I officially have my MS in Nutritional Sciences - Dietetics Practice! My mom arrived in town a few days before graduation, and Ryan's parents arrived the day before. Our ceremony is fairy informal - no caps and gowns. Because it's just our program, it has some nice personal touches that the larger ceremonies lack. We start with a poster session, where each student stands by a poster they made about a case study, their public health project, or a policy update they recommended at a site and the attendees can read the posters/ask questions of us about our topic. Mine was updating the inpatient BTF policy at Seattle Children's - related to my capstone project, but not part of the scope of the capstone itself. There are light refreshments (we are the nutrition program, after all - what kind of gathering would it be without food?). After posters/refreshments, the graduation program begins. We have our names called to get our empty diploma folder. Then we each present awards to our selected Outstanding Preceptors and give gifts to faculty and staff who have been key to our completing the program. A brief wrap-up by our dietetic program faculty concludes the event.
Mal was very into making a peace sign with his hands in all the pictures, so here I am holding his hand down and he sticks his tongue out instead.
I made a simple dinner for the family when we got home - grilled beef tenderloin with a chimichurri sauce, steamed broccoli, and spinach salad. Because Gareth was at camp still, we waited to go out to celebrate until the next evening when he was home. I selected a local Chinese restaurant that is a favorite of ours - Chiang's Gourmet - for our celebratory dinner. It was fun to share our favorite dishes with family. And we discovered some delicious new ones as well!
The poor air quality put quite a damper on the rest of the activities we had planned for the week. Ryan's mom, my mom, myself, and the boys escaped to see Incredibles 2 one day, just to get the boys out of the house for a bit while still keeping them out of the unhealthy air. I'd hoped to take Ryan's parents on the water taxi to Alki, but the smoke nixed that plan. We'll have to do it the next time they come when the weather is hopefully better.
One of our good friends brought me a lovely orchid as a graduation gift. And Mal was in heaven when my mom actually purchased flowers (he always asks for them when we pass the store floral department, but I never get any). She got a single red rose for him, which is still going strong somehow, and made a nice bouquet for me.
We spent the week sharing some other favorite eateries with everyone and relaxing around the house. I'd hoped to get out for walks to the park or Gareth's new school, but unhealthy air. We did head out to the local duck pond for a bit, only to discover that they're doing some renovations to it and so it's closed. The boys were happy to get out for a bit anyway and they even got some wild blackberries out of the failed outing.
Ryan's parents had to head home after a week, but my mom was staying for another week. Air quality was still bad for most of the time, but we got out to do some school supply shopping and shoe shopping for the boys. We also had fun just looking at some furnishing possibilities for our house, even though those improvements are a little ways off yet. We all enjoyed all the baking we did. We had some leftover coconut milk from dinner one day, so found some recipes to use the it in. Vanilla-coconut cake and chocolate-coconut panna cotta were both successes. The next day we made pane bianco, which I'd been wanting to try for the past year or so and which turned out beautifully. And I'd been promising Ryan more pumpkin cream cheese muffins since we made them a summer or two ago, so we finally got around to those as well.
My mom and I also got some more pictures hung around the house and found a delightful local framing and art shop to get some framing done so I can hang another couple pieces when that work gets done. The woman who owns the shop was wonderful to work with and she had all sorts of lovely prints and other artwork available to purchase. Just a fun place to look around for a while. I'm guessing the framing will turn out to be fairly expensive, but I love feeling confident that it will be quality work and knowing that I can just walk down to pick up my pieces when they're done.
Now that my mom's headed back home, I get to hit the books again. I'll spend the next few weeks getting the kids ready for school, started on their school year, and studying for the RD exam - the final hurdle to cross on my way to starting my career.