Monday, November 14, 2011

Campus Visit

We went for our first visit to see my son's life down in Statesboro at the Georgia Southern University campus. It was game weekend so the campus was alive with activity, which was nice to see, the first time we were there to drop him off was a week before classes started and it was deserted.

We tailgated, hit the bookstore, took him shopping to restock his pantry, got to experience a game at the stadium and the traffic jam afterwards he has been talking about. After a day of togetherness we said our "see you in the mornings" and he took off, no doubt to party with some buddies. Sunday morning we picked him up for breakfast, he looked rough, with stamps on his hands and a wristband from some party or club. I had to laugh I remember those crazy weekends.

Jim and I sure felt old while we were people watching on campus but are glad those days are behind us! Chris was observing everything and I am sure thinking about his future days at college. My only regret was stepping foot in their apartment, not the way I would chose to live, 4 guys living together can make quite a mess!

He almost has one semester under his belt, and I can tell he is feeling more confident being on his own.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Hair Raising Experience

For years now I have not spent more than $20 total for cut and color ($13 for the cut and $7 for the bottle of L'Oreal) I guess it was starting to show so my friend and co-worker had mercy on me and gave me a gift certificate from one of our awesome advertisers who gave it to her as a Thank you --$160 --I was dumbfounded--who would ever pay that much for something that only lasts 4 weeks? That is the equivalent of a plane ticket to go see my folks I thought, how could it be so special?

I went in nervous as could be on a Tuesday at 4 pm -- four hours later I emerged a new woman, I just let the hair dresser work her magic, I didn't give her much direction, I figured she knew what she was doing. I have never sat still in a chair and been fussed over for that long in my life! -- Confession by the last hour I was up and pacing around--I was SO not used to this!

So for the last month I have felt beautiful, my hair styles like a dream, who knew? Well apparently all my girlfriends, I had no idea how much money has been exchanging hands with out my knowledge. It is hard to justify, in my mind but I can say I haven't felt this good in a long time.

Now it has grown out and the old hair is starting to emerge, so Friday I am going to go back for a touch up and treat myself to start out my 45th year in style!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Rose Colored Glasses

After spending the weekend dropping off my son at college I was feeling nostalgic, remembering all the good times. What I seemed to have forgotten, which is all flooding back to my memory now is all the struggles, being a fish out of water, having trouble finding your way around, having trouble socially, making bad decisions. It is all coming back to me as I hear in his voice through his first weeks, the anxiety that goes along with being a Freshman. I have to say many of the memories are not ones I care to relive, but as they say, it made me the strong person I am today. So when he calls me with all his worries, I will remain tough and just listen and remind him we have all gone through this awkward stage in our lives, and we survived.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Separation Anxiety

Ever since he was born we dreamed about this day, off to college! East Georgia College for now with a plan to transfer into Georgia Southern. The toughest thing for me to witness was him and his girlfriend saying goodbye, both in tears, I can say I remember that feeling well!
He is now settled in his college apartment. Jim and I did our best to get him all set up with everything he needs for a good start, hopefully I will be able to say he took advantage of the great opportunity he has. Even as we were pulling away in the car we were spouting last minute advice. It was strange driving away and giving up "control," he is on his own now. Except for the fact that he can call and text any time day or night! Going off to college doesn't seem as final as it used to be, when kids had to write letters to their loved ones. I am excited for him to start his own journey. Although, I did sneak him a text last night "Goodnight son" to which he replied "Love you Momma." I think I will let go in baby steps. . .

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Summer Update

I have been having a busy couple months I got a promotion at work and am now using every ounce of brain power and don't have much left for blogging. We have managed to have some fun this summer. It started of with a big graduation party, Jim did a great job transforming the backyard and feeding the crowd. Bryan requested a Southern BBQ so we fired up the neighbors smoker and made a bunch of pulled pork and chickens, it was a big hit. We slept 17 in the house, it was really special having everyone come to wish Bryan well. Weren't able to "get away" but have made the most of the beautiful area we live in. The best thing we did was go to my boss's luxury cabin on Lake Nantahala seen below.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Mission Accomplished

It has been a long and uphill battle but my son is graduating this week. Academics are not his passion, to put it in a gentle way. He has had me sweating bullets, talking with teachers, nagging him incessantly, all the while he is cool, calm and collected. Never doubting himself for a minute. I was always an overachiever and would not accept less than my maximum effort. So you can imagine my befuddlement with my child, the one I had raised, just fine with low marks, as long as he accomplishes his goal of passing. It is nothing short of maddening.

But he did it, I can breathe a sigh of relief for now. Time to celebrate! Hopefully all the aggravation will fade away from my memory.

Friday, April 8, 2011


I am all wound up with anxiety surrounding my son's impending graduation and college move. I could list all the worries, but I am sure you can imagine, the list is endless. I have been trying to quell my anxiety by working out, listening to music, saying the rosary etc. Well I think the universe is trying to send me a message, if I would only just take it to heart.
Recently while driving in the car the worrying started, and I looked up and the license plate of the car in front of me read "ITLBOK" as my younger son tried to crack the riddle I instantly said oh it says "It'll be Okay" I laughed and took a deep breath.
Then this morning, another stressful moment was upon me: filling out student loan papers, and I turned my attention back to work and the article I was asked to layout was entitled "Fear Not" and explained the concept of nothing ventured, nothing gained. Okay, I am starting to get the message, calm down Michelle, things have a way of working out.
My wonderful parents used to have words of encouragement hanging all over the house and one in particular is the advice I need at the moment: "Inch by inch life's a cinch, yard by yard, life is hard."

Friday, April 1, 2011

Not Like We Used to Do It!

The day I had been waiting 17 years for finally arrived! My baby boy was going to the Prom! I was excited to see his girlfriend and him in my living room looking beautiful. I would be snapping photos and tearing up as they drove away....not in the 21st century.

From the minute she was sending him cellphone pictures from the dressing room, seeing if he liked the dress she was trying on, I knew it would not be "like I remember it."

The Prom and all that surround it, is now a group event --don't have a date --no problem you just pick a "picture partner" no strings attached. Pose for the photos and you are done, no need to buy her dinner.

The boy going to pick up his date in his car? Nope, the girl is dropped off by her parents where they all board the Disco Bus. At the end of the night the girl is picked up by her parents to take her home.

The boys aren't even that interested in finding their date in the crowd! I was envisioning a totally different scenario of romance and hand holding.

The photo op consisted of me following Bryan to the gathering place, hunting down his date and jockeying for a position like paparazzi with all the other parents for a good shot. The parents were all looking at each other saying "This in not like we used to do it!"

Apparently they had a great time, he texted me, telling me he "danced his heart out," at least that hasn't changed.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Two of My Favorite People

My cousin Brendan got married on St. Patrick's Day at 12 noon, with the sounds of bagpipes echoing in the air, what a great day, the weather was flawless, no humidity, about 70 degrees, and the flowering trees of North Carolina were putting on a beautiful show.

We were met at our beautiful hotel room with a goody bag and a carefully planned itinerary. we arrived late the day before the wedding after fighting Atlanta traffic. I was totally exhausted but had trouble sleeping knowing in the morning I would get to see my extended family for the first time in about 18 months. I popped awake in the morning, jumped in the shower and headed down to the lobby for a family reunion over breakfast. What a great feeling to have all the people you love together in one room! Such a rare occasion in our family-- we are spread out all over the country.

Brendan's wife is a perfect match for him and fits right in to our clan. We hit it off from the minute we met, and I am so happy to see this union!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Guitar Lessons

We got Chris an acoustic guitar for Christmas, and he is doing great, he seems to have a real knack for it. I am already amazed at the speed he can move his fingers around and how he is memorizing the notes on the strings.

He has been getting skype lessons from my brother Jon which is so nice! We did a little name that tune with songs Chris has learned and they were all recognizable. Chris is also learning from lessons on YouTube--it is unbelievable how excellent some of the lessons are! The other night I had him indulge me and learn one of my favorite Pink Floyd tunes "Wish You Were Here" the acoustic beginning, he is working on it, it gives me chills! Of course he has never heard of Pink Floyd or the song before. I have been "educating" him on all the oldies, Led Zepplin, AC/DC, Eric Clapton, they are ancient to him, but he appreciates their music.

We have been having some great bonding time, I will spend hours helping him, it is so enjoyable to watch him catch on, it's our time together, and of course being the sweet heart he is he always thanks me when we are done.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

An Education in Higher Education

Last weekend we went to our first college recruitment visit. A coach has been courting Bryan to come play at their school. It seemed like a tempting proposition. The college is in a picturesque town in western North Carolina a 3 hour ride, through the Blue Ridge mountains. We got up at 5 a.m. Saturday morning, the tour and welcoming committee wanted us there at 9:30. The campus was founded in 1853, and the coaches couldn't have been nicer with their southern hospitality. The well-educated head coach uses the phrase "dad-gum" in just about every opportune statement, it is a real different world in the mountains! The Yankee in me just shudders, Bryan has lived here long enough that it is becoming part of his vocabulary too!

After 8 hours of pep talks and tours, we were done and ready for the long ride home. The college isn't what Bryan pictured for himself, there are only 650 students, I truly didn't know such a small college existed, but they do dot the South, as we are learning. He has gotten some strange offers from as far away as northern Minnesota, but nothing feels like the right fit yet.

Being the parent of a potential student athlete is a complicated journey.

To Be Thankful

I had the most heart warming experience on one of the coldest of winter nights. It was the Football banquet wrapping up the season. Each Senior was filmed reflecting about what they have learned, who influenced them and a true long heartfelt thank you to their moms. All the moms were teary and I was just welling with pride, that my young man could express himself so well, he hit every high and low point so well. "Thanks for all those early morning rides to school in your PJs, thanks for doing my nasty laundry every night, thanks for running my forgotten gear or homework over to school, etc. It was a long time coming and it meant a lot, to be publicly thanked, no kid rushed through it--just awesome.

When thinking back on it I think, it was not just for the benefit of the moms, it was also a great life lesson for these young men to teach them to be thankful as well, if you go through life without gratitude, you can develop a real problem with future relationships. I think the younger players who are there to witness this, also learn a lesson from the "big" guys, seeing them with humility, and acknowledging they didn't do this alone. Each of the coaches got up to the podium and broke down with emotion, an amazing thing to witness. Another chapter closes.