Planning a Last Minute Graduation Party

Our middle daughter graduated from college this past weekend at a university that is in a small town about 100 miles from our home.

Several of us planned to travel there for her graduation ceremony, and we spent a lot of time debating whether or not to celebrate by going out to dinner there after the ceremony or traveling back home and inviting others, who couldn’t come to the ceremony, to celebrate with us at our home.

Since the ceremony was at the lunch hour, at first we felt that eating locally might be the best option.  After checking with the local restaurants, we learned that no one took reservations and that about 500 kids and their families would be in town for graduation.

So, less than a week before graduation, we decided to travel back home and have a party for our daughter that included others who weren’t able to attend the graduation.

The next challenge was to decide what food we could serve that could be prepared in advance and be ready to go after traveling back home.

This was the menu that we came up with: Baked Mostaccioli, Salad, Breadsticks from a local Italian restaurant, Fresh Fruit Tray, Fresh Veggie Tray, Shrimp with Cocktail Sauce, Chips and Dip, Cheese and Salami and Cracker Tray and store-bought and decorated cookie cake and sheet cake.

All of the stuff that wasn’t bought pre-made, was prepared in advance.  The appetizers and snacks were ready to go so that people had something to eat while the prepared pasta got its final baking.

My sister and her daughter, my niece, helped with the party preparation the day before.

Sometimes it’s more fun getting ready for events than the actual events themselves.  I really enjoyed spending this time with my sister and her daughter.  We worked together well, and it really helped me a lot.

Rachel celebrating with her sorority sisters with whom she has spent the last four years.

It’s different now that they are all of legal age.

And it’s always fun spending time with my own siblings.

And our friends.

Time with Grandma.

And aunts, uncles, and cousins.

And sisters.

It was planned and executed at the last minute, but it was a ton of fun!

Happy Graduation to our red-headed middle child!

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