Alrighty then, since I'm back to blogging, I feel this pull to write and write and write. I was going to post this yesterday, but didn't want to send all five of my readers into cardiac arrest ;). With all my "the kids will be gone before we know it" laments, I guess it's about time I become more vigilant and capture our daily lives. In a perfect world, I think I would try and blog every day, but let's not let things get out of control here. However, with the thousands of pictures I've managed to take during 2012, I'm thinking if I could just post a little something every few days I would feel on top of it.
Here it is, a few moments from yesterday:
Here it is, a few moments from yesterday:
Monday's begin with a long walk or hike with Lucy, and yesterday my friend Dorothy and her dog joined us in Neff's Canyon. It was gorgeous and overcast and the scent of fresh rain was intoxicating. So far so good. My hikes invigorate me for the day ahead and I'm actually enjoying coming home to a quiet house and getting a few things accomplished without interruptions . . . I baked some pumpkin bread, attempted to organize the giant mess of a basement, and listened to quite a bit of my audiobook ("Wolf Hall" by Hilary Mantel - intriguing).
At 3pm, I leave to pick up the girls (dumped the carpool this year and do all my own driving - a little bit of a hassle, but I sure do enjoy having extra chat time with them before and after school). Monday's are the best because we have no scheduled activities or lessons and the girls can take their time finishing homework and practicing piano. It's a very relaxing day . . . so far.
Caroline comes home from tennis team practice, Ryan's busy with homework, Chris arrives and the guys settle in for football. We fix a casual dinner and Caroline bakes cookies to answer the boy who asked her to homecoming. It's sprinkling a little outside, the clouds have moved in, and everything feels snug and cozy.
Liza and Sophie go outside to play in the rain and enjoy some outside time. Sophie doesn't realize that with the windows open we have full access to the rude, snide remarks she makes to her sister. It doesn't take too long before we call the girl in for an explanation. This is how the conversation goes:
Me: Sophie, come here now. What did you just say to your sister?
Sophie: I didn't say anything.
Me: Yes you did, I heard you. I'm not happy that you're being so mean. You're finished for the night - go upstairs and get ready for bed.
Sophie: (beginning to fume) - Well, it wasn't THAT mean . . . I didn't make her cry.
Me: Oh, that's nice. Get upstairs, you're done. (Chris steps in to second the motion - sternly).
This is usually the time when Sophie completely loses it, and she did. She screams and continues to argue at the top of her lungs that she wasn't "that mean" and we're horrible people, then proceeds to stomp up the stairs and slam her door (it's the routine). The family is so used to her meltdowns that they have become quite comical, however, we worry that there may not be an end to her lack of emotional control when she is frustrated/angry/sad, etc.
Many years ago, to help her release her emotions, I would have her write down how she was feeling. Now she does it out of habit (and as a way to get back at us). Caroline found it quite humorous to find these three notes floating down from upstairs landing into the entry . . .
I know we shouldn't laugh, but Chris, Ryan and I were trying to stifle our giggles while reading these notes (absolutely under any circumstance do you let Sophie know you're laughing). Caroline was horrified and thought Sophie was just plain cruel (in Caroline's mind, she would NEVER do such a thing), but I just had to remind her of one of our family's mottos: "Words said in anger are never from the heart" and she understood and chuckled along with the rest of us. I'm used to the notes - I think I have several of the "you're the worst mom EVER" genre tucked away in my nightstand.
My heart really does ache for my girl and I think she may always struggle with keeping those passionate emotions of hers in check. After 11 years with this sweetheart, I've realized that she is extremely tender and protects herself by putting forth a rough exterior at times. She has definitely been our most difficult child and many of my prayers focus on how I can raise her to fulfill her greatest potential. I look forward to what the Lord has in store for this feisty little one . . .
More than any of the other kids, she needs her space and thrives in peaceful settings - she's my best hiker.
After the meltdown, the skies opened up just as the sun was setting and the sky literally lit up - it was on fire - one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen. We grabbed the girls (even Sophie was allowed out of her room) and walked outside to watch. Sophie hesitantly sidled up to me as I walked to the corner and slipped her hand in mine . . . her signal to see if I was still upset, and my signal that she is ready for a hug.
Sigh. All is well until the ticking time bomb decides to explode again. Until then, I'll look for all the best my little girl has to offer.
The sunset from Caroline's bedroom window. WOW.
Of course, the night ended on a high note:
Caroline on her way to answer her best friend Jacob after he asked her to Homecoming.
She made cookies and baked letters (Y-E-S) wrapped in tin foil inside three of them - cute!