Wow has it been a crammed, joyous and stressful weekend! As a result I don’t have pictures of my eats for you, but since we ate our meals out at restaurants all weekend I can give you a pretty detailed recap of what was consumed πŸ™‚ I bet you won’t mind no food pictures because there’s lots of other ones to feast your eyes on!

On Friday night my parents arrived in Gainesville and we immediately headed to Leonardo’s Pizza for some grub. I gobbled down a vegan slice, an organic salad and a couple of their to die for rolls which are essentially just their pizza dough in roll form. Delicious!

Saturday morning we headed to Cracker Barrel around 8:30 AM for some breakfast. I was a little nervous about the vegan-friendly choices they would have and my nervousness was quickly validated when I got a good look at the menu. No fresh fruit anywhere. So I went with oatmeal and requested raisins, pecans and brown sugar for my toppings. I also got a side of whole wheat toast and an orange juice. It was actually quite satisfying and I’d get it again there.

After breakfast we headed to the bookstore so I could sell back all of my textbooks I never opened the entire semester and then went shopping for a fancy diploma frame! I’m pleased to say that the frame I loved and wanted was marked nearly 50% off because of a little blemish that you can’t really see. Yay! I can’t wait to display my diploma when it comes in July.

The morning disappeared in the blink of an eye and it was suddenly time to get ready for my commencement ceremony at 1 PM. I went home and my parents went back to their hotel to get ready. An hour later we met back up and headed to the Phillips Center for Performing Arts and took some pictures before heading inside.

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My teaching partner, Bethany, and I posed for a picture to send off to our 4th graders πŸ™‚

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My beautiful mom and I!

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My 14-year old brother is suddenly taller than me and getting more handsome by the minute!

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I love this picture of my dad and I.

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My favorite picture of them all…

Graduation began and I was extremely, extremely excited to turn that tassel from right to left and then proceed to walk across the stage and shake hands with the dean.

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Here I am right after graduating!!!

After the ceremony, we headed to Chipotle where I got the most amazing burrito of my life there. It contained black beans, rice, guacamole, corn salsa and mild tomato salsa and some sauteed veggies. I didn’t miss my normal serving of cheese and sour cream I used to get one bit. It was perfect.

We finished eating just in time to head over to the O’Connell Center to meet up with Evan after his graduation. Unfortunately our ceremonies started 1.5 hours apart and we weren’t able to catch one another’s graduation. Pictures were a must, though and we took plenty. Take a look!

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I will be a “Bull” next year at the University of South Florida so this picture was very necessary for me to get since I just completed 4 years as a “Gator”!


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One last one of the two of us! I’m in my orange and blue UF colored cords and my green and gold USF colored dress!

Lastly, there were some great family photos taken that I definitely want to show off as well πŸ™‚ Looking at these I wish we’d gotten a shot of all 11 of us! Oh well…next graduation πŸ™‚

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We all (11 of us) headed to one of our favorite restaurants Liquid Ginger for a lovely celebration dinner later that night. There was so much conversation and wonderful food and I couldn’t have felt more lucky to be surrounded by such wonderful family. Evan and I are very lucky πŸ™‚ I had a spinach and tofu soup, ginger dressing salad, pad thai with tofu, and red bean ice cream. Red bean ice cream? Yes…I went there and I couldn’t have made a better decision than to eat my all-time favorite flavored ice cream than on my graduation day. I do have a picture to share of that moment actually…haha!

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I knew Sunday was going to be very hectic and since we didn’t leave the restaurant ’til about midnight, I crashed in my bed immediately after arriving for my last night in Gainesville and at my condo.

I pretty much had 75% of my stuff left to pack by the time Sunday (moving day) rolled around. Thank goodness for my parents, my brother, and my roommate Kathryn for all of their help. It would have taken me days on end to do what all of us accomplished in 7 hours. It was very stressful though. There were talks of my stuff not fitting in the small pull-behind U-Haul my dad had rented and me having to make the 2.5 hour trip back to Gainesville today to get the rest of it. I was not having any of that and I used every square inch of available space in the trailer, my car, and my parents car to get it all in one trip. I felt like this master conductor of a huge jigsaw puzzle, but thankfully I got it all to fit and did not have to go back today.

I spent my entire Monday cleaning out my room at my parents’ house and unloading my stuff. I had so much stuff from high school that needed to be purged, especially before loading my recently moved back items into my room. While my parents were at work and my brother was at school I jammed to Pandora (LOVE IT!!) and successfully unloaded the entire U-Haul by myself in an hour! My body is going to hate me tomorrow, but it felt good to get it done.

Somehow I managed to cook some dinner and dessert for my family tonight too! I realized I had everything except for a bell pepper on hand to make Snobby Joes from Veganomicon, so I was all over that! While my lentils simmered (under my mom’s supervision of course!) I ran out to get the pepper. This normally would have been really inconvenient BUT a new Publix location opened about 2 minutes from my house on Thursday!!! It’s SO nice!

This was my family’s first experience with vegan cooking. They were definitely skeptical at first but they quickly realized that what I made wasn’t weird or freaky or really anything to be scared of whatsoever. My mom even handed me some cash after dinner to go get something to make for tomorrow night! I’d call that a success! There was even a raw, vegan dessert but you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see how that turned out πŸ˜›

Until then…goodnight!!

P.S. My daily eats and the Vegan Challenge winner announcement will resume tomorrow! Catch ya then πŸ™‚

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