Sunday, June 26, 2011

Congratulations Sean

It was a very unreal event Wednesday June 1..  It was my the day my little brother graduated high school. It was a great day all around.  I picked up grandpa and we headed for Redlands. Once arriving at home we were able to change and headed to an early dinner.  The Olive Garden was the winner.  They seemed to realize that we would be a bit loud and seated us in our own private room.  Guess they were right I mean we are the Vessey's. We can be a bit loud!  We had a great meal laughing and coming to the realization that Sean was done with high school.. Then realized that KK only has 2 years and she will also be walking into the Bowl to receive her diploma.

We picked the best seats, Sean and all his friends walked right next to us. We managed to snag a few pictures.  He had a graduating class of 800 something I believe, only a few more than Brennan who graduated with a whole 69 students!!  The ceremony was great. All the speeches given were great and many talked about football and especially on the fact that they beat Redlands High (my Alma mater) with only 2 seconds on the clock.  Best part is that Sean was the holder so he was on the field for that last attempt play!! That video is in another blog from earlier in the year.. The class of 2011 is the first in REV history to keep the smudge pot at REV - all 4 years Sean was a wildcat they beat the RHS!! They also mentioned the amazing season that the women's water polo team had. Needless to say KK gave a little cheer for it!!

Then we got to the part about actually calling the students names... We waited and waited and finally Sean made the quick walk across the stage and officially became a high school graduate. The ceremony ended with a wonderful show of fire works.

Go SEAN!!!

 Guess he is my little brother only in age...

 Always soooo cool!!!

After graduation we headed home for some celebrating with cake and ice cream of course.  Mom had gotten a huge cookie to heat up in the oven then we added some ice cream.. The day could not have gotten any better!! 
Sean & mom with his cookie!!!

So Congratulations Sean you are a high school graduate for over a month now. It has been a wonderful journey with you and I have enjoyed being able to go back to high school football games for a specific reason. To watch you kick butt!!  You always have me laughing and you tell the best stories.  Remember don't ever lose your imitations of the gardener and others... I look forward to coming out to visit you at Northern Arizona. When I am invited!!!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Graduation.. You could call me Master Jamie

Soooo after 23 months, countless hours of commuting to Orange County, hours of reading and writing.  Alright maybe not that many hours of reading and writing.  But still multiple papers, projects, presentations and long nights later.. It was all coming to an end... The last night of class we had a small party with our cohort and staff.  Then we actually had to give a presentation, which was not that cool.  After class we headed to a bar to all just hangout.  Then we made our last drive from our satellite campus  to San Diego.  All 100 miles back...

Wednesday morning it was time to make the trip up to graduation on the main campus of the University of San Fransisco.  My parents, Brooke and grandpa would be joining me Thursday evening.  Brennan and I started the adventure once we landed.  We took the Bart to downtown SF where we planned to just walk the mile to our hotel on the wharf.  Well the plan seemed flawless.. Till we started walking.  The directions it gave us sent us through the heart of SF... Which means Hill after Hill.. And we both had huge rolling bags.  On a positive note we found a great sushi place to eat at later that evening.

Thursday would start with another adventure when we would walk back to the Bart.  Only this time without our bags and we managed to find a much flatter route.  Go back to the SF airport rent our car and head over to the Oakland airport to get Brennan's parents. Once we got them we headed back over to SF we met up with Brennan's grandparents and all had a nice lunch.  After lunch Brennan and I headed to campus.  Which we had only been to once before on vacation in September. So after getting a bit lost we found campus as well as some parking and picked up all our graduation stuff. Got our gowns, weird hats, our hoods (aka Cape) and most importantly the tickets. We headed back to the hotel to drop it all off and meet Brennan's parents to have some coffee and catch up.  We were also delaying eating dinner till my family arrived.  Of course they had a delay out of SD.  I mean the flight is only an hour and they were delayed longer then that.  So needless to say once Brooke and Grandpa had arrived they were starving.  We did all the introductions and then had a great meal at the wharf.

Friday was the big day.  It was graduation day.  After meeting for breakfast we all got ready to head over to campus.  The day would start with a reception for all the Sport Management graduates. It was a fun mixer of sorts to get to meet every one's families. When it was time we all started getting dressed into our graduation gear.
At the reception before the graduation ceremony

Melissa and I after we got all dressed with our hoods, aka Cape!!

Cohort 11S

Like any graduation there is this big rush and then they realize that its not go time.  So we had some time to chat while waiting outside the church. As well as take numerous pictures!
 My best friends!!
 Original SD carpool... It was also very windy

The ceremony was really nice.  It was held inside the church on the USF campus which is absolutely beautiful!!! The ceremony would last only about an hour.  Like all graduations it has some speakers then we were off.  It was all quick.  The president (or that is who we think it was) who handed us our diploma cases almost yanked me off the stage. Then when we got off the stage all the staff from our program was present to congratulate us and give some much needed hugs!
Entering into the church

Getting my MA and it is official.. 

Just like that it was all over we were graduates.  As quickly as it started 23 months ago it was all over.  It was an adventure that had its up's and downs like everything.  But it was an experience and an education I would not trade for the world!!

 We did it!!!

 The most amazing parents in the world. Who have supported me through it all! Thank-you!!

 Trying to get a picture.. And Brennan knocked off my very stylish hat!!

Grandpa even made the trip.  I cant thank him enough for the support, money and oh yes GROCERIES.  Without him I would have really eaten like a college student!!

Brooke helped me survive the long days and even longer nights.. Even cooked once in a while for me. Always the same amazing meals :) Love you Brooke!!!

After graduation we would all head to the wharf for a great dinner of more fresh sea food.  Brennan would have crab and I would have a lobster tail.  I mean today was the last day our parents are buying right?!! After dinner we would all head over to an Irish pub and hangout together.  Just chatting about our experiences.  Around 10 Brennan and I would meet up with my amazing friend Melissa and head over to meet the rest of the cohort at some other bar. The night was so much fun.. I will give you a small glimpse into how great the night went,  I made one trip to the bar by flying ; )  It was a fun night and well deserved for all of us. To finally have finished what we all started 23 months earlier!!  The rest of the night though you can just imagine.  But I do want to send a shout out to Melissa dad who came and picked us up. Thank you!!
Some of the girls in my class

The gang

Saturday would start off a bit slow if you catch my drift.  However it was Alcatraz day.  Thanks to Mrs. Cassidy who purchased our ten tickets to "The Rock" months in advance. It's weird to think that we all paid to go over and view a prison.  However it was a very interesting experience and makes you realize how much prison on a freezing cold island was an ideal place and also a very crappy place to try and escape from.  The tour was great cause you just got an audio set and could take the tour at your own pace.  So we all wondered around.  I found most interesting was that real families lived on the island and the kids took a ferry to SF every day for school.  Talk about a weird life. I live on an island with prisoners because my dad is a guard.  They said the cost of living was so cheap but still... What a childhood. Do not think you would have many friends coming over to play.

How would you like to live in that area for years....

It was so windy but cool with the city in the background. 

After Alcatraz my family would head to the airport to get home.  I mean you cant leave Sean and KK home alone for that long.. Just kidding. But they were headed home to regroup to be able to start the coming week with at least Sunday to rest.  We would spend the rest of the day hanging out with Brennan's family.  We drove along the coast and saw the golf course where Brennan came up and worked for the TOUR. 

Sunday we would say good bye to Brennan's family and we headed down to see Sacramento.  Making a few stops along the way.  Brennan figured that since he plans to stay in California a while he probably should see its Capital.  We also managed to find another great sushi place.  Monday we would go see Stanford University. Which is a beautiful campus. And find a great breakfast place in Palo Alto.  Then we headed back to the airport to get back to San Diego.  If it were only that simple.  We flew the city bus as Brennan calls it in Southwest.  For me I am just cheap and they always have the best deals.  But we were about to take off and heard the pilot come over and say " sorry the check engine light is on and we have to head in to have a mechanic look at it."  Needless to say the flight home is only an hour and we sat and waited 2 before we finally got on our way.  I guess it was a fitting way to end our graduation trip. 

All in all it was an amazing trip. So great to have most of my family make the trip to San Fran and be apart of the excitement.  As well as to see Brennan's family again.  And most of all to close out a very important chapter in my life.  I got more then just a Master's degree from USF.  But don't you forget I got a Master's degree.. The diploma should be coming in the mail very soon!!!

Water Polo and Swimming

I just cant stay away.. I guess I just really love water polo and swimming.  I was able to attended the San Diego State Sports Club banquet.  It was a ton of fun to attend the event with the girls I coached.  They also received some recognition for an outstanding season in which we lost in the semi finals of the WWPA tournament.  It was also great to see the Women's Water Polo Club President Rachel win the most prestigious award presented that evening, for her leadership in and out of the pool.  Rachel was the person who basically hired me and was extremely helpful to me as a coach.  She was also a joy to coach and reminded me constantly why I love the game of water polo.  

Some of the team

I am going to do a bit of bragging.  My little sister Mikayla who has always been awesome was able to qualify for the CIF prelims in the 100 Fly.  As a sophomore and an athlete that doesn't really enjoy swimming, I could not have been happier or more proud of her.  I got to see her race earlier in the season where she just missed going under a minute in the 100 fly.  She managed to get under the milestone of a minute and qualify during the Citrus Belt League Finals. So Mikayla would be making her first trip to Belmont in an individual event. 

I would not miss Mikayla racing so Brennan and I headed to Long Beach to watch her compete.  I had forgotten the energy and tensions that are present when you walk into Belmont shore.  As we drew neared to Mikayla's race I was even getting nervous for her.  She had a great race, she went out after it.  She struggled to get home a bit, but hey she was swimming and so many other kids had not met the qualifying times to even have the opportunity.  So I would say it was a great experience.
KK's race

 After the race when I was talking to her, she said "I have been here so many times to watch you and Brooke compete in swimming and water polo.  I was not nervous at all and then I got up on the block and got so nervous."  I just laughed, which she did not find funny. And replied " You have been here a lot to watch, what is the best part of this is I got to come back and watch you compete.  And sometimes this place gets the best of you or you get the best of it.  Either way KK you are here competing and that is awesome, and we all get nervous." 

 Brennan and KK.. 
We have a lot of pictures in this area over the last 10 years

I am so thankful to have the ability and opportunities to be present for all the different events that my siblings participate in.