I Left My Heart In San Francisco

Ok I actually did NOT leave my heart in San Francisco, I left it in South Carolina.  Well, my heart and my daughter.  It was August, and I survived.  Dropping child #2 off in a far away state, for a great length of time is not any easier the second time around, and if I were to be honest, it is harder.  Harder because this time I knew what to expect, this time I knew how hard it would be, and I knew how long it would be until we can see the child again.

Since time and tide wait for no man, the princess graduated from High School in the spring and we began prepping for University.  I shopped until I dropped.  We shopped together, we shopped with friends, we shopped with family, we went a lot.  Each and Every trip I was reminded why we were going, it was hard.  But we did it.

August was deadline month.  Drop off day was looming, and while I was sad she was not.  Where I was inwardly cringing, she was outwardly celebrating.  She kept a count down that made her cheer, I saw her countdown and cried.

We realized after taking #1 to that University in that far away state, that taking everyone was not easy.  The princess decided after that experience she wanted to go alone, just the 3 of us.  Dad, mom and O, a month before departure she decided that we all would be going, Child #1 could not go, he had work, and classes to register for.  So we loaded the van, and Keith’s car with her things.  (we took 2 vehicles because Keith’s job changed and he needed to be back before Monday)  We had one last favorite meal and we left.

img_3050Her last porch picture.img_3073The van was so crowded.  We drove to our dear friends/family house and spent the night with them.  We loaded all of the things from Keith’s car and bought a mini fridge for the final 90 minutes of our trip.  The baby is in her seat next to R. img_3082O sat on a big desk ball, and J held a basket of things, the back row was filled, the back of the van was full and under every seat we had her things. img_3078I was given the responsibility of holding the fish and the plant.  I am happy to report both survived and are thriving in University life.img_3077The last 90 minutes were so hard for this mama.  I’m pretty sure if I was in the driver’s seat we would have come home instead of going to  that university.
(don’t mind the old lady reading glasses, I admit my eyes are old)img_3089One of the advantages of having a brother over 6 feet tall. (notice how tall her room walls are, he is standing on her desk, and still not at the ceiling, one of the benefits of being in the oldest dorm on campus.  Her closet is 2x at big as the rolling wardrobes the newer dorms have.  And she has above the closet storage that anyone who needs more space would be envious of, you can fit a toddler size mattress up there in the space.)img_3097He did much better than I figured he would.  He did not break down and cry, I did.img_3103Because her University is a Christian liberal arts university, we had family worship.  I am happy to report that I had the youngest child at the entire event.  My own little world is so diverse, from dorm rooms to diapers…  I love my little family!img_3130Giving her a family hug.  She loves the affection!img_3138Ta Da her dorm room.
Her roommate is sweet and a great match.
** a little room decoration update, the lights had to come down over Thanksgiving break, per fire code**img_3151Saying good bye was tough for this little girl, she has slept with O and been a constant shadow for years.  She left O and did not break down into sobs until we pulled into our own driveway.
It was the response I expected just not the time line I expected.img_3170Saying good bye was not so easy for this little girl either.  She loves O so very much.  img_3176R was promised a 15 sec hug.  He took full advantage.  When it was over O said “he hugs so awkward.”  I showed her the picture and said “No honey YOU hug awkward…”img_3198Holding her back from leaving us.  J was very sad to see her leave.img_3162Kisses for O.img_3208The last picture together for a long time.  I cried most of the way home.  Who am I kidding I cried most of the way up too, and I cry often at home.

She is loving the University, some classes are difficult and others are so fun!  She is being stretched and is learning so much, we miss her we are so glad she is happy and healthy.

So while part of my heart is far away, the rest of my heart is happily close at hand.

GO hug your kids, and tell someone you love them time moves just too fast.
jen

p.s. I get to hug that girly in 9 days I can’t give her a big hug!  We will have her for almost a month, although she is a starving artist now so she will be working odd jobs to earn some money for school.

November is Thanks Giving. Posts of Thankfulness 1

In the past I have posted thankful things for the whole month of November.  I will again be posting the things I am thankful for.  I encourage you to write down something you are thankful for each day of this month.  Put it on here, put it on your calendar, put it on facebook.  Just write it down somewhere!  In this season of political unrest it is important to stop and think about all the things we have to be thankful for.

Nov 1
I am thankful for Keith’s Job. It makes him happy, he loves what he does, he comes home most of the time with a satisfied spirit, sometimes stressed but mostly not. He loves his coworkers, and his students. I am thankful that he can go to work and be happy, I know many out there who have or had terrible jobs. I am thankful for his job

Nov 2
I am thankful that Keith lets me be creative. I need to create, I need paint, and craft, and sew, and Keith is supportive, he listens, he helps fix things when I take on too big of a task (remodeling the bathroom was just too big) he sighs when I have an idea, he rolls his eyes when I come back from hobby lobby, BUT he knows how important it is for me, he encourages my ideas, and helps, and even tho when I get into a project the house falls to pieces, he lets me dream, plan and create. I am thankful that Keith is supportive of my creativity needs.

Nov 3
I am thankful for Keith, he is not perfect but he is perfect for me. He is my quiet, when I am loud, he is my steady, when i am slipping, he is my calm, when I am upset, he is my slow, when I am too fast, he is my confident, when I am undecided, he is my leader when I am lost. I am thankful for Keith.

What about you, can you find 3 things so far to be thankful for.
go hug your kids, time is too short to miss out on a hug from your children
jen

PB&J or Fancy Bento?

School is starting soon, I like to not think about it, but I realize I cannot stop it.  I also know some of my friends are starting their senior year for their child, I am sorry.

Since school is starting and the stores are all fresh crayon smelling, it inspires me to check out school ideas for my kids.  Mostly lunch ideas, so I have pinned about a million lunch ideas, most of the ideas seem to be the bento box ideas, healthy ideas, cute ideas, clever ideas variety.  You get the idea.  Lunch is important and a bit tricky, their lucky charms have worn off, they have PE and math coming up, they need something healthy, filling, and fast to hold them off until 3:30 when they raid the fridge.

I noticed a lot of hard-boiled eggs.  Do these clever people with their cute little lunches, not realize how smelly hard-boiled eggs are mid-day?  Have they never been in the lunch room and watched the poor child who had a broccoli garden in their lunch?  Do they REALLY think that the large rectangle container full of carrots will get eaten?  Will anyones child eat celery, cucumber, broccoli and an egg for lunch?  (and Yikes for that teacher the room is going to SMELL, and the kid is going to miss math class going to the bathroom)  How is that cute little bear face going to survive the trip in a lunch box shoved in a back pack along the bus ride, or carpool?  Have they not seen how the kids throw their backpacks?  That little cute bear face that was made with care, now looks like something from a child’s horror movie, not a cute little bear.

Or am I alone, am I the only one who if I made that, the containers would come back soggy and nasty?  I am positive that if I sent in a cute little box full of carrots, cucumber, celery and broccoli my kid would charge lunch and bring back a smelly lunch box.

I think for now we will stick to pb&j, I might mix it up a bit, I did see some ideas I will make, but for the love of my children I will not send in a container of raw broccoli, or a hard-boiled egg, I’ll stick to apple slices and bananas, I’ll stick to grapes and granola bars, I will try to get a little protein into them, I will not make a vegetable garden.

What does your kid eat in their lunch box?

Go hug your kids, school is starting, and they need the love from home as they go out in the wide world.
jen

College Shopping and Poop on the Floor

 I am trying with my whole being to embrace the lasts of everything with PS.  And daily I am reminded that time marches on.  We have been shopping for the new college kid…  We did IKEA 2x and no costumes, we went with her childhood bff and mom.  We laughed and we cried (okay the mom’s got teary) We tried out closets and organizers, we sat on chairs, and opened cupboards.  We were exhausted when we were done but it was fun!  It is always nice to have a shopping buddy  We have been to Bed Bath and Beyond 2x, add in Target, Home Goods, Ross, TJMaxx, Marshalls, and more Target.  Some times I feel shopped out, it is emotional shopping for me, I love to shop, but I hate the reason we are shopping.  I think we have almost everything on her list.  (At least I hope we do) Her plan is to not go to Target on check in day.  She remembers what a hot-mess it was when we all went to Target, to get C’s last-minute stuff for his University.  And the Target closest to her campus is also the Target closest to an extremely large university who is also having drop off day on the same day.  She decided that I can run up alone if we forget anything.  I will probably need the break from watching her set up her room.  From trying not to cry, not to be in the way, and not offer too much advice.   We just have to figure out how to pack the stuff for her, and her clothes, and the family and their clothing…  Good thing O is a packing janga queen.

Yesterday PS wanted a bath, again, for the 3rd time.  She was taking off her clothes, and easily pulled down her shorts, she tucked her shirt under her chin to get them off.  How did she know to do that, how did her mind tell her to put her shirt tucked under her chin to see better?  I don’t think I have in my adult life tucked my shirt under my chin, so where did she learn that? Who taught her to do that?

Little Tiny humans are amazing, I am so thankful that I have a house full to enjoy.  Now if I can just figure out where that little poop ball beside the toilet came from…

Go hug you kids, and be amazed at the things they know and things they can do!
jen

 

Frederick the Fish

We were discussing O and her fish Frederick, as she prepares for University.  She wanted him to come along, but was not sure the dorm rules regarding live non human things.  Today she informed me that “Mom Good News Frederick can come to the university with me!”  After a few minutes she informed us that her roommate M has a frog named Kermit, one of the other kids asked if Kermit was going to be living in the dorm, I replied I assumed it would be okay if he was kept in a tank, and little A piped up, “yeah you probably cannot bring a camel to college, they spit.”  Since we do not have a pet camel, it is safe to say we are not bringing it to college drop off day.

One day in the van E and little A asked when we were going to go to chick-fil-a for a meal.  I answered either Thursday or Friday for dinner.  They both picked a day, and then proceeded to talk to each other about which day was a better day.  Little A looked at E and said ‘who ever says it the most quiet saying the day, mom will pick’  So back and forth they whispered Thursday-Friday-Thursday-Friday…  Until they were almost silent.  After going back and forth little A told E that she was “too loud, mom won’t pick you.’  E answered back “mom will pick what ever she wants, she does not care what we are saying.”  That girly is correct.  I just smiled and kept driving.  (We went on Friday)

At dinner I informed Keith that the vacuum was no longer working, he prompted me to check the filter to see if it was plugged or not.  R piped up and said, “not to complain but our vacuum really sucks at sucking.”  We all bust out laughing.

What about you, did you take a fish or a camel to college when you went?  I had a plant.
go hug your kids, they need your love
jen

 

Why is THAT Picture on My Phone?

Today I was looking through my phone pictures for something, I’d love to tell you what I was looking for, but I was so distracted by the random pictures on my phone, I forgot all about the original search, I decided to share the random with you.  Kind of as a thank you for checking back with me while I did nothing, but everything these last few months.imageI think E made this, it is some sort of baby game on her aunts phone, but maybe the game is on my phone too?  I have no idea, but I don’t think I care enough to look for it or ask about it.imageWe live in the south, we see lizards every day, every. single. day.  They are fast and dart around, but every now and again, one is slow.  Someone shut the door while he was in the way.  Even better than a half squished dead lizard is that one of my children felt it necessary to document it. Not one picture but 5 pictures.  Lucky for you I only shared one picture.imageO saved every note she took in her classes, every report and every test.  After graduation she gifted us with everything.  R was lucky enough to be the gift receiver of some notes, he will appreciate the next 2 years.  Everything she gave me was dumped right into our recycling bin.  (There is another stack behind the notebook R is looking at, and another stack on a chair.)imageWe are trying to sell the pool pump, imageBecause, our pool sadly blew up, or blew out to be exact.  The metal was rusty, and  split, the top brace bar had rusted apart in 5 areas around the top of the pool.  When the side panel burst apart 5 more panels blew out. (Sad thing is, it looks nicer in the picture than it did in real life, it was nasty!!!)  The pump was only a year or two old.  I took the picture to put it on craigslist.  Does anyone out there need a new pump I can make you a great deal!imageSome days you just need to wear white satin gloves to school.imageSometimes you just have to Yolo.  I was afraid having high school siblings was making her grow up too fast.  I started to laugh “whaaaaaat?  I just wrote yellow.  You know mom the COLOR.”  *sigh* imageI got this for the college girl!  imageWe had to empty the dining room, Keith was doing the finish work on the windows he installed.  I know what a dusty mess woodworking can make we emptied the room to avoid some of the tedious clean up work.imageWhen your house is almost 100 years old and you replace the original windows with similar looking energy efficient windows, you have to do a little work to make it fit.  To look at it now you would not know that my windows looked like this after he put the new ones in.imageTraffic jam around one of our lakes.
When Mama Duck says lets go for a walk, we all stop for her walk.image“Look Momma, I got a worm in school today, his name is Harry” (Not even Kidding)imageI had a rental for a day.  It was so much fun, now I want a truck, but not a sissy truck, a TRUCK-truck!  I sent this picture to Keith to show him how cool I was.  I think sending the picture to tell him I was cool, kind of took away my coolness factor.  I don’t care, I had a TRUCK to drive.imageFor R’s art final they had to take a selfie, then paint it.  Faces are hard to paint, he found a way around it.  And really THIS is how we see him all summer long anyway.imageOn vacation C had showered and dressed before R ever saw him.  After they sat down did we all realize they were matching.imageNeither boy would change… So they stayed matching most of the day.imageOn our way home from vacation, my mom texted to ask where we were.
I had no idea so I sent her a picture.imageYes, that is ketchup on the wall above J’s head, right over my white chair…imageSomeone was supposed to be giving me directions to her bff’s house, instead she was taking selfies…imageThe last random picture on my phone is an author I just enjoyed her first two books in a mystery series, I was afraid I would forget her name so I took a quick picture at the library before I turned it in.  I did not yet check out the 3rd book because someone else has it…

What about you and your phone?  Is it full of surprising pictures?
Go hug your kids, time marches on and they need your love.
jen

P.s.imageBecause I noticed I left PS out, I added her in as my PS.

The eyes do not lie.

It is official, I am old, I can continue to claim that I am 36, but in reality my eyes do not lie.  I have 20/20 vision.  Except when reading.  Actually reading small print.  Or anything, I guess I should say,  school papers, mothers day cards, notes from the kids, my phone, price tags, or most importantly books… I can read street signs from 2 blocks away, I can read the cards at the zoo, but I cannot read a book.  Not easily, and not with enjoyment, now that my arms are not nearly long enough to hold a book and read.imageGlasses are a silly thing to be vain about.

I did not realize how tired my eyes were, until we were playing a game with friends, the dining room is dim, and the game cards were small, my arm was not long enough.  She gave me her readers.  Those silly readers were great!  A few days later I was at Target, struggling to read the exp date on my coupons, I picked up a pair of readers, the 1.0 level and I could see the date.  I bought those readers.  imageI cannot walk around in them, I cannot drive, they make me very dizzy to do anything but read, but who needs to walk around while they are reading.  Unless of course you are SPEED READER from the GREAT SPACE COASTER.
I am not.
I have more than four pair, I just keep buying them from the Dollar Store, but as fast as I buy them I lose them…  I mostly wear them on top of my head, until they fall off, this is how I look almost every day, Wearing them on top of my head also works like a headband, keeping the fly away hair off my face.

image(Don’t judge the selfie, bathroom lighting is the best!)

The eyes don’t lie, but at least I can read now.
go hug your kids, they need your love!
jen