Thursday, August 11, 2011

we did it!

what a mix of emotions week!
madi, emi and caroline all headed back to school monday.
10th grade, 9th grade & 5th!

they're all happy
with the exception of an assigned seat issue on the bus for little bit
& a less than stellar language arts teacher for another,
we're ready to roll.
after spending monday with savannah & bailey
i was feeling about as aok as i could be about tuesday.
savannah is miss organization and responsibility.
i've never had to remind her to do homework
turn in papers
register for whatever
she was on total autopilot for packing

tuesday morning i came downstairs to the image below
& caroline offering a fist pump
& telling me "you're doing great so far mama"
i reminded her it was only 7:30
& the day was long
wish me luck!

 a sweet friend of mine & recent Auburn grad
gave me some great advice.
act like move in day is no big deal
so i chanted that mantra to myself all day long
& to be honest
my goal to be the happy cheerful mom
came to fruition
we did it!
we got her there & sans any snapping or barking or fighting
& i smiled.

savannah is in a HUGE co-ed dorm
& is probably one of the most excited freshman in athens!

while their room wasn't technically ready for photos
i tried to snap a few for ya'll
of what certainly is monogram central!

a fun colored funky pillow from IKEA was their inspiration
(in one of the above images you can see caroline painted her a little canvas
with the matching image for their dorm)

savannah's new roomie Mckinley
is awesome!
both her and her mom are awesome!
feels like we've known them forever
yet we only met a few weeks ago.
what a blessing!
they met in the dawghouse which is an online
room mate search thingie sorta like eharmony.
what a riot!
i think they are a perfect match
& will be fantastic together

right after i set up this little basket of goodies for them
i realized the emotions were coming.
it was time to for dan & i to head out.

i had promised myself i would not get emotional
it was just a move in
no big deal
no tears in front of her.
well that was the plan.

i stepped out in the hall 
tried to will myself to straighten up
get a grip
counted to ten
watched another couple walk by that most certainly thought i was nuts
they probably got on the elevator, looked at each other 
& said..."first timer for sure"

realized i really couldn't get it together.
walked back in all bloodshot eyed & contorted face
mumbled that "this" was the best i could you....i'm sorry....bye sweetie"

i feel weird
i don't know how to explain it

the last couple of years she & i have grown so close.
we moved from parenting into a wonderful mutual friendship

she & i have shared so much, the last year especially.
& both dan and i have a fantastic relationship with her....
which makes this both happy and sad at the same time.
such conflicting emotions.

i've seen my friends who have traveled this road ahead of me
their eyes aren't all bloodshot from crying anymore
and they can actually talk about it
without falling apart.
gives me hope that i'll be there too....

i'm just not there today


Jennifer said...

Praying and thinking of you! Her dorm is going to be the envy of everyone! So adorable and cozy. And I must say - being a "Tennessean" - I espcially loved the big orange T keychain!!!

Paige said...

You will be there, it just takes a little time......I cried all the way from Chattanooga to Knoxville from moving a my freshman son in, and then to move my sophomore daughter in.
Some moms do it with such grace and others, its just a little harder:)
You will be able to talk to her whenever you want....think about our parents NO cell phones.
Hugs!!!! It will get better, I promise!!

just call me jo said...

I'm a new follower from AZ. I so remember leaving our daughter at her first college room. (not nearly as cute as Savannah's.) She will do fine. Be brave, Mom. You'll have ups and downs. I agree that cell phones help. Love the basket and goodies you left for the girls. What a great idea! (I heart animal crackers...)

Carol Spinski said...

Ahh Paige with all three of mine taking them to College was always hard. Emotionally it was exciting for them to start a new chapter in their lives but still difficult for me. I can tell you it does get a tad bit easier~ Wear those tender hearted Mama tears proudly~You've done a wonderful job;)


Sheri said...

What a beautiful post. You rock mama. I cried reading this - I still have 15 days to go and cannot imagine my 4 hour drive home after leaving him :( God bless you BIG. xo

Deanna said...

Praying for you.

Lori Lucas said...

These will be the best days of her life. She will thrive and have a wonderful experience. And as far as momma's are concerned....Well I can best describe it as my heart never just scabs over. Then each time I let another go....that scab comes off and has to start getting better again. Sorry so graphic, but that is really what it feels like. Lori L

Heather said...

I discovered your blog a few months ago and have thoroughly enjoyed reading it! Love it because your kids are just a little older than mine (and a few the same age)... and I am seeing what is ahead of me. I kept checking in to see if you had posted after dropping her off... I had to check on you! :) Maybe that's called a stalker! ha! Anywhoo--- tears on this post for sure! I've got no advice, but it puts in perspective sending my son to high school this year! lol! hugs from Texas!

Heather said...

I had tears in my eyes reading this! I think it sounds like you did a great job. I am really glad you like her roommate too. That makes a difference.

Jodi said...

You did great and I don't think I would expect you not to have a tear or two; it's just natural!

Great pictures! Their room looks cozy. Love the monograms and the colors; super cute!

I also love the first day of school pictures! They look ready to go!!! ;)

Take care!!!


Katherine @ Grass Stains said...

My sons are 8, 6 and 3, and we have a daughter on the way in 6 weeks. My boys just promised me last weekend that they'd never leave me ... the furthest they'll go is "two streets away." It melted my heart.

I assured them that one day they'll be begging to leave, but I hope when they do, it will be with as much love as filled your experience with Savannah! Your family is such an inspiration to me.

six chicks said...

Best wishes mama. It does get easier. You will be so proud to watch your girl's continued accomplishments. Your tender heart just shows what a wonderful mama you are! Blessings and prayers!

Beach Coast Style said...

I cried during the whole post. It's just hard to drop your kids off anywhere when you are not there. I think you are doing well and I am sure there will be moments and you will just break down but's that's ok it's part of what we do as humans...emotions. But, I agree the cell phone will make it just a tad easier. Love her dorm room goodies especially the basket! I'll check back in on you!

Alecia said...

Ok...Caroline did a WONDERFUL job on the painting...I'm impressed...quite the little artist!
Savannah is PRECIOUS...I love that she was ready to go and waiting at 7:30...haha!
I hope Madi, Emi & Caroline have had a great first week at school...I always loved the first few weeks back.
The dorm is so CUTE and what a fun way to find a roomie! I pray they live well together and love each other well in this time together. Can't wait to see how rush goes for her!

Jboo said...

Was thinking of you all day yesterday! Happy to hear that it went so well! Her room looks adorable already. Love all the personalized touches! You are the best!


Jen Kershner said...

Dear, sweet Paige. I got choked up reading about you being choked up. I'm so excited for her and for you because you get to sit by and watch as she has the time of her life and continues to grow into the wonderful woman I know she will be.

Hayley Fraser said...

I am a grown woman and a mother myself now but I still clearly remember my college move in day, how excited I was but how much it hurt to be the first to leave my tight-knit family. My birthday was just a week later and when my family came up to celebrate we did the whole leaving thing all over again. I called my mom as soon as I knew they'd be back home that night and couldn't even get logical words out through the contorted "ugly" cry I was having. But I flourished there at school and so will your beautiful Savannah. And you'll know you've done things right. And so will she...Best wishes to all of you for a happy, healthy school year.

Amanda said...

What a special day...How cool that there is a roomie "matchup" site...what a difference that will make. LOVE all the Monos but they would expect nothing less at UGA :) Loved the polish in the big bucket, blessings to you all.

teresa sheeley said...

ahh, I remember that day well myself, and my eyes welt up reading your story. such a bittersweet day, I remember crying almost all the way back home on our four hour drive!! She will do wonderful and will come away with the best memories ever. :) She will be back for the weekend before you know it or a holiday. :)


Heather said...

Said a prayer for you. I can't imangine what that day will be like. I totally envy her dorm though...Wish mine was half as cute back in the day!

Anonymous said...

Hi Paige~ Well you all certainly know how to make a dorm room cute, warm, and inviting! I don't even know how this day will be for me one day. I can't even imagine... I felt butterflies in my tummy when I read this post. You're doing a fantastic job with those beautiful girls of yours.

Dori said...

Love following your blog!! I remember when my mom dropped me off to my dorm room below the boiler room in Reid Hall at UGA. I didn't know until later that she cried all the way home and never came back to visit. Of course I went home frequently so it worked out. Your daughter looks a lot more with it than I did. She'll do great! You've prepared her so well. What a sweet family you have!

Kelli said...

I'm a little teary just reading this. I love the fist pump you got from the little one :) And for that room not being fully ready, it looks amazing! That is a great idea about meeting the roommate before moving in. It's OK to let the tears shows how you love her.

Maggie said...

Good Job Paige, see you did better than you thought you would!!!!!!! I LOVE all the pictures!!! I bet its still a weird feeling only having 3 girls at home now...

Oh love the TN keychain!!!!
I am as Tennessee girl at heart:)

just ask beth said...

I am crying.. reminds me when my sweet mom dropped me off and she started making everyones bed..and I was like mom what are you doing? I have made my bed since kindergarten.. and she mumbled...and not properly i might add, just thought you would like to sleep in a properly made bed!! HAHA! She didn't want to leave me..I was the baby. I later found out from my Dad that she cried the whole way home..poor thing!! I love Caroline's painting SPOT ON!

Anonymous said...

Recently started following you and LOVED this teary eyed reading it even though my oldest daughter is just 8 years old. I would love if sometime you could write a post about how you think this great relationship with your daughter came to be...any advices, tips, do or do nots? So often you hear that moms and daughters are just not made to do anything but butt heads. Or, that they are going to hate you. But then I see relationships like this and I know it IS possible to have a relationship with a teenager daughter that isn't all door slamming and tears. You are very blessed!

AmyH said...

I love your blog!!!!! and I can barely breathe reading this post. I will be moving my daughter into her dorm next Saturday. Please say a prayer for me that day. I hope I can be as strong as you were! Lots of Love, Amy

christina said...

Good job,my friend. High five!

emi said...

Like several others I too have recently came to reading your blog. I am a mom to a sophomore who left almost two weeks ago because he is a RA at UT. It's tough...letting go and seeing them "fly". I also have 3 nieces moving into their dorms this Saturday. Love the pics...decorating girl dorms looks so fun. Love your goodies too. My heart goes out to you, my sister, my sister-in-law, and all us letting go of our "babies". Love to you sweet mom.
PS: I too noticed the T keychain=)

Dawn said...

ok seriously...has there EVER been a cuter dorm room?? I think NOT!! I am completely jealous..I want to be Savannah!! we are moving Powell straight into a fraternity...sleeping porch and all :)

every single Mom I have talked to that is sending their first "baby" to college, is doing/feeling the exact same thing we are...I am glad we are all in it together..HUGS!!

hope your other girlies had wonderful firsts at school too!

gg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bravehearted Beauty {formerly LLH Designs} said...

Crying. Another kleenex post for sure. I am the world's WORST at goodbyes...even if I know they are only a "see you soon" kind of goodbye. I'll be a mess when my times comes.

But on the upside, I love dorm room cuteness and organization!!! What's the jar with the white somethings in it on her bookshelf?


Kerri said...

I had tears in my eyes reading this! Not only because it reminds me of when my mom left me in my freshman dorm room twenty years ago this month~but also because you are AWESOME and it inspires me to be a better mom to my two girls Ava and Caroline who are four and two! Love her dorm room and Caroline's sweet picture!

3 Peanuts said...

Aww sweetie!!! I am crying right here with you. Such a sweet post. I love that she was all packed and ready to go @7:30 am. You do not have to worry about her. She is gonna be great. And you are too.


Carol S. said...

You sweetheart. My turn next year but with a son. I know that makes a difference, but first born is first born, boy or girl, just a little piece of you is gone for a little bit. Good thing you still have a little bit! Thanks for sharing Paige, we've all been thinking about you (never met you, you have NO idea who I am, lol, but appreciate your mom's heart).

Jo said...

I know exactly how you feel ~ I was a blubbering wreck when my son went off to UNC. The first week was the toughest for me. My home seemed so quiet without his personality, my routine didn't fit with his absence and I was just down right sad and lonely! However, everything does brighten up and a new norm creates itself. The homecomings are fabulous, but what I love the most are the phone calls or texts … “hey ma, how’s your day going? I love you!”

Wishing you a day full of smiles ~

Sue said...

I have just started following your blog - beautiful girls, beautiful photos, beautiful words. My children are younger....13,11,7 ...but I know the time will fly by and I will be in your shoes in the blink of an eye.
Thanks for reminding me to slow down and enjoy the "moments"

Debby said...

You have had such an emotional week. Why is that daughters take everything they own to college. Boys take some clothes and a duffle bag.
Your emotions are so normal. Just wait a couple of weeks and things will get so much better.
There room looks so cute for a college dorm.

Ironstone and Pine said...

Oh my, I have been there, been there x two! I feel your pain, i left another freshman down in Florida only a few weeks ago....a total homebody and now he's 8 hours away. Saying goodbye to him was so emotional.....and my oldest who is now a junior at Clemson, saying goodbye to him three years ago was hard on me too..... i think there's this knawing feeling that your leaving your baby in a strange enviornment where they don't know anyone and it just tears you apart. But hang in there, this is the's their big step to independence but a very strange feeling for the moms. So many have been through what you're dealing with and come out ok...........thank goodness for texting is all i can say!!

Unknown said...

Love this post all the monograms too, so cute!!

The thought of Caroline telling you that you're doing at only 7.30am made me smile!

I would have been a sobbing mess - you are handling it beautifully xx

Privet and Holly said...

Loving you, today.
I have to admit,
I've been dreading
this post....But it's
one that is down the
road for all of us
mamas, in one way or
another. Thanks for
showing us the way with
love and grace. Savannah
is so lucky to have you.
xx Suzanne

Lemonade Makin' Mama said...

Awww.. sending you love Paige.

Anonymous said...

oh paige! i am just about to tear up reading this post! i could just give you a big hug! i am so glad you got through it! hopefully everything else will be easier than the "move in" day! xo

the ruffled daisy said...

Aww Paige, you did it! Remember go to Athens and Go Dawgs:))

Chrissy from Pittsburgh, Pa said...

Aww I am so sorry for you, I am sitting here crying while reading this post. You are so blessed to have such lovely daughters who are your best friend. I know with God all things are possible and you will get thru this. I have 2 boys & someday I will be on this journey. I too lost my husband (2 1/2 yrs ago) & this has made me & my sons much much closer. I sm thinking of you. I've been a follower for several years, you have helped me so much. Thank you!!! I will keep you all in my prayers.

mamgof5 said...

Their dorm room is so cute. I was wondering did the girls get together and decide to have bedding and towels monogrammed for their new room or did you do it for them? SO CUTE...

Anonymous said...

Love Love Love your blog!!! I saw this on Etsy and thought you would think this is as cute as I do!

Lindsey said...

I came to your blog for the first time over 6 months ago when one of my favorite mommy friends told me that she just loves the way you parent your kids. A single girl in my twenties, I don't have the mommy title yet, but I have a heart for teenage girls and always love getting advice on how to connect with moms that are doing it every day. I've been a loyal reader since day one and have cried and cheered along with you from my computer, but never taking the time to comment.

Flash forward to two weeks ago when I was in Tuscaloosa for recruitment, serving as an advisor for my sorority. I wish I had video footage of my face when I realized that one of those sweet girls KNEW YOU...really knew you. I mean, I feel like I know you, but deep down, I know it's just imaginary. We laughed at the craziness that I read a blog of someone that I've never met and then proceeded to make the entire room cry as we read some of your posts aloud.

So, now that I know that Emily has an in with you...don't be alarmed if I show up at your doorsteps one day. :)

Praying for you big time with all of the changes that are in store for your family this year!