Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Things are Changin'

 I know I've been playing catch up lately and slowly making my way through the beginning of this year. But I think it's time I pause the catch up and be in the moment for a while. There is so much happening with the kids starting school and getting ready to send Dominic up to Seattle that I really want to write about it as it's happening, not several months from now. I need to make sense of all the emotions I'm feeling...how one minute I'm excited, the next...frustrated, and two seconds later I'm in tears with sadness that he's moving away.

Several months ago Dominic was invited to give a sermon in the main service at church. He gladly accepted and had lots of time to prepare. He's been in several leadership rolls over the last few years in youth group and has really become involved with the leaders of the church over the past year. He also has spoken in the youth service at least a couple times. Dominic has always loved being on stage and ever since coming to this church, his love for Christ and studying the Bible has grown tremendously.

When he first spoke of the invitation, sure I knew it was special, but it wasn't till the day of, that it really sunk in. I was so nervous! He was calm and so ready to do this.
P.S. If you'd like to listen to it here's the link (25 minutes long)...
When he stood in front of the congregation that Sunday morning this mom could keep her composure no more. Tears streamed down my face (like in the ugly mascara running down my cheeks kind of way!) Sure I was proud beyond words. But somehow as I watched this man speaking up on that stage, there came a realization that it is time. Time to start letting go. We have done all we can to raise him to know the Lord and to prepare him for the next journey of his life. This is his time. Time to shine on his "own." Sure, we'll continue to be there, to guide him and give advice. And I fully recognize that he'll be back. In and out of our home as necessary over the upcoming years.
But here he was, in front of so many who have helped us along the way, those who were supportive advisers to him when he wouldn't, or couldn't come to us. There he was teaching all of them. And us!
And I only pray that as he ventures off to Seattle he will teach more; that he'll continue to be a light and an example of love. That he'll continue to recognize the appropriate times in which he is being called to be a follower and then other times, a leader.

He is ready. SO ready for this next step! He has worked so hard for this and it's really exciting to see his hard work paying off. And I'm ready too, truth be told. 
But then there's this lump that forms in my throat every time there's a "last." 
Like his last day of high school.
Or his last day at work.
It's hard to believe he's been at Krispie Kreme for 2 YEARS!
That lump in my throat gets bigger every time I walk into his room and see that more things have been packed away and everything is gone from his bedroom walls. 
 And then that lump turns to tears as I see the kids writing notes to each other on their bathroom mirror.
But this is it right?!
This is what we spend 18 years preparing for! This is why we push and challenge and support them from the very moment we lay our eyes on those tiny fingers and toes.
Dominic, we are so proud of you. Beyond words!
It has been a joy and an honor to be your mom.
I cannot wait to see how God works in your life over the upcoming years.
You are an amazing young man and everywhere you go God shines His love through you.
What more could a mom ask for?!
I love you "more than words can say."
Now, you ready?!

Friday, September 19, 2014

3rd and Pre-K!

This year all 3 of the kids are starting school at different times, which has been quite nice, allowing for some adjustment in between each 1st day.
Connor started 3rd Grade August 25. 
He has Mrs. McCabe for a teacher this year and we knew nothing about her until Connor peaked through the blinds of the classroom to see a Buster Posey bobblehead sitting on the shelf.
That was enough for Connor to decide that she was the BEST TEACHER EVER!
When I heard that the district awarded her with the "Teacher of the Year" award last year, that was enough for me to be convinced.
P.S. I kind of like it when we don't know anything about a teacher ahead of time. No preconceived ideas and we get to decide on our own how good, or not-so-good she is.
My ginormous little man...long socks and all!

The second we stepped in the classroom I was reminded how young he still is.
There's even a rocking chair in the room. LOVE IT!

I about came out of my skin when I saw his name tag! 
This is the year they learn cursive!
(I still remember how excited I was to learn how to write "pretty.")
So glad they still teach it:)

Then there's My Emmers!
September 7 was her first day of Pre-K. 3 days a week this year! The same 3 days that I'm at work so we can still have our Tuesday's and Thursday's together another year.
She was so excited!

The poor girl ate it at the park the day before and scratched up her face pretty well.
She was a little concerned people would notice. Seriously?!
Look how tall she is next to her best friend, Charlotte!
P.S. I think Heidi and I would look exactly like this if we had a picture together at this age! Lol!
SO CUTE! I absolutely love these two!
And...she found her cubby!
It was so strange to not have Dominic starting school too. He's started the same day as Connor for several years now and it definitely was weird!
He will start September 29. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Vegas Baby!!

These days it's a rare opportunity to get together with girlfriends.
Life is so busy and work, families, etc... become a priority.
So when the opportunity for us all to take a girl trip to Vegas came along...
well...this is what happens...

Lots of selfies! 

Lots of laughs.
Britney Spears.

Crazy sights. Only in Vegas!
Amazing restaurants!
The absolute BEST part though is getting to spend time with amazing women, some of which live close, and some very far away!
(So sad I didn't get more pics.)