graduation celebrations.

31 May
This past Sunday marked the first of our summer worship schedule at Grace, meaning now just one service at 9am. Kendall was gone so it was all me – solo. I led worship, preached, schmoozed at coffee hour and then at 11am, hit the road for St.Paul. It was the day of Luther Seminary’s 141st commencement ceremony and I was super excited to make the trek and celebrate with a few graduating friends!
The ceremony is always held at Central Lutheran Church in downtown Minneapolis, one of the largest, most beautiful Lutheran churches. I met up with my pal, James, and we found our spots in the balcony to cheer on the graduates. This year there were about 45 graduates with two-year master degrees and about 75 graduates with master of divinity degrees (the degree which I seek and will receive next year at graduation – eek!).
It was my dapper friend, Justin, who invited me to make the journey to graduation. Justin and I met last year when he moved into the room next to mine in the dorms on campus. I’ve been knocking on his door, bothering him ever since and he politely tolerates my friendship. I couldn’t help but tell him so many times that day how proud I am of him! My dear friend, Kate, (below in the white dress and master’s hood) also crossed the stage and received her master of divinity degree! Kate was one of my very first friends at seminary; we were set-up by a high school friend of mine who went to college with Kate. She will be serving a parish in the U.P. of Michigan; the specific location of the lucky congregation to have her as their pastor is still to be determined.
After the ceremony, James and I joined Justin and his family (who flew in from Pennsylvania for the occasion) in celebrating the day. We ate a fancy schmancy dinner downtown, where I may have accidently thrown expensive French cheese on the floor. My reaction as Justin picked the cheese up : giggles. Fancy places make me giggle; the hick in me feels out of place and uncomfortable. The cheese was still good; the five second rule also applies to fancy food.
Later that evening, we headed out to further celebrate Justin’s graduation. We visited The Happy Gnome in St.Paul (naturally) and then, after 45 minutes of driving around looking for a respectable eating establishment that was open, landed at Pizza Luce where the three of us quickly devoured a baked potato pizza. Back to the dorms for a bed time story and incessant laughing before bed.
Wait. Bed? We heard the birds begin to chirp at 4am and then noticed when the sky started to get lighter at 6am. We scored a good 2.5 hours of sleep before heading to IKEA for brunch/lunch/celebratory cake and then, sadly, my trip to the cities needed to come to a close; I headed back to Dawson after a most fulfilling and exciting night in St.Paul catching up with two of my most favorite friends.

And how does one drive three hours by oneself on two and a half hours of sleep?
Thank you, Caribou.
Thank you, espresso.

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