Monday, February 08, 2010


Before graduation, people kept asking, 'are you so excited to be done with school'?
I was pleased, but it really just felt like the end of another semester ...
until I put my cap and gown on and went to my graduation ceremony.

God, did that feel good. I finally had a chance to let it sink in. I'm so glad I walked.

Before hand, there was a part of me that didn't want people to make a fuss about it.
I didn't want anyone to go out of their way to be there, and I didn't see how a party
was necessary. It just felt weird to celebrate it, in part, because I "should have" finished
many years earlier.

But I got over that (with a little encouragement from David) and I'm so glad I did. It was fabulous to have people there who love me and who I love. It felt good to share it with them
and to celebrate my accomplishment.

We took some photos before hand, did the ceremony thing and then
went back to our house for food, conversation, company, and presents!

Pam got this one of me and the girls when we first arrived.
Catherine is giving the day a thumbs up!

These two photos are pretty special to me. This day was earned as much by
David as it was by me. He was a huge support for me through this journey --
emotionally, financially and otherwise. I'm really thankful to him and so glad
he was there! This day wouldn't have been the same without him by my side.

My brother, Aaron, and his entire family (all six of them) flew in from
Ohio just for this day. Pretty awesome. :) It was nice to have family there.

Aaron and me.

Me with Aaron and Pam's beautiful kids -- (from left to right) Lauren, Meghan,
Catherine, and Aidan.

David's parents, Sandy and Jim, traveled in from Michigan.

Our friend, Kim, came for the ceremony, too. (Photo from a holiday party in December.)
I was so glad she did! Her presence added a really nice dynamic that evening. We always
enjoy her company and our family did, too. She went out of her way to make my day
extra special, and I feel very grateful for her friendship. I mean, it's a sweet friend who
gives up their Friday night, after working all week, to sit through a boring commencement. :)

Backstage before the ceremony with some friends from my program.

Afterwards, we had a little party at the house.
D, me, Jim, Sandy, Aaron, Pam, the kids, and my friend, Kim.
I'm telling you, you should totally graduate. You get completely spoiled! :)

Aaron and Pam hand wrapped the bag they gave me in ASU colors. Loved it!
(Aside from my camera, I think it's my new favorite possession.)
David got me a beautiful ASU frame for my diploma.
Kim brought me a lovely necklace and an insanely delicious cake for us to share.
There were flowers, a robe, bath and body stuff, ornaments, and gift cards.
It was all too much! Everyone was so thoughtful and so excited for me.
I was really touched.

Graduation day is going in the memory banks as a good one. :)


Kristi said...

Congratulations Sam!!! You deserve it after all that hard work. I am really glad you walked too, I think it just finalizes it all and it feels so good! (Although I was more nervous than anytime in my life before my HS and College graduations). I even walked for my Masters, better believe it!! Anyway, glad you had all the family there to support you, what a wonderful day and overall accomplishment!! Very proud of you :)

Olivia said...

Congratulations! This is an amazing accomplishment no matter when you start or finish it. I'm glad you decided to's a feeling that you need to have in your memory. Even though we've never met, I'm so happy for you!

Trujen said...

So glad you posted pictures of your special day! And might I say you looked lovely in your cap and gown! The pictures of you and the family are fantastic! Framers for sure. :o)
Wish I could have made it! If it weren't for the pregnancy you know the Trumans would have!
We love you so much! We're so proud of you!

Counting down the days, 2 more till I see your beautiful face! BTW, bring warmth with you! We're getting a snow storm tomorrow! :o)

elizabeth said...

congrats!!! how awesome to have yours and D's families there and some friends too.

I know what you mean about not wanting to make a big deal. I felt the same and didn't really have anyone to invite to the graduation so I skipped it. I regret it now so I'm glad you got over it and went to yours.

Diane and Joe Baldo said...

Congrats to YOU!!!!!! :)

Julie Hoopes said...

YYYYAAAAAYYYYYY Sam!!! I cannot tell you how excited I am for you! When I looked at you blog today, I saw how it says Samara Link, Journalist. HOW FREAKIN' COOL!!!! I just gave me goosebumps to see that and think about how long and hard you've worked for this! Congratulation to you and good luck on your new adventures!!!! Miss you tons!!!!

Hendricks said...

This is the first I've read this post, and the first time I've seen a picture of your brother. Side by side, wow!! you can tell you're siblings. What a fun day, great post!