Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Graduation, Finally!

Whew! We made it! Graduation day has come and gone and it is so crazy for me to think about. We worked as a team for four plus years to finally get to this milestone. It took a lot of sacrifice, like moving across the country; zero free time; nights, weekends and holidays consumed with studying; limited quality time together in the early years of marriage; a husband who focuses on studying while the wife does everything around the house and much more. It was four of the hardest years of my life, granted they were littered with other hardships, like everything with my mom and our fertility journey. Grad School is not an easy journey, but we made it through. All that said, this entire journey was so so worth it. We came out on the other end with so many new friendships, so many new experiences and Richard now has a fantastic job and he has so much potential for his future jobs. These last four years have been quite the journey, and they are four years we will never forget. But now we can officially say that we are done! That just feels so nice to say!
So back to graduation weekend. We had a whole bunch of family come to Dallas and then we traveled to Louisiana for the actual graduation ceremony. Richard's parents, his grandma (his mom's mom), his two youngest brothers, my dad, my older sister, my younger sister, Richard and I all attended the graduation ceremony. Before the ceremony, my dad and my sisters headed into Monroe and West Monroe for a tour of our old stomping ground. Neither of my sisters came to see us when we actually lived in Louisiana, so I wanted to give them a mini tour. We started out by having lunch with my three besties from Louisiana which was so much fun. I talked about them a lot in the three years we lived in Louisiana so it was fun for all of them to meet. We of course went to one of my favorite Mexican restaurants since we cannot get that kind of Mexican food in Texas.
After lunch, I drove them through town stopping for some antique shopping, a tour of our old apartment building and of course a stop at Duck Commander. Everyone who came to visit us in Monroe had a picture taken in front of that sign so we had to take one to remember this trip.
Once we were done with our Monroe tour, we headed back to Ruston, where Richard's college is located to meet back up with Richard's family who was just getting into town from Dallas. We then headed out to dinner at our favorite restaurant in Ruston, Dawg House. If you have been reading this blog you have probably heard of Dawg House many times, but it was basically the only place worth going to in Ruston. Dinner was amazing as usual and after a few too many drinks (for Richard not me) we headed back to the hotel. Oh and did I mention it was Richard's birthday? We celebrated with cake and presents back at the hotel before calling it a night and heading to bed.
Graduation morning was busy, but we made it to the ceremony extra early which scored us front row seats for all 9 of us. The ceremony was pretty typical for a graduation ceremony. They do all the undergraduate degrees first and then they got into the graduate school degrees. As I was waiting, I could not help but getting tears in my eyes on multiple occasions. As I mentioned before, these last four years have not been the easiest and it is so hard to believe that it is finally behind us. No more grad school! I had the biggest smile on my face when Richard was officially hooded and I was laughing and crying at the same time. I am just so proud of everything he had to accomplish to get to this point.
Below is a video of Richard being hooded and officially becoming a doctor!!!
After the ceremony, we took a whole bunch of pictures and then headed to lunch at a place called Portico. After lunch, we started the four hour drive back to Dallas. Once in Dallas, we went to dinner at our favorite pizza place for a low key dinner together.
The next morning our celebratory meal was Richard's choice. We ended up doing brunch at a local steakhouse where they serve really nice cuts of meat and other foods for their brunch. The price also included a mimosa for each person and their amazing deserts. When we were done with brunch, we spent the rest of our time with family doing some shopping and other activities before they all headed back home.
Graduation weekend was so busy and it went so fast, but we were so happy to be able to share in this exciting time with our family. It is still so crazy to me that we are legitimately done with his program. I thought the day would never come! Or at the very least I thought it would still be a few years out. I am just so proud of Richard and so so happy to be done. Can you tell?

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