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Leaving for College + Other Random Events

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The last two weeks have been very full.

Last week, on Tuesday we woke up at 4 am and drove 4 hours to Chattanooga to take my sweet Emily to college. It was a long day of standing in line and getting her registered. But it was a really nice day too. We ate lunch at the Village Market and had vegetarian sushi – one of our favorite things to eat in the whole world. And then we moved her into her dorm room. After that we went shopping for a few things that she needed for her dorm room and by the time we got back and unloaded the car, I was exhausted!

You know, it’s hard for mamas when their kids leave home whether it’s for college or a job or a new apartment. Motherhood is full of bittersweet moments. You raise your children with the purpose of one day setting them free and even though you know it will happen one day, I don’t think you’re ever fully prepared. It’s just hard.

I think in our case I will get to see Emily fairly often and that will definitely help!

My son and his wife live just a few minutes from the college so we all went over to their house to eat pizza and watch a movie. We watched the new movie Sing and it was so good! I was actually really surprised that I loved it so much, but it had such a great message about perseverance and working toward your dreams and not giving up. I loved it!

Emily had a welcome party at the college that evening, but she told me she wanted to be with us instead so she stayed with us to enjoy the pizza and movie. It was such a nice evening. She and I curled up under a blanket on the couch and she laid her head on my shoulder to watch the movie and I will always treasure that! I managed to get through the day and only cried once – briefly. There were a lot of smiles and lots of hugs and lots of good memories.

I know that Emily is going to do so well in college. She is already so accomplished in her music and art and I know that one day she is going to be an amazing teacher. She has called me almost everyday to tell me all about everything that has happened over the last week now that school has started. She did great in her music auditions. Not many girls take a Classical Guitar Music major and I’m so proud of how hard she has worked over the last few years to be become an advanced musician.

We spent the night with James and Hannah Claire and then woke up early to make Hannah’s ice skating lesson on Wednesday morning. The fall semester has just started at our rink and we’re back to a more regular schedule for lessons and classes. Hannah worked with her coach in private lessons for 3 1/2 hours last week over Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday plus practiced for her typical 3 – 4 hours each day and had her classes. All those early morning hours at the rink aren’t easy, and sometimes when the alarm goes of at 3:30 or 4:00 am I want so much to just roll over and go back to sleep… but then I see her on the ice and I see how willing she is to work hard toward her goals even when it’s hard – that makes it all worth the sacrifice.

On Saturday afternoon we went to the park – we have a big family gathering every weekend and usually at either a park or the lake. Hannah and Laura and I climbed the rock wall. I love doing those kinds of things with my kids.

 

Sunday morning we woke up early and went to the arena to ride our horses for a few hours and film a few videos for Laura’s YouTube channel.

You know, there’s so many mean people on YouTube. Laura gets lots of really great comments on her channel. She’s doing so well with it – her subscriber numbers continue to increase and she get fan mail from girls who look up to her and companies have started sending her free products to review on her blog and YouTube channel.

But, she gets enough hate comments that some days it gets her really down. I am trying to work through that with her. She understands that people are mean and that she shouldn’t take it personally, but sometimes mean comments do hurt her feelings.

I want her to be tough enough to handle the haters, but there’s a fine line. She posted a video a few days ago and in it she talks about hate comments and how she deletes comments that are mean and she tells her views to find another channel to watch if they don’t like her learning process. I was so proud of the way she handled herself.

She loves making and editing the videos and she loves earning money doing it. She just needs to find a way to mentally block all of the mean comments. Things like:

“You shouldn’t own a horse.”

“You’re such a bad rider. I feel sorry for your horse.”

“Your teeth are as yellow as your horse’s teeth.”

And and on and on.

I know she’s doing great – she’s learning and improving every week. I don’t really understand why people feel the need to tear someone else. It’s so sad to me. And as a mom it really bothers me.

I much prefer the good comments she gets like:

“You are so inspiring!!”

“My parents are letting me get a horse because of your videos!”

“When I’m having a bad day, I watch your videos because they make me happy.”

On Monday we woke up early and drove down south of Knoxville to Madisonville, Tennessee to watch the eclipse. Madisonville was in the path of totality and I was determined to watch the eclipse in all of its glory. It was totally worth the drive! The traffic was terrible on our way back. It took 2 hours to go 30 miles, but still worth it! We stopped at the ice rink and let Hannah skate the last part of freestyle practice before we headed home.

We arrived home around 9:30 and had to pack our bags for our trip to Atlanta. I think we got to bed at 10:30 or 11:00 and I set my alarm for 4:00. We got to the ice rink again for another early morning lesson. Hannah had to miss the rest of the week at the ice rink because we were going out of town, and it’s hard for her when she misses ice time because she tends to “lose” her Axel Jump if she’s off ice too long. It’s one of those skills that comes and goes until it comes to stay. She’s at that point where it’s coming and going.

We drove down to Atlanta afterward and we’re still here! My mom had a double mastectomy on Wednesday and I came down with Hannah and Laura to help her for a few days while she recovers. You can read more about that here.

About 15 minutes before we arrived at my parents house I heard something hit the car, but I didn’t see anything and the car seemed fine. It seemed fine when I arrived home too.

Wednesday morning my parents left to head to the hospital and a little while later the girls and I loaded up the car and I pulled out of the driveway only to realize I had a flat tire. Talk about poor timing!

I pulled everything out of the trunk and got the spare tire out and then I couldn’t find the lug nut wrench or whatever you call it. I searched everywhere. We finally found one that fit in my parents garage. But then I couldn’t get the lug nuts off. So I ended up calling my brother.

He’s a fireman and was at work, but luckily they had a spare person at the fire station so he was able to run over and change the tire for me. When we took off the tire, there was a nice big gash in the side!

My husband said it was a miracle I made it to their house and didn’t have to pull over on the interstate or worse have an accident. I’ve never been alone without my husband when we had a flat tire and he always takes such good care of our tires. But I must have run over something or something hit the car and bounced up and hit the tire.

I didn’t make to the hospital before they took my mom back for surgery, but we did make it and I’m so glad I was able to be there.

I plan to stay another day or two and then we’ll head back home. She really is doing well with her recovery. I’m so pleased and thankful. Yesterday she was up quite a bit and even helped me prepare supper. My dad has been so attentive and sweet to my mama through all of this and I’m so grateful for that too. I think she gave him quite a scare!

This morning Sarah tried on her wedding dress for my parents. They bought the dress for her and actually my mom when with us when she went shopping for her dress. But my dad hadn’t see it. She had it altered to fit better and it looks just beautiful. She’s such a pretty girl. I would share a photo of the dress, but I best not. I will definitely share photos of the wedding. It’s coming up on September 24!!

We spent last night talking about wedding decorations and all of her ideas… such fun! Her wedding venue is stunning. I can’t wait to see it in person.

Well, I hope your week is going well. Let me know what’s going on with you in the comments below!

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6 Comments

  1. Congratulations on ALL your girls' accomplishments and new life paths. Please tell Laura she is a natural horsewoman. She has great lines from her legs to seat, good unbroken wrists and square shoulders. Is she going over fences? The haters, unfortunately, spew their venom and are not blessed with happy hearts. Hurt people hurt people, to borrow a phrase from my pastor. I used to ride many moons ago and I think Laura is on the right path. She is also training her horse, so all this takes time and patience. Focus on the positive comments, of which there seem to be many. Sadly, anytime one is in the spotlight, the haters or disrupters appear...hit the "delete" button and say a prayer for them . Easier said than done, I know. Laura, keep on riding, delete and ignore the haters (do not even mention them, as they just want attention and giving it to them in ANY form let's them know they succeeded in bothering you...the delete button is powerful - don't hesitate to delete without a comment) and keep sharing your wonderful teaching videos.
  2. Hi Melissa I just wanted to tell you that your posts are incredibly inspirational & I look forward to reading them. You are a blessing & a wonderful encouragement. I love your openness, your transparency & your courage.
  3. We just took our youngest to college a couple of weeks ago and, like you, I have some wonderful memories of that day. She told me recently in a phone call that she's not homesick; she gets frustrated because there is so much that she wants to get involved in and just does t have time to do it all. I am so excited for her to experience all of the new things that she will find in college. Best wishes for your daughter!!

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