Friday, May 11, 2012

4 of 4

This is Ethan with Aunt Emily and Uncle Aric!!!  What to know where we are and why we are together?!?!  This doesn't look like Bud Walton Razorback arena to me!!!
Nope, we are in Nashville, TN for Vanderbilt Commencement!!!  Why???  Because my baby brother is graduating from college!!!  We headed up here Wednesday (after Muffins with Mom), just Ethan, my mom, and I (too much driving and sitting for any kid to have to be put through but, I had to bring Ethan since he is still nursing).  Graduation is Friday morning but there are several events going on that we wanted to be a part of PLUS I didn't want poor Ethan to do more sitting than playing in 2 days and by stretching it out he didn't have to be in the car for 9 hours 2 days back to back!
Wednesday night they had "The Party" for all of the graduates on the lawn.  They had a band and it was a pretty night.  Mom and I didn't stay too late since we had been driving all day plus, once Ethan woke up for his nap in the sling he was ready to stretch out in bed!!!!
Thursday we got to listen to Tom Brokaw speak!!!  It was amazing!!  He gave a talk that was so inspiring that it made me want to go out and try to make a difference!!!
My mom was super sweet and took Ethan for me most of the time, would wear him in the sling so he could nap and I could have some free time!  He fell asleep at the beginning of Tom's talk so mom got to sit back in the back and still hear and see everything that was going on!
After the talk we went to one of Aric and Emily's favorite taco shacks!  It was SO good!  Unfortunately, I have been dealing with some stomach issues while we were here.  2 week after I had Addyson I dealt with some of the same feelings and pains and I went to the doctor several times and they were never able to find out what was going on.  What is strange to me is that Ethan is 7 months old so I'm not sure if this is pregnancy related or not.  So, I wasn't able to fully enjoy myself while we were in Nashville for 3 days however, I was just thankful to be able to be there and a part of celebrating with Aric!
Friday morning graduation was at 9.  Aric and Emily got to the lawn at 7:30 and they were able to save us some seats that happened to be right under the shade of a HUGE tree!!!!  That shade saved us since we ended up sitting in one seat for 4 hours!!!!! Yep, FOUR!!!
 Man, I was so glad I didn't bring the big 2!!!  Ethan was hard enough to manage sitting still for 4 hours!  I was SO thankful I had the help of great friends back home trading my kids back and forth, taking good care of them, and updating me that everything was okay!!!  Thank you Veronice, Eylem, Billie, and Rosemary!!!  Also, thank you to Brad who had to juggle the kids, house, and dinner after a long day at work!  He got a small taste of what I've been doing for 5 years!! : )
Look at ALL the people!!!  Look how most of them are in the sun!!  Yuck!!!  Also notice how there isn't much space between the rows.  We had just enough space to put Ethan on the ground for a little bit so he could play but, when we needed out that wasn't an easy feat.... and we were sitting directly in the middle of the long row!!!
Again, I had lots of helpers with Ethan!!!  It was nice not only for me but for Ethan too.  Each person was a new welcomed distraction!!!  We needed lots of distractions!!!  Again, 4 hours is a long time to sit in one spot!!!
This is the last picture of this happy guy until after graduation!  Nammie ended up squeezing her way out of the row and taking Ethan in the sling to go take a nap.  All was good until.....
Aric walked across the stage and Mom yelled for him.... Take note, Ethan is not a fan of loud cheering!!! : )  Ryan took my camera and went to get a closer picture of Aric walking across the stage.  It all happened so quickly..... which I'm not sure why..... we had plenty of time to get ready since Aric's last name starts with a "Z"....... that I forgot to show Ryan how to zoom in.... oh well, we all know that Aric walked across the stage!!!! : )
The last thing to do... sing the Alma Matter!!!!  Ethan was awake and back in on the action!  Woke up in time for the end!!!
And finally, after 4 hours, we get to see the graduate!!!!  So proud of this guy!!!
I also have to brag on his graduating class.  Comments were made over and over again over the past couple of days about how this class was the most successful class in Vandy history.  Most giving, most athletic accomplishments, most academic successes, and they also were the start of a new way of college life where they have professors as heads of the dorms so there is a merger of life and learning which Vandy implimented their freshman year!  Aric was part of a history making year at Vanderbilt!  So proud!
Really, I'm proud of all of us!!!  Aric makes 4 of 4!!!!  That means that ALL FOUR of my mom's FOUR kids have GRADUATED from university!!!!!  Yep!  How cool is that?!?!  My mom is the only one of her siblings that has had all of their kids graduate from college!!!  So proud of us!
Here are the two babies of the family; My baby and my mom's baby!!!
Proud family!
Me, Ethan, Mom, Aric, Emily, Kellen, Robin, Ken, Ryan
After graduation we all went for lunch at the main cafeteria!  We preordered box lunches!  I was so impressed with how organzied things were and how smooth it all went!   Very impressed with the Vandy culture!
Another tradition at Vandy is Strawberries and Champaign after graduation!  Look at ALL of those strawberries!!!!  Mounds and mouds of red, juicy goodness!!!!
Even Ethan got in on the fun!!!  This is his first strawberry!
And shortly after he was out!!!!  Can't say I blame him!!!  It was a long, whirlwind 3 days!!!  We are all exhausted and getting in the car at 2pm to head back to Fayetteville (and 9 hour drive).  I'm glad my mom and Ryan will be able to help with the driving so I can sit in the back seat and entertain Ethan!  While I am tired, I wouldn't trade this experience for anything!  So proud of my baby brother and all of the other Vandy graduates!!!  Go Comondores!!!!

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