As I closed my eyes after finally crawling into bed late Saturday night, I thought to myself, "I really should have blogged about graduation today. Or at the very least, posted that very handsome picture of my dad and Rob. Because tomorrow I'll want to blog about Mother's Day and on Monday I'll want to blog about Darren's new job and all of those together--or even any two of them combined--would just make for one way-too-huge post...so I really should have blogged." But I didn't. (And what's that you say? You mean your final thoughts before falling asleep at night are not about photos or blogging? Okay. Well, I always knew I was weird, but now, too, I'm feeling oddly self conscious.)
Anyway. I realize I contradict myself, but I'm going to do it anyway: a weekend review of graduation and Mother's Day, both of which were splendid on their own but together made for one very, very happy weekend! My older brother and his family came into town on Saturday morning, and while Darren and my lovely sister-in-law held down the fort, so to speak, watching our children and preparing dinner, I attended the commencement ceremony for two of my favorite men with my mom and older brother. It would be difficult to describe the pride I felt at seeing my dad receive his Bachelor of Science in Education degree, knowing how far he's come to reach this point. The dedication he demonstrated in attaining this goal is truly admirable, and an inspiration to all of us who love him!
And I am so proud of my brother. He was blessed with such a beautiful gift of music: talented pianist and incredible vocalist, he has been playing for churches since he was fourteen years old and immensely enjoys the private lessons he provides for school aged children. On Saturday he received his Master of Music degree, and is so excited about the possibilities that lay before him! I know that he will be highly successful in whatever capacity he finds to put his talent to use, but we are especially hopeful that one particular job opening which has recently been made available will be the answer to his (and our) prayers.
The proud and handsome graduates:
Yesterday morning, our vans loaded up with fun, food, and games, we headed with my older brother's family and my mom to White Sands National Monument for a special Mother's Day picnic breakfast. (My younger brother, unfortunately, was unable to join us.) With so much good food and drinks--bagels and cream cheese, fresh strawberries and bananas, poppy seed muffins, mixed nuts, and powdered donut holes--we wondered why the idea a picnic breakfast had never occurred to us before! It was all so delicious, made even better by our gorgeous surroundings. After eating, we slathered on sunscreen and played with our excited kids on the huge gypsum dunes. What fun! We played for a couple of hours before the heat became unbearable, but we all had such a good time. Memories like these are what make Mother's Day--and every day--so special for me. And a fascinating postscript: I didn't really think there was any chance of finding one of the Bleached Earless Lizards that Dylan was really hoping to see while we were there, so I was astonished when, while pulled over on the shoulder of the road to photograph a few plants on our way out of the park, Dylan called from the backseat, "Hey, LOOK! There's a lizard!" I didn't see it. Truthfully, I thought maybe he had mistaken a twig or leaf for a lizard but still searched the sandy area at which he was so excitedly pointing. Exasperated, he finally unbuckled and climbed out of the van himself. My heart sunk for a moment as he searched the ground; I just knew the disappointment he'd feel at realizing his mistake. But no! There it was! He was right, and I still have no idea how he actually saw the tiny white lizard from his seat in the back of the van. But we were so glad he did! We tried to catch him to get a closer look, but that tiny guy was quick, and hid deftly under the sharp leaves of a yucca. I did manage to get a couple of pictures, but you have to look carefully to see him!