Graduation Day

I love graduation time! Around our neighborhood, there are several houses and cars decked out with congratulations and school colors in celebration of their graduates and the girls and I can’t help but be excited for them too!
Last Wednesday, I had the privilege of attending Marisa’s graduation from Segerstrom High. The last time I saw Marisa graduate was from her 8th Grade class when I was a student teacher there at MacArthur. She won so many awards that people complained! Now, in addition to her numerous academic and extracurricular achievements, she can add, “Samantha and Amelia’s Personal Mentor” to her resume. The girls just adore her. 
 It was so fun to sit in the stands and cheer her on, as well as see how much a bunch of other former students had grown. They are not little 8th graders anymore, that’s for sure! Tear. 
Marisa was easy to spot in the crowd, with her bright red and gold ribbons and honor cords denoting her many achievements. Top of her class, obviously!
Thank goodness I carpooled with Marisa’s mom (who had VIP parking as part of the PTA) or else I never would have navigated all that traffic. 
Despite one of the officers getting off the bus and giving us dirty looks, Meredith and I snapped this picture of a Department of Homeland Security Border Patrol vehicle parked near the graduation ceremony stadium. 
 We didn’t know if it was meant to be deliberate or not, but we thought it was pretty bad timing to park the border patrol right next to where thousands of graduates (many of them hispanic) would be walking with their families. Talk about a buzz kill after the excitement of graduation! You’ve graduated–now time to ship you home! Geez. 
When Samantha and Amelia found out I was going to see both Aunties Meredith and Marisa, they were completely distraught and begged to come with me. Since attending a graduation ceremony with the little wiggleworms would rank somewhere within my own personal fifth circle of hell, I appeased them by having Jake take them to the beach, where they apparently kept busy chasing seagulls. 

 Luckily, Samantha and Amelia would be seeing both of their favorite ladies at Marisa’s graduation party that weekend.

P.S. I need these drink dispensers!

Everything was decked out in blue and yellow for UCLA, the school Marisa will be attending in the fall. We couldn’t be more excited for her! Note my favorite go-to party project: mod-podged glitter letters!
It was also fun catching up with several of my former students at Marisa’s party–I was so amazed at how much they’ve accomplished in just four short years. The colleges they will be attending range from awesome in-state schools to great schools back east–I’m so proud of all of them.
Samantha and I with the esteemed graduate. 
The girls and I are planning many beach days this summer now that Meredith is done teaching for the year. 
Samantha was pretty devastated when I had to take away her lei. 
Let me down Daddy! I want to socialize!
There were sooooooooo many cute little girls just around Samantha and Amelia’s age at the party. The girls made friends with tons of Marisa’s nieces and kids of family friends and they all ran around together the entire time. It was like going to one of Jake’s family reunions!
 Playing hide and seek with their new friend, Nalia!

Playing roll the ball together. 
Marisa’s last test of her high school career: holding Amelia still for a picture! And she thought the SATs were hard. 

Congratulations to Marisa and all our 2014 graduates! Samantha and Amelia, Class of 2031, love and salute you!
Lots of love, 
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