a self imposed mental health day + some fun news.

Today is probably one of the most random posts in the whole entire universe of THH posts {Can I abbreviate? I’m feelin lazy?} but there’s been some fun things happening around here, and I couldn’t let this oh so significant day go by without a. sharing in some way and b. documenting it all in the process. Aren’t those mums pretty? No, they aren’t the flowers someone brought to me in the hospital because I finally lost my mommy marbles. That pertains to no. 2 below, so stay with me in this rando mix of thoughts a-la Ashley.

1. First things first: {Let’s get the hard part out of the way} Aiden started kindergarten today. Nearly 20 hours of searching and 300 dollars later… spent on school supplies + uniforms + shoes…he was finally ready.

And I have two main thoughts:Β 1. It only gets worse from here {?!?!?} We have two ADDITIONAL children to add to the mix! And 2. I remember primary colored folders with brads being the same kind of elusive when I was a child, so why doesn’t Walmart up the ante? There was a limit on the number you could purchase, when I finally found them at Office Depot. {props to the OD. Yeah it’s an abbreviation kinda day.} Apparently folders with brads in primary colors are the equivalent of crack. Mixed with roids. And a dash of meth. Or something else that sounds important and illegally drug-like. Yeah. Caffeine.

Little man was all kinds of spiffed up and excited this morning. And let’s just go ahead and get this one out of the way: I cried. A lot. Most of you guys know, there’s something that hurts…about that first stage of letting them go. This is just the first step, so the thought of college rips me to shreds. It was only yesterday that he was born and changed my life. I was holding Malone last night and I thought, “this should be Aiden.” Cue tears. I did the only thing I could do. I cried. And prayed.

It kills me, to say the least. But I know he is where he’s supposed to be and that he’s in good hands, and the things I tend to fret about really are out of my control…So I’ll focus on the good. He’s one awesome, sweet kid, if I do say so myself. He will do wonderfully, and I’ll be waiting on pins and needles to talk to him after his first day of school.

Let’s just say I was terribly thankful for my sunglasses today as soon as I left his classroom.

2. Shaking that one off:

These spectacular people came over on Friday. I know all of you know Layla and Kevin. And if you’re anything like me, they kind of rock your face off, too. They were here for a super exciting reason. {SQQUUEEEEEEEE!!!!!! Yes, I am sixteen.} They shot some of our home for a little magazine-age that we may be seeing in the future.

It rhymes with Wattages and Funkabows. And I’m pretty sure that’s all I need to spill. Don’t worry, I’ll keep you posted! {Read: humor me.}

I have this real inability to take normal pictures. I’m all, “Oh. EM. GEE, Layla. Let’s totally take our pictures and I’ll put it on my blog because I’m a dork and never put pics of myself.” And she was all, “Okay!” Because she’s super sweet. And then I spazzed out because I just do that, and it was almost like I was going to bite her neck or something, {which I may or may not do all of the time. Spaz. Not bite necks.} Only my neck actually disappeared for the shot, and I suddenly morphed into a football player with greasy hair. And Layla’s face got all blurry because, as you can see, we both just started laughing. And then my camera died. So this was as good as it got. My neck went away and I got all wonky eyed side tackle a-la Paris Hilton. And Layla turned into a blur.

Yeah! Winning! I think we had a little too much fun.

To say it was a blast, would be an understatement. I wanted them to stay forever, and I feel like I learned so much just from observing. It was a real treat to work with someone so experienced and talented. I’m forever grateful for such a fun experience. Most of you know these twoΒ will be doing a little side gig known as THEIR OWN SHOWΒ pretty soon. Jamin and I wish them the very best in something we know they will absolutely rock at. {Squeeeeee x’s a billion decibels, in super obnoxious teen girl mode.}

3. Because I must always post in odd numbers and I’m OCD like that: I had to share a little something on the Eminator.

The little premadonna is now taking ballet. And I’m just eating it up. There’s something adorable about all those little girls in their matching pink leotards, and the sheer excitement they exude about just being there. The energy in the air was better than Christmas.

Her face. Right there. That’s how I feel about this little path we’re on. I have no clue where we’re headed, but that’s one hundred percent okay. More than anything, I love seeing it reflected in her…in doing something she loves so much. Because following your passions is {one of the important things} that life is all about…isn’t it?

Here’s your daily dose of cuteness. And deep/slightly neurotic/totally random thoughts by Ashley Mills

No worries: for those of you who are all, where’s that post she promised? A how-to on the loft post will be here TOMORROW, a-la Jamin. WOOT!

Did any of you guys start kindergarten this year? Or in the past? And cry your eyes out like I have? I’m feelin’ a little pathetic this morning!

Happy Monday everyone! πŸ˜‰

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Responses to a self imposed mental health day + some fun news.

  1. Tracey says:

    My BABY starts K one week from today- if his preschool graduation was any indication, there will be ugly crying a plenty.

  2. My middle child started Kindergarten today. I am sad. One more to go then I will have no babies at home. I am at a loss of what to do today. Probably should clean :)

  3. Cuteness overload! I feel ya darlin, just sent my baby off to Kindy last week, cue the gushers. So happy you got to see Ms. Lay and Mr. Kev, miss them and you! And let me just tell you I can hear your voice describing the neck disappearing act. LOL.


  4. Kathryn says:

    One started kindergarten today, and the other pre-school. Both did fantastic – they were super-excited. Me, a little teary, but I hide it well – didn’t want to spoil their day! Now, back at home reading everyone’s posts and it is making me cry :( But looking forward to hearing about their first day. Also looking forward to some quiet time and a schedule again :) Have heaps of projects to get done – so super excited about that too.
    Both my girls do ballet – so totally adorable – love that they love it – nothing better than seeing your kids enjoy life!
    Hope you have a good day and you kiddo has a great first day too :)

  5. Avivi says:

    Last week we were moving the “baby” into her college apartment – which happens to be in the same town she went to kindergarten (though we moved from there to a different state a few years later) – and the last day of the move we happened to drive right by her kindergarten and all I could see was that tiny little girl with big glasses and her Pooh lunchbox heading into that place 12 years before and I still have that lump in my throat. But someone shared this today – “Don’t dwell on the past but fall in love with their future.” And that’s what makes it all so joyful.

  6. Catherine says:

    I teach high school and so it is impossible for me to not be at work on the first day of school. So I could never, ever be with my son his first days of school. And I cry. Every year. On the first day of school. In front of all of my students (I’m usually a little weepy until about 5 minutes into my first class and then I straighten out). Because I can’t be with him. He’s going into grade 7 this year! It’s going to be really embarrassing for him when he comes to my school (grades 9-12) and I walk him down the hall all crying and such. Poor guy. It will be traumatic.

    My lovely mom eases my troubles every year a little by sending me flowers on the first day of school. Only moms can understand, hey?

    He’ll be great and you’ll have so much fun grilling him about every little detail of his day. Just be prepared. He’s a boy and you may not get a lot of info out of him (if he’s like my son- cue the monosyllables while running out the door to play).

  7. Christina Brunk says:

    I was shocked at how much I cried when I sent my oldest (and only) daughter to Kindergarten just a few short weeks ago. I think the main reason is that she was headed into a world that I didn’t know. I had only met the teacher once, knew NONE of the kids, and had to go on faith that I had prepared her well. She was absolutely beaming when dropped off and beaming even more at pick-up. The telltale sign that it would all be alright was when we walked in the door. She grabbed her 2-year-old brother’s hand and said, “Come on Thomas, we’re going to play school!”

    • YES Christina! I think that’s part of why it was so hard! We know not a soul, and I was leaving him in a room full of strangers! I just want to know that someone will help him open his lunch if he has trouble. Take the time to listen if he stutters a little. Be his friend on the playground. Preschool was hard, but it was at our church. I knew the teachers. Jamin was one building over. This was a strange environment and it all just kind of snuck up on me. I hope his day goes as well as your little one’s did! πŸ˜‰

  8. Beth Miller says:

    Kevin and Layla were at your house and you didn’t lock them up so they couldn’t leave?! :) I’m so glad you’re getting the recognition you deserve for all your amazing ideas and hard work!
    I’m already dreading taking my 2yo to kindergarten! I know it gets easier but that doesn’t make it any better right now. It’s ok to cry. And it’s ok to cry A LOT too! Just shows how much you care!

  9. candy peaches says:

    I started crying in preschool and have cried every first day of school since. My eldest will be a senior this year. My middle child teases me and actually cues the tears as if they were part of an orchestra. My brand new son…well I’m sure he will get his fair share of tears too. Cheers to moms with tears!!!

  10. Oh Ashley, I sent my third (and youngest) off to kindergarten today, and I know EXACTLY how you’re feeling. I have to say, sending my first was the hardest, but there is always something so bittersweet about your kids starting school. I cried like a baby with my first as well, because you know that once school starts, time seems to FLY.

    Fortunately, today, I kept it together pretty well, except when the principal greeted us on the way in and said, “Here come the kindergarteners”. A little stab of bittersweetness (more bitter than sweet this time), right in the heart. But more importantly, my daughter was THRILLED to be starting school today and didn’t shed a tear. I would much rather have me shedding the tears, than her. πŸ˜‰

    Hang in there – you’re in good company.

  11. Layla says:

    Had SO much fun shootin’ your pad the other day!
    And can I just say, I love the way you write?
    I can literally hear you speaking when I read your posts and it is just so downright enjoyable and entertaining!
    Sorry I didn’t proof “our” pics in time…LOVED the ones you posted though…too funny!


  12. Lauren says:

    Hi fellow Auburn grad,

    It’s Lauren again. The kindergarten teacher slash “My friend went on her honeymoon and a roach landed on her chest. And in his hair. TWICE.” commenter. Just wanted to give a lil input via the kindergarten teacher: YOU ARE SO NORMAL!! THE TEARS ARE NORMAL!! I am so proud of you. Sounds like the God we serve put Aiden exactly where he needs to be. :) Still praying for you both and a smooth transition.

    A NOTE ON THE FOLDERS WITH BRADS: We put this on our school supply lists WAY in advance. You’d think they’d order a TON seeing that every grade level seemingly insists upon them. If we explicitly say PLASTIC FOLDERS WITH BRADS, you better believe these things become as extinct as dinosaurs. I tried to find these the first weekend after school (for kids who didn’t bring in supplies) and lemme tell ya. I checked Target/Walmart in Auburn, Opelika, and HOOVER (Birmingham) and I lucked out in Target in Hoover. THAT WAS IT. Insane, I tell you! And the clear front pencil pouches? THAT ARENT PINK? forgetaboutit.

    Promise it’ll get easier :) We’re 3 weeks in and already my parents/kids are all “SEE YA!!” haha! xoxo (and War Eagle!) Keep us posted!!

    • Hey sweet Lauren! Thank you so much! that means a TON coming from a kindergarten teacher herself! and your roach comment, just so ya know, was one of my all time faves. πŸ˜‰ I was only able to get paper folders with brads. And it DID say plastic! and I couldn’t find the story paper she wanted! And Jamin just took both the kids to auburn so they could see some things my brother is having installed at the indoor football field, because he really wanted to go, and it’s 8:40 and he’s still not home and he’s in so much trouble it’s not even FUNNY! supplies FAIL. bedtime FAIL. FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL laksjef;laifwe;alkjga;lskjgda;lskdfja;lskdjf;alskjdf;laskjdf;lkj
      anxiety attack! πŸ˜‰ No. seriously. I’m working on it.

      • Lauren says:

        HAHA too funny!! It’s for the sake of Auburn though….I’m jealous!! How did Aiden do today with a late bedtime? :) Y’all will get in your groove once school starts, say around late September, and bedtimes will get easier. This is what I hear from the vast majority of parents of kids I’ve taught over the years.

        I’m recently engaged, so the other side of kids, the parenting part, I’ve not yet reached. Kudos to you for 3. Your candid-ness has really helped me mentally prepare for kids/my students πŸ˜‰

        Your posts crack me up…I feel like I can totally see myself doing some of the same things you are. The McDonalds drive through post is probably one of my favorites (Emerson and I looked quite a bit alike as kids, and I was probably just as direct with adults in the drive thru!!). The roach incident in your house was my first favorite. Let’s face it, reading it, I was crying and laughing like a crazy lady. My fiancee was visiting in AU (he goes to The Other School AKA houndstooth tree killer land…jk jk!!!) and was looking at me like, “WHAT is going on?” I swear for a moment I could see “I’m marrying a girl who is in crying hysterics over a computer screen?” flash across his face. HAHA!

        Thank you for your kid words, about the comment and the “sweet Lauren” bit…I feel like I just became BFF with someone famous (I’ve been reading quite awhile!!)

        P.S. I might friend you on facebook. If that’s not too weird. And creepy? You’ll know who I am. Kinder teacher, engaged, went to Auburn twice, named Lauren. :) Hang in there, sister, Aiden will do beautifully, I just know it!!!!

  13. Tiffany says:

    The ballet picture is so precious! She looks like she’s on top of the world! Very sweet.

  14. Heather says:

    Oh, Ashley. My oldest starts kindergarten in two weeks. It’s so bittersweet. We received a letter from his teacher in the mail a few days ago. He literally squealed with delight and I fought back tears. But I didn’t cry. Not until I read your post! And then I read the comments and cried some more. I hope I can hold it together and not go into ugly cry in front of him or anywhere in public that day! I’m slightly worried I won’t be able to keep it from my other little guys and they are going to think mommy has finally lost it. These little guys sure have a special place in their mamas’ hearts!
    And thanks for the tip, I will make sure I have my sunglasses with me.

    • Heather! so glad I’m not the only one! Sunglasses are like my security blanket. For my roots…and my eyes. HA! keep me updated! good juju thoughts and vibes of no tears until you make it out of the classroom are with you, for sure! You will be fine. I am. Now that the day is over. πŸ˜‰

  15. My second started kindergarten this year. I hate to tell you it doesn’t get any easier! I cried. I know he’ll be fine. He was ready. And, he’s having a ball! Give them wings and let them fly…it’s bittersweet for sure!

    P.S. Aiden’s first day of kindergarten pics are adorable! And, Emerson the ballerina is too cute!

  16. Jennifer says:

    I LOVE LOVE your fun news! Can’t wait to buy the mag when it comes out! And Emerson is SOOOO cute. And girl, when I was working at a university in Virginia, I was prego with Ryan and watching all of these parents dropping off their kids and I’m crying in anticipation of all of the “firsts” when my kiddo was still in utero. Sigh. I hope everything went great!!