I’ve been writing this post for four days…and 17 years

I don’t think I was expecting to celebrate the morning of my 17th wedding anniversary finalizing (and scrutinizing) my kid’s Stanford early action application. We had gone over it several times. But somehow, the thought of hitting the ‘submit’ button made all of us want to triple and quadruple check everything. Every essay, every question. Was everything the way it needed to be?

You can drive yourself crazy wondering if you did everything right. I mean, the Stanford version of right.

stanford

But then…it’s done. It’s sent. We are so freaking proud of that kid. And no matter what, we know that she will end up EXACTLY where she is meant to be. Stanford or not.
***

I find it completely strange and wonderful and extremely fitting that the very first college application was filed on our anniversary. It wasn’t burdensome. It felt completely normal…like, this is what we do! A few hours later, after the kids shuffled off to their various locations, The Dude and I sat down at the bar waiting for our table. As we watched the bartender make our drinks, and we were finally settling down from the day’s events we kinda looked at each other and I said,

“Our kid just applied to…Stanford. How the hell did THAT happen???!”

We both shook our heads and my husband ordered us both scallop shooters. Of course.

photo 2

***

Before college applications, before the sun was even up, I got up and got dressed in my running clothes. My husband was still sound asleep when I whispered that I was leaving. He grabbed my hand to pull me back for a hug, whispered “Happy Anniversary” and promptly fell back asleep. After all this time, me leaving when it’s still dark out, even on our anniversary, to go on a run with Sarah is completely normal.

photo 1

That’s one of my favorite things about us. Our life is insane and full of chaos…but some of the most “normal” things make everything else fit right in. Like there’s room for everyone and everything has a place. Even if that place is tucked into a cupboard or on the very tip-top of a shelf, we’ll find a place for it all. All the chaos. All the people we love. Even all the things we need to do. We’ll get to it. We always seem to.

Photo by the oldest child in Huntington Beach
Photo by the oldest child in Huntington Beach

Going with the flow without getting swept up in the current is a big part of who are and how we live. But (really) hard work and epic stubbornness is how we’ve been able to float along together for 17 years.

The Mama and the Girls Photo by Sarah Maren Photography
The Mama and the Girls
Photo by Sarah Maren Photography

We had to fight like hell to make it. Not very much has been easy – especially in the beginning. (Hell, the first 10-12 years.) But being able to roll with the punches, and giving a lot of ‘em right back, is how we’ve survived. We’ve never given up.

The Dad and the Girls Photo by Sarah Maren Photography
The Dad and the Girls
Photo by Sarah Maren Photography

Maybe it’s because we just celebrated our 17th anniversary, maybe it’s because we’ve reached this parenting milestone where one of our kids is applying to colleges, but when I get to focus on just how far we’ve all come…WHOA, you guys. I’m proud of it.

Us...photo by Sarah Maren Photography
Us…photo by Sarah Maren Photography

 

I’m just so damn proud of it all.

Photo by: Sarah Maren Photography
Photo by: Sarah Maren Photography

 

Touring The Farm

So, okay…I’ve stepped outside almost every comfort zone I have this past week. A week ago today, we (softly) launched Cap City Moms. And, well, I’m ridiculously excited and proud of this community of mamas we’re working towards. We’ve made some pretty big plans. And I can’t wait to tell you more.

But this morning, I find myself reeling a little bit from yesterday.

Stanford University - Hoover Tower
Stanford University – Hoover Tower

You would be proud of me. I was very well behaved, believe it or not. I didn’t cry once during the admissions tour and meetings. I didn’t cry when we toured the campus. And I mean, there we were…at STANFORD. Doing the college tour things like we’re supposed to. At MY first choice for her. (And her dad’s first choice for her. And HER first choice…for her.) My big brained child would do well there. It’s hard to get in. But I think she has a pretty good chance.

And she would do so well there. It would be so good for her.

It would also be good for me.

Stanford University - Memorial Church
Stanford University – Memorial Church

I feel like it’s far enough away that she could “go off to school” and have the college experience I am so hoping for her. But it’s close enough that The Dude and I can take off after work one day and take her and her roommates to dinner. (I don’t know…I just figured this would totally be something we would do.) (I promise to not do this super often. I mean, I think I promise.)

It IS Rival Week.
It IS Rival Week.

And honest to goodness I was excited. My goodness, it’s beautiful there. The campus is ginormous, but I could picture her having a blast there. I was so glad we toured with one of her best friends. The two of them were so excited. Not to mention, adorable.

These two. Adorable, yes. Also, ginormous brains
These two. Adorable, yes. Also, ginormous brains

I didn’t cry. Not once.

Well, not until we were almost home at least.

I knew she was overwhelmed by the day. As excited as she was, she couldn’t believe that college wasn’t so far away. Even though we keep talking about it, being on campus and touring made it a lot more real.

For all of us, really.

You guys, I’m just so proud of her. I couldn’t stop thinking about how proud of her we are. And then how proud I am of our family.

And then I told her. And then I cried.

And then she cried.

But it was more from being overwhelmed, I think, than sad or worried or scared. I think it was just a lot for us to take in. A lot to process.

I’m still reeling. And probably more overwhelmed by it than I care to admit.

But I left yesterday knowing that she’s going to be so awesome wherever she ends up going. She’s going to thrive. She’s going to have a blast.

I know (I KNOW) I’m going to be a mess when the time finally arrives.

But you guys? I think we’re all going to be just fine. Really.

stanford