He Graduated!!

May 15, 2017

Y'all, my very favorite guy in the whole world graduated last Thursday! He closed a three and half year chapter as he defended and passed his thesis, then walked across the stage as a graduate. Husband and I have been talking about this moment since he started graduate school in the fall of 2014. We knew it would be long road, sprinkled with some big milestones along the way, but well worth it!
There were moments where we thought it would never end. And moments where we were ready to throw in the towel. But, my guy always perseveres. He put his head down and plowed through this last semester, which went by faster in hindsight than it did while it was going on. In the final weeks leading up to his defense, there were long nights, one night of no sleep, and joyful exhaustion that struck once it was all done. I can't begin to tell you how proud I am of him. Husband completed his Master's degree while working full-time, being a present & supportive husband, welcoming our first child into the world, being an excellent father, buying our first house, moving into our house, renovating our first house, and a million other little things. He's a rockstar in my book and always will be. 

(Tommy, if you're reading this, hi! We used your beautiful rhododendron bushes as our backdrop!)

What blows me away more than anything is seeing and experiencing this come to fruition. While I was pregnant with Greer, we talked about what it would look like to have her daddy hold her in his graduation regalia. We knew she would be a toddler when his graduation rolled around, but having not met her yet, we wondered what this exact picture (above)  would look like. And here it is. It's better than I dreamed. 

Our little miss attended her daddy's defense and was so well-behaved through the entire presentation. She stole his advisor's heart and topped that off with when she proclaimed, "Yay Da-Da!" after husband's committee announced he had passed. Greer was there for his graduation ceremony, all 3.5 hours of it, and she was fantastic. I couldn't have asked for better behavior from a 16-month old, truly.

She may never remember this graduation week and all the celebrations and excitement, but one day when she reads this, I want her to know that her daddy did this all for her. And you, my darling girl, made this week all the sweeter!

A special thanks to PinkBlush Boutique for sending me this beautiful black jumpsuit
It's going to be a summer staple!

I mentioned before, husband's graduation ceremony was 3.5 hours long, and doesn't include the time we weren't there for. Because after he graduated, he decided to head out (thank goodness!). Let me explain my thrill for an "early" exit. The ceremony is held in the sports complex on campus, which opts to keep the air conditioning off while thousands of people cram inside to watch on as their graduate walks across the stage. The higher you climb in to the stands, the hotter it gets. And it is hot. To keep Greer cool enough, I would leave and make laps outside of the arena, stopping in the open doorways to catch the breeze. It also let gave her the chance to get some energy out, and loosen up her legs. So when husband opted to leave after walking, I was more than ecstatic to get out of there, beat the crowd, and get back to our house for a party in his honor!

Can you spot him?? Hint....he's in the middle :)

My sister was taking this break with us while the keynote speaker gave her speech. She captured this breeze-enjoying-moment. I'm telling you, the only ounce of coolness in the entire building existed in those doorways. Thank heavens for them.

And if we weren't keeping cool in the doorways, we were using the programs to fan ourselves in our seats. Sidenote: I love that my nephew caught me snapping this photo, and is the only one smiling :)

And there the graduate goes (he's approaching the stairs/ standing in front of the podium). I took a photo for just about every step he took across the stage. But, I narrowed it down for this post and shared just a handful instead. Nonetheless, you'll still get the gist of walking across the stage with him ;)

You know, just a photo of a photo being taken. He's getting the professional graduate photo taken in the above shot. 

Just like that, the chapter closed! We are SO very excited for the chapter we're starting. It's going to be a good one, I can feel it. Husband, I'm more proud of you than you'll ever know. You deserve this accomplishment and celebration of a job well done so very much, my love!

And because I love a little nostalgia, here are his "Back-to-school" pictures over the last three years :)

p.s. Congratulations, Alyssa Lindquist! You won the PinkBlush giveaway! I've sent an email your way, please respond within 24 hours!!