Tuesday, April 17, 2012


I am lackadaisically catching up here. I keep meaning to come here and update, but client work comes first. And so do iPhone word games. And sitting on the couch eating Easter candy with Jake. 

So, an update:

This morning Grace stood by the light of the back window. She tucked her hair behind her ears and ate her cheerios and looked at the window. I stopped making sandwiches and let my hands fall to the counter and stared at her. She is incredible. 

Minutes later I watched her and Ruby bound up the steps of their school together. Running to get out of the rain. When did we become so integrated into this earth, this world, this thriving community? They are so present in their own lives now, sitting in their classrooms, talking to their friends and taking tests. They come home and I juice out of them no more than 1% of their day and the rest is filed in their brains under "life experience". I wish I knew all they were absorbing.

Ruby has a major BA in the morning (Bad Attitude). She doesn't shake it until about 12 minutes after waking up. So it's 12 minutes of pushing her to get her act together. I drag her skin and bones carcass out of bed and help her get dressed. Then she pouts all the way to the bathroom and afterwards, lays down in front of the shoe closet. With no motivation to take the necessary steps to adorn her feet. The hair brushing is just ridiculous. You'd think I was taking a slice out of her toe.

Last night we played a game just before bedtime. Everyone sits on the floor facing Dad and he has to try to make us laugh using only one word. When he says the word, the first person that laughs or giggles is out. Last one standing gets to sit in the chair and make us all laugh. Lillie is not so calm in these situations. It takes all of us working together as a family to keep her happy and settled down and satisfied. Everyone helps. When it's finally her turn to sit in the chair, Grace and Ruby each offer to laugh first so she feels funny, etc. I love seeing the girls treat each other well. Because it means that amidst the mess and stress, we notice some success.

Tadi is a bad (good?) teaser. The car is like chinese torture. Driving down the freeway and Lillie starts humming a tune. Tad watches her and after about 15 seconds, calmly states: "Bopp". (which means "stop"). Lillie flails. The screaming cracks my brain open. Emotions spray onto the window and doors and it takes her several tens of hundreds of seconds to calm down. So I tell her she can sing again. I threaten Tada, "WANNA TIME OUT??". Lillie sings. I watch Tada in the rearview. She leans in. Her eyes sparkle. She says, "Bopp". And the cycle continues. I look out the window and wish I was somewhere else. I remember Ruby doing the exact same thing to Grace in the car. 

Jake and I muddle through our day and at the end, sum it up in long conversations that twist and turn. Life is so good, I often stop and really try to feel it. I wish I could grab it and embrace it. That feeling that I'm lucky, that I have so much. I felt it pretty strong this weekend when I photographed a funeral for a beautiful boy that passed away much too early. In the face of such grief, and the complex feelings that follow, I come home to hug my babies. And celebrate today.


Kati said...

Your family is beautiful. You are beautiful.

Nothing makes me realize how precious this life is when I photograph a young life taken too soon. Puts everything into perspective for me.

Love you.

chanel said...

ok. you're here! yay!! i just melt and breathe deeply and tear up every time I read you- please don't leave me hanging like this!! ;)
the teasing in the car made me laugh so hard!! i had to read it twice just to soak it up- HILARIOUS! (cause im not you, nor am i in the torture mobile....sorry.) and seriously! the trying to get 1% out of your school girls! thanks for mentioning that they are tucking it in under life skills, cause Im always dumbfounded that they can't recall what they spent doing for the last 8 hours!!

how difficult to photograph a child's funeral, but what a blessing your spirit, talent, and presence must have been. you're an angel in so many way!

are you BY CHANCE going to women's conference? I would just love with all my heart to meet you and hug you in person- I am your biggest fan (of your fan club of people who don't actually know you) Im sure your sisters, husband, children etc are all vying for presidency of your actual fan club. :)

Lillie said...

HOW is it May something and I haven't actually read through this post until now? And now I want to read it again and again and frame it somewhere in my house. AMAZING. You are the most amazing writer--- I can feel what it's like to be IN your darling family. I love love love these posts...

And oh my gosh I died at the bit about taking a slice out of her toe.

And Tada teasing Lillie. Oh my gosh I want to be her friend when she grows up.

And I think Mila and Lillie are the same person a couple of years apart. Or so.


Jodi said...

I miss your Sunday photos! Glad to here life is going well for you all! The girls are getting so big. Seems hard to believe how fast they are all growing up!