Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Stephanie is a Nurse!

Michael's cousin Stephanie was pinned for completing nursing school at James Madison University on Friday, December 14th.  We drove up Thursday night and stayed through Saturday morning. Michael's fire department Christmas and awards banquet was Saturday night so we were unable to stay for her graduation.  
Kellan was very well behaved at first...and then he got sleepy...and instead of giving in and napping in his stroller, he decided to fight it!

He walked and crawled around on the floor for a while until he started trying to escape and got a little feisty when we kept bringing him back to our seats.  Look at that sleepy face :)

One of JMU's a cappella groups sang a couple of songs before the pinning ceremony began...

Kellan was mesmerized...the music kept him in his seat and actually focused on what was going on.  This child loves music and singing!

The graduates came in and took their seats.  There were a few speakers and I thought they all did an amazing job.  Their words reminded me a lot of what I heard during my own graduation for teaching.  I have never really noticed the similarities between nursing and teaching until this ceremony.  The jobs are different obviously but your daily impact on people and their impact on you is the same.  Just like parents send their children to school everyday and expect top notch education and care, families are sending their loved ones to hospitals and doctor's offices and expect top notch medical treatment and care from nurses.  Even though I'm not a nurse, the speakers that day spoke to me as well, and one in particular made me tear up a little (of course, it could just be the pregnancy hormones).  We were all so proud of Stephanie and I am so glad that we were able to be there to see her receive three awards:  Outstanding Student Award, an award chosen by the faculty, Nursing Student Association Most Active Award, and Member of PI MU Chapter at Large Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society.

As each graduate was pinned, a statement was read that was written by the nurses and their plans for the future announced.  Stephanie has accepted a job at St. Mary's Hospital in Richmond, VA.

During the ceremony this is what Kellan was doing...luckily reading books with Abby kept him entertained for a little while at least.  Abby is the daughter of Justin and Erin who are family friends, although they are more like family than friends.  Erin was taking pictures to document the ceremony.

Lighting their lamps to finish up the ceremony.

The rest of these pictures were taken by Erin who does professional photography on the side.  She does amazing work and she was able to get some really good shots!

This is my favorite :)  Stephanie's purple and gold heels...JMU colors

Michael's grandma Grizzard and Stephanie

Michael's cousin Chase, Aunt Tina, Stephanie, and Uncle Jerry

We all had dinner together afterwards at Union Station:  Michael, me, Uncle Jerry, Abby, Justin, Aunt Tina, Kellan, Chase, Stephanie, Lisa, Grandma, Aunt Pam, and Lauren
We had a wonderful time and were so glad that we were able to come up.  Michael graduated from JMU in 2001 and although he still claims that "college just wasn't for me," he still enjoys going up and seeing all of the changes that have been made to the city and campus.  And who doesn't like spending a few days in the Virginia mountains?  I'll be happy to go back anytime as long as we can eat at Little Grill Collective again :)  We wish Stephanie lots of luck as a JMU alumna and in her nursing career!  We know many more adventures and awards will be in her future!

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