Monday, May 11, 2009

The Weekend of the Graduation, Mother's Day and Book Signing

Disclosure: This post is a leeeetle long. I don't like long posts here or elsewhere, so I apologize, but this all happened in one weekend, and I want to get it out now while it's fresh. If you can tough it out 'til the end, then you are special, and you deserve a prize like a brand new car or a free KFC meal courtesy of Oprah. If you are new here from the book signing, welcome. I'm not usually this wordy. Not usually. But sometimes.

Weekend Part 1: Graduation

I am of a certain age when a weekend like this can only be repeated about once every four years because it is exhausting. So that's 2005 on the left, 2009 on the right, in case you couldn't tell. That's Katie at 18 and Katie at 22, and that's me at 42 and me at ... 42 1/2.

I am now the mom of a college graduate.

Yes, she made it. When we left her on campus in the fall of '05, she wasn't sure if she could cut it, but she grabbed college life by the tail and never let go.

Way to go, Katie! You did well!

I've written a piece about this which I'm going to use for my contribution to Internet Cafe this month, and then probably a re-write for my newspaper column, so I'll hold off on sentimentality--for now. But it's bubbling up and cannot be held back for long. But I do want to say here and now that I'll never forget how beautiful her green eyes were as she stood there in her cap and gown just afterward.

After graduation, we were guests at a cookout at Katie's house on campus. She and her roommates invited friends and their families. In the slideshow below, you will see two girls who, unlike my kids, actually want to make this blog: Bethany, whom Katie has known virtually all her life from church, and Kelly, whom Katie met her freshman year.

Moms of teenagers: Can I get an "amen" to how important your child's friends are? These two have been stellar friends, HUGE blessings to Katie and us, and guess what? They both love ME, too! And they read this blog! Hi, Bethany and Kelly! Kelly and my son Jordan are lifeguards together at the school, and they are good friends, as well. I cannot tell you how many times Kelly has loaned Jordan her car. (Don't ask me why. He can be a stinker at times. Like 22 hours a day.)

After the cookout, we took Jordan back to his dorm so that he could bring out his packed up stuff that will come home to live with us for the summer while he himself shares a house with four other guys on campus this summer. What is wrong with that picture? I hope his parka and gloves will have a great summer of family bonding with us in his newly re-decorated bedroom. I just hope his comforter enjoys the sage green on the walls. Perhaps we'll take his wool sweater on vacation with us to the beach.

Anyway, we sat in the car in the street watching him and his roommate through the open 2nd story window of their room. Finally, he flipped out the lights, and I turned to Jorge and said, "Well, that's it. 'Lights out!' on the sophomore year. Our son is now a junior, and our daughter graduated a couple of hours ago. Can you believe it?"

No, we cannot believe it. Because:

This was actually taken, oh, like last week. The moral of this portion of this post is: Go hug your little children one more time today. And put some money in the bank for college.

Weekend Part 2: Mother's Day and small family celebration at our house.

EXHAUSTING for me, the hospitality-challenged person, but it went OK. I had some food catered and I made some, which did not sicken anyone or even come close to cutting their tongues out. So, "score."

Here is a picture of my beautiful mom taken this week at a local middle school where she and my dad spoke to the kids in some kind of "Get to Know History Through Old People" exercise, which both my parents and the kids apparently thoroughly enjoyed.

I would like to say, "Gee, I hope I look this good at 84," but actually, I'd like to look that good now. She's amazing. Moral of her beauty story: Stay out of the sun. She doesn't like this picture because her neck has "wrinkles." Good grief.

By the way, in the slideshow, you will see my dad, who is about 6'2", my mom who is about 5'10", Katie, sister-in-law Kim, and my brother Donnie. Look how big he is. He's like Brad Garrett on Raymond. Keep in mind when you see that pic that my dad is 6'2"!

Weekend Part 3: The Book Signing

Sunday morning, I was a nervous wreck, nearly sick to my stomach thinking, "Why in the world did I do this? I am an idiot. People are going to think I have the biggest ego in the world. People are going to laugh at me."

When I arrived the bookstore managers made me feel very comfortable and not stupid, for which I am grateful. And then a couple of people came in and bought books, which then alleviated the fear that I would indeed being do "a" book signing, as in singular, or ONE book.

People are nice.

Some bought two or three at a time as Mother's Day gifts, and at that point, you could have knocked me over with a bookmark. So I signed away, and I think we sold about half of what she ordered, or maybe a little less. I don't know the count yet.

Then I rushed home for that family get-together.

So here is a slide show of all the things I mentioned above because a picture is worth the 2,000 words I probably just used to bore you to death about it.

If you hung in here this long, thanks. You are a bloggin' bff, "Big-Hearted Faithful Friend."


Anonymous said...

I like your long posts. Congrats again to Katie! And to you!!!

Joyce said...

Congratulations to your daughter (and you too!). I could so relate to this post ...well, except the book signing of course. My oldest phoned the other night after completing exams and I heard my hubs say, 'Congratulations you're a senior'. And I thought, that cannot be right..wasn't she just a senior in highschool??? How can she be a senior in college???

My mom is 79 and looks so young and also gives credit to staying out of the sun. I fear I have no hope...I should have moved to England as a teenager : )

Beth in NC said...

Ok, I get an award ... I read everything and watched the entire slide show. :)

You have a beautiful family and your Mom does NOT look her age!

I am almost the same age as you and I'm just starting my family! Can you imagine? lol I'll be 42 in July.

I'm glad the book signing went well for you!

Congrats to Katie!


Mrs. E said...

Congrats to the college grad, the book signer, and the Mothers who survive crazy weekends. Aren't you glad that weekends like this only come around once in awhile!

carol ~ i throw like a girl said...

Congrats! Congrats! Congrats! on everything (and a belated Happy Mother's Day)!

I totally would have come to your book signing if I weren't 1000 miles away. Seriously.

Dena said...

Congratulations to Katie...what a beautiful young woman she is!

If it makes you feel any better, we're taking both our daughters winter coats, sweatshirts, and gloves on vacation with us. Neither of them is coming home for the summer. darn kids. :)

Happy Mothers Day.

Kelly said...

I MADE THE BLOG! I MADE THE BLOG!!!! WOOO!!! It was great! Thank you!

sara said...

that was not too long!!! Congrats to Katie!!

sounds like a wonderful weekend!!!

The Bayou Belles and Their Beau said...

Thanks for the cry this morning (not from the book signing or Mother's Day, but the baby's graduation).

Mocha with Linda said...

Thought about you all weekend. Looks like it was a blast! An exhausting blast! Congrats to Katie. She is a doll. So now what's on her agenda?

I would have been first in line at your book-signing!

And Happy Mother's Day to you a day late. So glad you got to spend it with your mom. Treasure these days, hair-pulling-out and all....

BTW, your brother looks like mine, who is about 6'6"!!

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

Kelly, of course you made the blog! I had actually written a bit more about you and Bethany, but when I published the post, that part and another part was gone, and I don't know why. I wrote about you being nice to Jordan who is a stinker 22 hrs a day and how you have loaned him your car so much. :)

Susan said...

First off, congrats to Katie!! What a special day. Second, congrats to you! Yeah the book signing thing can be a little uncomfortable. I've even been known to have a friend or two come by just so I'm not sitting there all lonely with pen in hand. But, hooray and congrats!! I've missed my visits here. I'll be back soon.

lailani said...

Congratulations! And not too long, I think mine was too long today, but like you said, there is so much in a weekend with a college graduation (step-daughter graduated Friday).

Thanks for sharing!


Kim said...

Congrats, mother of the graduate! Enjoyed all you had to say AND show :-) Great photos. Got a big kick out of the group hug and Zoe in the little cap from the cake. Your brother is one tall dude!

So what are Katie's plans now? Job, grad school?

Barbara H. said...

Congratulations to you all! We had a college graduation, too. It does make for a very busy weekend!!

Melanie @ This Ain't New York said...

Congrats to Katie! Thanks for sharing. Catering- you are one smart cookie. You can't enjoy the event if you are stuck in the kitchen.

kristi said...

The post wasn't THAT long! Nice photos and congrats to your daughter!

Lynnette said...

Wow. You did have a busy weekend. Glad you made it through and congrats to your daughter on graduation, and to you on the book!

2Thinks said...

Still my blogger hero- look at all the pics and special effects- a slideshow- get out! Can you make it so a piece of cake is served out from the screen to the reader? Plleeease....

If not, just leave me a piece on my page, I'll pick it up there.

Congrats on all!

H-Mama said...

not long. not boring... i'm off to hug my girls... again. kleenex?

Paula (SweetPea) said...

I guess I've been away a little. I didn't realize you had a book signing, let alone a published book. What is the name of your book?

Chatty Kelly said...

I read the whole post AND watched the whole video show. Poop & Circumstance. LOL!

Well I'm glad you survived your big weekend! Everything looked great. Your mom is a beauty and you are prettier now than 4 yrs ago. I like your hair better. I think you & your mom must age backwards - like Ben Button.


skoots1mom said...

Congrats on graduating, Katie..and mother-of- Katie!
I can't imagine having 2 in college.

Great pictures!
ok, so Dad(6'2") and Mom(5'10")...what happened?
tee hee, you're adorable just the way you are.
enjoyed all the wasn't too long.:)

Anonymous said...

Linda, you probably should have gone for 4,000 words because it read super fast & it's all such exciting and monumental news to read about!

You're such a great mother, as I'm sure they told you yesterday, and it's a blessing to read your reflections on life's progressions.

And I'm not hitting on you or bashing your mom, because she looks amazing-you're right-but just to call it how it is...I bet you'll blow her out of the water when you're her age, AND you'll be the most adored blogger ever! What a combination : )

Roxanne said...

I know I've been absent recently. . .life has eaten me up. Loved the slideshow--and your post was NOT wordy OR long. I hope you got a nap today. :) Congratulations to all of your kiddos, and you, friend.

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

Zim, you are the sweetest kid ever. You choked me up.

Susanne said...

OI, I've been over here probably 4 or 5 times today already and keep getting interrupted before I can get my comment typed.

First Congratulations to Katie! How exciting for you, Katie! May God Bless You as you start this new time in your life.

Second, Happy Mother's Day to you and your Mom! Your both GORGEOUS! Hope you had a wonderful day together.

Third, they sold over half of all those books. Whoo Hoo! Congrats to you on that!

Fourth, Zoe looks absolutely adorable as a graduate.

Whew, I think I made it!

Patrice said...

Wow, busy weekend! The post was not bad at all and I loved the pictures at the end. I'll have to say that Zoe is one cute grad!! Higgins would love to hook up with an educated lady such as her!! HA!

Now go take a nap or something, you deserve it!

Anonymous said...

Wow! That's a banner weekend! Congrats to the her cake and flowers.

You look like a natural signing books. Maybe some day you'll be at my Barnes and Noble here in Cedar Rapids, IA. I'll be the first in line!!!

Robin @ Be Still and Know said...

Congratulations on the graduate and the signing! Two huge things back to back! Way to go girl!

and the post wasn't that long....

Beverlydru said...

Talk about a full weekend. I loved reading every word. You are a blessed woman. And funny too. Hugs.

Merrie said...

Okay.. so I read the post twice and watched the pictures several times... Congratulations on everything... It was a very busy and emotional, rewarding weekend. You did a great job!

annie's eyes said...

What a great weekend. A college graduate and a book signing! Isn't it fun having them all home again! Congratulations to Katie--smart girl and darling! Thanks for the scoop. You're a great mom. Happy belated Mother's Day!

Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

Katie is GORGEOUS! A huge congrats to her. Now I need to go wake Savannah up and give her a big hug and kiss because I know I'll blink and she'll be your Katie's age.

The book signing pics are awesome! Way to go, Linda! So proud of you too.