Having a baby is one of the most magical times in life. All parents experience a love like they never knew before. Even though it’s hard to imagine loving more than you already do, that love grows stronger and stronger each day.

The first smile from your baby is beyond words. The first laugh sends happy tears streaming down your face. Each first is amazing.

Then preschool and everything cute that happens and there are a lot of cute things in preschool. Playdates, Halloween, Easter, kindergarten, after school sports – the list of things that imprint on your heart just keeps growing. There are moments when your child misbehaves and as frustrating as that is, the love you feel is all consuming.

So, when the day came that it was time to send my young adult into the world, it was with mixed emotion. On one hand I was so excited about all of the opportunity that was available to him – college, fraternities, being independent, discovering his passion, but, on the other hand it was hard to accept that my time with him on a day to day basis was about to change in a big way.

I had spent at least 6,570 consecutive days with him over the course of his 18 year old life. The sense of emptiness in the house was a palpable reminder of how much I missed him. My oldest is now a senior in college. I was brave when we moved him into the dorm and drove away.

A few weeks later, I ran into his high school coach and almost started crying. Now, my college senior might end up coming home but my high school senior is about to fly the coop. Watching these amazing boys grow into men has been nothing short of amazing.

Our blog is called The Evolista because it’s about women evolving with cute clothes and a fun life. We started it to talk about evolving into empty nesters but we realized that we have been evolving our whole lives.

First into adults, then starting careers, getting married, having babies, big kids and now, almost parents of adult children. The change of going from someone who is constantly focused on raising children to someone who has to reestablish themselves in life again is huge.

For instance, my kids played sports and it consumed my whole world. Our friends become the other parents we sat with on the bleachers. When my oldest left, I realized that I had let a lot of my friendships go over the years because I was always so busy going to games.

I saw the writing on the wall and even though I had a kid who was still at home for 4 more years, I invested more time into fitness, making new friendships and honing my career skills. I miss my oldest so much but I am so proud of him.

I’m excited for my youngest to experience all of the fun changes that happen in college. Life is amazing and I am truly grateful every day for the blessing and the challenges that have allowed me to grow.