Thursday, August 20, 2015

August 13, 2015: BYU Commencement

Road trip! The culmination of our summer was driving up to Utah to celebrate the culmination of Lyndsay's college experience at Brigham Young University. I got to drive with the three boys, which was awesome since two of them could help drive!

We drove up the day before. I actually really like road trips with the kids, being "stuck" together for a nice long time. We had some conversation, some laughs (Dylan is hilarious), and the boys got some reading done in between video game sessions.  Conor is working his way through the Far World series,

And Aiden was hard at work on his AP English Language assignment, reading and annotating The Fiddler in the Subway. Great book.

When we first arrived in Provo, it was late and we were starving. We drove right to Cafe Rio and ate dinner, and then headed back to the hotel to crash. Well, some of us wanted to crash. The boys were so hyped up and insisted on jumping on beds and throwing pillows around and laughing and, well, being boys. Which they apparently are slow to grow out of. But finally we were able to settle down after enough mishaps and Mom going slightly crazy.

The next day, we needed to work together to get Lyndsay moved out of her apartment before the ceremony. Her brothers worked hard packing and lifting for her. She had already done a lot of the work and cleaning, but man, moving is a huge job.

And, we realized, she has too much stuff.

She stored most of her things in the garage of one of her professors (whom she babysits for as well), and then some of it went in her car, and some in mine. Some we took to Deseret Industries to donate. Cleaning out her fridge and freezer meant that she made huge batches of smoothies and kept making us drink one after the other.

Then we all came back to the hotel room to get ready for the graduation.

The commencement was held at the Marriott Center on BYU's campus. We got there very early to be sure we could get good seats. My dad had flown in from North Dakota for this event, and Lyndsay's dad and his family had driven up from Arizona. Adam met us there from St. George, where he's been working. The one thing we all had in common was our love and pride in this girl we get to call ours.

Lyndsay's major was Bioinformatics, which is a conglomerate of computer science, genetics, and molecular biology. She minored in Computer Science. She's a real life scientist!

We are extra proud of her because my mom and I realized that Lyndsay is the first female anywhere in the family, both sides to receive her Bachelor's degree! She's a pioneer and she is paving the way for all of her female cousins and her future daughters and granddaughters.

After we were settled in our seats, Lyndsay had to leave us to go line up with the graduates. We waited anxiously. (And I enjoyed seeing Dylan all dressed up in a shirt and tie.)

Lyndsay texted me this picture of her and her best friend and roommate, Emily from the processional line outside. It made me tear up instantly. This is real! There is my girl in a cap and gown!

When the graduates started entering the stadium, they walked down several different aisles. I was scanning the blue caps, searching for my girl, when all of a sudden, I heard, "Mom!" There she was, walking right by us! We had picked a most fortunate spot to sit, and it melted my heart that she wanted to be sure that I saw her. I love the expression of pure joy on my dad's face. He graduated from BYU's undergraduate and law program so many years ago.

The faculty came and sat on the stand, along with the commencement speakers, Elder Russell M. Nelson and Elder Dallin H. Oakes, there in the front in the green and red robes.

The speakers were excellent and appropriately inspiring. The degrees were pronounced upon the graduates, and then they left the arena, officially finished with their programs. We got to see Lyndsay again as she filed past our row. Man, she glows.

We met up with her outside for hugs, tears of joy, and pictures.

All of us together, who came to celebrate our Lyndsay.

That day also happened to be Conor's 9th birthday. We had talked with him about postponing his celebration til we got home, but we still wanted to be sure he got a little birthday love. Here we are driving over to the restaurant. Love this boy.

We ate at Buffalo Wild Wings, though through a series of unfortunate circumstances, Adam never made it to dinner.

We surprised Conor with some birthday love.

I love this man so much. He is a hero to me, and it meant so much that he could be there to share in this joyous occasion.

My birthday buffalo.

We headed back to the hotel for some swimming and fun and then went to bed even more excited for the events of the next day.

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