Aaron graduated from BYU!

Aaron graduated from BYU this Friday, April 26th, with his Masters of Accountancy!
I couldn't be prouder of him nor could all the family that flocked in to Provo to see the festivities. Mark, Susan and Annie came from Riverside, my parents came from Walnut Creek and Mimi and Papa drove up from St. George. It was fun to all be in the same place celebrating Aaron.

He definitely earned the degree with all the hard work and sweat (and foos ball playing) he put in to his classes.

Thursday was Commencement with Elder L.Tom Perry as the speaker.  He gave a great talk on work/life balance.

 ^^Aaron's "first friend" Dallin Trout happened to be graduating the same day in Neuroscience!^^
 ^^"Look I have wings!"^^
Following Commencement, we went out to dinner with the whole fam (and friends...Tarik even came!).  
Friday afternoon brought Aaron's graduation ceremony with the Marriott School of Management (and more pictures of course).
The incredible thing about this graduation was that Aaron was able to walk alongside some of his closest friends.

The BYU Accounting program has the ability of knitting its students together in a way that no other program does. From their first day in the program, they are placed in to a group that does all assignments, projects, presentations and test studying together.  Aaron spent all his time with this first group during his first semester of the Junior Core because they had SO much to do.  We were engaged during that first semester, so if I wanted to spend time with my dear, beloved fiance, I would just track him down in their library study room and do my (much easier) homework while they talked about numbers.  I became friends with his friends through this.

Throughout the program, they were placed in a variety of other groups and slowly but surely became a little Accounting family.  This made graduation especially sweet because Aaron knew his peers so well and I was also able to root them on from the stands.
Richard, being the most thoughtful guy that he is, got Aaron and Brad "Y" rings as a graduation present. 
 ^^The "foos ballers" of the MAcc. Picture stolen from James Embree off of Facebook...^^

^^And this cute couple (aka Richard and Emily) get married in two weeks!"

After the Friday graduation ceremony, we headed over to the Tanner Building (where Aaron has had all of his Accounting classes) for their mini post-graduation reception.  Aaron started telling a story that has meant a lot to us over the years.
Towards the middle-endish of our freshmen year of BYU, Aaron was feeling particularly stressed if he was measuring up.  He had wanted to get in to the Accounting Program so badly his whole life--his Grandpa, uncles, Dad at this point had already been through the Accounting Program--and was worried that he might not get in.  Now of course, he couldn't do anything about it at this point as he wouldn't even be able to apply to the program until after his 2 year mission, but nonetheless he felt like he had the weight of the world on his shoulders.  Aaron borrowed his friend Erik Snow's car and we went on a drive.

Without meaning to, we ended up parked outside the end of the Tanner Building with our headlights pointing at the building.  Aaron let out all of his worries (and he openly admits now that yes he did cry) and then recommitted that he could do it.  That one day he would conquer that Tanner Building, make it in to the program and achieve his dreams.

Now, six years later, Aaron was standing in practically the same spot we had parked that night realizing that he had done it.  He not only got in to the program but really excelled.  He made it!
We ended Friday evening with a dinner at Grammy and Grandpa McKell's house.  We wanted to give back to everyone who helped us in our education by cooking a meal for everyone.  Because we had packed the day with activities though, our nice "give back" meal ended up being much later than anticipated (sorry fam!) but we enjoyed it nonetheless.

We had the traditional "graduation brigade" that had been following Aaron around for the past two days and then Matt and Sherri and some of their kids came along with Audrey, Patrick and their kids and Aaron's cousin David, his wife Natalie and their kids.  We really appreciate Grammy and Grandpa letting us pack their house in with all the loved ones.
Well, that's a wrap.  Moral of the story: He did it!!  And I'm sure proud of him. 

Just don't mention the CPA quite yet to this happy boy...

**Some of the pictures above are from my dad...thanks, Dad!


  1. Congrats to you both. That's so cool. I started a part time job as the budget director for the School of Accountancy, so I know this is an amazing and hard to get in program.

  2. You guys have the best story! It's so wonderful that you really spent your WHOLE college experience together- the ups and downs of everything! Congrats Aaron! Give yourself a few weeks to veg and throw the CPA out of your mind for now! You deserve it!