Tag Archives: college

A Week of Wonderful

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— 1 —

I’ll be finishing up the Our Lady of Lourdes novena tomorrow. It’s one I say every year. The darkness of winter around here needs as many reminders of miracles as possible, and there’s certainly no shortage of people for whom to pray.

— 2 —

I just got home from playing with a couple of the sweetest little boys ever – I look forward to Friday nights all week! Tonight we watched come cute songs with animation on YouTube. The very first was “Bringing Home a Baby Bumblebee”, which took me straight back to Aaron’s daycare and pre-school years. I can see his sweet face with his little-boy haircut like it was yesterday, even though he’s a grown-up web designer with a baby girl due in 10 weeks or so. He liked the verse about smashing the bumblebee best, of course. Both my boys got my dark sense of humor!

— 3 —

Aaron’s expertise was a huge blessing earlier this week when my blog was hacked. I was beside myself because the hacker had replaced my post (a book review) with his vulgar political one and changed my password so I couldn’t log in. Aaron had set himself up a login for my blog as well as a way to access my entire computer remotely while he was in college, so it was evidently a quick fix for him. I would almost surely have had a stroke without both him and my original blog designer talking me out of my tree!

— 4 —

My younger son, John, performed with his high school’s Jazz Band this week. I wasn’t there, but my husband got great video of John’s performance, and I was incredibly impressed and proud when I watched! It’s a good thing we have a studio in the basement – I think it’s going to see more and more action. They had a guest performer – a member of the Air Force’s Band of the Golden West on baritone sax. If you’ve never seen an Air Force Band perform let me assure you: they really are the best of the best. And this guy loved John. He even high-fived him over the drum set after the song where the baritone sax was featured. That is a #proudmom moment!

— 5 —

While John was performing I was at a surprise party – for me! Three of my closest friends and I met for dinner (as we do periodically), but this time we celebrated me turning fifty (I showed off my celebratory navel ring), being an expectant grandmother, and working with these wonderful ladies for twenty-five years! The company I was working for when I was unable to return to work after my fourth spinal surgery because of constant, severe pain still considers me to be on Medical Leave of Absence, and will do so until I can finally get in front of a judge and be officially declared disabled. This means I can purchase insurance for myself and my family for the same price as if I were still working full-time. It’s hard to believe a company in this day and age could be that compassionate, but they have been. They even gave me a twenty-five year award, which I never would have expected. It was an emotional evening for me.

— 6 —

John got his official admission letter from the University of Louisville, so our next step is applying for housing. We get a discount on that deposit, thank God, but we still need to put together some money to get it done ASAP. I’m wading through possible scholarships and forwarding the best matches to John for application, and we have our fingers crossed we’ll get news soon about a really big one! John’s school counselor has been a huge help – there have been many times I’d have been completely lost without her input and suggestions. Keep us in your prayers, please!

— 7 —

I’ve gotten a little addicted to Hometalk, a daily email with several Pinterest-focused DIY/crafty projects. I’m going to have to stop cold-turkey, though. I was already really over anything that involved empty cans, empty TP rolls, or plastic cups or bottles. Then I saw an “upcycle” where someone had turned a bookshelf into a bar cart. Ponder that for a moment. If someone needs a bar cart more than a bookshelf they need to take a long, hard look at their life and their priorities. I need to take some time and better organize my Pinterest boards anyway. I discovered Pinterest early and never realized how huge it would get, so I have categories with names like “Good Ideas” and “Maybe”. Yikes.

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The Fabulous Dorm Suite

Today we moved Aaron into his Sophomore dorm. He’d selected a dorm with rooms that house four students in a suite with a private bath and a sitting room, and I was concerned. It’s hard enough to find one person you can live closely with, let alone three, and we all know what happens when teenage boys are given the responsibility of cleaning their own bathrooms. EWWW. And the model they’d shown us on orientation day was tiny. Aaron was the first of his roommates to move in because he’s there a week early for marching band and he has an OCD mother who forces him to be early for everything. Here’s the exterior view of his dorm:

Nunn Hall

He’s on the second floor (SCORE!), which is awesome because dorm elevators are notoriously slow. And he has a corner unit, which I figure will be quieter and perhaps even a bit bigger. Here’s the floor plan:

(click to enlarge)

You’ll notice the open-air lanai from which they access the dorm. I’m sure that’s not what anyone else on campus calls it, but that’s what I’m calling it. When I first used the term “lanai” my husband rolled his eyes and said, “Angie, the rooms have an exterior entrance like a cheap motel.” But here’s the view from the lanai:

You first enter the sitting room, which has nice study areas for all the boys. The pile of pressed wood and cushions will be assembled into a loveseat by Aaron and his roomies later. It’s a cast-off we originally bought from Home Reserve, and it’s easy to disassemble, move, and reassemble. All the cloth portions are removable and washable, and there’s tons of storage below both cushions for gaming equipment, movies, etc. Other guys are reportedly bringing a fridge, microwave, and TV.

Here’s the actual bedroom. I suspect they will end up bunking at least two of the beds, but it’s functional enough even this way.

Yes, those are a teddy bear and a bunny rabbit on the bed

I love the dressing area with the sink and closets – plenty of room.


The bathroom was spotless, and there’s actually room for some cheap shelving if they decide they need it.


Parking is convenient, and the entire campus is beautiful.

There is a lake within easy walking distance of his dorm, and hiking trails surround it. They’ve just finished the new fitness center, and Aaron can’t wait to try out the new pool and equipment. He’s excited about all his classes, particularly the one relating to his new Gaming major, and he’s already promised to come home for Labor Day weekend. It’s going to be a wonderful year!

I’ll be linking this up later this week to Capture the Everyday at Adventuroo for the “landscape shot” prompt. ¬†It makes me feel good to think about Aaron seeing that view on his way to band camp or class every day ūüôā

Top Ten Things to Send When They Go Away To College


This charming, scruffly creature will be moving back to college in less than a week. ¬†This will be his Sophomore year, so I’m not having the total melt-down I was having at this point last year. ¬†I did a guest post over at The Kennedy Adventures on How to Stay Sane While Sending a Kid Off to College, and if you’re doing this for the first time I suggest you give it a peek immediately. ¬†But if you’ve done this before or are simply more well-adjusted emotionally than me (that’s setting the bar kind of low) this list of ten things to make sure you send along with them may be just the double-check you need.

1.) Money. ¬†I know, this one seems obvious, but I mean money in addition to what’s in their account for buying books and school supplies, the tuition payments you’ve already sent, and the money on their meal card. ¬†Have a way you can get money to them fast if they need it. ¬†Make sure they either have a credit card (with a reasonable limit) or a bank card or Paypal card (my personal preference) that you can transfer money to immediately. ¬†Aaron needed a car battery last year mid-semester on a Sunday afternoon. ¬†I was out running errands and was able to transfer the money to his Paypal student card immediately with my iPhone.

2.) Extra socks and underwear. ¬†This is especially true if you have a boy, but it can be an issue with girls, too. ¬†My first¬†roommate¬†Freshman year had a personal maid her entire life up until college. ¬†Seriously, I can’t make this stuff up. ¬†When her clothes got dirty she threw them in the bottom of the closet and bought more. ¬†That’s an extreme case, but I can tell you for sure that college kids aren’t going to do laundry as often as it gets done for them at home. ¬†For your own peace of mind make sure they have clean socks and underwear.

3.) First aid kit. ¬†Ibuprofen, tylenol, pepto-bismol, Nyquil, neosporin ointment, bandaids, special blister bandaids, a heating pad, an ice pack, your favorite over-the-counter allergy med, your favorite cold remedy (I like Zicam and Airborn), chloraseptic spray, aloe gel, benadryl, calamine or benadryl lotion, and some sort of anti-fungal powder or spray for athlete’s foot. Oh, and an ace bandage.

4.) Make copies of the fronts and backs of all their credit, debit, and ID cards before they leave and keep them in a safe place at home.   And copy serial numbers from computers, calculators, bikes, anything that could get stolen on campus and put those in the same place. That way if there is a theft someone has the numbers to call to cancel the cards and give the police a better chance of retrieving the stolen merchandise.

5.) A laptop in tip-top shape and plenty of backup storage.  Remind them to tune up their computer before they leave and make sure their anti-virus software is current.  Thumb drives and external hard drives are wonderful, but an extra backup like dropbox.com (free!) is great for peace of mind just in case everything gets lost, stolen or damaged at once.  These things happen.

6.) The sturdiest laundry basket you can find. ¬†Again, they aren’t going to do laundry often, so those cute net things are going to break after the first use. ¬†Think heavy-duty.

7.) A great mattress pad and pillow.  I found both at Target last year, and I saw the same ones there this year.  High thread count sheets for those long twin beds are harder to find, but you can get them online.

8.) A couple of sweatshirts. ¬†Of course you expect them to come home before the weather changes, but just in case there’s a sudden cold snap this will keep them from spending $75 for a hoodie in the school bookstore (maybe).

9.) Healthy snacks. ¬†A box or two of granola bars or protein bars, some dried fruit, some trail mix – if it’s there in the dorm room it’s more convenient than the candy bar in the machine in the lobby.

10.) An excellent charger for their electronic devices. ¬†I learned this one the hard way after too many nights worrying about Aaron when his phone was dead. ¬†I bought him an iGo charger for Christmas and his phone hasn’t died since. ¬†Neither have his laptop or mp3, but I wasn’t as worried about those.


I’m linking this post up to Top Ten Tuesdays, The Mommy Club, and Works for Me Wednesdays – I hope someone finds it helpful! And since it’s my favorite post of the week I’m also linking it to Mama Made It Look Easy for “Share Your Awesome”!
Top Ten {Tuesday}

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