So we moved our boy in his dorms a few days ago, and funny thing... I continue to breath in and out. I wasn't sure if it would be possible.
Here we are, the whole crew helping him move in.
I will pretend that I am not hurt by the look of sheer joy on his face as he uses his own key to open the door to his freedom room for the first time.
What a good sport to let us all come in and crash his new digs!
We had to do a power shop once we hit campus. This here is my boys multi purpose cleaning supply. Not my problem anymore if he decides to forgo laundry day for a few sprays... :)
These two are going to miss each other something fierce!
The have a wall on campus dubbed the free expression wall... where tasteful graffitti is allowed... I would LOVE to do a family photo shoot here, my kinda Christmas card background. So stinkin' cool.
This is the corridor where most of my boys classes will be held. Majoring in Political Science, Minoring in Chinese. The world is at his fingertips and I can feel the excitement.
This is where you can tell that they are all starting to get annoyed at me taking pictures :)
Such a cool campus.
Mr. Summer Flat Stanley has gotten around this summer!!! We have hundreds of fun pics of him with all our little adventures. Here he is saying goodbye to Collin. (he still has beach sand in his hair)
And you may not be able to tell by this picture, but just before we left we had breakfast together and then we loaded up the car and started to drive off. I had to watch my boy walk away and I felt the air suck outta my lungs.
Such a crazy feeling, letting go. Such a depressing ride, driving home. Made me question motherhood the whole trip home, it wasn't pretty. But, I survived.
I L.O.V.E. spending a week at the beach in the summer. I wonder if I would get sick of it if I was eternally on vacation at the shore with the family. We all have so much fun, we are all in our glory...well, except for Finn. If she could have chosen her family to fit her personality she would have been an only child living in a NY city loft. Her parents would push her on the city streets in a stroller, she would never touch a blade of grass or perspire, she would spend hours in her front of the TV with a never ending snack bowl. The rest of our crew would surely wither away if we were stuck indoors. Soon she will have to suck it up and join the rest of us, but we are still letting her play the baby card and she got to spend a week in luxury at camp grandma, running errands, watching Dora, and getting showered with undivided attention. I'm choosing to not feel like a guilty mom for ditching a kid for our family vacation and calling it a win/win. But here's photos of our fun family vacation minus Finn :)
My girl in all her glory. She could play right here all day, every day.
Our favorite beach sandwich..fresh thick mozzarella, tomato and basil...
The kids favorite must have beach drink yoo-hoo aka "Boo-hoo".
Ty's hair is getting a little bit out of control. I love his hair, and I don't have the heart to cut it.. I wish I could just transplant it to my head. It can get so shiny you can nearly see your reflection in it.
We have a sand castle contest rivalry each year.. It all started with this book, it was Jack's favorite a few years ago. The premise is of course a sand castle contest but the clincher is the winner gets a "bathtub full of ice cream" . So we divide up into teams, talk a little smack, and have fun. Here is this years results: Mommy, Ty & Mina:
Papa and Jack
Collin and Kobi
Collin and Kobi ended up winning... even though you can't see it, they have tunnels with live fish swimming around...that sealed the deal.
Usually we have a big boat/bathtub to keep with the story for our ice cream reward but this year we had to only pack the necessities as we had to load down the minivan with all of our beach gear, all of Collin's college stuff, and 7 people so we left the bathtub home and just mixed up these bad boys. The winners always share their prize with the rest of the fam...
The indulgence looks like this...
When we talk about our beach trip during the year.. the first things the kids ask..."Are we going to have our sandcastle contest???"
I had this visual this year of us in about 15 years, renting a big house, inviting all the kids, the spouses and families, they each go head to head in a mega sandcastle contest, and I make a ton of these obnoxious concoctions.
I doubt a year will go by in our family history that we don't relive this tradition. It's a keeper.
Ty lost his other top tooth and then dropped it in the water. I picked up at least 100 tiny white shells before I found his tooth. I was determined! When I lost my first tooth I dropped it in a gravel driveway never to be found again and of course, was scarred for life. So I was on a mission to find Ty's tooth in the waves!
I am so thankful to everyone who took the time to read my last post. I am overwhelmed with the sweet comments and emails from all of you. Really you have no idea. I realize once again that even though we come across people who like to share their "brilliant" opinions and crush you to pieces in mere moments. Those people are fews and far between. I hate how I can give their words more power by holding onto them. The words you all showered me with in the last few days, those are the words to hold onto. Its thankfully, all a choice. Why does it take so long for me to figure out the simple things sometimes ! Right now we are at the beach so I am basking in thankfulness. I'm even thankful that I have to type this up on my phone since I don't have wifi service:). Can you spot all the things I am thankful for in this one grainy photo ???
1. ALL My kids having fun (except Finn, because we have yet to make Finn an outside kinda girl and the beach is her least favorite place. She is At her grandparents house for the week and we are all happier because of it. ) 2. If you can tell my sweet hubby is out in the ocean 'cause he likes playing in the water as much as the kids do. 3. AND because my hubby is such a kid at heart it let's me let off the hook to sit and enjoy. 4. While we were in walm@rt last night picking out some much need beach snack food I had about 30 seconds to pick out a new beach read and I scored. I picked a good one. Don't you love a good book? 5. My plastic green cup with my favorite beach cocktail. 6. My chair is "for the moment" positioned in the perfect sand/tide ratio. 7. Perfect blue skies and sunshine abound
I will probably have a panic attack after hitting publish on this post. I usually keep my personal life pretty close to my heart. I know I am laying myself out raw here and opening myself up to so much judgement...not like I don't get it anyway :) Believe me I get it daily...18 years later I thought it would have ended a long time ago, but it hasn't. Every time I tell someone I have a teenager their head spins and they end up asking me how old I am and then I can tell they are doing the math and passing judgement.... I wish it didn't hurt, but it does. I get so ticked when I feel judged because I feel like someone is trying to cheapen the love I have for my firstborn, which is sorely incorrect. I was young when I had Collin. I immediately wrapped my whole life up in this child. He was my everything. He raised me as much as I raised him. We went through some really rough times, him and I. We were alone for several years just getting by but having so much fun together. I worked my tail off working two jobs and he was the center of my universe. Because of these times I think we have always had a very special relationship even now. I am feeling big emotions this week as we just finished packing up his room and loading up the mini-van to take him off to college. It's a big deal for all parents, but I fell like a huge piece of who I am is moving on.
I am going to have to be an adult without him in my daily life, something I have never known. I don't know why I'm sharing this heavy burden with you all. I usually keep it to myself and try to guard it with all of my heart. But I just feel like letting it go.. and putting it all out there.. Here is the photo that just wrecks me. A true full circle moment.
This is Collin and I, the day I graduated high school.
And this is Collin and I, the day he graduated High school weeks ago.
I wish I could go back to the scared to death little girl in that first picture and tell her how everything was going to turn out. That this boy was going to be such a strong compassionate man. That things are going to be tough, really tough, but don't let it get you down, because when it comes to the things that really matter in this life...you will be richly blessed. I wish I could go back and save her the pain, but I know for sure that I appreciate the fact that I have a wonderful husband that loves his family with his whole heart. I think the pain of being alone and scared gave me a heart for the orphan. I am so thankful that I didn't miss out on that lesson. So maybe the pain was for a bigger and better purpose. I know for sure that I have never once had regret. This boy has made every moment worth it! I am who I am, because of him and I am so blessed.
Here is a short video I made for him and we watched it together last night.. we both cried
We are off to the beach in the morning and then we will be headed straight for NC State to drop him off at the dorms. I'm heavy hearted for sure.
We went school supply shopping a few days ago and there are few things more irresistible than a new box of 96 count crayol@s. We couldn't resist. But since we had a whole bunch of gnarly crayons circa 2009, we decided it was time to dive into this super easy project. Unwrapping the old nubby crayons kept them busy for a bit.
Then we filled up little silicone cupcake "tins", and popped 'em in a 200 degree oven for 10 minutes.
Now they have these super cool multi color crayons and they love them.
While that was going down Cinderella and I made our favorite banana bread.
Wanna know how to always spot a favorite recipe? Page through a cookbook until you find a page that looks as skeevy as this one. That way you know it's a keeper.
Seriously this is the best recipe. Its from an old Kansas farmers cookbook. I had every intent to take a photo of the prepared banana bread, but it was inhaled in moments. I have yet to make this and have even one slice left over to have with my coffee the next morning. It's good stuff, I would even say it's the Tastiest-ever :)
So did anyone miss me?? The truth is that it's been cuh-razy round here and by the time I get any down time the last thing I want to do is worry about keeping up the ol' blog. Especially since we don't have much more than the common summer snapshots going on. We are having fun and summer is moving at warp speed. My camera is broken and I haven't even had time to care.. so all my photos these days are right from my phone. Pathetic. But I'm going to be better, really I am. Here are a few pics of the last few weeks.
On lazy days, I am always amazed at how much fun a group of kids can have with a hose and some buckets. Seriously hours have been spent filling and splashing. I don't see the appeal but I'm not arguing.
Kobi & Jack did another triathlon and had a blast. I am hoping more kid triathlons pop up because I think I have as much fun as they do. Next year 4 of them will be able to participate!
at the transition area
they are all so proud of each other
Run baby run
Mina and Ty went to Panda VBS, while Kobi and Jack spent a week in Nebraska with their cousins. I'll have to get some pics of that.. Kobi showed cows and lambs at the County Fair and won first place in a cookie bake-off. Her prize was a blue ribbon and check for $1.75. How sweet is that. She is so proud of that check! Great fun.
Ty's teeth are dropping like flies :) His language is getting so much better so quickly. He still has a hard time pronouncing a few sounds but the things he comes up with.. kid is quite the jokester. We can really see more of his personality coming out now. He's starting kindergarten in a few weeks!!! He is excited to finally be going to school with the "big kids" and he will be moving out of his own room to bunk in with Jack, which he is thrilled about. He hates having his own room, but he is just starting to mellow out a bit. He was running on Christmas morning excitement for so long that he had a hard time relaxing when anyone else was in the room with him. My famous mommy words to him... "Ty, Relax" or "Ty, Chill it" must be said 20 times a day.
And for the shocker of the summer. Since we have the coolest Grandpa and Grandma (a.k.a. Abui) They, on a whim, just bough a horse farm a few minutes away from us.. so I see horses in our near future. We know nothing about horses but figure that will change. Any advice about how to find a horse suitable for a bunch of little kids (and parents) with no experience but willing to learn, would be much appreciated.
The owner is of course taking these beautiful horses with her. This is gonna be fun :)