Monday, September 1, 2014

Accolades, Awards and Awe

Oh my have I ever been out of it!  When I decided I needed to get serious about getting back on the blogging horse today and opened my blog I was shocked to see just how long it had been.  This summer has flown by! It is September 1st and this post should have been late May at the worst.  Lots of life has been happening that has kept me off balance and not feeling very bloggy.  Better late than never I suppose.  Keep that in mind when reading this post.

Another week has come and past which means we are nearer and nearer Graduation Day for Mini. Her schedule for the past month has been insane and we have had one event after another.

We are so proud of her and all her accomplishments.  I am trying to focus on those things and not weep continually!  Each time we attended a Banquet or Ceremony we learn more and more about the young woman we are proud to call our daughter.

A couple of weeks ago we attended the Academic Awards Banquet where she accepted 6 different academic awards.  She will graduate 9th in her class and plans a career in Civil Engineering.

 The teacher that presented her with her Journalism Department award also gave her a very nice gift.  Isn't that the sweetest thing? To know you have special children is awesome but to see their impact on others is amazing!



This post is now old news but I still have to share.  Mini's graduation came and with it all the bumps you would expect with the year that we have experienced.  We were planning a small graduation party for graduation night.  The weather for the week called for only a slight chance of a shower on graduation day so we were not overly worried about her party.  May weather in Tennessee is historically very mild, not too hot or cold and rain is usually either with a front that moves quickly or very light.

The closer the day came the more the chance of rain.  By Wednesday night before graduation on Thursday as I drove to the airport to retrieve the Big Dumb Jock in a blinding rain, I began to think we might have a problem.  We had already honed the guest list since we were having a huge 18th birthday party in June, so if push came to shove we could move indoors.

Graduation Day dawned WET and FREEZING COLD.  Not since the Big Dumb Jock's college graduation 3 years ago, had I seen temperatures that low in May!  I'm thinking graduations may not be our finest hour.  Even Mini, who has been a tower of strength during what has been an incredibly trying year for our family, after sitting in wet chairs for graduation practice for 2 hours had  wavering hope and little patience.

By noon the rain was moderating so we bundled up, prayed for warmer temps and began the outdoor d├ęcor.  We literally turned on the fireplace inside so we could run in and warm up from time to time!


Slowly it began to come together.



Thankfully, mid-afternoon the rain let up and the sun began to peek out.  Sadly though the temperatures were never going to be warm enough to comfortably have the party outside at 10 pm.  So, we quickly tried to piece together some decoration in house.

We ended up creating what looked like shrines!


The board from Senior night in church was quickly put back into service.



We were able to put a banner designed for outside in and we stole a few tissue balls from the hut decor to make the dining room more festive.




The sun finally began to peak out late in the day so we were able to take some outdoor photos and not worry about dressing for a monsoon during the graduation ceremony. 

 Here is the proud graduate.  Hard to believe this little bitty lady is old enough to graduate much less hold so much knowledge in her tiny little noggin!   She had so many honors cords I believe she walked stooped over!


We took advantage of the chance for a family picture, those times don't happen often these days.



Wonder Hubby and I used to sit at graduation ceremonies and marvel at those kids that received award after award.  We always tried to figure out how in the world those kids had time to do all the things that were touted at graduation.  We found out who those kids are and how they do it that May evening after hearing Mini's name called over and over for one award or another. 

Oh here they come.....and I was so shook up already I ended up taking this video instead of a photo.


Bless her heart, knowing I can't see squat anymore she waved to make it easier....of course she couldn't do a thing about me blurring everything.



Still waving so I can find her!
We call Hope Mini for a reason.  When I was looking at the picture below I burst out laughing.  She is standing up and the rest are sitting and she is just a bit taller!  


 I don't know if it was my eyesight or tears but I had many blurry pictures so ya'll just bear with me. 
 The big moment finally arrives.


 I blew the hat toss photo completely, thankfully Spare daughter and the Big Dumb Jock both caught the moment and have it safely tucked away in their possession, lest I destroy it.  You get the idea though, right?


Then it was over.  Just like that, twelve long years of anticipation and lots of hard work done, over, finished.



Believe it or not the cold worked in my favor.  Everyone was freezing so we needed to hurry home, light the fireplace and begin the party, so I was unable to linger and cry more.

Guest were greeted with a lighted balloon arch. I think Mini and I did okay on this after thought idea.


Despite a brisk wind and freezing temps, Mini would not be denied her Graduation Party in the hut!



We are so very proud of all her accomplishments and can't wait to see how God chooses to use her life.  Now I only have to prepare myself for her turning 18 and heading off to college.