When I graduated from high school it was in Symphony Hall in Salt Lake City.
We had close to 400 in our graduating class so we all fit and I loved and hated it at the same time…(loved it because it was beautiful and exciting, but hated it because I was not ready to graduate from high school I loved it so).

(flowers were all the rage I guess:)  Love those girls forever (and a few who are missing from these pics.)

That night we stayed up all night long at some big party the school sponsored and my closest friends and I headed up the canyon in my big suburban at sunrise listening to “Forever Young” blasting out of the stereo with tears trickling down our cheeks.

Dave had a huge graduating class here in the desert that was apparently a more raucous group in contrast to our serious celebration at Symphony wall.

 Love these good friends…most of whom we are still in touch with.

In some ways that seems like yesterday to Dave and me, and here we are with a son who has graduated.  
His ceremony was a little different from mine at Symphony Hall, probably more similar to Dave’s but much more orderly (according to Dave).  Max had close to 900 in his graduating class.
We had to go save seats on the bleachers of the football field many hours in advance.  We ate dinner as the sun went down.

Finally the graduates marched in.

See Max with his big smile in the middle below?

It was an unusually cooler evening than is typical in the desert with a warm breeze which was pretty awesome compared to the stories of intense heat I’ve heard.

We listened to musical numbers and speeches as the sky turned dark.

And then it was time to announce every single one of those kids by name.

…which took a long time.

As they announced Max’s name I shot this pic. of my good-luck charm (more about that HERE).  
I said a little prayer of sincere gratitude that all those credits from China really went through just fine, for our awesome counselor who helped us so much.  For all the teachers who have filled my son’s brain with knowledge over the years as a foundation as he heads out into the world.  For the friends he has found and loved, for the volleyball team he got to play on, and for all the experiences (bad and good) that high school has weaved into his life to make him grow stronger and more aware.
School is such an incredible blessing for which I am so very deeply grateful.
Then they switched their tassels and threw up their hats and just like that, our son became a high-school graduate.

The fireworks went off and it was a scramble to find your child and hug them on the field.

I was just fine emotionally as we searched for Max until I found Elle first (she had been sitting with friends).  Her eyes were filled with tears, and then I just lost it.

These two sure love each other.

How I adore these boys who have been such an exceptional group of wonderful friends to Max.

All teary-eyed at that.

And these girls who have built him up so much as well.

(we miss Maddie!!)

So grateful for these volleyball “brothers” who were at his side so much of his time in high school and their great influences:

It was Grace’s graduation from 8th grade that day so here are our two graduates:

My Dad lost us in the crowd and came home with Lucy but I had to capture him too…even if he would only pose on tip-toes:

…or slouched.

Dave’s Dad was there too (he and Dave’s mom had to divide and conquer with three grandkids graduating the same night), but I didn’t get a pic. of him.  Love you Papa!

How I love this boy of mine.


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  1. I have been reading your blog for a few years now and I love it! I love the way you write and your outlook on life. I can feel myself cheering you guys on. 🙂 Even I got misty eyed when you mentioned Elle. What?! Anyway, congratulations on getting Max through to graduation! I believe it is just as much your accomplishment as it is his. 🙂

  2. Ditto to the comment above…Grace is your mini-me and Max is Dave's! Holy cow! Your dad makes me laugh out loud. Congratulations to Grace and Max for moving onto their next chapters!

  3. Reminds me so much of my own graduation on Phoenix many moons ago! It was at the beginning of June, it was hot, it was outside on the football field, and by the time we were done it was dark too.
    Let's just say mine was so long ago that one of the songs that was sung was by Whitney Houston. "I believe the children are our future……"
    Congratulations Max! God Bless and have a great time at BYU (and learn a little too!)

  4. Such a sweet post! Time flies! And the memories are always better when we've done our best and loved more! So typical of Max…and his mom and dad! Love you all!

  5. I have a lot of family in Gilbert & Chandler so I always love seeing your pictures & reading about Arizona. And I absolutely love your watch!! Where did you get it? I've been looking for a wood watch, but can't find one I like as well.

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