Patrick's Graduation


Here's a short video of Patrick accepting his WIC diploma.

a USAF weapons officer


The weekend of June 17th was one to remember.  As many know, I flew to Vegas for Patrick's WIC graduation. Amongst all the hype of it being my first trip to Vegas- the excitement the city itself brings, the flashy casinos, delicious food options, and all levels of fashion, I have to mention that the city did not disappoint.  Before the graduation festivities began, Patrick and I had the chance to go out and explore Vegas.  We met up with some friends, gambled, and had ourselves a merry good time.  You really do lose track of time there, as I am sure there is so much more to see.  I foresee many trips in the future to tap into all that the city has to offer. 

Before all the hype of exploring the city began, Patrick attended patch night the evening I flew in.  Patch night is one for the books.  It's the night you receive your graduate patch.  As a weapon's officer, you earn the right to wear your graduate patch in place of the American flag--normally worn on the flight suit's left shoulder.

Patrick has always had a humble spirit.  Despite the difficult situations his job often leads him to, resulting in awards he doesn't often mention, he holds a gentle, unselfish demeanor that I have always admired. Having attended the event, Patrick walked into the hotel room holding the same gentle poise I know him to carry. Yet now, he stood a weapons officer.  He wears a patch many admire and look up to. It gives me more reason to admire my husband.

A little 101 on the course that Patrick took this past six months—WIC(Weapons Instructor Course) is a course that provides advanced training in weapons and tactics employment to officers of the combat air forces.  The weapons schools include the weapons instructor courses for several aircraft and systems of the USAF, one of them being the C-17 Globemaster III.  The course itself is extremely difficult, as the original number of undergraduates for this class stood at 118, and 96 of these men and women graduated on Saturday.   The current number of C-17 weapons officers is less than 100.  Patrick is number 96.



Facts and statistics of the course alone bring forth a pride I cannot describe.  As I watched him walk on the stage, accept his diploma, and ultimately become one of the elite few who hold a prestigious title, I proudly cheered him on. There have been many moments within my husband’s career thus far that I have been proud.  Those that include becoming an USAF officer, and the pinning of his wings at pilot training.  But this moment topped it all.   

In honesty--Yes, the past six months have been hard. And it’s been difficult at times to acknowledge or see what he has gone through to get to that moment Saturday night.  As he stood in line to receive his diploma, I could not help to reflect, yet again, what we’ve done to get to this moment. Regretfully, my own experiences have at times masked the severity of his.  However, in that moment, as his name was called, I saw the beauty of his hard work.  It resulted in an indescribable pride.  

Many photos were taken to capture such a prestigious moment in Patrick's career.  Here are a few taken after the ceremony. 



Our big boy


Today we celebrated Jonah's 2nd birthday.  As noted, his birthday was in April, but his celebration has been long awaited, as we wanted to make sure Patrick was present at the party.  The theme was 'Caillou', Jonah's ultimate favorite cartoon.  I am pretty sure all those that attended this afternoon are fully aware of who Caillou is if they hadn't before today.  We celebrated Jonah's birthday with many friends and family.  We made sure pizza, dinosaurs, and cupcakes were all present--all likings of Caillou himself. 


playing with his balloons with Auntie Julie

In 'Caillou' fashion--Jonah is now the owner of Caillou shoes!
Oooohh!!! (silent, and adorable gasp)

cake time!!
blowing out his '2' candle

a favorite of several gifts--a rocket-ship!!

Jonah is TWO

These pictures were taken back in April.  Patrick was able to come home and visit the week before Jonah turned two and we decided to celebrate as a family then.  I made a small 'Caillou' cake--Jonah's ultimate  favorite cartoon character.  Jonah loves balloons, so we had a balloon surprise in the morning for Jonah to see on the day we celebrated his birthday.  It was so fun seeing the excitement in his eyes, reflecting on how much he's grown this past year and spending time together as a family. 

smiley birthday boy

A treasured 6 month moment


One hundred fifty nine days.  Just one of the thoughts I sit with as I type tonight on the eve of my flight to Vegas for Patrick’s WIC graduation.  I could easily list all of the trials and frustrations I’ve had to endure the past six months.   I could reflect on how it has molded me and given me a better perspective of who I am.  But I feel as if I’ve already done a lot of those reflections (both here and on my own) and have had noted them throughout this journey.

Tonight as I went through the one last bedtime routine, I caught myself many times throughout the 30 minutes of bath/story/prayer/cuddle time reminding myself to treasure this one last time.  I couldn’t help to hear that small voice inside my head saying, “You’ve done this routine almost 160 times now, Sarah--counting down the days until Patrick returns.  There have been many times when you’ve dreaded this routine and wanted it over with because of the day you’ve endured. ..and now you’ve decided to live in the moment?” Despite this loathly self-talk resulting in an utter feeling of guilt, I decided to answer back and say, “Why, yes.  I will live in this moment because it’s a special one. This is monumental in my book--doing this on our own, yet together, has been a journey.  And now it has come to somewhat of an end.  As special as it is, it holds a slight bit of sadness--and the only way I know how to make the best out of sadness is to reflect on the good.  So yes, I will take in this moment and all the glory that comes with it.”

I couldn't stop telling Jonah I loved him.  I wanted him to know in that moment, despite all the things we’ve had to endure together while Patrick has been away, both good and bad--the growing we've done together and the lessons we've learned, the moments of happiness and those of frustration--that I love him.  That I’ve enjoyed every minute with him.  For probably the 100th time tonight, we read the book, “I love you through and through", by Bernadette Roseetti Shustak.  One of my favorite lines is, “I love your giggles and your cries.” There have been vast amounts of giggles and a significant presence of ‘cries’.  And I've loved every one of them. I know he’s only two—but hope that he remembers and values this time with me—those six months in 2012—as one to treasure. 

'a month's memories'--May


'A month's memories' photos are taken on the Instagram iPhone app (free) and dropped into a collage using Picasa. I am @shancockhap on Instagram if you want to follow the feed.