Since today is officially my Day One of being in an empty nest, it seemed appropriate to jot down some thoughts. The first thought I had when John and I walked into our empty house last night was, “It is so quiet in here.” And, “Something is missing.” Our dog Chip, who was a beloved member of our family, died on August 4, 2013. Yes, that was two short weeks ago. August 8th, I took our oldest, Alyssa, to school for the start of her Senior year & Soccer preseason, the last preseason. I flew home on Friday, the 9th, and continued to get our youngest, Alex, ready for his Freshman year at college. We drove him down to school on August16th, moved him into his dorm on the 17th, attended the very moving and very cool Convocation on the 18th and then said our goodbyes. Alex was so happy to have us leave so he could get the whole college thing underway, it was hard to be too sad. My mantra of the day was “I’m proud and happy!” And, I just had to keep reminding myself the whole morning. The president of the university said so many wonderful things during the Convocation it was hard to remember them all, but my favorite was when he said, “Now, Moms, Have FAITH.” Why did this resonate with me? Because I know better, but was not feeling it at the moment. I was in a fearful place. I was worried about how my son will do this semester. I know that I need to replace fear with faith. I know that! So, last night, I wrote Have Faith!“ on a couple of sticky notes and put them in locations I would be sure to see them. That became last night’s mantra. And, today as I begin to try to adjust to everything and everyone who is missing from this house, it is fittingly today’s mantra, as well. So, as I walk out the door to go swim with my U.S. Masters Swimming group, I am OK and I Have Faith!