Sunday, May 02, 2010

Two weeks from today, at about this time in the morning, my oldest niece Amanda will be awarded her bachelor's degree from Metro State College. I know I speak for everyone on both her side and Justin's side of the family-- we are so indescribably proud of her.

I remember the day she was born-- a round, chubby baby who was the most amazing thing that had ever happened to our family. Since her mom was a working, single mom, Amanda spent a lot of time with my mom, my dad and stepmom, and me. I remember reading the same book over and over to her (The Best Nest, and One Fish Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish). She loved playing with My Little Ponies, and even at the very young age of three loved brushing her hair and picking out the right clothes. That certainly hasn't changed.

I remember when she graduated from 6th grade and sobbed at graduation because her family was moving and she didn't think she'd ever see her friends again. They ended up moving a few blocks away. Crisis averted.

When she graduated from high school her family was going through some great emotional upheaval as her mom and stepdad were divorcing at the same time, and the house was being sold and once again her life could have been a bit turbulent. But you never would have known it at her graduation party-- she was already the wanna be Martha Stewart we all know her to be today.

I remember meeting at my dad and stepmom's's house at 5 am in August, 2000 to load the cars and drive what felt like forever to Gunnison to drop her at college.It was so hard to leave her there! It brought back a lot of memories of being dropped at college myself, and wondering what my parents felt when they left me on my own?

Her wedding was a fairytale-- twinkly lights, chocolate-dipped strawberries, cake with flavors like strawberry champagne, chocolate with raspberry, yellow with peach, toll house, and german chocolate, and a delivered bouquet that "didn't match my colors!". That last one almost sent her over the edge, but it really was a beautiful bouquet! I remember sitting at the rehearsal watching the slide show of her life, and wondering where in the world all those years went?

And now Amanda will have earned a degree in Nutrition and Dietetics-- it's taken her ten years but she never gave up. What a testament to her drive and perseverance--- late nights, too much coffee, debt, and having to deal with the closing of the first program she had put so much time into to begin with.

It will be a wonderful time in two weeks watching her receive her well-deserved degree. Secretly, I'm hoping she does a little "woo-hoo" dance on the stage--- but that's so out of her character!

We are so proud of you, Amanda!!!


katie said...

i love this post. mandy rocks.

cb said...


Laurie said...

TEN YEARS. What an inspiration. This is a beautiful post- Amanda has been a shining light in your life and as pleased as I am for HER and her achievement, I am more pleased for YOU that you have this lovely young woman in your life.

Nell said...

That was an awesome post. I only wish I had been there more often when I should ave been. So many regrets.