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  1. I was Googling around for some Christian inspiration on what my role as a mom should look like now that my son has just started college this month. I am SO THANKFUL I came across your blog! We both have surfing (mine is a professional wake-surfer) sons, both beginning their freshman year in college, and both of us moms longing for the days when they would bring creatures of all kinds home and leave them in various boxes and terrariums on the countertop for the day. Your sons did that, too, right??!? First of all, Westmont will be wonderful! Our family member is a professor there! Look for Marianne Robins at https://www.westmont.edu/sites/default/files/2017-09/Robins_MarianneS2013.pdf. Secondly, I already see that your wisdom and humor are going to hit the right spot for me. Thank you for your beautiful blog – for sharing the joys of motherhood and the wisdom that is needed to do it the best we can. And yes, your blog helped me figure out one important change in my role as a mother. Don’t smother!! I smother my kids with affection, and I found out yesterday that too much of it isn’t a good thing for my 19-year old man-son. Thank you for your encouragement! I’ll be back for more.

  2. Oh Monica, I read your first few paragraphs choking back tears as I will be leaving my oldest at college in two days. He is SO ready and I have my waterproof mascara and big sunglasses ready but I am not ready. My friends all tell me that our relationship will just get better but I like our relationship right now and I am going to miss him like crazy in the day to Day interactions of our family life. Btw, I have stopped reading all the drop your kids off at college posts because I just can’t deal with the emotions on a daily basis. Maybe when it’s not so fresh, when drop off is over and I see how amazingly he is doing and how I managed to survive then I can return to my regular social media browsing.
    In the meantime I have two other very busy boys to get ready for school so I’m off to the store for notebooks, soccer cleats and probably a box of tissue.

    1. You’ve got this Eleanor!! I made it there and back and my heart is so happy. I just keep thinking how great it is to live in this age of technology where we really have many ways to stay in touch and feel a little part of their life even when they are away. 🙂 (Except, sadly, it seems my son’s cell service provider has terrible connection in his dorm…waaaah!) Anyways, I also agree with you it helps to have other kids to focus on back home. So go — be strong, and focus on the joy and gratitude that you’re son is making great choices and you do have a good relationship with him!! I’ll pray for you!

  3. Jennifer Rawles says:

    Thank you for sharing. Hugs

  4. Homeister Tanja says:

    ..can sooo feel with you!! Just dropped my oldest at NYU and we will also have an ocean between us!! But I am sure we can do this!! Tanja from Switzerland

    1. Oh wow…yes you and I have very similar situations!! Oh bless you. It’s going to be good, it’s going to be good… 🙂 Thanks for commenting and have a most wonderful fall!! xoxo

  5. Jill Ulven says:

    Hi Monica! Had a memory Swanson family flashback when I met Caleb Nyquist this summer at CHIC. Found out our paths cross with you and your family. How fun! Been thinking of you with the hurricane. Fun to read your blog! Praying for your heart as you leave part of it with Josiah at Westmont. Riley is starting his junior year at Virginia Tech. Zachary starts his senior year in high school in a couple weeks. Exciting to see your own children thriving in their own life. You’ve raised your boys well. Hi to Dave!

  6. Nicole J. says:

    Great updates. Thank you! Will be checking out the links too. It’s been a good season for our family, and I cannot imagine dropping a kid at school, but just a few short years and that will be me.. boohoo. Love following your journeys!
    I’m starting a new job and excited for a new season. Also it’s been a bit hot and humid in the south so look forward to a bit cooler weather. Hope your kids stay safe in Hawaii and sending love…

    1. Thank you Nicole! I hope you love your new job and the season ahead. Sending Aloha! 😉

  7. Carrie Joy says:

    Thank you for the always-awesome updates. I’ll be praying for you this week/weekend. Also praying for everyone in Hawaii. It looks like a pretty bad storm if not full on hurricane.
    We had a super good summer and I hate to see it end. But I do love fall so that is on the horizon! My son will be in 4th grade and he is excited. I have lots to tend to after a busy summer, so gearing up to tackle it all soon. Much love to you.

    1. Hey Carrie, thanks for stopping in! I love fall too, so you’ll have to enjoy it for me as well. 🙂 I will also be returning home to a long to-do list, so you’re not alone. 🙂 I hope 4th grade is awesome for your son!! Take care-

  8. I always love your coffee date posts! So happy and sad for you this week but know that your son is going to love this next chapter of life! You always share great links and that little girl was just the cutest. I’ll make my whole family watch her! 🙂 Thanks for sharing your life with us…it always inspires me!

    1. Thank you Annie! So sweet of you to comment. Yes that little girl is just the best! Have a wonderful new school year ahead. aloha-

  9. Also, I didn’t know you’re from the Seattle area! Small world, I’m in the Seattle area too, across the water. 🙂

  10. I LOVE your reading tip!! My oldest boys are 10 and 6 and I’ve been trying to get them interested in reading for FOREVER. That’s genius to stop at an exciting part! I’ll be trying this and hopefully it will spark the reading interest. 🙂 Also thank you for the shout out! I’m so honored to have had you as my very first interview. 🙂 Have a great time in Santa Barbara, prayers for your sons first year at college – I know I will be the exact same level of sobs when my sons turn comes. HUGS!

    1. Thank you Alicia–I loved the way you did the interview – short and sweet. Lovely! Yes, that reading tip is so simple but really genius. 🙂 The college drop-off has not been nearly as hard as I imagined…it helps when you feel so much peace about where they’re at! (I’m just gonna selfishly miss him like crazy.) Blessings to you! aloha-