*Disclaimer: If you are reading my blog for the first time, you have to promise you won't get offended. Humor and sarcasm are my coping mechanisms, but I mean no harm in ANYTHING I say. Whoever you are, I like you and so appreciate everything you do. So, read at your own risk!!
And here begins the longest, largest thank you note I've ever written:
On Saturday I finished my Master's degree. I know people do this virtually all the time. But I feel very proud. The year and a half I spent in graduate school were not the kindest years I've had. I almost quit. Twice. But I didn't.
The ONLY reason I finished is because of the amazing people who came alongside me and pushed me through. The list is long. My village is big. So, settle in.
First, the very biggest thanks goes to my family. Big Dan and the kids have sacrificed and given so much as I have spent so many Saturdays away. I have spent afternoons glued to my computer finishing homework and have worked late into the night, neglecting dishes, laundry and, well, let's face it, dinner. My kids have been shuffled and schlepped from one end of town to the other. I have told them to their face that I know it has been hard. They are my troopers. My sidekicks. I just hope their strongest memories are not of me saying, "SHHHHH! I'm trying to write a paper!"
My sisters and my brother. Oh, my siblings. This would not have happened without them, and that is not an exaggeration. All have listened to me whine more than any human should ever have to, they have cheered me on, and commiserated with me. My sister Katy, literally became an extension of me. She picked up the slack I left behind, when she has more than enough on her own plate. She cared for my kids like they are her own. And, let's face it, they like her better anyway! (As a side note I should mention that her husband, Jon, was pursuing a Master's at the very same time as me. For as much as she's put up with, she should be awarded her own graduate degree).
To all my people at St. Bs. You have been my cleft in the rock. Thank you for standing beside me, supporting me, and caring for my kids. Thank you for all the grace you've thrown my way when I've been a less than stellar teacher. Thank you for praying for every paper, every presentation and every stinkin' Praxis exam.
To my cohort-TMA 46. The finest group of people to ever grace the MAT program!! I feel so blessed to have walked this journey with you. I've said it many times-I would LOVE for my children to have each of you for a teacher. I admire the courage and integrity with which you walk out your lives. Children in our communities are blessed to have you coming into such a demanding profession. I CAN'T WAIT to hear all of your stories!!
To my church family at TVC, particularly the Children's Ministry. Thank you for being home. Thank you for loving my children so well. I'm happy to have finally found my place.
To all of my friends who are still my friends even though I've been crappy!!!!!!! For all the texts and emails letting me know you're still on my side-you have no idea how much I love and appreciate each of you.
The past two and a half years have made me a big believer in the village. I did not come around easily. I'm prideful and stubborn, and like to believe I can do it all myself. I can't. I still spend some days mad about that fact. But, being in the place of need, which has been at times miserably uncomfortable, has led me to the deepest community I have had in a long time. And that, friends, is a post for another day!
So, to all of you who have walked this path with me. Thank you. It is not, nor will it ever be enough. But know that when I finally get a diploma, I will see all your names on there along with mine.