Jun 22, 2017

"I Think We Should Touch More"

6/22/2017 — cori

...says the one who sits as close as possible to me every chance she gets.

...says the sweet girl who was glued to my hip the entire first two years of her life.

...says the daughter who holds my hand walking from one room of the house to another, through the store, down the street, in the car. There is never a time when we aren't holding hands.

...says the one who sits on my lap even if there are open seats available.

...says the girl who cuddles me on the sofa every time we sit down.

...says the sweet girl as she shares my pillow while we lay on the floor in front of the fireplace keeping warm.

Touch is definitely one of Chloe's love languages. I love it. It is not mine, but I am learning. I am actually quite averse to touching for whatever reason - showing affection that way does not come naturally to me. I don't hug people "just because." But my sweet girl (and her Daddy) do. I've learned how to reciprocate and see it as love and not smothering. What a gift they've given me. (Bennett too - he has hugged me as soon as he's waken up every single day of his life, even now).

I am so thankful for the gift of 'touching more' that she gives me. Unadulterated love and affection. I pray I never take it for granted, appreciate it every chance I get, and hope it continues until we're both old and gray. 

Jun 14, 2017

Gavin's Graduation

6/14/2017 — cori

This day was always so far in the future. It was so far away it was fuzzy, blurry, dream-like - definitely not a reality that would be imminently upon us. And yet it was and is and did. It snuck up like all things do, under the guise of "time". We were so busy living, doing the mundane things you do with kids: grocery shopping, playing cards, swimming, vacationing, hiking, carpooling to practices, disciplining, cleaning, laughing, going to parent/teacher conferences. And then one day, we woke up and our boy was a senior. And we were happy.

He is so ready to go out into this world alone. I have every confidence in him. But I don't have confidence in myself to enter a future without him. Not that we won't ever be together, just not in the same way. And that's ok. It's ok to be sad, happy, worried, and excited all at the same time. Learning to live within the paradox of those emotions is what growth looks like. It's what change looks like. And that's a good thing! Not an easy thing. Most likely a very hard thing. But still a good thing.

I'm reminded of a blessing by David Steindl Rast that captures this feeling perfectly for me. It goes like this:

Source of all blessings, you bless us with change - in the seasons of the year, from snow to 

greening, flowering, fruiting, and harvest.  In the seasons of life, from childhood to youth, full ripeness, and sagging. All living things keep changing. May I welcome change as a sacred opportunity to grow and savor in each unrepeatable moment's fleetingness what is beyond change.

The actual graduation ceremony was amazing. The day couldn't have turned out more perfect. The weather was warm with a gentle breeze. All the people who loved him were present and celebrating with him. We had so much family that we took up two rows of bleachers! It was awesome. The speeches were memorable and the sunset - perfect. What more could you ask for? 

I only choked up twice - once when the students were walking into the stadium. I don't know why that got me, but it did. You can see Gavin in this picture. It looks like he's looking right at the camera. He has a white NHS collar on. (Unfortunately, we didn't get any other pictures with the collar because we refused to pay an extra $25 for that privilege. But we know. He graduated in the top 10% of his class with a 4.09. ) The other moment came when a special needs boy crossed the platform to receive his diploma and the whole graduating class of 420 kids cheered for him. I just love that! 

I thought I would be sadder. I thought I would cry. But I was too happy to be sad. I couldn't stop smiling. I was thrilled for him. The tears will come. Thankfully, just not today.

Jun 6, 2017


6/06/2017 — cori

This is Dandi - Dan and Andi. Isn't that an adorable moniker?! Andi is my cousin, the third amongst her 4 siblings. She and Dan are high school sweet hearts. This was a precious wedding and one I am so thankful to have been able to be at. 

Chloe and I flew to Connecticut for the weekend to celebrate this special event with Andi. It was such a fun time together. I especially love that we are the same shoe size and we can switch shoes when one of us is having a problem walking in heels. (That would be me. Chloe actually helped me out by letting me wear her wedges. I kept literally walking out of my heels.)

 I am 18 years older than Andi. I did the math while I was there. She was only 5 at my wedding. Wow - time literally flies.

This is at the Hartford Golf Club where the reception was held. It was the perfect day. The setting couldn't have been more beautiful.

Young love - so precious to see. 

Chloe and Kelley dancing the conga line. Chloe was very uncomfortable on the dance floor - so Kelley dragged her out there and tried to teach her some moves. She was exactly what Chloe needed. Kelley is Andi's oldest sister.

All the cousins - minus Jack. I so wish Jack could have been in this picture with us, but we couldn't find him. He was a maniac on the dance floor - so fun to watch! I only wish I could have captured it on video. Boy, does he have some moves!

Distinguished Scholar

6/06/2017 — cori

Gavin and 30 other seniors were honored with a special banquet at the high school last week. It was to celebrate all seniors who achieved a 4.0 grade average and had taken at least 3 college classes while in high school. The neat thing about the way the event was planned was that the students were actually honoring the teacher that had made the most impact in their lives. 

Gavin invited Mrs. Boeckman, his AP European History teacher. He is also a teaching assistant for her this year. He has always loved history, but the way she taught made him love it even more. It was so inspiring to listen as each of the students stood gave a short speech about their teacher. I so appreciated that even though this was a banquet to honor the achievements of these amazingly smart kids, they wanted the kids to see that they are where they are because they had help from people (teachers) who genuinely cared and passed along their passion to these kids along the way. It was a circle of honor and mutual respect. What a beautiful lesson for these accomplished kids to see - you are where you are because of your hard work, yes - but also because others helped you along the way and you must always remember to stop and appreciate those people in your lives.

Even though we were super proud of Gavin, all we really wanted to do was rush out of the banquet because we knew Rob Bell, our favorite author, was at a book signing in downtown Minneapolis and we wanted to be there so bad! The banquet ended at 7. The book signing started at 7. We zoomed downtown and arrived around 45 minutes late. Apparently, he was still taking questions from the crowd when we arrived. We were so far back that we couldn't even see him, but we enjoyed listening. Then the time came for the actual book signing part. Being at the back of the crowd was in our favor because we were practically first in the book signing line.

Gavin really wanted his picture taken with him. The rest of us were standing on the opposite side of the counter from Rob with the book open. I think I got to say like 5 words to him. Gavin was going back behind the counter to get his picture taken with him. When all of the sudden the helper who was taking the picture herded all of us behind the counter. Everything happened so fast, we didn't realize what was happening. Poor Gavin barely made it in the picture. He was rather salty about the whole incident. The whole fam sort of photo bombed his special moment. 

We had so much we wanted to say to him and thank him. But we were being rushed out by his assistant. I guess the 100s of other people all wanted the same thing and there is only so much time in a day. But it was the perfect ending to a wonderful and memorable evening.

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