The sound of four …

This morning I woke up in another hotel room. It's been too many to count this summer. I'm not complaining, it's been fun. But there is an unfamiliarity you must overcome each and every time you travel. You look for ways to make it feel like home. For me, it's in the little things.

When you travel with kids it can be challenging. When you travel with 4 kids, it's REALLY challenging. But I love it. I love doing anything with my kids. They make life fun. And they give a familiarity to these very unfamiliar places. As a mom I know their every sound. I can tell who-is-who in the dead of night just by the sound of their breathing and moving. It is the sound of my life for almost twenty years now.

This morning I woke up before everyone else, as usual. As I wandered around quietly from room to room, getting myself ready, I could hear my children sleeping. And while these sounds were familiar, I got a little sad. These sounds will change soon. Very soon. Two will be gone. They will be off to college and sleeping in their new rooms away from home. I know this. Heck, this is the whole purpose of this trip. But it hit me all at once … even the sound of our lives is changing. I took a minute to sit and listen. To take it all in so I can remember what it sounds like to have them all together with me. Again, as they get older, I know that moments like these will soon be a thing of the past. And that's OK. It's life how it should be. And I wouldn't want it any other way. I can't deny that it hurts. There is pain in this process, but for them, I'll endure it. And for one more morning, I'll just be thankful for what life sounds like now.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you hear the sweet sound of family!!!

I can’t imagine what it will be like …

Next Sunday I will wake up to two sleeping children. Not four. Sid will be in her new house and George will be settled into his dorm. It will be the beginning of a new chapter in our lives. I'm trying very hard to picture what this new chapter will look like. What it will sound like. And what it will feel like. But I just can't. I'm not sure if it's my heart or my head that can't fully grasp it all. But I can understand why I can't. It's just too big. It's all so emotionally charged. And it's unfamiliar. A life not yet experienced. A life unknown. I'm literally at a loss at what to expect. So, I guess I'll have to wait to see what it's like when I wake up next Sunday morning. BIG sigh.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you can't imagine what it will be like!!!

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!!!

Packing it all in …

We have a had great summer so far. It’s been very busy but incredibly fun. We still have a few more weeks before my crew goes back to school and last night we were trying to figure out what else we can still fit in before we run out of summer time. We already have quite a few things left on our calendar but I’m going to give it my best shot to squeeze even more in. Because let’s be honest, summer is the BEST! And making memories with the ones you love most is just straight up AWESOME!

Well, I hope you all have a day where you pack it all in!!!

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!!!

Thankful …

I woke up unusually early this morning and I think there was a reason. I got to sit alone in quiet hotel room just thinking about what a wonderful birthday I had yesterday. I don’t take a whole lot of peaceful down time for myself. So it’s nice when God reminds me to take it. Anyway, my crew and I adventured up and around the central California coast yesterday. It was a very last minute decision to go but I’m glad we did. It was a lot of fun! And there were so many people who reached out to me yesterday. I am humbled by all their kind words. I am truly blessed to have such good people in my life. Adventuring and feeling loved. Days don’t get much better than that.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you are thankful!!!