Wednesday, May 29, 2013


It's 5:30 a.m., and I've been waiting for the past hour for my son to text me from Turkey. (That's a sentence I never thought I'd write.) It seems that despite my best efforts to prepare him for his European adventure, I dropped the ball on activating his debit card for international travel. So, now I'm sitting in this quiet room, starting at my black iPhone screen, and imagining him destitute and hungry on his travels.

{Text me, Seth.}

This trip has been well over a year in the making. When Seth first heard about it during his seventh grade year, he asked if he could go. As luck would have it, that trip filled up with eighth graders, which gave us a year to prepare. Seth has worked hard in that year to save enough money to pay for half of his way, and between his job at Tim's office and the help of his generous grandparents, he did so.

So, on Monday we took him to the airport to head off on a European adventure that both his dad and I envy. First stop: Istanbul, Turkey. Then on to Germany, Austria, Italy, and Switzerland. He was ready for his trip. Calm, cool, and collected...quite the opposite from his mother. It was incredible to watch him say his goodbyes and leave for this journey with such steady nerves and confidence.

His small group of 11 students and three chaperones will be gone 16 days. In that time, I can only imagine what sights he will see, what foods he will try, what people he will meet, and what experiences he will brave. And I can only wait eagerly to hear all about his adventures upon his return. And oh, how I cannot wait!

* I did solve the debit card difficulty, and Seth has been using it today at the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, so all is well.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Hello Summer! Goodbye School!

Today is a significant day in the lives of the Tucker boys. Reed finishes fifth grade, completing his elementary years, and Seth finishes eighth grade, completing middle school. It feels like a substantial milestone for both of them, with a new experience waiting for each of them in the fall.

Reed has enjoyed a tremendous school year, excelling in his classwork, and he has been busy (and kept me busy) with his extracurriculars. He crossed over from Cub Scout to Boy Scout, which was a big accomplishment. He began playing percussion in the fifth grade band. And he continues to pursue both soccer and tennis.

Seth enjoyed his final middle school year, just as he had the two prior. We're so deeply thankful that these years have been filled with the incredible teachers of CAK Middle. Seth continues to play trumpet in the band, both marching and concert bands. He also began his first job this year, working two afternoons a week at Tim's company.

Aside from all of these accomplishments, both boys hit growth spurts this year and challenged me to keep them in uniform pants that were long enough. Seth, in fact, passed me up in height, and he is coming very close to passing up his dad. He already passed him in shoe size!

As we clean out our desks and lockers today and look forward to lazy days and adventures this summer, we give thanks for the school year we've completed and each of those teachers who have encouraged, instructed, and guided our boys. We've been blessed, and we are grateful.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Moving On

For the past 10 months we've been trying to sell our house. We've already moved on to our next home, so it has been sitting vacant, waiting on the next family who will give life to it. To be honest, these months of limbo have been incredibly difficult. It's felt like being without a country. That's not home any longer, but neither is this one.

So, finally, thankfully, we've sold our house. And we closed on it today...and it's hard. Yes, we are so happy that it has sold and we can finally move on and put down roots in this house. We can begin the work of making this house our home. But we called the house on Eagle Creek Lane home for 10 years. That's a long time. That's a lot of life.

Today I went by the house to say my final farewell. I walked through the empty rooms, took in the nuances of each room where we made our mark (in one, it looked like stains of baby food on the ceiling; in another, it was the indentation of Reed's head on the wall. Ouch!). I stood in the laundry room and absorbed the measuring stick drawn on the doorframe, marking the boys' height from year to year. Soon, a new family would cover these milestones with a coat of fresh paint.

We came to this home when Reed was only 12 weeks old. It is, of course, the only house he remembers. And it was a good house, an excellent home. We lived a good life here and loved each other well here. We are thankful for its shelter, its comforts, and the frame it provided for 10 years of our story.

When I walked into the closing, I was filled with emotion. It felt like I was turning over a treasure to someone unlikely to appreciate its worth. Then, something precious happened. A gift, really, to my heart. The new family walked in...parents followed by two lovely little girls.

I felt a shift in my spirit, and I smiled, thinking of this house that had seen so much "boy" over the past 10 years...sword fights and light saber duels, Legos and trains, knights and dragons...begin blessed with a taste of "girl." Tea parties and Barbies, dollhouses and dress up. It was a good home for raising boys. It will be a good home for raising girls.

So, I release that house with a word of thanks and a blessing to the new family. May you experience the same life and love within its walls that we did. And may we always remember this life and love as clearly as I will recall that measuring stick on the laundry room door.