Two weeks after Andrew traveled back for his dissertation defense, our whole family hopped on an airplane to attend his graduation. Actually on the way we stopped at a storehouse to buy 125lbs of wheat since it was the closest option to where we live now. We had a smooth trip and arrived Thursday evening in Indianapolis. I had just gotten my very first smartphone and it detected traffic and helped us navigate new routes as we went from the Indy airport to West Lafayette – basically it didn’t take me love to fall in love with “new” technology.
We stayed at my friend Amanda’s house. We got there late enough that we basically just tucked the kids and ourselves into bed and went to sleep. On Friday we had a slower morning and then went to playgroup with our Indiana friends. It was so great to see everyone again, especially since it had only been a few weeks since we moved and still felt more like a vacation.
We spent lunch time and nap time with the Beans and the kids played super great and we all got naps and still had plenty of time to talk. We joined the Cook’s for dinner at their house. Phoebe and I left Andrew with ALL the kids while we went to pick up Little Caesars Pizza. It was great to gather and hang out together again.
Friday night we spent in a hotel right across the street from where we used to live. There was a little closet alcove that we tucked Laura’s pack n play in and draped a blanket over for her own room. It worked perfectly and everyone slept decently. Andrew’s parents arrived in the middle of the night and my parents and Christine arrived around lunch time on Saturday.
We went and created a little gift basket for a family that we loved and wanted to stop by on Saturday morning. After lunch we went to downtown Lafayette and got in line to tour the McCords candy cane factory. We missed the tour we were hoping to get on so we went and walked around downtown and spent some time in the library before heading back.
The tour itself was great, but Laura was sooooooo done and I spent most of the time off to the side helping her. I was grateful we went last year so I didn’t feel like I was missing out at all and could just enjoy sharing it with our family.
We went to dinner at soup, salad, and sandwich place with everyone. It was so fun to just sit around and chat over a good meal.
Sunday morning Andrew left early to get in place for graduation. Our dads left equally as early to get in the standby line for tickets so that everyone in our family could watch. I got the kids and myself ready and out the door with Jenny who helped me with the kids. We found one of the last parking spots in the garage and made it just in time to watch the graduates walk in. It was so fun to see Andrew in robes and just start to get a little sense of what he just accomplished. My mom and Christine got there just before the official ceremony began. The speakers were phenomenal and I felt very inspired to go forth and make my impact, to be kind, and remember the details (meaning people).
The really really really great thing about being hooded is that you get to go first. It was really amazing to watch Andrew walk across the stage and be hooded, become Dr. Jackson. We were so grateful we could share it with our family as well. It was a big deal and absolutely worth flying back for. We’ve got footage from our seats as well as Andrew’s cell phone and another professor he worked with took up close pictures of him being hooded. A well documented historical moment in Jackson history.
Christine, Laura, and I spent the majority of everyone else walking across the stage outside in the hall. Nathan sat on my dad’s lap and repeated every single name that was announced for the duration of the ceremony.
It took us awhile to find Andrew and Dr. Mentzer in the crowd to take pictures. We did eventually connect by having Andrew find us!
After the ceremony we grabbed a little ceasers pizza and the remainder of our trip food to enjoy lunch all together at Mike and Jenny’s hotel room. After lunch my parents headed home and shortly after that we headed to Indy to spend the night with the Monk’s before a super early flight home on Monday morning.
Because we arrived at Boston in the morning we decided to head to the science center. It was awesome. We all become a bit more educated with current space missions, looked at dinosaurs, built some things, learned about current technological innovations, and played with perspective. Laura wasn’t feeling super great and just laid in the stroller and rested. We had a great trip home and it was so nice to just have a few days together as a family.