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Reese the Graduate!

My little brother has graduated from college!!!!

Maybe he doesn't love being called my little brother....but it's hard to not think of him that way. I am eight years older than Reese, and when I left the house for college, he was still in elementary school. He had the cutest smile and haircut and gave giant hugs. As the youngest, he was smart, sassy, and confident, and several of our family memories and catch phrases came from the hilarious things he said.

Seeing Reese grow up has been a joy as a big sister! I enjoyed spending summers at home with him, and recently have loved having him as a guest in our home, too! Reese is now a college graduate, but he will always be my little brother, which comes with the pride and fierceness of being loved by a big sister!

I am now about to brag on Reese and tell you some of his accomplishments and memories!

Reese has definitely enjoyed his college career! He went to Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas for four years, graduating with a degree in Accounting. BUT when asked about his favorite memories, they usually have to do with friends and fun. Exactly how college is supposed to be.

Reese became quite proficient at racquetball and frisbee golf and played often with friends. There is a frisbee golf course on the school's campus that is green and beautiful and an excellent place to walk around with friends. He also had several weekly game nights for playing video and board games with buddies in the dorm.

One of the greatest adventures, blessings, and growing seasons for me and all of my siblings has come from spending a semester studying abroad. Reese got this amazing opportunity and spent three months living in ITALY in a program called HUF (Harding University Florence.) Here he studied and explored and got to experience a different side of the world. His favorite college class was one that he took during this semester abroad. This was a film class where they would watch old Italian movies and then discuss them in the living room/classroom of the villa where he lived ('s hard not to sound like you're bragging when you mention the details of the semester because it really is just that special and cool.) When asked what Reese's favorite memory from HUF was, he could not decide between going to the Sistene Chapel OR renting a boat at Lake Como. See what I mean? The semester is just hard to beat!

Reese is part of a unique group of students who went to college and graduated during a pandemic. This came with its own challenges, but he handled it well, taking advantage of the virtual classes with completing homework in between lots of hang-out time with friends. The second semester was a hybrid of online and in person class with some difficulties of staying engaged while wearing masks. Thankfully, he stayed healthy and was able to complete his degree!

Now, as a graduate, Reese will make an excellent Accountant.....or maybe an excellent hot chocolate shop owner??! His dream job would be to convert a shaved ice shack into a hot chocolate shop for winter. I love hot chocolate, so I'm really hoping this dream happens!

During the craziness of graduation, I was able to snap some pictures of Reese on campus. This was a highlight of the weekend for me! We got to take some funny pictures, laugh together, and celebrate by tossing the cap and posing at the fountain. I absolutely LOVE capturing these moments! Now that I have a camera and have studied photography, I see the value of taking time to make these moments happen. We easily could have rushed through the wild weekend, but, by taking a little break and prioritizing a photoshoot I now have some of my most favorite pictures of my little brother. I love seeing his smile, some silly looks, and his cap and gown on his campus where he spent years growing into the man that he is today.

Siblings are special, and celebrations are special. I hope you enjoy these pictures as much as I do! Happy Graduation, Reese!

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