Will turned 18!

Saturday, June 27, 2015
I feel like the worst blogger.  It has been over a month since I posted.  Kate had a birthday.  Will had a birthday.  Harry "graduated" from 8th grade.  Father's Day happened.  This is the stuff I usually blog about.

I have no real excuse for my lack of blogging.  Yes life is full but it always is.  Every time I sit down to finish  a post (I have several half finished posts), I find something better to do!  It's true.  I am beginning to wonder if my blogging days are coming to an end.

I started writing this post on Will's birthday (a week ago) but am just finishing it now.

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Today is Will's 18th Birthday!  When I started this blog, he was just nine years old. I really cannot believe how quickly it has gone by.   Last Saturday night, we took some of his friends out to dinner to celebrate.  Of course, I had to get some photos before we left.

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And just so you can see what I have to deal with when trying to get photos....

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Will and his girlfriend, Elizabeth.  

Will and his friends sat at one table (two or three of his good guy friends were out of town:(

Kate, Harry, Dave and I sat at a separate table.

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Will does NOT like to be the center of attention. He was trying to be a good sport.

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Elizabeth, Will, Caroline

After dinner, the kids came over to have cake and hang out.
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Kate and I made the cake.  It was dark chocolate with strawberry cream cheese frosting.  It was delicious BUT the frosting was not as thick as I would have liked.  I followed the recipe to the t and refrigerated it for hours.

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Elizabeth, Will and Tori

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Will has an awesome group of friends.  They have a lot of fun together and they stay out of trouble.

On the actual day of Will's birthday (june 22), I got his birthday morning doughnuts and we went out to Pappasito's for fajitas.  Then we gave him presents.

Although I loved seeing Will with his friends, this birthday was like a sucker punch to my gut.  I have never been one of those parents to wish my kids would stay little forever.  Generally, I have really enjoyed watching them grow up and watching our relationship evolve over time.  Truth be told, I am a better Mom to kids once they are out of the baby/toddler stage.  I have made a conscious effort to try to enjoy each stage but as I looked over at Will at dinner with his friends, it hit me like a ton of bricks.  His childhood is over.  This overwhelming feeling of sadness came over me and it was completely out of nowhere.  I was not anticipating it and it is even hard for me to articulate.

When Will was an infant, he was REALLY colicky.  He was the cutest baby but he was a challenge.  Dave would come home from work and I would say, "Guess what Will did today?"  He would ALWAYS say "Has he filled out his college applications yet?"  Every single day for probably 3 years Dave would ask that.  It was our little private joke about how slow and long the baby days were.  Well, guess what?  He is filling out those college applications now.  And guess what? I feel like it happened overnight.  I really do.

I sat in that restaurant looking at him and I saw all those baby/toddler/kindergarten/littleleague/middleschool moments flash before my eyes.

I  feel like a book I loved reading ended way too soon.  I know I still have many more memories with Will but I feel like I want to hit the rewind button but I can't.  It won't work.  Dave and I have worked really hard to instill values into Will and raise him to be a compassionate human being and he is.  We are SO proud of who he is.  He is honest, intelligent, a volunteer, a good friend and brother, generous, thoughtful and funny.  He has amazing faith and is a leader at his school.  He ALWAYS ask how my day was. ALWAYS!

One more little anecdote... On Will's first birthday, Dave gave me a gorgeous chunky gold charm bracelet from Tiffany's.  It was a thoughtful and extravagant gift and it was completely unexpected.  When Dave gave me the bracelet, he said, "We made it through the first year."  It was a celebration as the first year of Will's life was very difficult on our family. I left my career.  Dave and Will had serious surgeries.  Dave's Mom passed away.  Looking back, I probably had some post part depression (but I did not recognize it at the time). It was HARD.  I looked at that charm bracelet the other day full of charms and memories of the last 18 years.  It almost made me cry.  That was such an awesome gift from Dave.

Happy Birthday Will.   We made it.  I know you will do amazing things with your life. I look forward to the next chapters.

P.S. Kate and Harry leave for Camp Utopia tomorrow.  So, it is my goal to post every day this week to catch up.  Be sure to check back all week.

And I have to share these two fabulous dresses that are 50% right now (use code WEEKEND50).  I LOVE them both so much and I have a hard time finding dresses to fit me well.


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This dress runs a little big.  You can size down if between sizes.  


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You cannot tell from the photo but the stripes are pink:)

15 comments:

  1. Beautiful post and from a mom of four, one of whom came home this summer from his first year of college, I empathesize with your feelings. I,on the other hand, adored the 'newborn/little' stage so much ( my friend told me that I peaked too early) that my son's leaving was exceptionally hard on me. I felt a huge sense of loss despite knowing it was the right thing and despite knowing that he needed to embrace some independence. With one year under my belt I can honestly say it was not as bad as I had thought it might be and that if nothing else, I survived it and he flourished. I am so proud of who my son has become and I think that makes it harder because I genuinely like him in addition to loving him as much as I do. Cherish every 'last' before your son goes to college, know that it will be hard but also remember that the type of young man you have raised will always have time for his mom and his family.

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    1. Thank you so much. I appreciate your wisdom and insight. I have friends that tell me once you get past them being gone, it is actually kind of nice sometimes;) Thanks for your encouragement.

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  2. So great to read a new post. I really enjoy your updates, please keep them coming. It is like a great movie you want to see how it all turns out. And, it looks like it is turning out really well. Will is 18 - congratulations. He is an amazing solid young man and the world really needs solid young people for the future. Great job! I love the birthday cake, it is perfect. Fair warning I cried for a week (maybe longer) when we dropped our Alex off at Ohio State and we live 20 min away. Ah life it is such an adventure.

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    1. Aw thank you Cyndy! You are very kind. I will keep them coming as long as I can. I am sure I will cry a bunch this whole senior year and then when he leaves. I am glad I am not the only one.

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  3. I have missed seeing your posts. I know it is hard to keep up with. I think your blog is one of the ones I have read the longest though! Children growing up is bittersweet. I love them so much and hope the very best for their futures.
    Your family is obviously very loving and it is such a blessing to have that. I look forward to your updates!

    Tamara

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    1. Thank you! Your kinds words meant a lot to me today.

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  4. Beautiful post! Happy Birthday to Will and here's to a new chapter ready to unfold....your sequel. I truly hope you don't stop blogging. But I understand if you do. I have had a difficult time continuing with my blog. It's been years since I've posted a comment on your blog. I do check in every so often to catch up. Your blog was the first blog I have ever read. I didn't even know what a blog was. I was googling something like, "husband travels to China...mom stays home." :-) your blog popped up. I think it was 2008. It gave me comfort to know I was not the only mom not traveling. We have some thing in common.... Lucey was born on June 3rd. She is going into third grade. My twins will be seniors this year. After the birth of our twins I struggled with my health. In 2006 I was diagnosed with P.O.T.S. Back then....Little info was out there. I was taken back when you shared your own experience and struggle. I love all your insights and truth. Life can be messy and a challenge and beautiful at the same time. I have resonated with your posts and found strength in times when my struggles become much. You share your faith, your joys and the tough times. I believe, for me, your blog has been a Devine appointment. There is some commonality there. I hope you keep writing. If you decide not to....I completely understand that too. Your family is beautiful and you are especially so. --Beth

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    1. Beth,

      Thank you so much for this lovely comment. I had no idea that we had so much in common. POTS can be so debilitating. Harry and I both suffer from it but thankfully it is under control more often than not these days for us. I really cannot even express how much this comment meant to me. We have no idea in what ways we might touch one another. Thank you.

      I hope that your twins have a great senior year. And that your health is good.

      Best,
      Kim

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  5. Sweet post -- so right -- the years fly by! I have a 30 year old with 3 kids of his own!! :) Wow -- how did he grow up so fast! You and Dave have done a fabulous job -- he sounds like a real joy and wonderful son and friend to others. Hope Harry and Kate have fun at camp!

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    1. I know Janet. I think of you because I will be in the same boat (kind of) with the boys grown and Kate at home. Thanks for the kind thoughts.

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  6. I have enjoyed catching up with the Peanuts tonight. It is true what they say...the days are long...but the years are {very} short. It alarms me from time to time...usually at transition points, like the end of kindergarten for my "baby" :-)...but I, too, enjoy each stage as much as I can. I hope Harry and Kate have the best week ever...and you too!

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  7. Lovely post! Will has become a wonderful young man, a testament to your (and Dave's) parenting and love.
    I started following your blog around Kate's homecoming, and my eldest is now 10, about the age Will was then. Talk about time flying by!!!!
    Have a wonderful summer. Ani

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  8. I hope you don' stop blogging--your blog is by FAR my favorite, but of course, I understand if you do. Fantastic pictures--there are a lot of frame-worthy ones! Congratulations on Will turning 18. What an accomplished young man. You must be so proud!

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  9. Such lovely words. Thank you so much for sharing. As a woman about to embark on motherhood, I cherish the advice.

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  10. I'm crying reading this and wish I could hug you right now! I can't imagine what it feels like to have your baby hit such a big milestone. You've done such a beautiful job of documenting your lives for the past 9 years and I'm so grateful to have been able to read along. Congrats to Will and congrats to you and Dave for raising such a good man :)

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Thank you for your kindness.