Saturday, May 5, 2012


On his way in.
I woke up to the sweetest man (with a freshly shaved face, I might add) and his morning salutation, "You are graduating today."  Of course, I didn't graduate, but Justin has been very careful about making sure I know how much he appreciates me.  I love him.
A flurry of morning activities paused as we realized we had 30 minutes to spare (!).  Rather than sit on hard benches, we turned on the tube.  Because even though it was a mega-gross room, it was still a hotel room with a TV.
Our littlest fell back asleep after breakfast and got a nice cat nap.
By the way, you will see my oldest daughter wearing these glasses in a lot of photos;
She is Luna Lovegood right now.

And then we were off.  A good friend kept our youngest two since we knew this would be too long for them--every time I heard a baby cry or a kid groan, "I'm SO bored!!" I was grateful again for Lisa!

We found fairly good seats, all things considered, and waited.  Sometimes excitedly waited and sometimes bored waited.  We all brought books, but there were too many people to watch.

Justin's two younger sisters drove all the way to see him graduate.  It meant a lot to both of us.  Thank you, Lindsey and Ashley!
Aren't they pretty?  I was so intimidated when I first married into this family
because I thought Justin's sisters and mom were so beautiful.  
The graduates were in a tangle on the floor of the arena.  Even with that, I found my husband right away.  Isn't it something how you can cue into the minutia of a person's demeanor and find them from a distance and in a crowd?

Then the lights dimmed and I started to cry.  Pomp and Circumstance played loudly and the arena erupted in cheers.  I played the cello for three high school graduations before I was the one graduating.  I thought I hated that song--especially the cello's repetitious part, but when it came on today, it was my favorite song ever.  Ever.

Add to the already emotion inducing music, this huge bell.  I don't know if there is any meaning behind it, but it had a powerful effect on me.  In fact this was one of my two favorite parts of the ceremony. This big guy had to really work to get it going and then, booming from the PA, a deep and authoritative voice:  The College of Pharmacy.  Justin was second in line and when I saw him as I simultaneously heard the other things, it was suddenly real.  We had made it.  We had done it.

All of those toilets I cleaned, all of the afternoons and weekends Justin worked and we made do without Dad, all of the early mornings, coupon clipping, creative budgeting and daily pleadings with the Lord to help us through.  All of that and 




and now it is over.

My second favorite moment was when they dropped this gargantuan flag and invited us all to sing the National Anthem together.  We all did.  I can't help it--that song and all of us singing it together--it gets me every time.  God please bless America.

Then, a lot of sitting.  Waiting.  Clapping.  Most people in the audience stopped clapping after the first few graduates.  They would clap for their graduate, but otherwise sat playing games on their phones.  I clapped for every person.  Eight claps.

It was only 39 degrees when we got to the arena that morning, but the sun broke out and it warmed up to a balmy 50 by the time we got out of there.  It was a bright, green spring day.  A to remember forever.

Exiting.  Well, and exciting.  Both.

With some of his girls.  We are all happy with our daddy!
All of us.  More than one camera.  Oh, well.  What a great day.
Siblings.  There is a great story that goes along with this, but I am too tired to write it all out tonight.
Later, I promise.
Doctor of Pharmacy.  I'm going to sleep with a doctor tonight.

The Team

Justin, you just graduated from Pharmacy School.  What are you going to do now?

"I'm going to Disneyland!!"


  1. Rob and I are SOOOOOOOO happy for you and your family! You guys are AMAZING!!! Congratulations to ALL of you! Have a GREAT trip to Disneyland!!!

  2. This made me tear up, what a wonderful sweet post. Congratulations, both of you, you deserve this!! Hug Mickey for me!!

  3. This IS a great post. I am so proud you Justin and Emily! You are both amazing people. Enjoy your trip! And say Hi to my favorite ride "Little Casey!"

  4. I cried all the way through this post. Congratulations. I am sure that this is such a relief. Enjoy Disneyland!! My favorite ride is the Buzz Lightyear alien shooting one.

  5. I cried reading this. And I don't cry easily. Thanks for sharing such a monumental event in your family. Hope you have a WONDERFUL trip to Disneyland!!! I look forward to reading all about it.

  6. CONGRATULATIONS.....Supreme Commander & Mothership!! It looks like the weather will be positively PERFECT for your Disney-days this week!! deserve it!!!

    (We missed seeing Justin & Isaac on Thursday, but our brief visit with everyone else was splendid!!)

  7. Oh, Emily! This must have been the most wonderful day for you and your family. You deserve every wonderful moment of this trip and all the great things that are to come! Congratulations!!!!!!!!!