Summer’s end and a change of pace …

It's our last Sunday of summer break. Sid and George are at college. Libs and Reese return to school on Tuesday. This summer has been a DOOZEY. Emotional and exciting don't even come close to describing it. The summer of 2017 will go down as one of my all time favorites.

I never want summer to end but there is something about the routine that comes with the start of a new school year that grounds me. Summer months tend to feel (and be) more spontaneous and frivolous. But the Fall, winter and Spring months have a coziness to them. Our days are filled with the orderliness of schedules, sports and school, and by the end of August I'm usually ready for it. Fall and winter around this house are filled with magic and traditions that I have come to love. This year we even have some different things planned as well. I'm looking forward to both the familiar back-to-school regimen and the new life we will carve out for ourselves. Our family dynamics are not the same with two of my four children out of the house now. Life will undoubtedly be different, but I know it will be good for all of us.

So am I ready to say "goodbye" to these incredible days of summer? Yes. I believe I am. I will tuck their memories away in my heart. And I will be grateful for each and every moment that I got to spend with the people I love most in this world. God blessed me with another summer … and I truly can't be more thankful.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you are ready for a change of pace!!!

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Feeling very special …

My kids are honestly incredible people. Yesterday was another busy day for us. With two kids moving out this week and trying to coordinate travel plans and accommodations for everyone it's been NUTS. Every time I felt like I could set a sold plan in place someone had a problem or something didn't work. Ugh. Then I had all the finalizing of paperwork. When you have four kids, trust me, there will always be one more form to complete and an email to write. ALWAYS. Especially right before school starts. Again, ugh. I got a lot done yesterday and I was a little frazzled, to say the least. But last night, these kids of mine, made my entire day better. Heck, they made it great!

I was about to make dinner when they told me that they wanted me to stop and go get ready because George was going to take me out to dinner and a movie. They had planned it all out together. Libs and Sid were going to watch Reese and I was going to have a nice night out with my son before he leaves for college. WOW! I was honestly so taken back I could hardly speak. It was one of those silent shocked moments. Never did I expect them to do something like that for me. In the midst of all our craziness, life changes and moving boxes, my kids made sure that they thought of me. I know they see how much I struggle sometimes. My burdens. My pain. And they definitely know how emotional I've been lately. But as a mom, I never think about those things. I just do what has to be done (and probably go a little overboard) to make sure their lives go smoothly and that their needs are taken care of. It's just a natural mom function. Like blinking, but with your heart. Last night my kids took care of me and gave me a night to relax and enjoy myself. It was so kind. And I can't think of a moment that it was more needed. And appreciated. I know I say it a lot, but I really do have the greatest kids in the world.

Well, I hope you all have a day where the people you love most make you feel very special!!!

I’m going to miss this (boxes and bags included) …

Our house is a disaster. Moving Sid and George out of the house on the same day is just NUTS. But it is the only way it all makes sense logistically and with the time frames we have been given. So, we have two people who are cleaning out their rooms and closets. They are also, at the same time, boxing up things that they will take with them, things they will leave here and things they will donate. Then you have me who keeps buying things to make sure they have exactly what they need to actually move out. We also Libs who is getting ready to start her sophomore year of high school and a busy tennis season. And we have an excited Reese who is eager to "help" with everything. Oh! And let's not forget the online orders that are starting to arrive. You know, the stuff I thought should be ordered for school for the younger girls to save time as summer draws to an end. Yep, this house is an explosion of boxes and bags. And you know what?

I love it.

I look around and I see FAMILY and LIFE and LOVE. I see ADVENTURE and NEW BEGINNINGS. It's what's happening NOW to and for my most favorite people in the world. It is a snapshot in our lives. A time that will pass quickly but will have lasting memories. This is US. And our US is on the verge of another major change. It excites my soul and breaks my heart all at once. I want to keep my children little and safe and with me. But I also want them to grow and experience life and learn every lesson they can even if that takes them away from me.

I will always look back at this time in our lives as truly special. An unexpected gift from God. When Sid moved out I wasn't sure if we would ever get this much time together again. I accepted that. But when I got sick last Fall it's all that I could think of. US. Together again. These past few months with everyone home has been exactly what I had hoped for … and needed. To see it all change again is hard. But I refuse to be greedy. I got my heart's desire. Now it's time for these amazing young souls, that I had the privilege to raise, to venture out into the world. I can't wait to see what is in store for them. For me. For us.

Thursday is coming quickly. The day all this change goes into motion. I'm ready. More importantly, THEY are ready. I am consumed with every mom emotion I have ever felt. I am blessed to feel so much and experience this unusual balance between loss and gain again. Life will take on a new shape for us. I know this and it's OK. Our time together will be altered by distance, schedules, and responsibilities. But we will figure it all out. Love just does. A new normal will soon set in and this transition will become another notch on our family belt. The hardness of this will all fade away. But for now, I will just cherish every last familiar messy moment we get spend together. Boxes and bags included.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you're going to miss this!!!

Spinning …

We have had a busy summer. It's been fun but we have been on the go since George's graduation day in June. It's honestly been a whirlwind. The past few days we have had at home we spent catching up on life. And by life I mean laundry, HA! Well, that was part of it anyway. But we also had even more running around to do. Ugh. Next week Sid is moving into her new house and George will be moving into his dorm. So we had lots of shopping and packing that needed to be done this week. Not to mention Libs and Reese! Luckily they have a few more weeks of summer left so I still have some time to get their back-to-school things in order. Thank. God.

Last night George and I finished the last of our errands to get him ready for college. I felt so relieved! So relieved that I think my body shut down when I went to sleep last night. I woke up in the same position I fell asleep in. Ouch. And I was rudely reminded by my body that I drank no water yesterday. How is that even possible?!?! Busy anxious mom-ness is how that is possible! Needless to say I was so dizzy when I woke up that I could hardly walk. I guess my body has had quite enough of this summer schedule and has decided it's time for me to rest. OK, fine … I'll reluctantly listen.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you aren't spinning!!!

The sweet sound of family …

I love Sunday mornings. I usually wake up before everyone else like usual but I’m not rushing to do anything or to go anywhere. I enjoy the silence of the house. And even more, the sounds of everyone eventually waking and coming to find me. I have grown to love this routine. When we travel it is somehow even better. There is even more calm and silence before they wake. There is no rushing at all. I relax. Drink my coffee. Write. There is also an excitement looming regarding whatever adventure we have planned for that day. Then, I wait and listen to hear them wake. It’s different when we travel. With a family as large as mine we usually require a suite or at least two rooms to accommodate all of us. Even with the space, the sounds of our Sunday are different. The closer proximity allows me to hear their breathing and movement that often reminds me of when my crew were babies. They are definitely not babies anymore. Sid and George are adults now. In September Libs will be turn 15 and Reese, 8. Sometimes I can’t believe how much time has passed since I first became a mom. It’s honestly mind-boggling. I have been blessed to be home with all of them since day one. I can honestly say that I haven’t missed much of their childhoods. I love when they tell me that too. They appreciate it just as much as I do. I know that because I haven’t missed much that it makes it much harder for me to let go. To have had the privilege of raising them and watch them grow up is the greatest gift God has ever given me. I love them so much. With all the change that is coming, George off to college for the first time and Sid returning to hers, I seem to cherish every moment I share with them collectively even more. They really are my world. And no matter how far away life and their dreams may take them, they will always be my babies. So, it may seem silly to some that I’ve grown to love the sounds of our lazy Sunday mornings, but for this mama, these sounds mean family.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you listen to the sweet sounds of your family!!!

Making our life easier …

With Sid and George off to college in just a few short weeks, I’ve had a lot to think about. Some of it makes me sad. Some of it makes me happy. Some of it makes me wonder about how the dynamics of our house will change minus two adults. Libs and I have even been trying to imagine meals and how those will look with them gone. On top of our busy Fall school schedule ahead this should be interesting. We have had busy schedules before but cooking for so few people will just be weird. So weird that we are looking into changing things up. A lot! This afternoon Libs and I were researching healthy meal delivery programs that manage all the portions and ingredients for you. All you do is cook them when they arrive to your home. I look at it like a personal challenge to keep healthy meals flowing in this house despite our hectic schedules, HA! Needless to say this sounds like a HUGE help in that department. This service also seems like it would be a time saver and not just at meal time but also in shopping time too. I am all over THAT!

Well, I hope you all have a day where you make your life easier!!!