Jeff and I finished our classes at BYU in December of 1987. I finished an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education. He finished a graduate degree in accounting. BYU doesn't hold graduation ceremonies in December. I really wanted to go back the following April, for the graduation. It wasn't a particularly practical decision, but it meant a lot to me, so we made the trip from Mesa, Arizona where we had moved, back up to Provo.
I loved that we graduated at the same time. We decided that neither one should have to drop out of school. It wasn't easy!
I was excited for Jeff to actually receive, and wear this hood. I wanted one too, but that took awhile longer. I finally got it in 2002.
Here is Jeff, with his proud parents!
Jeff and I were also proud parents. Ryan and Ally were definitely a major part of our BYU experience.
Aren't they adorable? You can tell that Ryan wasn't very excited to have his picture taken.
I added this picture, so I could show that my dad and my sister Karen also came up to celebrate with us. She looks just perfect for 1988, don't you think?
Here is Ally's first time to wear a graduation cap.....
And here she is almost exactly 21 years later!
(I love the blue gown, better than our old black ones.)
Ally finished her classes in Sociology in December. She had been debating back and forth whether or not to return for the ceremonies. I am so glad she did. Jeff and I had a great trip with Ally. Big thanks go to my mom and dad for making this possible, by staying at our home with the girls!!
Provo was just beautiful. Ally was able to visit many of her friends. The trip was full of nostalgia for us as well. I told Ally that since she was eight months old by the time we went back up there, she wasn't very sure about all the family members trying to care for her during my graduation. I told her that I heard her cry during my graduation. She told me that I could cry at hers too, if I wanted to.
I took this picture of Ally in front of the administration building. It was in this parking lot, that the thousands of students were to line up, and march to the Marriott Center for the ceremony. The place was full of excitement and energy. There were 6100+ graduates.
While we were walking around in this area, looking for good places to take pictures, I found myself briefly face to face with the main speaker of the day....President Dieter F. Uchtdorf. He is the second counselor in the presidency of our church. He was soon to speak, and receive an honorary degree. He was being driven in a golf cart, exactly by the place where I was standing. I know I looked at him with some crazed look of recognition. He returned my look with a warm I-get-that-all-the time kind of smile. I am sure I beamed back...too brightly...but at least my crazed look was probably gone. By the time I could show Ally, all she saw was the back of his white head.
When I looked back at these pictures, I was glad to see I had sunglasses on at this point. Silly, isn't it? President Uchtdorf forgot me the minute he rode by. But, I was relieved to think maybe I looked less crazy with them on than I had felt that I looked.
I left Ally in this line, to run up and meet Jeff in the Marriott Center. She had wished to see someone familiar there, but had no luck.
I took this picture from the bridge that goes over the street. Ally is near the back of that line. The tree blocks the view of the other lines, that would have made the view so much more impressive.
It wasn't hard to find Jeff, even in the huge Marriott Center. Thankfully the girls have made a good texter out of him, even though it took him awhile to see the value of it. A couple of quiet messages, brought us together.
We stood for so long while the graduates filed in. I had no idea which row Ally would walk up. There was only one of the rows we could have picked her out in, and I told Jeff I had the impossible fantasy that she would walk up that row. I was amazed when she actually DID.
I know you cannot tell by this poor picture that the circled person is Ally, but I assure you that it is. Can you believe my luck, when they had all those rows, and all those seats to fill?
The graduation was so nice. President Uchtdorf is a very engaging speaker. Elder Russell M. Nelson spoke as well. He is one of the twelve apostles of our church. I loved their positive messages. These days, people can be discouraged about the state of things. These graduates were encouraged to work hard, make good use of time, have hope and trust in God.
I was singing my version of "Pomp and Circumstance" for this picture. I am sure we are all glad there is no audio to this!
Now I really understood those "proud parent" pictures from 21 years ago. It is so nice having a daughter who is smart, hard working and so cute! She didn't quit when things were difficult. She pushed hard, and arrived at this important day.
Then we had to go where all the BYU students want to go for their graduation day pictures:
I love this one!
Okay, and this one too! Ally and her dad have a great relationship, and a lot in common.
This picture is from the next morning, when it was time for Ally to graduate with her college and actually walk across the stage. This time she was fortunate enough to have found one of her friends.
I am including this picture of her shoes, because they really helped me to pick her out in the crowd.
Here she is, just leaving the stage with her diploma!!
What is left to do?
Take more pictures of course!
Since we had already taken pictures by the signs, we decided to look for more scenic shots this time.
Isn't this beautiful?
This is after she gave Jeff her Stole of Gratitude. It is to be presented to someone who made her college graduation possible, because of moral or financial support. Jeff was great to have given her a lot of each!
Jeff took this picture of us, right before he went to get the car for us. We were tired after two days of celebrating. Ally was more tired than we were, that's for sure. She spent both nights with friends, and slept very little.
I am so glad that Ally decided to make this trip. It was worth it, just as our trip 21 years ago was worth it.
The timing is amazing too, as now she is really leaving for a job. She has spent some needed "down time" here with the family (she went to summer school for a couple of summers, instead of having a break) and is moving away tomorrow.
We will miss her LOTS, but look forward to see what new adventures are coming up in her life.
Riley: Last Sunday was fun. I was happy to get up and find an Easter basket for me. Then we took lots of food for breakfast over to my grandma's house. I was excited to see my cousins over there, and have an Easter egg hunt.
Riley: While the eggs were being hidden in the front yard, we sang songs. My cousins were trying to peek outside, but I blocked the door.
Riley: It was HARD for some of us to wait.
Riley: Emilee helped with the waiting....
Riley: Finally we all got to run outside and look for eggs.
Riley: She found a lot of eggs!
Riley: Everyone likes the swing in Grandpa and Grandma's yard.
Riley: Emilee was hungry for a hard boiled egg, and someone finally gave her one!
Riley: My mom tried to get a picture of the three baby girls in their hats, but this was the best she could do.
Riley: We looked through all of our eggs here, and even did some trading. There were some real eggs, and some with candy.
Riley: After the hunt, I had to go home and get ready for church. It was a great day!
Last Saturday, we warned Ryan and Brittany that we would not be having quiet getting-to-know-you time. We had lots going on for Easter.
We started the day with a big breakfast. It was a good bye breakfast for Jeff's mom. She spends the winter here while the weather is nice, and heads back to Utah for the summer. I regret not taking a picture of her as she drove off in her cute pink hat!
There were eggs to color....
Babies got to meet each other for the first time.....
Here is a better picture of those sweet baby faces.....
We are excited that there are babies yet to come....in December....
Here are a few more pictures of Saturday:
This is how a two year old plays air hockey with a thirteen year old. Doesn't it crack you up?