Learn By Doing

I actually starting writing about our trip on the drive home. I’m not entirely sure why I didn’t finish, but it is what it is. I know a lot of it has to do with feeling like I’m a broken record. I just imagine what everyone must think every time graduation and college comes up. It sounds a lot like “shut up already” I’m sure.

Eh. Again…it is what it is.

But this trip to SLO.

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Most of you have heard me mention how good this trip was. Visiting the campus, the community…seeing my kid make some new friends and experiencing new things with other (new) students with the same focus and major. Getting a better idea of where she’ll be living for the next few years. Exploring. She stayed one night in the dorms for a special open house event.

While she did that, The Dude and I explored the surrounding area. Only 15 minutes to the beach and Pismo. Wineries close by for when we visit.

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The Farmer’s Market. Really seeing how good this will all be for her and how much fun she’s going to have.

It was everything I needed Open House to be.

Gawd, she’s going to have the best time.

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I have no effing clue how I’m ever going to say goodbye to that kid in the fall. But getting just a taste of the amazing campus and community life and her immediately loving it helps so damn much.

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Cal Poly won’t ever be the same after she comes to town. How could it?

She leaves an indelible mark wherever she goes.

In the best possible way.

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Jar of Dirt



There’s a tradition for graduating seniors at the end of the season: jars are filled with the dirt or grass (or both) from the spot on the field where they played. So this is the dirt from the spot between second base and third base where my kid played shortstop for the past four years. Varsity all four years, team captain, All League…all of this, and more, while completing a full IB diploma, managing a student team in a nationally recognized environmental creek project and maintaining a 4.4 GPA…that’s some damn meaningful dirt in a mason jar. 

I didn’t cry during senior night or prom but hand my kid a jar of dirt (and say a bunch of nice things about how rad she is) during the end of season party tonight and I can no longer make such bold statements. Turns out there IS crying in baseball. I mean softball. (I’m so proud of you, kiddo. <3)





Stocking Up on Windex

Last night I realized that this is me:



My kid, her friends. I adore them. ADORE THEM. And they are all set to leave for college in the fall. Leave ME. 

Because it’s all about me, you guys. 

I mean, it’s not. But it is? 

I don’t know but imagining myself as an old Greek dude putting Windex in everything makes me laugh. A lot. 

Good ‘ol Easter

We had a really nice Easter weekend. We spent some time up at my Gram’s house on Saturday with some of my favorite people. And then spent all day today with some more of my favorite people. Yummy food stuffs and way too much candy. Reminiscing and laughter and fun stories. 

(I mostly have pictures from today. Don’t hate me.)





It’s also worth noting that we played a tiny game of war with a tiny deck of cards. Shuffling those bad boys was ridiculous. 



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For the past few years, Beezus has instigated a tradition on her favorite holiday: a picture with me. 



I didn’t realize how much these mean to me until today. 

Ramona hasn’t particularly loved having her picture taken over the years but I’m hoping we can start a similar tradition because I absolutely love these pictures with Beezus and I want to have a similar collection with Ramona. As these years SPEED BY, it’s amazing to look back. 

This week marks one of those “last times we’ll do this” kind of event and I realized today that I’m a little anxious about all of it. Less than two months until graduation. 

Once again, I apologize for how obnoxious I will surely be. I promise to make it up to you. Somehow. 

No Foolin

We just got home from a chaotic whirlwind trip to San Francisco and another round of senior portraits. Because when your fairy godmother is Sarah, you plan epic 2-part senior portrait sessions. I mean, of course.

I am wind blown and exhausted but completely in love with today.

We drove by and walked around places I don’t normally because I’m usually rushing off to something or some place. Today? Today we were super touristy. And I loved it.

Remind me to tell you how much I loved the new Ben & Jerry’s flavor: The Tonight Dough. LIFE. CHANGING.

But mostly today I got to enjoy some of my favorite people wandering around some of my favorite places.

It was breathtakingly gorgeous. All of it.

I’m so grateful for these people and for these moments and the beauty of all of it.

Just…just someone please remind me of all of it when I’m falling asleep at my desk tomorrow and I’m wondering how I’m going to get everything done.

(It will all get done. But there will be much wondering.)

Back in Time

I promised myself that I would get to go to more softball games this year. Afternoon games are hard when you have to leave work SUPER early but this year is important. It’s always important. But you know what I mean.

Today, I got to see my kid play AND somehow I was roped into keeping the scorebook. I haven’t done that in a million years. You can tell by all the mistakes I made. Ha.

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The games were at my old high school and I’d be lying if I said that it wasn’t a strange walk down memory lane. I mean…that’s where I met my husband. The guy I was standing next to tonight keeping track of runs and strikes and outs – watching our kid play one of her first games of her senior year.

Time is weird, you guys. My kid is the same age I was when I met The Dude. Watching her play softball where we met is just funny.

It was strange and awesome and completely perfect timing.

I’m glad I left work early.

 

Unexpected Gut Punches

“Life is a balance of holding on and letting go.” ~ Rumi

We were just on the phone with my uncle to plan a camping trip for the summer. We chatted about the college process, catching him up with the latest news and updates. We still don’t know very much (man, they make you wait) but we told him what we did know. He talked about his experience with his kids. It’s so different now, but was still quite the ordeal back then.

When his youngest, my cousin and his only daughter, was making big college decisions, he wrote her poem. How he has it handy, I don’t know but he read it to The Dude and I over the phone tonight.

It gutted me. He finished reading it and I had to walk out of the room.

I hate talking about this without being able to share the poem, but it’s not mine to share.

During a phone call to plan camping trips, I wasn’t expecting to be completely ruined by a poem. It came out of nowhere and punched me in all of the feels.

You guys.

I keep thinking that I’m doing better with all of this. I actually have excited and happy thoughts about her college experience and decisions. I’m fine! All is well! Until I go to a basketball game on senior night and realize that I’ll have to go to my own senior’s night in a few months for softball. Or my uncle reading a poem about kids leaving home and I’m completely and totally destroyed. I don’t want to be an annoying person who can’t move past things. I expect eye-rolling and “holy crap get over yourself” and don’t worry, I’m totally saying those things to myself, too.

But every once in awhile, the punches to the gut knock the wind out of me.

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I’ll be back to normal tomorrow. But if you don’t mind, I’m going to take a break from poetry for awhile.

I was reminiscing just the other day

My kids got Taylor Swift concert tickets for Christmas. It was all they asked for what they really, really, really wanted and swore they didn’t need anything much else. And for reasons I can’t completely explain, there are also two tickets for The Dude and I.

Don’t hate me, but I’m kinda excited.

The past couple of times ‘ol Swifty has been in town, we weren’t able to get tickets. Heaven knows we tried. But there’s a fine balance of wanting to do something for your kids and being able to afford your mortgage payment because the only tickets left by the time you actually get through cost nine million dollars. Being a grown-up is so lame, you guys.

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With this particular album, we made sure we were on some sort of notification email list-thing that would give us behind the scenes info and the code for presale. (Super technical terms meaning that teenager of mine told us when all the things were happening.) Even knowing all this, getting enough tickets was quite the ordeal. Let’s just say that the two separate ticket buying experiences (there are friends going with us and you could only buy a certain amount of tickets per household) left us all with heart palpitations and PTSD. It also leaves The Dude and I sitting by ourselves (with thousands of other people) so the girls can all sit together and I find this perfectly hilarious.

Timing is a funny thing, though. We’ve been TSwizzle fans for years and years. Yes, I said we. Some of my favorite memories with my girls have been singing TS songs over and over on repeat because they’re the quintessential growing up songs and super fun to sing at the top of your lungs. Even for an alleged grown-up. And this huge concert event in August comes right at a time these girls, and their parents, might need it the most. Because just a couple short weeks later, a few of these girls will be heading off to college where the soundtrack to this next chapter in their life might sound a bit different.

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So maybe the title using Taylor Swift song lyrics on yesterday’s post makes the lump in my throat grow into a huge bolder every time I read it. Because obstacles and mountains and expectations and goals and dreams and surviving and hoping that everything will be okay and then getting to a point where we’re more than okay. But also because these girls are the epitome of all the Taylor Swift albums, as silly and cliche as it sounds. They’re young and hopeful and scared and excited. These girls, man. They’re crashing through walls, moving mountains, making magic, fighting dragons and having the time of their lives. And all of this just…fits somehow and the timing is perfect.

Long live all the mountains we moved

The first college acceptance came in today. It’s not her first choice, but as she’s reading the letter she said, “I’m actually going to college, you guys!”

She was worried.

Me? Not so much. I knew. But I understand what she means.

I also understand what it means to ME.

She got in to college, you guys. How the hell are we here already?!!

How?

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The long and winding road

I mean, I can do math. But it’s hard to believe I’ve worked for the same company for this many years. I was 19 when I started. My baby was just a couple months old. I had been married for only a few weeks. 1997 was a really busy year for this jerk. Time is freaking flying. Blah, blah, blah.

I think I’ve earned this long weekend.

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