Matt’s Graduation

OOoohh my goodness! Life has been wonderfully exciting lately. For the first time since I was a kid, I got to go to a MLB game. We were able to enjoy box seats at the Phillies vs Reds game.

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It was a blast! It was also nice to watch teams I’m pretty neutral about. (I’m one of those people who gets really nervous when watching “my team” play.) When I was a kid I loved baseball, and going to the game had me feeling very nostalgic of when baseball was my favorite sport.

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We’ve also been celebrating Matt’s graduation from Rutgers with his PhD. His Convocation ceremony was Wednesday, and Matt was awarded The  Rutgers Alumni Association Graduate School Academic Achievement Award.ImageImage

On the walk back to our car I found a four-leaf clover!

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The next day was Matt’s graduation ceremony.

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Matt made sure we first took some pictures in from of Rutgers’ Walt Whitman statue, to give a nod to my English background. His ceremony was awesome.

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I was both laughing with excitement and crying of happiness as Matt was called on stage and was hooded by his mentor, Nir.

 It wasn’t just me and our families cheering for Matt as he walked on the stage. The entire stadium was cheering as his super long dissertation title and other accomplishments were read off to the crowd. Even after the ceremony, people recognized Matt as “that science guy!” and congratulated him.

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It was such an honor to be so recognized, and as we walked back to our car after the ceremony, I found another four-leaf clover! It was such an encouraging and lucky sign!

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 All of Matt’s brothers and sisters were able to come out for dinner after the graduation. Matt’s one of six, so having all 6 kids together is a rare event. This time, we got pictures, and I didn’t have to Photoshop anyone into it!

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My oldest nieces were also really excited to see Matt graduate, and they begged to join us (even though it was late and on a school night).

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Afterwards, we went bowling with Matt’s friends who had graduated with their Master’s degrees the same day.

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I’m so proud beyond words of him. The last few years have been filled with a lot of hard work, long hours, and a stressed Cheese, but we got through it together, and now Matt’s my Doctor Cheese!

 

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This past Memorial Day weekend, we had a few celebrations with my family for Matt. First, we went out with my siblings for a joint Matt’s Graduation/Craig’s Birthday celebration.

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Then on Memorial Day we hosted our first official BBQ. We are working on our backyard. Last year my sister won us a new grill, and it motivated us to fix up the yard. Matt built a firepit and we are making a rock patio area. It’s almost finished, we just have to build a retaining wall. I was so excited to finally host in our yard with a celebration of a day off work and Matt’s accomplishments.

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What an exciting few weeks, and to top it off, THE RANGERS ARE GOING TO THE STANLEY CUP! Lots of excited screams came from our living room. I have to think of a way to celebrate while we watch the Cup Series. Plus, with all the excitement I forgot to post my May Wreath! Here’s a pic; isn’t it pretty? I’ll post the how-to soon.

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Aside

Sweet Start to Spring

What a wonderful few weeks I’ve been having. I feel like every week has been crammed with  one happy blessing after another. For example, my niece Angelina was recently named the “Most Improved Student of the Year” at her intermediate school.

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I am so proud of her. She works so hard and has come so far. To recognize the accomplishment, she and other “Most Improved” students from neighboring schools were recognized at the Lakewood Blueclaws stadium. Her fun didn’t end there, though.

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Thanks to my dear friend Lisa (!), Angelina and her sister Jenna were able to be “Mini Manager’s” for the game.

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They got to meet the coach, the players, and Roy White was visiting the stadium, so they met him too!

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After their meet and greet, they opened the game shouting “play ball” to the crowd with the Blueclaws mascot, Buster.

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A week later I had the greatest birthday ever. The day before my birthday, Matt successfully defended his dissertation.

Chatting up with the dean

After 6 years at Rutgers, he finally was able to show off all his hard work and research findings.

Congratulations, Matt!

His defense was interesting, insightful, and very well received.Yakoby Lab

He is now officially Dr. Matthew Gene Niepielko! I am so proud to be called his wife.Me and Dr. Cheese!

We celebrated that day with a bowling outing, and later that weekend at our town’s food festival.Food galore, and Mister Softie was there too!Angelina Getting Mister Softee

My birthday is close to my niece Olivia’s, so we had a joint celebration on Sunday.

Happy Birthday, Liv!

This past weekend, Matt’s cousin got married, and I sat behind the cutest groomsman ever!Cutest Groomsman EVER

We celebrated our beautiful mothers on Sunday, and we almost finished with our rock garden.

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It was another fabulous weekend! This week, I’m planning my May wreath so I can keep that wreath resolution. Woohoo!

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