Build Me Up Buttercup Blog is the diary of a middle-aged mom in construction school. I’m Carrington Fox. That’s me on the right. I’m a writer in Nashville, Tenn., where I live with my husband and three young boys. You can read my essays and articles about food, parenting, urban henkeeping, and life in Nashville at carringtonfoxauthor.com.

My half-sister (on the left) and I recently headed back to school. Last time I was in a classroom,  I got an art history degree, followed by an MBA. She got a master’s in civil engineering. This time, we’re studying construction at our local college of applied technology. We’re a full generation older than most of our classmates. Most of them are men.

We joined the class after the T-shirts had been given out. There was only one shirt left. Fortunately, it’s a XXXXL, so it fits us both.

Going back to school full-time is a challenge, especially with the logistics of a busy family. But while school is exhausting, it is also empowering, as I come to realize that I can build things—doors, walls, and eventually a tiny office—with my own hands. Thank you for reading my blog. I hope it builds you up, Buttercup.