Sunday, May 6, 2012

Toss your Caps and Party!!!

Oh what a day! After waking up to a yard decorated with graduation signs and balloons (thanks mom and kids) I steamed my gown and decorated my cap and paid Brendyl to do my hair (I really need her in my daily life)! Then the kids, Trent, my parents and I headed over to ASU for a graduation reception held by my department. I was so excited that they were able to see where I have spent the last decade (literally) and meet my supervisor, professors and classmates! They even got to see the scary clinic where I treated clients while my supervisors watched me through a 2 way mirror! Then it was time to head over to Wells Fargo Arena for the BIG ceremony! This was much more fun then when I graduated with my Bachelors as I had friends to share it with this time around. I spent a lot of time with my PEPer's and the full time students and we really created a great bond as we consider ourselves survivors!

I remember now why it is a better idea to graduate in December as it was freak'n hot and that polyester gown does not breath! But after waiting for a small eternity we finally started our parade of maroon and gold! Thank goodness for cell phones as I knew exactly where my family would be sitting so as I entered the arena I found them almost immediately! What an awesome support system I have and there was my family now joined by my awesome father-in-law and sister-in-law Ashley and my cutie-pie niece and nephew, Jack and Mack. I know there were others who would have come and had other obligations (like the Kentucky Derby :) but they were all there in spirit! Two of my fellow PEPer's, Erin & Kelly, who graduated early came to support us and I loved looking up to see them give us a little "WOOT WOOT".

The ceremony itself was great and while we didn't have Tom Brokaw give our commencement address like the Business College, our Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, did an amazing job and I appreciated everything he said!  Then it was time!!! It seemed to take forever and I am sure it did for the audience, but it was an exciting brief second as my name was announced and I was handed a fake diploma (the real one will be mailed in 8-10 weeks :) Overall, for as many people as were included in the ceremony, it went pretty quickly! My favorite part was the end when they turned on the music and we got to dance as we waited for our turn to leave the building! After wading through the 4000 students with their families I finally found mine! I was received with huge hugs and congrats and I loved every second of it! The kids were decked out with ASU colors, including tattoos, beads and hair extensions, courtesy of Ashley! She also brought signs the kids made for me but they wouldn't let her bring them in (BOOO!).  I was told they took away their horn too! I was so impressed with how well the kids did sitting through such a long event! So after quick photo ops we decided it was time to call it a day and celebrate with ice cream at the Sugar Bowl! It was an amazing day and full of excitement and love! I could feel my families energy and I loved looking up at them to see them cheering me on! Frankly, I deserved it!!!

Cathy Bacon (my AWESOME supervisor) and my fellow PEPer's Olivia and Daniella

Nice hood....
Olivia's ready to be hired!

Olivia, Daniella & Jenna

Notice the white tassel and hood....stupid person at the bookstore gave me the wrong color (BOO!) I guess I was supposed to specify GOLD ceremony but who knew! I'm taking it back....

PEPer's till the end....Daniella, Kelly, Erin, Olivia, me (Kaui and Callie are there in spirit)

My biggest fans....

Michel thought she deserved a picture alone with me....she's probably right!

I decided to keep the cap on!


Friday, May 4, 2012

Graduation Day

Why is it that you never truly enjoy anything until after it is over? The last couple of years (minus SA of course) have been the most trying, stressful and exhausting years of my life, yet looking back I loved it and it was well worth it!

Today I graduate from ASU with a Master of Science Degree in Communication Disorders. This is an achievement I dreamed about when I started college in 1997 but with a husband, children and a couple of moves I wasn't sure if I would actually reach my goal! And here it is...the day when I am handed a shiny piece of paper with an imaginary big red bow! This really is a gift and I know how lucky I am that the stars aligned and I was able to have this opportunity and experience. I am ready for my future and the endless possibilities. I am also ready to give my kids back my time and energy and relinquish my parents from their second go around at parenthood. I of course have to thank everyone for their love and support and those that really made this possible (you know who you are)! This truly was a joint effort and I VOW to make a difference and change lives....this will be the gift that keeps on giving!