Wednesday July 25, 2018

The posts on this blog are more infrequent now, and I can't really explain why. Life, I guess...

When I started this blog, I didn't have a full time job. We wrote the very first post on this site from up on Mayo Clinic floor 16 - the pediatric unit. We spent a lot of time up there on 16. Today, I had a regularly scheduled work meeting moved to a new location. A conference room on Mayo 16. I took a moment to sit and look out the windows where we would sit and look out while we waited for Shannon to have a blood draw or an appointment. I was remembering the day that we taped a piece of paper to the window, then hustled down the elevator and outside onto the Peace Plaza to see if we could spot it. I remember how excited Shannon and Erin were that they could see it. IN the midst of cancer treatment, we laughed.

Now, 7 years later, my job - a job I wouldn't have if I hadn't started writing this blog - took me back to Mayo 16. The universe sometimes circles back to places we've been before...

We are creeping up on what would be Shannon's 20th birthday. Perhaps that's why it hit me today. I still miss her every single day.

We're also spending time getting Erin ready for college. Because Drexel is on quarters, we don't take her to school until mid September. But the preparations have begun. She's texting with her suite mates about who is bringing what, and there's a shopping trip to Bed, Bath and Beyond and Ikea in our near future.

It's so exciting and scary. (And that's just me!) Is it normal to be jealous of your kid getting to go to college? I wanna move to a new city and have new adventures! I'm mostly kidding, but there is something exciting about the unknown.

And while we still have 6 weeks with Erin at home, I'm feeling the pangs of sadness that she's leaving.  I'm going to miss her something fierce. She's the person I see every day. Dan will continue to travel to help pay those tuition bills. I will continue to work and life will go on. But it will be lonely without Miss E.

But, it's as it should be. I want nothing more for Erin to go away and be successful and not need me, at least not too much. This is the goal when you have kids. Raise them to be good people. Direct them to set goals and work to achieve them. Not every kid gets that chance. It makes me sad that Shannon never got to chase her dreams. But Erin will. And that makes me happy, so this momma is going to be all right.

July 4, 2018

I used to think of the 4th of July as the middle of summer, but this year, it feels like we're just getting started.

June flew by, filled with all the festivities surrounding the end of high school. I think Erin lost track of  how many graduation open houses she attended. Now, she and her friend are referring to themselves as college students. They're not wrong.

Erin also spent the first three weeks of her summer working two jobs and saving money. She is motivated to help pay for college and minimize the loans she will need to take. She's definitely got some skin in the game, and she's invested. We couldn't be prouder.

We managed to end June with a trip to the cabin for a long weekend. Dan met us there last Thursday after his week of travel in North Dakota. Erin and I left after her work shift at 7pm. Our first trip with two dogs in the car. Uff da! We made it all the way to St. Paul before Gus puked in my car. Erin and I were singing along to the radio and Gus started barking. We thought he just didn't like the noise, but maybe he was trying to tell us something. Thankfully, that was the only episode of car sickness and we made it to the lake just before 11pm.

Time at the lake is rejuvenating for all of us. The sun, sand and water are the perfect combination. The only disappointment is that Gus did not take to the water. Perhaps he is less lab than we thought! He can swim, but he doesn't want to. We forced him to try and he is not very efficient. Lots of splashing as he tried to doggie paddle to shore.

Sunny made it to the cabin again for a 14th summer. Her heart is willing, but her hips don't work so well anymore. She now moves like an old dog. But, she still gets in the water to protect us and shepherd us to safety. We hope she's around for a little longer.

Our friends joined us and a great time was had by all. There was boating, tubing and fishing when the weather cooperated... and shopping, reading and napping when it didn't. A perfect combination.

Now we are home and enjoying the holiday before we all head back to work tomorrow. Erin still has two full months of summer as she doesn't move in at Drexel until Sept. 15.  We are all going to enjoy the time we have together.

Happy July 4th to you all!