Freshman

Trey first and last day of freshman year

Last day of freshman year! It has flown by and has, by far, been his best school year yet. Trey has grown and flourished this year excelling academically, socially and athletically. This kid nailed freshman year and I couldn’t be more proud. He worked so hard in his classes, on the football field and on the track. He truly went above and beyond putting in extra hours and going the extra mile (literally in some cases); he gave it his all and then some.  All this hard work is starting to pay off and will continue to do so. This is one amazing young man and I am one exceptionally proud mom.  Love you, bud!

(Here’s a little side-by-side view of first day and last day of freshman year)

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High School

Trey Permit First Highway Drive Trey First Day of School First Game Number 47 First Varsity Game
First Game Take a Knee

My not so little boy has made it to high school.  He practiced football and conditioned hard all summer in the 95 degree heat with 80% humidity to make the varsity team at a local private prep school.  I am proud to say that as a freshman, he is playing second string linebacker (#47).  This means Friday night lights for this family every week, and man, we are loving it.  He also got her permit and is driving.  I have to be totally honest and say that he’s already driving better than me but that’s really not saying too much (I’m not the best driver in the world).  He has signed up for some exciting, yet hard classes at his new school.  Classes are underway and he is tackling them head on.  We are beyond excited and thankful to God for the amazing opportunity that our son has at this new school.  The sky is the limit and we are beyond proud of is dedication, hard work and passion.  I have no doubt that he will go very far.  Football, driving, and a brand new school; it’s going to be a great year!

Life Without Internet

Burning PaperBuilding Blocks Trey Playing in the Fire Terrorizing the Cat

Our home entertainment options are solely based on the internet.  This means that when then internet goes down, all entertainment options go with it; no tv, video games, computer, Skype, etc.  So this is what a weekend with two teenagers and no internet looks like.  The kids threw their old school work into the fire in our new fire pit page by page.  The boys pulled out some old building blocks and made Lord of the Rings towers.  Because just building the towers wasn’t enough, they had to make them crash and video it in slow motion (which actually looked pretty cool, I must admit).  Things got really desperate when we resorted to putting on gorilla slippers and terrorizing the cats.

I’m not a big TV watcher but do spend way too much time on my phone and on blogs.  To be honest, I really enjoyed not having internet. Our teenagers spent time just hanging out with us with no distractions.   Overall we have way too many entertainment options and way too many distractions.  This weekend we were forced to unplug but I would choose to do it again anytime.

Just a Weekend :: Happiness

Upcycled Skirt - STOP Surf Sitting Room Trey and Banana Yarn Sewing Living RoomBanana Dining Room New Piper Sandals D Ombre Spinning
Sometimes you read something online and it really sticks with you.  This happened to me recently.  I read something on Instagram posted by the lovely @kaehope and it has stuck with me everyday since.

“Happiness – is letting go of what you think your life is supposed to look like & celebrating it for everything that it IS. A new goal I’ve set: to be contagiously happy. ”

This is so true and since I read this on Instagram, I’ve heard the same message in other ways…Bloom where you are planted.  We are only given today so LIVE, I mean truly live for today.  Enjoy your life right where you are. Celebrate your life for everything that it is.

These are pics from my weekend, just everyday life truly enjoying the moment; sewing, hanging with the hubs and kids, redecorating the house, crocheting, enjoying new shoes, loving our fat cat.  Happy weekend, happy life.

July

A photo of my children every month :: July

D and Jake Trey July After Baptism

Dee {17 years and 4 months}:
After having a long distance relationship between Belgium and the U.S. for a full year, Dee’s boyfriend came for a visit.  It was a joy getting to know him.  They spent the two weeks going on dates, hanging out watching tv and going to church camp.

Trey {14 years and 2 months}:
I am so proud of this kid! He went to church camp and recommitted his life to Christ.

They Are Home

Back from Cali

After being gone nearly a month to California, my kids are home. The hubs and I had nice quality time alone but, it is great to have them back where they belong. Our family is whole again.

As a bonus, my parents flew back with them to close on their retirement home here in Florida! I am so excited for them and excited that they will live nearby soon. Check back for more details on this in the near future.

June

A photo of my children every month :: June

D in a Hat papa and trey fishing

Dee {17 years and 3 months}:
They spent the entire month of June in California with my parents.  They got to do so many cool things together but she got some special treatment alone like breakfast in bed and a girls day manicure/pedicure with my mom.  She had a blast but is looking forward to the next chapter of her summer.  Her boyfriend (who she hasn’t seen in a year) comes back from Belgium, she has church camp and then gets to go on a trip with her boyfriend and his parents to get him setup for college.  She’s beyond excited.

Trey {14 years and 1 month}:
They spent the entire month of June in California with my parents.  Trey got special treatment in California by going on fishing excursions with my dad.  He had a so much fun but is looking forward to coming home and starting football next week.  Also, he is now just a tad bit taller than my dad.  He is growing so fast!

Kids Retreat

The kids have been gone now for three weeks. These times are always bittersweet. It is nice to have alone time with my husband but I do miss my children terribly. We always consider that a husband and wife need the time alone and away from the children. But in all honesty the children need time away from us. It allows them to get a break, a change of scenery and to refresh. Being apart allows the kids and parents the opportunity to miss and appreciate all the little things about each other. Being apart for a month of time has allowed us to understand and truly appreciate what each person really brings to the family and to our household.

I know for certain that this time has allowed my children to bond with my parents which indefinitely means that they are getting spoiled beyond measure. A good example is recently my mom asked me, “how do you cook for these children. They are so picky about what they eat.” My response to her was, “I cook whatever I decide to and the eat it.” Apparently my mom is going above and beyond and cooking many different things to give them what they want. Bless her heart. She truly is the sweetest grandmother to my children. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen any other grandparents more engaged in their grandchildren’s lives. We are all blessed beyond measure to have them.

So they truly have had such a great time visiting with their grandparents. They’ve done a week long camping trip, they took a trip to San Francisco, they went to the movies, they’ve been bowling and they swim in the backyard pool more times than anyone could count. Yes, they will certainly come back spoiled. But in all honesty this trip will be great for everyone. Family is so important and these are the opportunities we have to build bonds and relationships with each other.
kids in san franD wake boarding

Mothering a Teenager

Aiport Drop to Cali 2014
Summertime is here. School is over and it was time again to drop my teens off at the airport to fly across the country to stay with my parents for a month. Letting go is never easy and lately I find myself having to let go of my teens more and more. It’s such a stark and drastic difference to go from a life that revolves around them to an empty home. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the alone time with my husband but it’s quite the adjustment.  Letting go is like ripping a band-aid off in one fail swoop. As they get older, I find myself trying to balance that need to protect them, but also giving them the room to make their own life decisions. This is particularly difficult for me with my 17-year old who is on her way to senior year, making college decisions, and has a long distance boyfriend coming home for the summer. We are on the peak of so many very important life decisions for her. Some that will impact her for the rest of her life. It is exciting, scary and sad all at the same time. There are more emotions than I could ever begin to express. With God’s grace, I just do my best to find that balance and walk closely with both of my children on each of their journey’s guiding, supporting, and, yes, sometimes letting go.

I find that as my children moved from childhood into adolescence, the exhaustion moved from physical to mental and emotional. But, it’s worth it. It’s worth every single moment that I have invested whether that was cheering for a victory or crying alongside them in defeat. They always say that a mother is only as happy as her happiest child. I find a lot of truth in that. As a mother, my heart and soul is poured into each of my children so whatever they go through, I truly go through it along with them. Mothering a teen is hard but it is also incredibly rewarding. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

May

A photo of my children every month :: May

May Danica May Trey

Dee {17 years and 2 months}:
May is big month with end of year exams, scheduled SAT’s and AP exams. It’s also the month that the seniors complete high school and the juniors are crowned as seniors. My girl is officially a senior. Let the tears begin!

Trey {14 years}:
May is Trey’s birthday month. He turned 14 in May and the one thing he wanted to do was try archery lessons. He did his first lesson on his birthday and as usual did an amazing job. This kid is just naturally good at sports right out of the gate. It blows my mind! So proud of him.