June 28, 2013
You did it. I am so proud of you. You worked your way through 11 years of post high school education. You went from confused college student who didn’t know what to study, to diligent dental student who was hoping to possibly specialize in pediatrics, to stressed out pedo resident who was just trying to get through each day with your demanding boss, to qualified pediatric dentist who is going to be so patient and compassionate to all of the kids who sit in your chair every day. I know you feel like you still have a long way to go, but look at how far you’ve already come! I can’t wait to embark on this next phase of the journey with you. I think you are really going to find your groove as a pediatric dentist, and I think it is going to be a career that you love. I am proud of you, and I am excited for you!! Thank you for working so hard to get your advanced education so you can support our family and contribute to our community. I think you are pretty amazing.
When I ponder back on the past two years, what immediately comes to mind, even more than your residency, is the addition of Noah to our family. It’s crazy to think that Noah arrived right at the beginning of this challenging opportunity in your life—and now he is a smart, spunky, adorable almost two year old. I know you sometimes feel like you didn’t do enough in your role as a pediatric resident and an Elder’s Quorum president these past two years—but I want you to know that in your role as a father, you smashed it out of the park. Really. You are the most loving, hands-on, involved, fun, patient dad a little boy could ask for. It wasn’t possible for you to fulfill all of your many roles perfectly—and I, for one, am glad that you chose to put your very best efforts toward fatherhood. As you put your family first, everything else somehow worked out. I know you felt frazzled, inadequate, and overwhelmed much of the time, but somehow everything got done, and at the end of it all, you have the same specialty degree as everyone else in your program, and, most importantly, you have an incredibly close relationship with your son. Thank you for putting him first. Thank you for loving fatherhood so much that it was easy to put him first.
|Melt my heart.|
|Saturday morning snuggles and stories|
|Noah's Father's Day gift to Ryan: "The Daddle."|
|Climbing a mountain together|
(And yes, Ry is wearing Noah's little baseball cap)
|"Got your nose, Daddy!"|
|Studying for Boards|
I also want to thank you for always being there for me. These past two years have been difficult for me at times—with a colicky baby, counseling for an eating disorder, and fertility-related illnesses and surgery—but you were there for me through it all. You never criticized me when you got home from work and the apartment was a disaster and there was no food in the house for dinner. You never commented on my weight gain or my strange food binges. Even after a busy day at work, you were willing to put Noah to bed and help me clean up the house. There were times during the course of your residency when I felt distant from you because you were so busy and we lived such different daily lives, and yet somehow you remained my confidant and closet friend through it all. I remember when we were dating, I gave you a card with a picture of a stone on the front that said, “You are my rock…” and then when you opened it up, it said, “Only cuter.” It’s true: You have always been my rock (my dang cute rock!), and I truly don’t know what I would do without you. Thank you for giving of your precious time these past two years to support and love me.
So onto the next adventure, huh? I am excited. I am excited to see you grow and thrive in your career; I am excited to have you home more often; I am excited that you will no longer have to deal with a mean boss; I am excited to live closer to your family and to witness the happiness that they always bring out in you; I am excited to go shopping for a couch and maybe even a queen-sized bed together; I’m excited to find fun things to do in Idaho; and, of course, I’m excited to hopefully add another baby to our family sometime in the near future. :)
Life is good—and you are the very best part of my life. Thank you for being you and for loving me and Noah so much. I feel so blessed that we get to take this life journey together.
Congratulations on your graduation from residency. What a huge accomplishment, Ryan. You have worked so hard and learned so much and made amazing friendships along the way. I am so proud of you.
I love you more than you will ever know,