Monday, September 24, 2018

Deep Thoughts: Sunday Drives with Steve

 Today Steve and I decided to head down to Mt. Vernon and check out the Valley Made Market and do some goofing around. One of my favorite people, Kari of Render Skincare told us about it so we headed out. 

What started as one stop turned into many, which is what made today magical. We used to drive through this area more when Steve's Mom lived in Oak Harbor and a friend had a cabin in the area. Now it seems we don't get to explore there enough.

Today though we made it a point to stop at little stands on the side of the road. We enjoyed the drive thru the farmlands and the autumn color. We took time to talk and talk and talk. 

 We realized that this is our life now. This freedom to head out the door at will. To stop where we want and eat what we feel like. It feels almost like it did when we were newly married. And it feels good! We worked to make sure that we gave our marriage attention even with the girls at home. We are glad to say that we like each other and are excited for this time together. It feels crazy to say that we saw a movie, went to two markets, went out to drinks and dinner, and still got some things done around here. We feel energized and ready to make some changes. 

This doesn't mean we don't miss Sam. We talk to her daily and are gathering the next bunch of things to send to her at school. It just means we are doing our thing and enjoying it. It means we are happy that we worked to make sure we would be interested in one another when the girls moved out. I'm hoping this feeling lasts, as we are planning a road trip in October which will mean a lot of time together, and some tests (hello trying to give a guy directions!) And though I joked with Steve about our new demographic if we were taking Sunday drives, I think I could really learn to enjoy them. 

Monday, September 17, 2018

Deep Thoughts: Ch-ch-changes

Well it finally happened. This past weekend we took Samantha to Central Washington University to start her new life as a college student. It was an easy transition, and a really hard one. Getting on the road was the easy part as she is a pretty organized person. And she didn't balk at me too much for making a vinyl at work to announce our road trip. We figured all we could do to mark the occasion would make it fun. 

The ease was due in part to a facebook board for CWU parents where someone had the suggestion to buy IKEA zipper bags for transferring stuff. They were a huge help in packing and I know they will come in handy when Sam is bringing dirty laundry home! We also brought a bag of treats for the helpers we knew would be helping us unpack and move all her stuff. This is about when I think everything became real for all of us. The nerves hit and all the worries started including wondering if she was bringing too much stuff. 

 As a freshman she had the bonus of having 'movers & shakers' who came to the car in the line up and unloaded everything! We didn't touch a box. They took everything to her room  so all we had to do was check in and get a room key. It's such a smooth process which really helped since this is when the nerves really kicked in. Once all the boxes are in you just get down to it and unpack. Oh, and meet the roommate and realize this is your new "home."

It wasn't until the next day when we were about to leave that emotions really hit. This is when things became hard. There were lots and lots of tears and questions. It's hard watching your kid struggle, especially when you know they are doing the right thing. We just comforted her the best we could. There are two pieces of advice that I left her with and I have to say Steve and I are applying them to ourselves as well. 

The first is to be vulnerable. I often find other people will share with me once I start the conversation. She will definitely not be the only one fighting homesickness or struggling with this new normal. And talking about it can only make it feel easier. 

The second is to take it one day at a time. Thankfully CWU has a program where there are a lot of mandatory sessions freshman have to attend and a lot of fun things they can choose to. So far she has taken part in a color rave (where they basically spray paint on you while you dance!), attended a volleyball game, and is on a dodgeball team! 

The surprise has been Steve's response. He has been hit hard by her being gone, and is a bit off his game. I have been doing okay so far, but I know it will really hit me in the coming weeks. I have been fortunate to have great friends checking in, and will make sure to take my own advice and take things one day at a time. And soon enough this will feel like our new normal. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Deep Thoughts: Tracking Time

I know it's been quiet around here. I have been trying to figure out what to say about what has been going on. It's been a little bit of preparing, a little big of goofing around, a little bit of crying. Sam moves to college in two weeks and it's starting to feel real, yet still feel dreamlike. 

We've spent the summer trying to fit all the fun things in...swimming in the lake, visiting Seattle, hitting IKEA for random little things, and spending as much time together as a family as possible. 

And I thought it would be the big things that would be memorable. I thought I would be telling you it was the evening spent at the drive in that was amazing. Or the day Sam and I spent in Seattle at a Korea Beauty pop up. But it's actually been the in between times that have stuck in my mind. It's been listening to Sam and Kate talking and laughing upstairs. It's been random times in the car, all of us chatting and talking together. A spontaneous breakfast, or a random time of us all sitting together sharing a funny youtube video or story. 

I have been trying to stay fully present in the moment and stave off the sadness that I know is on the fringes. It seems that Steve and I have wandered thru parenthood making it up as we go along. We have no idea what things will look like going forward. Yes, I am really excited for Sam and all that college will mean to her. I am at the same time mourning a moment in our family that is coming to an end, much as I mourned the moment we realized our time of having babies was over. They are all too quick, these moments. 

So I try and stay present and let the emotions roll thru me. And if I'm quiet in this space it's because I am trying to get my bearings. I will be back. Steve and I have some adventures planned and I will talk about what life looks like when I have the words for it. In the meantime you will find me soaking up the good stuff and the last of summer.