Last Thursday, after two years of classes, clinical hours, ambulance rides, intense study sessions, and the kind of experiences that you can't discuss at dinner parties, Nathan graduated from Paramedic school. He took his final exam that morning, and a few hours later his class reconvened in their fanciest clothes and walked across the stage to claim their certificates. Needless to say, I was - and am - so incredibly proud.
It's been a long journey to this moment. When we moved to North Carolina two years ago, Nathan already had a Masters in Environmental Science and the beginning of a career in that field. But it wasn't a good fit, and the jobs were hard to come by, and when he discovered that the local community college had one of the best Paramedic programs in the state, he decided to go for it. Having both of us in school at the same time hasn't been easy - money's been tight, time has been scarce, and we've had plenty of stressful moments and petty resentments. But seeing him walk across that stage, and knowing that he's found his calling, is - in the end - all that really matters.
Nathan doesn't like the spotlight, but I decided that this was one accomplishment that warranted a celebration, and he'd have to deal with it. Thus, Saturday night, I threw a graduation party at our house. It was pretty awesome.
The party started at 4PM, which is my favorite time to begin any kind of festivities. Early to drink, early to bed, less likely to get an ache in your head. That's how that goes, right?
Since the party eclipsed dinner, I also provided an array of snacks - vegan pigs-in-a-blanket, black bean and corn salad, hummus, chips, veggies, crackers, cookies, and cake. We devoured pretty much everything.
We also filled a wheelbarrow with beer, which is an idea I stole from my friend Michelle, who probably saw it on Pinterest. Don't worry - we thoroughly cleaned the wheelbarrow before we filled it with ice. In addition to being pretty cute, this was also a convenient storage system - when it got dark, and we moved from yard games to bonfire, we were able to roll the beer across the yard.
Both cornhole and hill billy golf (or ladder ball, depending on where you're from) made an appearance. Nathan and I killed everyone at cornhole, as usual.
And finally, the graduation cake that Nathan and I made together. And by "together," I mean I baked the cake and had an idea to decorate it with a cardiogram. Nathan decided it should be a healthy heart, since this was a celebration, and ended up drawing it himself. Teamwork, y'all.
Congratulations, once again, to Nathan! I'm so proud to call you mine. <3