Saturday, June 30, 2012

My Sweet T

Trying to get some blogging done while I have some peace and quiet in the house this morning. T is at work and Cosmo and KJ are spending some quality time hiking at Oak Mountain State Park.  They'll probably also get some swimming in while they're at the park.  They left super early this morning to beat the heat. 

T got in late last night from a few days at the lake with friends.  She said it was so nice and relaxing and they just really needed it.   Even though she's excited about college and new adventures, I know a part of her is incredibly sad to see her friends going off in all different directions. 

So tomorrow is July 1, also known as "T's Birthday Month of Celebrations."  Yes, Daughter #1 doesn't just get a b-day like normal people.  For some reason, we celebrate T's b-day all month long.  The party never ends.  Tonight she is going out to dinner with friends and tomorrow we have brunch plans.  After brunch we'll just spend a low key day at the pool and I think some friends are coming over in the afternoon to help her celebrate yet again. 

I just realized that today is the day that Dr. Fein called me at home and said, "Hey kiddo!  You've got a moose in there!  We're gonna go ahead and schedule a C-section for you for tomorrow and get that baby!"  Yes, I was literally standing in my kitchen barefoot and pregnant, mop in hand, when the phone rang. 

Let me back up a bit.  My original due date was June 21 but Dr. Fein said don't ever tell anyone your actual due date because they'll be calling you and bugging you.  I spent my original due date floating in my parents pool.  It was so freaking hot and I didn't have a maternity bathing suit so I had on a pair of Cosmo's gym shorts and a large t-shirt.  I had develooped gestational diabetes while I was pregnant with T and the last 8 weeks of my pregnancy were spent having Gluclose blood tests on Monday, Ultra-Sounds on Wednesday and doctor's appointments on Fridays.  After getting that last ultra-sound result late Thursday afternoon, Doctor Fein called me at home on Thursday, June 30, and in his best NY Jewish OB/GYN voice said, "Hey Kiddo!"  I was mopping the kitchen floor, nesting, when the phone rang. 

I called Cosmo at the office, called my parents and he called his parents.  I had to be at the hospital at 3 PM on Friday, July 1.  We went out for breakfast that morning and ran a couple of last minute errands.  And then we sat in 4th of July traffic.  Yes ladies and gentlemen.  I was late for the birth of my first child.  Our family arrived at the hospital before us.  My parents, Cosmo's parents and his brother Joe, his wife Laurie and their daughter Brittany were all waiting in the lobby for us. 

The Labor and Delivery nurses came and got us and as we were walking down the hall I realized they were taking us the long way.  Our nurse explained that there had been some complications with a delivery earlier in the day and the couple lost their child.  The nurses didn't want me, in all my pregnancy glory, to walk past their room or their grieving families.  That was so sobering to me and I will never forget that.  Every year on T's b-day I say a little prayer for that familly and wonder about them . . .  on the day that we celebrate our first born, are they thinking about the child they lost? 

That was also the moment I started to get scared.  And I mean really scared.  This got real.  Fast.  I had gestational diabetes and they thought my baby was at least 10 lbs.  At least.  Prep was a blur and all I really remember is the sound of my water being broken, Drs Price and Fein telling Cosmo he can stand up and get his camera ready (proud poppa bear told me afterward that my organs are very healthy looking -- nice and brightly colored).  So at 5:42 PM EST on Friday, July 1, 1994 our Little T-bone entered the world.  They let Cosmo cut the cord and then she was whisked away to be cleaned up and given the APGAR test.  I remember the nurses and doctors shouting out numbers to each other.  I remember hearing 9 several times and also the number 10.  Well, it turns out her APGAR was 9 both times and she weighed in at a whooping 9 lbs. 10 oz.  While I was being stitched up I kept asking Cosmo, "is she OK?  is she OK? "  He kissed me and said, "Val, she's beautiful.  She's just so beautiful."  And she really was.  She had the most amazing head full of black hair and the sweetest, prettiest lips I had ever seen on a baby.  Her lips were a perfect little bow.  We had decided, if it was a girl, to name her "Amanda Leigh."  Well, Cosmo said, "Val.  She doesn't look like an Amanda.  She has a head full of black hair.  What do you think of the name Taylor?"  I was so groggy and said, "Ok.  But if she's going to be Taylor, I want her to have Ann as her middle name."  My mother was named Virginia Ann for her maternal grandmother and Ann/Annie was my grandfather's younger sister who died at 16.  That is why I'm Valerie Ann. 

I remember being back in my room and the nurses telling me, "Congratulations!  You have the largest baby in the nursery!"  They brought her to me wrapped up tight like a little sausage in one of those thin hospital blankets and I unwrapped her immediately so I could get a good look at her.  She was so long (22 1/2 inches!) and so big and plump and soft.  There is nothing like fresh smelling baby. 

I was still a little out of it so the nurses asked Cosmo if he wanted to give her the first bottle (I was supposed to breast-feed but woke up that morning with a bizarre rash from my neck to my toes -- they didn't know if it was poison ivy, hives or hormones so they gently suggested we switch to a bottle so the baby didn't get sores in her mouth). 

My mom and dad must have hit the mall either late Friday night or early Saturday morning because they were at the hospital bright and early with an armful of sweet, sweet baby girl outfits.  No generic yellow or green.  Pink!  Lots and lots of Pink!  That night my hospital room was one big huge party -- my mom and dad, Cosmo's parents, Joe and Laurie, his sister Lynn and Ted, his brother Drew and wife Janet, my maid of honor Barbara and her husband Frank, my friend from work Michelle and her husband Chris.  The nurse came in and told us to keep it down our she'd make everyone leave. 

Sunday I was feeling more like myself and they finally let me shower.  It was so nice to have clean hair and a little make-up.  More visitors.  After everyone left that night I turned off all the lights in my hospital room and opened the blinds.  I was able to see the fireworks at RCC from my window and drifted off to sleep. 

Monday, July 4 was "Bringing Home Baby."  There is some really funny video of me trying to get T dressed.  I couldn't stop giggling.  I was so scared and nervous getting her dressed.  I thought I was going to break her little arm trying to get it in the sweet little white "going home" jacket I had picked out for her.  My mother in law said to Cosmo, "OK.  We'll see you back at the house."  And I think Cosmo hurt his mother's feeling when he said, "No.  No visitors.  We want to just come home and get settled in by ourselves."  It really was for the best; I was certainly not up to entertain a houseful of guests.  Cosmo had surprised me with a beautiful glider for the nursery and we took T straight into her room and rocked her to sleep.  I still have that glider.  I can't bear to get rid of it.  I rocked my two beautiful daughters in that chair many, many nights. 

On that day we started one of our many family traditions.  We walked into the house as a family.  Cosmo & I holding hands with the baby in our arms.  Since then, any time we move, we walk into our new house as a family.  And when KJ was born, we walked into the front door of this house holding hands with T in the middle and the new baby in our arms.  And now we've come full circle.  In 6 short weeks we'll be walking, hand in hand, into T's dorm room @ Ole Miss.  

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Gone Girl

Wow.  Just finished reading Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.  One of the best books I've read in a long, long time!  The book is about 450 pages.  I started reading yesterday afternoon and couldn't put it down.  I devoured 350 pages last night and the only reason I stopped reading and didn't finish was because I had to get up for work in the morning.  It was that good!  It's extremely tight and brillantly written.  The author totally strings you along and messes with your emotions.  The first couple of pages in you think one way, half-way through the book you're thinking something totally different.  Gillian Flynn gives you enough info to think you know how this book is going to end and then BAM!  She hits you with a left hook you never saw coming. 


Head over to Munchkinland Designs and check out their BOTW (Blog of the Week)!

Monday, June 25, 2012

These are a few of my favorite things!

Summer's in full swing in most parts of the country (my car temperature said 97 this afternoon!) and I recently changed up my morning routine.  It's just too damn hot to wear a ton of make-up or mess with my hair!
Do you change your make-up / skin care for different seasons?  What products can't you live without??

After my shower and 3-step Clinique routine, I start off with primer (or, as I like to call it, "spackle").  I used to use the regular Smashbox primer but have become a devoted user of the new "light" formula.  My make-up just glides on and lasts so much longer if I use primer. 

I really wanted to try the new BB creams out there but didn't want to spend a fortune if I didn't like it so I went with Clinique because they will let me return it if I'm not satisfied.  Well, I like it.  A lot.  Very lightweight cream (more like a tinted moisturizer) with decent coverage.  I barely feel like I'm wearing make-up and it's perfect for summer!

On hot summer weekends when I'm running errands or just don't want to put on a lot of make-up I sometimes just leave the house wearing some Up-Lighting.  It's a great illluminator and gives me a nice "glow." 

Because I'm a total germophobe I am constantly washing my hands and always use hand sanitizer.  It leaves my hands very, very dry even in summer.  I was first introduced to L'Occitane when T & I were in Paris waiting for the Chunnel to take us to London (God!  I just re-read that sentence and it sounds very pretentious and snooty!).  There was a wonderful L'Occitane shop in the terminal and I ended up buying a tube of hand-cream to slip in my purse while we were traveling.  I've been hooked ever since.  I just like the plain ol' Shea Butter formula but it is available in other scents. 

I just bought this lip treatment a few days ago and luv, luv, luv it!  Again, it's lightweight for the summer, it's not a goopy globby gloss and leaves my lips nice and smooth.  And, the color is just enough. 

To fight the horrible humidity I've been using an Anti-Frizz serum on my hair to leave it sleek and shiny. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

To Quilt or not to Quilt . . .

Feel like I haven't been in my office in forever.  I can't remember the last time I worked a full week.  I took the Thursday & Friday off for T's graduation and then that Monday was Memorial Day, Tuesday afternoon we headed out to Ole Miss for Orientation and I was back in the office that Friday.  Then I got sick w/ pneumonia and missed a full week of work and then this past week I was in training Tuesday through Friday.  It's been crazy!

This is T:  

T is still getting her stuff together for Move-In Day.  We're making progress and checking things off the list.  Some of her friends are heading to Auburn early August (a lot of them are getting apartments and their lease starts August 1).  Not sure when the Alabama kids head to T-town.  We may (or may not) have found a comforter for her dorm.  She originally said she wanted a quilt and was going for a boho/eclectic kind of look.  Then she saw a yellow chevron duvet cover she liked and thought about turquoise accents.  Then she went back to the boho look.  I bought her a quilt from Urban Outfitters this week but will keep the receipt in case we need to return it.  She doesn't like the matchy-matchy look (much to my chagrin!) and loves the "collected" rather than "bought" look.  She likes to upcycle items and enjoys shopping in antique and consignment stores.  Her roomie has basically left the room decor up to T.  She and her parents will be traveling quite far and will only be driving one car to Move-In Day so they are limited on space.  She said they will be doing most of their shopping when they get to Oxford and she may have some things shipped to our house and we'll bring them to her.   

This is Not: 

These past couple of months have been an absolute whirlwind and have gone by in a blur . . . a lot of "firsts" and a lot of "lasts."  T went from being a high school senior to a college freshman in what feels like just a few short days.  She'll be 18 soon and 6 weeks from her birthday she'll be at college.  Normally we go to the beach for her birthday but this summer it will be Disney instead. 

So not only do I have to deal w/ T leaving the nest, but come October, I will officially be the proud mom of not just one but TWO teenage girls.  KJ turns 13 in October.  God help me!  She had a friend over the other day and we were chatting about middle school and all that good stuff.  KJ's friend is on the dance team so we started to talk football and how fun it will be to go to the middle school games.  The friend, very matter of factly, said, "Well, I don't know how fun it will be.  I don't think our team is going to be very good this year.  The boys are all really small."  I don't know any boys on the football team so I don't know how big or small they are but I thought it was pretty funny that these two 12-year old girls were critiquing the squad like a couple of middle-aged men getting ready for their fantasy football draft!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

It's the Final Countdown

I've got that awesomely bad, super cheesy 80's hairband song going thru my head today.  We've reached the final countdown for "Operation Ole Miss."   Less than 60 days, less than 2 months and we will be moving T into her dorm.  She's been keeping her stuff organized in the guest room since Christmas and everytime we purchase something, we just put it in the Ole Miss basket (extension cords, iron, command strips, laundry bag, picture frames, etc.).  She's got two sets of XL sheets and monogrammed towels but still needs to find bedding she and her roommate both like.  Friends of ours dropped off a super fun gift basket filled with college "necessities."  G texted T after she dropped it off and said as a little joke she usually hids condoms in the bottom of the basket but didn't think Champ would appreciate the humor!   
T's trying to decide if she wants to loft her bed or not. Her dorm is older and the rooms are on the smaller side so she really wants to maximize storage. The good thing is that she's only 3 hours away. If she forgets something or needs something, she can get it her first trip home or we can bring it to her that first football game (which she's SUPER excited about! She gets to participate in the Rebel Run!).

Sunday, June 17, 2012

My Cosmo

"I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father's protection." --   Sigmund Freud
My dear Christopher, you are many things to many people: husband, father, son, brother, uncle, coach, mentor, friend, neighbor, boss, co-worker. You are all these things and so much more! I love you, Happy Father's Day XOXOXO

Saturday, June 16, 2012

And the Liebster Goes To . . .

So Sweet Christine over @ nominated me for a Liebster Blog Award.  Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!  Over the years I've seen them on other blogs but never really knew what it was.  I luv, luv, luv to blog and it's so nice to know there are some folks out there who read it! 

The Liebster Blog Award is given to upcoming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. The Meaning; Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing and welcome.

Here are the rules: 
1. Each person must post 11 things about themselves.
2. Answer the questions the tagger has set for you plus create 11 questions for the people you've tagged to answer.
3. Choose 11 people and link them in your post.
4. Go to their page and tell them.
5. Remember, no tag backs!

11 Things About Me:
1. I don't have any tattoos.  
2. I have never seen the movie "Footloose."
3. I love trying new make-up or hair products but I leave the house several times a week bare-faced. 
4. I love to wear hats.  
5. I love handbags and tote bags. 
6. I have never played golf.  
7. I do not have a green thumb.  
8. I am a quintessential Libra.
9. I keep several tubes of lip balm with me at all times.
10. I am a history geek through and through.  
11. I don't like to be in crowds or small, tight places.  

11 Questions from Christine:
1. What is your must have item in your closet?  
Gap or Old Navy V-neck T-shirts.  I wear them year round and can dress them up with cute accessories or go super casual. 
2. Who is your favorite celeb?
Right now I'm kind of obsessed with Kate Middleton and Pippa. 
3. What is your favorite thing about blogging?
I love the creativity and effort other bloggers put into their blogs and I love buttons!  I also love it when readers leave sweet comments on my blog.  Makes me so happy to see "comments awaiting moderation." 
4. If you could redo anything in your life, what would it be?
I would finish college. 
5. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
I would love to live abroad (or LaJolla, CA) but on a more realistic note, I would move back to Cincinnati in a heartbeat. 
6. What is your favorite band/artist?
I think Lenny Kravitz is a genius.  I also love Madonna.  I mean, c'mon. 
7. What was your favorite vacation?
I think my favorite vacation would be when we took the girls to San Diego for a few days.  The weather was amazing and it was one of the vacations where everything went perfectly and just fell into place.  So relaxing! 
8. Do you have any guilty pleasures and if so what are they? I love to read celeb gossip magazines (i.e., People, US Weekly, InTouch, etc.). 
9. What's your favorite Britney Spears song? Yes, I'm really asking this.
"Hit Me Baby One More Time." 
10. What's your favorite reality show?
I like the Real Housewives franchises. 
11. What is your favorite hair style?
A long, layered bob. 

My Questions:
1.  Biggest Pet Peeve?
2.  Did you play a sport growing up?
3.  How many pillows do you sleep with at night?
4.  Favorite slogan or saying?
5.  Do you have an e-Readers (Nook or Kindle or something else) or a tablet (iPad)? 
6.  Have you ever had caviar?  Did you like it?
7.  Favorite way to spend your birthday?
8.  Have you ever had an experience with the supernatural (i.e., ghosts, UFO's, etc.)?
9.  Allergic to anything?
10.  Dream job?
11.  Can you snow ski or snowboard?

Jess @
Kristin @
Haley @
Whitney @
Kailee @
Emily @
Erin @
Sarah @
Stephanie @
Lindsay @

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

You know it's Summer when . . .

....pool towels are hanging off the back deck. 

...lots of fresh fruits and veggies!  Mmmm...corn on the cob, watermelon, nectarines, tomatoes, cucumbers. 

...your daughter wants to know if she could put out the slip 'n slide.
...sleep-overs go on for days!

...laundry consists of bathing suits, shorts & T-shirts.  No socks in sight!

...there are several packages of ice pops in your grocery cart! grill 99.9% of your meals! 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Chicks in the Nest

Yay!  All the chicks are back in the nest!  Cosmo had been in Knoxville and Nashville last week so we got her on a flight from BWI to Huntsville yesterday and he picked her up at the airport.  Her flight was very, very early and I think she panicked for a minute when she got off the plane and didn't see Cosmo standing at the gate.  He had gotten hung up in security but she stayed on the phone with me until she saw him walking towards her.  Love knowing that my kids are somewhat independent and can handle themselves in any situation! 

Apparently my sweet, sweet little nephew was very worried about KJ flying by herself.  He was fine when they said good-bye to her at the gate but as they watched her plane pull away he got very upset and cried.  He said he didn't like her flying by herself and he missed her already.  He left her a message on her her cell phone and said, "Call me the MINUTE you land!!!"  So cute! 

We had such a nice night listening to her stories from her 2 week visit in PA w/ the fam.  The weather wasn't great so she didn't do any swimming and no horseback riding this trip (my cousin Jessica is taking summer classes and staying on campus).  But, KJ spent a lot of time w/ my niece and nephew, got to spend some time w/ her cousin John (they are 8 weeks apart), she rode the four-wheeler (a lot), went to Knoebels, went to one of Mr. B's baseball games, went to Miss C's pre-school graduation, made jam w/ my sister-in-law, went to John's lax tournament and Aunt Linda took her to dinner one night. Just some good ol' fashioned family fun time. 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Sick, Sick, Sick

Disclaimer:  Please read at your own risk; it's pretty graphic. 

Saturday morning I woke up not feeling so great.  Kind of bummed around the house, didn't do much or get much accomplished.  I had a horrible, horrible cough and ended up going to the doctor on Tuesday.  Got a cortisone shot in my butt and a prescription for some cough medicine w/ codeine.  I have a very high tolerance for pain meds and instead of helping me sleep, the codeine made me positively wired.  I mean, legit wide awake until 4:45 AM.  NyQuil has the same effect on me.  I might as well have drank a couple of Red Bulls.  Cosmo had an early morning flight so his alarm went off at 5 AM.  So, basically, I was operating on 15 minutes of sleep all day Wednesday. 

Late Wednesday night I started to get some really disgusting goo in my eyes.  Thursday morning I could barely open my eyes.  They were almost swollen shut and filled with crusty, dried goo.  I was still feeling very, very puny and went back to the doctor to find out that I now have walking pneumonia and am also the proud owner of conjunctivitis in both eyes.  Yay.  Go me.  I am positively exhausted and can barely move from the couch to my bed.  I am totally drained and have never felt this bad in my life.  I think I've just been running on empty the last couple of weeks and it finally caught up with me. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

It's that whole "Circle of Life" thing

The other day T was telling me a cute story about how she was at the pool with friends and ran into the little girls she used to babysit (all 3 have beautiful, what I like to call "soap opera star" names).  The guys were playing a fairly physical game of basketball in the shallow end and T told them to watch out for the little girls.  She said it made her feel incredibly old and then she got really said when one of the little girls asked her why she doesn't babysit for them anymore?  T said she didn't know how to answer her.  Um, because I grew up?  Because I used to watch you when I was in middle school and then got a social life? 

It got me thinking about the famous saying, "It takes a village to raise a child."  I started to think of all the people who have touched my children's lives over the years:  teachers (obviously), coaches, neighbors, our lax family, church family.  Both of my girls played soccer, softball and lacrosse.  Both of my girls danced and cheered and both were Girl Scouts.  And now KJ's playing volleyball.  So many people have helped shaped and mold my girls into the young ladies they are today. 

Not having any blood family here, there are certain people I know I can count in an emergency.  I was blessed with wonderful neighbors and, not having any sisters, I was also blessed with an incredible core group of girlfriends.  Kay across the street, Beth next door, Judy, Troy, Scott & Teresa . . . I know they would always be watching out for my girls and they would not even hesitate one second to call me if they thought my girls were doing something they shouldn't.  Poor Gary next door had to call me one time and he was a nervous wreck.  I called him back later that afternoon to thank him for calling.  I told him I would never kill the messenger and I know it was difficult for him to pick up the phone.  I also told him I was thankful for that he cared enough to make that phone call, as difficult as it was. 

We've also been very fortunate to use be able to use scare tactics with our girls.  Especially when T was in middle school and starting to go to the movies or football games without constant parental supervision (that whole right-of-passage "group" stuff).  We would tell her "you never know who is watching you."  We always told her, "people know who you are, but you may not know who they are."  Sure enough, Cosmo's company used to have a suite at Regions Park for Baron's games during the Summer.  T did not realize the suite priveledges didn't apply to Friday night Hoover games during the Fall.  Cosmo gets a phone call on Monday morning from the Baron's GM.  Turns out T and a friend decided they were going to watch the football game from the comfort of the suite.  Just so happens the Baron's GM was in the elevator as they were going up to the box and asked them if he could help them with something.  T, very politely said, "It's OK.  My dad is So and So and his company has a suite here."  The GM recognized our last name and explained that was only during baseball season.  T's little friend had a $20 on her and tried, in the most discreet way possible for a 12 year old little girl, to BRIBE the GM.  Cosmo, of course, got upset and hoped T and her friend weren't disrespectful in anyway and he said, "No, no.  They were as polite and charming as could be!"  He told Cosmo if was pretty funny and it was the first time he had ever been bribed at a Hoover HS football game! 

So, by T telling me she was looking out for the little girls at the pool the other day, she became part of the village. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

10 on Tuesday

I am very afraid to link up with Roots and Rings "10 on Tuesday's" this week.  Holy cow.  I'm totally showing my age!  The questions were about the 90's . . . boy bands, my favorite Spice Girl, stuff like that.  Here's my point of reference and you do the math:  I graduated from high school in 1985 at the tender age of 17.  Cosmo and I got engaged in July 1991, we were married in October 1992 and I had just turned 25 in September.  I gave birth to T-bone in July 1994 and turned 27 three months later.  I gave birth to KJ in October 1999.

So, here are my responses AS IF I was a child of the 90's: (wink! wink! just play along!)


1. Which boy band was your favorite and your favorite song? 
I'm going to go with NSync on this one and "Bye Bye Bye" was my favorite song.  (As a little side note, I took T to see Brittney Spears when she was in 1st Grade and NSync opened up for them).  Still a very big JT fan.

2. Your favorite spice girl?
I think Ginger was my favorite Spice Girl.

3. Did you ever try the orbit drink?
I have no idea what this is.

4. What brand of clothing were you in to?
OMG.  Please don't make me answer this.

5. Did you watch TGIF? 
Again, I have no idea what this is.  Before we got married, we were out living it up each weekend.  After kids, well, that's a whole different story.

6. What news story in the 90′s do you recall? 
Princess Diana's death.

7. List which you think had the best talent. Jessica Simpson, Mandy Moore, Brittney Spears, and Christina Aguilera.
At the time, BrittBritt was a bigger pop idol but Xtina definately has a better set of pipes.

8. Did Marilyn Manson creep you out? 
Yes!  But then I saw a TV interview and his friends said he was the biggest nerd on the planet and a very average guy who liked to have karaoke parties at his house.  Kind of changed my opinion of him.

9. Who was your BFF? 
In the 90's (and beyond) that would be Cosmo.

10. A picture of you in the 90′s. 
Oh dear God I'm gonna have to get back to you on that one. :-)

Friday, June 1, 2012

How Does this Happen?

Last night Cosmo mentioned that friends of ours recently found out their daughter has ovarian cancer.  She's a year younger than T.  And has a beautiful head full of ginger-colored hair. 

It didn't really sink in last night.  I think I was still in Orientation mode but today I thought of sweet Camille all day.  And my thoughts kept going to her family.  We've known them for probably 10 years or so.  I thought about her big brother (who is one of the nicest kids on the planet).  And her dad.  And her mom.  Especially her mom.  I can't even begin to imagine what they are going through right now.  She's a happy, out-going, vivacious young lady with an incredible family to support her. Camille has started chemo and will probably lose all of that glorious hair but her prognosis is good.  Great even.  I know, I know.  Her hair will grow back and that's the least of her worries right now.   It's just weird how things pop into your head sometimes. 

Orient Me Please

Had such a wonderful, informative Orientation session @ Ole Miss yesterday and today!  Very, very organized and my head is overloaded with meal plans, text books, dorms, alcohol awareness, etc.  We got on campus Tuesday night and had incredible filet's and smashed potatoes at our favorite place on the square.  I had a dorm room to myself while T shared a room with a girl from St. Louis.  Only 1 girl showed up in the room next door so T and her roomie dragged the other girls mattress in their room so she didn't have to be alone. 

I have always felt pretty good about T's decision to go to Ole Miss and Orientation just confirmed she made the right choice.  It truly felt like one big family from the minute we got our dorm keys.  They had greeters out front of the Residential Dorms, music blaring, tote bags for the parents, backpacks for the students filled with a campus calendar, maps, pens, a coffee mug, a travel mug, orientation schedule, etc.  The Orientation leaders were extremely honest, upbeat and very helpful and had lots of advice for the incoming freshman from managing your money, to calling your parents regularly, to volunteering and being open minded. 

The students broke off into small groups while the parents attended information sessions.  We had a meet and greet w/ the dean of Journalism and had a great lunch in Johnson Commons.  T and I had about an hour to spare before our next session so we walked over to Bishop and she introduced herself to the newspaper's editor in chief and the TV Station manangeer.  They gave her a tour of the facilities and took her name and # so she can start broadcasting right away.  One of them even left her a message saying it was nice to meet her and please call if she had any questions.  One of the things that amazed me the most about Orientation was everyone we spoke with, whether it was the Dean of Students, the Dean of the Journalim school, everyone gave us either their home # or their cell phone #.  They truly care about each student and are really there to help not only with the transition from high school to collge, but throughout their time @ Ole Miss. 

The parents ended the day with a double-decker bus ride around campus and an ice cream social.  There were a lot of parents (and students) who had never been on campus (one girl was from Manhattan Beach, California; another girl was from Seattle, Washington; and a boy was from Connecticut.  Obviously, lots of kids from MS, a bunch from Memphis, a lot from St. Louis, a girl from Arizona and a couple from the Chicago area, but T and I were the only ones from AL.  The kids ended their night with a comedy troupe and a dance party at the Student Union. 

Today's sessions were a little more serious and touched on disciplinary actions, alchohol awareness, finances, etc.   Again, I feel very, very prepared and very confident about sending my child off to college in the Fall (well, move-in day is mid-August). 

After Send-Off we stayed for a short sorority meeting and T and I walked over to her dorm to check out her room.  Although she couldn't get into her exact room, they did have several rooms open and decorated for us to look at.  She's in a traditional dorm, it's a little older and a little smaller than some of the other newer dorms but she's still incredibly excited and she really lucked out.  Her dorm is very convenient to the Student Union, the Grove and her Journalism building.  Before we headed home we stopped in to visit the lax coach and then walked from the Athletic Office to the football stadium.  Can't wait for that first game! 
T had an absolute blast during Orientation.  In fact, she had so much fun she was named MVP at today's send-off!  That  kid makes the best of every situation and participated in everything, asked questions and was enthusiastic.  We always joke around that she could have fun at a funeral.

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