Our Graduate + the epic journey that got us there

I don't really know how to write this post. In my head it was going to be about how proud we are of all of Mark's hard work over the past two years, the incredible way he juggled work and family and school and a crazy neurotic blogger wife becomeing a momma for the first time. Leaving the country days after his son was born, knowing he was missing a few small things, but holding firm that this step was leading to a life of being present for more. Because, you know, sometimes you have to make the hard choice now for the better future. Our little family is still in the waiting phase, waiting to see what's next, waiting to see if DC will remain our home, waiting to see where God is taking us, what he has in store for us. But as we celebrate Mark's graduation, the completion of his master's degree from Johns Hopkins, we are proud of him and that's what this post was supposed to be about.

But the real story is how we got there, no not the whole journey, just the day of the actual ceremony. Mark was required to arrive by 2:00. I was required to be seated by 2:45. We left DC around noon, with nearly two hours to spare, the biggest lag time we have ever given ourselves to get to Baltimore. And then it took us 40 minutes and twist and turns to get out of DC, only to sit in bumper to bumper traffic, switching highways for open road, only to be slowed down by on and off visability reducing downpours. Everywhere we looked we were in traffic. No matter how hard we tried to go faster, we slowed down. Finally, at five after 2, a few blocks from the ceremony site, we plotted our Chinese firedrill. Mark jumped out of the car, grabbed his regalia, and began to ran. I got in the driver's seat as Behr woke up and began to scream. I circled the building twice, following the direction of event staff to parking. Lots are full, lots are full. By the third parking lot I resorted to bribery, offering to pay extra, and lying about my condition in hopes of gaining pitty. I am not proud of this moment. Nor was it successful. I can typically charm my way in and out of things, but my efforts were futile. As 3:00 rolled around, I am literally about to burst into tears on the phone with my mother-in-law, proclaiming I am going to miss everything. I find street parking, the very first spot I see, I take. I am 14 blocks away, but desperate to finally park. I pay the meter, juggling Behr, the diaper bag, the umbrella, and my wallet at the meter machine, a gentleman approaches and offers to hold my baby while I pay. Ummm...no. Now my momma senses go on high alert and I feel threatened, the last thing I need. I begin to run, in pouring rain, in a silk dress and heels, over cobblestone and brick sidewalks, carrying a 16 month old, because strollers are not allowed at the graduation ceremony, and the heaviest diaper bag on the planet filled with the essentials for two hours of entertainment. I ditch my umbrella. When we get to the building, my father-in-law spots us immediately. Bless him. I hand him the remaining tickets and elbow my way to the nearest bathroom, closed, and then find another so I can pull myself together, change the worst diaper I have ever seen in my life on the dirty floor because there were not changing tables. At this point, I may or may not have told a group of graduates straigtening their caps and gowns to never believe the world is a baby-friendly place. Once again, not a proud moment. Finally, Behr and I have both stopped crying and we sprint to our seats, over 30 minutes late, but somehow just in time.





The ceremony was wonderful. The speakers were thoughtful, interesting, and brief. Behr clapped with the crowed, and signed "more" every time he heard the word in a speech. My heart melted watching him be so excited to be with the adults, attentive and well behaved. Mark crossed the stage, his brother cheered, Behr clapped so hard, it was as if he truly understand the significance. I passed Behr off to the grandparents so I could return to the car, 14 blocks away to feed the meter, passing a few open spots along the way, I decide to move the car closer and make it back inside in time to meet Mark as he filed out of the ceremony with his classmates. We reunite with the rest of the family and celebrated. We gathered with friends in Federal Hill at The Rowhouse Grille for a fabulous dinner in honor of our graduate!





I could have posted one hundred pictures of these two hanging out. We are already certain they are going to be life long friends, Behr and Evelyn.

I am linking up to small style, even though the rain kept most of my picture taking at bay, I can't resist sharing Behr in a button down with his hair all combed! Behr wore: a plaid shirt from Polo Ralph Lauren via TJ Maxx, hand-me-down khakis, and a Carter's zip up sweater.

7 comments:

  1. Oh congratulations Mark!!! Even with a few snags, it still turned out to be an awesome day! And I love that Behr understood how important it was :)

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  2. Wow. Bowing to him. It must have been incredibly hard. What an achievement!

    You look beautiful in the pic by the way. Glowing. Anything you need to tell us? I kid.

    Behr's as adorable as always!

    And....I'm hosting another eShakti giveaway. Couldn't resist their offer :: come enter friend! xo

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  3. Congratulations, Mark! What a huge accomplishment.

    And your story brought tears to my eyes! The best-laid plans getting totally mucked up, running in the rain, absolutely determined to make it, and PHEW, you just made it.

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  4. congrats!! also you look so good in your picture! i would have been a ht mess if i had gone through all that!

    http://lachapstickfanatique.blogspot.com

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  5. What a crazy story - I'm glad it ended up to be a great day!! Congrats to Mark

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  6. Great family graduation photo! Congratulations Mark. What an honor.

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