Monday, August 24, 2015

First Day of School Shenanigans!!

Today is the first day of school.  HELLOOOOO Summer, or should I say GOODBYE Summer; but honestly I feel like it just started and now it's over....what the what?  I'm sad, happy, numb, irritated, joyful, etc., etc., etc.  I did my best to get them ready for this school year, sort of anyway.  I bought them new backpacks and shoes and sent them with healthy food to eat, I think, actually I didn't make a single lunch for today; so I have no idea....but let's pretend I know.  I made sure they went to bed clean, brushed their teeth, ate their sugary breakfast....that's only for the first day I promise.  There was deodorant, body spray, detangler and mouthwash going on all up in here, and they all looked presentable....even Elli still looked cute after sleeping in her first day of school dress.  I took pictures, gave hugs/kisses, said some prayers, watched them walk out the door to cars and buses.  I looked at all my Facebook friends first day posts and smiled a lot....I kinda love this day on might be my favorite.  My friends who don't post much usually post, and I am into it....thank you know who you are.  I text my college girl, emailed NPayne the weekly calendar of events and sent a few emails/texts; and then I took a 30 minute uninterrupted bubble bath, which is my favorite part of the first day of school, ran some errands and then....I stopped and looked around.  The house is a wreck....I mean total disaster....clean clothes all over my laundry room aka sofa, popcorn on the floor...why? I'm not sure.  I don't even know when it was popped or spilled on the floor eaten, shoes everywhere...we have way too many, leftover school supplies that they decided they didn't need, dishes in the sink, not a single bed made, leftover paint/crafts on the dining room table, and the list goes on.  So today I should be tidying up, but I will spend my time sitting in the quiet, drinking coffee and enjoying the first moment of alone I've had in 3 months.  I will miss you summer....really miss you, but I am ready for part 2 of 2015...let's rock this school year folks! And the best part is....Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and it is my favorite! Oh and that starts tomorrow!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

College Take Two!

We took our oldest baby to college last week.  We dropped her off, and I felt so good about it.  It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be.  Today I'm realizing was because I knew I would be back a few days later for parent orientation, it was because I knew she was coming home this weekend, it was because it was like she was at camp not college.  We took her back today, and it was hard. I won't be going back for parent orientation in a few days, and she won't be coming home this weekend.  When we got home, I stood in her room and cried and cried and cried.  I folded laundry and cried and cried and cried.  I re-heated leftovers and cried and cried and cried.  Y'all being a mom is hard...sending your baby to college is hard...I don't even know how to explain it.  It's different than any of the other "hards" I've experienced as a mom, because I know this is the first step of her leaving the nest for good.  It's the goal, but it's still hard.  Now excuse me while I cry.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

I Came Home With Four....

From my beautiful Addison's Instagram post a few weeks ago:

High school isn't easy. At the start of my senior year, I was going through a rough patch- so rough that I honestly didn't know if I would make it to the end. I finally found the strength to ask for help and my life started to turn around. After suffering from depression for multiple years, the most valuable thing I learned is that it's okay to not be okay, and it's more than okay to ask for help. So, if you are suffering, don't be afraid to ask for help and always remember that every storm ends in sunshine. If I can make it through, so can you. Special thanks to everyone who has stuck by my side through all of the hard times and loved me through all of the pain. I couldn't be more proud of myself for standing here, getting happier each day. I have come such a long way and I can't wait to see how far I will go in college and in life. If anyone ever needs someone to talk to, I'll be here and always remember to keep your head up, it's going to be okay.

 Her closet will never stay this tidy.

Isn't her dorm cute?

Trash from the gazillion freshmen that moved in today.
The first event of Welcome Week!

 So today was the day.....the day full of excitement, wonder, hope, trepidation, anxiety....the day full of change.  We moved our eldest into her dorm as a freshman.  I will not pretend this hasn't been difficult for me, because LORD HAVE has.  I have cried a lot....even waking myself up because I was dreaming about this day.  I have sobbed myself to sleep, sobbed myself awake, sobbed while driving in the car, sitting in my bedroom, grocery shopping...pretty much anytime I thought about it....I cried.  Yes I know....she's only 30 minutes away, and she will come home next weekend....okay I must confess, I will actually see her Tuesday and Wednesday at Parent Orientation; but still this is hard.  To all you parents whose children moved far far away, I applaud you or hug you or pray for you or think you're crazy; but seriously I cannot even imagine how hard it has been for you and probably for your child.  I'm praying for you.  To be honest, if it weren't for my best friends and my main man, Jesus, telling me to be encouraging and strong; I probably would have begged and bribed her to stay and refused to buy her cute dorm bedding to keep her at home. But....I did listen to them, and I encouraged and remained strong, at least in front of her.  Now my other children.....they have witnessed my swollen eyes several times.  They have totally fallen for it when I said, "It's just allergies"....NOT....they know me too well.   And Neil Payne....he doesn't even bother asking me if I'm okay....he just lets me sulk....this too shall pass.  This child of mine....she is truly one of the biggest brightest lights of my life.  She's the one who made me a mother, the one who started this wonderful journey of parenthood.  She is kind and gentle and funny, and she knows how much I need a hug from her and gives them to me ALL THE TIME.  She's been really looking forward to this new season, but I won't lie when I say....she's had a tough road these last few years; and the thought of sending her away has made me uneasy because of it. She has experienced times of the deepest sadness and pain, and I have been as heart broken as I've ever been for her.  I am sooooo thankful that she has found joy....even in the darkest times.  We were talking about this newest adventure a few weeks ago, and I told her that I would text her every day and would need a reply for my own sanity.    I explained that my concerns are because....well....I'm her mother, and I would just like to know she's safe.  She gave me the quiet nod with a tad bit of annoyance.  And then I told her I just want to make sure she's okay and not in the depths of sadness that can so quickly sneak in, and she knew what I meant. It takes so much courage to ask for help when you're in the pit, and I'm so thankful she did.  Last night, she had some friends over to play games and eat pizza.  It was the best time, but as the night went on; I could tell she wasn't feeling well (which has been happening a lot lately....darn nerves).  And then she sent the text.... "having anxiety" and then the tears came; and I held her in my arms and let her cry.  I reassured her and told her this was going to be a good thing, and she was going to do great....and y'all, by the grace of God alone, I did not cry.  I felt the tears coming, but I told myself....NO MA'AM....this isn't about you, it's about being strong for her.  God gave me the strength I needed to be the encouraging and supportive mother I needed to be in that minute.  I will confess that I did tell her she could come home anytime she wanted, but Helloooo....she's my baby; and I am not doing that "stay away and get adjusted" business.....mama don't play that game.  Then today came, and I had to leave her and be "strong" again.  When I left her at school a few hours ago, I felt the sun was hot, and I felt the tears welling up and that ever so familiar lump in my throat and tightening in my chest when I can't catch my breath.  Then I looked up and remembered the words my very insightful daughter quoted herself....every storm ends in sunshine.  I took a breath, and I came home with four....leaving one behind.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

I'm Kinda Over This Grown Up Business....

I'm kinda in that weird mood I get in right before school starts and right when it is about to end....that overwhelming feeling of all of the money about to be spent, that melancholy feeling of it's over (school or summer), that exhausting feeling of keeping up with reading logs and homework and syllabuses and schedules....Y'all....I just can't, just cannot, I'm just over it.  I don't want to help with homework....I've been out of school for a very very long time, and homework is not my jam.  I'll admit when I was in high school, I was that geeky kid who somewhat enjoyed homework; but now I'm that mama who just DOES NOT!   I want to read books with my kids for pleasure and go on adventures and take walks and sit on the porch swing and water the flowers and just be.  The problem hasn't even started, and I'm already finished.  And the worst part's not like I only have a few more years of dealing with the beginning/ending of school....I have an 8 year old, remember?  People....I'm an educator and was in a classroom for over 20 years.  I love the meat of school.  I just don't love all the condiments.  As it gets moving along, hopefully I'll get back in the swing of things....I always usually do.  As I've been researching different forms, methods, types, beliefs, etc., blah, blah, blah of education....I am just plum tuckered out.  It is so much information, and up until recently I thought I knew what my kids needed.  I am discovering, each kid needs something different from the one before or after....very different; and that my friends is just hard to make happen.  I'm not sure how, but it is my priority to make sure this happens in the next year....each of my children getting the most appropriate education for his/her individual person.   As you know or maybe you don't, but you should if you follow me on Facebook or Instagram or anywhere really....we are moving!  PTL!  And I am excited about it, but again I am just plum tuckered out by this whole process.  Is the money the challenging part?  Not really.  Is the selling the house the challenging part?  I don't think it will be.  Is the finding a house I love the challenging part?  Well kinda, because I am kinda particular and not at all trendy.  Reading the words, "Completely Updated" makes my skin crawl; because I know that means the house is not for me.  Finding a good fixer upper is harder than one might think.  Is the finding the right house that all 7 of us can agree upon the challenging part?  No, however the finding the right house that the 14 year old can get a tad bit excited about has been a little challenging.  But the most challenging part is....wait for it....the schools.  What I'm looking for in a school is darn near impossible to find in the area we can afford, in a house we love, that can suit our needs wants.  Y'all....we have lived in the same rocking house for almost 20 years.  It may be falling apart....but it is still a fabulous, unique, quirky, totally not trendy and not at all "Completely Updated" house.  It is totally my thing.  I mean people, if there was a rockstar category for homes, ours would be in it; and we have no there ya go.  Our schools are good, and the 14 year old likes it here.  All of these things make it difficult to leave, so why would we?  Well there are always 2 sides to a house or a story or whatever, and there are many things that make it least for me.  Thoughts of peace and quiet and privacy and simplicity make my heart swell up and weepy tears form in my eyes....a calm comes over me that I can only find when I'm at the beach or at my friend, Leslie's, house which is in the middle of nowhere.  The city....well it's just not for me, I cannot catch my breath here like EVER.  Downtime is sitting outside on my front porch watching 25 cars run a few stop signs and speed up and down my street in a matter of 34 seconds....I'm over it! OVER IT!  I am not one bit opposed to being in close proximity to a city, but my soul longs for the country.  It has been my dream my whole life, and I am so so so grateful that my rockstar citified husband has finally crawled kicking and screaming on board.  But people this is hard....finding everything just like we I want it to be: house, money, schools, joyful excited 14 year olds who really just want their own bedroom.  So add the house shopping and the end of summer and the beginning of school and all those stinkin' syllabuses and checks I'll have to write all together and that equals put a fork in me, because I'm kinda over it; and it hasn't even begun.  I don't think I want to adult for the next few months.  Anyone want to do that for me? Pray for a better attitude for me please.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

In Love With Jesus!

Me: What color are my husband's eyes?
Acquaintance:  I don't know what color your husband's eyes are.  Why would I know that?
Me:  His eyes are the loveliest green. If you were in love with him, you would know; because you would want to know him.  If you are in love with someone, you know them; you don't just experience them.

I heard this analogy today, in regards to a relationship with Jesus.  If you are in love with Him, you want to know everything about him....not just experience Him.

Thought provoking, don't you think?

Monday, August 3, 2015

She is Yours!

I haven't been sleeping started when we were on our mega road trip.  I found myself sitting in the lobby wide awake thinking.  My sleep has been unsettled, and I know it is all in regards to sending Addi to college.  I don' know how parents, who send their children far away from home, stay so strong.  Mine is only going 30 minutes, and I can barely stand it.  I's wrecking me.  I woke myself up early this morning crying, because I was dreaming about it.                                                                      Knowing that I won't see her every single day and get that hug....literally almost unbearable, but the biggest thing is that I won't know that she's safe in her bed every single night.  I have been praying fervently for God to take this from me.  If I could boldly ask you to pray over my girl and to pray for me to give her over to Him completely.  He loves her more than I do, and that is A LOT!  She is going to be fine and do great things, and I am so grateful for the person she has become.  God....she is yours, this I know.  I promise....I know.