Internet, I'm finished with grad school! I submitted my last paper last Monday and while I wasn't actaully concerned about failing, it was still nice to get my grade and know that I really did offically qualify to have attended graduation on Saturday, had I been inclined to fly 11,000 miles to do so.
Instead, we had a party here. I forgot to take any pictures after this one of the lights Raj put up in our back yard.
Clearly I took that through our dirty patio door. So pretty much a total failure on the photographical documentation. Fortunately, the food was a much bigger success.
We were expecting around 25 people. I planned to have pretty much all the food done ahead. On Thursday night I made the white chocolate pretzel Oreo candy cane bark from this post and I spent the rest of the day and night on Friday after work making bacon cheddar puffs, biscochitos, eggnog cookies, and chocolate crinkle cookies. With a cheese board, veggies and salsa romesco, and crock pot spinach artichoke dip, I figured we'd be all set.
Then while lying in bed Friday night, we started actually adding up all the people who had RSVPed on the Facebook invitation with the people who had responded to Raj's work email or mentioned that they were planning to come and it came to more like 40 people. So Saturday morning Raj went to the commissary to get me supplies to also make quinoa tabbouleh, polenta triangles with marinara dipping sauce, and the peanut butter cup cookies that ended up being the hit of the party, along with the mulled wine Raj made. And we had crock pot hot chocolate with marshmallows, candy cane bits, and bottles of Kahlua and Bailey's for self-spiking.
We ended up with closer to 30 or 35 people and lots of leftover cookies (though none of the peanut butter cup ones) even after I set out leftover favor bags from our wedding and convinced some of the people to take cookies home. Fortunately, we were already signed up to take a dessert to a dinner in the barracks Tuesday night. (That is, unless we eat all the leftover cookies by then.) We came out pretty well on the food though, in terms of not having very many leftovers.
Raj got me a Kindle Paperwhite for my graduation gift. While I do love a paper book (especially with a nice crinkly libray cellophane cover) all the traveling this year has really sold me on the utility of one small device that holds many books so I don't have to figure out how many books to pack and then make space for them. Especially since we're leaving this week for three weeks in Cambodia and Vietnam. I need to get started downloading some books.
I also need to get some visa photos taken, make a packing list, pack, and do about a million other things before we leave. (One of those things: make peace with the idea that Christmas cards are just not happening this year. That ship has sailed, Lori. Let it go, let it gooooo!) So what I'm saying is that I better get going.
I hope you enjoy any and all celebrations you've got going on, hopefully with lots of time off from work and many delicious treats. I'll be back in mid-January with lots of trip photos and absolutely no studying to do.