When we arrived, we were greeted with lots of hugs from Cali and Jake! They gave us a tour of Utah State. We got to see the Art Building where Cali has studied 24/7 for the past four years. The grounds of the campus are gorgeous and surrounded by mountains. We loved it. Nyah REALLY loved it. I think she may follow in Cali's footsteps and go to Logan for school. Side note: I tried to get Aaron to kiss me on top of the giant "A" on campus, but he said that would be way too awkward.
Jake showed us the couch where he takes naps in between classes. It was very comfy.
The next morning, Cali drove me up to the Bonneville Shoreline Trail and dropped me off. From there I ran six miles back to the hotel. The sun was out, I was surrounded by mountains, and my route went right past the LDS Logan Temple. It was a beautiful sight sitting up on the hill.
When I got back to the hotel, we all got dressed for Cali's graduation and had some fun "borrowing" Cali's cap and gown.
The boys were tired of all the picture taking, so the girls heading outdoors for some selfies and more pre graduation pictures. I love to see how much these girls love each other.
Guess who pulled into the parking lot during our picture taking?! None other than Grandpa Markie, Grandma Joannie, and Josh! It was a joyous reunion with lots of hugs and more picture taking. My dad's car was filled with coolers that my mom and dad had filled with all the supplies needed for the picnic we'd planned for after graduation: salads, veggies, a cake, soda, fruit, ice . . . My parents are an amazing support to me. Boy do I miss them.
Next, we headed to campus for graduation. It was surreal seeing Cali in her cap and gown. She looked so beautiful and happy. Side note: Carson and Josh snuck some macaroons from another college's ceremony to tide them over until after Cali's graduation.
As Cali marched in with her class from Caine College of the Arts, the bagpipes played some joyous tunes. I'm not going to lie. There were a few tears!
When Cali walked up to receive her diploma, the Dean of the Art College shook her hand and whispered, "You have quite the entourage here with you today!" He must have seen us all screaming and jumping up and down.
After the ceremony, I caught this photo of Grandpa David hugging Cali. This picture is a keeper!
We enjoyed some Aggie ice cream after the ceremony and got the chance to meet Cali's Art History professor. She was the sweetest person and raved about Cali.
We saw on the weather app that some rain showers were heading our way, so we hustled outside to get pictures of Cali's entire entourage! Now that we live in Oregon, we bring rain with us wherever we go!
Jake's parents, Don and Donna, came to support Cali at graduation. I was so happy to finally get the chance to meet them. Cali has told me WONDERFUL things about both of them, and she was absolutely right. They are absolutely amazing and so supportive of Cali.
Grandma Sue and Grandpa David drove all the way from California to celebrate with Cali. They have been such supportive grandparents to her during her college experience. They both looked AMAZING!
Aunt Kaylyn, Riley, and Wrigley drove up from Springville to spend the day with us. They all looked GORGEOUS! I was so happy to get to hold my new nephew.
Dad, Mom, and Josh were ROCKIN' it in the styling department as well!
My kiddos love their big sister! She is such a great example to them.
She IS coming up a little bit short in the height department though. We lined the kids up shortest to tallest, and Carson is almost passing her up!
I love it when we are all back together again.
Cali has worn a "college" cap and gown twice now in her lifetime: once as a baby when Aaron and I graduated from BYU, and the second time during her own graduation from Utah State. This girl has been through it all with us. We couldn't be prouder of her!
Cali's entourage was definitely the most fun energetic group around!
The fun didn't stop after we left campus. The raindrops worried us, but the clouds dried up during our picnic. We headed to Merlin Olsen Park for a pizza picnic, lots of visiting, and a "friendly"game of kickball. Cali's entourage grew at the park! Caleb, Emily, Aunt Katie, Bailey, and the Peacock met us there to continue the PARTY! What a fabulous celebration.
There was a beautiful cake for the gluten eaters.
Caleb and Emily bought two boxes of delicious gluten free goodies from City Cakes for the "silly yaks." Look at the happiness on these faces!
We goofed around for hours at the park. I loved looking around at all of our friends and family laughing and talking together. The Peacocks were our backyard neighbors for 13 years in Utah. They truly are part of our family. It was a wonderful day to reminisce and catch up on the new things in our lives.
Rena and I tried our best to reenact Nyah and Ady's shenanigans!
It was just like old times.
My dad is a very wise man. He leaned over to me when the picnic was about to end and said, "Vanessa, this life is all about family!" He is SO right. This day was one of the best days of our lives, and it all had to do with the love and support we felt from friends and family, both those in attendance and those sending well wishes from afar. Thanks so much to all of you who texted, called, messaged, sent cards, prayers, and happy thoughts our way. Cali and our family truly felt your love and support. So proud of this chickadee. She is going to soar!