Rachael’s Graduation and Party

My daughter Rachael graduated yesterday with her Master of Arts in English with an emphasis in Literature from Loyola Marymount University here in Los Angeles. She has worked two part-time jobs and gone to school full-time for the past two years while maintaining a 4.0 GPA so, needless to say, our family is very proud of her. Yesterday was a chance to celebrate her accomplishments.

My nephew Jim (my sister Leslie’s son), his wife, Karri, and their son, Eli, came from Salt Lake City to help us celebrate. After the graduation, we drove down to a nearby beach where my son-in-law Gregorio put up two pop-ups and Rachael’s boyfriend Andrew cooked tortas on a grill. We ate chips with homemade guacamole and pico de Gallo that Sarah and Gregorio had made, a delicious black bean and mango salad that my son-in-law Ron made, and tasty homemade refried beans from Andrew’s mom. In addition, Ron’s mom, Cindy, sent a delectable banana cake that she had baked and I brought a honey-sweetened chocolate cake with butter cream frosting. We had wonderful food followed by a relaxing afternoon of hanging out together at the beach. The weather was 65 degrees with clear skies and a nice breeze straight from the ocean. It was an absolutely perfect celebration of Rachael’s dedication and hard work.

It’s hard for me to adequately express just how grateful I feel to have such wonderful people in my life, especially this little crowd of folks who shared such love yesterday. I am also so proud of Rachael. She has read dozens of books and written countless pages of analysis and commentary over the past two years. She followed her passion, worked hard, and distinguished herself as an exemplary student.

Congratulations, Rachael. You can feel proud of a job well done. Also, I want to thank you. You inspire me and others around you to stretch, grow, and follow our own personal passions.

Here are a few photos of yesterday.

Rachael
Jim and Andrew
Party central for the afternoon
Liz, Andrew, and Rachael
Rachael, Karri, Liz, Sarah, and Len
Andrew, Rachael, Karri, Liz, Ray, Nico, Eli, Sarah, Ron, and Len
Jim, Andrew, Rachael, Eli, Liz, Ray, Ron, Lyla, Sarah, Karri, Nico, Gregorio, and Luna

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