Sunday, May 15, 2011

Like Math But Louder

 On Friday afternoon we headed 75 miles northwest from here to a big little town called College Station...home of Texas A&M and the fighting Texas Aggies.
  Our second child became an alumni of Texas A&M on Friday evening.
  It was a beautiful weekend weather-wise and definitely one of those lifetime milestones. 

My face hurts from grinning all weekend.
 I had all 3 of my children at home and it was loud and good.
 And I felt like my chest was bowed out from the proudness.  

There were a few moments of stress and miscommunication and mood swings
 from him or her or them...
but all in all we got through this weekend and are aware that life is good.
 Very good.

First things first, a stop by the Alumni building for a photo op.  

Texas A&M......where they teach you to say HOWDY instead of hi or hello. 
It sounds very corny until you are walking across campus
and you hear it a thousand times. 
 Everyone speaks to each other....and they all say "howdy."

Outside of the Alumni Building is the giant bronze Aggie ring.  One must have their picture taken here twice.  First, when they receive their ring after completing 90 hours and second, upon graduation.  The line was not too bad in length, but it took a long time because everyone had to take at least a hundred pictures once they got up there. 

So we waited.

And waited.  And texted.  And waited.

And waited.  And leaned.  And took pictures. 
That is Chuck's backside. 
I couldn't help it. 
I had to take that picture.
I showed him what he looked like leaning on that pole.
He said, "it's going on the blog, isn't it?"

We waited and finally....
our turn.

So about a hundred pictures later....


Cameron and Blake

Cameron and Will

Cameron and Jordan

Cameron with The Physical and Financial Support Department

Cameron and family

Trying on the cap......trying to decide if hair should be down or pulled to the side.
Deciding it doesn't really matter, no one looks good in these caps.

It's like the last joke's on the graduate...they make you wear a ridiculous cap and gown and you do. 
And then they make you sit for hours with a thousand others to take your turn to walk across the stage to receive that tube.  And you do.
 Because you want that diploma they hand you.
Because you earned it. 

An ocean of caps. 
Many decorated.
I sat there wondering why we didn't think to do that to Cameron's cap. 
At least these families knew where their graduate was in the ocean of caps.

Cameron was texted and told to turn around for a picture with the zoom lens.
Found her!

Getting ready to fist bump the president. 
Yes, she did.

We arrived at the Reed Arena at 6:00 p.m. 
 Approximately 9:15 p.m. Cameron walked across the stage.
But out of respect we waited another hour or more until the last graduate crossed the stage.

You've probably all been to one of these things. 
It's a little like punishment.  Somewhat painful.
Like prison in that you're stuck with no way to leave.

But the reward is great.

I know people who go to these things to see their friends graduate (Blake)
but I can honestly say I have never done that.
That's a good friend who would sit through that for someone.
I'm the good friend that didn't make any of you sit with me.

Only family was put through this pain. 
One more to time I will pack a goody bag and some books.
You'd think I would have learned by now having attended 3 highschool and 1 college ceremony before this one.

But like forget in between.

After 2 years of preschool,
 6 years of elementary school,
3 years of junior high school,
 4 years of high school
 and 5 years of college,
diploma in hand.

That has got to feel great.

No more finals EVER.

Huge smile......that was a lot of sitting.....almost 4 hours.
No bathroom break or food.

Thank goodness for cell phones.
I'm sure that helped pass the time for most of these guys.

She did it.   

Big world, small world moment.  In that large arena full of thousands and thousands of people, we sat in view of a family from our original neighborhood.  I babysat this young woman, Julie, when she and Cameron were just babies.  They started kindergarten together and were the best of friends through elementary school.  Julie graduated last year but was there to watch her brother Jack graduate. 
Had to get a picture of these two together.

Shout out to the Nohavitza family!



Long day.
Great day.
Time for us to head back to Houston
and for Cameron to stay behind to celebrate with her peers.

I choose not to dwell on what that looks like. ha.

Saturday evening was our family celebration for Cameron.
We met out for dinner with my sister and her family.

The wait for a table to hold our large group was about an hour.
  Time for a beverage, some appetizers and a little gift opening.

Some people are just better gift givers than others. My sister is just that. 
She always finds the perfect gift. 

Along with some much needed and very appreciated cash, she gave Cameron this t-shirt....

Cameron is our loud one.  As in the volume is turned way up.
  So this shirt is the perfect shirt for our engineer.


Cameron, Blake, Carlos, Mark, Jack, Will and Jordan

Ages 20 to 25.

Ah, to be that young again with the road ahead of you.

But know what I know now.

This is Blake.  Cameron's friend who rode in the MS150 bike ride with her.  Her friend/boy who has since become her boy/friend. 

I honestly couldn't have hand picked a nicer guy. 

Life is predictable in its untimely timing.  Just as Cameron is graduating and heading to a new job and  living in an apartment in this big city....she meets a great guy.
  Blake has a couple of years left at A&M.
So there's that untimely timing thing. 

The really funny thing?   He is from this area of Houston.  He went to high school about 8 miles from here.  Blake will be working here this summer so for now they will be in the same town.

Yes, I know I'm not in control.  But I love Cameron and she seems very very happy right now. 
And I think Blake has something to do with that.

Shout out to Blake!

(Cameron is probably going to kill me.  Oh, well, get your own blog and you can put awkward things about me on there.)

It's always good to have Jordan home. 
 She missed her husband but we are thankful
that she could come home for this special occasion.  

My brother-in-law Kim.  He's a good man.

I am not sure what we were doing but they called me over and said grab on.
We really didn't want the evening to end. 
We spent lots of time out in the parking lot saying goodbye and taking group pictures.

Jordan, Cameron, my sister Catha and me

I cropped about 3 inches off the right side of this picture because
we were all sticking our bottoms out...crouching down.

Because Cameron told us to.

Did I mention she is loud?

You should thank me that these photos don't come with sound.

The cousins.

Fake laughing.

Goodbye for good and head to the house....

Open more gifts. 

Grownup fun things like dishes and kitchen towels and shower curtains.
And measuring spoons and pot holders.

She did not want to grow up.

Don't use the word "alumni" around her.


A very, very, very fun weekend.  She is slowly accepting it.  She no longer goes to college.

And as always, something like a little tulle turns into a costume.  Sadie, the bride.

Let's call it a night.


  1. Oh my, I cried reading this post. Remembering the day our two girls graduated -their "departments" held graduation at the same time in buildings across campus from each other so our group of 11 split up with my husband going one way and me the other. As soon as the daughter my husband was with walked across the stage he ran across campus and was able to catch her sister as she received her diploma. Thank you for reminding me of one of the best days of being a mother - my job was pretty well finished but I'd done it well and they were going to be okay. Congratulations to you and your husband!

  2. I cried, too. Such wonderful times! As you know.... my daughter and son graduated from A&M (and husband). And their spouses. We've seen a few graduations there. Daughter got her Master's there, too.... and, walked....again we went. Too fun. I take a magazine (like People) and a tiny flashlight. We always stay for the entire just really have to. Thanks for sharing.... this was great.