May 19, 2015

Last Day

For the next few weeks it is all about Barrett around here. Her school really celebrates their seniors and it seems there is one event after another and of course, everything is post worthy.  I need to go ahead and rename this blog after her for awhile, maybe something like, "Odom Party for Barrett" or "Barrett's Party of Five".  In a few weeks we will be back to the same old things. 

Today was a day I never imagined would really ever get here. It was Barrett's last day of high school.  Last night, after we watched the Bachelorette, she kissed me good night and headed up to bed. I watched her go up the stairs one last time - her last school night. 

This morning she slept in a bit. She really didn't need to be at school for the reviews because she doesn't have to take exams.  She actually would have not even gone, but Art and I made her.  This morning I wrote my last school note!

 I would have worn my glasses and been a little neater if I knew I was going to post a picture of it! 

Here is a picture of her on her first day of kindergarten, and today, her last day of her senior year almost standing in the exact same spot. 

getting into the car

 It has been a very short school year.
Seems like I just took these pictures of the first day of her senior year.

I asked Barrett to take some pictures at school for me. I was thinking she would hang around and take pictures with her friends, but this is what I got instead...

the exact moment the bell rang!

May 17, 2015

Senior Awards

The graduation countdown is on and this afternoon we attended one of our first ceremonies. Barrett's senior class had their Senior Awards and Baccalaureate Service. It was held in the high school gym at the school.  I wasn't sure how I was going to handle seeing her and everyone else in their cap and gowns for the first time, but I am happy to say that I, not once, became emotional. One ceremony down, three more to go. I hope I can continue my streak!

My dad came from out of town to go with us. Brittany and BF1  also went.  We missed Brooke (and Mr. E), she wasn't able to make it home from DC this weekend, but will be here for the graduation.   

The senior class has 126 seniors in it and 49 of them are "Lifers". Lifers are students who have been going to the school since kindergarten - basically all of their life. 
Barrett is one of them who was recognized with a special red cord. 

She was also recognized for several other things:
a silver cord for having logged more than 100 community service hours
and a gold cord for academic achievement.  

She also received a pin for becoming a CNA (certified nursing assistant) while in school.

She was selected by the coaches to receive the Senior Soccer Award for showing leadership on and off the field and acheivement in soccer. 

She was the senior that received the excellence in math award. 
(She did not get that from me!)

She also earned a ribbon for having a GPA higher than a 4.0.

After the ceremony, the school held a reception in the elementary gym.
They played the senior slide show which had 5 pictures of each of the seniors as babies, elementary students, middle schoolers and so on. 

Before we headed home, I took a few pictures of Barrett in front of her school.  

I am so proud of her!

Next up: 
tomorrow we have the Spring Sports Award Ceremony. 

May 15, 2015

BEO does Italy

Way back when Barrett was a sophomore in high school, her dad asked her where she would want to go as a graduation gift when she was a senior. She has always wanted to go to Italy and so I was not surprised when she told him that that was the place she would choose to go.  There were of course some stipulations like grades, studying, clean driving record and keeping the good attitude that she has always had.

She was diligent, but I know there were a lot of times she was day dreaming about Italy in class instead of listening.

For example, I am sure the day she texted me this picture during class, she definitely was not paying attention!

Well, she is a senior this year and duruing Barrett's spring break we finally took our trip to Italy! 

Our itinerary:
Land in Rome, but head straight to Florence stopping in Orvieto for lunch

Four nights/three days in Florence
Day 1: Florence
Day 2: Day trip through Chianti stopping in San Gimignano, Greve and a few other places
Day 3: Day trip to Venice

Three nights/three days in Cinque Terre stopping in Lucca on the way there.

One day/one night in Rome

first picture in Italy


I have been to Florence three times and have taken this same picture each time.
It is so beautiful how the Duomo overtakes this side street. 
Picture definitely does not do it justice.

 headed to dinner

(You think we were hungry?)

our first gelato of the trip

We used Tuscan Sunshine Tours for our day excursions. Several years ago, Art and I used them and were so happy and comfortable with the two men that run/own the company, we decided we needed to use them again this trip.  One night, we ate dinner at one of their homes in the hillside of Florence. 

Dinner at Stefano and Simonetta's home...
was a wonderful authentic Italian experience. 



Harry's Bar

 No trip to Venice is complete unless you visit the fish market!

(Five Lands)
Cinque Terre is part of the Italian Riveria on the northwestern coast.
It is a part of a national park and all five villages are connected with steep hiking trails and paths. 
Thankgoodness most of them were closed while we were there because of some mudslides that happened over a year ago! We had a built in excuse not to partake in the hiking and had to take the ferry and train from village to village.  Just climbing the steep steps throughout the villages was plenty!

They make you work for your dinner here! We had to go down and up several sets of steps to our restaurant one night. 

 View of the restaurant from the water:

Plenty of seafood!

There are lemon and orange trees all over the Cinque Terre.
Barrett and I were in heaven!

 Headed to our room with a fresh baguette and a jar of fresh pesto.
(pesto is originally from this area)

the view from our balcony

Our hotel also had a terrace up above the hotel itself. Art and I would go and sit while Barrett was getting ready for dinner.

We didn't plan on spending much time in Rome. In fact the only reason we spent any time there was because we had to leave out of the Rome airport to get home and so that we weren't rushed, we spent one day/one night there. 

Rome is so crowded, full of tour groups and congested with tour buses. It isn't as enjoyable as the other places in Italy.

We just spent our few hours there walking around to see a few sights before going to bed early. 

Before we knew it, 
we were sitting on some random steps in Rome watching the sun set on the last day of 
our wonderful trip. 

Happy Graduation Barrett!