We're not in Kansas anymore... again.

Between Purse Day and our trip back to Kansas, the biggest exciting event was that I got my WiiFit age down to 27. I won't say what I started out as... hah!

Wednesday afternoon we took a cab to the airport. We decided we don't really like Philadelphia's airport, and the security there stressed me out more than usual. While we waited for our plane, Ian worked on finishing up the presentation he was going to give for a high school class — one of his old teachers asked him if he'd come talk about landscape architecture. Ian also worked on some thank-you notes on the plane ride. A very funny flight attendant (male, 40s, in pre-flight instructions referred to the oxygen masks as "designer butter dishes" and dryly told us what to do in the event of a water landing "between Chicago and Denver") asked if I was making him write them and then said preprinted with a short handwritten note was the way to go. He was quite the entertainer! And for the record, I didn't make Ian write them, I only asked for his help...

We arrived in Denver fairly late, which was aggravated by the time change from Eastern to Mountain time. While we waited for his Aunt Susan to pick us up (thanks Susan!), I managed to get some funny photos of Ian!

very grumpy & important & busy
Here he looks very grumpy and important and busy...
like those people who hurry out of buildings and avoid reporters
... like those people who hurry out of buildings and avoid reporters.
but anna properly applies a kiss...
But I properly apply a kiss...
... and voila, he's happy!
... and voila, he's happy!

Anyway, halfway home, Susan needed a nap, so Ian took over driving, and I fell asleep too (again, I was running 2 hours later than the clock showed at that point). We got to the house, and no one was home! Ian was mildly offended — "they didn't say they were going to be gone!" but Dane and Ren got home soon after. Apparently it was the project graduation party. Oh, and you should ask Ren about smoke bombs. I'll say no more here, except that it's rather humorous.

Thursday was another jam-packed day. I worked on the bulletin while Ian went to school to give his presentation, twice. Then Ian took me to help Dane dress a body. My first time, even though Ian has been saying I need to go with them for the past 3 years. It was an interesting experience. Then it was guest night! The whole thing went off pretty good. Josef was the guest, so it was really good to get to see him again. There were some great performances, and Ren did amazing with "Sitting, Waiting, Wishing" by Jack Johnson. I didn't manage to get a good photo of it, because the lighting for his solo (with band accompanying) didn't get along with my camera.

ren's solo at guest night

However, I did get some decent photos of another performance. X-Pressos pulled "Men in Tights" out of the vault, and Ian and Josef joined them.

we roam around the forest looking for fights
men in tights

I also had the wonderful opportunity to talk to my good friend Jessica, from back home. It was great catching up with her!!

Friday, we went to see my family, which was absolutely wonderful. Nathan wasn't home yet though. He had a final that afternoon, and my family left that evening to help him move out of the dorms Saturday morning (so they could make it back to Ren's post-graduation family dinner to celebrate, and also so Nathan, Ian, and I could actually see each other). Mom made some great meals, and she and I made biko and talked while Ian took a nap. Apparently, the sushi rice we found isn't the right kind of rice. We needed the long-grained glutenous rice. They are so white, they look like little plastic bits. Fortunately, mom had some, and now I know what to look for the next time we make it!

Before my family took off, mom and I took some photos together, of me with my "short" hair and her with her "long" hair. Her hair is growing out really nice, by the way! She just has Herceptin until September, then she's completely done! The first photo is mom trying to look like she has long hair by using mine. I think maybe it would have worked better before I chopped it...

kris tries to borrow anna's hair
anna & kris

Karen came over and we had a wonderful chat with her out at the park (after getting a drink at One Stop. Which is closing/closed. It's sad. My high school hang out. Gone. *sniff*). Then we went to see Britni, ahhh!, and Joe (exciting too, but I don't think he'd appreciate the scream as much). I got to see her in her dress, gorgeous, and Karen and I practiced our bridesmaidly duties and helped her into it. We'll need some practice. I can't divulge details because the dress is a surprise, but let's just say it's a little tricky. We also did a birthday present exchange, since Brit's was coming up, and she brought early birthday presents for me from her and Meg.

opening presents: bistro mug
Ian didn't actually capture the present, or my excited face, but Meg, I really love the mug, and can't wait for a coffee date when we get back in August!
opening presents: bath stuff
Britni opens her present — relaxing bath stuff, since I can't be there during stressful wedding planning.
opening presents: monopoly book
Britni got me a Monopoly book! (Which is fascinating so far — did you know it's all based on Atlantic City?)

In summary, we had a wonderful evening with the Kelly family + Karen (Bob discusses using a typewriter in college and the transition from manual to electric. Steven: "much like that of leather to papyrus." implying Bob experienced that one too. Maybe it was just funnier in person...). We headed back to G-town, as graduation festivities started early, and fully enjoyed the music and comedy available on XM radio.

Saturday. Graduation Day. What's there to say, really? It was great to see Emily (with her beautiful new purse!) and her dad. The ceremony was long. Ren, along with others, had silly string. The giant 8-person reception was busy. I did get to see a few people I knew (Ashley, good luck with Florida!). Ren schmoozed. Tired and sore, we packed up and returned home, where Patti, Alli, and Grandma Judy had prepared a wonderful lasagna dinner for us all. My family arrived. We ate. The guys discovered how much my dad can laugh when you get him going, while we had a wonderful girl-table talk. We slowly dispersed. Before going to bed, Ren and Ian partook in some fancy cigars Ren acquired (not a habit, just an... occasional guy thing, which I'll never understand), as celebration for graduation and getting to hang out again. They even wore special attire for the event (note their shoes).

ren & ian in smoking jackets

Sunday morning we woke up way too early so we could get to DIA in time (we agree, the nicest airport we've ever been to — even the security maze is nice). Dane, Micki, and Ren were wonderful to shuttle us there, and it was great to spend a little more time with them! The flight home was uneventful, spent mostly napping, and we arrived back in Philly by early afternoon. Getting home took a little more effort, and involved a crabby cab driver. It felt good to be "home" but we're reminded how much we love the Midwest, and we can't wait to be back in August!