Leaving the Nest

KAREN:  Moving day was here and we had been preparing for months! We couldn’t have felt more ready. Kaylena had all her personal items and clothes packed and organized, and we made sure that she was stocked up with snacks for those late night study sessions.  We were up for the challenge of making a small space functional, and couldn’t wait to see how everything would fit. Kaylena’s dad and I were so excited for her — especially since he a UC Davis alum. Go Aggies!

The UC Davis campus is the largest UC Campus spanning 5,300 acres. A bike is essential to get from class to class at this campus. Thankfully my sister surprised Kaylena with a new bike at her graduation party! Her dad secured the bike to the top of the car, and off we went!  There’s something exciting about seeing so many bikes in one place.  It makes your mind imagine what each of the bike’s owners is here to pursue.


A dorm room should reflect your child’s personality. After all, home is your haven and this will be their home away from home. Kaylena chose the aesthetic for her room, which was inspired by some of the artwork she collected for her wall. I didn’t necessarily approve of all of her art pieces, but hey, I’m supposed to be “allowing self expression” or “letting go” or something like that, right? Some of the canvases she painted herself, others she found at Ikea. Two of her prints were from Madison Riese Arts.  One of my favorites is the Paradise print, which was a gift from the artist herself. Thank you, Madison!

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We also brought in color with the vibrant throw pillows that her godmother bought her from Society 6.  Throw pillows are to women what stuffed animals are to kids — and we just love them!  Familiar items from home like her cute little air plant and record player really personalized the space.


While she was in charge of the design, I focused on the functionality of the room. I couldn’t help myself and immediately moved some of the furniture around. We also had her bed raised to “level 3.”   Thank God for these stackable under bed drawers from The Container Store.  Instead of packing her clothes in boxes, we transported them in these and just slid them under the bed.  They’re the perfect depth.  We were also able to slide this Ikea cart under the bed which she used to hold her dishes, utensils, and most importantly, the coffee! She purchased a cute blue mini fridge from Wal-Mart to complete her new room.


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While we were beyond prepared for the move and new living accommodations, I can’t say the same for the actual goodbye.  I was overcome with so many emotions, and despite Kaylena saying “Oh gosh, Mommy.  Don’t cry!” the water works were uncontrollable.  Funny how despite knowing that moment would come, it was all still very heart-wrenching.  The emotions ranged from sadness to an enormous sense of pride, to just missing her already. While she isn’t too far from home, I was saddened by the realization of how fast her childhood flew by. Other parents of college students have reassured me, these are all normal emotions, and I am not completely losing it! LOL. On the other hand, we are very excited to see her growth, and for all the fun she will have at UC Davis!

Oh, and our family had a little going away party before the move, where Kaylena made these awesome and addicting sugar cookies to represent her new school.




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Did you know that many stores offer student discounts?  Here is a list of some compiled by Odyssey  Looks like we have some shopping to do!

KAYLENA: Hello Everybody ! Here i am writing to you from the comfort of my dorm room. Crazy, right? With everything from a revolving door of new dorm mates with crazy personalities, losing a bike basket in the middle of a bike circle, and 500 student lectures, Davis is definitely going to be my biggest adventure thus far.

In the past week, I have rushed for a sorority to find my new home with the women of Kappa Kappa Gamma, attended biology and chem lectures, braved my 8 am theatre class, and lost my voice to sickness. Nothing could have prepared me for the wild life of a college student. Classes are intense, with super-fast lectures and high expectations. Biking is terrifying, especially when crashing is so common: I’ve ran into bushes, fences, and the sidewalk- no people yet. The dining commons is a goldmine and the freshman fifteen is looking more like fifty for me.

Furthermore, the people at Davis are kind and supportive. My dorm mates are becoming my family, and I can’t wait to see what the ladies of Kappa Kappa Gamma have in store for me. Never in my life have I seen more genuine, intelligent, driven, and ambitious women all gathered in one place. And now I get to say I am with them.

And with all the flurry of Welcome Week, the homesickness hit me in a way I didn’t expect it to. I was sitting at the KKG bid night, eating chipotle after throwing down the greatest dance moves of my life, when I started tearing up. I missed my family. I missed my home. I missed my mom and dad. Regardless of the strange timing, I realized why I felt this way: It was the final step in me fully being away from home. This was more than having control over a piece of controversial artwork on my dorm room wall. This was, is me, growing, putting myself out there, starting my future and foundation here at Davis.

I love it here. Davis is everything and more I could’ve ever imagined. I can’t wait for the future.  First week of college! Check.

Thanks for stopping by! Until next time,

Karen & Kay

“Here is the world.  Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid.” ~ Frederick Buechne






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