The Year in Review…Part 1

2011 is in the bag and I couldn’t be happier! The year was a battle from start to finish and while I’m thankful for everything God has done I’m ready to move forward. Today, I’m doing a review in pictures. That way, I talk less and you get to see the big highlights that I never ended up blogging about. Um, yeah, not quite…I talk too much.

In a bit of a recap, this time last year we couldn’t have imagined that Amanda would end up going to college in Florida. We also couldn’t have imagined the doors that God would open for her in such a short time. In addition to being a panelist on the school’s TV show, she also starred in two short films. I saw one of them and it was funny and fantastic to see Amanda doing what she loves. So I think the college trip is a good starting point…

On the drive down, Halle gets the award for most uncomfortable sleeping position…ever.

Halle also gets the award for cheesiest photo.

I made Chloe do the water skier but she objected strongly. Gone are the days when she was up for anything. Sigh. She was definitely up for some Florida orange juice though.

When we got to Shane and Angie’s house (Trav’s brother and sis-in-law) we’d driven 14 1/2 hours. It was Amanda’s first time to ever drive that far. Add nerves to that and she ended up in a crying heap slumped over her steering wheel. I calmed her down knowing it was temporary (she is very much like me after all) and the next morning looked much brighter. Literally. It is Florida after all.

We visited the campus and got a head start on filling out all the forms. Thankfully we beat the mad rush and didn’t have to stand in line for anything. Then we headed to Ikea. We also planned to go to John’s Pass but it was too much for one day.

The next day was the beach…Not sure if you notice but this is *a lot* of driving. We were tired. But we were so close, we had to go to the beach.

The only picture of me taken the whole trip…by me.

I’m noticing that I’m much blonder in Florida. Hmmmm….

The beach was fabulous. Even though it rained and even though the water temperature was like bath water…it was fabulous. It casts a spell over me every.single.time. I find it hard to believe sometimes that I spent the majority of my life there. It often seems like a dream. Then I look at the hills here and I snap out of it.

We got back from the beach around midnight and were in bed around 1am. We had to be back up by 6 to get Amanda to campus to check into her dorm. We were tired.

And I took pictures of everything…this is Amanda leaving Shane and Angie’s house. She’s giving me the “Mom, you’re crazy!” face.

Here she is once we got to campus…and is giving me the, “Mom, you’re annoying me but I’m going to be nice about it” face.

And the, “Mom are you *really* going to take a picture of everything I do?” face.

This particular table was step one. I fully intended to take a picture of steps 1-4. At the end of step 1 though, Travis started tearing up and we both sort of bolted out the door so that she wouldn’t see us cry. We knew that the last thing she needed was for her parents to start sobbing. She was being so brave, her life had changed so much in just a few short months and we needed to be strong for her. I think I said something ridiculous like, “If she stays here for more than a semester I’m moving back.” I’m not really, it’s one of those silly distraught mom things to say.

Then we got to see her room!

And even though it’s sort of bare bones, it was a hundred times better than the nasty dorm she stayed in at MTSU. I’m slightly jealous of the palm tree view she has outside her window. I’m not even remotely jealous of the heat and humidity. Just sayin’.

We rushed off to pick Chloe and Halle up (who were having a fantastic time playing with cousins)…

Then rushed off to Target to pick up essentials and meet my brother and sister-in-law for lunch.

I also got to meet my great-nephew for the very first time!

I also got to see my nephew (pictured) and nieces.

Target seemed to be the breaking point for the girls. Halle wanted me to carry her through the store and tried to sleep on my shoulder. Chloe burst into tears because someone she didn’t know rolled their eyes at her. We were truly at the point that we couldn’t jam one more thing into the trip. So we went back to campus and then back to home base. Trav’s family was kind and all met us at Shane and Angie’s.

It was lovely and rainy and I tried to sneak out to the patio undetected to cry a bit. Amanda saw me and she and I had a talk. Then after everyone left all the girls watched the first two episodes of season 4 of Gilmore Girls. The ones where Rory goes to college. It was a moment that you’d have to be Amanda and I to understand but it helped. I think we were both ready to move forward after that.

The next morning we packed up and left for the long drive home. Amanda didn’t start sobbing and neither did I. It’s miraculous really.

Okay, so I stink at not narrating.

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3 thoughts on “The Year in Review…Part 1

  1. How could you NOT narrate that. I mean…it’s really pretty huge. What a year…and this is only part one. I can only imagine how hard that drive was for all of you. Was it worse going or coming back without her? I don’t look forward to it and if Owen is anything like Kris…and we all know he is…he will follow through with a boyhood decision to move away from home. He has already decided where he’s going when he’s 18…Florida.

    • You know, I thought about it after I’d posted it and that isn’t at all the way I wanted to end that post. I’ll likely add to that tomorrow.

      Things have a way of coming full-circle don’t they? Owen following in Kris’ footsteps, that is. I sort of followed in my Dad’s I hate my hometown ways. He grew up in Kansas though so it’s understandable.

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