An Amazing End to an Era

Happy new week to you all! I hope you all enjoyed your festivities (if you were celebrating), because I sure did. With graduation, my parents being in town, my brother moving, and Easter all in one weekend, it was one incredible party after another around here! By the way-thanks for all YOUR comments of congrats. You all are too sweet :)

I bet you’re all dying to hear about my workouts, right??

Right. 😉

After the epic swim on Thursday, I took it a little easier on Friday and did interval sprints (and recovery) on the elliptical.

post-swim --ready for Thursday!

I alternate between ‘running’ fast for 1 minute with ‘jogging’ slower for about 2 minutes. Every 15 or so minutes I change the incline (which works various muscles in the legs, glutes, and abs.) In case you’re wondering, I don’t really ever put my hands on the stability bar (the elliptical I normally use does not have swinging arms–which I find annoy me! If I want an arm workout, I go and do weights!) so I get a great workout for the abs too. Score!

Oh yah–Thursday afternoon’s lunch was an amazing (large!) salad.

awesome salad with hummus on the side

We ate sort of quickly, grabbed our free cones to go,

my little bro with his cone

and quickly hurried to the convocation ceremony. It was fun and the talks inspiring-I think I am ready to take on the world now! :)

After some pictures, hanging out, and such, that night’s dinner for me featured chicken pesto pizza (sort of too greasy…but still ate 2 pieces of it!) + a delicious fruit/nut salad.

such a pretty salad

tasty but slightly too greasy

Have to snap some crazy pictures

he smiles when I make a face-great :)

lovely evening at dinner with our parents!

I smile he makes a face-we are SO in sync ;)

Then on to Cold Stone for dessert!!

It featured cinnamon + oatmeal cake batter ice creams with caramel, almonds, and Skor bar mixed in. Heaven in a huge cup, I tell ya! I am a pretty happy gal with ice cream/fro yo in my hands :)

best creation ever

The clerk even mentioned she thought this creation was the best thing she’s ever heard since working there. Score!

K, I ate half of this-BUT I wish I had had room for more because it was AMAZING. I always dominate ice cream/fro yo. But I guess I am happy I have leftovers to enjoy later on (and I didn’t feel too sick afterward!). But still….how did it beat me?? Oh yah, I got the biggest size cup :)

On Friday-after the workout, I then got ready and got nervous all at the same time! What a crazy morning of excitement! The day had arrived!

waiting my turn-I was 5th to walk in my college (Life Sciences)!

But then I did it. I walked across the stage!! I received my diploma and I was ALL smiles :) It felt good to hug my department chair (my mentor) as he told me what a fabulous student I was and how proud he was of me. Awwww! So nice of him to say that in front of all those professors on the stand!

It is blurry-but I am hugging the professor (on the left)

I skipped out on the rest of the commencement because….we had pictures to take and my brother to move out of his dorm!

We took a bazillion pictures!!! :)

hello graduate :)

kissing the hard work I did to get me that thinggeee!

he supported me through it all!

with my incredible parents--my dad forgot to smile. whoops!

Gotta remember this moment for forever right? Nothing says Memories like 500 pictures. hehe. I only have the pictures from my camera right now, but I will get the rest from my dad eventually (and repost for your viewing pleasure!)

with my parents on my left, husband's parents on my right

Did it!

So stoked.Obviously.

showing off the stuff underneath the robe!

Then we helped the little bro out (yikes-what a pig sty!! please tell me I was not that messy as a college freshman?!), and then headed to lunch. I had a half salad and a half wrap (I forgot to take a picture-whoops!). The wrap I will recreate at home, though-and then you can see it. Deal? mmmKay  :)

We changed clothes, did some shopping, played around, and then ended up driving up to SLC for an epic dinner.

snapped on the way up to SLC

Let’s just say it was a huge celebration-which called for incredible amounts of delicious food, family, and laughter :)

all smiles on the way and ready to stuff my face!

My dad is so generous and took us all (11 people-family, husband’s parents, cousin, 2 aunts) out to a very fancy restaurant that features amazing food, served buffet style. I am telling ya-this is NOT your standard buffet. They serve filet mignon, steaks, all kinds of fish, and tons of gorgeous salads and soups. All You can Eat. My husband was in meat heaven. Me? In chicken, shrimp, veggie, and dessert heaven. Seriously, I forgot to mention their very famous dessert buffet……

plate #1

other side plates-#2,3,4

See? My favorites were the Greek-style salad, steamed veggies, SHRIMP + sauce (sooooo good!!), some Mexican-infused chicken, clam chowder soup, and their incredible fluffy rolls with honey butter.

I die.

Literally. I was already full (actually stuffed! I went and got more than pictured-we-a group of 11-were there for over 3.5 hours!!) but I managed to take some (large) bites of dessert.

dessert plate #1 & 2

I wish we had been there all day so I could digest and then attack the dessert buffet with as much gusto as I did dinner.

Oh well.

My favorites were the mint chocolate cake and a chocolate pudding type dessert. I also liked the chocolate covered strawberries, the fresh fruit, and a fruit cobbler. The creme brulee was good but overly sweet for me (weird?!), and the red velvet cake had coconut frosting on top-which tasted funky to me.

Our view from our seats:

sun is behind the clouds--near the beginning of dinner

We laughed, talked, and joked all throughout dinner.

sunset

post sunset-gorgeous!

It was an amazing evening! Thanks Mom and Dad!

the sun is all gone....but the lights were on!

As you can see-we were there a long, long time having fun! :)

me at the end of the night-holding up my greasy hair

So tired and full. And happy :)

Saturday was spent figuring out how my parents and little bro were going to arrive in StL….because a tornado had hit the airport! It was quite a shock to wake up to that news :( We immediately found out that my little siblings were alright, the house was fine, and that the tornado had hit about 12 miles away from our home!! Scary.

We were lucky, spared, and so very grateful. They ended up rebooking a flight to KC and renting a car. Crisis averted. Shopping ensued. And then the goodbyes happened :( Remember how I hate goodbyes??

SO sad to see them go! The trip was over. The celebration had been amazing and I will always remember such a special celebratory weekend in my heart. Plus I have tons of pictures to remind me if I ever forget 😉 Love, love my amazing family.

My Easter was AWESOME, though I missed my parentals. We got to spend it with my husband’s family, which turned out to be way fun. We watched the kids hunt for Easter baskets, play with their toys, and eat way too much candy. ha! I had no desire to eat much candy because I was still slightly not hungry because of Friday’s humongous dinner. Ha! (See our bodies tell us these things–Yes I indulged Friday night—SOO good, but that meant that on Saturday my body was not as hungry).

I ate a yummy dinner that evening though. Cafe Rio! I love their chicken salads. So enormous. SO delicious. I can only eat 1/2-2/3rds, so I saved the rest and ate it last night for dinner :)

Cafe Rio Salad

Yumm!!

Easter morning we awoke to the desire to hunt for our baskets. It took me about 10 minutes to find my basket full of goodies :) My basket was pink, heart shaped, and full of Swiss chocolate and jelly beans.

We ate our brunch, packed up, and headed home to celebrate the remainder of the day at church and then as a couple at home.

What a lovely Easter it was :)

Thanks for indulging with me as I shared about my epic graduation weekend. Your comments the past few days have meant a LOT!! The sponsorship of the weekend, by the way, goes completely to my parents :) Such amazing people they are. I hope one day to be just like them!

It was an Epic Weekend…and an Epic Era. Now on to the next phase in life!

How was YOUR weekend? Did YOU enjoy anything exciting-foodwise?

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Comments

  1. Love all the graduation shots! Congrats again.. for the millionth time from the millionth person.

    Coldstone.. omg I haven’t had that in years. Yours looks SO good!

  2. Wow! You had a busy weekend. I’m tired from just reading your post…but it looks like you had a blast all the same.

  3. Awww I am so so very happy for you right now…All of your hard work has lead you to this moment and I bet it feels incredible!

    Your weekend of eats looked fantastic too!

    Jeff and I ended Easter as a couple too…Wouldn’t have it any other way!

  4. Congrats on your graduation! I always love it when I find a new Utah blogger! No one else will ever understand the appeal of Cafe Rio! I’ve been craving it for months, but I know that I go crazy and eat a WHOLE salad when I go there! Yum! What restaurant did y’all go to for your celebration dinner?

  5. Great pictures!! Love your view of the sunset. You had such a busy day that day! Congrats on your accomplishment. Well deserved!

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