Monday, May 30, 2016

Graduation Weekend

A couple weekends ago, I graduated from Liberty University. In a way, it feels like I've been back in school for a while, yet at the same time, it feels as if it flew by.

The weekend was busy, busy, busy, and special. After Virginia getting a lot of rain lately, we were thankful for nice weather on the day of my graduation, especially since we were outside for Commencement. I was also thankful it wasn't too hot since we were sitting on the football field in our black caps and gowns, which could have felt a lot different if the temperatures had been higher.

Here I am in my graduation attire. :) I love those mountains in the background!

My brother Joseph and sister-in-law Kala were unable to attend my graduation (hello 40 weeks into pregnancy), but they did send me off with a fun graduation weekend care package. :)

Apparently, hotels start booking up early in the year for graduation weekend in Lynchburg. We didn't even think about that until we were trying to book a room and couldn't find one! Not only that, but the rooms are way more expensive for graduation weekend than any other time. So, we weren't exactly sure where we were going to stay and didn't want to have to leave suuuper early in the morning to drive up. My mom decided to look about a week before graduation for a hotel a bit outside of Lynchburg, but somehow stumbled upon a hotel just a couple miles from Liberty's campus... there must have been a cancellation and she found it. And get this, we got the room for about half the price! The Lord certainly provided in that. :)

We drove up on Friday for the Baccalaureate Service... powerful music and message!

The Commencement Ceremony was on Saturday morning. Liberty had the largest graduating class they've ever had... over 19,000!! It was crazy to be there amidst the huge crowd. Here's a photo my Aunt Nana snapped of the crowd (again, notice those mountains).

I thought of the sweet would-be-6-year-old that should have also been wearing a *miniature* cap and gown. Lily Katherine would be "graduating" from Kindergarten. Maybe we'd get pictures in our caps and gowns together. I know I for sure would be proud of her and I bet she'd be proud of me too.

I wore a Lily-necklace and my dress had lilies on it, which was special to include my girl as a part of the day in those ways. 

I met a couple friends that I sat with at Commencement, who also live in North Carolina. They were fun to chat with. :)

After Commencement in the morning, the separate departments had their own Degree Presentation Ceremonies. The Psychology Department had theirs in the afternoon.

Here's a video of me receiving my degree. :)

My parents, brother Adam, grandmother "Bumma," Aunt Nana, and Aunt Helen were all able to attend my graduation (I missed my little sister, Emma!). It was a blessing to have them all there to celebrate with me!

With my parents

With my brother, Adam

With my Aunt Nana

With my Aunt Helen

With my grandmother, aunt, and mom

I love these pictures with my dear Bumma :)

My mom loves to fist bump ;)

Here's a treat for ya... Bumma in her official "picture taking stance" ;)

With my Aunt Helen again

We knew we would be tired after a full graduation day, so we decided to stay a second night in Lynchburg. My grandmother and aunt were also able to stay. The hotel we stayed in was nice and had a lovely restaurant, where we ate dinner after graduation, thanks to Bumma for treating! 

Here's a photo of us at dinner... my dad decided to take a picture without forewarning any of us, hence the bewildered looks and faces full of food haha

The next morning, we enjoyed breakfast together at Bob Evans. Bumma was wearing my cap around, which was so cute and funny to hear and see the responses she got. ;)

After breakfast, we explored around the quint downtown Lynchburg and went to a coffee shop that I like and remember going to with friends in the past. The weekend felt like a whirlwind, that's for sure.

Here's a rose and lily painting side-by-side I saw downtown.

Here's some butterfly artwork I saw downtown that reminded me of Lily.

On the way out of town, we saw a business called "Lily's." I was unable to snap a photo in time, so here's a screenshot of the Facebook page.

It's hard to believe graduation is now behind me and my niece has been born! Let's see what the Lord has in store next. :)


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