I am so incredibly proud of him.
This "journey" technically began for us in the fall of 2005, when Aidan was going on 1.5 years old.
That fall Patrick took a class at the local college, which (at the time) we believed was a required prerequisite for grad school. That was the 1st step.
2006 thew us some curve balls, and school went to the back burner.
Financial difficulties, losing our 2nd baby, my grandmother and my uncle/godfather died...then Pat was recruited to a new job, relocating us from MI to OH.
2006-part of 2007, we were adjusting to our new "home", as well as Pat was commuting nearly 1 hour away for work, and we had 1 car (still do). No family in town, and we knew ONE person in the area. (one is better than none, I know).
Spring 2007 his office moved closer to home (as in 2 miles!), and Brennan was born. Life is calming down. School is more on the brain.
In the fall we start discussing the GMAT and Aidan going to preschool.
By February 2008, we have Aidan registered for preschool, and Pat prepping for the GMAT.
Summertime, Pat takes & passes the GMAT.
Fall 2008: 2 of my "men" start school: Aidan began preschool, and Pat started grad school. 2 classes, 2 nights a week.
That alone isn't most amazing, though. At the risk of sounding corny & mushy, I have to share.
During most of grad school, Patrick not only worked his full-time job, but also a 2nd job driving a limo. God Bless him for that. The hours were sporadic and often into the middle of the night, leaving him quite sleep deprived. Last fall we also did the FPU course, taking yet another night away from the week. Yet he pressed on and not only did what was needed, but he succeeded. He never had to repeat a class, never received poor grades.
Add to the mix that during this time we also bought our 1st house & moved.
Now for the confessions: obviously Pat had to fully throw himself into this to succeed. There were times when we'd barely see him, and we'd drop him off for the day to study, with the boys & I rolling solo.
Tuning fully into school, plus the stress of work/school/exams, the limited time we did have together, it'd often be crabby. Many times I started to wonder, fear even, that when he was done with school, we'd have nothing left in common. It often felt like we were growing apart, with very few opportunities to be together just US, without stress, etc.
I know he had plenty to keep him distracted and busy, and in it all, I was very lonely at times. I had the boys, sure, but with no family in town, there was barely any grown-up interaction for me. School needed to be done, but this was one of the hardest parts. The loneliness, fears, and not knowing how well we'd re-connect. Pitiful as it may sound, I really am grateful we've had DVR during this time. That has been my evenings.
Now sure, it's not even been a full week (graduation was only last night), but it already feels like we can exhale. Relax. Reconnect.
I know I'm not the only one who felt like a "grad-school widow". Several other bloggers out there posted, sharing similar feelings. I took comfort in that.
This isn't just about me, though.
Despite all that, feeling the tension, stress, everything...Patrick stuck with it when it would have been easier to call it quits. Going straight through, including summers, missing trips to MI & SC for events, time with the boys...he bravely sacrificed the smaller things for the greater future.
What an example he is, especially to our boys, and we are proud.
It wasn't easy on any of us, but most of all Patrick, I am sure.
In his nature, he is a very hands-on husband and dad. When he doesn't get to see Aidan & Brennan, he feels it. It's part of why I love him so much.
We say a big THANK YOU to you, Patrick. We are impressed, proud, and we love you so much.
I know many people do the grad school thing before having kids, but I am glad our boys got to witness this. Them being there last night, seeing you graduate, is priceless. Motivation. Encouragement.
It would be easier for them (when it's their turn) to do it before having a family, but the example is that they CAN DO IT. YOU did it.
And now, our third little boy will be here soon (9-10 more weeks!), and he will benefit from your sacrifices, too.
Our family is blessed to have you. We look forward to the time we're gaining back with you. The boys look forward to daddy's evenings involving more play and boys' nights, and I sure as heck look forward to having my best friend back.
It felt forever-long at times, but it's over with now. You did it. Way to go!
We love you.
P.S. If this is too much "corn" for any of you readers, tough. I want this for us & the boys to look back on one day. This blog is about our life, memories, and preserving those memories. This was a huge part of it. :)
the stage at BGSU
Buppa & Brennan waiting for the ceremony to begin
Aidan (poor kid had been sick all week, but was such a trooper!)
Just graduated! Our family (Brennan is half asleep)
Patrick with his parents (so glad they came!) Oh, and Brennan who refused to not let Pat hold him.
Us back at home (and boy #3, of course;)
Now for getting busy on prepping for the party later today!