A chatty look at a 40 year old’s college freshman year, her kids, husband and other craziness
Summer is done…school started today.
This summer has quickly come to a close and the only solid thing I can think that was accomplished was re-decorating Olivia’s bedroom.
She decided that the lime green of her 13 year old dreams had gotten old, so out with the old and in with the new. She came up with a fairly complicated aztec theme, and between her and I we figured it out. We used a TON of blue painters tape, patience and time. I used my quilting rulers to measure the design, and it ended up making a hard job pretty easy. We repainted three of the green walls a soft lilac and one wall a teal-ish blue. We then bought 5 or 6 small paint samples ($2.50 each) and used those when painting our design. I think the overall cost of the room was $150. We flipped her bedspread over to the plain black side, and saved money there!! I also painted over the cool black vinyl lettering that spelled out her name; I then peeled them off and presto neato her name was still there in lime green!! We lowered her bed off the risers (that it had been on) and pushed it into the corner, giving her room a much bigger feel. We gave her desk to Simon to take to college and she will be using the one in his bedroom. With this newly added space we moved in a futon that we weren’t using and this allows for sitting space and easier sleepovers. I found some cute foot stools at Target ($15 each) and made her a coffee table out of them. They open up and she uses them to store her magazines and yearbooks in them. We took all of her pictures off the wall and replaced some of the pictures in them with updated ones, the rest of the frames we put into storage.
Olivia loves her new room, and I am thrilled with how it turned out!
I remember 16 years ago today driving to the hospital in the early hours of the morning. My c-section was planned for 7 am, it was a very hot day and I was apprehensive. Tom and I had made a deal, if she came out blonde her name would be Olivia, and if she came out dark like me we would name her Carmen. Out popped a blonde baby, who knew?????
When the Dr’s placed her in my arms I was overcome with such an intense feeling of love and happiness. I absolutely love every crazy hormone filled moment with my only daughter. She is my life and I am so incredibly proud of her.
Last night we threw her a surprise birthday party, and it went off without a hitch! She has some amazing friends and we were so happy they were able to spend her special day with her.
Things are changing quickly for the Carbone family and since I haven’t documented anything for so long I thought I’d try and catch you up.
Tommy is graduating from the University of Missouri on May 12th with a degree in Journalism with an emphasis in Magazine Editing. We are headed out there to help him celebrate his big day and I couldn’t be more proud! I was video-chatting with him today and teared up while telling him how proud I am of him. He is currently interviewing for several newspaper editing jobs around the country, once he makes his decision I will let everyone know where he will be living and working. I am looking forward to doing one last “college pack up and move job” with him next week. I can’t believe it’s been 4 years already!!!! Simon is driving with me to Missouri and I can’t wait to road trip with him, it will be our first together.
Simon is finishing up his junior year at UF this week, yes I said junior year! He changed his major to Environmental Science and this moved up his graduation date due to classes filling the right requirements…so next May he will be graduating..then he’ll be off to grad school! Simon has a fantastic opportunity this summer, he received an internship at a summer camp in North Carolina. He is so excited to spend the summer outside working with kids! We are thrilled and proud of him!
Olivia is busy finishing up her sophomore year; she is currently studying for her AP Biology and AP World exams. She is anxiously counting down the days until summer starts. She is going to be helping coach her old middle school cheer team next fall and once again cheering for her high school. Olivia is extremely excited to get her braces off, May 15th, and even more thrilled to be getting her drivers license in August. I can’t believe how quickly she is growing up.
I can’t believe that March is almost here and that in 16 days I will be 44…gulp!!! I swear I am still a teenager, at least in my mind I am.
I’m getting closer to my interim weight loss goal. I’ve been wanting to lose 100 pounds by my oldest son’s college graduation, May 12th. I’m down 86 1/2 lbs as of today and can almost taste the 100 pound mark!! I’ve been working super hard and trying to watch every morsel that goes into my mouth. I’ve recently discovered iced coffee with fat free creamer and this is now a daily staple, since I gave up soda for Lent. I made it to Zumba last night and did an hour on the elliptical machine on Sunday, working out has never felt so good. I feel like I’m finally getting my body back and I love it!
Last week I was asked to participate in Challenge Day at Olivia’s high school. I went into the experience not knowing what to expect, and left forever changed. You owe it to yourself to watch the videos online and see what Challenge Day is really about.
We participated in an activity called “cross the line” where we all lined up (100+ students and 20 adults) and faced a blue line taped to the floor. The moderator would call out something and if this statement was true for you, then you crossed the line and faced the remaining people who did not cross. For example some of the things to cross the line were “if anyone in your family has ever suffered from an addiction problem”, or if “anyone has ever been made fun of because of their race”, or ” if you or anyone you know has been affected by an unwanted/unplanned pregnancy or abortion”. Watching the kids and adults cross the line time and time again was heartbreaking. Seeing kids take a step across the room who had been abused, told they were stupid, told they would never amount to anything, that they weren’t smart enough to go to college shattered me. But what killed me was most was every time I stepped over the line… publicly showing that I too have had family members affected by drugs and alcohol, that people have judged me because of my weight, that I’ve been called stupid or fat, that someone I know has been killed by a drunk driver, that I spent the first 2 weeks of my life in a foster home….these were some of the things I crossed for. The emotions that came through me were so raw and unplanned for, that I was willing to accept hugs from anyone, including random students who just wanted to show me they cared or had been in the same situation. What a powerful and mentally exhausting day.
Another activity we participated in was called “if you really knew me”. This is where you are sitting with a small group (5-6) and start each sentence with “if you really knew me” and then end it with something that people don’t commonly know about you. I shared with my group some personal and painful situations that I’ve had in my life. I also shared the love I have for my family and the fact that I’d be willing to do anything to make sure my kids have a happy life. The private things these kids shared with my small group were heartbreaking and beautiful at the same time. I applaud every single person who participated in this amazing day. I will never be the same……ever
2011 was my “year of change” and change I did; as of New Years Eve 2011 I’ve lost 70 POUNDS!!! I can honestly say I never started out trying to lose 70 lbs, I think 50 is the most I’ve ever lost, but for some reason this time was different….. I think I finally decided I wanted to LIVE! I felt like I was slowly dying from the excess weight that I was carrying around. Doing even the simplest of things would wipe me out, I was always making excuses to not leave the house, and that’s just not like me. In January I cut back on my food intake and I think by about April I’d dropped 25 lbs, I was happy with my progress but didn’t really do anything to help me lose more weight. Then in June I joined the local gym and discovered Zumba. Can I tell you how much I love Zumba?? I literally smile the entire hour that I’m working out, and who can say that?? By December I’d lost 60 pounds and then reality set in that 2012 was right around the corner, so I thought about how much weight I could realistically lose in one month and went for it. Tears came to my eyes when on Dec 31st I got on the scale and had actually hit the 70 pound mark. I ran through the house into each of my kid’s rooms, telling them of my accomplishment. They have all been so supportive and amazing this past year. My next goal is to lose another 36 lbs before May 14th, the day of my oldest son’s college graduation. I know I can do this and to prove it to myself I returned to the gym (after a month off) and worked out on an elliptical machine for 40 minutes. Tonight I’m planning on going to Zumba and hope to get back into a workable exercise routine.
I’d like to say that I now know the secret to losing weight, but I don’t. All I’ve done is NOT eat AND exercise.
2011 has been full of many fun and wonderful new experiences for our entire family. This summer our family took advantage of the rare opportunity of all being together when we rented a cabin in the woods for a week in North Carolina. Between fishing, whitewater rafting, tubing and gem hunting, the week went by way too fast!
Tom (22) is currently in his last year at University of Missouri and will be graduating in May with a journalism degree. In March, he spent a week in a Montana cabin with his best friends. He hopes to do the same for spring break this year too. He spent the summer in Los Angeles interning at GOOD Magazine, where he was fortunate to live with his godparents in Pasadena. He got to know Uncle Freddie and Aunt Martha really well and is very grateful that they let him stay in their home for the whole summer. Tom was the music editor at Vox Magazine in Columbia, Missouri this semester and learned more about being an editor than ever. His focus has changed from writing to editing and being an editor at a magazine taught him a lot. He hopes to be living in either NYC or LA this time next year with a job in the magazine industry. If you have contacts in the industry, send them his way!
Simon (19) is a sophomore at University of Florida. A restructured packaging curriculum at school made Simon reconsider his chosen field, and he is now very happy with his new major, Environmental Engineering. He is hoping to pursue a career that allows him to spend ample times outdoors. He enjoys spending his free time hanging out with his friends, riding his bike and exploring Gainesville.
Olivia (15) is a sophomore in high school and currently can’t wait for Christmas break to start! She cheered for the football team this fall and is currently cheering for both the boys and girls basketball teams. She is taking an aggressive schedule this year in school and has never been so busy.
Tom has continued his teaching and PhD work at UCF, and experimented with teaching a class at a local community college, which he thoroughly enjoyed. Christina had a busy year, especially this summer when she loved spending time helping Tom relocate for his summer internship. They drove across the United States and had a fantastic time, stopping everywhere from Las Vegas to Oklahoma City to Memphis.
We are all looking forward to 2012 and wish everyone a Happy New Year!