In AJ Family Travel

LA for AJ's Doctoral Hooding!

Whew. We are finally back from our 10 day LA/Hawaii trip. We are allllmost unpacked, and still a little jet lagged, but we are making it! So without further ado.. let's get these blog posts done! I think I am going to break it up into 3 or 4 posts.. First up - LA!

We left work around lunch on Wednesday and grabbed Maddie Jane and headed to the airport. We met up with Honey in the Sky Club after she had flown in from Shreveport. We were a little nervous about her missing nap time at school, but it actually worked out perfectly! She was asleep before the plane even took off! (This picture looks fake, she is sleeping so soundly!)

She woke up with about 1.5 hours to go. She dug into her toddler meal (that we were able to swap out on the Delta app ahead of time) and started watching some Netflix.

She was a wiggle worm and played musical chairs for the next hour, but whatever it takes to keep a 2.5 year old entertained!

Honey and I both packed allllll the things. Stickers, snacks, candy, activity boards, paper dolls, but THIS ONE was definitely the biggest hit.

We got to LA about 5pm PST, grabbed our rental car and headed to our hotel. I left those three at the hotel to settle in, and I met up with my California bestie Kelsey! It felt like I had just seen her last week, when it has really been over 6 months! We had Kazu Nori (one of my absolute FAVS) and chatted for a couple hours. Man oh man I miss that girl.

The next morning we were still on east coast time and were counting down the hours until the hotel restaurant opened at 6:30am for breakfast. This girl was ready to go with her "pack pack".

Fav toy again... and we ate poolside with the heaters. Oh LA..

Thank goodness the pool was heated too! Maddie Jane swam for several hours and was exhausted early enough for a nap before the hooding!

I got my nails done at my old spot (which felt like home!), we had lunch with AJ's adviser, then we headed to campus for his hooding ceremony!

Y'all I was just in disbelief that this day had actually come. We have been through SO much over the past five years on this journey to Age receiving his doctorate. So many highs, and our fair share of lows.. this man has sacrificed so much to get to this day and took such great care of us along the way. Words cannot even express how stinkin proud I am.

HE DID IT! It's over!!! I am so excited to see what life is like with my husband only working one full time job!

And it wouldn't be possible without the love and support from E either! We are both so so lucky to have her in our life. We both shed a tear as they conferred the graduates.

With the average age of graduates being 33, there were plenty of kiddos just like Maddie celebrating their moms and dads! How stinkin cute, right!?

Except when she had to sit through a 2 hour ceremony... jet lagged.. and hangry.

THERE HE IS! As he was walking across the stage, Maddie Jane kept shouting, "Good job Daddy!!"

And thank the Lord sweet baby Jesus, physics hooding was close to the beginning. We had to escape that auditorium before an all out tantrum ensued.

We played around with several different options on where to have a celebratory dinner. I think we made the BEST decision by going to STK in our hotel. The food and drinks were absolutely amazing, no driving for the adults, and hopped right up to the room to put on MJ's bathing suit with promises of pool time if she sat through dinner.

On Friday AJ went and had ramen with his mom and I met up with my old coworkers for lunch! It was so good to see all those people I miss SO much (and Kels again!) and meet sweet baby Andri. Maddie Jane normally doesn't care too much for babies, but she was absolutely enamored by her!

After lunch, we returned the rental car and headed over to LAX to catch our flight to Hawaii! And how awesome/appropriate are the drinks they handed out before take off!? I never drink mai tais, but this was my first of MANY last week!

Because the first flight went so well, we kept her up again and forwent nap time. She got pretty fussy leading up to flight time, but she was out by take off and slept for like three hours!! I watched a movie.. read a book.. drank wine. It was GLORIOUS.

When she woke up, she nibbled on her toddler meal and watched her ipad. We landed pretty late in Hawaii and our bodies were all out of wack, but WE WERE IN PARADISE.

Hawaii Part One Here
Hawaii Part Two Here
Hawaii Part Three Here

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