Thursday, May 31, 2012

Introducing Dr. Brandon M. Reed

I honestly don't know how to begin this post.
I think I never really thought this day would come, and now that it has, I'm speechless.  Brandon and I have been married for 8 years and he has been in school ALL of those EIGHT YEARS.  During that time, he earned an Associates Degree in Generals (just cuz he wanted to), a Bachelors Degree in I honestly can't remember what, and during the last 4 years he worked tirelessly (and I held down the fort with three little ones) so he could earn a Masters Degree in Vision Science (with Distinction) and a Doctorate Degree in Optometry (again with Distinction).  He jokes that the only degree he doesn't have is a PHD and that he ought to give it a shot.
  Not very funny if you ask me.
Anyhoo.  Saturday, May 19th our family (and I say "our family" because this truly was a family goal and required joint family effort in bringing it to pass), witnessed the fruition of all our labors as Brandon became a Doctor of Optometry.
We attended the "Hooding Ceremony" Saturday morning where the Class of 2012 School of Optometry received their Doctoral Hoods.  Each student was allotted only 4 tickets, but lucky Brandon ended up with 8, so everyone (aside from my mom, who was gracious enough to stay with the kids) who traveled the distance to Oregon to celebrate with our family was able to attend.  He had a pretty awesome cheering section.  ;)
Left:  Brandon headed to take his seat on stage at the hooding.
Right:  Brandon receiving his doctoral hood.
The Hooding Ceremony was wonderful.  Because it was just the 2012 Class of Optometry, it had a much more intimate feel than the graduation.  The speakers were wonderful...the valedictorian, whom Brandon worked closely with on his Masters of Science, made me laugh and blubber like a baby.  He did a wonderful job.  Dave, Brandon and I both feel you are an exceptional individual and are honored to have had you represent the Class of 2012 School of Optometry.
After the hooding, we enjoyed lunch on the lawn outside the optometry building, took gazillions of pictures, then rushed to drop the kids off at the Sorenson's (our dear friends).  We actually ended up with enough tickets for all the kids to attend...but they said they'd rather go play and with friends....I really can't blame them, and truth be told, as much as I had wanted at least Jemma to witness her father's graduation, I was able to sit and enjoy the ceremony better and not have to endlessly answer "how much longer before it's over" without them there.  So, thanks Jenny and Paul for taking care of our crew for 4.5 hours. You guys ROCK.
Brandon headed into the Graduation Ceremony.
(I stole the left photo from Kristina's K, I haven't gotten Windows Live Writer up and running on my computer yet...((hence the no-black-border on the right)) I did attempt to...but it was giving me a weird response, so I'll try again when I have my hubby here to translate the month.)  

Doesn't he look distinguished?  Those hats are pretty non flattering, but I'd say he looks down right dashing in his.  :)  What a stud.

Left:  Being hooded.
Right:  Admiring his doctorate degree after Graduation.

Our family. 
My friend Kristina mentioned that she wanted to scribble her name and her childrens' names (lightly) on the backside of her husband's degree, and I'd have to say I echo her feelings.  As I mentioned earlier, these last 8 years have been rigorous and taxing on our entire family.  And frankly, we wouldn't have it any other way.  We wanted to start our family and we wanted Brandon to gain a stellar education.  Both goals have been accomplished and we are simply on cloud nine.  (STILL.)

Brandon with both degrees.  Still can't believe he pulled off a Masters and Doctorate in 4 years.  Double stud.
This is the group of guys Brandon did most of his studying with and who's families we got closest too.  Left to right:  Devin, Eric, Colten, Aaron, Shawn, Brandon, Dave, Dave, Seth, and Scott.

Kiss for luck and we're on our way.  :)
I don't know what I would have done without all these stellar wives.  Their friendships were a saving grace and I admire so much about each of them.  So, thank you (left to right) Tana, Jen, Jenny, Claudia, Kristina, Tara, Brianne, Sierra and Erin.  You ladies are amazing. 

  And here we are "leaping for joy".  :)

I owe an especially deep debt of gratitude to this gal.  Kristina, you are a phenomenal friend, dedicated wife and incredible mother.  You are the best next-door-neighbor EVER!  I will miss you terribly, but look forward to hangin' with your family in Murtle Beach.  :)

More shots with Friends

Left:  Shawn and Brandon.  Right:  Eric and Brandon.
Left:  Brandon with Dave.  Right:  Brandon with Prof. Kundart (with whom he worked closely on his Masters degree.)

We were fortunate enough to see the Haycock clan during our quick trip to Oregon.  Our family's paths have been intertwined since the start of our marriage and we absolutely adore Mason, Laura and their darling children.  The first couple of times we parted ways it was emotional, but I think we've come to realize that we will NEVER lose contact with these guys.  They are just like family, so they're stuck with us forever!  :)

 Just real quick, I have to say that there were so many friends who made time for us when we came for graduation.
Thank you Dave, Lisa and Kierra for feeding us a home cooked meal (complete with homemade ice cream) after a 12 hour day in the car.
Thank you, again, Jenny and Paul for taking such wonderful care of our children on your Saturday.
Thank you Tracy for saving me from the cold and lending me three pairs of pants when I was retarded and only brought shorts.  (I've been spoiled by the California heat.)
Thank you Kristina for letting me live at your home for two days so we didn't have to stay cooped up in our hotel and for feeding us a Thanksgiving breakfast Friday morning.  :)  (Seriously, watermelon, strawberries, pancakes and hash browns.  Did I forget anything???  If I make pancakes, that is it.)
And thank you Mason and Laura for sacrificing by driving back and forth from Woodburn to meet us at a park on Thursday and for dinner on Saturday.  You guys make parenting 4 look simple.  :)


Thank you to all of the family who took time off of work, (spent their birthday on an airplane...Mom) and made the effort to be present at this significant event.  We were so grateful to have each of you their to help us celebrate.

Left:  Brandon with his Dad and Step Mom.      Right:  Brandon with his Mom and Step Dad.

Brandon with Pop & Gram.

Brandon and I with my parents.

These kiddos have been Brandon's number one fans through this whole thing.  No one (aside from me of course) could get more excited when he walks through the door at the end of the day.
Brandon, you have been a wonderful father and have done an incredible job of balancing the pressures of school with the needs of your family.  Thank you for that and for the example you have set for your children.

I love you Bran and am so thankful for the level of dedication you"ve demonstrated during the last 8 years of our marriage; both in school and at home.  You are a genuine, bonified, stellar stud.  And I am one lucky gal.  (The Mrs. to Dr. Brandon M. Reed OD.)


Sierra said...

Beautiful post!

Megan said...

Oh I remember the day oh so well, it was fabulous and yours looks to have been the same! WAhoo Brandon and the family. Best of wishes on your next adventure!

Linzi said...

Oh I teared up! Congratulations! What an accomplishment. You have such a beautiful family.

The Browning Family said...

Congrats!! Where are you guys heading with the air force???

Sara said...

Congratulation! That is awesome.

Sara said...


Kristina said...

I enjoyed reading this. It seems like it was months ago. You captured the even well and got some great pictures! Brandon is awesome for getting his masters too, (applaud). Congrats to you ALL! How are you doing, by the way? 25 more days... ahhh! We should really talk soon.

aj said...

SO COOL! Congrats! What a big day! Phew. You made it!!!

Melanie said...

Yea! Brandon is super hardcore! Tell him I said "well done!" and give him a anaconda squeeze for me! (name that movie) your family is darling and jade and I will have to come visit you guys in georgia... we should all hit up Disneyworld! Party!

Jennifer said...

Nacho Libre. Love that movie. And PLEASE come visit in Georgia. We will be oh-so-lonely. :( It's on at Disneyworld!!!

Sharee and Arthur said...

First of all, Congratulations to you both, Brandon and Jenny. Second, Brandon, you do pull off that cap pretty well, I have to say. Third, Jenny your leap for joy is by far the BEST. fourth, I'm so glad that you had each other, your friends and family to support you in this huge accomplishment. So happy for you guys!!! lots of love from the garietys.

p.s. can't wait to see you guys in a few weeks!!!!!!!