It’s been a week since our trip to Nashville, and like every trip back home, it’s never long enough. I spent more time with family compared to my September trip, and this marked the first Christmas I’ve spent with my family in three years. It was awesome! My Grandma, aunt and mom cooked so much food for Sunday brunch, one of the highlights of the weekend.

The whole reason we flew down was for me to walk for my master’s degree. I know, I know. One person gave me grief for taking time off to walk when I could put the PTO to better use, but after three long years of working towards completing my 60 hour program, I couldn’t not walk, no matter how far away it was. Plus graduation served as a nice excuse to fly home. We landed on Thursday and left on Sunday. My parents, husband and I stayed in Martin, Tennessee Friday evening awaiting the ceremony Saturday morning. And then we drove back to Dad’s house to celebrate with friends and family. Overall we had an awesome weekend, and I am still very much ecstatic to be done with school forever (hopefully–I’m always open to possibilities, but for now I refuse to do anymore homework).

These pics posted in reverse order for some reason, and I’m too tired and apathetic to care this evening. Scroll down for snippets from the weekend or scroll all the way down and then back up if you want to see what happened in order.

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Last semester anthem

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I’ve had the same pairs of leggings for over 5 years, and these new ones are lined with fleece. It’s the small things.
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Two new over-sized sweaters from New York and Company and a new camo green jacket on sale. I’ve wanted a jacket like this for forever–super stoked to have one that’s so warm!
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So much food for Christmas brunch

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Only my Grandma would have Christmas-themed toilet paper LOL
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Catching up at Starbucks
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Shout out to my Dad for hosting the graduation party–thanks!!

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This guy makes me laugh like no other!! ❤ ❤

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Photo op after the ceremony–UT martin has such large, pretty trees!!

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Graduation morning–time to get myself together.

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Fun times at Dairy Queen on the way to Martin–I shared three chicken strips and half of Dad’s burger with a poor stray cat outside in the cold.
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Thanks again to Tika for such a generous gift! A Pandora bracelet, two charms AND a Pandora ornament!

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Pretty much every time I go home, Casi has to do my hair lol.

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Toot’s with these gems and about 7 other people.

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I miss my friends and family already, but it’s good to be back in Colorado. Now that school is finally over, I’m holding my Nashville friends accountable; y’all better come visit this summer!

In the meantime, I’ll be looking for a new job, re-immersing myself in hobbies and catching up on books and magazines. It’s so nice to relax and watch tv if I want to. At least twice this past week, I’ve caught myself thinking about homework assignments when there’s nothing left to do. I’ll think, “When are my discussion posts due? Wednesday or Sunday?” I keep feeling like I need to make a to-do list, but besides cleaning out our closets and reorganizing the bathrooms, there’s really nothing major that needs to be done.

I can’t reiterate enough how weird it feels to not have homework for the first time in three years, but I’m loving it! Now I can watch This is Us without the guilt. I can soak in the tub for an extra 20 minutes. And I can finally learn to highlight and contour thanks to Youtube and Pinterest. I’ll be back on my gym grind starting tomorrow but activating my flow in the kitchen this evening was exactly what I needed. “Flow” is a whole nother post, but basically it’s doing what you love. And Lord knows I love to cook. Today I made my first recipe in my cast iron skillet: A Mixed Berry Cobbler with Butter Pecan Ice Cream. Plus I made pasta salad and pickled 14 jars of cukes. So much for a “lazy Sunday”. I’m just happy to find more room in my life to do the things I truly enjoy.

The following song by Blind Faith, consisting of Steve Winwood and Eric Clapton, was featured towards the end of an episode of This is Us, and I’ve been hooked ever since. I played it on repeat leading up to our Nashville trip. This song resonates with me, because months ago I had a dream that I forgot how to get home, and it was truly frightening. This song will always remind me of Nashville, a place that’s very near and dear to my heart.