Sunday, September 10, 2017

The 9th Annual Tea

We celebrated our 9th Annual Back to School Tea on Tuesday and it was a highlight of the week. The girls come home from their first day and we sit together and have treats and listen to them share their day. They love telling all about their teachers, classes, and friends and I love hearing about their experiences. 

This year we had petit fours from Plaza Bakery along with chocolate chip cookies, cheese and crackers, peaches, strawberries, and apple juice. It was a tasty treat. 

I must admit I was a bit melancholy as I thought about this being the last tea we would share at our kitchen all together. This is just the beginning of all the "lasts" we'll share with each other. But, so grateful the girls will always have these memories. 

Friday, September 08, 2017

Fabulous First Day

The girls ventured out for their first day of school on Tuesday. They came home happy and filled with stories about their day. I was a thankful mother. 

Lily posed with her photo from her first day of Kindergarten. Loved seeing that little girl face right alongside her grown up face. This is all happening---Senior Year!!!

 Shelly was excited for her first day of 8th grade. So hard to believe that she is the top dog at school this year. Shelly's friend, Kenzie, joined her to walk into school. So nice to have friends and be enthusiastic about the year. 

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Top Stingray

Today, my 8th grader heads off to school. Shelly will be the oldest grade in the building and she is ready for this title. She's ready to help anyone who might look lost or just needs a friend. Shelly is excited to start back to school and I'm excited to see her shine this year. 

Monday, September 04, 2017

Kindergarten to 12th grade

As we get ready for a new school year, I am reminded of a post I wrote as Lily was getting ready to enter Kindergarten. Here are a few excerpts from that blog entry:

"Kindergarten is looming in my future.  Oh, I mean in Lily’s future, of course.  I am feeling melancholy about what comes next for my little five year-old.  Will she be the best and the brightest?  Will she be outgoing and social?  Will she be creative and interesting?  Or will she become the class clown and make them all laugh?  

We are embarking on quite a journey.  A journey that at one time seemed so far off in the distance that I surely would need a clever pair of binoculars to see what lies ahead.  But, here we are on this course that will determine and mold so many aspects of my little girl’s future. 

I can’t believe that it was only five years ago that this bundle of love was perched atop of me in the hospital room.  I vividly remember the bubbles she blew while I touched her soft cheek.  My only thoughts then were of what I would do with her in the next five minutes and not the next five years.  Lily was the kind of baby parents would wish for.  She slept well, ate well, and discharged waste well.  Her path as a baby was sprinkled with sunshine and littered with happiness.  She was a delight.

When Lily turned two, her personality emerged with beautiful smiles, friendly giggles, and serious thoughts.  She was happy and strong-willed.  I like that combination in a person.  

We aren’t done learning from one another and the time and energy I have put into creating this little five year-old is not over.  We are ready for the journey that will take us down the halls of an old school building filled with love and character.  I will release this little gem on Thursday into a world of unknowns for both of us.  I am sure I will shed tears as she gathers up her backpack and lunch box and leaves me behind.  But, I will do so knowing that this journey has started with the best map of life I could give her.  And, I hope she will use that map to always find her way back to her mommy’s heart."

Lily---August 2005
First Day of Kindergarten
So, here we are, twelve years later. I can now see the future that I once wrote about and Lily has truly surpassed all of my expectations. She is all of the above: bright, outgoing, social, creative, interesting, and funny. When things got tough throughout the years, Lily got tougher. She faced challenges head on and grew from those experiences. 

She'll walk out the door tomorrow to head to her last year as a high school student and I feel confident she will do it in the same way she did on that first day of Kindergarten. With her head held high, her back pack on straight, and she'll toss me a wave as she confidently drives off to school. 

And, I'll wave back knowing now that she always finds her way back to my heart. Always. 

Saturday, September 02, 2017

Senior Photos

Several weeks back we had a senior picture taking session for Lily, We chose a photographer, Lexie Hand, based on a friend's recommendation and we were beyond happy with the results. The location was perfect and the lighting was awesome. The first few photos are from my iPhone and there is a sneak peek from the session at the end of the pictures.

Rope swing at First Landing Park

Perfect light

A fallen tree is a great place to take pictures

Standing in water for the perfect picture

Lily! photo by Lexie Hand

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Sherman the Swan

It was a beautiful pool day at my dad's house. We brought along Shelly's friend, Kenzie, and had a fabulous day swimming and splashing and enjoying Sherman, the Swan.


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The Biggest Decision

Seventeen years ago today, I walked into the principal's office where I was teaching 5th grade and told him I was no longer planning to teach. He kindly accepted my declaration and the assistant principal came in to reassure me she completely understood my choice. 

Through tears and complete apprehension, I left their office and called John to tell him that I quit my job. He, too, accepted my decision but I'm certain his life was rocked when I told my police officer husband that I was no longer going to be working. 

Having made that choice, three months later, we made the decision to move to North Carolina where John took on a new job and the financial responsibility of his family. 

So many changes would take place from there and through it all, I continued to stay at home with Lily and then with Shelly. These two priceless human beings have never made me question why I made that choice 17 years ago. They are my single best accomplishment and I will never regret the sacrifices that came along with being a mom who chose to stay at home to raise her children.