Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Graduation Mason Jar Money Gift

Woohoo- school's almost out!
It seems like there's an awesome energy this time of year,
knowing summer is about to mean more freedom!
Even as an adult, summer just seems more... well, better :)

Recently we got to witness my younger brother, my only brother,
experience his very last last day of school! He graduated with a Masters Degree
in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Utah State University.

So, I have to gush here a bit about what an amazing man Conner is. He has worked harder than I realize by far, put up with more than he should've had to for sure, and gone the extra mile no doubt in achieving this awesome accomplishment. I know graduations are boring and long and spectacular events. But I confess... his was also emotional! We were all so proud of him- I just felt more than I could swallow a number of times through the whole thing.

I know my sweet sister-in-law will surely despise me for posting this picture, but it moves me and I simply have to. Even now looking at her I get choked up! I was taking pictures down at the floor also and getting teary, when I turned to the row above where she was and saw her, this awesome emotion so clear on her face! It was a moment that I wanted to capture, a picture that tells a powerful story...

She has been by my brother's side, or maybe even apart from him more than she'd of liked, as he sought this degree. And he has done it for her!For their family and their future. Indeed, they are the parents of the cutest baby ever, whom you've heard me gush about before :)

Really, the graduation was a lot of fun, not just a lot of over the top emotions. We cheered and cheered as Conner entered the room from outside. He actually said later that that was the best part for him- looking up to see us :) We actually kinda twisted his arm a bit to walk at all I think, but he'll be able to look back and be glad he did ;)

Cooper could not have been more excited to see Conner after the ceremony was over! He was truly just bursting at the seams! He had made a cool rock display that he wanted to give to Conner- his own gift for him. To Conner, it was surely just an odd little kid project, but to Cooper, it was a real gift of love. I am so proud of my little boy that is a gift giver from the heart!

My Dad commented afterward on how the day should've been his... I'm sure he was meaning that he should've gone to college himself. They laughed about it, but leave it to me to think about it seriously... Indeed, this accomplishment was partially my Dad's. He, and my Mom, are the reason for the positive crossroads and achievements of all of us kids' lives. I know they would shake their heads in response, but truly, they are. Proud moments like this point directly to them, to who they taught us and encouraged us to be! My Dad taught Conner to work, to work hard. Like, really hard. We grew up watching both him and my Mom work hard for real. You are the reason for days like these, Dad- you really are. This day was yours too!

Oh ya, so this post is also largely to share the gift idea and printable I made for Conner's graduation gift! In our opinion, money is the best graduation or wedding gift- it just is. But Stephen had the idea to give Conner a bunch of coins to make it even more unique. So he brought home several rolls of quarters... and all of the sudden our measly contribution was put into perspective! I knew I wanted to use a jar for the gift, but the quarters didn't fill it up enough to look like much at all! So, I had to come up with some filler and wrapped a TP tube in duck tape....

Then I tucked it down in the center of the jar! It worked awesome- the original duck tape color didn't stick out at all and it was just the right size!

I used one of my Redneck Stemware jars for this gift, but a normal pint jar without the stem part would work great too. I also gave Conner and Jodie a second jar with a bottle of Sparkling Cider on the side, just so they'd have two glasses to actually use together too :) 

Then I created this simple arrow tag to finish it off-
I played around with the wording and really liked this one :)
And he has worked hard for the awesome changes and blessings
his family will forever receive as a result!

He was actually offered two terrific jobs just a couple of weeks before this graduation- he is a hot commodity! We are beyond excited that he and Jodie chose to accept the job here in Idaho Falls!! It's a great blessing to have a job right out of college at all, let alone one that brings you back to where you really want to be. He deserves it and will be a greater asset to his new company than he realizes. Plus, now Jodie gets to stay home with my nephew, so they are both starting new dream jobs really :)

After it was said and done, we went to a park and played around a bit, had a bbq with just our family, and took some better pictures. It was comfortable and just really nice- hopefully Conner felt how proud we all were of him. What a terrific accomplishment!

So, if you have a graduation gift to give, be it for someone you get emotional because you're so proud of, or someone that you know more in passing, this printable tag makes for a fun way to give them money! It would also be super cute attached to a single roll of coins! 

For anyone interested, click on this image below, then right click and save to print! Enjoy!



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