Count Down

Ten days from today our beautiful daughter, Shantel, will move out of our home and into her own apartment. Today is day ten of the ten-day countdown. We are all full of emotions. Shantel says she is both excited and a little nervous. My husband, Bill, says it is what it is and that he will miss her but knows it’s time for her to “leave the nest” and make a home of her own. I’m still processing a wide range of emotions. I’m excited because I know this is what Shantel wants and needs. I’m nervous because she has never even spent one night in our home alone. I’m a little fearful because of the unknown. I’m happy because I know Shantel has been well prepared for this day. And, I’m sad because it is the closing of a chapter in our lives as a family unit within our home… and I am so going to miss her presence in this home…

Today Shantel didn’t have to start her first class until 11:00 so she asked me if I would take her to get her hair cut at 9:00, then stop by Fry’s grocery store, the donut shop, and then McDonald’s for lunch all before her first class… Shantel never has just one errand to do it’s always three or more… Always!

As I was driving back home, I started thinking about our family life together over the years… Then, when I arrived home, I started looking through some family photos. This is the very first Christmas dress I bought Shantel and had her first baby picture taken in. I LOVE this photo more than any others because those are Shantel’s natural eyes before she lost them both to cancer..


I also found this picture of her going to receive her First Holy Communion. She looked so beautiful in her dress.


I donated that dress to the church for another child to wear who may not have otherwise be able to afford one.

As time went on, Shantel became very interested in basketball. She LOVED the Phoenix Suns.


She would have us print out the game schedule and listen to every game on her radio in her room. She understood every play and knew all about every player… Bill took her to several Sun’s games. At one game as they were waiting in line for autographs, one of the players, Channing Frye, actually took off his game shoes, signed them, and gave them to Shantel. She also has a basketball signed by all the Phoenix Sun’s players…. Shantel was over the moon excited about all that!

After many, many, hard battles with the school system from grade school all the way up and through High School, fighting for Shantel to have the accommodations she needed. Accommodations such as braille books and assignments from the teachers brailled, so she could read them independently and do her work without the need to have someone read handouts or books to her…, High School graduation day finally arrived. This is Shantel’s High School graduation picture. I’m not so good at taking pictures of pictures and sorry for the flash light on the picture….but you get the picture right?


Our hearts were bursting with pride as Shantel walked across the stage to get her diploma.

Now, our beautiful daughter is graduating college and moving out… and our hearts are bursting with pride again…

We love you so much Shantel. Papa and I know you will do well no matter what path you take in life. You are smart, and strong, and we are so very, very, proud of you.

After I took the walk down memory lane, I realized if I didn’t put the pictures away, I was never going to get through this without becoming an emotional mess… but hey, I’m her mom so it’s OK… So, I ordered the cake for her moving out party on Saturday, and started doing what I always do when I need to take my mind off things… I started cooking. Chicken with olives and capers over long grain black rice for dinner… YUM! 🙂

Stay Tuned!




10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. gotham girl
    Apr 29, 2014 @ 22:03:19

    Tears flowing here…I can’t even imagine your feelings…but know that you are constantly in my thoughts and we’ll have some good girl time come summer. Love you to the moon and back!


    • beyondcinderella
      Apr 29, 2014 @ 22:40:11

      Thank you frissy. I can not wait to have some quality girl time with you this summer. Shantel has always been blessed with more than me as her mother… She has always said she thinks of the strong women who have supported her throughout her life… Holly, you, Megs, etc. as second mother’s and mentors in her life. XoXo MORE!


  2. Ellen Kaufman
    Apr 29, 2014 @ 23:05:10

    It is so hard to believe that beautiful little girl we met the day we flew into Arizona and we opened the door to your house and there she was all smiles and looking like a little Princess all grown up and she is getting ready to leave her nest…….you have to know you raised her and taught her all she needs to know and she is going to go off and make a wonderful life for herself because of you and Bill. God’s is going to watch over hèr. She will never be along. Now go have you glass of wine and have Bill give you a hug for me. Love you💜


    • beyondcinderella
      Apr 29, 2014 @ 23:25:40

      Thank you Aunt Ellen. Your words are of comfort to me…Yes, I know Bill and I have prepared her well and now we will watch like eagles awaiting the first flight of their young from the nest… ready to help but willing to let them fall if necessary to help them learn to eventually fly on their own.. XoXo


  3. Bill
    Apr 29, 2014 @ 23:56:01

    Boy you sure know how to bring out the emotions in a guy! Thinking of all the basketball games, and that first photo of Shantel done by a professional photographer, standing waiting for her to get her turn, did’nt think we would ever get out of there, but it was worth it. The battles mostly fought by you, I just kept, thinking they just didn’t know who they were dealing with, thanks honey for all your efforts. We are starting a new chapter and I am the lucky guy to have you sharing this time in our lives.

    Love your Bill


    • beyondcinderella
      Apr 30, 2014 @ 01:08:32

      I am looking forward to our next chapter in our lives too just as soon as we can safely close this chapter… Thank you Bill for your constant support throughout the years. I would not have ever wanted to do this without you… I love you so much. Xoxo Your Girly…


  4. katsbynp
    Apr 30, 2014 @ 00:09:39

    You have me in tears. A beautiful post to an amazing young woman. You and Bill have given her the tools, support and love to succeed. I cannot wait to see you all this summer.


  5. John and Myrna
    Apr 30, 2014 @ 01:28:26

    I can feel the emotion. You won’t be far away you know? She will be fine and I’m sure her roomie will look after her some. Can’t do it like Mom or Papa but she will have someone close. All will be fine. I think the whole fam damily is proud of her. Love ya, JB


    • beyondcinderella
      Apr 30, 2014 @ 01:33:29

      Thanks Bro… Yes we know she will be fine, but she won’t have a roomie… she is going solo into a one bedroom apartment all by herself…But we are not going to be too far away (25 miles) and can get there in 20 minutes on the freeway.. Yes, the whole family is very proud of her…Please continue to keep her in your prayers. xoXo


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