126 Days Later… He’s Home

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It was a long Saturday partly because Tim likes to add an hour or four buffer just in case there are any snafus when heading to the airport and partly because we had waited for this day for SO LONG!!! We picked up Matt on the way and thank goodness had enough time to eat at Chuy’s (if you’ve never been to Chuy’s then I’m sorry for you… when you go, try the creamy jalapeno dip. You WILL thank me.) There was very little traffic and we made good time until we got almost to the pick-up area at the airport in Charlotte.

I will warn you because there was no one to warn us. If you are picking someone up from the Charlotte Douglas Airport, then good luck because there is NO hourly, daily or long term parking for what looks like it’s going be the next hundred or so years (maybe that’s a slight exaggeration… maybe.) They have torn down all parking areas and are in the process of rebuilding them in the form of a fifty story parking deck (or so it seemed to my untrained eye.) In the meantime, you have two options: park and shuttle in from Virginia to pick up your loved one or simply time it just right and pick them up right outside baggage claim (of course you will need NASA like precision with your timing.) Now maybe it’s just me, but typically when I go to pick up someone from the airport, I am going because it is easier to be picked up than to spend hours being shuttled out to your car once you get back. Well, apparently the master planner at Charlotte Airport didn’t know that (now you do and you’re welcome!) We arrived with about fifteen minutes to wait thinking that was the perfect window. Nope! Thanks to the lack of parking, you are only allowed to stop for 42 seconds before they make you move on and you have to pull back around… which sounds simple until you drive on and realize that the pull around loop is approximately a fifteen minute ride… if you are the only car in a fifty mile radius. Sweet Tim dropped Matt and me off to wait while he left on what felt like a three hour tour. It was slightly ridiculous and I’m tired just reliving this people!

I told myself I wasn’t going to cry… I lied to myself. There was just no helping it. When you haven’t seen your son in 126 days, you just are overwhelmed when you finally get to hug him. I have to say, there is no sweeter feeling than seeing that handsome mug across the baggage claim area and knowing he is finally home. So yeah, I cried just a little and didn’t even care who it bothered. Of course the first order of business once he got back to Augusta was food… Jimmy Johns to be specific. One “Gargantuan” sandwich later, all is right with the world.

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Oh the Places He’s Gone

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Yes, he is still in France; yes, he cut off the curls; yes, he’s seeing the world and loving every minute of it; no, as of right now he hasn’t lost anything other than his phone and one credit card (that being nothing short of a small miracle people); yes, we hear from him often.

Sunday afternoon has become my favorite time of the week. Why you ask? Because that’s when Luke Facetime’s us to let us know how his week has been. (And can I just be honest? I want to be Luke when I grow up.) Every time he calls I am reminded of the Dr. Seuss book, “Oh the Places We’ll Go” because people, he has done some goin! I won’t bore you with the details but thus far he has been to Paris, Austria, Germany, Greece, Italy, Amsterdam, Prague, Belgium, and I’m sure I’ve left some off. The places he has gone are great, but seeing him re-live those trips every Sunday when he tells us about them?? Priceless!! There are things we do for our children that bring us far more joy than it will ever bring them and that to me is the greatest part of parenting.
I’m thankful we can give him this opportunity but I won’t lie… I’m ready for him to get home. It’s one thing to have Will in Memphis and Matt in Greenville where I can always road trip but a whole other thing to have Luke a very long plane ride away. He’ll be home in just over thirty days and I have to tell you, people, I will be one happy mama.

Sprucing Up

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It started out simple enough, I decided to paint the mantel black. Which I did. And it looks AMAZING!! (before and after pics to come for the two of you wanting to see it.) But then the wainscoting needed sprucing up… and that sounds easy enough since it’s white, until you realize there are more nooks and crannies than you can count! And did I mention that I have wainscoting in my den, kitchen, dining room and living room which all connect?!?!? Yeah… it may be taking a lot more time than I anticipated.

However I have learned that there is something almost therapeutic about painting. It is immediate gratification, peaceful and mind-less once you get going. You can put on great music or a wonderful podcast and just get lost. Of course there is also downside, my house looks like a construction bomb went off!! Since the wainscoting spreads across four rooms so does the mess. Oops! And I might should have picked a better time of year because with the cold and rain, I’m having to wait a bit between coats… of which it needs three… yes it could be worse and need four but it could be way better and only need one. (Of course I bought the guaranteed one coat paint… by they lied people, they LIED!!)

So the good news is that the next time you are at my house it will be looking fly! The bad news, we may have to wait until July before we can have people over.

He’s A Lot Like Me… Bless Him!

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As my children grow older, I see more and more of myself and Tim in them every day. My oldest son, Will, is very much like me… poor thing! We share a love for reading, are consummate rule followers and when we are invested in something, we give no less 110%.

I love it when my boys are home, whether together or separately. Will, who is currently in Memphis, Tennessee getting his master’s degree, was home for a bit by himself and I noticed something about myself. I spend far more time reading when Will is home. Maybe it’s because he’s a reader too and will plop down on the sofa across the room from me and crack open a book. Maybe it’s because he is uber low maintenance when it comes to… ummmm… everything. Maybe it’s because he leaves no mess in his wake!!! Whatever it is, I LOVE it! How many women get to discuss book likes/dislikes with their son? How many sons/moms favorite store is a bookstore? How many women share a book collection with their son? Yes people, Will is a lot like me…

The other thing I noticed when Will was home is how dedicated to his craft he is. I had no idea at 22 what I wanted to do for the rest of my life (well other than be married to Tim of course) and here Will is not only knowing what he wants to do, but knowing where he wants to do it! Will’s heart has been stolen by urban education. He wants to make a difference in the lives of inner city kids. As I write that I think “WHO ARE YOU SON AND HOW CAN YOU BE SO SMART????” and then I think, well obviously he’s my son…. I kid! I kid! But seriously, I can hardly believe how amazing he turned out, after all everyone knows the first child is the practice child (I said being the baby in my family!)

What a joy it is being mom to this guy… at least 99% of the time!! I say this often, it is never dull in our life and that’s just the way I like it. Now excuse me while I try to think of something nice to say about the other two…

Holiday Invasion

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Thanksgiving is almost here and there are a few things that I JUST know will happen. At some point the boys will start wrestling… in the den… all over the furniture… Tim will join in… someone will get hurt (probably Tim because he forgets he’s not 25 anymore… but don’t tell him I said that!) We will make plans as a family to do something but Luke will realize at the last minute he already has plans. Oops!! At some point the guitar, ukulele and harmonica will come out for an impromptu jam session. There will be a back porch session late one night where ALL the world’s problems will be solved. There will be at least one ball thrown … in the house… it will become a contest of some sort… something will get broken… the boys will put on their puppy dog faces to tell me how sorry they are… I’ll try to be mad but instead I’ll laugh… life will go on.

It’s always different when the boys come home for a holiday because they’ve been keeping their own schedule for months and it NEVER meshes with ours. Our morning starts around 7:00am… their morning starts about mid-afternoon. We go to bed the same day we got up… they don’t go to bed until early the next day. We eat at normal times… they just eat… and eat… and eat.

I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t love every minute regardless of the chaos. I have simply learned that with these three boys of mine, life is NEVER going to go as planned so that is just what I plan on. Well, that and buying out the grocery store. Happy Thanksgiving Week Y’all!!!