Saturday August 26, 2017

The high school volleyball season kicks off today with the Mayo Spartans taking on SW MN Christian this afternoon.

Volleyball today, senior pictures on Monday and school starts the day after Labor Day. Erin's senior year schedule is set with all the classes she needs to graduate. It's the beginning of the end.

But, this is the way it's suppose to be. Kids are suppose to grow up, move out, move on. It's the natural order of things and I'm going to embrace it knowing that not every kid gets this chance.

As I've said here before, volleyball has only been a part of our after... after Shannon. This group of senior girls supported Erin that first spring that she didn't have a sister, and they convinced her to come and try a new sport. Thank goodness for these girls and their families.

And so it begins. Yes, it's the beginning of the end. But this end leads to yet another beginning. Erin's ready and that means Dan and I are ready, too.

I'm a huge podcast listener, but lately, they all sound the same. People trying to find meaning and reason for the direction our country is headed. It's sad and scary and I hate that we are becoming used to it. Denigrating others is becoming status quo. The hateful noise makes me want to focus all that much more on my little, personal world.

So, I skipped the podcasts this week and turned back to music. My old standards including Coldplay, Jack Johnson, Mumford and Sons brought me comfort.

One song in particular, Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise by the Avett Brothers seemed particularly appropriate.

There's a darkness upon me that's flooded in light
In the fine print they tell me what's wrong and what's right
And it comes in black and it comes in white
And I'm frightened by those that don't see it

When nothing is owed or deserved or expected
And your life doesn't change by the man that's elected
If you're loved by someone, you're never rejected
Decide what to be and go be it

Saturday August 12, 2017

I am thrilled to have a Saturday morning of quiet here in the house. This was a back-to-reality week for me after being on vacation for 10 days!

Our time at Lake Hubert was as good as it gets. Perfect weather and friends to share it with... Erin was in heaven and seeing her happy still always makes me happy.

When our week at the O'Hara cabin ended, Dan Erin and Sunny the Wonderdog headed home and I went on to vacation part deux - a family reunion on Madeline Island with my mom's relatives.

Aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins, first cousins once removed... it was a group of 55 of us! I got to spend a lot of time with my mom reminiscing about her time as a child spent on the island. Fun to hear old stories from her and her siblings. And believe me, some of them have a knack for storytelling!

Now we are home, summer adventures are drawing to a close, and the fall schedule is just around the corner.

Erin starts the high school volleyball season on Monday. Her final season of volleyball, although I could see her playing intramurals in college if time allows.

I admit, I have a little melancholy these days as we think about things being "the last time". High school goes so fast and big life changes for all of us are just around the corner. I promised myself I would enjoy the moments and not worry about them ending. We'll see how successful I am at enjoying senior year and not thinking ahead to what's next.


I've been banned from discussing it this whole week. Last weekend, I came home and brought up that Erin should get started on her to-do list - writing her essay, doing the Common Application, following up with admissions contacts, following up with golf coaches. Needless to say, my suggestion was not well received!

So, I made a promise that I would give her one last week of summer. But come Monday...

Anyone who has been through this process recently - applying to college - knows that it's more stressful now than ever. The cost of attending is so high that the decision carries more weight than ever. And, kids travel far and wide these days to go to school, so there are so many options. How do you narrow it down?

So, starting Monday, she will begin that process. I think writing the essay is daunting. How do you share yourself and tell people who you are? Imagine being Erin. How do you talk about the defining moment of your life, losing your sister when you were just 10? Erin doesn't want pity, but she has to find a way to share her story.

It's exciting and scary and I think the future is so bright for Erin. It's hard for her to see that now, but in time she'll realize the world is her oyster.

So, we'll do our best to enjoy the moments along the way.

"The best thing about the future is it comes one day at a time." - Abraham Lincoln