Sunday, May 19, 2013

We Have A Graduate!

It's hard to believe when the youngest child has graduated.  It's kind of a shock to the system!  After almost a week of celebration, Dave turned to me as we were driving to the airport to come home and said, in disbelief, "Lauren is out of college".  But we really did celebrate - the whole family, in fact, flew out to Indiana to see it happen.  Lauren has been to her brothers' graduations but this one was quite a trekk for them!  (Changing planes, layovers, $$$ for air travel etc.)  But they had a blast - we all did - and what was so nice was that (Kevin's wife) Lauren took time off from work and the expense to support her sister in law/ "name-sharer".  There are a ton of pictures on this post because I want to make a Graduation Book for Lauren and it's pretty easy to do from the blogpost.  So, I'll just put captions under the pictures to explain them.  

We started the week out with a Cubs game... 
Chicago was awash in tulips!  EVERY block along Michigan Avenue had tons of them
in really large planters along the sidewalks.  It was drop-dead gorgeous!
Lunch time along the Chicago River.  It is just a lovely site with the river cutting through the high-rises.
We even saw 3 kayakers winding their way up river.  
These are commuter/tour boats that traverse the river.
We were the tourists (not the commuters, thank goodness)
and we really enjoyed the sights.
The two Laurens.  Cubbies' fans for the moment.  (Giants fans at heart.)
Yep- he is absolutley the #1 Dad!!!!
He was kidding...we are not.
Dan (boyfriend and fellow Purdue alum) and Drew.
Chicago at night. Absolutely gorgeous.  More tulips - honestly, they are everywhere!  
The view from the Sears Tower.  Lake Michigan is in the background.
Lauren and Dan in front of The Bean.  It's an artistic wonder that DDL Lauren and I both insisted on seeing  and everyone LOVED it - even the guys who were moaning and groaning about traffic and parking and what a waste of time etc. etc.  Well, it was really cool and we all were amazed by it.
Drew and Lauren, reflecting in The Bean.  It's shaped like a kidney bean and has a mirror/reflective surface so you see reflections of yourself and the surroundings.  
Here it is in total.  And it's in a nice plaza/park area. 
The Sears Tower again - on the 'ledge' - where you walk out on to glass and can look down  (wayyyyyyy down) to street level.  It is not for the faint of heart or a queasy stomach.  I could only get one foot out there and I don't think I'm afraid of heights.  Everyone pushed themselves to face their fear but it was not easy.  It's very creepy/scary.  
Aha!  The Graduation Ceremony - the reason we were there! 
Ahhh...the Purdue Alums, sharing a special moment.
The lil' sis knocked it out of the park!
The two Laurens.  I hesitate to say that I think they met when one was 12 and the other was 16...
Time to relax for a nice dinner.  
Jumping the rails - a Purdue tradition.  It's good luck to do after Graduation.
Another Good Luck tradition - walking under the Bell Tower after Graduation.  The superstition goes that if you  ever walk under the Bell Tower before graduation, it means that you won't graduate in 4 years - lucky for us Lauren waited until graduation.  It takes a conscious decision to do that because the tower is right in the middle of a busy campus where students are changing classes all the time.  It would be an easy short cut.  Gee - thanks Lauren!
One of the "Clapping Circles" that some engineer designed.
If you clap in the center, the sound carries and actually hurts your ears!
More clapping - It would be awful to have an office nearby.  Lauren says kids clap all the time when they pass through.  
Pappy's Diner in the Memorial Union (student union).  A hang-out since 1923.
Dan and Lauren looking over the campus map...and memories.
It couldn't have been more lovely this May.

Congratulations, Lauren.
We are so grateful.
Love, Mom and Dad