brooke's brain

laugh. learn. love.

We just got to experience the joy and happiness of car shopping, so I thought I’d share what we learned in 20 easy steps:

  1. Figure out a general idea of what kind of vehicle you want (suv, minivan, sedan, truck, etc).
  2. Go to Carmax and look at every single one of those types of vehicles.  It’s the only place you can see so many year models and options in one place.  Note: salespeople just love this.
  3. While you are there, get a quote from them to buy your current car.  Try not to cry in the dealership when you find out your car’s value.
  4. Narrow down the make/models that you are interested in between 3-5 cars.  For me it was a Toyota Highlander, Lexus GX 460, Toyota 4Runner, and Toyota Land Cruiser.  
  5. Research the different options, trim levels, body styles and price points.  
  6. Go look at your short list of vehicles at the respective dealerships to see what they look like/drive like/cost if you were to buy brand new.  Try not to throw up when you see the price tags.
  7. Determine if you like the newest models or an older version.  For me, I did not like the new Highlanders and instead preferred the older body styles.
  8. Narrow down what you can buy in your price range- mainly the year, mileage and trim level.  
  9. Start searching for cars that check those boxes daily- and heck, twice a day if you want.  Search Carmax, carvana, auto trader, Craigslist*, and individual dealerships.
  10. If you see a car you like, check the Carfax (provided for free by most dealerships on their website).  This is when the fun starts. See if the car has been wrecked, where it’s been registered, and if the title is clean.  This is the most time consuming part of your searching. “Oh, that’s a good price… let me check the Carfax. Oh, it’s been wrecked three time and lived in New Jersey for 4 years.  Pass.” This step will help you weed out 85% of the cars in your search results.
  11. Send your partner/family/friends links to any car that passes step #10.  
  12. Call/text to see if the car is still available.  If so, haul your kid and husband to see it ASAP. If car shopping in June in Georgia, bring copious amounts of cold water and a well charged iPad.
  13. Climb through the car to see how many people you can fit in it, set up every possible seating arrangement you could possibly use, check all the buttons/gears, screens, windows, trunks, jacks, floor mats, DVD players, and look under the hood. If this passes, take it for a test drive.  If not, don’t waste your time.
  14. Ask the dealer what they did to the car after they bought it off trade, they should give you a list.  Double check the carfax report to be sure the VIN matches the VIN on the car.
  15. Try to negotiate on the price. Know that dealerships don’t have as much negotiation room as they used to.  Also, know that Carmax and Carvana do not negotiate so dealerships have gotten their advertised prices as low as possible to bring in buyers.  Keep in mind that many used cars only come with one key, if you need/want two, negotiate that in with the purchase.
  16. If you come up with an agreed price, take the car to your mechanic for review- along with a copy of carfax to be sure things are accurate- before buying.  
  17. If the car checks out, know that you can put up to $3,000 on a credit card at most dealerships.  If paying “cash”, they want the rest in a personal or certified check. They offer financing options but you can usually get a better rate at a credit union or bank.
  18. The dealership will do the paperwork to get the car registered before you leave but be sure to call your insurance company to have coverage on the new car before you drive it off the lot.
  19. If you car comes with any warranties, be sure to fully understand them before you leave the lot.  
  20. Drive off in your new-to-you car and try to keep your son from dumping pretzels all in it within the first hour of ownership!

*We had a scammy experience with potentially buying a car off Craigslist.  Don’t buy a car from anyone who has a POA to sign the title to you.  There is no way to be sure it’s legal.  Also, if the mileage seems to be too low- it probably is.

learn & laugh, brooke

For many, May is the slammed together book ends of school ending and summer starting.  It’s full of overlapping sports seasons, teacher appreciation gifts, dance recitals, swim team practices, graduations, Mother’s Day gifts/gatherings, Memorial Day travel prep, and end of school parties.  It’s exhausting just writing it all.

So today, I salute you parents who make it all happen…

…Those that make sure that their daughter’s bangs are glued to her head with a series of butterfly clips and level 6 hair spray.

…Those that stay up late making egg free cupcakes for the last day of school party even though the egg free kid won’t be there.

…Those that hold their two year old while also nursing their six month old so everyone is quiet and happy during the dance recital.

…Those that set an early morning alarm on a Saturday for a kid’s swim team practice meet.

…Those that drive around to 5 different stores to purchase gifts for each child’s teacher.

…Those that make grocery lists and shop so that you can pack it all up and take it with you to the beach to prevent going to a store once you arrive.

…Those who construct a homemade bamboo structure for VBS decorations.

…Those who show up for swim team practice every day with twin ten month girls in tow.

…Those who plan an end of the year party craft that the kids don’t want to make.

…Those who decide to paint their entire basement the last week of school because childcare will be limited in the coming months.

What are you doing this month that’s totally insane and deserves mad props?!

laugh,

brooke

 

Blue Star Donuts

I was pretty stoked to try Voodoo Donuts as it’s a place many friends recommended we visit when the heard we were traveling there. But, our Seattle native traveling partner insisted that Blue Star was the best donut in Portland.

When we first walked in, I was underwhelmed. It was way too clean, modern and sparkly white to have delicious fried balls of gooey dough to enjoy. Then I say the prices. $3.50-$5/donut?! What?! That’s what a whole dozen of Krispy Keene cost when I was a kid. Hesitantly, I ordered the Lemon Poppy Seed Buttermilk donut. My husband ordered a Meyers Lemon key lime donut. It looked like a hockey puck covered in powdered sugar. I also negotiated he get a carrot fritter too. This was a good call on my part. The carrot fritter was everything I want in a fancy donut- dimension, sweet balanced with carrot, plenty of moistness with a perfectly fried/crispy exterior. It took the cake (or donut) for our trip to Blue Star.

Pittock Mansion

This historic mansion offers so much to visitors. Free access to the grounds allows you a breathtaking overlook of downtown Portland. Even with mist and low clouds, we still were blown away by the far away views from the mansion’s front yard.

For $11 each (my five year old was free), we had a self guided tour of the mansion. It is filled with history of the city- damaging storms, immigrants, fires, floods, and rebuilding issues. I also loved seeing how the wealthy lived in the early 1900’s (husband and wife had separate bedrooms, closets and entire bathrooms). The hand carved, built in storage/furniture throughout the home is phenomenal.

If we’d had a longer time, I would have loved to hike some of the trails on property.

Tasty n Sons

Y’all, this southern gal loves a high filutin brunch. This place delivered x10. We sat at community table which was a bit awkward at first but everyone was really nice. To be honest, the menu was a bit mature for JB to be in tow, but we made do. I highly recommend the salmon platter, potatoes bravas, and radicchio salad.

Aerial Tram

This was a big hit for my 5 year old traveler. It’s a transportation option from WaterFront park up to the Hospital. The majority of the folks who use it are medical staff with a few tourists sprinkled in (🙋🏼‍♀️). The city views are incredible while riding over the city. At the top, we exited to see the city from the hospital outdoor deck.

That’s how we spent our 6 hours in Portland!

Xoxo,

Brooke

#Portland

Somehow, I made it 33 years without a visit to Nashville. (*I did attend a high school conference at the Opryland Hotel but this does not count.)

I knew there was a lot of live music in Nashville but I didn’t know there was a LOT of live music. At 10:45am, I was walking down Broadway and heard an extremely loud band playing in Nudie’s. No other bars had live music playing and it was especially exciting to hear as the weekend was quickly approaching. I was dressed in running shorts/shoes and I hesitated to enter, but I’m so glad I did. A five piece band was blaring tunes while folks cracked cold ones at the bar, kids danced and I swayed to the rock n roll.

Wait, it’s not even 11am, and I paid zero dollars to enter a bar with great live music. This is some kind of heaven. My first thought is, “we need to move here.” Followed by, “we need to retire here.” Then, “where can I go in Atlanta for live music before lunch time with my son?!” I was hooked and couldn’t wait to come back later that day after a lunch commitment.

Here is how it works (from what I can tell):

1. Bands play for tips at most of the bars on Broadway. They split the tips evenly among themselves.

2. They play their asses off to entertain and make as much in tips as possible. They don’t take breaks and often loop songs together to prevent lulls (aka giving people an opportunity to leave).

3. Twenty bucks buys you a song of your choice. Most bands have a huge playlist and many have phones/iPads strapped to their mics for lyrics when needed.

4. If you don’t like a song or band, then move along. We managed to hit ten bars in a 3 hour period.

5. If you like a band, tip them. I was in amazement of performers musical talent AND ability to also entertain.

6. Most bars play today’s country, but a few- especially Layla’s and Robert’s- play “authentic country”- think Merle Haggard. These are the best places to see a steel guitar at work.

7. Go early. The talent was great at 11am and got better throughout the day. The bars started getting crazy crowded around 10pm- think drunks and lots of body heat.

8. Wear whatever the heck you want. Everyone else does. Cut offs, flip flops, cowboy boots, jeans and dresses are everywhere. Don’t dress to impress. Dress for dancing your butt off and being sweaty.

9. It seemed that most bands played 4 hour sets. When they are done, they try to get the next band set up as quickly as possible so the bar doesn’t empty in search of other good music.

10. We only paid cover ($5) at one place- a dueling piano bar. There, your song choice and cash tip get lined up in order of amount paid. Want to hear something quickly? Ante up $20 or more and your request usually jumps to the top of the queue.

11. Bachelorette parties are everywhere. And they all have matching t-shirts or tank tops. Keep your distance.

12. The people watching is amazing. I’ll leave it at that.

That’s what I learned as a Nashville Newbie on Broadway. Can’t wait to go back!

I recently watched Ann Lamott’s Ted Talk: 12 truths I learned from life and writing.  She had many good lessons to share but one that stuck out was the importance of self care.  Yes, we know we should care for ourselves for lots of reasons- physical, emotional and mental reasons- but her point was that it helps others.  In fact, she calls self care “a huge gift to the world”.

Many times we may feel selfish about our self care.  That sentence makes me laugh a bit… that’s kind of the point, right?  But, when we stop and think about how our lack of self care can be a drain on those around us, it makes me realize that it’s more than just caring for ourselves but also caring for others.  I am reminded of what I hear everytime I am on a plane… secure your oxygen mask first before helping others. I have wanted to scream, but what about my baby boy? He needs oxygen just as badly and fast as I do!?  But then I remember, I can’t do any good for him if I’m suffocating.

Like most things, I had some preconceived notions about what self car looks like.  So, I did some research among my friends to find out what they find successful in feeling rejuvenated throughout life.  It’s important to remember that self care doesn’t have to be financially expensive.

1. Exercise.  This was a very popular response for many of my friends.  One said that “its a huge stress reliever to physically exhaust myself while building strength.”  Others preferred a more low key workout like yoga which also involves meditation too. Ideas:

  • Tennis
  • Running
  • Yoga
  • Fitness Classes

2. Solitude.  This is a big one for many moms.  We often share most of our life with others- even if we don’t want to (ie: a toddler busting in the bathroom while showering).  So, taking a break from those we love to be able to focus on ourselves and doing things that we love is a great thing to recharge.  Some examples from others:

  • Solo walk
  • A nap
  • Taking a bath
  • Driving in silence
  • Being still

3.  Personal appearance.  This was one I had never really considered before as I am super low maintenance in my appearance.  But, I can definitely understand how it can help with your confidence and mood. If you feel blah about your appearance, than spending some time and energy on it can improve your outlook and interactions with others.  

  • Facial
  • Manicure
  • Botox
  • Plastic Surgery
  • Make Up

4.  Protecting your commitments.  One of my friends said she has to say no to opportunities as a form of self care.  At first hearing, it didn’t make sense to me, but as she went on I realized that protecting her calendar/schedule was a major form of self care as it prevents over-scheduling and extra stress.  For every yes we say, it’s a no to something else.  Feeling guilty?  I’ll be your No Cheerleader 🙂

5.  Do something fun.  This may look different for many t people because we all find fun in a variety of ways.  A girl’s night out, going on a guy’s camping trip, or exploring a new part of your city could all be fun. The key is to do something fun with other people is make sure they are fun and that you enjoy being with them. Doing something out of the norm gives us something to look forward and gets us out of the normal daily rut.

  • Reconnect with an old friend
  • Visit a brewery with  neighbors
  • Picnic at a new park

I’d love to hear how you practice self care!

xoxo, brooke

My air travel posse usually consists of my husband, me and our five year old son.  We have taken him on several domestic flights in his short life and one international trip (so far) to Ireland.  I have learned a few things from our travels that I want to share with you in hopes of making your future trips a bit easier too.

Most people who know me, know that I am a planner.  This is very true when it comes to taking trips. I start prepping several days before the trip with to do lists and packing lists.  Then, I start laying out clothes and items to pack at least 3 days beforehand. Whenever I pack in a rush, I forget important things and end up at the beach with only sports bras to wear with my strapless sun dress.

Carseats

My husband and I are pretty risk adverse when it comes to carseats.  Yes, they can be a pain to travel with and having them beat up by baggage carriers is a risk.  However, the idea of getting into a car accident at your destination and not having your child in a secure seat is very scary.  

When we flew to Ireland, we had planned to let our son ride in his carseat on the plane. BUT, the flight company said it was against company policy to let children OVER the age of 4 use a car seat.  Our son turned four TEN days before the trip. Thankfully, we had a carseat bag with us so we were able to gate check the carseat. As he has gotten older, we have switched to the Safe Rider vest. We are big fans of it.  It keeps him safe, is easy to attach to a carry on and is easy to install in cars.

Packing Tips

In general, I like to keep like things together.  Huh?  I’ll say it another way… similar items should be packed together.  

Checked Bags

For me, everyone having their own checked bag is the best practice.  I pack clothes, shoes, toiletries, hair supplies, hats, swim suits, blankets/pillows, and jewelry* in this suitcase.  I have tried to pack all of us in one large suitcase but found it unsuccessful. It was hard to keep organized and to find what was needed.  Plus, if we all sleep in different places than where the bag is, I inevitably end up creeping into a sleeping room armed with my iphone as a flashlight to dig out clean pajamas.  I also think traveling with three smaller bags is easier than one large bag.

*I do not pack my rubies, diamonds, and large sapphires in checked bag- I carry those on.

Carry On Bags

My favorite type is a good, ole fashioned book bag.  It’s easy to wear, keeps your hands free and easy to organize.  I do not like tote bags as they tend to get too heavy and hurt my shoulder from extended use.  

Everyone’s carry on bag needs a set of underwear, t-shirt and athletic shorts/pants. This is for your worst case scenario: your luggage doesn’t arrive.  If we are headed somewhere tropical, then I toss in a bathing suit too. If we are headed somewhere wet (like Seattle or Ireland), then I make sure our light weight rain jackets are inside the carry on bags.  All of the “emergency” items get packed first (ie: at the bottom) of the bag.

Entertainment items are packed next- books, tablets, headphones, games, stickers, etc.  Finally, I pack snacks, eye masks, neck pillows and electronics’ chargers so they are easily accessible on top.  

Bring Your Own Water Bottle

I am a big fan of everyone having a reusable water bottle.  Keep it empty until after you go through security at the airport.  Then, I fill them up at a water fountain before the flight.  This is helpful as full glasses of water can easily spill during turbulence on a flight and it’s also to have a lot of water in case of delays.  Yes, you can also buy bottled water but I’d rather save my money for beer.

Also, be sure one of your carry on bags has medicine packed in it (more on this below).  If you don’t feel well during the flight, your medicine being packed under the plane doesn’t help much.

Day Packs

I love using a back pack (aka our carry on) as our day pack.  You can easily wear it around or stick it in the trunk of your rental car when not needed.

Be Prepared

Even though my son is five, he still gets dirty or wet and needs a change of clothing when we are out and about.  I keep a change of clothes (pants, top, undies, socks) in a grocery bag tucked into the bag.  Many times, this is the same bag from his carry on.  When we are out exploring and he decides to run in the ocean or start jumping into rain puddles, I don’t freak out nearly as much.  No biggie. Just change the clothes and restock the bag as soon as we get back to the hotel.  The grocery bag also doubles as a great place to store wet, nasty clothes before they make it back to the laundry room.

Medicine

We have a bag of meds that we carry with us on trips.  Advil, immodium, cough drops, cough syrup, and basic child meds.  I also keep sunscreen and a first kit in this bag. You never know when you may need something, so keep it with you.  

Snacks

We keep 6-8 snacks in a gallon sized ziplock. It makes seeing the options easy and prevents Hangry meltdowns- for both kids and adults.  Depending on the length of the trip, I add snacks to it over the trip- a few freebies from the flight, an orange from a hotel, etc. If I need to buy some, I can easily do that at a convenient store.  We also fill our water bottles each morning before we head out.  Much easier/cheaper than buying bottled water.

Summary

Keep lots of snacks around, a charged tablet, and clean clothes and you will keep most folks happy on your trip 🙂

What tips do you have to share when traveling with a kiddo?

learn,  brooke

You may find this funny- and feel free to laugh- but I first heard of Camano Island, WA because of HGTV. I was watching an episode of Beach Front Bargain Hunt and really liked the views. I knew we were coming to Seattle for spring break so I started combing through AirBNB to find a good spot. And boy did we ever!

This was the view from the back yard. Just breathtaking. The house is located on the inner curve of a “C” of coast line so it had 180 degrees of ocean from the sunroom.

At first, JB was disappointed that it wasn’t a sandy beach (like southeast coasts) but once he realized how many rocks and shells there were to look at, his mind was changed.

We visited Camano State Park Beach and enjoyed seeing the views from different points of the island. We also visited Cama Beach where many summer vacation dreams must come true as the little village is set up for a summer of kids playing horseshoes, corn hole, swinging, and swimming right next to the Puget Sound.

Even though it rained (a lot) most of the time we were on the island, we still managed to bundle up and walk a good bit to take in the sights/sites.

Thanks to a visit at Trader Joe’s, we ate at the AirBNB for most of our meals. But, we did enjoy afternoon treats at the Camano Island Marketplace. I highly recommend the Chocolate Au Pain from the bakery.

It felt a little sad to be in such a beautiful place during the off-season, but we hope to come back in warmer months to fully experience the excitement that the island must host each summer

Xoxo,

Brooke

When I think of idols, a few things come to mind.  I’m reminded of the golden calf that was worshiped in the Old Testament.  Celebrities come to mind, especially Kim Kardashian, as she is the most commonly mentioned celebrity during plastic surgery consultations.  People want to manipulate their bodies to look like her.  I think of the tv show, American Idol, as many devote their weeknights to watching it, voting and buying music produced from it.  I also think of college football (as I wrote about here) and the amount of money and attention spent on football.  

Webster’s dictionary has 5 definitions of idol.  The one that resonates with me the most is “an object of extreme devotion”.

Sadly, I’m here to announce that I carry an idol in my pocket every day.  My iPhone.  

I am extremely devoted to it.  If it gets left at home, it is a source of frustration and feeling of nakedness.

It causes great distraction for me.  If someone is talking to me and I can’t hear them because I’m on the idol, then it’s hurtful to them.  I’m saying/showing through my actions that the distant person, thing, pictures, or whatever on the idol are more important than who is in my presence.

My devotion to my idol causes me to waste precious time that could be spent on solitude, time with friends, or time with God.  I get so caught up on it that I miss opportunities to help others.

My idol keeps me up later at night than it should.  It prevents me from getting more sleep and distracts my mind when I should be winding down.

It’s the first thing I think of many mornings.  I’ve made it a habit to reach for the idol, check email, texts and social media- all before even telling my husband good morning.  

It distracts me when I’m driving which is unsafe for me, my passengers, and everyone else around me.  

My idol weighs too much on my self worth.  Someone hasn’t texted me back- that must mean that they do not like me or I’m not important to them.  This photo only got 28 likes, it must not be cute enough.

My idol steals joy through comparison.  I’m at home in sweats with a sick kid while my friend is in Bermuda snorkeling with dolphins.  

My idol is a liar.  It tells me I’ll be more connected but it causes me to be more disconnected.  Even though it’s fast, it causes me to be more impatient when real life speed isn’t.  It wants to make me happy but it causes those around me to be less happy.

Do you have this idol in your pocket too?

brooke

Jacqueline Elizabeth Cadle was born February 11, 1988 and she was my first shot at being a big sister. Because we grew up in the south, we always had to wear matching dresses, hairbows, and shoes. We didn’t look much alike with my straight hair and her super curly hair but those outfits would have made you look twice.

As we grew up, Jackie and I often did not get along. We were constantly bickering and my mom had had enough. We were at a neighbor’s house with lots of sporting equipment. We were fighting over who could use the plastic baseball bat. Finally, mom was so frustrated with refereeing us, mom let Jackie and I take our frustrations out on one another with those baseball bats. And boy did we go to town hitting each other, screaming and shouting. We were all shocked- even mom. That’s what big sisters do…. beat the crap out of her little sister with a plastic baseball bat.

One time, Jackie went to visit our neighbor, Leonna Printup, at her home. I was out riding my bike and noticed a long snake draped over the railing of Leonna’s house with its head resting on her front porch mat. I raced home to tell my mom so she could call Leonna’s house and warn Jackie of the snake. Otherwise, she may have been bitten when leaving Leonna’s house. That’s what big sisters do… keep their little sister from being bit by a snake.

As Jackie got older, she often followed in the footsteps of me, her older sister. We served as FCCLA state officers together. But after I went to college, Jackie set a new Cadle sister record by becoming the FCCLA state President. I was super proud! That’s what big sisters do… cheer on their little sister to new accomplishments.

On one of the best days of my life, Jackie was standing next to me as my maid of honor while I married Peck. I had chosen sunflowers for all of our bouquets. Mine was especially large and it was HEAVY. It weighed so much, that my arms were shaking while the preacher rambled on through his “short” homily. I made the decision to hand the bouquet to Jackie who gracefully took it with a smile. That’s what big sisters do… get their little sister to help when things get too heavy.

Jackie was at the hospital when I had JB and she was in love with him from that moment on. Although JB doesn’t get to see her much, she has a special place in his heart. He loves reading the inscriptions of the many books that she and Ryan have given him as gifts. He likes to see photos of his “cousin puppy”, Sadie, as she travels all over the country. But what he loves most of all is her love and affection when we visit. She offers the perfect balance of love and discipline that each little boy needs. He loves playing in the yard with Jackie and Sadie. They all laugh hysterically as they throw the frisbee and run around together. That’s what good aunts do… they make great memories with their nephew.

On Jackie’s big day, I got to stand beside her as her Matron of Honor as she married her prince, Ryan Padilla. Everyone knows that I love my husband and Sam, but Ryan was the best addition to our family. He balances Jackie out so much. He has a never ending love for her and gives her so much love, affection and affirmation. Jackie blossomed when She became Mrs Padilla and we were all thrilled to see her so happy.

Jackie and I have spent lots of time together outside of our home state of Georgia including London and Seattle. But my favorite trip was to visit her and Ryan in Alaska. Jackie and I spent several days together exploring the scenic beauty of Alaska, catching up, laughing as we experienced new things, taking tons of photos, and rocking out to Taylor Swift driving through the Turnagain. It was fun to see a snapshot of Alaska life- her gym/social club, eating lots of fresh crab meat, hearing about her job, and seeing where she had spent a previous summer doing missions work. It was a fantastic trip for many reasons. That’s what sisters do… have fun together.

So today, on Jackie’s 30th birthday, I wrote these words full of love and memory. I’m proud of the woman you’ve become. You are a loving wife, kind sister and wonderful aunt. Cheers to you, the most STRIKING Cadle sister, today and everyday!

love, brookie

Last night, I got hit by all the emotions of my son starting kindergarten (at a new school) this fall.  It was full on ugly cry.  For like 15 minutes.  I realize that kindergarten is 7 months away, but now is when schools host open houses and tours and the lottery sign ups start.  Where will he go to school?  Will he make new friends?  Will kids be mean to him?  Is he “prepared” for kindergarten?  Will he get a good teacher?  Will he get in trouble for talking too much (no clue where that comes from)?  Did we make a good decision holding him back a year since he has a late August birthday?  Will he actually eat his school lunch?  You know… just a few kindergarten anxieties for this mom.

On top of this, the school options in our area are endless!  There is the neighborhood elementary school, public charter schools with lotteries for attendance, private Christian schools and non-faith private schools.  As of right now, we have toured 3 private schools, 2 charter schools and our local public school.  And I have 3 more tours scheduled in the next three weeks!  That’s a lot of options!!  It’s good to have choices because not all children learn the same but it’s also so overwhelming.  We’ve been doing our best to understand what’s available and trying to find the best fit for our son.

Last night, the passage of time hit my emotions like a ton of bricks.  I realized that my son is 5.5, I can barely pick him up and he is so hard to sit in my lap due to his size.  Yes, he is healthy, happy, and wonderful- all great things, but still difficult to wrap my head around how big my “baby” is.  I cried tears of anxiety to my husband as I recognize that change is coming.  We have been blessed with a wonderful preschool for 5 years of school that has been a perfect fit for our son.  I pray that he transitions well to kindergarten- wherever that may be.

I was sad about how big he is, how old he is, the unsurety of what’s next and trying to process time going by so quickly.  How can I have a child old enough for kindergarten?  How have we been married for almost ten years?  How do I have wrinkles around my eyes?  

This morning my (one and only) baby went to an open house at what could be his school for the next six years.  We got to see the entire school, have breakfast in the cafeteria and ride on a school bus.  It was a big morning and my son loved it.  He walked out of the school saying he can’t wait to go to school there.  Who knows where he will attend kindergarten, but I’m thrilled knowing he loved this option and is excited about his future.  Yes, I’m anxious, nervous and sentimental but I’m going to keep him focusing on excitement and not let my hesitant emotions get in his way!  

And yes, I realize I am not the first parent to send a child to a new school.  Knowing this helps- some.  But it’s still the emotions that I am working through.

So, to all the parents who are sending their hearts out into an unknown world this fall, know that I am with you in solidarity.  We will get through this.  Also, I have heard that wine helps.  

love, brooke