Friday, May 8, 2015

Congratulations, Eric!

I feel like I need to have something really poignant to say today. I thought about doing a post about Mother's Day, and then I realized, wait - I have to commemorate this one....

It's May, and that means students from all over the country will be graduating from many different schools over the next few weeks. Later this month my brother Justin will be graduating from high school. (That's nuts! I remember writing about his graduation from junior high four years ago!) But first, there is another graduate in our family. And I am so proud of him.

It was over four and a half years ago when we were on a walk and Eric brought up the idea of going back to school for his MBA. That summer it was a hot topic of conversation on our nightly walks, and it often went something like, "Should I really do it? Do we really need one more thing to do right now? Should we wait until we're debt free? I mean, I'm definitely going to do it sometime, but would it be better to wait until the kids are older?"

So many questions! And neither of us knew what the "right" answers were. But as you may guess, we ultimately decided that it would be worth it to make the sacrifices and get it over with. In order to do that, it meant paying cash for the degree. We were certainly in no position to take out MORE loans when we were trying so diligently to pay off the ones we already had. It meant giving up time with an ever-growing family. And obviously, it meant extra work for Eric. So to make it happen realistically for us, Eric earned that degree a time. It took years. Twice as many as it usually takes. We had two...maybe three babies during that time. Oh my gosh, I have legitimately forgotten, haha.

There were definitely times that were trying. Times where there were already too many things on our plate and it was just like one more side dish we were trying to squeeze know, the one that pushes you to the point of wanting to throw up.

Over those years I was so thankful for parents who let us hang out on some of those long days and nights when Eric was gone. Mom, I lost count of how many meals you fed us! It made all the difference. At some points it was probably the only thing that kept me sane and feeling good about the whole thing.

Even though Eric was only enrolled in one class at at time, he remained very involved with the school outside of class. He competed in the ACG Cup with a great team and won three rounds of competition against local prestigious schools of business, including SLU and WashU. He has been asked to speak for the school on multiple occasions. He has cropped up in the school's magazine a time or two. He was even featured in a promotional video, and I'm still waiting for the link to that one, mister. Haha. They came to his work and everything. It was great. :D

And last night was the very very last night we had to spend away from him for school. He completed his last presentation, and tonight he will put on his cap and gown and receive his degree, with honors.  That degree isn't even in his hands yet and it is already proving to be valuable. It's kind of insane how much it makes a difference. And now that we're standing at the end of this thing, the big question is, "Was it worth it?"

That answer is easy. YES! We're already seeing how very worth it it truly was. I am glad he didn't wait around. Our kiddos will likely have no memory of the nights their dad had to spend away. And now he's DONE. And our oldest child is only five. So yes. Worth it!  (This is my way of strongly encouraging anyone who has a dream or goal to JUST DO IT!! Don't wait. You can do it, and you'll be glad you did! But be smart about it and assemble a small army of support behind you first. Haha.)

Charlotte and I will be joining Eric's parents and grandma for a day of activities, including a robing ceremony for the graduate students and then of course the actual ceremony this evening. I am praying that baby girl lets me sit through the whole thing. I can't wait to celebrate our graduate - a great husband and dad. It's going to be a good day!

And to sneak in just a little snippet about the upcoming holiday, I will add that my role in all of this was to just be me...the mother. I didn't have to write the papers or go to the classes. I just had to hold down the fort and take care of the babies. To be the encourager. Not always an easy task, but not one I ever begrudged. I like my job just fine. Being the mother of this family has been a special gift.

I hope all of the moms out there have a great Mother's Day weekend! And congratulations to all graduates. Be blessed!

1 comment:

Heather said...

Such a great achievement! For all of you! Congratulations!

And Happy Mother's Day!!


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