I have spent the last 2 days packing, organizing and planning for a little trip we are taking for the kids fall break.  I think a lot as I grab, fold, refold and organize my kids clothes.  I usually come across the t-shirt that never got filed to the bottom of the pile this past summer.  Instead it was worn 5 out of the 7 days of the week.  The t-shirt that I tried my hardest to loose and always found its way back home.  Everytime I run into those relics a flood of memories come back to me.  The stains from afternoon pop cycles and the little hole from getting caught on the fence as one of the boys tried to fetch a ball.  I always think about how big I thought they were then and how old they are now.

That whole thought was only magnified by the process of changing out my hallway photos of my kids.  I do it every fall.  New head shots for each of them!  The pictures greet me every time I open my front door or come down the stairs in the morning to make lunch.  Some days I notice them more then others.  The changes in their hair, face and features, but one thing I always notice is how young they looked “back then”.  How young they looked on that day that I thought they were so grown up.

AH3A6155-2 copy AH3A6182-2 copy AH3A6164-2 copy AH3A6169-2 copy AH3A6152-2 copy AH3A6209-2 copyI have witnessed friends and family saying good-byes to their children as they head off to college or off to start the next chapter of their life.  The chapter that doesn’t include their hometown.  I mean I did the same thing to my own parents.  Off to college I went, returned home only for short stints until I started my job in the big city.  What I have realized is that all the pushing, expecting, fear and encouragement ends up creating confident and independent young adults who move out.  Adults who look at the world as an opportunity instead of a scary “what if”.  And we are left questioning why.  Missing the yesterdays and wondering where the years went.

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I know my time is coming.  It isn’t long till I will be waving good-bye to one of my boys.   I mean next year I won’t even have a child in footie PJ’s.  I have been buying them for 12 solid years.  There has always been a child in need of 3 pairs of carters, snuggly, warm footie pajamas every year.   I threw the traditional 3 pairs in the cart this afternoon I knew next year I would be looking at those Pj’s and wishing I was where I am right now.  Holding the hand of a little girl who wears 5T snuggly, warm and soft Carters PJ’s.

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I am happy to be at a place where we can travel.  Pick up and go on a road trip or visit my family a little more freely then I could in past years, but it doesn’t mean I don’t miss those memories.  Last years Christmas and birthdays.  All of it.  They were so big but now they are even bigger.  Yet another reminder to slow down and be more deliberate.  Instead of crossing out a tradition, I am going to start new ones.

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I am happy to share with you a designer that I have watched grow over the past 3 years.  I have absolutely adored her raincoats since the moment I set my eyes on them and am so excited Grace finally has her own.  If you are not familiar with Oil & Water you must visit their site.  You will fall in love, instantly.  They are so unique and practical.  We got stopped 3 times in one afternoon to find out exactly where Graces coat came from! Best part is that it is lined! Perfect Christmas gift!

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PS….if you ever need a pick me up.  Give a girl a balloon. You are bound to smile.  More on our little vacation here.

OX Katie