His natural concern for others was evident in the way that he always looked out for his little brothers. I was pretty happy about the fact that San Jose State has a really strong Animation/Illustration program that was the perfect fit which meant he stayed local for the length of his college studies. I’m also thrilled with the fact that he has amazing Photoshop skills and the patience to help me out from time to time.
With Jake’s graduation, we are officially the parents of two college grads. Feels good!
Three of the four. Boy #3 couldn’t join us for the ceremony but he got there for the important part…lunch!
Mina, Jake’s girlfriend of two years, is a recent grad from the same program. The two animators.
We returned to the house for a post-grad ceremony lunch. With a little advance planning, I put together this build-your-own salad bar and I think this may be one of my best ideas…ever. I did all of the prep the day before. I sliced and diced and placed all the ingredients in separate plastic storage bags and packed them neatly in the refrigerator overnight.
The meat was marinated and ready to pop on the grill when we got home. I went with sirloin steak marinated in my beloved Grilled Steak Marinade and boneless chicken breasts marinated in the delicious Pretty Chicken Marinade.
Paul manned the grill while I transferred all the salad bar items to bowls. Then it was just a matter of slicing the meat and we were off and running…or eating. I set up a sandwich station on a separate counter with sandwich rolls, sliced cheese, and condiments in case someone wasn’t feeling the salad thing.
Grandma Bonnie and Adam serving up! I did two big bowls of different types of greens and 16 bowls of toppings to choose from including all kinds of different veggies, kidney, black, and garbanzo beans, crumbled goat and feta cheese, shredded cheddar cheese, candied walnuts, roasted beets, marinated artichoke hearts, and olives. I put out an assortment of bottled salad dressings (easy!) and let everyone go at it.
In true Grandpa fashion, he’s got his napkin, fork, and knife right there in his shirt pocket. It’s a Grandpa thing.
I could resist taking this shot of Mina’s pretty creation.
Connor (Boy #3 and 3rd from the left) came to the rescue and covered for Dad at work so he could attend the grad ceremony. Coordinating events like this are one of the issues involved with running a small, family-owned business, but it all worked out! Connor made it over for lunch and I had them all together for a little while. Bliss.
The graduate with Grandpa and Grandma Bonnie. Priceless.
There were lots and lots of photos taken, lots of food consumed, and Bruno and Bridget were part of every minute of it.
Being a mom is a strange business. Ever changing, constantly amusing, sometimes frightening, but completely and utterly joyous. When you’re in the heat of battle raising your young ones it can be hard to keep it all in focus but as the parents of older kids we’re now in a position to reflect on the past, enjoy the present, and look forward to the future. We are feeling truly blessed these days.
I didn’t want to sign off on this post until I acknowledged with an incredibly heavy heart that this weekend was the one year anniversary of the horrible devastation that happened in Adam’s UCSB college town, Isla Vista. He was here with us last year when the news broke and again this year on the anniversary. Although he couldn’t be there, I know his heart was with those at the vigil being held in honor of the victims. My love and prayers go out to the families and loved ones of those that were lost. I wrote a little bit about the tragedy in this post last year if you’d like to read more.
I hope that you all had the great fortune to spend this weekend with the ones you love. It is truly a blessing.