Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Allie and Justin's Graduation!

It was a busy but fun couple of days that we spent celebrating Allie and Justin's graduation! 
I couldn’t be prouder of these two kids. 
They have worked so hard to achieve all that they have
 and it was really wonderful to honor them and recognize all that they have accomplished! 
On Friday, Justin graduated with a B.S. in physiology and developmental science,
  while Allie graduated with her masters from the nursing school earning her Nurse Practitioners degree. 
Since she was a little girl, Allie has dreamed of being “a professional baby holder” 
and she has worked hard to make it all come true. 
They will be heading back east where Justin will begin medical school
 and Allie will be living her dream, working as a nurse practitioner, putting her husband through school. 
As much as I am excited for these two and the adventure that they are about to embark on
 and all the exciting things that lie ahead for them, 
I have to admit that a part of me is a little meloncally. 
I mean, I always knew that this day would come... eventually.  
But from the moment that Allie stepped on the campus of BYU,
 she knew that she wanted to be a nurse and eventually get her NP at BYU, 
and I believe that she knew that she wanted to end up with Justin,
which would take at least 7 years for her to finish her masters 
and hopefully that would line up with when he would finish his undergrad degree.  
That meant that they would be in Provo for a long while and I guess I just thought it would be forever.  
It seemed like Allie was going to be a permanent fixture in Provo, 
kind of like The Creamery on 9th Street or BrickOven, just south of campus,
 both Provo landmarks that have been there as long as I can remember.
  (Notice that all the Provo landmarks that I remember are food related... ha! ha! 
Don’t even get me started on all the locations where you can buy diet pepsi with caffeine!) 
I’m sure for Allie, at times, it seemed like she was going to be in Provo forever.  
We often teased that she was a “Provo All-Star!” 
But really in my book, they both definitely earned that title
 because of all that they accomplished in the years that they were at BYU in Provo. 
They took advantage of every opportunity that they could, to learn, to work and to serve.  
They were both involved in numerous research projects, both publishing. 
Allie traveled to Equador twice, once for her “global experience” and later as a mentor. 
Last summer, they traveled to Mozambique to help teach and implement the research that Justin has been working on.
And every Thursday night for the past 3 years they have volunteered at a free clinic, never missing their shift, 
even if we were in town, begging them to come “play” with us in Park City.
  They both worked while going to school, but both still graduated summa cum laude.  
I apologize if I sound like I'm bragging and I'm sure that I've embarrassed them,
but these two deserved a little recognition for all of their accomplishments and achievements! 
And I also apologize for all the gazillion photos below.  
I probably took way too many but since Kimber wasn't there to photograph everything,
I got a little bit nervous that I wasn't going to get "the perfect photo" 
so I took twice as many photos than I needed just to make sure I got a good one.
And you know how I am about deleting photos... I just can't do it.  I love them all!
I know that I have a problem with taking too many photos.
I don't know if I'm a picturoholic or photoholic but I may have to go to rehab after this weekend!
The two cute graduates, Justin and Allie!
Just as Allie and Justin were lining up for the Commencement service,
Allie's nursing professors came walking by so we had to snap a photo with them.
They were so excited to see them and celebrate with Allie!
The graduates are all lined up ready to march into the Marriott Center.
Pres. Samuelson welcoming everyone to the services.
Elder L. Tom Perry did a fabulous job as the keynote speaker.
Justin and Allie with Justin's dad, Dan.
Justin's sister, Jess and her husband, Sam also graduated so there was a lot of celebrating going on here!
Jana, Justin's mom, with all of her graduates and Marissa!
Grandpa Jan and Nancy Pinney flew out from California to celebrate with everyone!
Allie, just being Allie!  Gotta love that girl!
Justin and his cute mom!
Ashley can't wait to get in the middle of this cute couple!
The cutest little Cougars friends!  Wish I could freeze time and keep them there forever!!
A fun family photo!
We couldn't be prouder of these two!
They love each other!
Proud parents, Mark and Debbie and grandparents, Jan and Nancy 
and super fun since we have been dear friends for almost 22 years!
The graduates attempt to get a "jumping photo!"
Don't even ask how many times they had to jump to get this pic!
Let's just say that they definitely got a workout:)!
This is one of my favorite photos of these two!
Don't they look so happy!?
And so willing to take a gazillion photos...
actually, I think these is when I had about hit my limit 
and Justin is calmly asking Allie "how many more photos is your mother going to take!?"
Ringing the bell!
Allie looks a little excited!
The tulips around the campus were incredibly gorgeous!
These are the last of the Holt Cougars left at BYU!
Had to stop at the Cougar for a few pictures!
And of course, Ash and Brooke had to get in on a few pics...
and of course, they had to be silly pictures.
And a few in front of the BYU sign at the entrance of campus.
And a kiss for Allie's favorite BYU graduate!
The next morning was Allie's graduation ceremony.
Since she was the only one graduating with a masters degree,
right at the beginning of the program she got an extra shotout from the dean.
Allie worked with Dean Ravert a couple of years ago so she knew her well.
The dean took about 5 minutes at the beginning and just talked about Allie and
all the things that she was involved with and research she did while she was in the nursing program. 
It was really nice of her to make such a fuss about Allie. 
Allie with Dean Ravert.
Here is Allie getting hooded by Jane Lassetter (her research mentor) and Mary Williams (the graduate program dean).  
Brooke was so nice and walked down in front of everyone to get these photos and they turned out so good!  Thanks Brooke!
They actually had to hood Allie a couple of times
 because the didn't do it right and had to take the hood off and try again.  
That is why they are laughing so hard in this photo!
I love this photo of her hugging her instructors!
You can tell that they sure do love her...
and Allie sure does love them!
Getting congratulated by the dean and stopping to get a photo!
Allie and Justin with the Pinneys and Larkin families.
Dad, being a good dad and husband, willingly poses
 so I can check the settings on my camera.  Love that smile!
Cute Alyssa Schaeffer came walking by so we had to get a photo of these two together.
They went to Oakhills, Ridgeview, Cavitt Jr. high and Granite Bay high together.
Alyssa took the missionary discussions at Allie's apartment at BYU 
and married Ari, when he got home from his mission.
Now Ari and Alyssa are heading to medical school in West Virgina
and Allie and Justin will be going back east too for medical school.
So it was perfect that bumped into each other and got to spend a few minutes together that day. 
Grandpa and my sister, Mary Ann, with Allie and Justin.
Allie with one of her favorite professors, Kent Blad.
Allie and Jan Lassetter, her research mentor and one of her favorite professors.
Very proud parents with their cute graduate!
The Spencer W. Kimball building, where Allie spent most of her time at BYU!
We had to get a photo of the little girls with these beautiful tulips!
What a gorgeous backdrop!
Later that afternoon, we attended Justin's graduation, 
which was held in the Marriott center.
Here is Justin walking across the stage to get his diploma!
Allie went down on the floor to snap these cute photos of Justin.
So proud of this graduate!
We sat with Trish, Allie's dear roommate and best friend from her BYU college days.
That is roommate and best friend before she married Justin:)!
Trisha's step sister was graduating that day from the same college so it was perfect
because we got to catch up with her!
One of the sweetest things that happened all day took place right after Justin's graduation ceremony.
As I said, we were sitting by Trisha and her family. This is her step sister, Becca.
Mark and my dad left a few minutes early so that they could have time to walk to the car.
As my dad walked past her, she turned to me and asked, "What is his name?  Is it Heber?!"
I was surprised because Heber isn't a name that you ever hear these days,
and I thought "How in the world does she know my dad's name?"
I told her yes! And explained that he's my dad.
Becca was so excited and said, "I know him and his sweet wife, Joyce!  They are my friends."
She proceeded to tell me that she moved into their ward years ago,
when she was a young married couple and her husband was going to ASU.
Becca said that mom came and sat by her in Relief Society the very first day
and asked all about her and was so sweet and then they sat by each other every day after that.
She was sad when I told her that mom had passed away
because as she said, "Joyce was my dear friend.  She was so nice to me.
  I know it sounds weird because she was older and I was so young but we were good friends 
and we always talked to Heber and Joyce every week at church and they were so kind to us."
Listening to Becca talk about my dear mother and tell us what a sweet, kind lady she was to her
was so amazing because she described my mother to a T. 
And then to make the connection that day that Becca, Trisha's sister knew Grandma, 
was really a tender mercy! Allie and I were both in tears at this point!
 We felt my dear mother was letting us know in her own way that she was there with us that day,
joining in the celebration of Allie's graduation! What a special unexpected gift! 
Two cute couples that have made so many fun BYU memories together!
Justin and his proud mother, Jana!
We tried to get another jumping photo with just Allie and Justin!
Two new alumni, walking towards the BYU Alumni building!
One last photo with Timp in the background!
That night all the Larkin, Ellis (Sam's family) and Holt families gathered at Carrabba's
to enjoy a yummy dinner! It was wonderful to just relax and chat with everyone!
So glad that so many took the time to share this special day with Allie and Justin.
It really meant a lot to them and I know that they appreciated the support!
The little girls with the little girls!
Justin's dad, Dan, with Micaela.
Jana and Marissa!
Grandpa Olson and Mary Ann.
Kib and Lisa.
It was a really exciting day for these proud parents!
Doesn't Dad look excited?! Gotta love that guy!
Congratulation, Allie and Justin!  We are so proud of both of you
and think you are the cutest "Provo All-Stars" ever!


Caroline Abbott said...

You are my kind of Momma! There are never enough pictures and I can't delete any either. Loved that post! I feel for you having a chapter come to a close and I loved the story about your mom, it made me tear up, too. Such a sweet blessing to have an angel mother watching over you. You guys are awesome, thanks for sharing.

Kirstin said...

oops! I guess Caroline was signed into my computer! Ha! that was really from me!

Katie Larsen said...

Having lived with Allie and Trish for three years at BYU, I whole-heartedly, 100% agree: she did absolutely everything a BYU student could do to fully embrace every aspect of a BYU education. Allie has been inspiring from the moment I met her. So proud of her AND Justin. They're really some of the hardest workers I know. Allie is actually the one who taught me how to serve in the singles ward at BYU. And I'm so glad she did, because that's where I had a lot of my special experiences. That girl is going far -- but I guess we've all known that!

Great post. I loved every single picture!

Kjirsten said...

So sweet! Congrats to the cute couple. So fun to see that picture of Allie and Kent Blad. He is a VERY dear friend of ours, we are in the same ward.
What amazing accomplishments!