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’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!!!

It stung a little …

Today we officially began packing George up for college. It was a fun day but there was a certain pang of pain that didn't go unnoticed.

Well, I hope you all had a day that didn't sting a little!!!

K-Cups and some tears …

We all drink different coffees in the house, which is why I feel that the Keurig is just about the best invention ever made for a busy family of coffee drinkers. We use that thing of beauty ALL day long. So you could image that yesterday when I found K-cups on sale for $5.99 a box I got quite excited. I even found my son George’s favorite, Starbucks Italian Roast. We have actually had a hard time finding it lately so I bought three boxes, one for home and two to pack in his things for college. I did all this without really thinking about it. Until this morning. And the it hit me hard. REAL hard.

I woke up early this morning and decided to make a big breakfast for my family. As I was busy preparing things I decided to stop and stock our K-Cup holder. I started with George’s Italian Roast … and I began to cry. The box contained just enough K-Cups to get him through until the day he leaves for college. Oh, yeah. I cried.

It’s moments like these that I question my sanity. How can K-Cups reduce a grown woman to tears? Clearly this can’t be even remotely normal! I ultimately calmed my insanity worries by remembering that a mother’s love knows no boundaries. This love is THE REAL DEAL. We love over time. Across the miles. Through joy and laughter. And in sadness and tears. We LOVE a BIG love. It’s shocking when you first experience it too. I believe that prior to having children women can only fathom this love. They know it will be strong and forever. But HOLY MOLY, when that baby becomes your reality, you are CONSUMED with a love you have never known. Understatedly, it’s wonderful. And once you have experienced this MOM LOVE you wouldn’t know what to do without it … because that love seeps into EVERY aspect of your being. Even into your morning coffee.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you share a cup of coffee with someone who gave you the gift of love!!!

A wonderful Mother’s Day …

Having lost my mom over 23 years ago Mother’s Day has always been a bit of a struggle for me. Some years are worse than others. This year I seem to be doing pretty good with all of it. I’ve had a lot to overcome these past 7 months and I guess it just has me feeling straight up appreciative. Although her time here was cut far too short, I am blessed to have had such a wonderful mother. A relationship that has blessed me far beyond our physical time together. I also have beautiful healthy children whom I love immeasurably. I am here. I am healthy and I am able to enjoy this day with them. It is a gift. I feel this in my soul. And I simply couldn’t be more thankful.

Well, I hope you all have a wonderful Mother’s Day!!!

I cried my eyes out …

I booked the restaurant for George’s graduation party.

I bought decorations for George’s graduation party.

I bought a dress for George’s graduation ceremony and party.

I looked through dorm room supply catalogs.

BIG SIGH.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you don’t cry your eyes out!!!

An unexpected gift …

Last night we celebrated the life of a dear friend and sorority sister. It was an absolutely beautiful memorial service. She blessed the lives of so many. And she will be truly missed.

A few days ago my sorority sisters and I decided to go to dinner after the memorial service. We wanted extra time together to remember our sister, reminisce and reconnect. And that, we did. It was a such a special night.

Although I remain broken-hearted at the loss of my friend, I couldn’t help but look around the banquet room last night and say to her “you did this”. There were women there whom I haven’t seen or heard from in decades. Women who really mattered to me. Women who I loved. It was an incredible feeling being in their presence again.

My friend’s passing has been a great tragedy, but last night I was reminded that death is not the end of a relationship. It simply changes it to move beyond that which is worldly … and it’s beautiful. My friend may not have been with us physically last night but through her influence and inspiration she still managed to give her sorority sisters something precious. Togetherness.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you receive an unexpected gift!!!