Sunday, May 22, 2011 TJ & Vanessa 0 Comments

I'm officially a college graduate! Took me 4.5 years but I loved everything about my college experience. Seriously. Here is a simple list of some of my best memories about these past college years.

1. I have been so blessed to have parents support and put me through college. I can't imagine not being a part of my family because they are also behind me, encouraging me to do great things with my life. I always looked forward to any holiday or summer breaks when I got to go home, even if I liked being a big girl on my own. :)
2. I was lucky to start it all out with awesome roommates living in the cramped on-campus dorms, which made for a fun freshman year. I learned how to be on my own with a group of awesome girls that I will always remember.
3. Sophomore year rolled around and I was ready to rule the campus. I knew my way around and had figured out how to pick the better professors. It was also time to get a job so I started working at The Flower Patch as a designer where I also made some of my greatest friends.
4. Selecting a major was the hardest thing for me. (No surprise since I hate making big decisions.) However, once I looked around, I realized I wasn't the only one trying to make up my mind so it all worked out great when I got into the Public Relations program and could still have my Spanish and business minors on the side. It was a great combo for me.
5. I loved my study abroad to Merida, Mexico. It was an awesome adventure and neat because I went with only 10 other peers. It not only gave me a chance to work on my Spanish, travel and see new places and learn about new cultures, but it opened up my eyes to how others live and love.
6. My missionary came back and asked me to be his for time and all eternity. Getting married in the middle of a semester was stressful, especially since I was in a completely different state from my mom and where we got married. It was the best day of my life, and made my last year of college even more fun.
7. I moved each year to a new place which also brought new people and adventures. I will especially never forget my sophomore year because it was then that I really made some of the greatest friends I have had in my life. We always had so much fun together whether it was our camping trips to Moab or dinner group on a Sunday night.
8. I really feel I can say that I have learned so much about myself in these past years, and not just learned facts and skills in school. I feel like I have grown up a little, and am more ready to take on whatever comes next for TJ and I.
9. The love I have for my family has grown so much which is ironic since I have been away from them for the most part. They mean so much to me and I am so grateful that they will always be there for me.
10. BYU is the best place ever to study, grow and learn. I am so glad that I came here for school and for all of the awesome teachers, classes, activities and people I have met here. Provo will always be a special place to come back to because of all the great memories and times had here.

My family was so nice to fly out for my graduation and celebrate with me! Here are some pictures of everyone. It really was so exciting to put on that cap and gown and walk across the stage reflecting on my awesome experience at BYU!
My family (except for Tyson still on his mission)

Grandpa and Grandma James

A proud hubby

My Grandma was awesome to come and sit through the 2-hour (kinda boring) part!

Dad saying he may just be all out of money now that it's over.

My brother Shawn is a total stud.

My family loves to eat out and here is one meal that Marissa was excited for what she ordered, but then surprised when it came out as big as her head!

Celebrating at lunch after graduation

This may look familiar, and it's because Lisa and I were in this same pose just a couple years ago at our high school graduation :)

With a good friend from my major and a teacher that I had for at least 3 classes before taking the stage.

Thank you mom and dad!



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