Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Graduation!!! (at long, loooonnng last)


Woohoo!! Finally!

And we couldn't be more proud.

I say "finally" more for him than for me, because while of course I was impatient to move on- the hard work and stress (for the most part) was his burden. And it wasn't a small one, either. Sorry, babe. But HE DID IT!! And he did it WELL! He totally scored grade-wise on his last semester, too. I was so proud! Especially since he felt in over his head for much of it (don't we all). He's such a smartypants! And immensely dedicated. And such a hard, hard worker. Hooray for it paying off!!!

So today, while many people are headed out to USU to spend their hard-earned cash on more education (and books and stress and studying)... Derek is at work making mula! Yay!! lol

And so, while this post is about a month late... I wanted to tell Derek CONGRATUATIONS! ;) We are so, so proud of you! And we love you more than words can say.

Here are some pics (and a bit of commentary) on his graduation celebration(s):

The day of his last class/final, we wanted to go out to celebrate. We tried to hit up sushi for lunch, but apparently all sushi-makers take a siesta, 'cause no places were open (of like FOUR separate places!) from 2:30pm to 5pm. Strange. So we split some take-home A&W instead, and went out instead for dinner. Mmm, sushi. We sat at the bar... 'cause we could. 'Cause we had no kiddos with us. And the sushi chef made friends with us. It was fun. Here is a picture of the celebratory couple. :)

I gave Derek a few days to relax, sleep in, and play video games. He'd had a rough month or so, pulling all of the projects together and working late, late hours to do so. I figured he'd enjoy some down time. (I think he did.) Then I attempted to throw a surprise party for him that weekend. Unfortunately, he caught on before the party began. I blame James. I think possibly when James told Derek, "Today is your party!!!" or "We're cleaning up for your PARTY!!" or any of those similar phrases that perhaps he gave it away. :) It was cute. We'd been planning for this party for a while, and the kids had been helping me do so (buying streamers and balloons, etc) for a couple of weeks by that point. James had been asking if today was the party for lots of days. He was sooo excited, and so thrilled to be in on the secret. The fact that he kept it a secret for that long was pretty impressive. And it was still a surprise... just an earlier-in-the-day one. :)

Here is a photo of (some of) the spread:
And one of the glorious cake:
And one of Derek giving an uber-cheesy thumbs up:
The party was lots of fun. Thank you to all of you who came and supported Derek (and brought some delicious food!). It has been really sweet to see how wonderful our friends and family are, and to see them love and support my sweetie.

Another surprise (which really DID end up being a surprise...) I had planned for Derek was a "staycation" of sorts. I originally had wanted to take him on a cruise. He really wants to go on one, someday. But it didn't really work out this year. (The fact that he finished classes a mere week before Christmas contributed largely.) So I figured we could do something close.

I reserved a night at the Anniversary Inn, in their new African Safari room (eek!! so fun!!), and I took him to a fancy dinner beforehand. Here he is at dinner, posing with our scrumptious appetizer:
He's such a stud.

And here is a lame-and-difficult-to-see-but-still-somehow-cool-cause-it-was-gorgeous-in-there video that I took when we first got to the hotel (yes, I'm romantic like that):

And a final picture that is probably of the least romantic element in the room (woot- sexy heating unit) but is possibly the best I came away with and somehow captures the fantastic, mysterious, exotic, cozy feel of the place:

We had a wonderful time and felt that it was worth every penny (it was not the cheapest staycation, that's for sure). We had a loooottt of hours with just the two of us, and while soaking in the huge jetted tub (with changing lights- so cool) took up a good amount of time, eventually we had to TALK to one another! Now don't get me wrong; our marriage is pretty great. We communicate well. We still really enjoy one another's company. We genuinely are best friends. But having two kids and a lot of life in between somehow resulted in less time to just chat... for hours... about nothing and everything. Thanks to a date that lasted a good 20+ hours, we were able to do a whole lot of that. And it was actually really great... once we figured out how to do it again! :)

So, Derek... You did it. You graduated!! You have a Bachelor's Degree, a pilot's license, and a (now- yay!!) full-time job. You've always been a fantastic provider and amazing husband and father. And now you've proved to yourself that you're an intelligent, accomplished, successful man too. I know I say it too often, but truly: I'm really, really proud of you. We love you to bits. Congrats, Daddy!

Now get back to work! (wink)