Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Our family vacation~ memories made and memories found

The family and I just returned from and almost 3 week vacation and honestly I'm glad to be home after all the traveling. We did have an absolutely amazing time.

10 days were spent in Florida with my mom, who I already miss. She moved almost 7 years ago and I only get to see her once a year, twice if I'm really lucky. It was a great 10 days though. We spent a few days at the beach near where my mom lives, took a trip to Orlando and spent the day at Universals Islands of Adventure (really cool place), spent a day at Daytona Beach which was a first for all of us (except for my mom) and spent some time with my grandfather and great-grandmother.

I think out of all the family time though my favorite day was the day I spent with just me and my mom. My amazing husband stayed at my moms with the kids and our dog and hers so we could have a mother~daughter day. Something we haven't done in many years. It was really awesome we didn't do anything super exciting just some shopping, including drooling of Coach bags at the Coach outlet,picked up some clothes for the princess at the Justice outlet, and the little prince at the Carter outlet, and a few things for myself a Rue 21, after shopping we went to Old Saint Augustine and wandered around and had a late lunch. What was so great about it was just being able to spend time with her and not have to share her attention with my kids or anyone else. Maybe that sounds selfish, but I don't care how old we get sometimes a girl just needs time with her mom.

When it came time to leave we had all had a great time, but it was so hard to say goodbye. My mom, the princess and I all cried, and the princess and I continued to cry for a good 100 miles after we got on the road. I know it was hard for mom too, but she swears she's coming up no matter what for Christmas. I sure hope nothing happens to stop that from happening, I may have to hurt someone.

After we left Florida we headed up to Tennessee to visit with my dads side of the family. Our trips there are a tradition that started the summer I was pregnant with the princess and have continued every year since. I have a huge extended family there and I love them to pieces. We say with my great-uncle (my grandmas baby brother) who I've always been fairly close to but really became a special an important part of my life when my grandmother passed away. He's absolutely amazing he's like the keeper of the families stories. While we were there I was able to spend time with some of my cousins and an aunt who has always been a favorite. There isn't a ton to do in the small town they live in but it doesn't matter much when you get to see family that is able to give you pieces of your past back. While I spent time with them I was told story after story about my grandparents when they were young, when they were older and I was already around, my dad both as a child and adult, even things about my childhood I only vaguely remember. It is always so amazing to hear these stories and have them brought back to life for me. I miss my dad and grandparents so much and they are able to make me feel a little closer to them. Of course it makes me sad that their not here, to see me and the life I've built with the hubs and the beautiful children we have, or for those children to get to know. But at least I have these wonderful people in my life that loved them too, and can help me teach my kids about their grandpa and great grandparents who would have loved them with every breath in their bodies.

I was pretty emotional during the time we were in Tennessee from already having had to say goodbye to my mom, and then from my walk down memory lane. So when it came time to say goodbye to my uncle I was a wreck. We both cried (we always do) but my heart felt like it was breaking to walk away and get in my car this time. I sobbed over having to leave him, over missing my mom, over the deep ache that will never go away from the loss of my daddy and grandparents and over the distance between so many of our family members (and I don't mean in miles).

I realized on this trip that not only does family mean everything to me, but I need to do more to try to fix a few relationships that I've allowed to become splintered and broken, while there are some I may never be able to do anything about, and some I need to let go. But for my heart and my babies sake I need to make things right or at least try and if I don't make the first step then chances are no one else will either.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

And another school year comes to an end

Tomorrow morning I will drop my munchkins off for their last day as a kindergartner and a fourth grader, and it's oh so bitter sweet. It's been a long crazy year with many changes and more to come, both at home and school.

On a personal level we moved from the only home the kids had ever known and out of the city to a completely different district, we were able to finish the school year but were unsure what next year would bring. After a lot of thought, tears, agonizing and talking it over as a family we decided to go ahead and apply for out of district school of choice and see if we could at least keep the kids in the school they knew and loved. The girl was especially heart broken at the prospect of leaving her friends and classmates all of whom she had been with since pre-school, next year is huge for her 5th grade graduation, the dance, along with a dozen other activities just for them and I can't say as I blame her for being upset at the thought of leaving. I was too, I love that school as much as she does, it truly has a sense of community I don't want to lose. So we applied and within a very short time were thankfully accepted. So my babies get to stay where I know they'll be happy.

On a school level we gained several classes and couple hundred students when another local school closed it's doors, we also went from having only a principle to also having a vice principle. Many of our teachers moved grades and a few retired. The biggest news though was finding out a few months back that our principle of 18 years was in the running for the superintendent of the districts position. She got that position with the backing and blessing of everyone of us, because if she can do for our entire district what she's done with our school amazing things are in store for everyone who attends that cities schools. That does leave us wondering who will fill her shoes, and those are very big shoes to fill, but I have faith that she will leave us in good hands.

The princess was blessed not one year but two years in a row with an amazing teacher that we both came to love and adore and I believe will both miss something awful next year. To the point I almost begged her to move up a grade just one more time so that the girl could stay with her throughout her 5th grade year as well. Sadly it was not to be. I have put in a request for a particular teacher for next year but I won't know till a few weeks before school starts if she will get her or not. Hopefully whomever she ends up with will be half as wonderful as the teacher she's had these last two years, because she's one that will leave a lasting impression for a lifetime.

The little prince was beyond blessed this year and after the amazing pre-school teacher he had she was a hard act to follow. But his teachers, yes plural were more than I could have ever asked for. The main teacher Mrs.G is actually retiring this year and I want to cry just typing this, because she so obviously cares and loves these kids. I just thank god she chose to wait one more year before leaving, so that my son and I got the chance to be apart of her class. And her co-teacher Ms.C is probably one of the sweetest people I've ever met. I have no idea how to thank these women for everything they've done to help prepare my baby for what comes next. Especially when I wasn't entirely sure at the start of this year if he was ready for any of this. But thanks to the hard work they put in everyday I know he is not only ready but will do well.

So tomorrow when I drop them off I will be happy for the break that comes and excited for the munchkins because they made it through yet another year and are now 1st and 5th graders. But a little sad because they are growing up so fast and because some amazing women that have graced our lives will be gone when we return next fall. I wish them the best in whatever comes next on their journeys and hope that maybe someday our paths might cross again, even if it's just for a quick hello.