>Ok people, be warned: this is gonna be a bragfest.
Last week my mountain man hubby finished his long, often difficult, sometimes annoying, rarely dull, occasionally painful, three-year journey and earned his second bachelors degree!!! (Resounding applause and cheers erupt!!!!) Ok, so that sounds a bit dramatic, but what can I say? I’m a proud wifey. There are many, many things I love about Steve, but somewhere near the top of the list is his determination and work ethic. That boy just doesn’t know how to do something less than a 110%.
Here’s his story. He graduated SEVERAL years ago with a B.S. in accounting. (I say SEVERAL b/c he’s very, very old and it was too long ago to count! ha!) Now this in and of itself is hilarious. Anyone that has met Steve for 2 seconds knows that he’s an outdoor, adventurous, athletic dude and the idea of him wearing a suit and tie everyday and working in a cubicle and crunching numbers is pretty ridiculous. Think Bear Grylls working at your local H&R Block. Kinda funny. Well for some reason (I think he was trying to play it safe) he got that degree and sure enough he worked as an accountant in some fancy-shmancy office. And he hated it. Duh. But being the awesome guy he is (another thing I adore about him), he didn’t settle and he didn’t just deal with it. Instead, he made a change. He worked there for about a year, saved up all his money, sold all his possessions, told his boss to take a hike, and then travelled the world over. Literally. Once we looked at a map and tried to count up the number of countries he’s been to and quit when we got to places that I had never heard of and couldn’t pronounce.
Well after being a travel bum for SEVERAL years (again- very, very old), he became a ski bum and settled a bit in Colorado. That’s where his dorky Southern gal entered the picture (me) and you know the rest- the whole love, marriage, and a baby carriage thing. So after we moved back to GA and got married, he decided that he didn’t want odd jobs anymore and he wanted to be a PE teacher. Loves kids, loves outdoors- no brainer. And he decides this while working a 50 hour a week job in Atlanta. Does he quit his job or go to part-time at least??? No! Instead he adds more overtime hours and a few more classes to his schedule. Mountain man had set a goal and was focused.
And he never gave up that focus. Even when Little One came along and things got crazier around the house. Even when he got to the student teaching part and had to add another 30 hours to his work week on top of his night classes and full-time job. Even when he had to get special permission from some KSU department head to double up classes so he’d graduate on time. Even when his pregnant wife was on bedrest and he had to go to school, work all day, then come home and clean and cook and run the daily chores. Even when he had to study for hours and hours and hours to take tests to pass out of classes he never took b/c his old transcript didn’t transfer properly. And through it all- though he was tired and stressed and probably felt like the end was never coming- he rarely complained. Again, something else I love about him (and envy!). I would sometimes get more upset for him b/c of some of the ridiculous hoops KSU made him jump through; but he would just think of the end result, study harder, and not say a word.
And now-for the first time in our almost 3 year marriage- neither of us will be in school! YAYYYY!!!! Oh- and one more big bragging moment. He is graduating with a 4.0! How freaking awesome is that?? What a smarty pants! BTW, when Steve reads this post he will KILL me for writing about this and boasting about him (he HATES that!). But oh well! He’ll deal. It’s my blog, so there! You can’t see it, but I’m sticking my tongue out at him for the future scowls and angry words he’ll give me. hee hee!
So to celebrate his big accomplishment (he won’t go to the graduation ceremony…….”it’s not that big of a deal” he says) I decided to have a low-key event w/just us and my parents. I didn’t want to do the typical dinner thing; instead, I wanted something outdoorsy for my future PE teacher hubby. I decided a bucket of chicken and a visit to Stone Mountain would be perfect. The weather decided a thunderstorm would also be perfect. ha! ha!
We ended up having an awesome, fun, relaxing time! We had been checking the weather all day (“Did you check the doppler radar?” my mom asked like a zillion times that day. I swear- can I buy her a doppler radar for Mother’s Day? ha!) According to the big ol‘ doppler, the rain would pass right before we would get there. It almost was right. It was raining when we pulled into the park so we found a covered pavilion and ate our extra crunchy KFC. The people at The Big Chicken forgot that we are a civilized folk and eat with utensils, so they didn’t include the little plastic forks and spoons which made eating our mashed potatoes and coleslaw very interesting. I will say we aren’t too civilized to scoop the coleslaw out with our hands and lick the mashers off our fingers. But hey- it was raining, so washing up wasn’t a problem.
Then the sky let up and we went on a gorgeous hike up the mountain. I am proud to say that Little One walked about 1/2 way up all on her own. Towards the end she did get a little sleepy and wanted me to hold her as I walked. I happily obliged. It truly was a beautiful hike. I think God was trying (and succeeding) to be a bit of a show-off with the sunset and the mountain. It’s a neat trail b/c it’s mostly stone, but with a good bit of pine trees interspersed along the way. And the rain had left these little puddles here and there that reflected the setting sun like pools of liquid gold. I took my sandals off and enjoyed feeling the smooth stone beneath my feet. Little One however, did NOT take her sandals off and enjoyed splashing and dancing in the puddles. We took our time. We talked. Paw-Paw got to do what he did best and spend time with his favorite granddaughter. Grandma Cat got to use her walking stick and show Little One how women with short legs git ‘er done. ha! ha! It was perfect.
And of course at the very end we watched the laser show. But not before stopping in the candy store and picking up some fudge. Duh! (Cookies-n-cream for me….mmmmm……). Then we laid our blankets on the wet ground, let our booties get wet, and watched Bailey as she danced to the music playing on the loud speakers. The only downer was that the laser show itself was kind of lame. Replaced the Dixie finale with some opera version of the Star Spangled Banner and inserted 10 minutes worth of commercials. Oh well. We can’t all be die-hard Southerners at heart. My favorite part though was when Little One fell asleep in my arms and I got to rock her for a solid 45 minutes. Again-complete perfection.
So that’s my very looonnnngggg and boastful story about Steve’s graduation. Now we’re just keeping our fingers cross that he’ll be able to find a job and put that diploma to use! Hope you like the pictures- they are great keepsakes of our magical night!