Contact Us

Located in McMinnville's Plaza Shopping Center

1100 Smithville Highway, Suite 127A McMinnville, TN 37110 (931)473-7006

Visit us on Facebook:

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Graduate

I did it! After nearly 18 years of school...I'm done I'm done I'm done! As promised, here are a few (ok, more than a few...we took over 400 pictures over Saturday and Sunday!) pictures from Graduation day and Sunday's Open House and Graduation party.

Here you see that the fact that I was graduating did not keep me from having to work a bit at the shop on Saturday morning!

Chandra, my guardian angel and unofficial "aunt", ran the shop for us on Saturday while we were in Murfreesboro. We love Chandra...she's great for the shop because she's like a real-life Groovy Girl (she had on purple boots with her outfit on Saturday!) and customers LOVE her! Thanks for all the help Chandra!

At the ceremony...

Can you find me? Mom said that it was difficult because a bunch of the girls (and some guys) had long dark brown hair and the black robes made everyone look pale!

What about now?

Waiting to walk across the stage...I only teared up twice and this was one of them!

My camera men...

Because I was on the back row I was on the camera the entire time they were showing the processional and the recessional...see?

I didn't realize it until about 5 minutes into the processional... I don't think I scratched my butt before that?!?

That "just graduated" glow! Seth got me sweet!

Seth and I goofed off a little after the get some extra pictures. He was disappointed that none of the graduates threw their hats during the ceremony so I did it outside!

I had a couple of good luck charms with me during the ceremony.

One was the necklace that you can see in some of the pictures. Seth had it made for me by the very talented Miss Tabetha Sullens...the pendant had a photo of my granny (mom's mom) on one side and my nanny (dad's mom) on the other. They've both passed away and so I liked having a physical reminder of the two angels on my shoulder during this big event in my life! The majority of the beads were from a bracelet that belonged to my broke years ago and I kept putting off having the bracelet put back together...I think this was a much better use though! The necklace is officially my favorite piece of jewelry and now I can't wait to incorporate it into my wedding ensemble too...another big event! Thanks so much Tab...this necklace means SO MUCH to me and to both of my parents!

The other good luck charm is shown below. I wore this bronze owl brooch on my gown in honor of Dr. Brown who was my mom's English professor in college. When mom was studying to be a teacher she took one of her hardest English classes with Dr. Brown at Motlowe. Turns out, she was pregnant with me at the time and I was already pretty active even in the womb! I would jump around and do gymnastics but when Mom would get to Dr. Brown's class I would calm down and be very still. Mom says that I really seemed to like Dr. Brown's voice and now she tells everyone that I took my first English courses while I was in the womb! Mom didn't do great in the class...she's never been much of an English student...after that semester, she took a break from school, had me, became a full-time mommy and then opened the shop and the rest is history. She still considers Dr. Brown to be one of her favorite teachers though and the other day Mom and I went to a yard sale at Dr. Brown's house, where I bought this brooch that belonged to her. Well, since I graduated with an English degree and the owl represents wisdom...I thought wearing the brooch would be a nice tribute to one of my Mom's favorite people and my earliest English influence!

The proud parents, brother, sister-in-law, fiance and in-laws...

More of the post-ceremony photo shoot...

After we were done on campus we headed across town to the Macaroni Grill where my best friend Mary Jo Brown was waiting with a table for all of us and a really funny balloon to greet me! she's so smart and didn't even cross my mind to send someone ahead to the restaurant! It's a good thing she did because as soon as we got seated and our drink orders in the place really started filling up. Thanks so much for being thoughtful and just all around great Mary!
Saturday night Seth and I went to the Preds game against the Dallas Stars! Of course, my boys won for a Graduation gift I like to think! Yay!After every win, the guys salute the fans for being "the best fans in hockey"'s true...we're super loud and we really support our guys!
After the game Seth and I went to watch the post-game wrap up show on The Zone radio station be recorded. Goalie Dan Ellis came down to do a mini interview and stopped for a moment to have his picture with me!
Down in the concourse we ran into one of our announcers, Terry Crisp. He congratulated me and stopped for a picture as well!
Outside we ran into this very interesting Santa Claus and I couldn't pass up another photo opportunity!
Back at home, here I am posing with my graduation balloon. Wow! I look sleepy!
On Sunday we had our Christmas Open House but Mom and Dad also had a little drop-in reception for me on the side. We had a ton of food and a yummy cake made by Miss Ann Dixon!
And I can't forget to mention the WONDERFUL banana cupcakes by Miss Paula Wanamaker! Mmmmmm!
Lots of customers were on hand to do some Christmas shopping. We ran a special additional 10% off coupon here on the blog and in the newspaper and apparently that was all it took to bring crowds of people in. We stayed packed until around 5 and didn't finish up with all of the customers until 6. We're so grateful for our awesome customers and we appreciate all of the shopping they've been doing this season and all year long! Seth even snuck out to the sidewalk a few times because he said it was so much quieter out love it! The Open House was so much fun and I love that Open House brings customers out of the woodwork that we don't see a whole lot throughout the rest of the year!
The reception was great too! Dad snapped a few pictures of me and some of the guests when we got un-busy every once in awhile...
Audrey Sircy helped us out a lot with the reception!
Here are Edyth Burton, my Aunt Sharon and Uncle Tommy chowing down at the snack table!
Sanra and Emil Marugg are two of the reps from some of our companies...but they are so much more than that! They're part of the family and I'm so glad that they came down to see us!
My Samantha...
This picture is really depressing to me since I use to babysit Hamilton when he was just a baby! I had a regular babysitting job with the Spiveys from when I was around 11 years old till I was 19 or so. They are like family and it's so weird that this kid towers over me now!
Here is the rest of the family...Buzz and Karen, who have been such great influences in my life, Hamilton and Hamilton's two little brothers Justin and Landon. In my head, Hamilton is still about Landon's size...and Landon isn't even walking's sooo weird to see them all grown up!

And finally, my J.A. sister, one of my best buddies and favorite people - M.A. Higgs. She stopped by right as we were cleaning up but I'm so glad that she could make it! She's a teacher at MTSU so she was celebrating the end of the semester as well! The only thing is - she has to go back in the Spring! HA!

Well...there you go...A LOT of fun, friends, family and food over two WONDERFUL days! I'm so blessed to have such great people in my life who have loved and supported and prayed for me throughout my life! Thanks to everyone who came out to Open House, to my Reception, and to my very closest friends and family who came to the Graduation itself!

Now on to the "real world" so don't stop praying for me just yet!


Tanya said...

Congratulations friend! I know you must be so glad it's over. Loved all the pictures. LOL

Mommy to those Special Ks said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!! The pics were great! What a fun day!!

Sheila said...

Ashley I am so sorry I missed your reception! I so wanted to be there! You are a remarkable young lady, the door is open to you and now it is time to make all your dreams come true. I love the pics. and all the "good luck tokens" you chose to use on graduation. Your Grandmothers were right there with you.
God bless you sweet girl and now on to the planning of that wedding.