She did it. She finished high school. One chapter has come to a glorious end.
For six years, she’s been at a very small Montessori 1-12 school. There were only 37 graduating seniors. Because of this small number, each senior was able to give a short speech on graduation night. Of course, because of the letter Z, my girl was the final speaker.
Apparently she’d written and rehearsed her speech but after seeing each of her friends get up, she decided to more or less start from scratch. She was scribbling furiously and by the time she got up to talk, she had a new speech altogether.
It was at times supremely eloquent and emotionally vulnerable. I think Dan was a lot more misty-eyed than I was, but I had spent a good chunk of that morning crying, so it all balanced out.
It was so cool to see my sometimes stoic and mature daughter give in to the emotion of the night.
It was just so cool.
I made a simple page with a few photos. Yes, it’s the exact same design I used for my recent Great Outdoors page. I just combined the title areas into one big photo.
(click on image to see a larger version)
Next up, the graduation party. I’m sure my house will be clean and if we run out of food, there will be plenty of alcohol for the adults, so maybe no one will notice.
And then summer.
And then she’s off to Madison, Wis. in the fall. (What? I thought she was going to school in Illinois!) We did too, but the University of Wisconsin came calling and she really wants to go.
I say great. That school? It’s only four hours away.
That final photo is just…sigh. It’s a perfect glimpse of the kind of joy and confidence I can only wish I had at the end of high school. She looks accomplished, optimistic, and loved. And it’s beautiful. This is the reason we save moments. In order to get to this.
Susan in MD says
Congratulations! What an amazing woman she has come to be. Thank you for sharing her journey all these years.
Isnt it great? I feel like its one of the best photos Ive ever taken. Truly.
Congratulations Aidan! I’ve seen her grow up in pictures. It went by fast for me – I can’t imagine what it feels like for you! Great job Cathy and Dan!
Kelli Panique says
Congratulations to Aidan and to you & Dan! Such a special time – enjoy!
Kim K says
Beautiful page as always, Cathy! Love seeing your completed pages as I’m going through all of this right along with you. My son is attending Madison in the fall, too. Congratulations, Aidan! On Wisconsin!
Just amazing! Congratulations, Aidan! UofW, great choice. Cathy and Dan, you have done well.
Congratulations!!! I have been checking numerous times each day since Friday to see this exact post!!! I am so pleased that it went well!!! 🙂
Congratulations, Aidan!!! I lovelovelove your pages Cathy, your minimalist approach is really talking to me right now 🙂 I was wondering, are you still doing Project Life? 🙂
All your graduation posts have made me misty eyed. Congratulations to your family. I’ve enjoyed seeing Aidan grow up. Tell her thank you for allowing her journey to be shared with us, your audience.
I am a bit sad that she won’t be at Knox, since that’s only an hour away from where I am and I was hoping I might randomly run into you (I know a bit stalker ish -sorry) or convince you to teach at our local scrapbook store while visiting.
I’m loving all your hybrid posts. Have a great party.
My daughters graduation and party were on Saturday! It was quite the day! We were worried about the food running out too but we have tons left over! I wouldn’t worry about it too much people don’t eat that much of these kinds of parties. Congratulations to you all
Gorgeous pictures and a great story. And yay about U of W and her being close to home. I’ve heard that Madison is a nice college town (have never been.)
Jacquelin G says
Love this so much, perhaps because my lovely girl just graduated, too. It’s astonishing to me that the confident and capable adult (did I really say adult!?) that I see before me is the bright eyed little imp that never wanted to leave my side. I am a little misty myself today.
Sue M says
Cathy, did you post pics of your photo boards yet? I’ve been looking forward to seeing the finished product.
Yes, but Im 7 weeks behind! LOL!
I will pass along your congrats! : ) I know Knox would have been a great school, too! We just want what she wants and well figure out how to make it all work. : )
And congrats to you and your family!
Not yet! Will do after the party! : )
Congrats to you as well!
i rem met you when your kids were young at one of CKU.. Wow now she’s all grown up!
best luck away to college.
She is your baby as always!
Kirsten J says
Congrats to Aidan’s mama! (And Aidan too). So cool that she will be a car trip away – believe me and hear me now, a plane trip away can be a nightmare. And. Once upon a time, my girlfriend invited me to be her date at her 10 year reunion from Lake Chelan High School (true story – and a long one about a newborn and a mother-in-law crapping out last minute) – I think it was a class of 50ish. I graduated from Issaquah High, something like 500+ …. and it was seriously so cool to go to what was basically a dinner party at Campbell’s, maybe 3 dozen people, all familiar friends. Good times.
My dh and I get to Madison now and then for weather/satellite related conferences and I like it there!
Being able to speak like that, off the cuff, is a great talent. That babe of yours will go far!
Love those pictures! Congratulations to all of you!! My twin girls graduated from Madison last year. It is a great school and Madison is an awesome city. On Wisconsin!! Have a great party this weekend. (We will be moving one of those twins to Texas because of the great job she got after graduating from Madison.)
christi in ma says
Congratulations Aidan! That last photo is just perfection. She’s so happy and confident and beautiful.
Lynn Herrick says
Hopefully it does not creep Aidan out, but I kind of feel like I know her a little bit after reading your blog for so many years. I have a 12 year old daughter and it is awesome to get glimpses of the future by watching your daughter grow and thrive. Congrats.
Congrats Momma. Every tear or yours that falls is not only understandable but well earned. And she will LOOOOOOOOOVE Madison!!!! I audibly squealed with I read that!!! Congratulations and best wishes Aidan! And way to go Mom & Dad!
Congratulations and Best Wishes! Love the last photo. I really need to purchase some of your templates but I’m without internet at home for the moment.
This whole pst made me teary, and the final pic did me in.
Gah. In one year, I will be in your shoes. Already I can’t handle it.
Congrats to Aiden.
Congratulations!!!! Lovely layout!!! MADISON??? What a wonderful surprise! Lucky for YOU that she’ll be closer. It is a great community! And I absolutely LOVE to visit Madison.
As for college, I lasted at UW-Madison for two weeks. Then, I called my mom and announced “I hate it here. I want to come home!” (I was overwhelmed… having come from a small town, with small class sizes and suddenly having a lecture hall with 300 people for every class! I was “stuck” in the downtown high-rise dorms while my HS boyfriend and best HS friends were all lucky enough to get into the lakeshore dorms – where it was peaceful and serene. My room-mate slept through her beeping alarm clock every day… I was overwhelmed with the concept of “most people change their majors X-amount of times before they graduate”… and I had NO IDEA what I wanted to be when I grew up. *I continued to visit my boyfriend at Madison on a regular basis, loving it there (as a guest and NOT as a student). I went home to my parents, worked full-time and went to technical school instead – after a career search workshop pointed me towards graphic design.
After spending the morning fighting with my strong willed, determined 4 year old daughter (yes there was yelling. On both parts. No, I’m not proud), I needed this. Our children are not babies forever and watching them grow is a beautiful (if sometimes bumpy) journey.
Congratulations Aidan! While I personally will never ever, no way in h-e-double hockey sticks route for the Badgers (Go MTU Huskies!), Madison is a beautiful place to be and I am quite sure she will thrive. Curious – did you share her major? I can’t recall. Mazel Tov to you all!
Kendra B says
This made me a bit teary. Congrats to all of you 🙂 Great pictures … especially that last one!!
Excellent choice, University of Wisconsin! In my job, I work with a lot of Wisconsin grads. They are all pleased with and proud of their education.
Ah, Wisconsin snagged her from us! Darn! Congrats to all. What a great accomplishment!
Christine K says
Congrats to Aidan. Well done Mom and Dad!
She looks like she is ready to take on the world.
Sara Kiiru says
It’s been so fun to watch you & your family celebrate this chapter in your lives and prepare for the next. I live in Madison and, based on what I’ve seen of your family and your daughter’s interests/personality through your projects, I think she will really thrive. It’s such an engaging (and engaged) city. And you’ll have fun visiting her! If you want any recommendations, feel free to contact me. I’ll give you one unsolicited tip, though: go to a tiny store called Anthology on State Street. It’s local and creative and interesting, and also carries some items I think will suit your snarky self. 🙂
Jenny B. says
It *is* amazing.
Congrats to Aiden and your family! I’m so impressed that you have a layout done already. She’s a beautiful girl and it sounds like she has a good head on her shoulders, so YAY you! That’s a great accomplishment. As for the party, my daughter request Buffalo Wild Wings, so I bought 400 wings and served them with salad, olives, cheese & crackers and cake. Most people in our small town hold open houses, which is what we did, and the wings were gone after ONE hour. Bummer, because the open house was for three hours! Oh well, those that came during hours two and three just missed out! We still had a great time and those three hours flew by. Relax and have fun – this is a great time in your lives.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE this layout!! These pictures are just gorgeous and so professional Cathy!! She is so happy and you can see it in her face, GO AIDAN!! Happy to hear she will be closer to you, much easier to let her go in the fall now.
This school she attended sounds wonderful, did she have to get accepted to go there?
Have a great party, everything will run smoothly I’m sure! Congrats to all of you and thank you so much for letting us be a part of this big day.
Seriously, have to say again these pictures ROCK!! You need to take the big camera out more often, LOVE THEM!!
For some reason, I kind of nailed the photos on this day! LOL!
Jill Jackson says
Great layout! And the photos are just wonderful! My daughter just finished up her freshmen year at Edgewood College which is just a mile down the road from UW-Madison. The students from Edgewood hang out at UW Madison a lot, they even have a shuttle bus between the two colleges. Madison is a great town as you know! I live in a suburb of Madison. How nice Aidan will be closer to home, so happy for you (and her of course)! My daughter has a friend who is transferring to UW Madison next year from another UW school. What an honor for Aidan that she was accepted at UW Madison as it is a very competitive. I have loved watching your children grow up and your documentation of it!! You inspire me on a daily basis and helped me learn that scrapping simple is just ducky!
Thanks, Jill. Shes so excited to go there!
Late to this blog post but wanted to chime in my congrats. And compliments to Mama for those amazing photos & layout. It’s so strange to see all this high school graduation / going to college hoopla – brings back memories of my daughters & seems so long ago. We’re in a different season of life – weddings! 🙂 But so fun to see Aidan’s youthful excitement.
Kim L says
Congratulations! I agree with all the comments – love that last photo!
Congrats Aiden. I am a UW alumni….Go Big Red. So many wonderful memories. I am sure so much has changed since I graduated in 1984!!! Just yesterday, right? It is a big school but a good school, especially in science and engineering. One of the best chemistry professors was Dr. Bassam Shakhashiri. He did a great Christmas show every year. You can watch it on youtube. Read his bio sometime. One website that my son uses now when signing up for classes is ratemyprofessor.com. Good stuff. You will have to post what dorm you are in. Both my sister and I stayed in Elizabeth Waters. My other siblings were in other dorms. Such a fantastic, exciting time!
Robyn, that is great to hear as science is where shell be focusing! : ) Shes waiting to find out what dorm she gets now!