This past weekend was a big one in our family!!! My sister Katie graduated from Washington State University with her Bachelor's Degree on Saturday!! We all trucked it over to Pullman (the opposite side of the state) for the ceremony and to move her back home. Then Sunday was Mother's Day. We were all busy busy busy but it was wonderful.
The weekend started early. Thursday night I picked up my Auntie Karen from the airport and took her and Jilly to my mom's for the night. My mom, Karen and Jilly took off from Edmonds Friday morning for Pullman. I worked that morning, then picked up Paul from the transit center so he could go home to pick up the trailer. At his house, Andy joined me and the two of us headed out for Pullman about 1pm in my car. Originally, Steve and I were supposed to drive together and Andy go with my mom. But at the last minute, Steve had to work on Saturday and couldn't find anyone else to cover the shift, so he had to stay home. Luckily Andy was totally cool with driving with me, so I didn't have to go across the state by myself (no one liked that idea, least of all me). We cruised along and stopped in Ellensburg so we could switch driving and get a quick snack. I decided to call my mom to see where she was at (i.e. how long until I could see my little girl again, I was starting to miss her!). Turns out she was in Ellensburg too, but a couple miles behind us!! I couldn't believe we were farther along than anyone else. They had run errands before really getting on the way and were having a nice sit-down lunch, so it made sense. But still amused us. Andy and I made remarkably good time as we traveled across the state, stopping one more time outside Othello to switch driving, arriving in Pullman about 6:30pm or so. Man, it felt SO good to get out of the car and then curl up on Katie's bed for a little bit. My poor pregnant bones could only handle so much car sitting.
Mom, Karen and Jilly got there around 7:30pm and we started packing up Katie's room. Poor girl had been so busy all week with studying and finals, that she hadn't gotten time to do ANY packing! We packed for a little bit, then decided we all needed to eat badly and get our buns out to Lewiston to the hotel. We went to a yummy Thai restaurant and had a fun time. Soon enough, Mom, Karen, Jilly and I took off for Lewiston, leaving my car in Pullman with Katie and Andy. For those of you not super up to date on Washington/Idaho geography, Pullman is at the very eastern edge of WA state on the Idaho border. Lewiston is in Idaho, still along the border but somewhat south, around 45 minutes or so away. That was the closest hotel we could find when we booked, 11 months in advance! I think we finally checked into the hotel around 11pm. Soon after, Paul and Juliet showed up and we all got unpacked and crashed into bed pretty quick. My poor little trooper of a two year old was EXHAUSTED! She had only gotten a 45 minute nap between North Bend and Ellensburg earlier that day. And she had been SUCH a good girl! She didn't cause trouble for anyone. Sweet baby sure enough was very ready to be put in her playpen at 11:30pm and was snoring within 5 minutes, even though there were lights on and people moving around and talking. The rest of us followed suit within about 30 minutes.
All too soon that alarm rang at 5:15am (UGH!). We snoozed for a little bit, then dragged our sorry butts out of bed, more than reluctantly. Jilly had a tough morning, getting less than 6 hours of sleep (she's used to more like 11-12 at night). I took her to get breakfast but she didn't seem to cheer up until we were in the car. By that time, Mom and I were both stressed about running late, Jilly crying and generally exhausted. Add to this, the fact that I am 7 months pregnant and while it's usually not an issue, the stress of the trip was really throwing my hormones out of whack, and we ended up yelling at each other and me crying in the car. Not exactly my most favorite moment, but hey, it's what happened. Everything was resolved shortly, but I could tell my emotions were going to be funky for the rest of the day. We made great time getting back to Pullman, picked up Katie and Andy and got to campus for the ceremony.
I am SO grateful that there were so many willing helpers there. There is no way I could have done that trip without everyone there. We never used the stroller (it would have been way too difficult with the crowds and cramped spaces) and Jilly just couldn't do all the walking by herself. I didn't have the strength to carry her, so everyone else had to carry her, while I had to keep slowing them down, calling, "Wait for The Waddler! She can't keep up with you!" As we were walking to the coliseum, Katie was walking with Jilly and we got some CUTE pictures of them.
Jilly was very sweet and kept trying to step on her shadow, saying "Step, step," as she did so. It was adorable.
We dropped Katie off in the line with all the other Psych grads and found our seats with Paul, the Aunties and Katie's roommates. The ceremony began! We were all so excited to see Katie walk in to the arena in her cap and gown! It was awesome. After the (seemingly endless) introductions and recognitions, they finally got into the meat of the program, the commencement speaker. Funny moment: During the National Anthem, we were all standing, with my mom holding Jilly. Apparently, Jilly knew that this was a sitting-event, so she starts yelling at everyone, "Sit down! Sit down!" Oops, guess I need to teach her some manners and respect for the National Anthem. Hahahaha. As was the theme of the whole evening, my mom pretty much took care of Jilly the whole time, so I didn't have to. I got up during the speaker, so that my mom could go listen if she wanted to (she'd been walking around with Jilly). I hung out with them for awhile, but my back really started protesting, so I went and sat down once they started calling names. That part of the ceremony went by surprisingly fast, even though there were like 900 graduates. We were all cheering and hooping and hollering as we saw Katie be handed her diploma and shake hands with the WSU president. HOORAY FOR KATIE!! She is a college graduate!!! YIPPEE!!!! They then had some closing remarks, sang the Fight Song and Alma Mater, then it was over! (Note: I drew the line at singing/clapping along with the songs. I am a Husky! I stood out of respect, but couldn't bring my purple and gold self to sing along. That would have been high treason. ;-))
We met up with Katie outside, where it was sunny and beautiful and took the bajillion obligatory pictures. Here are some of them:
The proud graduate with her diploma. Congrats Katie!!
Mom and her three kids.
All the family: Andy, Paul, Katie, Mom, Auntie Karen in back. Jilly, me, and Auntie Juliet in front.
The three kids. You can see just how huge my belly is. As my friend Regan said when she saw the picture, "Where's Katie? I can't see her behind your belly!"
Auntie Katie holding her favorite niece, who is so proud of her!
Sisters (and Wildcat).
We went and spent the rest of the afternoon packing up Katie's apartment. With so many of us, it went very well and much faster than expected. After a couple readjustments and a quick trip to the hardware store, the trailer and three vehicles were packed to the hilt with all Katie's stuff from her life in Pullman. Paul and Juliet took off first with the trailer, and the rest of us left soon after. We stopped in Colfax (a small town about 25 minutes outside Pullman) for lunch at Arby's and gas, and finally really truly headed out about 4pm. Jilly hadn't slept yet, so she was wooooorn out. My mom said she was asleep before they even made the first turn out of town. Auntie Karen and I drove together and had a delightful time chatting. We stopped in Othello and switched cars a bit. Andy ended up driving my car with Karen, while I crashed in Mom's car with her, Katie and Jilly. Jilly was still asleep, but woke up as soon as we left Othello. We stopped for a couple minutes in Royal City (about 10 minutes away) so we could change her diaper and let her walk for a bit. Then back in the car and off we went.
We stopped in Ellensburg to get some food and Mom checked in with Paul and Juliet. Turns out they were still in Ellensburg (we'd talked to them a bti after we'd left Othello), in the very restaurant we were parked outside of! We decided we were in fact hungry and to get dinner there. Yum. All too soon, we were back in the car, heading home. Andy and Karen had eaten at a different spot and so were well ahead of us. We eventually pulled into Mom's house at almost 11pm. Two days, most of them spent in the car or sitting, and we were all wasted... By the time we got back to our house, Jilly and I collapsed into bed.
Sunday we woke up for church and I was given my first Mother's Day gift. It was from Steve and Wildcat (apparently they collaborated whilst I was sleeping). Steve told me that it was a little self-centered of a gift from Jason, but I loved it anyway. It was a bag of Ghiradhelli Milk Chocolate & Peanut Butter squares (which he'll also get to enjoy) and The Bourne Ultimatum DVD (about Jason Bourne, his "namesake"). Awesome! We ended up being rather late for church, but oh well. In Primary, we had the kids make candy necklaces for their moms. They each got 8 pieces of candy, that they wrapped in saran wrap and tied with ribbons. There were extras so I made one for my mom too; I figured it had been a few years since anyone had made her a Mothers Day gift in Primary. ;-) In Nursery, Jilly made me a sweet foam card with flower stickers on it and a flower of gumdrops and a fudge stripe cookie. Of course, as soon as her Nursery leader handed it to me, Beanie snatched off the top gumdrop and ate it, then when we were in the Primary room cleaning up, she also grabbed the cookie while I wasn't watching. Hahaha. Silly girl.
After church, we ate lunch and then took naps. Before naps, I got my Mother's Day gift from Steve and Jillian. Steve had spent quite a bit of time making a photo montage-video thing for me. It was set to one of my favorite songs and was filled with photos of me along my journey to and through motherhood, from dating to engagement to wedding day to my pregnancy with Jilly and all through her life so far. He couldn't find the pictures of me pregnant with Wildcat, but there are a couple pictures from Halloween of me, when I was brand newly pregnant, so that counts for me. It was very sweet and my pregnancy hormones really made for an excellent reaction, I sat there sobbing through all 4 minutes, and a few more after. ;-) I loved it! When it was time for a nap, Jilly, being the incredibly brillant two year old that she is, decided not to sleep until well after 2pm. Well, at 3pm we had to wake her up so we could go meet my family for dinner. She was less than amused about it. We met my family at their house and then we all headed down to Palisade on Elliot Bay for dinner. Katie had picked it, because she had wanted to eat there for months, and it was her graduation dinner (we Moms were just hangers-on ;-)). It was beautiful!!! There is a stream running through the middle of the restaurant, and you have to walk over a bridge to get to your table. We had a big round table for all of us, with a view of the Elliot Bay Marina. They had even put a card on the table congratulating Katie and decorated it with flower petals. We had a marvellous time over the evening! The food was SO GOOD!! Most people got seafood, but since I hate seafood, I went with a yummy steak. We took a bunch of pictures of everyone so here they are:
Mom and Paul
Katie and Auntie Karen
The three of us kids again
The Hall family. Not really a great picture of either Steve or me, but Jilly is cute, and let's face it, that's the most important.
Juliet and her fiance Kelly were there as well, but I don't have a picture of them.
We exchanged cards and presents for Katie and the moms. It was such a nice time, food and company wise. The restaurant is AWESOME! I would definitely recommend it. It is expensive, but the service and quality of food are top-notch. We kept having to take Jilly on walks here and there because she'd get bored sitting in her highchair. Steve and I took turns and then during dessert, Andy took her without even being asked, walking on the bridge for a little, then taking her outside. I think we were there for 2 1/2 or 3 hours total. Lovely time. :-)
After dinner we headed home and hung out at the family's house for a little before going home. We had such a great time with all of our family over the weekend. The Aunties were especially excited because they both got to feel Wildcat move really well. Nice to know he can perform when he needs to. ;-) Mom and Auntie Karen had stopped at the Outlet Mall in North Bend on Friday and ended up buying Jilly two new pairs of sandals, one white, one pink, for the summer. Mom also got Wildcat a bunch of newborn onesies that are very cute, and Auntie Karen had brought an outfit for him from Canada. Travis, my cousin, picked it out. Mom crocheted around the edge of some burp rags, so Wildcat got just as spoiled as Katie did this weekend!
It took Monday to clean up the house and recover from the weekend, but now we're back to normal. It was a great time! Yeah, incredibly exhausting, more physically than anything else, but well worth it I would say.
CONGRATULATIONS to Katie on her graduation!!!