Sunday, May 31, 2020

The One That Was Supposed To Be The End

May 22 - 24, 2019

This was supposed to be the last "2020 Project" entry.  They turned 18 last week.  Emma was supposed to graduate last week; Lara this week.  But, instead, we are still in the middle of a worldwide pandemic, and we are on like week 1200 (ok, just 11) of a stay-at-home order we affectionately, called quarantine.  Oklahoma (and Stillwater) is in Phase 2 of the reopening, so more places are open for business, but not everything.  And we still stay home most of the time.  And still wear protective masks when we got out.  Hand washing and hand sanitizing are top priorities!  But, things are starting to come back to life.

It was also supposed to be the Stillwater High School Class of 2020 graduation ceremony this weekend.  But, it has been rescheduled for late July.  In honor of that missed occasion, here is Lara's graduation announcement and social media post about her college choice:

Since some students won't be able to be at graduation this summer, the high school celebrated the Senior Class all week on social media and with small things happening around town.  Lara missed out on it, because, well, she was on "make-up" Spring Break."  More on that later.  In the meantime, her family decided she needed to be represented at the drive-through, plus we wanted to make sure she got the gifts, gift cards, t-shirts, and other goodies being handed out.  We drove through her elementary drive through and the high school.

In the meantime, while Lara was out of town, I did get to see Emma for one night!  She had some work to do in Stillwater, so she spent one quick night with us to cut down on her driving!

And Lara, the beach bum, spent a week on the Gulf Coast of Texas with 3 of her favorite friends.  Her friend Kendall's family has a condo on the beach at Port Aransas, and they were going down for a week to get a break from and coronavirus craziness and to get away from the quarantine.  So, they told Kendall to bring friends.  Lara was among the chosen!  While I was a little nervous to let her go, her BFF Erika was going, plus I knew she was in great hands!  Their buddy Karsten rounded out the group, and the had the time of their lives!  Days on the beach, cruising around in a golf cart, fun activities, and mentoring from 2 older friends.  So glad Lara got a vacation with friends before going to college.  She came home on Sunday, and we were all so glad to have her back in the house!
On the beach at Port A!

Karsten, Kendall, Erika, Lara

At the pottery painting place

BFF's in the Golden Hour Light - singing I would assume!
So, like I said this should be the last entry.  Based on the goal I set out when I first started this in the middle of summer 2017.  But, life throws curve balls.  And I know I have at least 2 more entries with this project, as I have 2 high school graduations to attend in the next 9 weeks.  Emma moves to Campus in 8 weeks.  Lara in 11 weeks.  So, we will enjoy our summer.  The last summer of being a care-free teenager.  College starts soon.  The real work begins.  Childhood is indeed, fleeting.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

The One Where They Turned 18

May 14 - 17, 2020

This one starts a day early,  On Thursday.  May 14.  Because this is the day my baby girls turned 18 years old.  I cannot believe it!

While Oklahoma has started lifting some restrictions - hair salons are back open! - there are still many precautions and quarantine rules in place.  Most businesses require you to wear a face mask or covering of some sort to shop, and we are all encouraged to stay home as much as possible.  Wash your hands, don't touch your face, and stay home if you feel sick or have a fever over 100.4 degrees.  Many places even check your temperature before you enter.  Our dentist and orthodontist are back open as well, so the boys both got their teeth taken care of this week.

Emma Marie and Lara Elizabeth turned 18 years old on Thursday.  They were not together, but we all called, and Facetimes, and sent Bitmoji stickers and memes and all the fun stuff we could to celebrate this special day.

Some of Lara's friends were set to have a picnic lunch together, but before the lunch could happen, they surprised her with a Drive-By Birthday Parade!

Her Dad also made a FANTASTIC sign to hang on the house to announce her 18th birthday to the world.  She was very surprised by this!  But it made an excellent background for pictures.

Even the mailman got involved!
He saw the banner and left this note!

We also had a few birthdays presents for her to open on Thursday evening.  She got some things she will need for college, including a small Instant Pot!  We told her welcome to adulthood - where you get appliances for gifts!  In our big, family instant pot, we made her favorite Crack Chicken for dinner, and she helped make a caramel coconut chocolate cheesecake for dessert.

Friday was the last "official" day of school for both girls.  Emma was working in Newkirk at Napa with her grandpa, and Lara had been done with school or days.  But, I insisted on a last day of school picture!

And no LAST DAY OF HIGH SCHOOL would be complete without the first day of Pre-K comparison pic!  August 2006 to May 2020 - Their entire school career in one pic!

It was also supposed to be the Mulhall-Orlando High School Class of 2020 graduation ceremony.  But, it has been rescheduled for later in June.  In honor of that missed occasion, here are Emma's graduation announcement and social media post about her college choice:


Now, Saturday was a FULL DAY of celebrations and craziness.  Emma came to Stillwater with her boyfriend, Rhett, early in the afternoon to make the rounds and meet all of Emma's family.  She also had a few stops to make to see family for birthday and graduation gifts that needed to be picked up.  We all met back at our house to celebrate!
Offical 18 Picture!

Grandpa, Nana, Emma, Jake, Finn, Lara, Dad, Mom
Photo Credit to Rhett
Then, the girls and their friends headed out to the Flying H Ranch near Orlando, Oklahoma for a party with their friends.  Still, quarantine style, few guests, trying to remain socially distant.  Emma had her best friend and her boyfriend there; Lara had 2 of her best friends.  A good time was had by all!

Erika, Lara, and Nichole

Rhett, Emma, Erika, Lara, Nichole

Rhett and Emma

Emma and Abigail

First thing Sunday morning, Lara was off on an amazing adventure!  Along with her friend Kendall and their family, Erika, Karsten, and Lara were off to Port Aransas, Texas for a week at the beach!  It was a LONG drive, but they made it safely and are looking forward to a fun week!

Eighteen!  We made it girls!  So proud of you and so very excited about your future!  Keep reaching for the stars.  Your future is SO BRIGHT!  We love you.

Monday, May 11, 2020

The One Where Graduation Was Rescheduled

May 8 - 10, 2020

This week, both girls found out that their graduation ceremonies had been rescheduled for a later date!  We could not be happier about this!  Best Mother's Day Present EVER!

Emma's will be on June 13th at the Mulhall-Orlando School gym in Mulhall.  Lara's will be July 24th at the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City.  Lots of People have lots of feelings about both of these situations.  We are just glad we are going to get something close to traditional!  Even if it is still months away and it is not what we originally planned!

In the meantime, the girls have been finishing up their college courses which ended this week and working towards the last few high school class assignments - which will end Friday of next week.  It's all coming to a weird, slowly approaching end.  Not at all the hustle and bustle we expected!  In some ways, we like the slow better.  But missing the fun end of year events is also pretty sad.

Friday night, Lara went to her Best Friend Erika's little sister's 10-year-old birthday party!  That kid is pretty lucky that a bunch of 17 and 18-year-olds love her so much!

Annah, Erika, Lara, Kendall and B-day girl Alyssa

Saturday was pretty much par for the course.  Waiting out the quarantine.  Netflix, TikTok, TV, memes, the dog.  But Sunday was Mother's Day. Emma came to Stillwater to see me.  My kids gave me awesome cards and gifts.  We went to Golden Oaks to see Grandma Mary and Grandpa Jake.  Then we went to Perkins to See Nana and Grandpa.  Britt made an awesome cajun pasta in the Instantpot for dinner.  It was a GREAT Mother's Day!  So glad these two reds made me a mom almost 18 years ago!  I do miss our Sunday night family meetings, though... No need for them these days!

Cool necklace!  A pearl for each of my 4 kids
The Posse!  Jake (13), Lara (17), Finn (8), Emma (17)
Jake photo bombing Emma and I at Golden Oaks
The next 2 weeks are going to be hard.  So many events scheduled that just aren't happening.  Senior Awards assembly.  Senior Walk.  The big concern we were taking Lara to. There should have been a state baseball tournament to be at. Emma's last day of high school and graduation.  Lara's last day of school and graduation. End of year sports banquets.  Baccalaureate services.  But, the one thing that isn't changing, is Emma and Lara will be 18 years old in JUST FOUR DAYS!  Look out world, they're coming for you!