I hope you’re in the mood for a Random Thoughts post. Here are some of the things on my mind (it’s mostly thoughts about my kids):

-Yesterday, Maude moved to New York for the summer! She has an internship at Best Made, plus she’ll be working with the amazing Jodi Levine of Super Make It and Amanda Kingloff of Project Kid. I’m super proud of her for figuring all this stuff out and hope she has an amazing experience.

Her flight had an unexpected all-day layover in Chicago. She’d never been to Chicago before, so she explored the River Walk and had a lovely day. The original plan was that she would arrive in New York at 3:30 in the afternoon, instead, she arrived at 1:30 in the morning! But she made it, and got to her apartment (a sublet in Brooklyn), and she just called me from Central Park. So she’s feeling great. : )

She’ll return to Berkeley in the fall for her Junior Year. As far as studies go, she was undecided, but as she finished her second year, she concluded she wants to major in English. She’s not sure what she wants to do with it, but really likes the idea of being a high school English teacher and getting to introduce teens to books like Catcher in the Rye. We’ve encouraged her to check out the Teach for America program — the schools she would teach in would be very similar to her own high school and I think she would like that.

-Ralph is spending a couple of weeks in Utah, visiting friends and family. He is almost done with community college (one more semester to go!) and is exploring transfer options. He’s interested in transferring to Berkeley for a Media Studies degree, or a Film Degree. And he’s also looking at a Design Degree from BYU.

He knows he wants to make movies for a living, but doesn’t necessarily want to major in film. In the meantime, he’s been able to get a lot of consistent work on video and editing projects — you can watch his vimeo page to see his personal projects.

-Olive just finished her junior year of high school, and she has big plans. Instead of attending her senior year, she’s has taken an Au Pair position in the South of France! The position is September through July and she’ll head out at the end of this summer. Ben Blair or I (or both!) will accompany her to get her settled and meet the family she’ll be staying with and working for. We met them over Skype, but want to meet them in person and make sure Olive is all set.

Olive has 3 more classes she needs to graduate from high school — and one of those is a PE class. : ) So she’s taking two classes this summer from a local community college (Ballet and English), and she’s taking one online class as well (Gov/Econ). Her goal is to finish the online class at the same time the summer classes end (which is at the end of July). That way, she’ll meet with her high school counselor in August, confirm she’s done with all graduation requirements, and can head to France with all of that finished up.

While she’s in France, she’ll need do her college applications, but won’t need to worry about finishing high school. Her high school counselor told her that if she wants to come back next May to “walk” at graduation that she can. But Olive knows it will depend on her Au Pair schedule.

Olive has been working on finding an Au Pair position for the last year and did this totally on her own. She looked up websites, filled out a profile, and made inquiries. Pretty cool, right? She got job offers in Berlin and Paris, but was most pleased with the position in the South of France, so said yes to that one.

-On Saturday, Oscar will be awarded the Life Scout rank. He is working toward his Eagle, and the Life Scout rank is the rank just before Eagle. So he’s getting close. He’s wrapped up most of the needed merit badges, and will attend Scout Camp in July to finish things up.

He also has a goal of completing his Eagle Scout Project by the end of the summer. I would love that too! It would be great to feel like his scouting accomplishments are all settled before he starts high school in the fall. (Can you believe Oscar starts high school in the fall?)

-Oscar and Betty started their orthodontia adventures this week. : ) Oscar got an expander and will get braces in a couple of months. Betty is doing Invisalign.

-I know it’s late in the game, but we just barely mapped out our summer plans. The kids have Girls Camp, Scout Camp, and Band Camp. Swim Team too. We’re also looking at Sailing Camp and Theater Camp. And if it works with the camp schedules, there’s Cousins Week in St. George.

-Last week I woke up in the middle of the night with my heart racing, and my head doubting every parenting decision I’ve ever made. Should we have stayed in New York or Colorado and never moved to France? Should I have made the kids take piano lessons more consistently? Are they watching too much Youtube? Remember when we quit gymnastics so they could do the play, and then we never re-signed up for gymnastics? Am I not paying enough attention to what they need?

I eventually calmed myself down and fell back asleep. But I keep thinking about it, because it was unusual for me — very little wakes me up in the middle of the night. How do you handle stuff like that? Do you ever doubt your parenting decisions?

-I remember as a kid, that my mom would always be slow to leave a gathering, or even church, because she was chatting with someone. Sometimes my siblings and I would walk home because that was faster than waiting for Mom. : )

I would have predicted that I would be the same way as a mother, but it turns out I’m not. I seem to sit evenly between extroverted and introverted. I love going to a party, but once I’ve had my fill, I’m done and want to be home immediately. My kids have noticed that between me and Ben Blair, he’s the one most likely to stay behind and chat. How about you? Are you more chatty than your spouse/partner? Or are you both pretty equal?

-The bridge we built in our backyard is in need of repairs. I was looking for photos of it and realized I’ve never actually written a blog post about it. I’m sure I meant to and then just got busy and forgot! I’m going to try and write one — it’s a really cool part of our house.

-It’s the 75th anniversary of D-Day. I wish we were in France to witness the memorials. When we lived in Normandy, we got to know the D-Day sites and history really well, and I was always so touched at how the French people treat those places as sacred and special.

I think that’s it for now. Please feel free to respond to my random thoughts, or you can leave your own random thoughts in the comments. I always love to hear what’s on your mind.

P.S. — More random thoughts.