Graduation can be a real whirlwind of an event. We asked our very own Vanessa Quigley, mother of seven and super busy Chatbooker-in-Chief, how she manages her own little grads.

What are some preparations you make leading up to their high school graduation?

“Start gathering photos! I love to have a slideshow of my graduate through his or her school years. I have it run on the big screen in the house all day and then put those photos in a Chatbook for safe keeping! It also makes a great gift for the grandparents.”

How do you make your graduating child feel special and loved?

“I let each child choose how they want to celebrate. I always wanted to throw a big graduation party for all of our friends and family, but none of my kids wanted that. They’ve opted for a special family trip, or a ‘friends only’ gathering. We usually go to a special restaurant to celebrate either before or after the event, depending on the ceremony. I like not having to cook and we let the graduate pick the venue.”

How do you handle graduation announcements?

“It just depends. My oldest son didn’t want to send any. My oldest daughter designed her own. And for my next son, I used Chatbooks Prints to make announcements that I mailed to family and close friends.”

Have you made each of your kids a graduation Chatbook?

“I made one for my last graduate, but he took it with him to Montenegro where he is living now. I really need to print a copy for myself!”

Any tips for moms with a graduating child?

“Take lots of pictures! I only have one blurry picture from my graduation and I regret not having my parents take more. Also, beg your child to take lots of pictures at all their end-of-the-year parties and gatherings with friends, and share them with you. They will love having these memories to keep!”

Any advice for moms on how to keep it together?

“I remember my mom didn’t cry at my graduation and I thought that was weird…like she was happy to see me go or something! My kids have the opposite problem and I pretty much bawl their entire senior year. Graduation Day is really such a joyous event and my advice is to just enjoy it! But you may want to pack some tissues.”

Whether you keep it small or throw a huge party, we hope your kiddo’s big day is pure magic—and you remember to wear your waterproof mascara. 😉