I'm in an elated mood. It is surreal. I'm DONE!!!! I have the new recipient of a Bachelor's degree. I pulled a weekly all-nighter to make sure that my work got done for 4 years, I balanced my school and being a full time mom. I did it. I can enter into the workforce and follow my dreams. I am so fortunate because I have always known what I wanted to do and I get to do it! My heart didn't want to be an astronaut or something unattainable (although for the first 5 years I was pretty set on being Dolly Parton). I simply want to serve kids with disabilities for the next 30 years; it's doable and I am free to do it!
I didn't do this on my own though, in fact without the support of others I couldn't have made this happen. I want to take a minute to thank those people.
My husband - First and foremost, my husband deserves the most credit. He made it! He has survived many many outbursts and breakdowns and a lot of drama in the last few years. Every time I was discouraged or overwhelmed, he was there. He knows when to motive and encourage me and when to motivate me and say "fine, then quit" (knowing full well I won't quit), He gets up early but still says goodnight when I roll into bed at 3 or 4 every Sunday night. He is by default the responsible parent on his days off every Tuesday when I need to get hours in the classroom for school. And last but not least he was supportive and being a community property state, he shares my student loans. Thank You.
My Father In Law- He isn't here for me to thank, he was amazing. He was always there on short notice to take the kids while I went to class or did my practicum hours. He supported me and he took good care of the kids. Thank You.
My mom - Terry-Ann is the one who gives me advice. She is a sounding board when I need an older wiser academic opinion or if I really just need to emotionally purge. She listens patiently and tells me the truth. Thank You.
My Sisters - They motivate me and always stay positive. They're honest and truthful but always push me forward and keep me positive. Thank You.
My Aunt Terri - She prays me through it. Thank You.
My Nana - She always believed in me and was always on my side. She was my biggest fan. Thank You.
My whole family, best friends, and core group- You have been there for me each taking a turn with the kids, giving me words of encouragement, listening patiently when I need to vent, or proving some solace and friendship and filling me up so I could get back on task. Thank You.
My Family in Twin Falls - They opened their homes to me and 2 kids when I had to do my summer internship. It was the hardest emotional 8 weeks. Thank You.
My Mentor Teacher - One of the most patient kind people I know. Oh man, student teaching taught me so much and stretched my brain in crazy ways. I learned so much more than how to teach a class. I am not an organized or always on task, but I'm getting better. I have never managed staff or considered all the layers of the jobs, but she taught me and let me feel the weight of it in a safe place. The paraprofessionals in my room all gave me grace and kept a sense of humor while I learned how to orchestrate an entire special ed room. Thank you.
My Advisor and many nice professors- My advisor blessed my life. He answers emails at all hours of the day and night, he can't be phased by crisis, he's always constructive even when I'm ridiculous. My professors gave me grace. I had a hardship (not small hardships) almost every single semester I was in college, I lost track of everything that happened. I had an auto immune disease, had a baby, my baby had special needs, I lost 3 people over 3 semesters, and so much more. They gave me extra time, they gave me their time, they answered questions and talked me through various things. Those people all had a hand in my success. They all pushed me to keep being better. Thank You.
The teacher who really got me started - there was particular teacher who is so gifted in her craft. She took me under her wing 15 years ago, mentored me, and has always been supportive. Thank You.
Thank You all for this journey, thank you for helping me and being my village.