Ruby’s High school Graduation

This morning I took my coffee to the back patio to sit in the morning sun and do at least a few minutes of reflection on Ruby’s graduation before the others woke up or came to the house from their hotels. Josh joined me and solemnly said, “So far, nothing has made me feel as old as having a child graduate high school.”

I could have bawled my eyes out if we were alone, but I just didn’t really have the time for that…not yet anyway. But what he said is true. Time is a strange thing. I’m not one for cliches and dwelling on things we cannot change—like how many hours in a day there are. But the saying is true that the days are long but the years are short.

My consolation is that I was there for the vast majority of the 24 hours that made up the very long days of Ruby’s 18 years. And I am now here to be able to say that those same 18 years have flown by.

And I keep showing up to do all the mom things that seem (sometimes painfully) unacknowledged. I am (sometimes painfully) aware that so much is changing so very quickly and there’s not a darn thing I can do about it. I am (sometimes painfully) aware that I am by myself a lot these days. I help, assist, plan, dole out money and turn around (sometimes painfully) to an empty house. It’s a good thing Josh and I still love and like each other very much!

But before I get too emotional about all the changes in our home, I should say clearly that we are so proud of Ruby! She graduated! From a sweet little kindergarten graduate to a full grown high school graduate, she has been a joy to parent. I love how God made her and can see so much of both of her grandmothers in her. Confident, clear, well-spoken, a leader, bold, witty, loyal, head strong, smart and beautiful!

Super grateful for these two making the trip to be here with us! Sisters are a gift. I love them so much!
Cousins and PawPaws!

So there’s no more days left in “Ruby’s Graduation Countdown.” This chapter has officially closed. And a new chapter begins!

And Josh and I will continue to cheer her on and support her and pray for her every step of the way! We are so proud of you, Ruby Elizabeth!

Graduation Party!🥳

These four girls had a shared Graduation Party! It was so fun for all of us.

Random Observation—Mack and Josh are standing exactly alike and us girls are all touching similarly. So funny.

Grateful to times of sweet celebration!

Ruby’s Life Map: 2004 born in Atlanta, Ga and a lovely childhood in Woodstock, Ga; 2016 move to Charlotte, NC where she blossomed into a sweet young lady and enjoyed high school at Carmel; Next stop is Liberty University!

Now Ruby is off to Disney!

Awards Day!

This morning Josh and I went to the school for Awards Day! It’s a running joke that we don’t usually win academic awards BUT we have other strengths, and I’m A-OK with that!

Ruby got the Ignite Band Award! Mr.Spruill shared very kind words about Ruby and her role in that class.

She also was recognized for her Christian Service and Leadership from ACSI.

Molly was recognized for her Christian Service, Leadership, and Fine Arts. She was recognized for representing the Junior class on SGA as well.

Molly also got the Christian Leadership Award! Super proud of her and Ruby!

These girls are gifts. I learn from them often and love them more than they know. ❤️

shaking beneath my feet

Sometimes the Lord gives you glimpses of upcoming changes. He has done that many times in my life. Sometimes eerily so has He gotten me ready for changes that no one around me saw coming.

Well, I am in a season where seismic changes are happening. Now, one of them I was anticipating. Ruby is graduating and going away to college; this is not a surprise to me, though I am sure the shock of returning home without her in mid-August will be challenging. But in the midst of Ruby’s senior year and all that it entails, the youngest in this family has had a less than ideal freshman year, and he has asked to have a fresh start at a new school. I said no for about six months with no hint of giving this ludicrous idea a second of my brain time. But the baby wouldn’t relent. He asked us if we had prayed about it. I asked him if he had prayed about. Then, we all decided to pray about it. I was reminded from Psalms that the Lord lights our path and provides a lamp for our steps. He isn’t really handing out five year plans, much to my dismay. Mama likes a plan that comes together. But this one was falling apart. Or maybe it was coming together?

Then, our middle was invited to be an intern this summer at our old church in Georgia that has a “happening” elementary department. I feel certain she will learn so much and grow so much, and I am super excited for her to spend her summer there. But…..I wasn’t planning on someone flying away so soon. I mean, I am still preparing for Ruby’s departure, but now this has been thrown into the loop. Mama has decided to trust God’s plan. He definitely knows best.

So this morning when I was driving Mack to some testing for his potential new school, I felt the ground shaking under my feet again. For YEARS!! All the years of these kids’ lives they have been together. Together at home for many, many years. Together at the same school since 2019 and this year all three in high school, on the same halls and even in one class all together.

This fall Ruby will be miles and miles away in Virginia. Molly will be a senior at Carmel, and, Lord-willing, Mack will get his fresh start at a new school. It’s not only a new chapter, but a totally new section of the book! I am not sure what I think of it except that I trust God with my kids. I have raised them and done my best to train them. I pray for them. I love them. And I have to let them keep growing and maturing and trying new things–even though it shakes the ground beneath my feet. God is our firm foundation. It’s going to be more than ok.

Cougar Pride Award

Last night was the Spring Sports Banquet for Carmel Christian. Mack has been on the JV baseball team and it’s been a good, maturing, challenging, fun, hard season. I was so proud to hear all these nice things his coach had to say about him. Did his sisters roll their eyes at him being the nicest person anyone could know? Yes, they did. But they were proud of him, too. In their own special way. 🤣

One day, when Mack no longer has braces, we may get to see his teeth again.

Adding this pic because look at my proud smile!! Hahaha. Count my teeth if you wish.

Mack, you are a nice kid—always talking to people and laughing with people. You have worked hard on the baseball team and for the baseball team. I watched you all season—and I wasn’t surprised one bit that this Cougar Pride Award was given to you. I love how God made you, and I pray you continue to live for His approval always and look for ways to serve those around you with a good attitude and maximum effort. You are loved!💗💗💗MOM

Mother’s Day 2022

Raising Ruby, Molly, and Mack has truly been a great joy. We have had the privilege of spending lots of time together. Lots and lots of time. Inevitably, choosing to spend my time with them means I did not spend time on other things. Some say you can have it all, but I haven’t found that to be the case.

We enjoyed many days at home in pajamas during those early days of newborns and toddlerhood. Then, there were ten years of home schooling. So many lessons and field trips and books and play time and meals.

For sure, motherhood around here hasn’t been glamorous or polished. We just had lots of regular old days. And I wouldn’t trade it for all the money in the world. A quick glance through old photos floods my mind with memories.

Ruby working diligently on her Kindergarten work…

While Molly and Mack were playing in their pajamas.

And this sweet memory of reading books in the yard together.

But lest you think these are super sweet, there’s also this one:

Which reminds me of the time Mack came out of the bathroom with his head all wet and said he had flushed his head in the toilet.

And this photo reminds me of the time we took the girls to see the musical, Little House on the Prairie. Molly was so upset afterwards. She thought she would get to meet Laura from Little House. When she realized she wouldn’t get to meet her, she cried and cried with her bonnet on her sweet little head.

Above we have Ruby doing what she loves to do—annoy Mack! She looks quite proud of herself.

I remember this photo with Mack like yesterday. He loved taking the picture and then looking at himself. We just sat on that swing for quite a while snapping photos. What a cute little face he has!

And baby Mack was getting so big at this point—but not too big to nap on my lap.

Here’s sweet Molly. She has always liked baking and helping in the kitchen. Look at her proud smiling face!!!

And she has always worn whatever clothes she wanted! Even in the kitchen. 😊

We used to go to a waking trail regularly. We loved being outside and it was always great to wear the kids out!

This was one of the most fun family trips we ever had. Camping—of all things!

I did my best to pass on my love for puzzles! (And I have very few pictures of Ruby she would allow me to post because Ruby spent most of her younger days half dressed!)

Snow day in Georgia with nothing much to do but eat pancakes and ride four wheelers with the neighbor.

One day I may post about this pillow Molly is holding. The child would still be using it if I hadn’t intervened. The intervention was quite the process.

Motherhood has been a sanctifying tool. I have learned so much about myself, about God, about how to give of yourself when you don’t have anything else to give. I’ve learned about how to love and serve, how to ask for forgiveness and show grace. I’ve learned how to cook chicken many different ways. And I’m painfully aware that even though I always thought I’d be an amazing mom to teenagers—this season has been the most challenging by far. But here we are—still loving and growing and maturing and supporting each other. These three kids are loved by me. I love how God made them, and I am grateful He entrusted them to me to be their mama. I know all the time invested and sacrifices made are not in vain.