"Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to let you in."

-- Robert Frost

Thursday, July 27, 2017

graduating christian

That senioritis is a real deal.

Maybe I haven't posted any of this because I'm still a little shell shocked. Maybe I'm still recovering. Or maybe I've blocked out the end of this school year entirely ;)

But here we go.

Pictures of cute kids we know started to flood in and fill our counter with hopes and dreams of bright futures.

Our high school here offers an Internship class in the senior year. This class takes students who are interested in a specific field and gets them placed with a local business to acquire some hands on learning throughout the school year.

It's an awesome hands on learning experience.

Christian loves everything business and he scored an internship with the guys over at Big Agnes along with their sister company, Honey Stinger ... both really big outdoor sport start-up companies located right here in our town.

And man, did he love those twenty something guys floating on cloud nine as their businesses soared to great heights. And man ... did they love him.

So much that he filled every hour gleaning every ounce of knowledge he could from the CEO and COO he worked directly with. So much that they took him on as a paid intern. So much that they tried to lure him into their realm of winning opportunity.

And at some point the mom had to ask, "Are you dividing your time appropriately?" and then I had to clamp down a boy who wanted to run before he could walk.

Because walking at graduation needed to come first.

But how can a mom be frustrated for very long at ambition?

Even when that winning personality causes major anxiety?

But we made it and showed up to sit in the heat and celebrate Christian's big finish.

No one in the entire stadium was beaming more than this man right here.

Even when he had to move into the shade away from the heat ... see? Still radiating. This might just be the happiest day of his entire life so far.

Christian said goodbye to some pretty great friends.

Most especially, this one that moved in the same time that we did and was just an incredible guy.

As we sat listening to the speeches and watching kids who had spent their entire lives succeeding in this little town, it hit me what a hard thing Christian had tackled. To move so willingly and complete a senior year of high school in an entirely new place?

I watched him hug and shake hands with every person there as they sought him out and I was struck with what an amazing leader and charismatic personality he really is. He had taken this opportunity by storm and made it his with, literally, an entire school full of friendships.

I could never have done that at his age.

He can do hard things and he will do great things.

And this man is still beaming.

Usually, a kid who has so many friendships gets carried away with those connections and sometimes prefers them, but not our Christian. When he's done, he just falls right back in with us.

I have always loved how he has never been embarrassed by his family.

We are his number one people and he always lets us know that.

So much, he'll throw his mom on the back of a bike and wave a final drive-by goodbye to high school life.

We threw a little get together at our home to celebrate him and another friend from church.

We sure do love these people who have embraced us this year and become our very best of friends.

It's also a pretty big deal to graduate from Seminary. The kids of our church take an early morning Bible study class for their four years of high school.

They put in a lot of hours and hard work and Christian completed the entire four year course.

We had more friends celebrate him. Especially our dear friend Fred with whom Christian spent any free time learning how to lay cement.

Fred took Christian's spare hours ... of which there were few ... and taught him the value of back breaking work.

One night, I lay awake with all the anxieties of a mother's heart.

We were deep in the middle of college applications, essays and ACT tests, class completions, online courses to make up what a new school required for their graduation, mission papers and all their appointments and interviews (on which we are waiting by the mailbox every day for a response) and a myriad of work hours in various directions.

My brain was all aflutter over where and how things were going to go for our boy.

I was suddenly given a peace and a stillness as it occurred to me that he could fly. That he has got this. That he came to us larger than life and would go forward even greater and his time in our home had only been a glimmer.

I know that he will do great things. We are sure proud of Christian and all that he is. And as far as graduation is concerned ... looks like we made it (at least this far)  :)

prom 2017

All that end of the school year stuff came at us pretty fast and I've got to back up for a minute before this life of ours gets out of hand.

Prom happened.

Christian refused to get a haircut and I was in pick-my-battles-end-of-the-school-year-limp-across-the-finish-line mode so ... here he is.

Both kids were going with groups of friends and the night was pretty easy going including the exclusion of group photos. I also think it's the first time I've ever had kids come home by midnight following a prom.

Which was fine by me :)

Back on Annie's birthday, we had left her with Celia at college to play roommate for a weekend and go shopping for a dress. Those two had a fabulous time and it was such a great coincidence that Celia was home to put on the final touches.

Because, this girl emerged stunning.

They both had a great time wrapping up their school year with friends and kicking up their heels in style. Perhaps the easiest prom I've ever stood on the sidelines of. I'll take it.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

eliza's baptism

July 22 was a pretty special day filled with some pretty special promises for Eliza.

We believe that at the age of eight, a child is well on their way to understanding the difference between right and wrong choices. 

It's considered the age of accountability and though there's still lots and lots to learn, its a time when one becomes responsible for their own decisions and mistakes and has an adequate ability to back up, apologize, change and try a little harder to be a little better.

Eight is great ... and that's when baptism takes place and those commitments are really put into effect. 

Saturday was her big day and that girl radiated like a light.

And who wouldn't with these fantastic grandparents come all the way to celebrate with her?

And a brother who came down from college, too. He, also, received the priesthood allowing him to stand as a witness in her baptism and participate in the circle for her confirmation.

I sure love this great dad who loves this girl more than anything and helped her through it all.

There are some mental pictures I really don't want to forget.

We live in a small church congregation and after Eliza came out of the font and we were drying and changing in the women's bathroom, her two little best friends poured in and grabbed her hands and jumped up and down hugging her.

It was such a sweet moment.

In the quiet after they stepped out, I hugged her and she glowed at me saying she felt lighter than ever before.

I love that girl and her radiant spirit.

Friends from our church gathered to celebrate at our home afterward. Each and every one are like family and I'm so grateful for them.

What a special day and a special girl. Her choices to celebrate the light of Christ in her actions every day make her shine.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

charlotte at five

I think there's some kind of general rule that says babies born in July must be firecrackers.

Cuz this one sure is.

I'm having a hard time wrapping my brain around my baby being five. That means she'll head off to our elementary school's required full day of kindergarten.

She's ready.

I'm not.

Charlotte greets every day with her own list of exciting adventures to check off her fun list.

I can hardly keep up.

She's earned the nickname "hot sauce" around here because she's fearless and adventuresome and crazy and fun all at the same time.

I'm not sure there is anyone that I know who is drinking from the well of life like this one is.

And yet, she has a perfect balance of taking the time to notice and be still and tap creativity.

Kind of like a super human. We joke that she is every best quality of every family member rolled into one spectacular being.

Definitely the icing on our cake.

She couldn't have been more excited for this big day.

And to be celebrated. We were scattered far and wide so, thanks to modern technology, we gathered to sing and blow out candles.

Don't let those facetime faces fool you ... that's their waiting-for-mom-to-use-her-inept-technology-skills-to-bring-it-all-together look.

We sure love our little hot sauce. She lights up our life.

And she's five. So she knows everything. All the time. Just ask her.

Happy Birthday, Charlotte!