do or do not. there is no try.

Well, I did it! whoa baby. high five. You may now address me as 'Master J'. I'm now educated and qualified to be YOUR genetic counselor. (or hip-hop artist, as the name would suggest - per Dad) Degrees were officially conferred on Friday night at the big ceremony in Norman at the OU stadium...something like 8,000 graduates...a huge 'to-do', much like Baylor's commencement. Having done the 'big' event for undergrad, I opted for the more intimate ceremony on Saturday - just masters and PhD students from the college of medicine. It was really well done, and I think my family thanks me for not having to sit through thousands of other students waiting for me to cross the stage. For a masters/PhD, you are to walk on stage with your mentor/director of your department, and they 'hood' you. It's this really strange elf-hat looking thing that drapes around your neck and hangs down behind you. But, hey, I felt pretty proud. Melissa and I also wore red and silver tassels for graduating with honors. After the ceremony, they had a nice wine & hors d’oeuvres reception in the library foyer for graduates and their guests. My whole family flew in, and Aaron's family (his grandparents too!) were there to celebrate - minus, of course, new daddy Trae (who I can't wait to see with new baby Emma!). As challenging as this road has been, the reward and feeling of accomplishment is of course even sweeter because of the sacrifice. Instead of closing a chapter, I really feel like I'm opening so much more! Recently someone had commented 'wow, it must be great to still be in college'...um, I beg your pardon. 'college' was amazing - that unbelievable adventured filled with such change and activity and excitement and wonderful friends. But, I don't ever remember getting up at 6 am every day, school-patients-work for 8 to 9 hours in the day, returning home at 6 pm, then studying for the rest of the night before getting up to do it all over again. Not quite the exciting-active-adventure picture of college that may have been implied... just as a disclaimer, clearly baylor took a lot of hard work too, it just came with a few more positives I guess, and a lot more balance. happily, I will now be able to come home to just 'come home' in the evenings. What's that like? ...now I want to hear...' wow, it must be great to be married and have a real job!' Now, I know that the future will a still hold the stresses of daily life... but, i've always had that in addition to the school + work load. I want to make myself 'busy' with spending all my time time with Aaron, family, and friends instead of being 'busy' staring at my thesis. sounds like cloud nine to me. In pure 1950s fashion, I'm thrilled to just hone in on my wife-y skills. As much as Aaron sweetly reminds me that he couldn't possibly want anything more, I'm just pumped to be able to just serve and encourage him with MORE of my time (and hopefully cooking!) as he continues through school, working for our future.

Well, my mom planned a few extra days for her time here in OKC... I could write for days on all the fun we had. It has been such a great experience to spend quality time with my parents - first, with my dad in Phoenix, and now with my mom on her visit here. In her 5 days we managed to squeeze in:

  • manicures/pedicures/haircuts
  • cafe 501
  • shopping [hitting up all the favorites - penn square, western ave., and spring creek]
  • dining al fresco wherever possible
  • graduation reception @ school the day before - put on by the wonderful staff in the Genetics section. it was so sweet!
  • the happy graduates - thank you melissa, for all the laughs, the venting, & for sharing this experience together. I wouldn't have wanted to walk this road with anyone else! thank you, Aaron, for your constant patience, understanding, and amazing sense of humor. I am, of course, crazy in love with you. I thank you for helping me through these last few years, you have made everything I do seem so incredibly worthwhile. You make me feel so incredibly blessed and loved each and every day. I look forward to returning your oh-so-generous favor.
    • of course, graduation ceremony itself with celebratory dinner @ 1492
    • lake hefner
    • sunning by the pool [...I need a 'base tan' before Florida. I made a promise to Aaron after last year's pre-wedding tanning and subsequent dermatology biopsy scare that I would never hit the tanning beds again. Let that be a word of warning to you ladies. seriously.]
    • movie: do not see forgetting sarah marshall unless, I guess, you want to see full male nudity and the most vulgar jokes and innuendos I've witnessed on the big screen.
    • Mother's day brunch at cafe nova complete with unlimited mimosas!
    • Mother's day afternoon spent hanging out and playing at the chaloner's house
    • trip to the casinos. I only spent $10 for 3 hours of fun! I almost won $21,000... no really, almost won. I hit the 'diamond jackpot' across all three lines, and then was given a bonus spin - there were only 7 options, 4 of them being cash awards from ~$100 to $21,000. I hit the other one, multiplying my bet by 12x. It was my first spin on that machine, people had crowded around after the lights went off before I did the 'bonus' round. I didn't even realize what I'd almost done until it was all over.
    • ...and last but not least, a lot of food and a lot of conversation. I put up a slew of pictures on our online photo album. Thanks mom, I had a great time!


    Mom said...

    Thanks Hun, I had a great time too. You and Aaron are terrific hosts! I am really looking forward to your visit home. Just don't plan on any pool break-ins this time...I have moved on to bigger escapades! Love you, Mom