Sunday, August 26, 2012

Summer Accounting

Well, here is that Summer To-Do List I made way back in June.  And you can see how I fared.

1.  Read a lot.  I have a whole pile of books I've been saving for my summer reading.

2.  Make the jam for the year.

3.  Get the kids' schoolwork organized and in file boxes. (started)

4.  Go to the temple once a month with the kids.

5.  Start teaching Conor piano lessons.

6.  Start reading the Book of Mormon with Conor.

7.  Summer school-ish program for Conor.  (eh)

8.  Go to the Getty Center with Lyndsay and Aiden.

9.  Clean out closets and drawers and donate!

10. Make a memory video for Lyndsay (started)

11. Go through bookshelves and donate to the library.

12. Lose 10 pounds. (well, lost 6, gained 4, lost 2, gained 2, lost 2: so, only 4lbs down, but I'm not giving up!)

13.  Go to the California Science Center.

14.  Go to the Norton Simon with Lyndsay and Conor.  (And the Perkins family!)

15.  Hike Eaton Canyon with the kids.

16.  Get renter's insurance.

17.  Back up my photos and music.

18.  Get broken things fixed around the house.

19.  Make homemade ice cream. (I bought the ingredients!)

20.  Get kids (and me!) to the dentist.

So, progress.  But still a list of things to do.  

I did other things though.  Like, took a trip to Mesa very unexpectedly so that my daughter could say goodbye to her beloved Pop-Pop before he passed away, and then helped her deal with that. (The boys were already in Arizona.)

Took a Mother/Daughter trip with Lyndsay to Las Vegas and had a blast together.  Celine!  (I don't think I blogged about that.  I should!)

Was able to take Conor to swimming lessons for several weeks when the Perkins family moved here.  

Canned tomato sauce and salsa. 

Celebrated Lyndsay's 18th birthday in Beverly Hills.  (I don't believe I blogged about that either!)

Planned the week with all of my children home, and had a great time with everyone.  (Whew!)

Successfully got Lyndsay off to college.  And am surviving.  

Boy, it's been some kind of summer.

But tomorrow morning I start back at school.  My third semester of the nursing program.  I guess I'm ready.  I mean, I'd prefer to hang out just being Mom around here, but it's time to kick it into gear for the final year!  

Here we go!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Blessings: Food Edition

I feel so lucky!  Look at all this food I was given!  Some friends of ours are moving out of state and it was more expensive to have their pantry packed and shipped than just to restock their new one, so they let me come over and have their food!  I saved it from a dumpster death!

All of this food sat in big tubs on my kitchen floor for the last week and a half, until I could get to it.  But today I sorted it all, and reorganized my cupboards to find room for it all.  It makes me feel so blessed and secure to have cupboards full of food.

Now I will need to use it up!  Right now I have a pumpkin cake cooling and it smells so good!

Thank you for the blessing!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Of Boxes and Blown Tires: A Tender Mercy Story

I am one who believes that God is intimately and personally involved in each of our lives.  I believe He has His hand over each of us, and that one day we will be allowed to really see how many acts of intervention and protection we were privileged to have while here on earth.  Some we are aware of presently, but I believe that many, many others go unnoticed by us because we simply cannot see from His vantage point.  But I also believe that the more we look for His guiding influence in our lives, the more we will see.  Maybe that is because a parent loves to give to a grateful child, or maybe it is because, like a divine radio signal, we simply become more attuned to the frequency of heaven.  David Bednar called these little miracles "tender mercies" and I have tried to become more aware of them in my life.  Sometimes people will call them coincidences.

I don't believe in coincidences.

After saying my tearful goodbye to Lyndsay, and enjoying my lunch with Annette, I drove back to Kelli's house with my van load of Lyndsay's dorm belongings.  Kelli had agreed to store them and then take them to her on Saturday night and help her settle in.  My luggage was still in Kelli's guest room, so I went in to pack up, and Kelli and her husband, Greg, unpacked my van and loaded the contents into their car.  But before I went inside, I took out two boxes of books that I had picked up for Luisa (copies of her recently released novel, Dispirited), from her friend in Provo, which I would bring back to California and deliver to her.  It was an easy errand to run for my friend, and I was happy to do it.  I set the two boxes aside and mentioned something about, "everything but these two boxes," before I went to retrieve my bags in the house.

When I came back out, luggage in hand, I had another emotional goodbye with Kelli, thanking her for her help, and asking her to take care of my girl.  Kelli's mother, who was also a good friend, passed away when she was a senior in high school, back when I was her Young Women's leader in Church, so she knows something about missing one's mom.  I was keenly aware of the time, now past 2pm,  knowing I had a ten hour drive ahead of me, so I threw my suitcases in the car, and backed away from her house, my vision blurred with tears.

To marinate in my sorrow, I cued up an audiobook I had selected for my journey home: Joyce Carol Oates' memoir, A Widow's Story.  I figured I'd lose myself in her grief, and maybe feel strangely cleansed by the time I arrived home.  And, I hoped that focusing on her elegant prose would keep me awake as I drove.  (I think I am plagued with driving-induced narcolepsy, if that exists.)

I watched the scenery change to farmland.  Then, with a bolt of adrenaline, I whipped my head around to the back of the van.  The boxes!  The boxes of books!  Oh, my gosh, I hadn't seen them in the back of the van.  They had been packed into Kelli's car!

Of course, I was instantly irritated with myself.  My sadness had completely clouded my mind.  I was about 20 miles out now, and there was no way around it.  I would have to turn around and go back.  20 miles back, 20 miles again on the road, just to break even.  What a colossal waste!  Of time, of gas, all because I was absent-minded.  And now it would be that much later that I would get home.  I called Kelli and told her I was coming back.  She was so sorry, she hadn't heard me say anything about those two boxes.  They'd just packed everything.  Of course, it was not her fault in the least.

I got back to her house, pulled into the driveway, dug the boxes out of the back of her SUV, and got back on the road, conscious of the ticking clock.  I was already so frustrated that I had to go back to California so late in the day just for a fingerprint clearance that could easily have been done on another day.

I kept my audiobook playing loudly, over the sound of my tires on the road, the blasting air conditioning, and opposing traffic.  I was lost in the story, a story of loss but also of survival, and now and then I felt a tiny whisper of strength in my Mother Heart.  Something that said I had done something hard, given my precious daughter a gift in sending her off, and that not only would I be okay, but that she would soar, and we both would always look on this sacrifice as a sacred time between us.  We had to part ways as Mother and Daughter in a day-to-day sense, so that we could come back together at a later time as more.  Always Mother and Daughter, but also Woman and Woman, and Friends.  I felt a spark of hope for what the future held for both of us, and I felt proud of myself for doing this hard thing (that was much more than a single act, mind you, but many years in the making) largely alone.  I had helped her cross a gulf that had been impassable for me when I was her age.  I had given her what I wished I had been able to have.

I was thrilled to make it to St. George, my first major milestone.  That was four hours done.  Six to go, but I would focus on the two to Las Vegas first, and then the last leg home.  The traffic was in my favor, and my energy was sufficient.  I was feeling good, even though from time to time I let my mind wander to those lost 40 miles.  Adam called me as I drove through Vegas.  I paused my audiobook to chat with him.  Things were good, I was okay, I told him.  He was worried about me driving alone.  And then, just past the Strip, I heard an odd noise.  A flap, flap, flap that was not right.  I didn't feel anything, but I knew something was off.  "What's that noise?" I said to Adam on the phone.  "I need to let you go." And I hung up, and pulled the car onto the shoulder of the road just across from the South Point hotel and casino.  I climbed out on the passenger side (where I'd heard the noise) and looked at my tire.  The rubber had blown.  Not all the way, yet, but there were strips of rubber hanging off of the tire, and the wire mesh underneath was completely exposed.  A short distance more on the freeway and it would have been much more dangerous, driving at that speed.  I called Adam back and told him the situation.  Initially he wanted me to turn around and head back into Vegas, but there was no way I was driving that car another mile.  Instead, he offered to call our insurance and utilize our roadside assistance coverage.  I was frazzled and emotionally drained.

I thought to myself how grateful I was that he had called me when he had, because I don't know if I would have heard the flapping noise over the volume of the audiobook I was so engrossed in.

So, began a very long night.  The first help came and was completely worthless and inept.  I'd noticed by that time that my other front tire also had splits in the seam and was about to go.  It was his advice that I go ahead and just drive on it.  That's what he would do.  And he attempted to put on my spare that had a huge slash in it with an old patch job oozing through.  And exactly how was he going to tow me in that old white Honda Civic of his?  I told him I just didn't feel comfortable with his level of expertise.  Did he realize I was a woman driving alone, and in just a few miles I would be in the middle of nowhere for a very long time, in the middle of the night?  I sent him off and my insurance company, who'd called to check on me, dispatched another tow service.  I needed two new tires, no way around it, and I had to get home that night.  I ended up waiting several hours on the side of that freeway for a tow truck who finally took me to a 24 hour tire joint in a seedy part of Vegas around midnight.   The tire place could only sell me used tires, and they didn't recommend I drive a long distance, but I had the tow guy come and assess them for safety in getting home to Los Angeles.  There was just no way around it.  I was grateful--grateful that I had the insurance coverage, grateful for the tow service, grateful for the money to get the temporary tires, grateful that Adam had been on the other end of the phone helping me long-distance--but so very exhausted by this point.  I didn't know how I would physically be able to make the drive home.

And then I had a peaceful awareness come over me.  The boxes.  Had I not forgotten them, I would have been 40 miles further down the road when my tire blew.  There ain't a lot going on 40 miles outside of Vegas.  The freeways are a lot darker, and I'll betcha 24-hour tire joints, even seedy ones, are non-existent.  My insurance coverage only provided for 17 miles of towing service, and that would not have been sufficient.  Forgetting those boxes had been a blessing.  A tender mercy.

I pulled into the driveway just after 4am.  I was so relieved to turn the engine off.  I'd made it home, safely, miraculously, and in time to get my children off to school and head over to that blasted fingerprint clearance appointment.

No, I don't believe in coincidences.

I believe in Heaven watching over me.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Checking In

On Thursday morning, Kelli woke up early to make us Lemon Poppyseed Pancakes.  They were delicious.  Lyndsay barely touched hers.  She was a bundle of nerves.  This would be the day that she was to officially check in as a student at BYU.  We left with plenty of time to find a parking spot.  Had there been one.  After circling the Cannon Center a billion times, and watching the clock tick ever onward, I finally dropped Lyndsay off in front and told her to go get checked in and I'd keep circling around.  This was her check-in for the Late Summer Honors Program, a week-long class for a select group of only 120 or so students.  Yes, she would earn one credit for the class (she had selected an art class about Illuminating Sketchbooks and Journals) but more valuable we thought was the chance to have a week on campus to get used to things before the real semester began.  But now it was here, and she wanted to go home.  Knees knocking, and both of us on edge, she got out of the car and walked into the Cannon Center.  There were other kids and parents walking through the parking lot, and oddly enough, two from our Stake back in California!  The odds!  I kept fruitlessly looking for a parking spot.  Education Week had completely taken over the campus.

Finally, I got a call on my cell phone from her, and I met her around front again.  She had a bundle of books and art supplies in her hands, and a smile on her face.  Her binder had been personalized for her, and there was a whole schedule laid out for the week's activities.  She told me she'd "signed up for everything."  Awesome.  She had a t-shirt, a text book, a new sketchbook, some primo watercolors and brushes, and a few other supplies.  She was extremely relieved she was not taking the Machiavelli class that another girl in our Stake was signed up for.

We found her dorm room, which would only be her dorm for two nights before she could move into her official fall dorm.  I parked illegally in a handicap spot and we ran like mad with the few things she would need for two days into the building to get her settled in.

I made up her bed for her (her full bedding set we left with Kelli) and I tucked a note under her pillow.  Then we ran like mad back to the van and got out of there, moving to another lot where I could park and we could head over to her Honors Orientation.

Slight detour here: On the drive up to Utah on Tuesday, I got a frantic call from someone in the RN department at my college, telling me that I was required to have another background check and fingerprint clearance to satisfy the requirements of the psychiatric clinic I would have my rotation at, and that my appointment was for Friday at 10am.  I explained to the woman that I was out of state and would not be back until Friday night or Saturday, but she was unmoved, telling me that it was mandatory and I would need to find another way, or choose another clinical site.

She put me on with the Dean.

I explained again.  The Dean was much kinder and more understanding.  She told me to just enjoy the time with my daughter, that this was surely a problem that could be resolved, and that I shouldn't worry about it.  So I didn't.  Until Thursday morning when I got an email from the school saying that there was no way around it, I had to have my fingerprint clearance done by Friday morning, but maybe I could have it done at a location nearest to me?  There happened to be a location on BYU's campus, so after settling Lyndsay into her dorm, and in the 25 minutes we had before her orientation started, we went over to that building to see what could be done.

Basically, nothing.  Though the company was a national clearance center, fingerprints can not be shared across state lines.  Whatever that even means, as it seems a huge contradiction to me.  But there it was.  It was Thursday at 10:50am, and I had to be back in California in less than 24 hours for this stupid procedural minutiae.  (We'd already had background checks and fingerprint clearances done, but this facility wanted them done again.)  My plan had been to spend the day on campus, with my textbooks in the library, just enjoying the atmosphere.  We figured Lyndsay could check in with me later in the day, and tell me about how things were going.  We planned that I would come up to campus in the morning and have breakfast with her before getting on the road to come home.  And suddenly, it became apparent that I was leaving right then.  Leaving my girl.  A huge knot formed in my stomach.

"Oh my gosh, Lyns, this is it, " I said, tears forming.  "I have to leave.  I am so, so sorry."  We hugged tightly and I just sobbed and sobbed.  "I love you so much and I'm so proud of you, my girl."  She told me how much she loved me too, and that she understood and would be okay.  I looked up at her and took her face in my two hands and just wanted a second to memorize that sweet face that I wouldn't get to see again for months.  Oh, my heart ached, especially for the suddenness of the departure.  She went into the auditorium of the Maeser building and found a seat next to some girls that complimented her on her "cute shirt."  I put my head down and walked back down the stairs, out the door, and across campus to my car, crying the entire way.  I was leaving her, and it was. So. Hard.

I sat in my car and scrambled my brains trying to figure out a way to stay.  Should I just change clinical sites?  Would they really make me if I was just one day late?  But the feeling I had said, just go.  It was torture saying goodbye.  It will be torture tonight, and torture tomorrow.  You've done it, so just let it be.  Besides, the sooner she realizes she's really on her own, the sooner she'll assimilate and make new friends and begin the adjustment.  I knew it was right, though I hated it.

I had a lunch appointment scheduled with a dear friend at noon at a little cafe in Provo.  Annette Lyon and I have been online friends for years, but had never met in person.  I was so excited for the chance to connect in person with her, as I've admired her for so long.  I got there early, and sat in my car trying to compose myself.  She arrived right on time, looking radiant, as I knew she would.  And, as good friends do, she got all teary with me as I told her of my aching heart, having just left Lyns at BYU.  She is already feeling the pain of her oldest son growing up and getting ready to leave the nest.  We commiserated, and it was like we were the oldest friends.  We had delicious salads and opened our hearts with one another as if we were just picking up from where we'd last left off.  A soul sister, she is.  What a privilege that our paths have crossed.  She was a delight, and I easily could have spent hours just sitting and sharing with her.

Unfortunately, I had to get on the road.

My van was still full of the rest of Lyndsay's things, so I headed back over to Kelli's house where I'd be unloading them into her car until she could take them down to campus on Saturday night and help Lyndsay move in to her fall dorm.  Then the real adventure began.  I'll tell that story tomorrow.

(Incidentally, Kelli lives directly across the street from where the new Payson Temple is being built.  That will be such a wonderful view for her family!)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Figuring Out the Campus

On Wednesday afternoon, we decided we'd go up to campus to start walking around and getting a feel for things.  I was immediately intimidated by the parking situation, feeling like there was no way I could find a spot, then find my way around campus, and finally find my car again at the end.  Education Week was going on at BYU, so it was especially crowded.  But we lucked out after almost an hour of searching and parked the car.  Then what?  I mean, where to start?  I had only been on the campus one time before, about 15 years ago when I came to visit a friend, so I had no idea.  I tried to play it cool so that my daughter's anxiety didn't rise to uncontrollable levels.

The thing about BYU is that everyone is so kind.  People stopped to help us just because we looked completely bewildered.  People offered to walk us to different buildings, to share with us their experience on campus (for one man, there for Education Week, it was 40 years ago!), to give us advice and mostly pass on excitement to Lyndsay about what a great time she will have.

There's the famous "Y" on the mountain.  Lyndsay will be hiking to that later this week.

We found the Creamery right away (actually, before we found a parking spot) and had to go in for ice cream cones and to scope the place out.

Once we were officially on the campus, we just started locating buildings, trying to orient ourselves.  Here's Lyndsay standing in front of the Brigham Young statue, which stands in front of the Abraham Smoot Building, an administrative building.

 Then we started searching for Helaman Halls, her dorm, so that we could locate everything else in relation to that.  Kind people who saw me photographing her, would stop and offer to take a picture of the two of us together.

And we found it!  Here is the Cannon Center, the main hub of Helaman Halls, where the cafeteria is located, another smaller Creamery, and study rooms, rec rooms, etc.  She'll be spending a lot of time here.

And here is her hall!  Her new home-away-from-home will be here, in Stover Hall.  As of Saturday evening, she is now officially moved in.

Here we are walking from Stover Hall, back toward the Cannon Center.  I love this campus, can I just tell you that?  I love the feeling there.  I'm so happy that my daughter gets to be there, and I wish I could be there studying too!

Now, back on the main campus, this is the atrium of the library, which extends very far to the right of this photograph.  This part is new since I was last here.  And the library also goes under ground to the left of this photograph and those smaller bluish glass structures there are the skylights to that portion of the library.  The library is huge.

We went to the Bookstore and printed off her booklist and I showed her how to locate her textbooks.  She's already done all that now, and is ready to go.  At 5pm, Jyssica, a friend from our ward, who is just about ready to graduate from BYU, met us on campus for a more informed tour.  It was so nice to see her face, and comforting to Lyndsay to have a friend and see how fondly she talks of her experience here over the last years.  We got Lyndsay's fall schedule, and Jyssica walked us to each of the classes so we could see right where they are.  Fortunately, Lyndsay's schedule is pretty compact and she doesn't have miles to go between classes.  It's going to work out beautifully for her.  And she won't feel quite so lost on the first day.

I took pictures of Lyndsay outside of her classrooms, kind of as a joke, but also because I like to have a picture in my mind of where she is and imagine her in class, learning so much.  This is outside of her Biology classroom.

And here she is in her New Testament class, which will be her first class of Fall semester.  Currently, this room is getting new seats.

The Testing Center is a new concept to me, but it sure is a beautiful building.  Tests don't happen in class during normal class time, but rather class goes on as normal and you are expected to go to the testing center during an assigned window of time and take exams on your own time.

This is the Maeser building, where a lot of the Honors classes are held.  This is actually where Lyndsay's Late Summer Honors Program class was held, so she's spent a lot of time here over the last week.

Jyssica was a huge help to us.  She answered our questions, and I know Lyns has already texted her with other questions that have come up.  I'm so happy for Jyss, who has grown up so beautifully, and matured into a lovely young woman.  And she found herself a very charming husband while here!

After our tour, we went to (my favorite!) Cafe Rio for dinner.  Lyns and I shared our favorite Pork Barbacoa Burrito.  So super yummy.

And then we went back to Kelli's for the night, and goofed around with her for a bit.  Also, some Face Time with Aiden and Conor back home, who had finished their second day of school.  This was my last night with Lyns.  In the morning she would move onto campus and begin her LSH class.

(Look!  My legs are almost as white as my pants!)

Friday, August 17, 2012

Goodbyes are Hard: Easing our Way to BYU

Monday night was hard.  It was Lyndsay's last night here in our home, before everything changed.  Many of her friends came by to see her, give her sweet gifts (like a beautiful scrapbook filled with pictures of memories they've had together), chat, laugh, cry.  I was up in my bedroom packing, and finishing Lyndsay's journal.  See, the day I found out that I was pregnant with Lyndsay, I bought a little hardbound journal and I wrote an entry in it.  Before I knew if she would be a boy or a girl, or what her name would be.  Throughout the pregnancy I wrote, then her birth, then her babyhood, toddlerhood, childhood, etc.  My feelings for her, cute things she said or did, milestones and achievements.  Of course, as more children arrived (whom I also keep journals for, which all began on the day I discovered the pregnancy), the entries become more sparse, but the plan was always that when she left for college, I would give it to her.  Up until then, it's always been in my possession.  There were enough pages left for one final entry, and on Monday night I sat on my bed in tears and wrote that final entry.  When her friends had gone home, she came into my room to hug me and I burst into tears in her arms.

"Do you think," I said, "that if we don't go to sleep, that morning will never come?"  She was game to give it a try.  The sweetness of that embrace, and the many others that would follow it over the next several days will forever be imprinted in my memory.  My grown up girl.  We've been through so much together.  I handed her the journal.  "My baby journal?" she said, and she began to cry.  "Yep, it's all finished," I said.  "Please, please don't lose it."  It was so hard to turn it over to her.  Her whole life, from my perspective as her mother was written in those 160 pages.  I'd re-read it that night, remembering her growth and fun memories.  She's always astonished me, and I could see how blessed she's been and how all things have led her to this moment in time, right now.  She was so grateful, and very emotional in receiving it.  I hope she will read it, at moments when she is alone, when she is missing her former life, her mom.  She will be able to read my love for her, my testimony, my blessing for her.  She will laugh at funny things she may or may not remember.  She will feel not so alone.  She will know how tremendously loved and treasured she is.

When I went to my bedroom, I turned and saw her through her bedroom door, sitting on her bed with her laptop.    I wanted to memorize the sight of her, there in her room, on her bed, as a thousand times before.  She looked up at me and we just locked eyes.  And then I went to her and hugged her some more.  "Go to bed, Momma," she said, "You need to sleep.  I love you so, so much."

I love that she calls me 'Momma'.  Sometimes 'Mommy', but usually, 'Momma.'

I couldn't even cry about the boys' first day of school in the morning.  That emotion barely registered on my radar, as it usually does.  We met in the living room for a final family scripture study.  We talked about King Benjamin's promise that if we kept the commandments of God, we would prosper.  We talked about what prospering means, and how each of us can prosper in different ways in different times in our lives.  I told them I knew that promise was real and true, and how I want for each of them to prosper.  We prayed together.

Then it was time for Aiden to leave for school.  His goodbye to his sister was heartbreaking.  Those two are so close and have spent so much time together.  He is going to seriously miss her, and she him. He tried to be tough, but I couldn't even get a First Day of School picture of him because his face was too red and teary-eyed.  I hate it when my kids have heartache.  I wish we never had to say goodbye to each other.

Conor had his moment with Lyns as well.  He gave her lots of love, and she gave him some sisterly advice.  Poor Conor always has to say goodbye to his siblings, and he's so young, I hope he has memories of what it's like living with them at home.  I know my younger siblings don't really remember me being at home.  That's so sad.  He adores Lyndsay.

But then he was off, to his first day of First grade.  I walked him to school.  His teacher is a good friend of ours from church, and the mother of one of Lyndsay's best friends, so he was very comfortable going to school this time.  Not at all like last year.  Thank goodness.

His good friend, Irwin, is in his class too.

His teacher let the parents come to the classroom and help the students find their desks.  Here is Conor sitting at his new desk.

Then, I walked back home to do the hard part.

Lyndsay was all packed up, lying on her bed.  "Scoot over," I said, and I lay down next to her.  She was having a hard time saying goodbye to her room, to her memories, to her childhood.  A lot is staying here in her room, and I promised her it would all stay the same, to which she replied, "But I won't be here."  So much of her is in that room, and she loves that room.  It was last summer that Aiden and I repainted it to surprise her, remember that?  Oh, how the year flew by.  Eventually, she was ready, and we headed out to the car, which Aiden had packed up the night before.

She didn't want to go.  Yes, she knew it was right, but she's like me: sentimental and emotional.  She wanted to stay in the safety and familiarity of home.  It was so hard to be strong for her since my heart wanted that too, but we took turns being strong for each other.

We first stopped in town for a pedicure.  A last little treat for my girl.  Not that we talked all that much.  We were both feeling so sad.

But Lyndsay wanted her toes to match her dorm.  I'll miss those feet!

I drove most of the time, but Lyns did give me a little break.  I fell asleep for a tiny bit and when I woke up, she confessed that she thought about turning the car around and heading back home.

When I saw the "Welcome to Utah!" sign, my eyes filled with tears.  But we stopped in St. George with Amber.  A baby step into Utah.  Some moral support from one of my favorite people, who is getting ready to send her daughter off to BYU in Idaho in a few weeks.  And, who is handling it a lot better than I am.  Here is Lyndsay talking to Aiden and Conor on FaceTime.  We'll be using this app a lot in the coming months and years.

My favorite homegirl.

 Lyns and I wore our matching pajamas that we got on our trip to Las Vegas this summer.

In the morning, we headed up north.  We stayed with my cute friend, Kelli, who is now married and has the sweetest little guy of her own.  Kelli was one of my Laurels when I lived in Show Low and we spent a lot of time together, especially after her mom passed away when she was Lyndsay's age.  But she was also my babysitter when she was younger and she's known Lyndsay since she was 3.  In fact, I still have the pasta necklace that Lyndsay made for me one night when Kelli was babysitting her and Dylan.

Here is Daxtyn, one of the cutest, most joyful babies I've ever seen.  What a love!

It was so good to see Kelli again.  She did my hair for my wedding to Adam, and she came to visit when Conor was a baby, but it had been years!  I love this girl.  We had a fun time singing our Moulin Rouge songs together like we used to way back when, and remembering our memories from when she and I took a trip to Vegas together for her 18th (and my 30th) birthday.  Holy cow.

Being with her was a sweet diversion.  And Kelli being there so close to my girl is a huge comfort to me.  In fact, all of Lyndsay's stuff is stored in Kelli's car right now and Kelli will be the one to go up to campus on Saturday evening and help Lyns move into her fall dorm.  (She is in a temporary dorm for Thurs-Fri.)  I love the way God takes care of us through good friends along our way.

The day we got to Kelli's, Lyndsay and I headed down to campus to get a feel for things and to start learning our way around.  I'll post that part later.  And then we spent our last night together at Kelli's house.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

We're Leaving in Three Days, But I Don't Think We're Ready

Oh my, it's overwhelming.  Both of us are so distraught that we've become useless.  She cries, I cry.  It's breaking my heart.  I don't know if I'll have the strength to leave her in Utah and drive home alone.  I want her here with me.  I want her home.  I want her to be 3 again.  5.  10.  13.  15.  (She was so great at every age.)  Any age but 18 years, one month, and one day.

Today Lyndsay went to Target and bought the remaining items on her registry.  She received so much help in the form of cash, giftcards, and gifts, for which we are both so incredibly grateful.  She is pretty much on her own financially, but she's well-prepared.  And while it was so fun to purchase all of these new, pretty things for her very own space, it is also really hard for both of us.  She is such a homesick girl when she's away, and she and I are tied at the heart.

But now, somehow we have to pack all this stuff up and make it possible for her to transport it without a huge entourage.  When I drop her off for her Honors class, she will be in a temporary dorm and though I will stay for a few days, I have to drive back home before she will be able to move into her assigned dorm.  So, we'll have to figure out a way to store all of her things for those days and then a way for her to get them all to her new home.  No, her new dorm.  Her home is here with me.

Though each dorm room (of 2 girls) has a sink and mirror, the showers are shared with the whole floor, so it was recommended that the girls have a shower caddy.  Here's Lyndsay's:

She's got everything from razors, to face wash and moisturizer, to flossers, to shower gel, to toothpaste and mouthwash, and deoderant.  Of course, shampoo and conditioner too.  She can just tote this to and from the shower.  I did buy her extra bathroom supplies so she won't have to worry about that.

And here's her little medicine chest, should she have a need:

I hope we covered every base.  She's taking vitamins and apple cider vinegar too.

I sat on her bed and cried a bit tonight.  I can't believe that in a week I'll be back home, having done the deed, and this room will be clean and empty of my girl and her STUFF.  Of course I know that this is the only way it can be.  For her growth, for mine.  I'm so lucky to have her and to have the relationship with her that I do.  She is such a source of comfort and strength to me, and has become such a dear companion.  Life is about to change, and it will never be the same again.  I'm not ready to think that it will be better somehow.  I just wish I could freeze time.

On the wall of Lyndsay's room is a print I bought for her years ago when she was about 7.  It reminds me that this stage of life is part of the plan.  If you can't read it, it says, "I know the plans I have for you. . . plans to give you hope and a future.  --Jeremiah 29:11"

My plan for her, her Heavenly Father's plan for her.  Beyond this pain, I know her future is bright.  And I know she will always love coming home.