This past weekend was one of the most memorable and special of our lives. Let me back up a little. Ryan started rookie school for the fire dept in August- it is a grueliing five months of intese training as the cadre whip these boys into men. Ryan would wake up (and usually me too!) at 3:30am, get up leave, and come home most days at 6 r 7 at night. Nights consisted of studying for hours, laundry (which I usually stayed up to do) and ironing his uniforms military press style.
Keep in mind I started a preschool teaching full time a week after he started rookie school. I also have a wild one year old daughter to take care of. I was also in the process of handeling the sale of our townhouse, which was tedious and lenghty- and closed the week before Christmas. I also got a calling to teach five year olds (now I teach four year olds) in Primary and visiting teaching. I also ran the entire household- Ryan did not lift a finger the entire academy (don't judge! I didn't let him! His sole job was rookie school because it is that demanding and I wanted all his focus on that- after all he tested for four years and finally got his shot- we were prepared to make the most of it!) I'm not saying all of this to brag about Ryan or myself, but merely to inform some people we haven't seen in months about the crazy schedule we have had. We've missed our friends. Hailyn missed her dadddy- she would see him for a second and wonder why she couldn't play with him because he was studying ect. She would call out for 'addy' for hours most days. She would cry when she saw his car and didn't see him. It was challenging for me to explain to my one year old daughter daddy's still working even when he's at home. She missed her daddy and it broke my heart. It took all my strength to be a patient mommy, to not break down in front of her, to be as loving as I could be, even on nights when she and ryan only let me sleep an hour or two. I'd get up, drink a dr pepper and get ready to tackle the school day.
Luckily, the Lord definately answered my prayers, and we got through it- and well! I have the best students any teacher could ask for, and Ryan did well in rookie school. It was all worth it for him to enter his dream job, the one we've waited worked and sacrificed for and we feel truly blessed that his and our dreams are coming true! The icing on the cake was definately when Ryan was crowned VALEDICTORIAN!! That moment my heart swelled up 20 times, and as he accepte his plaque (yea!! was so excited!) Hailyn, who decided not to nap before the ceremony and I was worried about because it was her nap time- she called out 'addy! addy!' and was all smiles. Then she curled up in my lap and snuggled me, she was so tired (but she was soooo good- it was as if she knew how important this day was!)
Ryan stayed up three hours the night before to write an awesome speech he never gave. He got up there and shortly thanked his fellow recruits who were a huge support to him and each other, the cadre who taught these guys and Ryan and trained them to be the best, and then he thanked his wife,who ran the entie household and took care of our one year old daughter single handedly. I started to tear up- I wasn't expecting that. I knew going in I would run the ship by myself and it wouldn't be easy but just to hear him say how much he appreciated it in front of all those people, that touched me so deeply. I am so lucky to have married my best friend, and a wonderful partner. Nearly all the women in the audience were tearing up, and a lady in front of me turned around and said 'is that you?' and I just nodded. She smiled and wiped a tear away. Gosh I love him! I also got a 'go Lacie!' from Darcy in the audience on the other side of the auditorium! We also heard he was on the news and it showed him getting pinned as the valedictorian!
We then celebrated at Pei Wei's with some family and friends (and a chocolate Nothing Bundt Cake!)and then went to Lake Las Vegas where all the academy (plus one!) went on a cruise and ate dinner and sang karoke. We had such a blast! There was an awesome cake shaped like a rescue engine and Ryan got to cut it, and we just had a blast. The rest of the (Hailyn free!) weekend we enjoyed eating out, relaxing, going to the movies and hanging out- on Saturday I slept eleven hours straight then went back to bed for three more hours- my ody literally had a physical reaction to the lack of no sleep for five months!
I am so proud of all of these guys, they all worked so hard! I am so proud of Ryan for sticking it out and enduring it- and enduring it well! I am proud of myself for surviving. I'm proud of my sweet little girl who hung in there even when she didn't understand what was going on. I am grrateful to family and friends who were patient and understanding of us, who still love us even when we were exhausted, or we didn't see those we wanted to for a while- you guys were always with us in our hearts and we look forward to being able to have relationships again! I am grateful to the Lord, because He definately saw us through this, and we are ever so grateful!
What a wonderful way to kick start the new year!
Slow Cooker Cranberry Citrus Holiday Ham
3 hours ago