Coffee Date: Back to School, My Son is Going to College, and I-could-use-a-hug-Edition.
Man, did summer fly by or what!?
And how are you? Refreshed? Worn out? Ready for a new season ahead? I want to hear, so please don’t forget to make it to the bottom and leave me a little update! (That’s part of the deal with coffee dates! )
I’m excited to catch up on things…So grab a seat (and your favorite beverage!) and let’s dive in!
First, let’s get the
painful exciting part over with: By the time this goes live I will be in California, getting Josiah set up and dropped off at college at Westmont in Santa Barbara. *gulp*. He’s so ready. And I’m so not ready too. 😉 Really truly, I am so happy for him. But really truly, I’m gonna miss this kid like crazy.
Our first couple days we’ll be hanging with the Thompsons in Ventura, while we shop for all of the “Twin XL” dorm bedding, and other college-life necessities. Dave will meet up with us midweek, and then we will get Josiah moved in, go to Parent Orientation meetings, and have a few days to connect with friends and explore Josiah’s new “home” a bit. All of this while thinking every happy thought so that my heart doesn’t break into pieces in front of Josiah’s new friends and classmates. (That is SO embarrassing.)
Phew! That’s done, now quick, let’s switch topics!
Our summer went by too fast, but left us with some great memories.
I didn’t know it was going to happen, but Dave signed Levi up for a “real” surf contest and now it seems his competitive surf career has officially begun.
He took 4th place in his first Official HSA (Hawaii Surf Association) event in Honolulu. So much fun!! Thankfully, Luke was able to paddle out in the channel to coach him along. (Levi was the youngest out there by quite a bit.) It was a day for the history books.
In other news: Our homeschool year started.
I feel like we’re getting in the groove pretty well already. You wanna know my favorite thing? Levi is starting to love reading! And you wanna know what helped? A little tip Andrew Pudewa gave me when we did the podcast interview a couple of months ago. Here’s how it goes: You start reading a really good story, OUT LOUD, to your kid, then you choose a really exciting point in the story and you say, “Sorry, we’ll have to finish later!” You leave the book open to the page you left off on, and walk away. Next thing you know you “catch” your kid devouring the story on his own. (So sneaky and so effective!)
Also: ^^^ Little boys love mystery books! 🙂
It has also helped that Levi’s big brothers have been reading a ton all summer long. (recent list of their favorite books, here. 😉 I’m gonna miss moments like this, aren’t I?
One more time: “I. Can. Do. This.”
In other news: It’s been incredibly pretty on the north shore this summer. Postcard pretty.
The boys painted our friends’ fence a few weeks back. I stopped by to check on them and my suspicions were confirmed: I always knew Luke was a little Tom Sawyer. 🙂
Fun update! Raise your hand if you remember the ASK MONICA series I was doing for a while?…(Like 2 years ago.)
(For the rest of you…) For a while I was doing a monthly blog post where I responded to some of the most frequently asked questions I get via email or on the blog. This was so much fun, but I kind of just fell out of the habit. I always do my best to respond to emails, but I just can’t get to all of them…
SO, I thought for fun I would try doing a series of short (5 -ish minute) YouTube videos, responding to some of the most frequently asked questions! So far I’ve done 2: One on the topic of Sibling Squabbling (recorded on the beach! 🙂 and another sharing some of my personal tips on “how to eat less” (it’s honest and practical.) I have a marriage related video coming soon as well. What else do you want me to cover? Please tell me in comments!
And of course, the best way to catch future Ask Monica 5-minutes videos? SUBSCRIBE to my YouTube channel!
What’s new on the internets?!
Well, for starters...THIS Facebook post was exactly what I needed to
make me bawl my eyes out help me realize why it is so hard when kids go away to college. (warning: Do not read without tissues nearby.) She basically nailed my heart with the whole “I was the sun and they were the planets” deal. Oh my heart.
**Check out the new Ask the BoyMom series over at Turquoise Grace. I got to be the first interview in the series, and now that I read it I’m all teary. (Did I mention I’m taking my first born to college this week?)
More good stuff:
The Importance of Encouraging Curiosity in your Children. From the Guardian. LOVE THIS!
This is your child’s brain on video games. (Yikes!)(But such an important read!) From Psychology Today.
My post, The Instagram Five post was featured on the For Every Mom site last week. If you missed it before, hop over and check it out there. 😉
How complaining rewires your brain for negativity. Interesting! (good to teach kids!) From the Globe and Mail.
Sweet Cherry Oat Bars From the Lean Green Bean site. MUST enjoy the summer fruit while it’s still around!
Thai Noodle Salad with Peanut Lime Dressing. Mmmm! From Pinch of Yum.
Cauliflower Pizza Crust for the win!! From the Minimalist Baker
The best Nanaimo Bars Oh wow these look good! By Simple As That
And I just have to finish with this. Even if you’ve already seen it. Because it’s really as good as it gets. And it could possibly make for world peace. Or at least better family relations. 😉
LOVE to you all! Thank you times a million for ALL of the love and support as I face this bittersweet chapter of life.
Now!! Leave a comment below saying HI, telling me how your summer was, what’s new this fall, or anything else. (Also feel free to leave requests for “Ask Monica” segments! or email them to [email protected])
PS HURRICANE UPDATE: As I am finally about to publish this from Southern California (where things are going super well, btw!) Hurricane Lane is apparently headed towards Hawaii…where three of my sons are without parents (hahaha, crazy right!?) Rest assured: we have friends staying with them (even real live adults) and tons of support, and bottled water, and emergency systems in place (not exactly, but that sounds good.) I think they’ll be ok. Truthfully, my boys LOVE a good storm, and I feel confident they’ll be ok. But we do appreciate prayers for our boys and anyone who may be affected by the storm. (Thank you to those of you who have reached out with concern.)
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.
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.
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!
Thank you for sharing. Hugs
thank you! Hugs to you as well. 🙂 Aloha-
..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
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
Thanks! I’ll take a look.gluten sensitivity
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!
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…
Thank you Nicole! I hope you love your new job and the season ahead. Sending Aloha! 😉
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.
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-
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!
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-
Also, I didn’t know you’re from the Seattle area! Small world, I’m in the Seattle area too, across the water. 🙂
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!
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-