it takes someone strong…

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the path i jog along takes me right in front of our local elementary, middle & high schools. my girls have grown up in this community & attended these public schools for years. monday was the first day of school. caroline is a sophomore in high school. emily starts rush for AXO at UGA with her classes beginning later this week. madison will graduating from college soon. and we’re 10 days away from savannah’s wedding.

i’ve been a runner (although currently i feel more like a slow-jogger than an actual runner) for as long as i can remember. and truth be told, i love running in the heat. there’s something purifying and tangible about the effort involved in the run, especially when the heat index is close to 100. there are word pictures and scriptures about running, about the race, about endurance, about finishing well, about passing the baton. i’ve always connected with these.

yesterday as i passed by the high school & prayed for caroline i came up the hill to the elementary school. i thought about all the mamas dropping off little bity kindergarteners for their first day. i thought about the ones that surely clung tightly to mama’s hand all the way down what seemed like a mile-long hallway. i thought about the little ones who were so excited, who loved the adventure & were tickled to do it all by themselves. ( one of mine used to say “no, i do it” as she tried to do things on her own!) i thought about the mamas that would drive home teary. the mamas that would go meet friends for their first kid-free hour since may. the mamas that would drive their reasonably “still full” minivan back home to take care of the rest of the littles.

i’ve been there. i’ve been in all those places & i’ve raised all those kiddos too. i had one a little shy & nervous about her first day in a new place. i had one we called intrepid because her bravery always has inspired us. and i’ve raised one who came out of the womb independent and seemingly effortlessly takes on the world.

i thought about all us mamas yesterday from the ones driving their first carpool to the ones who’ve planned weddings for their first borns. we’re strong. it’s what we’ve trained for all along…we just didn’t realize it..we were so busy training our littles that while we were cheering them on, we too were becoming strong. i think about esther & such a time as this. i think about our kiddos starting new chapters in their lives & walking into their calling with passion. i think about what an awesome privilege it is to cheer them on. i think about the kindergarten mama & it’s as if she’s with them in the starting blocks, perhaps standing in front of them saying things like you can do it & you’re gonna be awesome. i think about the mama of the college freshmen cheering nervously from the stands ( insert aly reisman’s parents watching their olympian !! too funny!) as she watches her child run her race. and then i can’t help but think of those of us who are passing the baton at the end of an aisle to the one we’ve prayed for, essentially for her whole life. from the starting blocks & forward, we can do the hard things. we can do the hard things!

it takes someone strong to make someone strong. thanks p&g for yet another shout out to the mama’s who’ve raised champions!

 

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(the She looks to the future print is available here)

August 10, 2016 - 10:05 am

natalie cooper - oh paige. this was beautiful and touched my heart in so many ways. love this.

August 10, 2016 - 12:44 pm

Amy Avery - Oh dear dear friend whom I love with all my heart, this post just opened my heart right up in such a wonderful way! Wow! I just love how your heart is growing and transforming through all of this new change in your life. It’s like watching a master artist create and form his masterpiece, and HE is! You always are so gracious in expressing life’s journey as it happens in your own life thus encouraging all of us as we watch it unfold. You continue in my thoughts and prayers as Savannah and Trevor’s big day approaches. You’ve got this my friend because HE’s got you! 👊🏻👏🏻👰🏻

August 10, 2016 - 12:50 pm

Amy Coon - You NEED to write just for me. EVERYDAY!!!😍

August 10, 2016 - 2:20 pm

Denise - Oh Paige, I LOVE reading your posts…my thoughts and prayers are with you these next few weeks. So excited for Savannah! Prayers for you as this new chapter in your life starts also.
Love you sweet friend
Denise

August 10, 2016 - 4:16 pm

Lisa Mothersead - Beautiful. They teach us as much as we teach them, too. 💕

August 10, 2016 - 7:39 pm

Kellie - My girl will be a senior this year….she will turn 18…and then she will spread her wings and I won’t see her everyday. She is my only child and just the thought of these things brings me to tears! I have been thinking a lot about what you wrote in your last blog about praying for God to change your feelings about Savannah moving to San Fran and I am thinking I may need to get a head start on that. Thank you for sharing your mama heart!

August 10, 2016 - 8:26 pm

Mary - I have a daughter who will be a freshman in college. She will be leaving in 1 week. Today was a rough day for me. Your post was beautiful and was exactly what I needed to read today at this moment. Lifted my spirits and I know everything will be ok. Thank you!

August 10, 2016 - 11:52 pm

Elizabeth - This post moved me to tears. My daughter starts middle school this year, and I’m sure the next few years are going to fly by so quickly. She is strong and has such a pure heart, and I pray that she always believes in herself as much as she does today. I am fearful that middle school is the beginning of some hard years and I just enjoy your blog so much and hearing about motherhood from someone who is a little further along in this journey gives me such hope and strength. Thank you so much for your words.

August 11, 2016 - 3:44 am

Lou - Oh Paige – I so needed this! What a beautiful sentiment along with the inherent message that it’s all going to be OK. Like in the advert – ‘it’s just a little turbulence’! Sometimes I don’t feel like a strong mother, it’s good to be reminded that I am. L x

August 11, 2016 - 7:19 pm

Jill - Spot on Paige! Thanks for another great post. We got this right?! Thankful for friends like you to get through this journey together. Love you!

August 15, 2016 - 5:18 pm

Denise - Bravo!!! Well Said!!!!! My youngest is a senior in college and it is still tough. Both of my daughters are my hero’s for the heart ache they’ve lived…..We have all 3 managed Together and that part of life has been great 🙂

August 18, 2016 - 3:54 pm

Rebecca - What a sweet sweet blog post, Paige. I know where you are. We have three who have flown the nest, two living in other locations, including San Fran! And one still at home. I looked at my sweet granddaughter last week, who was readying for her first day at Kindergarten, and wondered where the time has gone, and who am I now? I love the She looks to the future print. I read that scripture at both my mom’s and my younger sister’s funerals, so it’s special to me. thanks for the link. You have alot of excitement in your home right now. Rock it. You’re a warrior mama!

August 22, 2016 - 9:04 am

Karol - So perfectly said. I’ve walked through several of the stages you mentioned and I’m in the thick of the middle school and high school stage. I know there is so much ahead of me and I’m eager to watch my girls grow and become happy, independent women. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful post.

in 29 days…

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a few weeks ago i stood bedside & captured some amazing moments while a precious young mama labored & gave birth to her first baby. over & over again i thought to myself, i just did this. i just did this! it was just the other day when i brought my first baby girl into the world. i guess that’s the sign of a good life right? when looking back over all of it, even when along the way there was heartache, hand in hand there is joy overflowing & it all feels so fast. all the simple everyday moments have added up to be a grand & beautiful life beyond all i ever dreamed.

the anticipation & excitement, the wonder & overwhelming joy, the emotion of the grandeur of it all. the beginning of a new family. the beginning of a new & amazing chapter in your story. the feelings of how on earth am i going to do this? the moment when your baby is placed in your arms

& think to yourself its as if she was always here.

during the hours while i captured the birth story i found myself relating not only to the new mommy but to her own mama as well. i’d watch her own emotions as she watched her baby girl labor. i wondered what that must fee like. not only to see your daughter in the pain of labor but to know what lies ahead as she brings forth her own baby.

in 29 days i will watch my first baby girl walk into her own new & amazing chapter.

the anticipation & excitement, the wonder & overwhelming joy, the emotion of the grandeur of it all. the beginning of a new family. the beginning of a new & amazing chapter in her story. the feelings of how on earth am i going to do this? the moment when my baby girl is placed in the arms of the man she will spend forever with. the man who embodies the exceedingly more i prayed for since she was in my womb.

& i’ll think to myself it’s as if he was always here…

~~~

i’d thought i would journal & chronicle all the planning, all the little details, the highs & the lows & all the in-between. and honestly while it’s a bit ( no it’s truly my #1 pet peeve to say this)….ohmygosh we have been so busy!! can all mother’s of the bride who’ve gone before me give a resounding amen?

in all honesty, i also didn’t want to steal any of savannah’s thunder. but i’ll tell you the truth the anticipation & excitement, the wonder & overwhelming joy, the emotion of the grandeur of it all…it has a life of it’s own. it’s been a part of us since new years eve. i don’t know what i’ll do with all the mental energy i’ve used since that day when on sunday morning, august 21, my baby girl will be on a flight out of the country for her honeymoon. they’ll land back in atlanta a week later, pack up their uhaul & drive out the next morning to san francisco…to live. 3000 miles away.

i have much to share over the next several months. i do. really i’ll share about all the things i promise. but first let me answer the question I’m sure you’re thinking after i just mentioned the california gig.

i mentioned that just yesterday i gave birth to my first baby girl. well let me tell ya’ something. that precious brown haired brown eyed girl came out of the womb independent with an adventurous spirit. a nod to me & a nod to her daddy gregg. while i’ve traveled more in the last five years than i did in the previous forty years, savannah’s always had wanderlust. i knew the day would come where she’d drive away. i just didn’t know it’d be quite so far.

since i promised ya’ll i’d be honest, i’ll tell you this…at first i was like what? why would you wanna move this far away from your family…from me?! ( ha. i kid) i knew from before trevor proposed they were headed up & away. ( i’ll share more about all this later…i wanna flip ahead a bit for you).

i began praying a few weeks ago that the lord would help change my heart. & he is. i want to genuinely be happy for them…not let that happiness be overshadowed by the sadness of how far away they’ll be. ya’ll know i don’t like sad anyways. one day i felt he gave me a new song about this new chapter. let me share it with you….this move to san francisco….its a HUGE gift to them. and all good gifts are from Him. it’s a huge gift because they have honored Him in their relationship. it’s a huge gift because they sought Him first.  they’ve purposed to follow Him and i truly see this as Him giving them the desires of their heart. these kids have worked hard. studied hard. dreamed hard. and the opportunities afforded them….it’s a GIFT. and for that i am so happy for them. how could i be sad about their gift? how could i be sad in how He has chosen to bless them? don’t let me fool you, my heart really & truly has switched to seeing this as a gift but of course the hole left behind will be palpable. processing this huge change is not going to be for the faint of heart. we’ll walk through that all together.

i can’t imagine how my heart is going to work through it all. i was caught off guard with how hard it was to send her off to college. this is even bigger. and for longer. and to all the people that say ‘oh it’s just a flight away’ i wanna say seriously. it’s a flight away. a long flight away. a long expensive flight away. the funny thing? when her daddy gregg & i married, our honeymoon was a surprise to me. a trip to san francisco & the wine country. i remember thinking “i could live here”…in just a little past 29 days…so will my baby.

 

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i would love to share her wedding site…the way they tell their story is precious….enjoy here!

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July 22, 2016 - 10:35 am

Maria - What a sweet and special love story! (the Savannah and Trevor one) as well as the (Mama and Daughter one;). I, too, try to steer away from “we’re so busy” but I truly do think you get a “pass” when in prime wedding planning mode. Love it all!! Happy Wedding Month! Congratulations and well wishes to the sweet couple 🙂

July 22, 2016 - 10:41 am

Marcy Norman Cox - Thank you for sharing a bit of their charming love story. Your photography is beautiful, the bride to be is gorgeous and the soon to be groom so handsome. Congrats to the couple and their families.

July 22, 2016 - 1:13 pm

Keely Chumley - Their story is precious and they are beautiful. Congratulations to all of you. I wish you all the best and can’t wait to see what treasures the years behold.

July 22, 2016 - 1:30 pm

Lola - Thank you for sharing, this is so sweet! Congrats to the couple. I wanted to say that I admired them for including our heavenly Father in their relationship they will be blessed! Ecle 4:11,12.

July 22, 2016 - 4:29 pm

Lisa Mothersead - You’re such a sweet mama. 💕 My trick with my (31 and 23 yrs) girls is that I try really to remember where my head/emotions were when I was going through what they’re going through. I feel like it’s acting sometimes but I just really want them to feel comfortable and loved and not worried (so much) about their mama’s needs. You’re doing great!! God bless those two sweethearts!!

July 22, 2016 - 4:31 pm

Lisa Mothersead - try really hard

July 22, 2016 - 8:57 pm

Lori H - I feel like I have watched them grow up, dating, on the blog. They are a beautiful couple inside and out! Our story isn’t the same as theirs, but my husband and I got married at 23 too. Looking back, with my own daughter turning 25 this year, I wonder how freaked out my parents were that we were so young! And this year we celebrated our 30th anniversary – age doesn’t matter. These two young people are obviously so mature and prayed into being! Love their wedding site, and looking forward to the photos you can share. God bless all of you!

July 28, 2016 - 9:11 pm

Amy Hodge - I fell of the blog wagon and when I decided to check in, I was blown away by your news that your first born is getting married! How exciting and life changing for all of you! I have such anxiety over the future of my 12 year old boy and 9 year old girl, but I pray that their lives honor God like Savannah and her fiancé’s lives have. So happy for all of you! She is beautiful and her fiancé is handsome and the pics were fantastic! Loved the pics of them in Rosemary too. XO

August 3, 2016 - 1:19 pm

Curtis Chipley - Such an exciting time for your daughter and your entire family. We know all to well about your child literally leaving the nest. Our oldest son Noah, was also born with wanderlust, his wife tells us she married a gypsy. They have moved twice since they married 8 years ago. He has always wanted to live in big cities. The Kicker? They now live in Sausalito and Noah works in San Francisco!!! A childhood friend of mine was missing her son the other day, he moved to Nashville to follow his dream. I told her that we will always miss our kids, but we cannot for one minute be sad because they are living THEIR dream, we got to live ours; it is just that ours included living near family. I am so happy for my son that he is getting to live his dream, and that he is happy doing it. We have married off both of our sons, and oh the fun and excitement that goes with weddings, remember to stop and breathe, take in each moment because they go so fast. Enjoy every minute of this happy time! I know that your daughter is going to be a beautiful bride and cannot wait to see all of the pictures. We will be praying for you in these next fun filled exhausting days, Blessings to you and yours, coming to you from beautiful French Gulch California, Curtis.

August 3, 2016 - 4:07 pm

Tara - so excited for them! i loved seeing all the pictures of them—-can’t wait to witness them entering into their covenant on the 20th!