Here are a few random things that have been going on around here. Otherwise known as "what I found lurking in the iPhone photos."
* About three weeks ago, during a ferocious rainstorm, our overhang (I don't really know what it's called) out by the pool collapsed. We've filed a claim with our insurance company and have been trying to get it repaired/replaced. It's been a real hassle because insurance only wants to replace that section but the whole thing is apparently about 25 years old and so it can't really be matched...as I said, it's been a real hassle...but hopefully will get resolved this week.
* The Boy has been determined to make Jack and Buddy become BFF's. Buddy is willing but Jack (the big scaredy-cat. Literally) isn't really that into Buddy.
Jack's a lover not a fighter.
Actually, Jack's just a giant slug.
* The Boy has also been busy going to grad bash last weekend, fishing, and...doing headstands in his sister's bedroom?
* The Princess has been tweeting up a storm, which is quite amusing. I learn all about the morning carpool ride via twitter and about the goings-on at her artsy school. She tweets about silly things like the boy in her science class who wore a moose hat to school...
Or the girl in her English class wearing a unicorn head...
Or the kid who randomly started singing opera in class one day.
I also find out that she experiments with new hairstyles whilst at school....
And I find photos of her before dance concerts (which is handy, since I'm never allowed to take photos!)
* And finally, I am happy to report that over the weekend we made a decision about college for The Boy...
The (first) check has been written and sent off. The Boy is now officially registered for fall semester.
And Mommie Dearest is now officially freaking out.
Today was the final college tour. Apparently, we saved the best for last. This was definitely my favorite. The campus was beautiful, everyone we met (from an admissions director and financial aid advisor to the receptionist, tour guide, and students) was very helpful, friendly and informative.
And did I mention that the campus was beautiful?
As we were walking along, however, I wasn't watching where I was going and my foot hit the edge of the sidewalk, my ankle twisted underneath me, and I went sprawling. It wasn't graceful. It was witnessed by everyone. I tore my pants and skinned my knee and have a huge bruise on my leg.
I have an even bigger bruise on my ego.
That was embarrassing. Really embarrassing.
So now, obviously, The Boy can't go to that school!
I actually really, really, really liked the school a lot.
It's probably my favorite.
But sadly we are not independently wealthy and cost is a huge concern and so it's not quite so simple.
We have lists. Lists of costs, pros and cons of the different schools, whether The Boy would be able to get a part time job without having a car on campus, and so many other factors.
The Boy knows where he wants to go.
We know where we want him to go.
Now we just have to sit down and crunch numbers and compare all the different factors on all our different lists and see if we can make it work.
There are times when I feel completely overwhelmed. There are times when I feel incredibly guilty that we are not financially able to just write a check and send him to his dream school.
And I must admit that there are times, such as when he gets a bit mouthy and disrespectful and acts like he knows everything and thinks his parents are old stick in the muds who don't know anything, when I feel like telling him to just go to the community college down the street and figure out how to pay for it himself.
Right now I just feel tired. And stressed. And my leg (and my ego) really hurt.
I had to sneak these pictures of The Boy because anytime I try to take a photo of him he scowls and me and says in that annoying, long-suffering (HA!) teenage martyr-ish voice, "Mooommm!"
This year has flown by. I absolutely cannot believe that in less than two months my baby boy will be graduating from high school. And then a couple of months after that he will be going to college...somewhere.
Thankfully, this college testing, application, essay writing, FAFSA, community service hours, Bright Futures, crunching numbers, college tour odyssey will be coming to an end soon. (Although, then we will be starting the whole process again for The Princess soon. Ugh.) I have been crunching numbers, reviewing financial aid, and comparing schools like you wouldn't believe. We have one more school to tour but we are very, very close to making a decision. An official, binding, put a deposit down and complete the housing contract kind of a decision. This is both a relief and quite scary! The Boy, of course, is chomping at the bit and can't wait to spread his wings and fly. So to speak...I think I'm mixing my metaphors there. But I think you understand what I'm trying to say. The Boy is ready to be "independent." Me? Probably not so much. Although, there are times.... Anyway, it seems as though this process - the college applying and waiting and deciding process - will never end. It has consumed our lives for way too long. We're all ready to make the decision and move on. And hopefully, after this last tour, we will be able to.
So. I, umm, apparently, kinda, sorta took a bit of a blogging break. A three+ month blogging break. It wasn't intentional - at least, not at first. In my last post (I know, I know - over three months ago) I mentioned that we were working on some house projects so that we could try to sell the house again this spring. The projects just kind of took over my life - along with trying to keep up with two teenagers, college applications, FAFSA forms, taxes, interviewing realtors, touring colleges, dance concerts, car issues, and so forth and so on. And somewhere in the midst of all of the hustle and bustle that took over my life for a while, I realized that I hadn't blogged. Or read any blogs. In fact, I was rarely going online - and when I did venture forth into the world wide web, it was via the iphone or ipad and only for brief forays onto instagram or twitter or more research into colleges and costs. And the real epiphany was that I sort of liked it. I liked the freedom of being disconnected. I enjoyed the freedom of not feeling like I HAD to post something or read a gazillion blogs and comment in order to get people to come read my blog and comment back. And then I realized that somewhere along the way, my blog (and me) had lost it's (our) purpose. Originally, I began blogging as a way for friends and family to keep up with us and our family and as a way for me to document our daily lives. But somewhere along the way I started trying to get more followers and comments. I became competitive. And when I was in the midst of my "hiatus" I realized that I needed to change. I want this blog to revert back to what it was in the beginning - just me and my crazy family sharing what we are doing and who we are. No competition with other, better, bloggers. No trying to be something I'm not or trying to re-invent myself (a personal pet peeve of mine!) So, I apologize for the long break. I don't even know if any of my followers are still around or if you've all given up on me. I've gotten some lovely messages and emails from a few of you telling me that you've missed me - and I honestly can't tell you how much your sweet words of support have meant. I have decided to close comments for future posts - most of you know how to get in touch with me via email (and I can always be found on twitter or instagram) - and please know how much I LOVE hearing from you! I'll leave the comments on for this prodigal post and finish by trying to give you a brief glimpse of our lives for the past few months... The Boy went on the Diocesan ski trip in January and had a blast...
And he also started back at Tae Kwon Do after taking a break of a year and a half - Mr. Wonderful and I are very pleased about this!
We finished The Princess's room (new carpet, new paint, painted furniture and she got new bedding for Christmas.) We also refinished our bathroom and her bathroom, installed new toilets in all the bathrooms, and painted our bedroom, the laundry room and the den...
We've also been doing yard work, getting screens repaired, and getting the grout cleaned. We even put the kid's friends to work - the VK's really KNOW how to entertain!
The Princess has been very busy with dance competitions and dance concerts and dance workshops... She did well, had a lot of fun, and ran into some old friends from her old studio while she was Atlanta...
I might have let my feelings for dance competitions be known on twitter...
We've been overwhelmed by the amount of lemons, and oranges and pink grapefruit that our trees produced this year. I've been juicing and zesting like a madwoman...
The Boy has done a bit of fishing with his friends...
And I learned (the next day!) that one evening he and a friend found an old couch sitting on the side of the road. They loaded the old couch on the top of the car, carried it down to the end of the dock, and sat on it while fishing the next day. Then, when they were finished with it, they returned it to the side of the road where they found it.
I am appalled. In an amused sort of way.
We finally finished the painting, and re-carpeting, and grout cleaning, and dusting, and organizing and de-cluttering, and mulching and planting and pressure washing...
We listed the house.
It's rather demoralizing and depressing.
But, you know, at least the house is clean.
* Thanks for bearing with me as I try to get back into the blogging world. I've missed it - and you! I apologize for the quality (or lack thereof) of the photos - I had to "borrow" them from instagram!