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Thursday, August 19, 2010

College Bound!

The big day is here and I still can't believe it. My oldest is headed off to college. This afternoon we will be making the drive with all the necessary stuff packed in the back of our SUV.

It seems for us design types decorating a dorm room would be great fun. Well, not exactly. Turns out that shopping for boys is not the endless and exciting marathon, as relayed by friends, that it is for girls.  It is not about dog-eared pages from the latest Pottery Barn Teen catalogue, the perfectly coordinated comforter with the roommate, art on the walls and just the right accessories.

Nope, shopping with boy's is a completely different experience. And, this new freshman arrival waited to practically the last minute to complete it. Here was the plan: 1 day, 3 stores and no bright colors or patterns. Oh, and one request..."Mom, I know this is your thing, but  can we just not make a big deal about it and get it done?"  I think this was the first time I have ever shopped for decor and had no pressure to get the "best" stuff, even on a very small budget. The budget is small because I am under no illusion that any of this will survive or be coming home next spring.  In my mind it is all disposable!

My son turned out to be a very easy client! His favorite thing to say during the shopping... "it's fine".  And, it was fine with me too.  All except the letting go part. I am still struggling a bit with this.  Made it through graduation, beach week, and trips away this summer just fine too.

The Room:

The Closet:

The Bathroom:

Gift From Dad:

Gift From Mom:

Of course, any of you who have already traveled down this road know these are just the basics. I just hope we can actually see out the back hatch once the computer, printer, storage boxes and clothes get loaded in!

So, as I prepare to let the first one go, I will take comfort knowing that he will be attending a very good school with a beautiful campus and history of some rather notable alumni. They include 3 former Presidents, the current Secretary of Defense, an Oscar winning actress, several pro athletes and perhaps the one that really intrigues me, is a very popular comedic political pundant...maybe you watch his show?

It's the second oldest college in the country....back in the day....before computers...the students used an ink well and a a wonderful and historic city....that we love and now will get to visit perhaps it is going to be fine afterall

Sources: Target, HomeGoods, Bed Bath & Beyond


  1. HILARIOUS because I am sending my first boy after two girls. Here's what we did...went to the storage room and pulled out the old Nautica patch madras comforter that used to be on his XL twin bed when he shared a room with his brother. Also the navy XL twin sheets, mattress pad, etc. His roommate is the third child, so his parents have done the same thing. I've been to Target a couple of times to pick up a plastic trash can and some extra hangers (we do all white, I'm weird like that). I think it's probably a good thing because I'm still worn out from moving into daughter's new apartment. In fact, I decided yesterday that I'm not even going. DOTR is taking him and all I did was write out instructions on what order to put the mattress pads, foam, etc. on the bed. I will not miss the wretched 5 hr. drive from ATL to Ole Miss nor my son's crappy attitude of late.

  2. Wonderful post and sounds like a marvellous school. Wishing your dear son well with his studies. That shopping trip was so easy!

    My heart feels for you right now even though it is a wonderful start to his new life...! Must be SO hard to see them go.

  3. very nice and masculine :-) I remember the fun my mom and I had choosing all of this stuff. Of course we bought 'extra long' sheets as we were told which turned out to be too big, we bought a trash can and found out one was already provided and a number of other things never got used. However, I still remember shopping for those items and the fun we had even though I'm sure I probably didn't take it as seriously as my mom at the time.

  4. I know you are gone this weekend with a very important mission, good luck with that, it will be fine!!! I did a post that is going up on this Sat.21st on Whats in a Name. You blogs name is on that list. If you have a little time it would be great if you could leave a comment telling why you came up with the name of your blog. You can also email me at Thanks have a safe trip,Kathysue

  5. Aww good luck. Many of my clients are sending their kids off to college too, and it's rough. But it looks like the college room will be better dressed than my own house! haha

  6. There was an article in Town and Country about this, did you see it? Love the purchases you made on behalf of your son! Hit the link to letting go...and now I have a bit of a lump in my throat! Good luck on this major milestone to all of you!!!

  7. Awe,
    What a nice post about the interactions between mother/son during a time of transition. I have tears in my eyes just thinking that my now two year old will leave the next one day. Good luck to your son!

  8. Sometimes "fine" is more than fine. Your son is obviously very bright...and you must feel a great sense of pride that he's beginning this next phase of his life. I love your "mother's gift" to him -- not sure he'll use it! :) Good luck when the SUV pulls out of the driveway....I'm sure it will be hard. xoxo Elizabeth

  9. Love that 1001 things book!!

    xo Laura

  10. W&M is a wonderful school -- you must be so proud! And shopping with your son sounds about like shopping with my husband (notsofun!). :) Good luck in this time of transition.

  11. Boy if this doesn't bring back memories! I drove the first son from DC to Hillsdale, MI, the suburban packed to the gills of 'random' stuff, a basic navy comforter, no rugs, art or anything the least bit exciting. I left him a letter with my heart spilled on the pages and cried for 3 hours after I left him to begin the long journey home alone. A day or two later he called and asked if I had color coordinated his closet short sleeved to long....of course I had! At least your son will not be too far away and it will be a fun trip for you to visit!

  12. Oh my goodness,
    is it the C of W&M???
    I was accepted there
    but due to a glitch
    with freshman housing,
    wasn't able to go!!
    I met Mr. Privet at
    the other school, so
    guess it wasn't meant
    to be....but I LOVED
    that school : ) I will
    be in your shoes in
    a few short years....
    But my girl is the oldest,
    so it will be a different
    story in the decor department!
    I think you both did GREAT
    with what you chose. Good
    luck with the send-off....
    I'll be thinking of you!
    xx Suzanne

  13. Thank you for this perfect post!!
    We are living parallel lives. I'm having the exact same experience. Especially the shopping one :)
    Our dorm room purchases look eerily the same.
    Our son is in triple in the "worst" dorm so I'm having a hard time imagining how 3 kids and their stuff are all going to fit. Please do a post upon returning and let me know how it all went down. We are moving him in on Sept. 16th. the day after my Birthday. Turning 52 is hard enough :) I've been getting sadder and more anxious as each day goes by. I've been trying to be brave but I feel like I'm starting to lose it a little. He is our one and only. It's good to know I have you and Deb from Dumbwit Tellher to lean on for support this year. Thank God we share these experiences and can hold each others hands. Oh and I forgot about Trish at Trouvais, her son is also leaving soon.
    Can't wait to hear all about it!

  14. It is certainly a milestone for your first to leave home. I had a son first too, and I hung on every word he said for the last few weeks. He was so ready to go, but luckily, he knew how hard it was going to be for me to watch him leave. When my daughter left, and I was embpty nesting, I grieved for about 3 weeks, then woke up one morning and thought, "this ain't so bad!" and it was all good from there on out. I'm one of those moms who likes them better the older they get, so I loved seeing them grow up. Have a great year, both of you. It will be a great memory.

  15. hahahaha
    i remember well doing the same for my daughter.
    ...and it was not such unbelievable fun.
    i remember that i would choose one thing and she wouldn't like it....blah blah blah
    you know... the 'mother daughter' situation.

    but i think you have done the perfect job.
    you have all the essentials ready to go.

    i wish your son success, safety, good health and great fun.


  16. I know this moment only too well.....great shopping by the way, xv.

  17. It seems like just yesterday that I was packing myself for college (little to no help from the parents!). Laura Ashley comforter (I worked there part time as a teen), a few accessories, and that's it. When I arrived, it was clear that the room was in need of a rug, so I somehow found a carpet place, bought a remnant, had it bound...picked the color mauve (it was the late 80s, after all) - and this did not go over too well with my roommate!

    Hope the transition is going well. It is such a turning point to send your oldest to college!

  18. Oh Gosh, I totally missed this post with all of my lightning issues going on! I can SO relate though! My son heads off tomorrow and our shopping experience was much the same! And I also got the same speech about making it quick and not too stylish! He's my baby so this will be a tough transition for me!

    I hope your son has a wonderful time...our daughter is an alum of his school as well!! She graduated in '09! Thankfully our son will be staying in state along with a scholarship...phew! I do miss our trips to the 'Burg though and Chickahominy House!! Have a Miss Melinda's Special for me sometime won't you?!

    Kat :)

  19. Thank you all for sharing your stories...and well wishes. Each comment was so very appreciated!!!

    The "move-in" went off without a hitch and today is the first days of classes!

    Update: Turns out there was a mirror in the bathroom and another one on the back of the dorm room door. And, the closet was plenty big so no need for the double hanging bar. Returns completed this morning! A larger rug would have been nice, but this one fit perfect right in front of his twin bed.

  20. I giggled as it has been 7 years since I made the same trip with my daughter. There were 4 kids in a room meant for 2. All her worldly possessions had to fit in a 30" closet and a desk about the same size. She opted for the bottom bunk so she could put roller bins under the bed..

    Not to worry, you'll have the opportunity to decorate when they graduate and suddenly realize that having mom decorate means a houseful of free stuff!

    The great part is it looks fabulous when you visit...


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