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Friday, December 21, 2012

Graduation Celebration

Yesterday my eldest child and only daughter graduated from ASU.

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The evening before the ceremony we planned an intimate gathering to kick off the celebration.

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The school colors are deep red and gold. This was a stroke of luck for me since I knew that I probably wouldn’t have time to create yet another tablescape before Christmas Eve when we will host yet another (but substantially bigger) gathering.

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Heavy white damask napkins were rolled up like diplomas. Simple tassels (another graduation nod) were tied on with gold ribbon.

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A birds eye view.

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The dessert offerings were incorporated as part of the decoration.

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A fashionista favorite~ pfeffernusse cookies and candy cane marshmallows that sweet boy made.

Take one candy cane and put it in a marshmallow, dip in melted chocolate.

Roll in crushed candy cane and lay on waxed paper. Let dry.

Make yourself a lovely cup of cocoa.

Hang the candy cane on the edge of the cup and let the chocolate, marshmallow, mint goodness melt into your drink.

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Do you see the piroulines (rolled wafer cookies)? They were purchased at the dollar store and tied with a strand of thin ribbon to mimic delicious diplomas.

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Here’s another view.

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This star gazer lily is so wonderfully fragrant.

TIP: I always cut out the interior stamens so that the yellow pollen won’t fall onto the white cloth.

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More treats! A silver tray is filled with delicious homemade creations such as banana bread, moose munch, jam thumbprints, toffee bars, peanut butter and sugar cookies. But there are also yummy gingerbread men and chocolate stars puchased from Trader Joe’s.

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Early the next morning we headed to ASU.

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From the top of her head…

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…to the tips of her toes…

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…she was my Fashionista.

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She majored in history and minored in music history so it was appropriate she wore her Paul McCartney "wings" pin on her gown.

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As predicted, I cried my eyes out at the ceremony.  At the after party I gave her the gift I made and she started crying which started me up again. (Don’t worry I’ll share her present in the new year.)

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Later in the evening when I uploaded this photo I began to cry all over again. This has truly been one of the most heartbreaking, stressful, agonizing (and 1000 more words) years that we as a family have ever experienced. I would not wish what we have endured on anyone.

But we’re still standing. 

Stronger than ever.

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We as a family want to say two things:

“Praise Jesus!”


“Thank you to our dear blogging friends who have helped carry us through this journey. Your support meant the world to us. May the joy, love, and peace of the season be yours.”

The Gunn’s

The outtakes:

Mama told them to pose proud.

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“Are you ready to start your Masters?”

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“Jam session?”

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“Sweet boy on drums.”

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Congratulations Alyssabeth. We are SO proud of you!!!

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Kelley Highway said...

How can I pack everything I want to say... and NOT forget something?

-- Your glowing girl. Positively radiant.
-- When I saw your teary-eyes, I choked up and cried. Oh, my goodness. I'm so very proud of your lovely daughter.
-- Her outfit? OK: absolutely glammin'-jammin'. Her style is all her... as it should be. I love how comfortable she is to be herself, walk around in her own lovely skin. Wow. Give her another diploma for that.
-- A for ADORE-able table ideas. Diplomas? That is so cute! And tassels on the napkins? Ditto!

And I can't wait to see what else you gave her from your heart. Here I go again... *tears*. Oh, thank Heaven for little girls. xo

And 2012 is almost complete. The ink is nearly dry on it. Be sure you stay up late enough to make sure 2012 goes out and the new year 2013 comes in. God love you all. *prayers* *hugs* *love * I'll be watching for you... I'll get 2013 before you do. *wink*

Blubbering blessings,

P.S. What do people do who don't even know my Jesus?

Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

She is just beautiful!!! CONGRATS on her graduation! I loveeeeeeee the photos!!!! Those outtakes made me SMILE!!! :)

Auntie Em said...

Congratulations to your beautiful daughter! Her Momma raised her right. :)

Deco Chick said...

Congratulations! I love your blog

Maria Elena said...

Congratulations to Alyssabeth!!! What a beautiful daughter and a wonderful family you have! I know what you felt on this day and I can see in your pictures how proud you are. Wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a lot of joy and happiness in the New Year!

♥ Sonny ♥ said...

what a wonderfully special moment.

congrats to the lovely graduate and many blessings to her and all your family.
I agree, walking thru the hard times , makes us stronger..

April Dunlap said...

Congratulations to your whole wonderful family! Y'all look so great together. Your celebratory decorations were just beautifully dreamed and done! So happy for you!
hugs, and Merry Christmas!

Christine said...

Go ahead and "bust your buttons".
Congratulations and well done.

It's moments like this that up a smile on my face and think, wow!

French said...

YAY! Felicitations!! I am proud of your Girl, and of course I love everything about the table! Perfect!!! Hugs to all~

Craftymoose Crafts said...

Thanks for letting us share in this celebration! Congrats to your girl--I'll be going through this in May!

Best wishes for a Merry Christmas to you all!

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Oh how fun and such a wonderful milestone in all of your lives, expecially hers. I know she is destined for super great things. Hugs, marty

Karie's Chic Creations said...

How sweet and tender. Congrats to the graduate and to the Mom and Dad. What a great accomplishment. Amazing how the milstones in our children's lives always tug at our heartstrings. We love them so much, but each step they take means they are growing up. You have a beautiful daughter, very much like her Mommy. Hugs to you my blogging friend. And a very Merry Christmas to you. Karie

Julia C. said...

Congratulations to all of you....specially to your daughter...

Diane | An Extraordinary Day said...

Congratulations to you and to your daughter. What an accomplishment!!
Your tablescape is lovely and fun! I love stargazer lilies...but would not be able to have them near my eating area. I love the little details like the broach on the ribbon around the vase.
Wishing you a joyous Christmas and New Year blessed beyond imagination.

Teresa said...

I believe I've never seen two pictures of your girl that looked the same. She's a chamaleon. A person who adjusts to survive, rule and conquer.

She's so much like you. Or she has the best of you in a different way. Where you're the light she's the blast; where you are the sound she's the voice... it's pretty amazing and this occasion captured it in full. Probably because she's more certain and sure of herself... and you're letting the little girl go and fly.

Amazing oportunity to have the Best party ever. I love big tables and all but there's something to be said about cozy and intimate celebrations like you had.

The details? Well, it's a DTA! Over and over. On big and small details. On the thoughtfulness, on the proud and love put in its elaboration.

Well done! You deserved a big Happy Moment!

Love and wishes of a Blessed Christmas and may the Sun always shine of Fashionista's future path.


P.S. On the birds' view you can see the reflection of photographer on the cutlery ahahahahah I always watch out when on Christmas Morning I take pictures of the table already set so I won't get caught on my cosiest robe ahahahaha

Connie said...

My what a lovely post . . . you pack a lot into making wonderful family memories. You are a very special Mom.
Merry Christmas
Your blogging sister, Connie :)

nannykim said...

congrats and such a beautiful table. Thanks for tip on the pollen. I have had pollen stain my clothes--can't get it to wash out!

What I Did Today said...

Congrats to Alyssabeth!!!! Beautiful girl. Love Sweet Boy's candy cane marshmallows. I must remember that for next year! I love the way you decorated your table. Absolutely gorgeous!

What I Did Today said...

I forgot to tell you how much I LOOOOOOVE your dress and necklace. Lovely color and style!

Bettyann said...

Laura..I am so happy for you and your family...congrats to your lovely daughter. You have had a very tough year, but you are still standing proud and tall. Take care dear lady and Merry Christmas....

Mary Ellen said...

Congratulations to your lovely daughter and really the whole family on her graduation!!! Know your support for her dream helped her on many an occasion!

What a lovely family and a lovely testimony to Jesus how this past year with it's many heartaches and pain has brought you closer together. So like Him!

The table was so pretty and festive and I can just imagine you all around that lovely setting celebrating!

Merry Christmas Dear Friend! Hope to see you soon- we hope to get out that way in the next few months to see hubby's parents.

bee blessed

Jill Flory of Sew a Fine Seam said...

Laura your table is just breathtaking! And your daughter is so beautiful! i love how she has her own style and isn't afraid to put it out there!
You are such a beautiful family!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Congratulations to your beautiful daughter, Laura. I'm so proud of her and of you!

Your table is beautiful and sweet boy did a good job on helping with the desserts. I loved all the goodies. AND I appreciate the tip about the stamens. That pollen is awful on white linens. Great tip!

I was dropping by to wish you a very Merry Christmas! I'm still running around and trying to finish. Will I? I hope!



Christie said...

Congrats, mama! You have a beautiful and accomplished daughter!

(The party looked great too ... just the icing on the cake for such an accomplishment.)

openid said...

Congrats to your Fashionista on graduating college. She achieved this with everything else going on and followed her parent's lead to be the heroine in her life and NOT a victim. Just imagine what she will accomplish in the good times to come! I wish her continued success. Always remember you all have everything you need -- each other.
My heart celebrates this accomplishment with you this morning.
Your Friend,

Kit said...

Oh wow! Congrats to all of you. Isn't it the best feeling in the world?? I have been very blessed and both my girls have graduated college. Your table was so festive and simply lovely. You sure know how to do it up right. :) Kit

Denise said...

Merry Christmas to you and yours and blessings upon blessings may our Lord give to you.Now, I'm going back to the most recent few post and read them.I did see your doggy's dressed for the season though-How sweet!I do want to read now about your beautiful blessed family-Denise from Coffeeberry Cottage <3