Monday, May 10, 2010

Welcome to the Real World

Well, not quite yet...I'm actually looking out at the beautiful Gulf of Mexico as I type this and we think next week will be soon enough for the new graduate to start dealing with the real world. If only sitting in the sand watching the waves lap your freshly polished toes were the real world. Sigh.

Graduation weekend was perfect. For starters, the weather was positively amazing. Crystal clear blue skies and a breeze. Friday night we had dinner with a big group of daughter1's friends and families. The parents all said the same thing, "Weren't we just moving these girls in to their dorms?" And the soon to be graduates all said the same thing too, "Can we really be graduating?"

Yes they really can be graduating. And they did. Saturday morning while they were at rehearsal hubs and I wandered thru the farmers market downtown, had coffee by the river and took a walk. We met up with all the family for gift giving and a celebration lunch a little later in the day. Lots of fun and laughter and hugs, and maybe a tear or two.

A couple of hours before the ceremony start time we headed over to campus to begin the picture taking frenzy. Lots and lots of family pictures and lots of pictures with the friends too. The campus is gorgeous and there are beautiful gardens and fountains and buildings everywhere so no shortage of photo ops.

Daughter2 would say we managed to hit them all.

The ceremony was held in the football stadium and the graduates walk thru the campus and all the way down the 'mall' to the stadium.

You could see them approaching, a huge purple 2010 banner waving out in front, and of course the band was playing Pomp and Circumstance which is always good for a few tears. You feel it all welling up inside of you at that moment.

The program was so beautifully done and except for the uncomfortable stadium seat, it was altogether perfect. Note to self-when daughter2 graduates in a couple more years bring a seat cushion. They called every single name and, fyi, its nice to be near the front of the alphabet. Across the stage she went, smiling and accepting a handshake from the university President along with her diploma. And that was that....from student to alum in a matter of minutes.

We made our way down onto the field when it was all over and took more pictures and hugged all the friends and congratulated everyone and admired their hard earned diplomas.

The graduates were in a state of semi-shock...'Did I really just graduate? Is college really over?'
I'm so glad we planned a mini vacation this week...

...its amazing how the sight of the sea combined with the knowledge that we are now paying tuition for just one can help ease the pain of sending your baby out into the big wide world.


  1. What a fun time! Your girls are beauitful- enjoy that beach!!!

  2. Congratulations to #1!!!! I know you are so proud of her. That looked like a beautiful ceremony. And such a gorgeous campus! Enjoy your vacation. It sure looks inviting! Joyce, your dress is awesome and you look so pretty! Love the hub's tie. Glad you all had such a fabulous time celebrating at the graduation. Love & blessings from NC!

  3. Congratulations to daughter1! You have a beautiful family!

  4. Wow, one OUT of college, that seems so far down the road for me. I do know, I blink and a yr passes...I try really hard not to blink. ; ) I loved the photo on your last post of D1 with Hubs...she does look relieved it is over. So, she's graduates and Hubs gets a hat, ok then. ; )

    I loved y'all matching outfits which went along with school colors, very nice. Hubs looks quite snazzy in his bow tie. Your girls are beautiful. I'm sure their faces are frozen in the smiling position after all those pics on that amazing campus!

    Speaking of boxes...I spent some time this weekend going through boxes from our Michigan Study, which was quite large and filled quite well. I am thankful this lease home has a study, but it is quite small. I'm with Hubs on the boxes and bins! lol

    Enjoy your time on the beach! I went last Sat with my hubby and it was so relaxing. We even walked to the beach after dinner to see the stars over ocean.

  5. Congrats to daughter #1. Just the thought of pomp and circumstance and seeing the pic of them marching in... brought tears to my eyes. What a beautiful picture! I know you both are so proud of her. Glad you are all having time to recoup and enjoy relaxing. All of your pics are beautiful. Love the family one.
    until next time... nel

  6. Congrats all around! Exciting times ahead. You all looked so pretty!

  7. Congratulations... indeed! Well done #1!! I also agree, the whole graduation-weekend seems like a dream... all the family together looking beautiful (dresses, gowns, hair -v.important!- and dad too) and sharing with friends; what best way? Yeap! Welcome to the real world #1 !! But, Joyce, keep enjoying that great feeling of having a 'child' in school still! Well done everyone.
    Love, Lety xx

  8. Congratulations Mom & Dad! As a friend of mine says.."you done good!" Congrats to daughter too. What better way to celebrate than some family time at the beach. Have fun and enjoy your daughters this week. and btw, I love your dress. That neckline looks wonderful on you.

  9. Congrats! It looked like a beautiful and wonderful weekend :) It started pouring down rain during my outdoor graduation - memorable!

  10. Great pictures! The girls are beautiful. Love the picture with the barefeet! Enjoy your minivacation, if you're still on it!

  11. That sounds like a perfect weekend (and that last picture was a perfect ending). It's an exciting time, being flung out into the world. A scary one, too. Thankfully, she has great parents to help her along the way.

  12. Congratulations to the whole family! The pictures gave me goose bumps! One more year and I'll have one making that walk also.

    Enjoy your hard earned rest!

  13. Planning a vacation for right after graduation was so smart! A chance to relax from all the hustle and bustle before entering the real world. Congratulations to Shannon! And cutting your tuition bill is always good for a smile. : )

  14. Congratulations to your daughter! Thanks for sharing the pictures. You have two beautiful daughters! (I liked Tim's bow tie, too!)

  15. I just felt a big ol' tear leave my eye! Such a fun and exciting time for all of you, congratulations!

    My daughter is now officially a senior! Really, where did the time go!?! It's crazy!