Tag Archives: college

As We End 2015…

new year blank book

I feel like I blinked and missed 2015! It went by so fast.

As I look back and reflect, I realized that the last two years, writing my end of the year blog was easy to do since I wrote everyday. I could remember everything because I wrote so often. It was like a journal

This year, I feel like I have gaps since I stopped writing.  So, I tried to come up with a list of my highlights from 2015 and here they are, in no particular order…

  • DJ off to college – more than 4 hours away – and loving it and doing so well. I am so proud of him!
  • ME – starting grad school – it will take awhile but when I am done I will have a MS in Restorative Practices which I find fascinating!
  • Starting the winter of 2015 with A LOT of snow, and ending the winter of 2015 with the warmest December on record!
  • Finding myself working with two independent sales companies, Chloe and Isabel jewelry and Jamberry nails.
  • My dad in and out of the hospital and rehabilitation centers (fortunately doing much better now.)
  • My grandmother turning 100 years old and celebrating with family from all over the country.
  • Lots of time spent with our extended family, which is always time well spent 🙂

High points and low points throughout the year, but that is what makes life interesting I guess!

I am looking forward to an eventful 2106 and I wish everyone a healthy, prosperous and happy year filled with love and compassion.

Graduation Day

graduation dj

This afternoon, DJ graduates from high-school!

How did that happen?  This really makes college seem real. Maybe that’s why I can’t sleep. My mind is racing, my heart is pounding. I can remember the day he was born as if it was yesterday and now…. Graduation?!?!

When DJ started school with Mrs. Lerner, one of the most amazing kindergarten teachers I have ever met, I never expected that this day would come so quickly! He walked into that kindergarten classroom with a backpack bigger than him, giving me a nervous little wave before heading into the room. I thought that was a difficult day! What was I thinking!!??

When people tell you “it goes so fast….” they aren’t kidding! Time flew! Thirteen years of school over in the blink of an eye.  Where are those days when he’d sit curled up on my lap reading his favorite book, Freight Train, by Donald Crews, over and over again. We read that book so many times, I can still recite that book word for word!

I am going through a range of emotions.  The last few months have been building up to this. Awards ceremonies, scholarships, so many events telling us this day was upon us! I  know that he has grown into an intelligent, capable, talented person, I am having trouble writing the words, “young man,” but that is what he is. An eighteen year adult!  He’s isn’t a kid anymore! Will my little boy be able to manage without us there to guide him everyday?

All of his “firsts” have happened with us along side of him. First words, first steps, first day of school, getting his driver’s license… the list goes on and on.  Now all of those firsts are going to be experienced without us there. Is he ready? Are we?

Of course he is. He has proven that to us this year, becoming more and more independent. He is ready to move on. Ready for the next chapter of his life. I am so proud of him and I know that he is going to find even more independence when he is on his own.

We can’t predict the future and what it holds for our children. I can only hope that he is happy, does his best, makes a difference, and winds up doing what he loves.

To all of my friends who have children graduating today, congratulations! They are ready. I think we have done a pretty good job! ❤

Our Staycation


On April 3, I decided that I would not be writing daily on my blog. It is funny, some nights, I go to bed thinking that I forgot to do something for the day! It got to be such a habit for me.

I have still written several times this month and posted stories of kindness. I still read other bloggers entries and when I am feeling inspired or whimsical, like tonight, I sit down and write.

Tonight ends our Spring Break.  Back to reality tomorrow morning when that alarm goes off at 6am. Back to schedules and routines.  I got used to being at home.  We had a “staycation” this year.  No trip for us.  Drew was lucky enough to be invited to Great Wolf Lodge with the family of one of his good friends. DJ was busy with baseball.

Drew started the week off on a high note with his Spartan Race.  The weather was gorgeous and we knew if the whole week could be like that, it wouldn’t matter that we were staying home and not going anywhere.  Well, it wasn’t.  We had torrential rain on Monday and SNOW flurries two days!

At least it forced me to get some Spring Cleaning done – nowhere near as much as I had hoped to do, but some. The Veterans came and picked up a lot of “stuff” that was cluttering up the rooms.  I always joke that the house feels lighter after a donation pick up.

I was lucky enough to get to celebrate my best friend’s birthday by taking her to lunch. I did some collections for the Prom Dress Drive and for the local food pantry.  Dave and I used some gift cards we had been saving for awhile, and got to see a movie and have lunch.

I got to experience everyone’s vacations through Facebook. When I realized that DJ’s Spring break won’t ever fall at the same time as ours, it motivated me to look into a trip over our holiday break from school. Maybe it is something to strive for.  Looks like I need to sell a lot more jewelry!! 🙂 🙂

Off To Great Places

Silhouette of an extreme rock climber against a sunny sky

I want to go back to college!

Not as an adult, but as a teenager again!

After spending time with DJ this weekend, listening to all that is offered and the different opportunities there are, I am actually a bit envious of all that he has to look forward to.  There are so many possibilities that weren’t available when I was in school. Don’t get me wrong, I had a great time in college, got a fantastic education and met some wonderful people there.  I am still friends with many of them but I was so amazed seeing all that is out there for him!

Maybe, it is just because I am older and have a different perspective on life than I did when I was eighteen.  I wonder what I would have done differently. I wonder what I would have kept the same.  I am excited for him. With the internet and the technology today, there are so many more options out there than there were when I was in school.  I wonder if my parent’s generation felt that way when we all went off to school. Technology has changed the world so much.  The opportunities are endless.

I know he is thrilled about making his choice and Dave and I are so proud of him and the decision he has made.  He is beyond excited and we are so excited for him.

So….I didn’t win, BUT….


Well, that 4709 lucky number really meant nothing.  Still haven’t understood what the number was and my “Pick 4” lottery ticket was a losing one.  Not even close actually.

Even though the lottery ticket was a dud, we actually felt like we were winners last night.  In the mail, was a big fat envelope for DJ from one of the colleges he applied to, offering us WAY more than we imagined he would receive. It was a blessing.  We weren’t sure how we were going to make it work for him and now, it seems feasible.

He still has several schools to hear back from and hasn’t made his final decision, but not only does he have the burden of knowing he has gotten into one of his first choice schools lifted off of his shoulders, but now, the burden of how we were going to afford it has lessened significantly too.

Paying for College

college tuition

When I was applying to colleges, I was fortunate to have had a grandfather who financially provided for all ten of his grandchildren to go without incurring any debt.  He paid for it all.  We were so lucky for that and I will be forever grateful.  I think I appreciate it more now, as we are headed into the world of financial aid applications for DJ.  It is truly amazing just how expensive college is.

When DJ first started the college search process, he told us that he was never going to go to college in New Jersey.  He wanted to get away.  We visited four schools in Connecticut and he fell in love with Fairfield University which has a price tag of nearly $50,000 per year.  I know there are grants and financial aid which lessen the price but the price is exorbitant.  Quinnipiac, also in Connecticut, another favorite of his, was just about the same.  Dave took him to visit Hofstra, another school with a price tag close to that price range and he found another favorite.  Up until today, Fairfield was at the top of his list.

I finally convinced him to at least look at a state school where the price would be cut in half.  He agreed and on Thursday, he and Dave went to visit Ramapo College which is only about 45 minutes away.  He liked it.  Didn’t love it, but agreed to at least apply there.  Today, we visited Rowan University.  Another state school, but this one was just about two hours away.

He surprised both Dave and me when he told us that he actually put Rowan ABOVE Fairfield!  Half the price!  Still expensive, but HALF THE PRICE!  They have a pretty high standard for students and DJ is going to have to work very hard to get in, but the fact that he is considering a state school is a step in the right direction financially.

The whole process is overwhelming.  I am grateful that I have friends who have already gone through it who are able to guide me in the right direction and give me pointers and tips along the way.  The next few months of applications and forms are going to be busy ones for all of us.  As DJ gets closer and closer to deadlines and due dates I am sure he will narrow down his choices.  The Common Application, which wasn’t around when I was applying to schools, is making it a lot easier.

Now we wait to hear if he will receive financial aid and how much!  Fingers crossed, it will be enough.

The Future…


Today, we are headed out for our first college tour for DJ.  Just the kids and I are going.  Dave is staying home with Emmy Lou.  It was almost as expensive to board her somewhere as it was to get an extra night in a hotel so Dave decided to stay at home, while the three of us head to Connecticut.  We did visit two schools already when we visited the two schools over Spring Break, but we didn’t get a tour.  We just went around the campus to check it out.  If those schools turn into ones that DJ really wants to pursue more seriously, we will head to them again.

The original plan was to head out very early tomorrow morning since our first visit is at Fairfield University at 9am. Of course traffic was worrying me because I “have a thing” about being on time.  I hate being late for anything and this is so important for DJ.  We started to look into going a night earlier and then got a special invite that made the decision even easier.

One of my roommates in college, Mary Lynn, (Mar), grew up right around the area that we are headed to.  Last month I sent her a message telling her that we were headed to her town to visit.  Mar is living and working in Africa right now so I knew she wouldn’t be there, but I was hoping that she’d remind me of some of the fun places that she always talked about and let us know where we should go while we were there.

Mar’s mom saw my message to her and extended and invitation for us to come for dinner one of the nights while we were there.  I haven’t seen her mom in twenty years and I was so touched by her kindheartedness.  That made the decision to come today rather than tomorrow even easier.  I am looking forward to seeing her tonight and having her meet my boys.

Tomorrow, after a tour of Fairfield, we will head to Sacred Heart University.  We weren’t able to get a tour there, but since it is still one of his choices we will walk around the campus and see what he thinks.  If he wants, we can always schedule a tour for another time.  We will have two more tours on Tuesday, University of New Haven and Quinnipiac.  I like the idea that the schools are less than two hours away.  I am still trying to convince him to do one year locally and then transfer somewhere, but I am slowly losing that battle.

So many of DJ’s friends are doing the college tours right now.  I don’t remember doing it when I was a Senior.  I don’t even remember many of my friends doing it.  I applied to only four schools and had been numerous times to the one I wound up at, American University, because my dad was an alumni there so we had visited often.

I am excited for him.  Nervous too.  I think he is too, although, I doubt he’ll ever admit that to me!!

Friendship from afar

friendship from afar

This afternoon, I am off to Alexandria, Virginia to visit with my college roommates!  I am so excited to see them!  Jen and her husband who live out of the country right now, are on their way to pick me up right now!!  Then we will head down to Brooks’ home where I will stay till Sunday!  There were five of us living together during the last few years of college at American University, and this weekend, four of us will find some time to catch up and rekindle old friendships.  It has sadly been too long since we have been able to all get together.  We started planning this weekend a few months ago, and I am so happy that it finally has worked out!!  We have all gone our separate ways throughout the 21 years we have been out of college.  We find time now and then to meet up.  Unfortunately those times are few and far between.  The best part, is that when we do finally find the time to do it….it is as if no time as passed at all!!