Friday, June 12, 2009

Graduating, a Commissioning, Parents Meeting, and a Bicycle Ride

The past week and a half have been incredibly busy as this full month starts.  Last week I got back from my friend Joe's wedding in Bakersfield, CA to my last classes on Monday.  With those finished, it was time to celebrate.  On Thursday, Erin joined me for my hooding ceremony where I received a graduation hood from the Daniels College of Business.  That night, Erin treated me to a delicious meal at Osteria Marco downtown.  It was wonderful to follow up with a drink on the 16th street mall watching the people walk by.

Friday was the full Denver University Advanced Degree Graduation with Master's and Doctorate candidates.  My parents, aunt and uncle, and Erin met up before the ceremony which ended up lasting about two hours.  Having not gone to my undergraduate graduation ceremony it was interesting.  Afterwards, my aunt Janet and uncle Reynold put on a delicious hamburger bar for all of us along with my friend Brian, his wife, and his parents who I met for the first time.  It was very enjoyable meeting them and I was very grateful for all of the people who helped me achieve my degree.

On Saturday Erin and I got to direct the laudations on Brian as he had his commissioning ceremony and graduation.  With his commissioning Brian became an officer in the US Army as he waits for orders to go to flight school and learn how to fly helicopters.  We followed the ceremony up with a delightful party at Brian's friend Ben's house.  Erin and I couldn't stay too long though as we were getting ready for a dinner where our parents would be meeting for the first time.  Our parents got along very well and though Erin and I had planned on treating both of them for all of their support, my parents insisted on paying.  It was then time to head home and prepare for our next day's activities.

For Erin, Sunday entailed an amazing bridal shower put on by her friends and family.  For me it was a 34 mile bicycle ride in Castle Rock.  This Elephant Rock ride is the first major bike event of the season in the area and when I learned of it I told my uncle Reynold and we both agreed to enter.  This was my first biking event and though I had trained, I wasn't quite sure what to expect.  Reynold, doing the 100 mile course, started much earlier in the day than me so we actually didn't see each other.  I started around 8:45am and was expecting a time-keeper of some kind, but it turned out to be more of just an organized ride than a race (at least for the 34 mile course).  The course did give me a chance to see the area where I'll be living after this following weekend and it was a beautiful day for a ride.  In the future though, I don't think I'll do rides like this unless there are people I know that I can ride with.

That Sunday night, Erin brought her friend Stephanie back home.  She's staying at Erin's place this week as we enjoy the beauty of Colorado.  Monday she got to witness Erin and I getting our marriage license in Castle Rock.  We were amazed at how easy the process was.  Since Colorado allows self-marriages we just had to fill out a pair of short forms to the best of our knowledge and pay $10.  We'll sign the license after our ceremony and turn it in to make it official.  We celebrated by going out to Wash park that afternoon and then going out for sushi for dinner.

Tuesday found us up in Evergreen for a hike above the lake and lunch down by the river.  That night, Erin and I had our first dance lesson that focuses specifically on our first dance at our wedding.  Erin found a fun dance instructor who worked out of Parker and we really enjoyed the lesson.  We'll be going back two or three more times to really get the dance down.

With all of these activities I took a break Wednesday to just hang out with Brian.  We played tennis in the morning and then spent the rest of the day watching movies.  It was very relaxing, but now I feel the need to get back to work.  Thursday, Erin, Stephanie, and I are mixing the two as we head up to Estes Park to scout out lodging and potential hikes for the day after the wedding.  This weekend, we'll be busy once again as we move me out of my apartment and into Erin's condo.

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