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Friday, October 12, 2012

Flashback Friday: College Graduation

Flashback Friday!!! Remember to add your link to the link-up! It'll be open all weekend long so be sure to come back here and visit the other fun stories :) Also don't forget to enter the giveaway going on right now, it ends Sunday!!! Enter HERE!

When I graduated high school and headed to college I attended Florida State University. I was undeclared in my major that year. If people asked me what my plans were I would tell them I was working on my "MRS degree." Like legit. I've always known that my career goal was to be a stay at home mom...I was on the hunt for a HUSBAND haha

Then I made a weekend trip with my dorm roommate up to Valdosta to visit some high school friends of mine. The rest, as they say, was history :) I ended up transferring schools and moving to Valdosta that summer (2004). I switched majors a couple times (even won a scholarship for the department of education then switched majors that next semester...oops!) and ended up majoring in General Studies. I may not have had high aspirations in the career world but I'm a school nerd at heart. I truly loved learning and decided on General Studies because I was able to focus on different areas that interested me (Public Relations, English and "computers" aka Adult Education). I got a well-rounded education and even won General Studies Student of the Year (still have the trophy...whatwhat!)

Zach and I got married in May of 2007. We were supposed to also graduate that May, but we decided to spread out our classes to remain students until December of 2007. Zach was redshirted his freshman football season so his senior season was that fall. I, duh, didn't want to graduate if he wasn't graduating. I wanted to have a nice slack schedule for that semester to free me up for all the football games and such. Like I literally revolved my class schedule so I could be at ALL football events. Even the Monday Booster Club Luncheons. I was hardcore :)

So hardcore that when we made it to playoffs that season I missed my college graduation. Zach missed his too, but he didn't care. I DID care. I was going to graduate Summa Cum Laude (3.9 or higher GPA)...that's kinda a big deal ya know? I debated about it and decided I had to be at the game. It was in Pennsylvania and if we won we'd be going to the National Championship game! Someday I'll be flashing back to more of the football glory stories but I'm SO GLAD I skipped graduation. That game was incredible. Zach ended up having a touchdown catch that allowed us to win the game and it was so amazing that it made the #1 Play of the Day on ESPN Sportscenter! I know, he's such a celeb!

When we got home our sweet friends had decorated our house for us!
#85 will kill you! ;)

 "The CATCH"
We were SO SAD the day our DVR messed up and we lost it :(
Even though I was disappointed to miss graduation, seeing Zach make that catch was priceless. Okay...I'll admit...I didn't actually see it. I was SO nervous I couldn't watch and Mr Rusty told me he made it haha But still...being there for such a big moment was awesome :) 

A few days after we got back someone from the football office contacted us...since a couple of the senior players had missed walking at graduation they offered to hold a special graduation ceremony for them. Even better, they let me join in!!! It was SO awesome of them! We'd already bought our hats and gowns so I made Zach wear it haha. We looked kinda ridiculous but whatever. It WAS graduation!!!

They held our ceremony in the center of one of the main buildings on campus (West Hall??? It's been awhile guys...). It's funny because I can for sure say I graduated at the top of my graduation class haha :)

Clay, Me, Zach, and Tyler!
Zach actually suggested for me to blog about our graduation...it was during such a busy year in our lives (wedding, senior football, etc) that I always forget about it! But how awesome is it that the PRESIDENT of the University personally conducted our graduation ceremony and Zach's head football coach was there to congratulate him on receiving his diploma?!?! Pretty special!!! 

Coach Dean, Zach, me and Dr. Zaccari
 Holding this kiss for an eternity to let everyone get a picture of it...
Even though the ceremony was planned super last minute and was on a weekday it still worked out where a LOT of our family could be there. My mom drove up from Melbourne early that morning. AND My dad happened to be visiting Melbourne from Nebraska on a business trip and was also able to drive up!!! Isn't that awesome?!?!?

 Sorry Casey this is the only one I have!!!
Side note...notice my dark hair?!?! I wanted to "go natural" after our wedding b/c I thought it would save us some money. Well people ALWAYS get my natural color wrong because they try to match my eyebrows. Hello, I just have SUPER dark eyebrows. It ended up costing us more money because I had to dye the whole thing instead of just highlights as my roots came in lighter than the color. Obviously I have not kept it dark ;)

 It's rare to get a picture with both of my parents in it so this is special to me :)

Haha Mom and Dad were both super pumped about getting to meet the president. Dad said "I don't want a picture with him, I just want to shake his hand" (right after telling me to snap a picture of him when he shook his hand hahaha). It was hilarious!
Katie was living in Tallahassee at the time for school but in true bff fashion she made the drive up that morning just for our ceremony (and awesome after party haha). It meant SO much to me that so many people made the effort to be there with us!
The ceremony alone was awesome...but then we also got featured on the news that evening and had an article in the local newspaper about our graduation ceremony!!! Of course they interviewed Zach :)
You can read the article from the news station here (favorite line...Zach said "...you work 4 1/2 years to accomplish a goal..." haha for some reason I'm totally laughing out loud about that? I guess b/c college should only take 4 years haha). 

You can also read the legit article from the newspaper here. Zach has the real copy of this on his desk in his office. It was on the front page of the local sports section with that picture of Zach holding up the diploma ;) There are lots of funny things in that article: 
  1. The title "three Blazers and a wife" hahaha
  2. The entire paragraph about Mrs. Charlotte and how she'd always be seen on the sidelines screaming at the field! She'll go down in history for that ;)
  3. How they totally got my whole parents story wrong
  4. I just always laugh anytime I see in writing that I graduated with a "General Studies" degree...it sounds so bogus doesn't it???
After graduation we went out to Applebee's for lunch...we didn't take many amazing pictures so I'm just posting the one of our cake ;) Pretty much the entire meal was football talk so those of us who LOVED the Blazers but didn't love to talk about football non-stop got pretty bored. I think everyone read our graduation cards like 10 times each. I even have RANDOM pictures my dad took of himself and other people at the table due to his boredom ;)
It really was such a special day! So many people we love were able to be there to celebrate with us and we got to graduate together as husband and wife :) Def beats sitting in a HUGE auditorium with hundreds of other kids huh? 

I can't wait to see what everyone is flashing back to today!!!

6 comments:

  1. I love love love this story so much!

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  2. What a special time! I love that you had your own private graduation ceremony!


    Back in 2009, I did Flashback Fridays of my own. I linked to one of them today, but hopefully I'll have time soon to write new ones for this link-up. Hope I didn't break the rules!

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  3. Your graduation was so much better then the big ceremony! Great flashback!

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  4. So glad you 'made' Zach wear the cap & gown, brings a little touch of a traditional graduation to your totally unique experience!

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  5. Geez Emily, on the week I was actually going to attempt to LINK UP - you totally picked something I can't post on... here's to representing all the kids who didn't go to college (yet) :)

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  6. #85 WILL KILL YOU. Haha This always makes me laugh. And I CAN'T BELIEVE that you didn't watch the big catch. Do you know you have a youtube link on your blog to it? I love that ya'll wore your cap and gowns I don't remember noticing that 6 years ago... haha.I SO WISH Greg had graduated with me. He could have but he drug it out for another year and a half and only took like 2 classes a semester. We could have sat next to each other at graduation! Oh well.

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Thank you for sharing your thoughts! Reading your comments makes my day!



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