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Graduation Pops

People used to tell me time goes by faster as you get older. I never thought about it much, but the older I get the more I’m beginning to understand what they meant. This weekend my niece graduates from high school, and suddenly I find myself wondering, “where in the heck did the time go?”

I remember the day my brother and sister in law told me they were expecting a baby. My brother asked me if I would like to be an aunt. I was only 6 at the time, so I immediately thought he was asking if I wanted to be an “ant”. Needless to say, I was less than thrilled. And pretty confused too.

Luckily, it didn’t take me long to figure out I wasn’t going to be turned into a creepy crawly insect, but instead was going to be an aunt to a beautiful baby girl.

Since I was so young when she was born, I missed out on a lot of the typical aunt duties. There was no planning birthday parties, no trips to the zoo, no babysitting (at least not until a few years later). But what I got instead was far better. I have a niece that feels more like a sister, and, better yet, a friend.

In many ways, my niece and I have watched each other grow up over the years. I was there when she was a spunky toddler with ringlet curls. She was there as I fumbled my way through my “awkward stage” (I think that’s the nice way of saying I was a frizzy haired, chubby cheeked hot mess).

I saw my niece breeze through her middle school years with the grace of a pro (I’m still a little bit bitter about that, by the way). She saw me date boys, sing in musicals, go to college, and eventually find and marry the love of my life. Now, as she leaves one chapter of life and enters another, I’ll have the privilege of watching her story continue to unfold.

I’m so proud of my no-longer-little niece. She has a steadfast faith in Christ, a fantastically sarcastic sense of humor (I don’t think you can survive in our family without it), and a fashion sense that makes me darn right jealous. This weekend we’ll not only be celebrating her graduation from high school, but also her step into a adulthood. And we’ll be doing it with lots of friends, family, balloons, and graduation pops.

I’m sure you have someone in your life who’s graduating this year too. Maybe they’re graduating from high school or college, maybe it’s preschool, or maybe you know someone graduating from diapers. Whoever they are, whatever they’re accomplishing, take some time to celebrate. Life just goes by too darn fast not to take a few hours to cherish it, to reminisce, and to honor the occasion with laughter, friends, and a tray full of graduation pops.

Graduation Pops
Serves 30
Recipe adapted from Bakerella

Okay really, how cute are these? I mean,what’s not to love about a graduation cap you can eat like a lollipop? Oh, and I forgot to mention, these are super fun and easy to make. So what’s stopping you? Go celebrate the accomplishments of the ones you love with a tray of these sweet treats!

Ingredients:
30 mini reeses cups
30 Ghiardelli chocolate squares
30 lollipop sticks
5-6 pull apart Twizzlers
1 16 oz. package melting chocolate
30 Skittles, Sprinkle or M & M

Directions:
1. Unwrap Reeses cups and Ghiardelli squares. Melt chocolate and pull strands of Twizzlers apart (we found it looked best to leave 2 strands together) and trim to desired length.

2. Dip lollipop in the melted chocolate then stab through the top of the reeses cup, being sure to go no more than halfway through. Place in styrofoam board to dry.

3. To affix Ghiardelli square to Reeses cup, place a dollop of chocolate on the top of the Reeses pop then press chocolate square on top (inscription side down). Using a pastry bag or plastic bag with tip cut at one end, put a small line of chocolate from the center of the Ghiardelli square to the outer edge. Place Skittle or Sprinkle in the middle then press twizzler down and over the top of the hat.

Do not refrigerate. Store in a cool, dry place.

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