J and I got back from CO on Wednesday, and I spent most of Thursday prepping for all the graduation festivities this past weekend. I made up welcome baskets to leave in the hotel rooms of my out-of-town guests... I included some bottles of water and small bottles of Gatorade and Powerade. This is a great way to provide a little refreshment to guests when they arrive and to give them a little snack for those few minutes in between events when they are peckish but don't have enough to grab an actual meal!! I added a thank you card and an extra itinerary in case the guest forgot theirs at home.
I also picked up my cap, tassel, and gown on Thursday. This was such a surreal moment for me... As I walked back to my car and hung the gown up, I got chills up and down my arms. It finally hit me that my graduation from law school was real and that it was only two days away!! As ugly as they may be, the cap and gown are undeniable symbols of a distinguished and important occasion... Their polyester belies the hours and hours of hard work, stress, and challenge the wearer has undergone.
Friday morning started early, with family photos taken at the law school. A photographer took our photos in front of one of the courtrooms in our law school - one with lots of wood that looked really nice and professional. I am very rarely happy with the way photos turn out... I'm so picky!! These were no exception :)
My outfit for family photos... And yes, that is my REPLACED watch!! Dad gave it to me as HIS birthday present... And I proceeded to cry my eyes out :)
It was fun to show my parents around the law school where I had spent most of the last 3 years of my life. My mom and I were laughing about how people are still the same as they are in kindergarten... So excited to show their loved ones where they spend their time and all the "special" places in their lives!! I wanted to show my parents the big room where I took most of my 1L classes and where I almost cried in Property... The hallway where my friends and I would eat lunch and gossip during our 2L year... And the library that still makes me cringe when I walk in!!
After family photos and a tour of the law school, we had brunch at my favorite breakfast spot - a little gem called Dixie Quicks. They have the most unusual, eclectic atmosphere... And the most delicious breakfast, brunch, and lunch creations.
BB came all the way from CA to support me and help me celebrate my graduation!!
I was so excited to be able to introduce my parents and my friend BB to Dixie Quicks!! The menu is written across a chalkboard hanging against the exposed brick wall... I think we spent 20 minutes just trying to decide!! I got my favorite... A breakfast quesadilla with egg, cheese, and a spicy tomatilla sauce on top. It is pure deliciousness... Especially with the exotic fruit on the side!!
For dessert, we shared the mixed berry french toast... It was so good!! The perfect post-brunch treat. The french toast also came in "Sexual Chocolate" flavor, which we thought was a fantastic name :)
Friday night was our law school hooding ceremony... It is a more intimate, private event than commencement. The hooding ceremony only involves law students and their family and friends. I was really nervous for this event... Partly because I was wearing my new, sky-high heels and partly because it was the very first of the graduation events!!
All lined up and waiting backstage!!
(L to R): AB, me, ZA, AW, and SL
The ceremony started off with a prayer and a speech by one of our deans. Then one of my favorite professors gave a hilarious speech about his career as a federal prosecutor and how our future license plates might, in some way, be a remote gift from him (via the inmates he prosecuted!!) Hilarious!!
During the ceremony, each law student is presented with a rather strange hood, which represents the doctorate degree we receive the next day at commencement. Walking up and across the stage was so nerve-wracking!! I kept worrying that I would trip in my heels or that the hood wouldn't go on over my cap!! Luckily, everything went well... And I even got a compliment that I walked across that stage in my heels "like a pro" :)
Hooding was definitely more emotional for me than commencement... Seeing my friends walk across that stage and receive their hoods was so surreal!! I kept thinking, "This is finally it... We made it through law school!!" All those stressful, challenging times when we didn't think we could make it through kept flooding into my mind... And if I could talk to that scared, terrified, 1L Brittany, I would give her a big hug and tell her everything was going to be okay in two years!!
After the ceremony, everyone was able to relax and refresh at a reception just outside the auditorium. People could meet each others' families and friends, and be introduced to the professors who had both harassed and encouraged their children for 3 years!!
Gusband and Wife :)
After the post-hooding reception, my parents, BB, and I went to meet some of our family friends for dinner at my favorite steakhouse downtown. We ate there when I graduated from undergrad as well!! Such a cozy, intimate place to celebrate.
The restaurant even brought me a dessert and a bottle of champagne to celebrate!! :) Everything was so delicious, the problem was getting too full. After dinner I literally did not even want to sip water, I was so stuffed!! But BB and I pulled ourselves together and went to meet SH, J, and CO.
CO, SH, and I!!
What a fantastic, whirlwind day!! By the time I got home, I was exhausted... Just being nervous and anxious before an event like that can really make you tired!! Unfortunately, I stayed up until 5:45 am, working on burning CD's and a DVD for our party on Saturday night!! I swear, I went through seven or eight blank CD/DVD's, trying to get them to burn correctly... C'est la vie, right?! :)