Can I be completely honest here?

I’m not having a good day.

I just wrote a book about joy and hope and I’m in short supply today.  I dropped my son off for his freshman year at college yesterday and it is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.

Ever.

In the history of ever.

I kept it together until we pulled out of the parking lot and then I melted down.  Not the sweet cry where a tear escapes and you wipe it away and your mascara doesn’t even really run.  I was a full on sobbing, blubbery hot mess.  I wailed.  I put my head in my elbow on the corner of the car and gulped and cried and gulped some more until my sleeve was wet and my eyes were tiny slits.

It was pitiful.

I thought I was okay today until I woke up and took the dog out and saw a baseball in the yard.  And here I am again.  Crying.

So I’m distracting myself by writing a post on laundry room organization tips.  I wasn’t going to write a post today because I was so sad, but writing is good for the heart and the soul and crying eyes.

This blog is like therapy.

It’s so much easier to talk about where to put your laundry soap than abandoned baseballs.

(total aside:  I wish you could see me at this exact moment.  I’m wiping away tears, straightening my shoulders and re-focusing on this post and writing away a little of the sadness.) 

Ahem.

Pause.

Okay, I’m ready.

This laundry room is located just inside one of the back door.

It’s the main passageway if you come in the door by the cars.

When we first started working on this space I had several goals:

1. It had to be cute.  I didn’t want everyone walking through piles of dirty laundry and uncuteness.

2. I needed a place to store laundry soap.

3. I needed a place to keep the dog’s food and water.

4. I needed a coffee station/microwave station/toaster station all in one place.

5. I needed a place to keep extra vases and plates and decorative items when I wasn’t using them.

6. I needed a place for all those plastic bags.

7. I needed a place to store extra mail, etc.

Whew.

That is a tall order.

And this is a little room.

Here’s how it lives big with all its organization.

Here’s the answer to number 7.

This mail basket.

It hangs on the back door.

Here’s a close-up.

It’s the perfect place to keep letters before they are mailed or something that you need to take with you before you leave or an extra key for someone.

Sometimes I keep the dog leash here, too.

Here’s the laundry side of the room.

We had it built-in because the floor is uneven and it prevented the washing machine from working.

I store Tide, Gain, etc. in little storage containers between the washer and dryer.

I found the basket on the top at Target.

It’s where I put dish towels when they get dirty or dirty clothes that collect downstairs or extra towels that need to be washed.

It’s the perfect catchall for all the stray laundry.

It might look a little small—but it can actually hold an entire load of laundry and the large weave helps keep some of the stink from collecting.

This little rolling notepad that I just bought at Target is the perfect place for last minute grocery items.

Lately, I’ve been ordering groceries from WalMart and it has literally changed my life.

Does anyone else do that?  I think Kroger and some of the other grocery stores do that, too.  We didn’t have it in KY, but in Texas apparently, it is a thing.  Once a week, I put in an order from this list and other family requests and things we are running low on and then put an order online.  They will deliver it for a small fee or you can go to the store and pick it up.

I need to write a post all about it and how it has inspired me to actually COOK.

But I’ll save that for another day.

(total aside:  that was such a random grocery ordering rabbit trail.  Focus KariAnne.  Focus.)


Here’s the laundry soap part of the room that answers number 2.

I keep laundry soap and fabric sheets in these glass jars.

They are great for storing extra laundry supplies and I got them at WalMart.

Here’s how I solved number 3, 4, and 5.

All the extra decorative plates are stored on the shelves up above.

This area is set up for coffee with all the supplies, like filters, coffee, mini cups, tea, and hot chocolate, stored in milk glass containers or these burlap baskets.

This tiny mug tree sits on the countertop.

It’s the home for all the mugs.

I store all the plastic bags in these burlap baskets.

You can also see Buddy’s water and food bowl on the bottom shelf to the left.

The barn door slides over to hide the trash can when we aren’t using it.

I have extra party supplies in the other burlap baskets.

I feel better.

I feel less sad.

Blog therapy always makes me happy.

And besides.

I don’t have more time to cry because school is starting.

I have a drill teamer.

And a cheerleader in the house.

No time for crying over baseballs. 🙂

Comments

  1. Image for Jeanette Jeanette

    This is the voice of experience: "He's still your son, and he'll still come home, and it will still be good." I loved my little boy, but I also love having an adult son!!

  2. Image for Barb Barb

    I think your laundry room is absolutely darling! My washer/dryer is in the garage (boo!), so if you ever have ideas for how to spiffy that up, that would be lovely. Hugs to you today!

  3. Image for Renae Renae

    I can't see the photo of your drill teamer but congratulations to both of the girls!! You're inspiring me to put a little more thought into my laundry room. It's cute already but I love some of your other ideas for hiding things. I am you in four years when my freshman is a freshman again. He's my first and man, I am not going to be well! Hang in there mama!!!

  4. Image for Mary Stewart Mary Stewart

    OMG! I was okay dropping my son off at college. We were all excited because he was so excited! When it came time for my first daughter to be dropped off, I was fine until I saw my husband tearing up. She was crying and he was sniffling. I had to pry them apart and get us on the road before I lost it! We did much better with daughter number two. I'd like to tell you it will get better, but I'd be lying. It doesn't. You just ache in a different way as each of your children leave the nest. So get it together mom, you've got 3 more to go! Your boys are so handsome and the girls are gorgeous and your cheerleader is truly working that red lipstick. I LOVE IT!

  5. Image for Christine Morgan Christine Morgan

    Hi Karianne. I love your blog. I can identify with your feelings right now. My oldest and only daughter went away to college years ago. We live in St. Louis and she went to a college in New Orleans. So far away. For at least a year every time I walked in her room I cried. Big cry! I missed her so much. It got a bit easier as the years went on but then after graduation she and her boyfriend went straight to New York. Then a few years and to London. Finally Miami. To shorten the story——she is now back in St. Louis with her 3 year old daughter. I am so happy. I made it through her being gone—-she always lived in some nice places for me to visit. But now she is home. My 4 sons have come and gone and those emotions always swell no matter their age or reason for coming and going. No matter how many times they leave I am sad. We have spent so much of our lives caring for them it would be odd for us not to have these feelings. Oh! Love your laundry room!

  6. Image for Vicki Vicki

    Love, love, love Walmart Grocery Pick Up. I find I am: 1). Spending less on impromptu purchases (no longer in the store, I am not tempted to buy what we may or may not eat/use/need). 2). Making healthier food choices for the family 3) Not having to run back and forth to the store during the week because I forgot something. Rather, I add to my online Walmart list throughout the week as items needing replinishing arise. 4). Spending less money on groceries. Yeh, me!!

  7. Image for Constance Colvin Constance Colvin

    Oh Karianne! Life does not prepare you for losing a child to college! It,s a terrible shock of sadness! Unfortunately, you just keep seeing those baseballs! Where did my boy go without me? I have always (evilly) told my two boys: "Marry orphans!" That way they don't get stuck on a girl who's familly lives in New York!

  8. Image for Linda Miller Linda Miller

    Ohhhh....I have so many friends that are going through this right now. I remember how heart breaking these times are. But the good news? They get an education, a job, have kids and bring them home for a "last blast" at grandma's before school starts. And it seems to happen over night! My grandkids just left the farm and I am wonderfully exhausted and the house is such a wreck I don't even know where to start...and it truly doesn't matter. The wails of laughter all week was worth it.) Trust me...the time will fly and more awesome times are sure to come! It's just another "chapter". Love you dear!

  9. Image for Cindy Hurley Cindy Hurley

    We're now have Walmart pickup. Not sure if they deliver in town but that is way out for mine. Good ideas for gorgeous laundry. Mine was redone to be useful but I made several errors with shelves above the washer and dryer. Made them same depth. Not good. Hard to reach some items in far back without a stool but need still anyway to get any items done in so short but digging to the back is a problem. But I do have room for water heater hidden in inset in corner along with litter box near(UsE shower curtain to hide brooms mops papers of all sort). In room area' one side has a small doored pantry 3- shelf from Walmart and other side has a triple clothes divider for types of clothes. Cat bowls in frontof washer. Of course All enclosed in 5x8 room not counting water heater. Cozy but roomy. Maybe a pic later.

  10. Image for Stephanie Mudd Carrico Stephanie Mudd Carrico

    My oldest moves back this weekend...a college senior. My youngest goes Tuesday, his freshman year of college. My heart is breaking and I will have an empty nest.

  11. Image for Denise Cox Denise Cox

    As I've been told.... It's good and healthy to cry.. and cry hard if you have to!! I didn't have children, so I can only imagine your feelings. I think one lady aptly stated that you are gaining an adult son... and all the new rewards that come with that... 😉 Plus, don't forget the girls... 👭. More drama and excitement to come... 😘....Stay tuned...

  12. Image for Susan Susan

    Absolutely! No time. Satan is trying to steal your joy because he is angry about the new book you wrote. That is to be expected. Enjoy a good cry and then dwell on the positives. (Which you are doing.).

  13. Image for Rita Harder Rita Harder

    Oh, sweet friend...I just love you. Big hugs to you today. The "dropping your boy off to college" was a heartache this momma was totally unprepared for... I. get. it! My mom was so strong and matter a fact about it. But, now I know. I'm pretty sure she cried lots of tears too... She was just sneaky about it.;) ((hugs))

  14. Image for Sherri Sherri

    I swear! You three look like triplets! Love the laundry room. Also, do not be dismayed. College grads usually move back home! God bless your heart.

  15. Image for Rebecca Rebecca

    Oh, boy. I cried and cried for weeks when each of our children left home. Now I cry when the grandchildren leave. We never were those parents who couldn’t wait till their children left home. In fact, we never understood that. But then we had no major problems with our children, no drinking, no drugs, no wild behavior. We praise Hod for that and that our grandchildren are being brought up to have faith as well. You will learn to handle it. You have no choice anyway. God bless and keep crying and blubbering and don’t apologize for it. (BTW, your daughters are also missing their big brother as is your husband missing his son.)

  16. Image for Caroline Caroline

    A distraught client, whose child recently graduated high school and was heading off to university, asked me how it felt for me. “That’s easy,” I told her, “it feels like you’re having open-heart surgery ... without anesthésia. God bless you and your sweet family. 🙏🏻

  17. Image for Patty Aslin Patty Aslin

    Oh how I remember dropping our son off at college. We were living in Illinois at the time, but he was going to college in Colorado. The morning we went to see his new dorm room before heading back to Illinois, it was a crisp morning with a Colorado blue sky and not a cloud in sight. I knew I didn’t want to cry in front of our son, so I kept it together while saying our goodbyes. I remember telling him that going to a school in the middle of the Rocky Mountains was exactly were he was supposed to be. When we left I felt pretty strong, but remember sitting backwards in the front seat of the car once we were leaving Denver heading for home. I was sobbing and continued crying until I could no longer see the majestic mountains grow smaller and smaller until finally I could not see them anymore. All I could think was “my little boy (18 years old) was in the middle of those awesome Rocky Mountains. I stopped crying, turned around in my seat and felt a sense of peace that could only come from God. I truly know the pain you experienced. Lastly, your laundry room is simply PERFECT! I love everything you did to make it reflect your style and love of being organized. Blessings ❤️

  18. Image for Cheryll Cheryll

    Yes, many of us have lived this dream, or nightmare depending on how you eventually look at it. And that takes some time and perspective. That said I have a few little hints. Communicate, often. Drop in now and then. Meet the new friends. Make favorite home made treats, they become a little lifeline and the kid doesn't even know it. Don't hover when they come home, don't cry in front of them and last but not least keep God in the mix. Surrounded by ideas they find new and interesting they are urged to experiment with new thoughts. Nothing wrong with stretching boundaries but the house rules are the house rules...even if they are not "in" your house at the time. Set expectations high but be reasonable. You will all grow and quite frankly it is a challenge. I have always said that the ages between 17 and 24 are the most difficult for the parents. And the child. Best wishes and by the way, love the laundry room.

  19. Image for Colleen Colleen

    Haha..,I laughed when I read your story. I remember the day very well when my twins (boy and girl) and only children left on the same day to head off to college and university. . My husband and I were both crying..Seems silly now, but it's their first step out the door to becoming an adult. After my daughter did four years of university, she never came home to live again. That was 10 years ago now. But, they grow up fast when they have to think on their own, feed themselves, do their own laundry, etc. And although it’s hard, you will survive Mama!

  20. Image for Pat Hoffman Pat Hoffman

    It's sad when the kids start leaving home. But you did a good job raising him for him to be able to leave. Your mom felt the same way when you left the nest. Live the laundry room.

  21. Image for Donna Marie Donna Marie

    God gives them wings to fly, momma. Although it hurts, hang tight and remember who is taking care of you both!!!

  22. Image for Susan Johnston Susan Johnston

    Oh dear, you have reminded me of day, now 19 years ago (how did that time go by so quickly?), when we dropped our first son off at colllege in the other side of Missouri.......and my husband and I and 2 other sons drove across Missouri, stopping only to buy more Puff’s tissues after we emptied an entire box! But all ends well and he is now married with our wonderful 3 year old grandson! Enjoy this bittersweet time as part of life, it’s the part you often cry through!

  23. Image for Paula Carli Paula Carli

    Wonderful post to share today, I am sure there are many crying Mom's leaving their kindergarden aged kids clear to semi-grownups such as yourself that you have inspired by this post. I have a question about your micro-wave machine in the pantry/laundry room off the kitchen. I have always hated having one out on the counter. I must admit, we are not big users of it, occationally heat up mostly so I feel the space of kitchen counter real estate is too valuable. But I felt maybe it was too inconvenient to use in my pantry room. How does your family feel about taking food into that space? Thanks so much.

  24. Image for Mah Mah

    Ah, sweetie it will get better. It does hurt, but when they become those amazing adults, you will cry again! Keep those Kleenex close by.

  25. Image for Laura Laura

    Crying right alongside ya! Our 12 year old Aussie ran to the Rainbow Bridge on Monday and we headed to MN to get my son settled into his house 6 blocks from campus. The house is too quiet during the school day. Projects swirling in my head! Congrats on number 2 off to college ( me too). Ahhhhh Hallmark we need a movie about pending empty nests

  26. Image for Michelle Michelle

    Oh my gosh, I remember those days! Cleaning and organizing is always my go-to therapy, too. And how grown up do the girls look, following in their awesome mom's footsteps with the red lipstick? They're adorable!

  27. Image for Ann C Ann C

    Ahh yes I remember that day well. Love your laundry room but where do you get water for your coffee makers? Do you have a faucet or sink I didn’t see? Doesn’t seem very convenient unless you can show us a floor plan so I can imagine where the kitchen is from there. Thanks. Love everything you do.

  28. Image for Cathy L CLARK Cathy L CLARK

    Karianne, I took my firstborn to college 31 years ago & I cried when I read your post today! It brought back all those emotions just like you said you are feeling! It's "being a Mom"!!! It does get better I promise!!! BTW your laundry room is AWESOME!!! I want to be you when I grow up!!!:-)

  29. Image for Barb Barb

    I just dropped my son (youngest child) off last Sunday and I miss him so much! Unlike my daughter who I spoke with a zillion times a week, he mostly answers "yes & no" type questions. I am in AWE of your laundry room! My is pretty small, but I would love to incorporate your wonderful ideas!!

  30. Image for Cynthia Nessel Cynthia Nessel

    Awe KariAnne, I can’t imagine and Don’t even want to think about how I’m going to feel when my boys go to college. Thankfully I have a couple more years. Your laundry room looks adorable and it gives me great motivation as my laundry room is a total nightmare at the moment. I can’t wait to do the full overhaul and put it on my blog. I’m just waiting for my website to get re-designed first. Hope you’re well and miss you.

  31. Image for pam pam

    I'm right there with you Karianne -- I cried, sobbed, and blubbered all the way home from Indiana to North Carolina after dropping off our daughter at college . My husband and I couldn't even speak the whole way home. That was many years ago but I tear up every time I think of it and I feel your feelings big time. Of course she rolls her eyes at this story, but just wait until her two little ones are ready to go off to college - hah. ''Mom emotions'' are exhausting. By the way, I love your laundry room. You are so creative AND a great mom. xoxo

  32. Image for Regina Merrick Regina Merrick

    Bless you, my friend! I blubbered like a baby both times, and my baby girl started her first year of teaching last week and I blubbered because I wasn’t there for it. Moms, right? They’ll all do great this year, and you’ll have the time of your life flitting from one school activity to another!!

  33. Image for Julie Briones Julie Briones

    Praying for you as you make the transition to two living in the house! (I wonder how many times people will bring up the red lipstick... this is the 5th time... I shall come back in a week and count again!) But they do... rock the red lipstick (#6)! ;-)

  34. Image for Sandi Sandi

    Karianne, your laundry room is awesome but your best work is in the faces of those two beautiful girls! You are a lucky woman. Remember your son will always be your little boy and love his mama! They do grow so fast, but then they give you grandchildren! Great things yet to come! Hugs to you!

  35. Image for Laura Harrie Laura Harrie

    KariAnne, you know this sadness will all pass because You were made to keep calm and carry on! Remember your beautiful laundry room will be waiting for a load on his clothes that he brings back on a break!

  36. Image for Sherry Sherry

    Karianne, taking a child to college is a big step.........but one that you prepared for over 18 years! We raise our children right, we nurture them, love them and help them grow up. We expect them to graduate from high school and take the next big step--either college, military, or a job. It is sad for a moment, but he is right where he needs to be! He will grow up some and miss you--even if he will never admit it!! Expect very short text from him and when he comes home for weekends or holidays it will be like a Hallmark movie!! Fix his favorite meal, meet him with a big hug, put clean sheets on his bed and be prepared to use that beautiful laundry room as he will probably bring home two weeks worth of dirty clothes!!! Letting go is hard, but this is all in God's plan....just pray for him every day!

  37. Image for Lynn Mosher Lynn Mosher

    Oh, sweetie, I'm so sorry for your sadness. But you know what? He'll be home, dependning on how far away he ives. Maybe with his laundry. Maybe with a girlfriend. And then, there's Thanksgiving and Christmas. But in between? I know your heart will sigh and wonder how he's doing and when will he be home again. As time goes on, it will ease and then, you'll probably do it all over again with the next kiddo. But it gets a little easier. Life is a gathering of moments for the heart to rest on. And I know you many of those moments to remember. Praying for your hurting heart, sweetie. ❤ Oh, and I love the laundry room. Ever thought about putting a picture/painting in that spot up top? Wonder what it was for???

  38. Image for Mary Roberts Mary Roberts

    I’m only going to comment on grocery shopping on line. Here in the U.K. one of our grocery stores started offering wine sales by fax in 1995 I was there! I think it was 1997/8 when groceries were available and again I was first in the queue. I worked full time with a long commute and it was a lifesaver. I even had an obliging cleaning lady who would put it away for me when it arrive. My American friends thought I was mad for letting someone else do my shopping for me... How far we’ve come. He’ll be fine and so will you.

  39. Image for Rebecca Francis Rebecca Francis

    If you start today preparing yourself for when the twins go away to college, it will be a little less painful. We all have to grow up and it is so much fun. Just think one day you will have lots and lots of grandchildren to spoil and love!

  40. Image for Nora Nora

    I cried when I dropped off #’s 1,2 and 3. But danced a little when I dropped off # 4 . Then my husband and I took a 3 week road trip across the country! That was 7 years ago and now that young man is getting married in a week. Life, and all of its stages is just grand. You have so much to look forward to. PS; your laundry room is fabulous. Just like you❤️

  41. Image for JC at the uncommon pearl JC at the uncommon pearl

    From one Momma to another....big, big, BIG HUGS! This is a bittersweet chapter. The missing is hard and it will come in waves. Allow yourself to cry, then remember how very blessed you are. You've raise your son for such a time as this. You have so much to look forward to in the months and years ahead as you cheer him on and watch him become the man you and your husband have trained him to be. Your laundry room is so wonderful!

  42. Image for Deb Deb

    Boy, I was on the opposite side of the taking your kid to college post. All three of mine stayed at home during college and commuted to the city. When they eventually moved out after graduation, I felt a sigh of relief and thought how they now had commuting under their belt as well as learning about the dangers of urban life. I saved my tears for their weddings. I really cried before, during, and for days after their weddings. But it was a happy cry, a joyous cry, a freeing cry. No regrets, just pride that my kids had grown up and that we had done a good job.

  43. Image for Christa Christa

    My older kids went to college close to home and the community college, but my youngest went away last fall for her freshman year 5 1/2 hours away. I think I cried, called and texted her everyday for a week before I began to feel alright. Now with the second year ready to begin I am actually looking forward to her going back to school and having alone time with my husband. BTW, I love the laundry room, especially that floor!

  44. Image for Karen Karen

    You and Ree Drummond almost made me cry with you. It's a hard but sweet time. Blessings and Peace as you embrace the change, .... albeit, a hard one for a Moma's heart. Hugs from Arkansas =)

  45. Image for Rita Rita

    Karianne, many of us have experienced the same feelings! We lived there in McKinney when I took our first one to Lubbock for college and literally cried all the way home after I left him. Many years have passed since then and our relationship as mother and son have only grown stronger through the years. Hugs to you as you cry about emptying out your nest too! Your laundry room is beautiful!

  46. Image for Sherry Sherry

    The college thing IS hard! (((Hugs))). Love the laundry room organization ideas and yes! I do the Walmart shopping pick up and it is the best thing! Makes life so much easier.😃

  47. Image for Amy W, Amy W,

    Wipe away gently those tears! Smile! Let your heart be full of JOY! You've just released your boy into the world, so he can become a man! Job well done! Smile! Let your heart be glad! :)

  48. Image for Gina Gina

    So beautiful are those girls' smiles! Just like yours! Next year will be my son off to college. We love them so much it hurts!

  49. Image for Botanic Bleu Botanic Bleu

    KariAnne, As I was reading this post and comments, my sister brought me today's mail which included a copy of your latest books, You've Got This! (because God's got you), and the cutest framed quote, unbusy your heart today. I read the first two devotions immediately with tears streaming. There are no new sad events in my life; just a depressing day ... letting a lifetime's sorrows catch up with me. Could there have been a better time to receive your book with its uplifting devotions? It was just what I needed at that exact moment. Thank you, dear friend, for being there for all of us when we have those moments when we need encouragement. Judith

  50. Image for Marty Oravetz Marty Oravetz

    Oh I so remember sending my daughter off to college for her Freshman year. I cried all the way home too. Then it was even worse when the last one went to college 4 years later. Totally empty home and I couldn't figure out what to do with myself except have a rip roaring bawling pity party for the whole weekend. Prayers for you sweet friend This is so much harder than some might think.

  51. Image for Leslie Watkins Leslie Watkins

    Oh, the gut wrenching sobbing. I remember that feeling with both sons. Thought I would be more prepared with the second one. Uh-uh. I understand. And those gorgeous twins will keep you focused and busy. Love that laundry room/pantry. You always inspire. And-total aside- Walmart and Kroger have the pick up service here! (Don’t think we have delivery yet!)

  52. Image for AnnTN AnnTN

    I cried every day, for a week, after we moved our son (only child) in at college. He was just 2 hours away, but it felt like a cross country journey. He's 29 now and actually lives across the country. We're in Tennessee and he's (and wife) in Nevada. Now we only see him once, maybe (if we're lucky) twice a year. I hate that he's so far away. :( As for your laundry room....gorgeous as usual. :)

  53. Image for PJ PJ

    Laundry is my therapy when I am sad or stressed so it seems appropriate to read a post about laundry when you are having an emotional time. Take heart, that boy will be home for a break before you can blink. Nothing goes faster than those college years! I had to smile when you said #1. it had to be cute. My husband does not always get it when I say #1. It has to be pretty!

  54. Image for Terese Pace Terese Pace

    Morning, Dear Lady! I can relate to the ocean of emotions; I’m in, and have always been in, KY. Excited for your return to your home, as it is comforting! But my 7 are dwindling down to 2, as two of our girls are headed out to Bethel ministry school in Redding California! Two far for day trips! But that’s what life is ...change after change. And somehow, thankfulness surfaces in that ocean. Thank you for my Look Book...beautiful!😘I’m going to sit with a cup of coffee and read it again as my daughter drives off to Cali!

  55. Image for Terese Pace Terese Pace

    Morning, Dear Lady! I can relate to the ocean of emotions; I’m in, and have always been in, KY. Excited for your return to your home, as it is comforting! But my 7 are dwindling down to 2, as two of our girls are headed out to Bethel ministry school in Redding California! Two far for day trips! But that’s what life is ...change after change. And somehow, thankfulness surfaces. Thank you for my Look Book...beautiful!😘I’m going to sit with a cup of coffee and read it again as my daughter drives off to Cali!

  56. Image for Carrie Carrie

    The story of college dorms; no one can warn you of the heartache and pride you feel all at the same time!!! I take my youngest to college as a freshman on Thursday, and then will be helping my daughter move in for her senior year of college on Sunday! 😢 Thank you for sharing this story; it’s a perfect distraction and so timely. And your laundry room, coffee bar and grocery stories ....ahhhhh. Love.It.All. My daughter said this to me (her freshman year ) as I was leaving her “Mom, it’s just a really long sleepover “! And I hope your daughters have a lot of fun this year keeping you busy while they are having a blast!!! ❤️

  57. Image for Trish Rissman Trish Rissman

    Kari, it will get better in a few days! When he calls home and you hear his enthusiasm, you will feel better. You will have a new type of relationship with your son now and that is a new chapter that you will enjoy after the tears dry up. Thanks for the super fun decorating tips!

  58. Image for Pam Pam

    Oh how I remember! Dropping our oldest son off at college left me a weepy mess as well. I think I cried most of the 4 hours until we stopped to spend the night with my folks. But that young man we dropped off is now in his 30's, has a sweet wife and 5, but soon to be 6 children. I wouldn't trade the man who stops by our house for a visit for the young man we left at college. It certainly is different, but it's even better. PS. When he left I transformed his bedroom into my craft room. It became a happy place, so I didn't cry every time I walked by. Blogging is good therapy as well. 😉

  59. Image for Elaine Elaine

    McKinney Lions? Go, girl. I remember so well taking my oldest, my son, to college in Colorado (we lived in New Orleans where we raised our children)--I cried the whole way home on the plane, pulled it together at the airport when we arrived, only to walk through our front door and burst into tears again. That's been nearly 20 years ago (!) and I can cry even now, just thinking about it. .

  60. Image for Donnamae Donnamae

    A word of advice....you spent years raising your little boy. Encouraging him, teaching him, preparing him for his future. He is doing exactly what you prepared him to do. Cry tears of happiness!! I’ve had 3 ugly cry’s...but I turned them into cry’s of joy! And...I still well up with pride as I see my men move forward in their lives. The crying never ends! ;) P.S. love the laundry room!! ;)

  61. Image for Teddee Grace Teddee Grace

    Lots of great organizational tips. Now if I just had that little room! It is so cute. Oh, and by the way, if it helps at all, my Mom related years later that as she and Dad drove off and left me standing at the curb in front of my dorm my freshman year at Mizzou, she almost cried. I had served as my Dad's right hand man that summer because my younger brother had gone to wheat harvest. During one of my tasks, rolling round (they were small then) hay bales to the back of a hay loft so they wouldn't pile up under the elevator, my leg had gone down through some rotten boards so I guess my bruises and scabs must have made me look even more forlorn to her. I just recall being relieved! Finally, I was free of that small, stultifying rural community in which I'd grown up and could start finding myself and being myself. It was a wonderful feeling.

  62. Image for Holly Holly

    Oh my, brings back memories. When my first one went to ”Nacogdoches, it was sad, but I still had one at home. Plus she had roommate issues that kept us on the phone and a deathly sick dog, (who recovered!), so we were distracted. When the second one left for UT, my husband and I cried all the way home from Austin, and yup, I am not ashamed to say I slept in her bed that night. Pathetic! And now they are in their forties and I am enjoying the grandchildren. Such a cliche, but time heals. Love your laundry room. Our brand new house, purchased after Harvey flood, has a laundry room the size of a postage stamp. I will be stealing your wonderful ideas, keep your chin up!

  63. Image for Barbara H Barbara H

    I love your blog and watching you redesign your beautiful home. Can you tell me where you purchased the "Laundry" sign on the door of your laundry room? I have searched everywhere and that is exactly what I want! Thanks so much!

  64. Image for Julia G Julia G

    Your laundry room is lovely! Thanks for the storage tips! I also have been right where you are and now all three of my babies are grown and I'm proud of each of them! Your daughters are beautiful like their momma!

  65. Image for Cecilia Cecilia

    Awww, a big hug for you, mama. It's hard when our chicks leave the nest but you have prepared them well to fly. The girls are getting more and more beautiful...just like their wonderful mom. My laundry room wants to be like yours when it grows up! Love all your ideas and I want that list holder! I see a Target trip in my near future. 😉 The space is beautiful. Hugs, Cecilia

  66. Image for Dianne Miley Dianne Miley

    Ahh... KariAnne, I can so relate. I’ll never forget the day we dropped off my son for tech school. He stood all alone on the balcony of his apartment and looked so forelorn waving goodbye. Our country boy was all alone in that city all by himself. Sheesh, it was 11 years ago and it’s making me tear up just thinking about it! But never fear! We all survived and he grew up a little that year and the next year our daughter joined him in that apartment since she went to school in the same city! It was WAY less traumatic having them together. And now they are successful in their careers and happily married and I’m just waiting for grandchildren and all is well!!! Chin up, buttercup. This sadness will pass. 😘

  67. Image for Rebecca Dolan Rebecca Dolan

    I feel your pain, KariAnne! When my son moved out almost a year ago, I had to make myself believe that he was at sleep away camp for the longest time because my heart hurt so bad. I'm over it now, but I still make him text me when he gets home from work! :)

  68. Image for Louise M Adkins Louise M Adkins

    I know exactly how you feel because I have walked in your shoes. You will learn to accept it in time. My daughter went on to become a wife, mother, and a "Director" at a well known state college but she is still my baby.

  69. Image for Marie Lavender Marie Lavender

    I just started using Walmart for my groceries too! I picked them up on Sunday afternoon and it was AWESOME. I hate to grocery shop these days, which is strange because I used to love it. Maybe I enjoyed it more when my son was still at home - picking up snacks and sodas and easy stuff for him to fix or share when friends were over. He's a Senior in college this year and just left to go back to school the other day. I wish I could say that it gets easier to see them go, but it's tough after every summer break, even now. But watching them grow into independent adults outweighs all the tears and all the minutes we spend missing them. I couldn't be prouder of mine and I know you'll feel the same way. Keep your chin up, mom!

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