Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Let the Teen Years Begin | Andrew turns 13!

I am officially the mom of a teen!  Get out! It's crazy, isn't it?!  On August 9th, Andrew turned 13! It is insane that in 3 years he will have a driver's license and in 5 more he will be an adult.  I know time has moved fast, but the next 6 years are going to fly.  Junior High is barely a blip and then it's over, high school is so focused on the lead up to college, basically his childhood is a distant memory and it happened in no time. On one side I'm begging time to slow down while on the other, I'm so incredibly excited for what lies ahead and just love watching the young man Andrew is turning into.

Andrew has qualities that I wish more adults had, qualities I pray aren't shaken in the midst of the Junior High and High School years, when there is such pressure to be like everyone else.  He knows who he is and he's proud to have passions that are unique.  He is a very bright, polite, and sensitive soul that has a penchant for turning on the "tortured and troubled creative" maybe a little too well at times. ;)  He is a perfectionist with high standards (classic first born trait maybe?) which comes with its own challenges.  I sometimes think Type A creative people are hit the hardest.  (I speak from experience, I'm afraid), because you get pulled from both ends, you dream big and get lost in your ideas and then feel the pressure to make it happen.  Yet, it's a trait I admire because it's the one that will ensure he can expect great things from himself in the future.  In his young life he has racked up more awards and accolades that I had in high school and college combined, which is impressive, but it's his happiness in life and his kindness towards others that is far more important to me, because without it, nothing else really matters.  There is a balance in life, even at 13, that many of us still struggle to find - the ability to be passionate and work hard but always put love (for yourself and others) first.

I don't write too many personal posts about Andrew anymore, out of respect for his privacy, but this milestone called for a little hoopla and some well deserved praise.  He's just such a good kid (I mean teen.. :)).  Jimmy and I often say we would choose to spend time with him even if he wasn't our son because he is great company - and I think that is a pretty cool stage to be in as parents!

^^ He was so honored to be featured on the district webpage recently^^

....Also, as part of his birthday presents (really more for me than him, since he was fine with things the way they were) I'm updating his bedroom.  I hadn't touched it since he was four and it was high time to bring in some order and masculine elements.  Out with any remaining white furniture, the red corduroy curtains, and the horrible Mad Men era overhead light and in with some timeless antiques, bamboo shades, classic lighting and new art. A big change was adding a full wall of open shelving to display Lego.  I 'm a big believer in letting children's rooms (no matter what their age) reflect the interests of the child.  Where I would rather hang a nautical painting, Andrew prefers a Star Wars movie poster - done. I've made an effort to fill the space with items and art that mean something to him and he's had a heavy hand in all the decisions.  He loves the Cape Cod map and antique rug! (He has good taste!)  I'll share all sources, paint colors, etc. when I blog about the room.  Till then, here is an inspiration board I made for him so he understood the overall feeling and direction the room was heading.  He's an awesome client! :)  


  1. You're heading into one of my favorite part of parenthood (my kids are 23 and 20 now). The teen years do not have to be miserable. We thoroughly enjoyed our kids during those years and still do. Andrew sounds like a special young man and an old soul. And that bedroom inspiration board is gorgeous!

  2. Tessa, he sounds like a fine young man indeed! Those qualities are reflective of you and your husband and your parenting skills. You should be proud! Parenting is *so* tough. I love the inspiration board and look forward to the post. That upholstered headboard with the ties is just lovely, and I have a pair of those Circa lights in the kitchen that is one of my favorite things!! I wish I could be just as open minded when it comes to decorating my girls' rooms. My oldest would love to put gymnastic stickers all over the walls, have a fur desk chair and bling galore. Eek! Hopefully by the time we get to changing her room that phase will be over!

  3. What a nice inspiration board for Andrew's room but I was really moved and touched by your thoughts and feelings about your son. What a lucky Mother you are and what a lucky son he is. God bless!

  4. Happy Birthday to Andrew! And congratulations on his accomplishments, and to you and your husband for continuing to encourage character over achievement. My "boys" are 23 and 19 now, and they do still act boyish occasionally, but, for the most part, they are men. It has been a joy (mostly) to watch them grow and develop, and it is a great joy when they are both home for the weekend--my heart is full and the refrigerator is empty! I hope you will enjoy the same!

    Now for a decorating question (and it will show you what a dummy, I am), what app or software do you use to create your inspiration boards? I love the choices you and Andrew made for his room, by the way. I have a friend who's asked me(!) for some help with her house, and I'd love to be able to create something similar for her reference. Thanks, Tessa!

  5. What a great photo! It looks like a Norman Rockwell painting!

  6. What a lovely son you have. It's obvious he has amazing parents. Love the choices you and Andrew have made for his room. Can't wait to see the finished design.