May 17, 2014

UTD Graduations

I had this privilege this week of attending 2 graduations at UTD for 2 sweet friends I've made over the last couple of years! 
 Thursday afternoon I was able to leave work a little early--thanks to my gracious boss-- and head over for my friend Yali's graduation.  We met Yali 2 years ago when she first came to America.  She befriended our good friend Lucas, so we got to know her right away.  They have since started dating and we love getting to spend time with the 2 of them!  They are a part of our Young Adults group at church and come to our weekly discussion group at UTD.  Yali has become a very good friend of mine and I was so honored when she asked me to attend her graduation ceremony
 She was close to the end where we were sitting and she found us right away, so it was fun getting pictures of her looking right at us!
 After the ceremony we headed over to the Engineering building to take pictures.  I don't have any of me and Yali together (those are on her camera), but I did snap a few of her with Lucas
 Her parents came from China to attend the ceremony.  It was fun meeting them and seeing how proud they were of her!  She is now on a trip with them, taking them to San Francisco, the Grand Canyon, Vegas and Yosemite before they head back to China in a couple of weeks!
 She just looks so happy (and relieved) to be done!

 This morning David and I both got to attend the graduation ceremony for my friend Ivy.  Ivy and I were matched up through the International Friendship Partner program in September of 2012.  We've gone on a few adventures together and I've loved getting to know her as she's been pursuing her masters in Accounting.  We met up with her roommate Michelle (who graduated this afternoon) and cheered Ivy on!
 She was ready to cross that stage
After the ceremony we went around campus with her and took pictures with various landmarks that she wanted.

I am so proud of both of my friends and how hard they have worked to earn Masters Degrees.  I can hardly imagine how difficult it is to get a Masters Degree... much less to study for one in a foreign country.  They both have studied and worked hard to get where they are today and I admire them both so much for all they've done!  It has been a true blessing to get to know so many international students over the past years and I am glad to count these two sweet women as friends!  And I am even more excited that both of them are planning to stay here (at least for a while) and look for jobs in America.  I look forward to continuing friendships with both of them.

May 10, 2014

Year of Dates: Disc Golf

When I was planning out the year of dates for David and I, I knew I wanted May to be an outdoor date.  Usually May is fairly nice here... it's starting to get hot but we can still really enjoy being outside.  David really enjoys playing Disc Golf, but it's not something that he gets to do a lot--and we have never gone together--so I thought it would be a fun thing to do

 We loaded up our supplies--a picnic lunch and frisbees (apparently there are different ones for different ranges... including a "putter" who knew? ;-) and headed to the park

 I packed up a picnic lunch of Hawaiian roll turkey and ham sandwiches, Chex Mix, Homemade PB and Chocolate Chip cookies and Gatorade.  We had lunch when we first got to the park and then headed onto the course

A few action shots

We ended up only playing about half the course because it was really muddy and I am really terrible so it took us a long time on each hole... but we had a great time.  It was fun doing something different and checking out a park he hadn't been to

 And a staple of any Spring/Summer afternoon outdoors--Sonic drinks to cool you off afterward