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Chicky Leaves for Her Final Semester of College

A little less than twelve hours ago, I left my Chicky for the fourth August in a row.

In just a few short weeks, she will begin her final semester of college.

I will chronicle our journey back to school, as I’ve done each previous year.

As of Tuesday afternoon, my girl still had not packed.

Not.

One.

Thing.

She worked late that day trying to get in a few extra hours and much needed $$.

I’ll admit that I was a bit in a panic, but I knew better than to offer to help.

My Chicky is very much like me…fiercely independent and quite stubborn.

She skipped the championship game of her indoor soccer league (her team lost 3-5…they were missing their key defender 😉 ), but she had to prioritize, and spending two hours at the sports facility ranked pretty much last.

By 11pm, she had accrued this pile…

That’s not even counting the big items.

I know I’ve mentioned this a time or two, but since I like to repeat myself, I will say that Chicky was moving out permanently this go-round.

We started loading the truck around 11:15.  It was incredibly muggy and dark.  I found a utility spotlight, which I hung from the truck’s door (we found the cabin’s light after we had finished…go figure).

Our clothes stuck to our bodies as we made many, many trips…loading up the truck and her car.

When we were finished, her room looked like this…

We will be picking up another mattress set from the Mr.’s parents’ house the next time we can secure a truck (I didn’t drive the rental back because it was too expensive to do so).

Her closet was devoid of the many, many clothes and shoes she had brought home.  She left stuff that she will pick up one day when she’s completely on her own and has a family…items such as stuffed animals and games.

See her many soccer medals?  🙂

She slept on an air mattress her final night at home, and we awoke bright and early on Wednesday morning to begin our long drive.

We stopped two hours into the trip to pick up the dressers that Chicky had gotten at a yard sale when she’d visited the grandparents.  My nephews came over and helped load the furniture into the truck.

We ran into a bit of a snafu with the truck and were delayed nearly three hours before we resumed our journey.  In my efforts to keep this post focused on Chicky, I will be blogging about the incident next time.

We finally arrived in Lakeland ten hours after we’d left home (as opposed to the seven that it should have taken).

The weather was n-a-s-t-y.  There was some serious lightening and flooding going on…

Fortunately, we arrived safe and sound, and Chicky’s roommate gave her the key to the place they will call home for the next two years…

The house has three bedrooms…one for each girl.  Here’s what Chicky’s room and closet looked like before we unloaded…

After the rain stopped, we got down to some serious work.  Thankfully, it went quickly with the assistance of Special K, Chicky’s fabulous roomie, and it wasn’t too long before Chicky’s room had been filled to the brim with her belongings…

The room is quite small; however, I suggested that she try putting the chest of drawers in the closet.  There seemed to be just enough space between the shelves.  To give her a bit of wiggle room, she took out the lowest shelf on the right.  This had the added benefit of giving her a space to hang her dresses and other long items.

She’s most proud of the dresser below.  It’s got a retro feel (I actually remember having furniture that looked very similar).  It’s perfect for the long wall on that side of the room.

The house itself is really adorable.  It’s a little over 1,000 sq. ft.  Although the guest bedrooms are small, as is the guest bathroom, the living room is large and roomy.

It has a beautiful fireplace and mantle…

Here’s another view of the living room.  The items that you see in the corner near the hallway that leads to the guest bedrooms contains items that I brought home with me…empty storage bins and whatnot.

Want to know what the girls plan to put in this corner?

A knight in a suit of armor.

I kid you not.

Apparently, this is an inside joke.

What can I say?  College girls are weird.

But I digress…

As usual.

Anyhoo…all of the living room and eat-in kitchen furniture (seen below) were donated by Special K’s step-mom.  Should out to Ms. M!

The house boasts a quaint eat-in area that has a window that lets light in, brightening up that side of the house…

Have you noticed all of the sunflowers?  That is the theme the girls decided upon during conversations held over the summer.  This theme is carried into the kitchen.  Once again, Ms. M came through and snatched up items throughout the summer whenever she was out and about.

The girls will not lack for items to make coffee in…

Chicky had picked up the French press (on the right) at a yard sale this summer for the fancy price of $2.  She was pleased as punch with her find.

One thing I love about this house is that nearly every room, including the kitchen, has a ceiling fan.  Score!

The only room that doesn’t is the fabulous screened-in porch.  It is, however, equipped with a doggie door (not pictured), which is perfect because Cali will be living with the girls.

Let me show you a few pictures of the outside of the house.

The backyard, seen in the next two pictures, is decent sized and, most importantly, fenced in!

Most of the pictures you see above were taken this morning after Chicky and I had had a good night of rest.

She drove me to a car rental place to secure a vehicle to drive home in because she didn’t exactly jump with joy at my suggestion that I stay with her for…say…the rest of her adult life.

heehee

We loaded up my sweet ride, a Chevrolet Equinox (I will blog about this in a separate post).

After we finished, Chicky and I went inside so I could grab my purse and keys.

The time was drawing near…the time for that final goodbye.

I asked her if she would let me pray with her before we walked outside, and she agreed.

As I prayed, I got choked up…for the first time the entire trip…and she gently encouraged me to keep it together.

I did, I’m proud to say, for I had been determined not to turn into the blubbering fool I’d been the previous three years.

When I finished praying, I looked her in the eye and told her how very proud I am of her…of the woman she’s become…of the choices she has made.

I told her that I would be praying for her every day, and I think I saw her tear up.

It was a special moment that I will never forget.

Special K took a couple of pictures of me with Chicky outside, and I am pleased that the pictures reflect a happy mother and daughter.

And that is what we are.

Although Chicky had gotten extremely annoyed with me during the last two days, and she’d been quite vocal too, we were able to end our summer on a positive note.

Despite the fabulous summer and the fact that we had not strangled each other during the move, I fully expected to have a crying fit.

That is what mamas do when their children move out.

I don’t know why I didn’t break down in tears as I left.

I ruminated about this as I sat in my car and uploaded the photos I’d taken to Facebook.  I must have sat there five or ten minutes, which gave Chicky and Special K time to come back outside and prepare to leave…on a mission to complete some items from their to-do lists.

They followed me out of the neighborhood, where I got this final look of my precious girl from the side mirror…

One final wave, and she was gone.

I passed the sign at Southeastern’s entrance…

I thought about the first year I had taken Chicky to school, and how my heart felt like it had been ripped from my chest.

I can’t even read the post I wrote back then because if I do, I know I’ll start crying as those raw emotions come back to the surface.

What I realized as I left and reflected was that Chicky had not been the only person to mature through her years at college.

I have matured as well.

Our relationship with one another has also matured.

I’ve grown to accept that she is a very capable young woman who may not always make the choices I would (I would have kept the nightstand and TV…*ahem*), but it’s okay.

Chicky is her own person who was created, by God, to lead a life that is not tied to my apron strings.

The summer had prepared me to let her go.

When we had been driving to the rental car place, I’d asked her what her plans for next summer were, and she looked at me and said, “I’m not coming home, remember?”

To which I replied, “No, I was wondering if you’re planning on working, should you secure a teaching job in January.”

She had breathed a sigh of relief, pleased that I had finally “gotten” it.

She’s not coming to “this” home to stay.

She is already home…

In Lakeland…

On her own.

I take comfort in Jeremiah 29:11:  “‘I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.'”

God’s hand is evident in my Chicky’s life.

He will direct her ways and lead her into the future He has planned for her.

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