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Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Starting things and finishing none of them.

Well, I guess it's official.  The empty nest phase of our lives is upon us whether we want it to be or not.

I saw a quote last week that said something along the lines of "Don't mourn the loss, rejoice in the launch."  And after reading that all I could think was "blah blah blah blah blah blah blah".  How's that for mature?

I'm extremely happy for my kids.  They are in college, finding their way, officially beginning their lives as independent creatures.  And isn't that what we've been working towards for the last 18 plus years? Yes, it is. But that doesn't mean that I'm not just a little bit annoyed that I'm left behind in a house with a bunch of empty rooms trying to figure out what the heck I'm supposed to be doing for the rest of my life.

So what have I been doing to fill the empty void in my life that my children's absence has left? Um, not much.

I attempted to clean out the office.  I cleaned one drawer full of old paperwork and looked around and thought, "Eh. I'll finish this later." 

I attempted to clean out the pantry. I cleaned out one shelf and looked around and thought, "Eh. I'll finish this later."

I attempted to clean out the hall closet.  I opened the door to the closet, took one look, and quickly closed it and thought, "Eh. I'll probably never get around to doing this so I'm not even going to start."

I had all these grand plans to clean, organize, file, minimize, straighten, arrange, and sort! In reality I have had zero desire to do any of these things.

I did update my resume though and I've been looking at job openings on but so far, nothing seems right.  Before kids, I was a buyer of electronic components, and worked my way up to materials planner and eventually supply chain manager dealing mostly with pricing of electronic computer assemblies and a whole bunch of other dull things. (My resume is full of boring business buzzwords.)

Do you know what the absolute last thing I want to do right now at this stage of my life? Yep.  Anything having to do with any of that stuff that I did for 10 years. I'm thinking a position as an administrative assistant would be more in line with my goals and desires at the moment. Although really my dream job would be Mega Millions lottery winner but there don't appear to be many of those positions available...



Friday, August 19, 2022

Sarah's move-in day! And freshman year begins...

Yesterday was a big day.  We packed allllllllllllll the things into our Pilot and Sarah's car and headed south to UNC Charlotte.  

Sarah's move-in time was 2:00pm. I would have preferred earlier but her roommate was moving in at 10:00 and there was no way we could have all been in the room moving in at the same time.  Plus the later move-in time gave us a leisurely morning and a little extra time with our girl.

The drive is, thankfully, a short one.  It's only 55 minutes from door to door which seems so much shorter as compared to the drive to Raleigh which is 1 hour and 45 minutes!

We got there a little early because I knew no one would be monitoring that and also because it just seemed like we had so much more stuff than when we moved Peter into his dorm last year so we knew it was going to take a long time.

Sarah's roommate, Gabi,  (who also happens to be her bestie from elementary school through high school) had been Facetiming Sarah so the furniture was already arranged in a way that was suitable to both girls when we got there.  

We got all the stuff from the car into the room and then got the bed on risers, the bedding on the bed, the clothes in the closet and everything else essentially in the area it needed to be in.  Then we headed to Walmart and Target for a few last minute items.  The Walmart and the Target closest to the school were both zoos and the shelves were pretty bare.  But that's to be expected during day two of move-in.  (Peter texted me the day before about all the freshman and their families in the Target at NC State. It seems no matter how well prepared you are, there's always going to be something you realize you need and didn't think about.)

The best part about going to the Target though, was the Starbucks.  Sarah and I both got iced chai lattes and they really hit the spot.  The extra burst of caffeine was exactly what we needed to get the rest of the room put together.  

The girls are living in a 4x2 suite.  Which means 4 roommates sharing 2 bedrooms, a bathroom, and a little living room.  (Sarah and Gabi really wanting a 4x1 ((4 roommates, 4 bedrooms)) but you really need to get your housing application in immediately upon getting your acceptance letter to get those. 

Obviously, Sarah and Gabi are sharing one of the rooms and the other will be two people that they don't know and that don't know each other either will be sharing the second room.  One of the roommates moved in the day before.  She seems very nice and I think the girls will get along with each other.  The other roommate is older and will be moving in today.  Her name is Sarah (hopefully that won't get confusing).

It was 7:00 until we finally got everything in place and then we took Sarah out to dinner.  She wanted pizaa so we went to a little Italian restaurant near campus.  The restaurant was packed thanks to all the people moving in but it was really good.

Then we took our girl back to her dorm, gave her really long hugs.  I didn't cry (but I did tear up) and she happily trotted into the building and into her new life!  

I know she's going to be fine.  I'm sure she'll have some struggles along the way because freshman year is never easy, but I know this girl is going to work hard, follow her dreams, and end up exactly where she's supposed to be in life.  Remember, sweet girl: 

“Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.”― St. Catherine of Siena


Of course, we had to get a picture of my mom and Sarah before we left. We gave mom a hard time because she's wearing NC State colors and not UNCC colors!  :)

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Our weekend.

It's quiet around here this morning.  Dan does a combination of work-from-home and work-from-the-office.  They call it a hybrid workplace or something like that. Anyway, today is an office day for him so it's just me at home all by myself.  Sarah is at the lake with friends and won't be home until later this evening and then tomorrow we will pack everything we've purchased over the summer and hope we can squeeze it all into two cars on Thursday morning.  And then hope we can squeeze it all into her tiny dorm room on Thursday afternoon.  

We had a relaxing yet busy weekend.  On Friday evening after we ate dinner, Dan and I were planning on going for a walk but Sarah needed us to pick something up for her dorm room.  She was conveniently watching a movie with a friend and didn't have time.  :)  But Dan and I love a good errand so we went out to pick up the item.  We found what she needed on our first stop at the Walmarts and texted her a picture:

She made her choice on which frame would work best (the black one but we would also need to get white spray paint to paint it white) but then asked if we can run to Hobby Lobby to see if they had any white ones so we wouldn't have to spray paint them.  So, we did what any good parents  fools would do, and raced over to Hobby Lobby because they close at 8:00.  Why so early, Hobby Lobby?

They did not have any white poster frames so we went to Michael's and then to Target.  Nope and nope.  So we went back to the Walmarts and got the black frame and the white spray paint and finally made it home to sit on the couch and watch a couple of episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm.  

Dan has seen the show on airplanes while traveling but I've never watched it because it was on HBO and we never had HBO.  Sarah purchased HBO Max to watch Pretty Little Liars and graciously shared her login information with us and now we are able to watch the show.  It's pretty funny.  It's basically Seinfeld minus the audience laughter and add adult themes and cussing. And I'm laughing as I'm typing this because the show is over 20 years old so I'm sure you've ALL seen it and don't need me to describe it to you.  :)

On Saturday morning, Dan did yard work and I made these chocolate chip oatmeal sandwich cookies. That was Sarah's request as her last Sunday dessert before school. (The recipe, even halved, makes a ton so I was able to send all the extras to the lake with her which is a good thing because if they are in the house, I will eat them.)We went to Mass in the evening and then went to dinner at Fourth Street Filling Station. 


After dinner, Sarah went to hangout with the entire basement one last time because one of the guys was heading to college and wouldn't be able to go to the lake with them.  :(  

Then on Sunday Peter came home and joined us for lunch at Mom's.  After lunch, Sarah headed to the lake so I had to get a couple of pictures of my babies together. I'm glad Peter was able to come home to give Sarah a big hug and a proper goodbye before she leaves for school.

Dan, Peter, and I went to dinner Sunday evening and then just hung out at home and Peter headed back to Raleigh on Monday afternoon.  It's so nice that he has his truck there and can come home whenever  he wants to. The drive is only an hour and 45 minutes so it's not too bad at all!

And that was our weekend.  I'm extremely thankful for the time I got to spend with my kids. 

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Not much going on around here...

Exactly one week from today, we will be moving Sarah into her dorm at UNC Charlotte!  She and I have gone shopping THREE times for all of her dorm essentials AND she has ordered quite a few things from Amazon as well.  I've enjoyed our shopping trips and am thankful for the time we've managed to spend together.  She has worked almost every single day this summer and while her bank account is looking good, I've missed her!

I laugh when I think back to last summer when I had to drag Peter kicking and screaming to Bed Bath and Beyond to pick out a comforter and get the rest of his items. That trip ended pretty quickly with me offering to just go by myself to purchase everything I thought he needed.  He was totally fine with that. All he cared about was ordering a flag (Charlotte Hornets) for his wall.  And it's so funny because since then, I've seen a lot of boy moms talking about all their boy cared about for his dorm was a flag for the wall!  (I would also like to add that now that he has his own room in the apartment/frat house, he proudly has THREE flags displayed! :)

It's been pretty quiet around here now that Peter is gone.  Sarah's last day of work is tomorrow and then she is going to go to the lake with The Basement for a couple of days and then it's off to school!

The birds continue to come to the feeder that is mounted to the kitchen window.  And last week we finally had a cardinal visit!  It was a female.  She's visited several times and I'm hoping she brings her husband.

Buddy continues to enjoy the bird feeder as much as I do:

I've been enjoying my fair share of tomato sandwiches this summer:

Toasted sour dough is the key to an exceptional tomato sandwich!

I made this delicious tomato pie:

And a big pot of tomato bisque that was delicious too!

Dan and I have gone on a couple of walks this week and on Monday this little rainbow was just hanging out:

I love a surprise rainbow when there hasn't been any rain!

And according to my camera roll, that's all that's been going on around here.  

Friday, August 5, 2022

NCSU - Year 2 begins

On Tuesday morning, with a car loaded full of clothes and household items, and a truck loaded full of boxes, we headed to Raleigh to get Peter set up into his housing for sophomore year at NC State.

It was hard to be sad because he is so excited to be starting this year in an apartment/house with 11 of his fraternity brothers.  The building looks pretty old and I was curious so I did some sleuthing at the register of deeds.  It shows that the property was built in 1901 but also it doesn't show an actual deed being issued to anyone until 1924.   So either the building is 121 years old or the  building is at least 99 years old - either way, it's OLD! 

There are four front doors. The door on the far left and the far right are single person units with a bedroom, kitchen, living room, and bathroom.  The two doors in center are identical apartments but mirror images of each.  You walk into an entry way with steps leading to the second floor.  And then each of these two apartments have three bedrooms, a bathroom, and a kitchen.  No central living space.  And then the unit that Peter is in has a set of stairs that leads to the attic where there is another apartment with three bedrooms, a kitchen, and a bathroom. And then in the basement there is a laundry room and another bedroom. (I am assuming there is also a kitchen and bathroom down there.)

It's a very interesting housing set up and it appears that the attic and basement apartments were added in the 1990's to accommodate as many units as possible and I'm assuming at that time large groups of friends (aka fraternities) most likely started renting it. 

We got his room set up and all of his stuff put away and left him to deal with the leasing company on an issue we found. And before we left on Tuesday he was on the phone with AT&T because he is responsible for setting up internet for the whole house. So not even a couple hours into apartment living and he was already dealing with some fun issues.  It's great experience though. Welcome to adulthood!


I'm praying that year #2 is awesome! Lots of studying, a little fun, and a few of visits home. :)