For the past several years at Christmas, Charlie has given to me "blog books" which are printed and bound blog postings that I've written since this blog's inception in March of 2006. These books have been one of the most wonderful and thoughtful gifts I've ever received, because as much as I enjoy looking over all of our memories - so many of which I would have otherwise completely forgotten - I especially love watching our children read the stories. This blog has been such a priceless vault of our family's history and I'm so thankful for it.
When the children were younger, I updated this blog almost every day. Sometimes, I'd update it more than once a day and I was so grateful for the mental reprieve and friendships I made with people all over the world as I 'navigated' those younger days. There was a span of time that I posted so frequently, there are a few years we have four blog books for a single year (or one every three months). Back then, I couldn't imagine going an entire quarter without writing what was happening!
These days, I try to keep an inventory of the things that I want to write about, and sometimes - I'll steal a moment to sit and capture my thoughts only to realize that it's been so long since I've last logged on, I need to reset my passwords, and upload photos and oops, that password needs to be reset too, and suddenly the whole effort is requiring more time than I have and is digging in to important time that I need to spend in this moment with my people. By the time I figure out what I need to do to log on, and get my thoughts straight - they're standing in front of me, talking about .... something? ... and I lose all focus.
It might help my writing if the children slept like they used to, but the thing is - they're always awake. They're always around. They never nap anymore. They go to bed minutes before I do, and usually wake up at approximately the same time, if not earlier when they fly out of bed and rush the refrigerator because they're always hungry. They're always growing. And I'm always trying to maximize my time spent with them.
It's a sight to behold how Carolyn is rapidly closing in on 6'0, while William has grown two inches in less than three months. At this blessed moment in time, only Elizabeth and Henry are still shorter than me, and as a result, I pull them on to my lap, constantly. I can't do that with William and Carolyn anymore because I can't breathe. But I get them other ways, because no one around here escapes the mama cuddles.
We'll sit at our kitchen table and talk (and eat), and play board games (and eat), and read stories (and eat). They tell me about what is happening in their worlds and I soak it up. Neighborhood kids are coming and going at a constant rate. One rainy day last weekend, we had 12 children in our home playing an assortment of games. When there was a break in the weather, they flew outside to play hide-n-seek. It's so awesome to see their energy and excitement about .... life.
I've got my eye on when they're flying the nest ... and I see it happening. Carolyn is talking about where she wants to go to college; Elizabeth was up at the crack of dawn this morning to run with girls from her cross-country team; and yesterday, William informed me he and his friends walked down to the local grocery store to try everything the food demonstrators were offering because as eluded to above, teenagers love to eat. All. The. Time. Henry is taking a serious interest in his hair and has decided that he wants to let it grow out. I just snapped off this picture of him as he prepares to make breakfast on this Thanksgiving morning. (He clearly needs longer pants and/or darker socks and/or boots.)
Also in this very moment, William is perched over my shoulder
As I tell our children daily: we make the time for things that are important to us. This blog is important to me and our family, and I must do a better job keeping it updated. I just wish I didn't require as much sleep as a teenager.
Thank you, Mrs. Dunnigan for the nudge. Happy Thanksgiving! xoxo