Two years ago Noah and Kristi took a big plunge when they decided that it was important for Noah to start a two year program to get his Master’s Degree in Business. Since they lived in San Diego (the second year they moved to Ladera Ranch in Orange County) the University of Southern California was a logical choice.
There were just a few other things going on in their lives when Noah went back to school: Noah was the Southern California Area Manager for Imagine Learning, a terrific company and a highly demanding job with an enormous quota for his area. PLUS four children. In additions, wonderful Kristi, not long after Noah started school, was pregnant with Number 5! That was taking courage the extra mile….or maybe ten!
But with faith they pressed forward and gave up evenings to homework. Free time and weekends were spent in group meetings, writing papers and preparing presentations. To make matters just a little more complicated, they discovered fairly early in the pregnancy that the baby had some very serious heart issues which would require surgery at birth. Half way into the program at USC, the baby was born and doctors were able to open a valve and place a stint in her heart in order to be able to get an adequate amount of oxygen from her heart into her lungs. That procedure required two catheters, one inserted at her neck and other through her groin for the doctor to navigate. INCREDIBLE!
There’s lots more to the story but suffice to say that they survived this stressful two years with grace and a strong belief that they were going to make it work! Noah graduated with stellar grades, a marriage and family strongly intact and the love and respect of his classmates and professors as well as family and friends.
It took two to accomplish this garganuous task! What an extraordinary power couple! I don’t think Kristi ever complained for one minute through all those sacrifices to take a lot of the responsibility for the kids while they accomplished their dream!
Imagine doing all that with this cute little crew of five! So hard and so fun!
The actual commencement exercises were that morning and it was raining like crazy. Luckily the graduates had little square umbrellas to keep their heads dry but not much else was dry:
The ending was exciting when they released about 200 white doves over the audience. I LOVE graduations (except for the walk-800-people-through-the-line-while-you-wait-for-your-ONE part)!
Before Noah’s college’s commencement we had lunch at a special restaurant for a special reason:
McKay was delighted to see his name plastered all over the restaurant (apparently the name also belonged to a famous USC football coach). Even though it wasn’t on the menu, the servers were able to talk the chef into cooking up McKay’s favorite meal….Spaghetti and meatballs. He was pretty delighted!
One of Noah’s favorite things to eat is a good burger….so we got him a pretty good one
He deserved it!
I think he liked it!
We like him too! What an incredible guy!
We finished our tour of campus, changed our clothes and set off for the business college reception.
The reception, which we thought would just be a small gathering of his particular group turned out to be a mob scene. People were shoulder to shoulder and Grandfather and darling Sherri, a lifelong friend who had come to help them celebrate took cover and hunkered down to keep the kids together on the steps, not far from the madding crowd!
It was fun to meet Noah’s friends, especially the people in his small group with whom he spent a hundred hours working on papers and on a final project. One of them was in the armed services and had been deployed before graduation.
This was his group:
What a grand day we had! Thanks so Noah and Kristi for their astonishing survival techniques and for being heroes to have accomplished such a marvel!
We LIKE this family too!
We had one more day to enjoy the kids on their new trampoline, McKay at his baseball game (they were in the playoffs) and Cubby at his T ball game. Every minute with this family is pretty exciting!
LOVE AND CONGRATULATIONS ON AN AMAZING ACCOMPLISHMENT TO NOAH AND KRISTI!
For more information about their baby’s miraculous birth check Noah’s blog here.