Even though I'm writing this about a month after the fact, I don't think I could call this blog a journal of our life if I didn't include a post about Kyle's graduation from Physical Therapy School back in May. This was a pretty exciting couple of days for us and our families, so you can bet lots of pictures were taken. Consider this your fair warning, there are a lot of pictures ahead!
Kyle made his way over to Augusta the Monday night before graduation, and I joined him two days later on Wednesday afternoon. When I walked out of the office after a half-day of work on Wednesday, I couldn't help but smile because I was about to have ELEVEN days off straight (we left for California two days after graduation). Nothing like that much time off work to make you feel like a kid on the first day of summer break! Wednesday evening we went to visit some friends, including Jason and his daughter Lucy (we missed you, Laura!), and Karen, Ryan, and their daughter Madi. I also got to catch up with my former boss, Holly, over lunch on Thursday, and before I knew it it was time to get ready for the hooding ceremony Thursday night.
The hooding ceremony included undergraduate and graduate students in the College of Allied Health Sciences, so majors were along the lines of Dental Hygiene, Respiratory Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physician Assistant, and of course Physical Therapy. I am going to have to agree with Amanda and say that this particular event almost bored me to tears. They could have just invited the PAs to the first hour and half of it (they won pretty much all the awards under the sun), and then invited everyone else to the last 15 minutes for the hooding. The hooding was pretty entertaining since they had each department chair stand on a box so they could better reach over the students to hood them. Unfortunately my camera crapped out on me while Kyle was on stage, but we did get plenty of pictures afterwards, as you can see. :)
After our photoshoot in the gardens at First Pres, we headed downtown for a late-night dinner at our favorite restaurant in Augusta, Frog Hollow Tavern. While we were waiting for our table (which should have been ready since we had RESERVATIONS, ahem), Kyle's sister gave him his graduation present. It was pretty hilarious:
Even though we had a pretty long wait (we didn't get our food until 9:30 PM...yikes!) I think everyone was really impressed with their meal. Frog Hollow has yet to disappoint in that area. And from there it was off to bed to get some beauty rest for another day full of festivities.
Friday morning before the big school-wide graduation was the PT class brunch. This event was my favorite because food was involved, of course. Just kidding. Kind of. It was also my favorite because it was a way for Kyle's class to celebrate their accomplishments just as PTs, and also reflect back on the past three years together. We loved catching up with everyone and wished we could have had more time together!
It's tradition at the end of the brunch to have a candlelight ceremony, but apparently you can't count on Justin and Kyle to take things seriously. ;)
After brunch we grabbed a few photos with friends on the terrace, and then walked down to the greenway to get some family pictures with Kyle wearing his full regalia (yes, I'm pretty sure in the Augusta heat and humidity Kyle hated me for this).
And then it was time to head over to the James Brown Arena for the big Georgia Regents University graduation. As you might remember, when Kyle started Physical Therapy School his school was still known as the Medical College of Georgia. Then the name changed in February 2011 to Georgia Health Sciences University. And as of January 1 of this year, Georgia Health Sciences University and Augusta State University consolidated to form Georgia Regents University. It's really confusing, I know, but the important thing is that Kyle still got a Medical College of Georgia diploma (since he matriculated as an MCG student) and that will be the diploma hanging on the wall in our house. Speaking of diplomas, here he is crossing the stage to get his placeholder diploma (they had to wait until the end of the ceremony to pick up the real deal backstage). It was a special moment to hear him introduced as Dr. Kyle Fenton for the first time.
After they were done calling the names for the College of Allied Health Sciences, my family and Kyle's family bailed like Julia Roberts in Runaway Bride. No shame in our game! We were graduation festivitied-out. But the fun wasn't over yet! We wrapped things up at my parents' lake house on Lake Oconee with a bbq dinner from Georgia Butts and key lime cake for dessert.
Overall it was a really fun weekend celebrating three years of hard work for Kyle. I am just so unbelievably proud of him. His work ethic and his faith throughout it all has been a huge example for me. Also, thank you does not say enough for our family and friends who supported us during that time. We truly would not have made it without you. What a journey it has been, and what a journey it will continue to be!