Happy Days

Clay got home from camp a week ago and has been busy settling back into his off campus house (which is only about 15-20 minutes away from our new house…) and catching up with his roommate. He’s also been doing some fun projects with one of his professors – he spent one day out on a boat in the inlet observing and counting dolphins. He’s managed to sneak in some fishing here and there as well, and he’s been keeping us supplied with fresh flounder!

He had a great summer at camp and can’t wait to go back next year. 

   
    
    
    
    
   
And now, Paige is home too. We picked her up a few days ago and shuttled most of her stuff back with us…only to have to do it all in reverse in another 10 days or so to move her back into her fall dorm. She was very happy she decided to start with summer session – she learned her way, mostly, around campus and got comfortable with a new routine without the hordes that will be there in a few weeks. But she’s quite happy it’s over and that she has a couple of weeks to relax. She’s especially happy that the roommates will be changing. She didn’t have a great roommate experience over the summer…but her fall roommate is wonderful! She’s very excited about fall, and her classes (as a side note, she is only 2 credits away from being a sophomore!), and football games (Go ‘Noles!), and making new friends. 

   
   
    
I’m so happy to have both my kids around for a couple of weeks. I’m so proud of them, both….but I sure do miss them when they’re gone! 

I know this time is going to fly by, though. We are going to be busy scheduling hair appointments and doctor appointments and making sure everything is ready for the dorm (cold medicine? Check. BandAids? Check….) but we’re trying to schedule a little down time as well. 

   
    
    
    
   

I’m on summer Time

  
Summer is flying by. I’m slowly pulling the house together – hanging pictures, and going through the few boxes that remain, and I continue to try to purge stuff. I’m just, for some reason, not in a great hurry to get things done this time around. Usually whenever we move, I’m frenzied about having the house all put together and everything in its place, pictures hung and everything where it belongs asap. This time…not so much. Maybe it’s because the kids aren’t here. I don’t know. But it’s all getting done at a slower pace…and I’m okay with that. 

   
    
 Paige is halfway through summer term at FSU. She had her first mid-term on Friday and has her second one Monday. She’s been exploring the campus and Has gone out to “the Rez” the past two weekends and had a blast. 

   
    
    
    
    
   
Even though I miss her like crazy, I’m really proud of her for getting out there and doing stuff and making friends and (especially) studying! And I really look forward to hearing from her and getting texts and snapchats from her – the highlight of my day!

   
    
    
   
Clay has been working hard at camp all summer. His birthday was last weekend but he wasn’t able to come home…the camp staff had a break between campers and they all went up to the mountains for a 48 hour camping trip and went white water rafting. He loved it!

  
While he was gone, I got his birthday present…

  
Since he’s been missing his bird, Buddy (he had gotten Buddy for his birthday when he was 10, and Buddy died a couple of months ago), we got him a new, baby cockatiel. He named him Dexter. 

I’ve been bonding with Dexter, just a bit. He’s kind of sweet. 

   
    
   
Even the old curmudgeon, Tim, likes him…

   
    
    
   
Clay was able to get away for a quick visit home this weekend. I think he was more excited to meet Dexter than to see boring old mom and dad, but that’s OK. 

   
   
We had a fun day at the beach before he had to head back to camp. I always love getting to spend time with my kids. They’re turning into pretty awesome people. 

   
    
    
    
    
 

Surprise

Both kids caught rides with friends and surprised us by coming home this weekend. It was so great to see them and to have the whole family together under one roof for a couple of nights!

Paige and I took a walk on the beach Friday evening, before Clay got home…

   
    
    
 
…and we ran into Priscilla the pig. Tim and I saw her earlier in the week out on the beach in a Shamu costume. The evening Paige and I saw her she was strolling in the sand wearing a pearl collar and a jaunty little pink polka-dot bow. She’s, apparently, quite the well dressed beach pig!

   
   
Both the kids loved seeing the pets and catching up on some cuddling…

   
    
   
On the fourth, one of the other camp counsellors who lives nearby stopped by for a while. We hung out on the beach in between rainstorms and stopped by the neighborhood pool party/cookout for some burgers. Mostly we just relaxed and enjoyed this special gift of time together as a family. 

   
    
    
   

Learning to live with an empty nest…

Paige is now ensconced in her dorm room for the summer, learning to live with a roommate, and sharing a (teeny-tiny) bathroom with three other girls. It’s a lot of change. 

She’s having to learn to share her space, but also to speak up for herself (such as when someone had the lights on until 1:00 am and Paige had an early class…). She likes her classes, so far. She’s taking Introduction to International Relations and Environmental Science. She’s found a couple of old friends already, from her old high school and from elementary school. 

   
   

   
       

I’m not going to lie – it was very hard for me to say goodbye. I’m so filled with conflicting emotions. I’m excited for her, and worried about her (have you SEEN the statistics on sexual assaults on college campuses?), and proud of her…and I miss her. A lot. 

   
   

But I know she’s going to have fun and make amazing friends and fabulous memories. 

Tim and I have been kind of enjoying the peacefulness of our new home. We miss the kids, of course, but the no-drama, no-bickering, serenity is, truthfully, rather nice. It’s quiet and mellow and calm. We’ve just been relaxing and sleeping in and reading…and taking walks on the beach. 

   
       

Day by day

In spite of my best intentions, I can’t say that I’ve made a lot of progress turning the new house into a home. There are still not any pictures hanging on the wall. There are still lots of unpacked boxes in the garage. And there are still random piles of “stuff” that I haven’t quite managed to find a home for. The good news is that the old house is empty (except for a few things in THAT garage) and all clean! In my defense, other than focusing on getting out of the old house, we’ve had a couple of issues here at the new house to deal with – a broken air conditioner in the upstairs, and messed up plumbing in one bathroom (fyi, per the plumber – those “flushable” cleaning wipes, which apparently the previous cleaners used…are not truly flushable. 😏) 

Paige has had a couple of friends out. She’s trying to soak up as much sun and summertime fun as she can before she leaves for Tallahassee in ONE WEEK! She’s had fun exploring the beach and St. George Street in St. Augustine. 

   
         

   
     

Clay is able to sneak away and text me from the staff room every couple of days. He seems to be having a grand time at camp!

  
We are “bunny sitting” for him this summer while he is working at camp. Roger is actually quite great. I always love a quiet pet! We’ve been giving him “salads” a couple times a day and I think he is getting a bit spoiled with all these treats!

   
 

Paige will be leaving in a week to begin her new life as a college student at Florida State University. We’ve been trying to make sure she has everything she needs, including her graduation gift from Mom & Dad – a new laptop ( so she can write super awesome papers in college!) 

  

I’m getting too old for this…

We are, mostly, moved. There are still odds and ends and random lamps and pictures and a bike and a couple of plants – among other things – at the old house,but we are here. Along with lots and lots of cardboard boxes which now need to be unpacked. Saturday, the internet and cable was hooked up and the new couch was delivered and the new washer and dryer arrived. I have been making beds and trying to find places for all of our stuff and dismantling boxes and yelling at the cats because…oh yeah…they’re apparently not too thrilled about the move and have been quite vocal about expressing their displeasure. 

Like I care. 

It’s been stressful. Truly. But…we’ve been taking walks at the end of the day to soak up some peace and tranquility at the beach. And it helps. A lot. 

   
               

Clay has been busily training during “staff week” at camp, getting ready for the campers to arrive in a few days. He’s now trained as a lifeguard and re-certified in CPR. From the pictures he’s sent, it appears that not only have the counsellors been having fun, but they’ve been practicing good oral hygiene as well!

   
    

  
     

She did it! (also, the countdown for the move is ON😳)

Friday was Paige’s baccalaureate service…

   
 

  
And then, Saturday was the big day. Graduation. 

It’s hard for me to believe that 12 years have passed so quickly. I still think of her as that little first grader…

  
The graduation ceremony was lovely and Paige looked beautiful. 

   
             

   
      

Afterwards, she attended “Project Graduation” (sponsored by the school) and won a microwave! Yay! Unfortunately, she only got about 3 hours of sleep that night and had to get up early the next morning to attend a self-defense course which mean old mom and dad were forcing her to take before leaving for college. 

  
Apparently, in spite of the lack of sleep – or perhaps due to the copious amounts of caffeine she ingested – she rocked the class. In fact, she was even a little scary during the simulations…attacking with a smile on her face the whole time. Ha!

We officially move in 4 more days and have started taking some smaller, fragile items out to the new house. We are all quite anxious to get moved in. I can’t wait to leave Orange Park and become a beach bum!

   
               

A quick update (and a bad pun)

Life seems to have taken on a frenetic, frenzied pace around here. Just as soon as P finished with her exams at school, we headed off to Tallahassee for an exhausting few days of Orientation at FSU. It was informative, fun…and slightly grueling as well. They pack a LOT into just a few days. P is more excited than ever about college, although slightly frustrated with the registration process – every class she wants/needs is either already full or not offered. She did make a couple of new friends though and knows her way around the beautiful campus a bit better than when we arrived. 

   
    

 

  
In between all that, I’ve been trying to pack. I know that I AM making progress…but it doesn’t seem like it! I’m getting a bit overwhelmed. 

  
C comes home for a few days today before leaving to be a camp counselor at summer camp next week. Tomorrow is P’s baccalaureate and then Saturday is graduation. A week from tomorrow is moving day….

We took a day off last week before leaving for Tallahassee to soak up some vitamin D…

   
      

  
 

Clay really had a chip on his shoulder that day. 

😂

Come on. That was funny!
 

Mom’s Day Off

The past week has been a blur of packing boxes, cleaning out closets, and trying to keep up with P’s schedule as she finishes up her senior year of high school. She has been studying like crazy the past couple of weeks and took her AP exams last week, as well as the College Algebra Clep exam (which she passed…yay!) This week, since she is finished with her AP classes and her Math class (thanks to passing that Clep test), she is focusing on her Ethics presentation which is this Thursday and Friday during “Senior Symposium” and which counts as her Ethics final exam. Next week she will have her last two final exams, in French and Anatomy, and then we have Orientation at FSU…and then GRADUATION! 

A few days after graduation, we are moving. Again. And I have so much packing to do. Ugh. 

But last weekend, P and I played hooky for a few hours from all of our responsibilities and we went to the beach. And it was wonderful. 

   
 

It was relaxing and calming and blissful to sit and listen to the waves and the birds and soak up a little vitamin D…

   
   

Next weekend is Prom for P. She’s going with a group of friends this year…and also, guess who is on Prom Court? 😉