Transitions | Our daughter is heading to college

I like schedules, planning, knowing what is coming, and pretty much pretending that I am in control which I know deep down I am not at all. I don’t like change and transitions are hard for me. When there are lots of changes I feel it like a small storm under the surface and I try to slowly navigate the emotions but sometimes I push them aside to deal with another day because…well, they are hard. Sometimes even the most beautiful transitions are hard for those left behind.

There are so many things I am proud about when it comes to our children. The list is so long but one of the most beautiful things to watch as a parent is to see them become THEM. To carry these little lives, teach them to read, love on them when they are sick, listen when they are in pain, support when you don’t always agree and help them follow their own path has been one of the greatest honors of my life.

I always wanted to be a mom just like I always wanted to be an artist. They are both truths I knew about myself from a young age. I have not always done it “right”, been patient, known how to handle difficult situations or been the mom I wanted to be. My parenting has been full of mistakes and asking for forgiveness and also doing so many things that I am really proud of.

When our Jack left for college three years ago I didn’t know you could be so sad and so proud at the same time. Kelly and I would find each other in the house those first few weeks without him and be in tears.  Jack is now going into his senior year and we cherish each summer home, visit during the school year and the complete joy we have in seeing him becoming. Now, it is Madolyn’s turn and it doesn’t feel easier. She is my only girl and she is going far away and it hurts already just thinking about it. Our family of five went to four and now will be going to three. Launching those that you love out into the world holds so many emotions. You also realize that we get to have these beautiful humans for such a short period of time and I want to rewind a bit and to have some do overs. Please, just a few do overs. I need more time. I can do that one thing better. I didn’t think it would go this fast. But it did and here we are again ready to launch our Maddy out into the world and in the same breath have one on one time with Ben like never before. Transitions.

So many of you have watched our children grow up over the past fourteen years and I wanted to thank you for being some of the eyes that have seen them become. Thank you for celebrating them, praying over them, and loving them during live workshops. I am pretty private and the older the children have become the more I have chosen to not share about them but with Maddy’s permission I wanted to share images of her graduation party and the video we made for her.

We have homeschooled all of our children and Madolyn graduated high school with 38 college credits (4.0 and the President’s list), finished her 13th year of classical piano training, taught beginner piano lessons for the past 3 years, has been in charge of almost every live workshop at our home for years when I am teaching (she will tell any one of you what to do), has been my helper at workshops abroad, has edited almost every guest teacher class over the past four years, takes care of me while I am sick like no one else, is so smart, funny and fun, loves our cats more than she loves us, has big dreams, is one of the most dedicated humans I know, her writing and lyrics in general are one of her most beautiful gifts, she is loyal and loves well, she is feisty, she feels deeply, she is the best beach/relaxing partner in the world, she is a lover of books and her room is the grossest thing you will ever see. I could go on and on but the bottomline is my heart is so broken and in the same breath so excited for this child of mine to launch.

Maddy is headed to Belmont University in Nashville and will be studying music business and songwriting. Nashville, get ready for me to visit even more because you will now hold my heart.

Maddy’s graduation party was full of friends, family, cupcakes, Chipotle and music.

The concert was supposed to be out in the garden but we had heavy rains and hail so we enjoyed a beautiful studio concert by Jack’s very good friend Jillian!

It was such a sweet night celebrating Maddy!

Jillian Shively Music

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  1. Stephanie Lee

    Oh gosh…what an exquisite peek into your family’s most precious moments! Maddy is a force of nature in all the best ways. Tennessee is lucky to get her. Good job, mom and dad. Good, good job.

  2. Lucy Cooke

    This is just so precious! What an honor to watch your family grow and love each other fiercely. Such a beautiful young woman she has become, sweet Maddie. Wishing her all the best as she spreads her wings to fly. And hoping that the next few months, while wonderful and challenging, will bring some awesome family moments to treasure. Love you guys!!!

  3. Sheila

    😭😭❤️ beautiful mama, beautiful daughter. Love you. We are still so sorry we couldn’t be there!

    1. Jeanne Oliver Author

      We will have plenty of other opportunities! Thank you for loving her, praying for her and being a person she can rely on in Nashville!

      1. Christy

        So beautiful, Jeanne! You are blessed with a beautiful family! I wish all the best to Maddy!🥰

  4. Stacy Stultz

    So beautiful! Thank YOU for sharing your amazing children with all of us over the years. Bravo, Maddie & Mom and Dad! What a moving video- how could you hold back the tears?!? Go take the world by storm, sweet girl!💓

  5. Melanie

    Maddy’s smile and eyes light up the world. Wow!! What a sweet, sweet video. Congratulations to her and all of the adventures ahead. As for you and Kelly, sending you guys big hugs! <3

  6. Dawn Schneider

    Congratulations Maddie! Jeanne, this brought tears to my eyes. I have such great memories of Maddie “running the show” at your home and abroad. That girl is going places and I feel so lucky to have seen even the tiniest part of her growth. Thank you for opening your lives to us and letting us, for a moment at least, feel apart of it. Much love, Dawn, Jordan and Ron Schneider

  7. Susan Gallitto

    You did so good Mama! I not met Maddie last month at your workshop and she is an impressive young woman! I sent 2 daughters off to college and it was so painful and joyful all at once! You will get through this transition and continue to be so proud of all you did to guide your beautiful daughter! Your relationship will grow stronger if that’s possible. Hang in there Jeanne. We feel your bittersweet transition. Take care and enjoy!

  8. Michele

    That was absolutely heartfelt, my goodness what a blessed life. Gorgeous soul just like her Muma.
    Thanks for sharing it was so special.

  9. Sheila

    How can it be?? I love your Maddie, she is such a wonderful young lady. She makes whomever she’s with feel special, with that loving heart of hers. I love your fam, Jeanne. Maddie amazes me & I can’t wait to hear of her new adventures in TN. Congratulations, sweet Madolyn! Someone in Nebraska loves you. God’s blessings on you, Dear one. ❤️

  10. Andreagarvey

    Oh my goodness…. I just read this and watched the video, and now I’m crying. What a beautiful post Jeanne! And Maddy – she is going far and off to do amazing things. You have such a beautiful family inside and out.

  11. Cec

    Beautiful post, beautiful daughter. Congratulations to her as she moves to the next exciting phase of her life and congratulations to you and your husband for getting her there.

  12. Anne McKinney

    This is so beautiful- I’m leaving in the morning for a round of college visits with my baby girl……so many emotions❤️

  13. Kathy Lewis (Kj Allison)

    This video brought tears to my eyes. I can vividly recall visiting with two of your precious children during a visit to one of your workshops a few. years ago. They left a lasting impression, as did your entire family. So happy for you all. This will be one of the most exciting times of Maddy’s life, going to college. You will miss her but you done real good! Such a contribution to our society you have made with these three special humans. Thank you!

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