Wednesday, August 28, 2013

And then there was one.

I now only have one child at home.  We dropped one off at college and now it's just the three of us.

I did exceptionally well, I must say, controlling my tears.  (I am a weeper!  I carry this family in the emotional area of tears since I tend to be the only one equipped with them.)

I took a few days off from work, we loaded, and I mean LOADED, up the car and headed off to take my son to college and then look at a couple of other schools for my daughter.  Dropping him off brought back so many memories of my college life.  So many fun times.  So many hard times, too.  But all a part of the transition from the comforts of home to eventually being out on my own.  I loved college and am excited for my kids to experience all college life has to offer.  I met my best girlfriend at school and of course the best part was meeting my husband.  We are about to hit our 24th wedding anniversary.  At 25 years we will be empty nesters!

Back to current events.  We got him unloaded, bed made, and off to the bookstore to pick up shirts and sweatshirts.  We barely saw him after that.  He got his books and took off.  We made our purchases and walked the campus.  Beautiful school with amazing views.  Met up with him back in his room to say good-bye and we were off for a three hour drive to visit a school for my daughter. 

No tears!

Next morning up and out to meet with the admissions counselor and walk the grounds of potential school #1.  Another beautiful campus.  I really liked the school and felt it was a perfect fit for my daughter but wanted to hear her thoughts.  She was feeling the same.  

Back in the car for a two hour drive to visit potential school #2.  A much bigger university, 14,000 students versus 1,000 from the school we just came from.  Very good school, another beautiful campus in a wonderful town.  I didn't get the personal vibe like the first.  My daughter liked it but felt it was quite large.  If she pursues the major she is currently thinking she wants to do, then school #1 would be the best fit - and she thinks so too. 

Back in the car for the last one hour drive back to the town my son is in.

Up the next morning to go to convocation for the freshmen and see him for the last time until, most likely, Christmas break.  We said our good-byes and prayed over him.  He told us he is looking forward to us leaving (brat :)) and my last "I love you" was a bit raspy from holding back a few tears as I got in the car.  But that was all. 

I am comforted knowing this is the school I believe God chose for him to attend.  We drove the five hours home, picked up our dogs, ordered a pizza and began to settle in as a family of three.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Waiting for my mom

My mom is coming to visit soon.  I can’t wait to see her since she lives a few states away.  I’m not sure when I’ve seen her last, it’s been too long!  She should be here in about a week.  Yippee!

Also plan to paint my daughter’s room over Labor Day weekend. 

This next week I will need to make sure my daughter has all her school supplies.  I have some but will need to do a bit of shopping before the year begins.

I’ll be busy this next week.

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Friday, August 23, 2013

Minor breakdown

I feel quite foolish.  I've been doing quite well, I think, with the realization that my first born is heading off to college.  To be completely truthful, I am excited for him to head off and discover life on his own; so to speak.  But....

The other day, just a few days before we were to take him to school I had a moment.  Totally out of the blue - but isn't that when "moments" tend to happen?  I am at the grocery store buying ingredients to make his favorite dinner, terriake chicken.  I'm making his last home-made dinner before we take off.  I'm OK with it.  I gather all my items and about to head to the checkout.  I end up taking the candy isle towards the registers and see his favorite candy on sale.  Perfect.  I'll grab some so he'll have some of his favorite in his dorm room.  Good plan, bad execution.  I almost lost it as I put the candy in my cart.  Go figure chocolate would bring a mom to tears. 

I gathered myself and made it to the registers.  Second round of holding back the tears happened when I put that darn candy on the conveyor belt.  Get it together, girl.  I managed to purchase my items and get to the car before the tears began to flow.  I sat in my car for a few minutes with tears streaming down my cheeks. 

As excited as I am to have my baby move on, it doesn't mean it's easy to let him go.  I am sure I will have a few more days of that, before and after he's gone.  But that is what my role of a mom is and I WILL get through it.  I'll look at it as practice for next year because I get to do it all over again when my daughter leaves next summer. 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Yummy Marinade

I was searching my pile of recipes for a new dinner option and came across this one.  The family liked it - bonus!  Let me warn you, there is a lot of garlic and ginger, so adjust as needed for your personal taste. 
The recipe was for kebabs, but I think just soaking cut up chicken and then stir-frying would be perfect.  Then thicken with cornstarch and you should have a great dinner.

Garlic-Balsamic Chicken Kebab

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
1/4 cub dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
4 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns (I used a few shakes of ground pepper)
1 tablespoons grated fresh ginger (I used minced ginger)
1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 large red onion, cut into bite-size chunks

In a blender, combine all but the chicken and onion.  Puree until smooth.  Reserve half of the marinade and refrigerate it. Pour the remaining marinade into a large bowl or zip lock bag.  Add the chicken and onions, then stir to coat.  Cover and refrigerate for about 1 1/2 hours. 

Now you can either put the chicken and onions onto kebabs and grill or stir fry.  If doing kebabs, put remaining marinade in a saucepan and boil to condense and thicken.  If stir frying, add marinade after chicken is cooked.  Add cornstarch diluted in water to thicken and serve with rice.

I hope you enjoy. 
I found this recipe in our local paper a few years ago written by J. M. Hirsch.