As I mentioned yesterday, the weekend was packed with celebrations. Sunday was filled with Father’s Day and Everett’s baptism, but Saturday was all about the graduate.
Phil went to school for his Masters and completed the program in March. Although classes ended with the semester, the graduation ceremony is not until June. At first, Phil was questioning participating, but looking back at the day, we both have said how glad we were to have the time to celebrate his accomplishment and achievement.
The ceremony was held at a large church across from one of the college campus locations. It was a gorgeous day and we all arrived first thing in the morning bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. On the drive, I was texting with my parents and Phil’s, so we quickly connected when we arrived despite the sea of graduates and families.
Fortunately, we snapped a few photos before hand, which turned out to be the best move of the day.
My mother-in-law saved us seats (we were forewarned that seating can be a challenge, and with seven of us, I was concerned), which was a lifesaver. We had a great view and fortunately Mitch and I sat on the end. A two-hour ceremony plus one hour of photos does not work out well when you have a child pushing through nap time.
The ceremony began at 10:30 with welcoming remarks, the processional of flags and then the graduates.
Fortunately, Phil is quite tall so we had no problem spotting him in the sea of black “dresses” as my niece calls them.
The keynote was Florine Mark of Weight Watchers. She gave a great speech that focused on her personal struggles with self-worth, which in turn lead to weight. I was not aware of her history and was really interested to hear how she used her determination to lose weight and in turn, that lead to her career.
Shortly after, it was time for the grads. Phil was announced and we all cheered, snapped photos and beamed with pride. It was such a great moment – a proud one – one that could not have been missed.
Once Phil walked, my mom was a saving grace and took Mitch out to run and play in the lobby (aka Kid Central). When the ceremony ended I looked around for her. I started to panic and then she came around the corner with Mitch out cold on her shoulder. Mitchell never naps unless he is in a bed or at times in the car. It was a clear sign that his nap time had come and gone and the day was a good one because he was asleep in a sea of noise, lights and hanging on to grandma.
Before we left, we snapped a few more photos of the grad with his parents. His mom drove down as did his dad and step-mom. It was so kind of everyone (including my parents) to drive two to four hours to celebrate with us.
After the ceremony, we all returned to our house, changed into comfortable clothes and got ready to celebrate! There is nothing like a few cocktails and BBQ on a warm summer day. My sister and her family and brother and his family came over and we all ran around for hours enjoying the day.
Finishing graduate school in March was a great achievement, but the celebration was the sweetest part of the four-year journey. We went through several semesters filled with nights apart when Phil was in class or the library, weekends with study groups, times that we passed on events with friends due to finals, and the final semester balancing a child – but we made it. The sacrifice was more at times than others, but watching Phil walk across the stage, throw his hands in the air and say, “we did it!” was worth every minute. We did it.