Friday, April 27, 2012

Utah Trip: Meg's Graduation

Thursday & Friday was the big event... why we were celebrating... Megan graduated from BYU!

Day 1: J-Dawgs, University Commencement, Elder Oaks, & Cold Stone
Since the actual commencement ceremony wasn't until late afternoon, we were able to just hang out with each other and get some errands done.  Annette showed off her new van and now we're thinking about getting one even more.  One of the errands was to get our lunch for the day... J-DAWGS.  One of the places on our 'must eat at' list.  We did notice our copy-cat recipe is pretty close, but nothing beats the original.  We also had fruit and veggies, lest someone thinks we just ate hot dogs all afternoon.  Part of the chilling included Megan seeing one of her best friends, her son, and Mom for the first time in forever.  Now that I type this, I wish we would've gotten a picture of them together.

When it came time to go, we thought we had left enough time for us to get a decent parking spot, at least in the handicapped area, but, boy were we wrong.  There was nothing.  Greg ended up dropping everyone off while we went on the hunt for a spot.  Once inside the Marriott Center, we had the same problems with seats.  We ended up sitting in the bleacher section behind the stage.  It turned out to be a nice place for the kids because as soon as the ceremony started, Jared & Annabelle passed out.  Jared actually lasted until part of the way through Elder Oaks, then laid his head down on my lap just to rest and ended up falling asleep that way.  It was adorable, slightly hot since I already have a personal furnace inside my uterus, but adorable and memorable nonetheless.  Annabelle passed out in Greg's arms a few minutes after the ceremony started.

The keynote address was given by Elder Oaks, one of the Twelve Apostles.  Since the last graduation speech was the one at ours, it was interesting to listen to the advice and why he would want to give it to them.  He talked a lot about representing the university, standing up for oneself, and staying true through trials and adversity.  Jared was excited to see one of the Apostles... until he fell asleep.  Elder Oaks was followed by their selected student speaker, who was also awesome.  We tried throughout the whole ceremony to locate Meg; at one point, we thought we had her and it ended up being someone else.  Since cell service is spotty at best in the Marriott Center, we couldn't confirm that way either.  Annette ended up just taking pictures of each section for Meg to look at later and find herself.

After the ceremony, we then had the task of finding her and taking pictures.  Luckily, we found her (like we never would or something) and took a bunch of pictures.  When the 'Jackson' clan came up, we realized at that moment we should've made some Zak, Parker & Krystal heads, since we were just missing them; the more we expanded, the harder it's going to be... but SO FUN!  Plus,  Belle stayed asleep in Greg's arms the whole time.  Even through Taylor & Jared tackling Jiji to the ground, only to then have all three of them tackled by one of the newest BYU alums.  On the way back to the M home, we all decided that since we had a great (and filling lunch) that 'dinner' would be best done at Cold Stone--- we were celebrating, after all.

Day 2: Park Fun, In 'n Out, College of Humanities Ceremony, & Pictures
The next day was the designated separate college graduation.  Since Meg was an English major, therefore graduating in the School of Humanities, we went right back to the Marriott Center---and by right back, I mean after we picked up Megbo's cake, went to the park, had lunch at In 'n Out, and roamed campus a little bit.

Each time we went from the M home down to Provo, we passed this fantastically awesome playground.  Jared would point it out and say how much he wanted to go.  So, when we got back from our morning errands and while waiting for everyone to get ready, we went.  The park was incredible.  It had a section for little park go-ers (2-5), however, both of our kids lasted only a few minutes in that section.  They wanted to explore the rest.  With my belly and Oba's bad knees, Jiji, Meg, and Greg were left to chase them around through all the nooks and crannies.  I'm pretty sure they each got stuck once somewhere; that's what happens when you get older.  Annabelle had a friend start following her around saying that he wanted to play with her.  True to Annabelle's nature, she said okay, and then promptly ignored him following her everywhere.  After Mr. Shadow's mom found him, Annabelle found the swings.  She stayed there until we left.  Jared was content with running around the whole joint and trying everything out.  He kept saying 'wow' or 'this is so cool.'  Definitely need to find the 'cooler' parks around the area back home.

After the crew was ready, we hit the road to In 'n Out.  I think this bums me out the most (that and being further away from family ;) because AFTER we move away, they are literally up and down the Wasatch Front.  Literally.  There's even two in the Provo/Orem area.  Oh, well.  We enjoyed our burgers, shakes and fries and, after I couldn't convince Greg we *needed* a Utah INO shirt, we went back to campus, off to our old stomping grounds.  We actually only had time to find WAY too many cool things in the bookstore.  The kids each picked a shirt and clearance kid mugs, Greg got a tie to save for Father's Day, and I got a sign and keychain; we didn't get anything for the baby because we completely forgot about it.  Netters decked out her girls in the cutest BYU outfits; I just wanted to eat them up!

Then, we repeated our day from yesterday.  Except this time we had better seats, we knew where Meg was, the kids stayed awake (until we got back to the car, so they were super grumps during pictures), and Meg also got her diploma (a.k.a. the cover for her diploma).  This time, the student speaker was way better;  maybe we were just all spoken out by that point, but she deviated from the normal 'graduation' speech.  Another strange thing about these two days is that we kept seeing people we knew from back home (in Seattle and Texas); in the huge masses of people, we would actually run into people we knew.  The pictures this time were short.  Meg got a couple with the cougar and the BYU sign.  We actually got a nice big group shot, except Tay is mostly covered; she was super cute, nonetheless.  We finished off the day with another well-rounded meal.  Graduation Cake. :)

These few days made the crazy hours in the car worth it.  We're both so proud of Megan sticking through her degree.  I know it isn't what she thought it would be when she started, but she did it.  She's turned into an incredible woman and I know she has big things in store for her in the future. We love Auntie Megbo!

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