yesterday, ryan qualified in the SH-60 seahawk helicopter. in the time i've known him he has gotten his service selection for pilot, graduated from the academy, completed API, did primary training, selected for helos, got promoted, completed advanced, earned his wings & now is qualified in this awesome helo. i've seen the countless hours, early mornings, incredibly high expectations, blood, sweat & tears that have gone into this -- i'm so, so proud of him.
so, we celebrated with some red velvet cake (his fav) & i gave him a bottle of basil hayden bourbon to commemorate the day. i'm a big fan of un-birthday cakes (my favorites are here & here). they're boxed cakes, most often thrown together last minute, but they matter & are an appropriate response to big moments in everyday life. this one totally unintentionally ended up being red, white & blue! we then went to grab pizza and make a lowes run, because that's what a ryan night looks like & he deserved it.
*NATOPS is the name of what he completed to qualify :)