Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Yea! I'm the mother of two college graduates!

Me and my girls
This month I had the occasion to go home to the United States to see my youngest daughter graduate magna cum laude from the University of Missouri with a Bachelors Degree in Journalism. Her emphasis was Strategic Communications. I'm proud she graduated with honors and equally proud that she graduated debt-free. She worked really hard at that, at one time holding down two assistantships and a part-time job while going to school full-time. She plotted her classes out carefully so that she graduated in exactly four years.
My daughter "relishes" her new role
as a hotdogger

On June 3rd, she starts her new job as a hotdogger for the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile.  It's been fun to learn about that opportunity as over 1,500 people apply every year and exactly 12 young people are hired to drive six different Weinermobiles around America promoting the Oscar Mayer brand of hot dogs. I'd like to think my daughter inherited a bit of my sense of adventure and desire to see parts unknown.
Suzy, the Dancing Pancake
People who have worked as a mascot are frequently hired as a hotdogger for the Oscar Mayer company. Who knew that  my child's time as IHOP's "Suzy the Dancing Pancake" or Papa Murphy's " Pizza Slice" in high school would pay off so well? Maybe, she did. Kelly makes opportunities everywhere she goes.
The Papa Murphy Pizza Slice

Two years was too long a time for me to be gone! I think it's important to probably go home once a year if that's doable. Or if I can't go home, it would be nice if my family could come visit me here. Vacation time is so short and precious in America though, I can't imagine that will be soon.

While I enjoyed my time home in America, and was pleased that every city I went to looked like it was doing great, it did feel like I was coming "home" to Istanbul when I came back after 10 days. I couldn't wait to enjoy the Turkish spring bounty of new cherries. I wondered when the Turkish peaches would hit the shelves. I hoped the climbing roses and the honeysuckle were still fragrantly blooming in my neighborhood and that I would get to enjoy them.


Yea! She finished!
I have confidence in my child's ability to thrive post-college. If she needs me, I'm just a phone call away. Maybe my highly conscious decision to designate this period of my life as my time to be an "Empty Nest Expat" has rubbed off on her highly conscious planning of how to use her most agile years.

Kelly's already set her next life goal as running a race in all 50 states of the nation by the age of 25. I think she's up to seven states now. She did her first marathon the Saturday before graduation. That's another hard part about me being an expat: I wasn't there to cheer her on. Luckily, the people of Cinncinati, where she ran the Flying Pig Marathon, made her feel like an Olympian! "Best day of my life, Mom! The people were fantastic, the neighborhoods were adorable, and they made me feel so proud."

You can read about her adventures at the University of Missouri at her freshman year blog "First Steps of a Freshman" or at her new blog "The Race for All 50 States," or at the official "Hotdogger Blog" where she will be contributing.


You might also enjoy:

Wonderful food eases newly empty nest

Happy Blog Birthday to Me!

Enjoying the Fruits of My Parenting Labors

Hello Great Big Beautiful World! (first ever blog post)


7 comments:

racefor50states said...

I OBVIOUSLY LOVE THIS BLOG!!! Thanks Mom - you're awesome and got me where I am today!

Senior Dogs Abroad said...

Congratulations to Kelly! And Mom, you have a beautiful daughter that looks just like her mom. We were wondering where you were for the last two weeks. Glad you're back.

Senior dogs.

Dew said...

This is a beautiful entry. Congratulations for all of you, what a momentous achievement. I wish my mom lived in Istanbul, I would visit her all the time!!

Karen said...

Kelly, I'm glad you liked this! Senior Dogs, I'm glad to be back and thanks for the nice comments. Dew, if you ever come to Istanbul and have time, I'd love to meet. You are teaching me so much about Islam.

chaplain.cz said...

Firstly - congratulations to Kelly & good to know you have passed on your spirit of adventure to her.

Interesting that you felt you were coming 'home' as you returned to Istanbul. I felt the same when returning to Prague after our long weekend in the UK, just before Easter.

Cha Cha said...

Kudos to you all ... and M-I-Z!

(Once a Tiger, always a Tiger!)

Karen said...

Thank you Ricky and Cha Cha!

I know the end of that M-I-Z phrase: Z-O-U! Students say the first part, and alumni say the second part, right?

 
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