Wow! Can you believe it?! As of January 3, 2020, I am no longer a mom to any teenagers. On January 3rd, my baby girl, MiKayla turned 20! On September 23, Kylee girl turned 23! If my sweet PK would still be alive, then he would be 24! Hard to believe that season of my life is over! However, I am so thankful for each year! I am so glad that my girls are both in their 20’s and thriving. They both amaze me. I look at all of the ways that they are growing and learning, and I feel such immense gratitude.
Kylee is in her first year of graduate school. She is working on her masters in Health Sciences. She has a position as a GA in Health Sciences and has been assisting the professors and department personnel. She is even helping to co-teach a class this semester with several fellow GA’s. Kylee continues to mature and develop. It has been a lot of fun for me to watch her emotional maturity continue to grow. I can still picture my little princess who would throw her arms around my neck and yell, “I’m your girl!” She is now such a beautiful young lady inside and out.
As Kylee has continued to grow emotionally, then she has become more curious on how her mom is doing and what my days are like. After the deaths of my husband in August 2011 and of my only son PK in June 2013, I started the habit of not answering the question, “How are you?” So often in our culture, we use those three words as a greeting similar in a manner that we use hi or hello. Often times when others ask us that as they walk by us, then usually they are planning on continuing on past you. Often these words do not mean let’s sit down now and have a conversation at this time about how you are doing.. Due to my desire of not being a fake, I did not want to give the standard answer of “good.” I did not feel “good” at all. I started experimenting with not answering the question and instead just immediately would ask, “How are you?” back to the person who was asking. To my delight, most people did not even notice that I had not answered their question and would just shift over and answer mine. This became my way of handling that question. However, my daughter Kylee has now refused to let our conversation continue until I answer her question of how I am. It makes me laugh to hear my 23-year-old calling me out on not answering the question. She did it to me again Thursday night. I adore her. It means so much to have her truly interested in how her mom is.
Kylee has continued to develop many wonderful friendships and relationships. She is purposeful in planning time with her friends, and when she spends time with them then she is truly interested in connecting with them. It has been a delight to watch how much she has grown in this. Kylee also continues to grow in her faith. She looks for ways to nurture her faith, and she wants to continue to grow in her faith and to be challenged. As I listen to her share her heart and faith, my heart is just so blessed. I am really excited to watch and see all of the lives that God will continue to use her to touch in her life. Her heart is big and full of His love. I am so proud of her.
Kylee is having fun this year helping to coach as a GA some of the throwers on the track team. She spent this weekend in Alabama, and the guys that she has been coaching did really well! My brother- in-law told me that the head coach told him that he really enjoyed having Kylee as an athlete on the college track team and for all of her hard work and accomplishments, but that he loves having Kylee help with coaching the throwers. He said that Kylee will make sure that her athletes do exactly what they are supposed to do in practice. That did not surprise me at all, but it sure was fun to hear. Kylee is also helping to babysit some on Fridays, and she is having a blast with a beautiful baby boy. Kylee is doing well in her classes and is applying herself well. Kylee continues to be on leadership with the campus ministry that she has been involved with and is loving having the opportunity to impact the lives of others with the gospel. With all that Kylee girl is involved in then she has to manage her time well, and she does. I am always impressed with the variety of items that she is involved in and how great she does with her time management.
It has been such a joy to be Kylee’s mom. I have loved watching her grow and learn through the years. It broke my heart for her when she lost her daddy at the age of 14 and her big brother when she was 16. I know that she misses them so much. I know that there have been many moments that she just wishes they were here with us. I sure wish they were too. I know without a shadow of a doubt that they would be so proud of all the incredible ways that she has carried herself and been a blessing to so many in the midst of her pain and heartache. Her heart is full of hope and faith, and I know that God is continuing to heal my Kylee girl’s heart. I have no doubt that she is off to amazing things, and I could not be more proud to be her mom. You amaze me my beautiful Kylee, and I love you with my whole heart. Thanks for this great weekend of so much conversation and connecting Kylee girl 🙂
January was named Makuary by MiKayla a few years ago. ? My baby girl decided that we should spend the whole month celebrating her birthday so Makuary it is!! Her personality is so funny like that. MiKayla has this really fun energy and joy. When she gets really excited then her voice and laugh can produce quite the volume!! I have to admit that I just love it though. It always made me laugh when she was little and others would talk about how shy she was. Now she did have her shy times and would be quiet during those times, but I would laugh because I knew that once she got comfortable that would all be changing. When she gets that volume going sometimes, then I have to remind her that this is why her dad used to call her “surround sound”!!
It has been such an incredible blessing to watch how MiKayla has been growing and healing. After being only 11 when she lost her daddy and then 13 when she lost her big brother, then she, like her sister and I, have had much to work through and heal from. It broke my heart to see my baby girl going through all of this pain and trauma. I have watched her work through so much fear and anxiety. It is a delight to see her excitement now when she has new adventures. I know that she misses her daddy and brother so much and wishes that they were still with us! As with Kylee, I know that they would be beyond proud of MiKayla and the incredible young woman that she is and all that she continues to grow in and accomplish! It is so fun to see her settling into her major. She is a sophomore this year and has declared her major and is going to be a registered dietician. That process has been really fun for me to watch. MiKayla has had a serious interest in nutrition, and as we have been declared the most obese country in the world then I told her that she should have great job security!!
MiKayla has grown so much in her faith as well and has such a hunger and a thirst for The Word and to be growing. It is such a joy to talk with her. She is so interested in growing in her faith and loves to talk about everything that she is learning, wondering about, or growing in. What a blessing it is as a mom to see my girls wanting to live out their faith. MiKayla has also joined the leadership team of their campus ministry. She and Kylee are co-leading a Bible study each week. This is another area that shows all of MiKayla’s emotional growth as just a couple of years ago she would have been very nervous to do this, and now she just thrives in it. It is so much fun to watch my daughters do this together.
MiKayla continues to be serious about her studying and grades. She is excited about her classes and what she is learning. She is funny to be around when she is in classes because she will suddenly shift into what she is learning and will start reciting different items that she is studying to keep the items fresh in her mind. You might just start learning about items that you did not know that you were going to when you are around MiKayla. I love it. I love her love of learning!!
MiKayla has been blessed with a core group of friends from high school that stayed together throughout the school years and still gets together. MiKayla has now developed many wonderful relationships in college as well. She also has a relational focus and wants to be intentional as does Kylee girl in her time and focus with her friends. MiKayla is serious about working out and schedules a significant amount of time to going through her workouts. MiKayla, I am beyond proud to be your mom!! I know that God is going to continue to work in you and through you in mighty ways. You bring so much joy and love wherever you go… keep shining! I love you with my whole heart!!
MiKayla has so far given me the best feedback that I have received about the blog. She told me after going back and reading through all of them that she really likes how she is portrayed in them. It was probably one of the most wonderful things that I could ever hear. The girls and I have an agreement that is if there is ever something that they don’t want written about that they always have final say. Additionally, they know that if there is ever something that they want changed that again they have the final say. I have been so thankful that the girls have wanted the same openness that I have wanted with our story. They believe as I do that if we are open and honest about our journey, then that will be the way to truly make a difference with this blog. I am ever grateful that they believe with their mom that transparency is key in our relationships and in sharing our story. What a blessing for me that they feel that way!!
I am not sad that the girls are not teenagers anymore. I am thankful that they are living each day and growing. Often on social media I see parents say, “Time slow down!” Ever since my son has died in 2013, then I have such a different perspective then that. Time stopped for my son. His life ended at the young age of 18. I don’t want time to slow down or to stop for my two beautiful girls… I want time to keep marching on for them.
That does not mean that I don’t miss them tremendously when we are apart. I sure do. After all of the trauma and tragedy that we have been through, then we have had such close relationships. I am thankful for that. I treasure each moment with them. I miss them tremendously. I am definitely going through empty nest issues compounded with living by myself the last two years. I am trying to adjust to my new season of life and to make good use of the time that I have. I don’t always. Sometimes I get emotional and accomplish nothing, but I promise that I wake up the next day and try again.
So as I said in the beginning… WOW!! I am not a mother to teenagers anymore. I am so thankful for each year, each month, each day, each hour, and each moment. Thank You God for these two incredible daughters that you have blessed me with… I am truly blessed with the best and could not be more proud. I love you both with all of my heart!! I would choose both of you every single time! I believe with all of my heart that your years in your twenties will be so great! My heart is full of hope, faith, and expectation for both of you! Love, love, love you my sweethearts!!