You know that song "SCHOOOOOL'S OUT FOR THE SUMMER!"? Well that's our life now, except for that for literally the first time in our lives (yes, even married life) school is out for FOREVVVVERRRR!! On May 11th 2019 Kyle graduated from University of Louisville School of Dentistry and officially (finally) became Dr. Kyle Michael Pett, D.M.D. Life since then has been a whirlwind of events between saying good bye to Louisville and our friends there and moving out to Utah to prepare for our new lives in Oregon, but I wanted to make sure that all of the pictures from graduation and a few thoughts from the day were documented here so that we can remember the day despite how crazy life has been (and I'm sure will continue to be) since.
The whole week leading up to graduation was filled with fun events to celebrate all of the soon-to-be graduates, and I'm so glad that they had those events because actual graduation day was SO busy and chaotic and it was near impossible to see all of the people and friends that we wanted to, so it was nice being able to see them the week before and wish them all well before graduation craziness hit and we all went our separate ways! There was a fancy senior dinner & dance that Kyle and I had planned on attending but missed thanks to a puking toddler (talk about timing... but still thanking the heavens above that she wasn't sick on actual graduation or moving day), but we were able to still make it to the senior brunch that was thrown the morning before graduation, and thanks to the mother of our sweet amazing friends watching Em & Ashton for us were able to attend it baby free! During the brunch they had a little awards ceremony and it was so fun to see several of the students that we know personally receive the special recognition! It was during the brunch that I got hit with a huge wave of nostalgia and really just appreciated that we (and especially Kyle) have had soooo many amazing people to go through this journey with. Now that it's over I can openly admit that there are times that dental school is really freaking hard and just plain sucks, but having great people to go through the experience along side you and understand your same struggles and frustrations literally makes a world of difference. If there's anyone out there reading this that Kyle and/or I have met throughout the past four years of dental school, know that we are so grateful for you and your friendship! We will never forget the amazing people that we've come to know and love through this experience!! ❤️❤️❤️
Once the big day of actual graduation was upon us, things moved so quickly that I honestly had a hard time capturing as many mental or pictorial details of the day as I wanted to, so me trying to scrape my memory for some of the highlights will have to do. The ceremony was held in a gorgeous old theatre in downtown Louisville; by the time we made it to the theatre it was already pretty filled up with supporting friends and family of the grads, but we were still able to get a seat up in the balcony which ended up giving us a really great view of the stage and was a bit less crowded which ended up being perfect for the sake of our kids not causing a scene. Thanks to Kyle's parents helping to keep Emery & Ashton entertained I was able to actually watch most of the ceremony which was greatly appreciated. During the actual procession of the graduates, they announced each students name as "Doctor" so and so, and then officially got "hooded" as a dentist by either a professor of theirs or by a dentist family member. Kyle was hooded by his two "group leader" professors that have helped to guide and mentor him through his past two years of clinical work, and it was so neat seeing him be hooded by dentists that I know have had such a big positive impact on his life and his progression as a dentist. I kept having so many flashbacks to the school's white coat ceremony that started this whole journey, and couldn't help but feel emotional and just so dang proud and excited for each new doctor that crossed the stage. The weight of that purple velvet hood suddenly felt so much more real, and it really dawned on us that this is real life now. No more school, just a giant degree and a new official title that all of these students have been working so hard to earn.
I brought my camera to the graduation but because of the chaos didn't really get a chance to use it much to get any pictures (the above pictures of Kyle were taken graciously by my girlfriend sitting close to the stage) and even though I'm so stinking sad that we weren't able to really get any "quality" pictures at the event, I'm still glad that we were able to snag a few quick iPhone pictures with family and a few friends that we ran into outside once the ceremony was done. There are SO many people missing from these pictures that I wish were here, but once again just know that even the not pictured are still so so special and appreciated!
I can't even count how many times I've cried over this journey being finished and having to say goodbye to Louisville and so many people that we love so dearly (I blame post-baby hormones) but being able to see Kyle accomplish the dream and goal that he's been working towards since before I even met him is such a special experience that I will forever cherish. I remember when Kyle and I were still newly(ish) dating, he was talking to me about dental school and all of his plans with it (at this point he hadn't taken the DAT or applied yet) and told me that one of his aunt's (who happens to be married to a dentist) told him that whomever he married would have to be insanely selfless and supportive because dental school was extremely challenging. I don't know how well I've always lived up to that role, but do feel so incredibly grateful that Kyle trusted me enough back then to let me join him on this crazy dental school journey. We have both grown so much since then, and I am SO proud of Kyle, grateful for the experiences that dental school gave to us both, and am crazy excited for all of the adventures ahead.
Cheers to Kyle and to all of ULSD's Class of 2019, YOU DID IT!
weight & height: About 15 pounds and 25.5 inches long. You're in the 80th percentile for weight and the 98th for height and everywhere we go people comment about how long you are! eating & sleeping: Eating is still going pretty well; we are still in the process of trying to fix some reflux issues but otherwise are doing fine. This past month you decided to finally start giving us longer stretches of sleep as well, and we've found that if we sleep feed you around 11PM at night that you'll sleep until about 8 the next morning! These longer sleep stretches came at the perfect time for our family and we're happy to have them! exciting firsts/milestones: We'd honestly probably consider sleeping through the night to be one of your most exciting milestones so far, but along with that you've also had the chance this past month to be part of some pretty big events! Daddy graduated dental school on the same day of your three-month milestone (May 11th), so we got to celebrate by going to Dad's graduation, and spent the week leading up to it exploring and doing all of our favorite Louisville things. Your Poppy & Grammy Pett came out to Louisville for graduation as well, so you also got to finally meet them in person. things I love: You still love Jack Johnson's music to fall asleep to, and LOVE being able to be held upright so that you can see the world around you. You've recently discovered your hands and love using them to grab at things, and they also have become your favorite thing to chew/suck on when you're trying to settle down. You've also become quite the little social bug, and if anyone gives you one-on-one attention you become all smiles and giggles, especially with Mommy, Daddy, and Emery! things I don't enjoy so much: Right now pretty much the only thing that causes you any sort of grief is that dang reflux, but besides that you are such a calm and happy baby! We're really hoping to be able to resolve the reflux soon so that we can have our always happy baby as much as possible! mom & dad's biggest parenting lesson so far: This past month of life has been EXTREMELY busy for our family as we've gotten ready for Dad to graduate and have prepared to move away from Louisville, and between the business of Dad finishing up school, trying to pack, and of course keep you and Em happy and taken care of, things at times have felt a little more stressful than they usually would. Between all of the madness, we have really valued taking as much quality family time together with ourselves and friends as we've been able to do. We've made an active effort to fit in a lot of fun activities before moving from Louisville, and have felt like the quality time that we've gotten in together has been so good for all of us because it helps us remember that no matter how crazy or busy life gets around us, that if we make time for each other that things will always turn out as they should and the crazy parts don't seem as bad. You and Em are our constant sources of sunshine, and we're so grateful to have you both to get us through the toughest of life's storms! 🔆❤️
weight & height: 14 lbs 4 oz and 24.72 inches long. You're in the 90th percentile for weight and are off the charts for height, and have everyone that sees you verifying that you've got a tall Dad that you got your genes from. 😂 eating & sleeping: You are still eating really well and typically every 3-4 hours in the day and then once at night. A few times you've teased mom and dad with an 8 hour stretch of sleep and one time even did it from midnight to 8AM so that there was no middle of the night feeding, but so far it hasn't become a regular habit. We'll still appreciate and take the little bit of extra sleep whenever you feel like offering it though! exciting firsts/milestones: This past month you've really found your voice and we absolutely love when you use it! You're a bit more reserved than Emery was with your smiles and laughs, but will almost always light up and give plenty of giggles and babbles to mommy or daddy when we get some one on one time with you, and sometimes even just while by yourself, making mama wonder what funny thoughts are running through your brain and making you giggle that sweet little laugh. things I love: From what we can tell you're becoming quite the little mama's boy (and I LOVE IT). You LOVE being held and cuddled, especially by mommy, and will usually take at least one of your naps in the wrap or baby carrier on my chest. You also love going for walks outside in the stroller, and your curiosity and ability to lock focus on things (usually bright colors or Emery) have stayed strong. We've also discovered that you have a preference to Jack Johnson, Bob Marley, and the Beatles as far as music goes, and if you're ever having a hard time settling down to sleep playing one of those playlists + some cuddles with mama always seems to do the trick. things I don't enjoy so much: This past month we've struggled with a little bit of reflux while eating, and while we've tried to work through it it's made us sad to see your obvious discomfort and distaste when the reflux hits in the middle of a mealtime. You also don't love having to wait too long to be fed when you're hungry, and that's literally the only time that you'll ever really cry loudly. Besides that you are SUCH an easy going and happy baby and we love you for it! mom & dad's biggest parenting lesson so far: This month's learning lesson for mom and dad has been all about BALANCE. It's been a pretty crazy month for our family between dad having to take his regional dental boards, preparing to move in less than a month, and dealing with a few other wild/unexpected events. With everything going on dad and I have been going on much less sleep and self-care than what's considered normal or healthy, and have noticed a difference in our ability to keep things running smoothly around the house. You and Em are always our #1 priority, but we've also learned this past month that doing little things to make sure that we're taking care of ourselves too (aka getting enough sleep, showering, etc) makes it so much easier to have the strength needed to be able to properly keep up with you and Em and give you both all of the love and attention that you both deserve and need. This usually means that other things like laundry and packing our house are taking a bit longer than they otherwise would, but we're totally ok with that if it makes for happier parents, kiddos, and an overall more peaceful family unit.
weight & height: 11 pounds 15.7 ounces and 22.87 inches long. eating & sleeping: You eat really well and quite a bit! During the day we'll feed you every 3-4 hours, and then at night you'll usually feed once late at night before dad goes to bed, and then again between 4 and 5 in the morning, making it so that mama really only has to wake up once in the middle of the night for feeding. Everyone involved is grateful that you're such a good baby when it comes to feeding and sleeping! exciting firsts/milestones: I suppose that everything is still pretty new for you at this point, but mama's personal favorite first of yours this month have been your first smiles! Emery was able to get the first intentional smiles out of you, then Nan, then you finally gave mama some smiles on your one-month mark. This past month we also gave you your first bath, and your first real non-doctor outings to Churchill Downs, the Big Four Walking Bridge, out to dinner, and of course to Target (a couple of times) 😉 things I love: You love cuddling and being held, especially in mama's solly wrap, and when you're awake you like to be in a position where you can see the things around you. You already do such a good job locking your eyes on things around you to explore and see them better, and have mama and dad wondering if this is a sign that you're going to be a curious kiddo as you grow older! Also, you surprisingly don't mind Emery constantly being around you in a borderline smothering type of big sister love and affection, and since she is the one that was able to get that first smile out of you, I think it's safe to say that you love her too! things I don't enjoy so much: Up to this point you have been literally the most easy going baby in the world, but one thing that we have noticed is that you don't love being cold, so we've purposely kept our house quite a bit warmer for the month of February than we normally would to keep you happy. Aside from that, you're one happy little babe, and we love you for it! mom & dad's biggest parenting lesson so far: It turns out that there's thankfully a lot less worries and anxieties the second time around with parenting, but one thing that Kyle and I have learned this past month is how to really work together as a team in order to keep two young kiddos alive, safe, and happy. Whenever we're both home there's a good chance that we're tag-teaming anything from meals to bedtimes and everything in between to keep things running as smoothly as possible. The first few days it did feel a little bit like we were treading water in a pretty crazy ocean of toddler/newborn chaos, but since have gotten more into a groove of things and it feels good!
I did these little monthly updates with Emery and after her first year transferred them all into a photo book for memories sake. It's since become one of my favorite things to look back on, and I knew that when the time came that I would have to do one for Ashton too! I hope that you all enjoy reading along with us as we watch and document our sweet boy's growth each month!
I took these pictures when Ashton was only a few days old and figured I should probably get them documented since time seems to be slipping away from me and I'll already have a one-month old baby in a few short days. I feel like he has already grown and changed so much in these few short weeks, and even though I'll probably never fully forgive myself for not hiring a separate photographer to get quality pictures of our family at this special time, I'm glad that I at least thought to get some of Ashton so that I could capture those sweet, sleepy little features of his before he moved on past his fresh newborn stage. I never want to forget how his sandy-blonde hair fluffed up into the perfect fo-hawk when clean, or just how chubby and kissable his cheeks were in those first few days. Pretty much everyone that's met him in person thinks that Ashton looks exactly like a mini Kyle, and although their baby pictures don't really look much alike, I would have to agree that Ashton does look a lot like what you'd imagine a baby version of grown-up Kyle would look like (if you'd never seen his baby pictures), with a few of my features here and there if you know what you're looking for. Since I personally find Kyle to be an attractive guy, I don't mind our babe being a miniature version of him one tiny bit. 😉
I feel like our lives since Ashton has been born have been a special sort of beautiful chaos. Between having my parents visit and working to find a balance between Ashton's newborn schedule and Emery's toddler schedule, the days have honestly all kind of blended together and I'm finding myself struggling to keep track of any specific sort of timetable, but desperately wanting to capture and remember as many of these sweet new moments we're having together as a family as possible. I've found myself actually appreciating Ashton's middle of the night feeding (something I never thought I'd hear myself say haha) because it's one of the only times throughout the day that everything is quiet and I have a chance to simply just "be" with Ashton and reflect and feel grateful for him and everything that he's brought into our family.
Despite the craziness that comes with acclimating to this new stage of life, Kyle and I have both noticed that this time around feels a lot less stressful than when we were learning how to be new parents to a newborn Emery. It could be that this time we're only balancing a new baby instead of moving to a new apartment and dealing with Kyle's hardest year of dental school at the same time like we were with Em, or it could maybe be because Ashton is literally the most easy-going newborn baby I've ever seen making our lives slightly easier as new-again parents. Whatever the reason, we're grateful for the easier flow we've had because it's allowed us so much more time to dedicate to making sure that Em has as smooth of an adjustment as possible to being a big sister, and honestly has just helped us to be able to appreciate so many more of the little fun moments that might of otherwise passed our attention. Right now we're taking each day as it comes, and working to really embrace and be present in each moment, because it seems that the more we are able to do that, the more we find ourselves smiling to each other and saying, "You know what? Life is good", because in that moment, it really is. ❤️
blue swaddle: solly baby | white swaddle: little lane market | bonnets: kate grace thread co | em's outfit: little poppy co
I'm Chelsea. I'm a wife, mommy, photographer, and lover of life's little adventures. Join me here to celebrate the beautiful things in people and life.