DPP Day 10 - Concentration and Giggles (and a little about Day 9)

Day 9 was a one picture day mostly because I did not have my camera with me - so it was one quick shot at the Chancellor's Holiday Tea (see below).  I worked so late that I went directly to pick up Elizabeth from basketball practice.  The others were already in bed - so we made a quick trip to Target.  Normally, I would just ignore day 9 and its absence in this photo project.  But since the reason I do this project is to appreciate the moments - I need to write about that evening.  Elizabeth and I share many attributes which seems to always be most apparent when we are at a crossroads.  But not tonight.  Tonight - our similarities resulted in an evening of wisecracks, shared interests, teasing one another and by the end, downright silly girl giggles.  I marveled at her developed sense of humor and her ability to come up with clever quips. And while I am always overwhelmed by the love I have for her and my other kiddos too - the feeling tonight was different.  It was a distinct feeling of friendship - the kind I would have with one of my best girlfriends - but better because it was coupled with that love and pride I have in my girl.  I couldn't help but feel that this might be a little window into the friendship we might share when she is grown.   I sit on the cusp of a season in life that, if truth be told, I fear a bit.  I know this sweet girl is going to enter some challenging times over the next few years and even though I don't know what that exactly is going to look like - I can appreciate that it will likely create some (or a lot of) friction between the two of us.  That realization just made this evening sweeter.   She even said to me, "Mom, I just love it when you are fun like today."  I love being fun too - if she would only always be as lovely as she was this evening.  :)  It was the perfect ending to a long, stressful, and overwhelming day.  Sometimes, these little joys fall into our laps at the very best times.  And maybe - that little glimpse of future friendship will help me navigate the hard times in a firm but loving way.

Day 10 - the crazy continues.  I am struggling through a week where I have more then I can accomplish at home and at work.  It feels all consuming to not have a place to go where the sense of being overwhelmed isn't present.  But each day, I am getting more and more things done - and I can see an end in sight for both places.  I just need to keep chipping away at things!  I want so badly to not let my stress and my to do list tarnish this special time of year.  Trying to manage my crabby and my tired so that I can take time to breathe in the moments that make this my favorite time of the year.  The only way I am going to be able to do that is to find the balance between getting things OFF my to do list and taking time to slow down, breathe, and see the good going on all around me.  So I stayed busy tonight - but I did pick up my camera to catch a few fun little things. 

My first is of my hard workin' 3rd grader.  He is dutifully working on his math facts.  He has been slipping a little in his responsibility and we had a talk this morning about it.  In an effort to prove himself - he did all responsibilities with his best effort this evening - even his piano practicing (which he will try to skip if he can get away with it).  You can see that little tongue out as a sign of his concentration.  He is trying to be fast during this math fact game.  This kid has the biggest heart and he wants so badly to rise to every occasion.  It was no surprise to me that all it took was a little redirection this morning to get him back on track.   While his never ending energy can be such a distraction for him and a source of frustration for us - I can see his boundless energy combined with his huge heart and a desire to help others is a recipe for something good. 

Elizabeth is working hard here too.  She was talking a mile a minute about some writing selections that she had two days to do and they needed to be five paragraphs and she had to get started right away because she was going to do her best work and really take her time and so it would be really great.  I am hoping the run on sentence gives you a sense of her excitement.  It is crazy how much it thrills me to see a child who loves to read and write as much as Elizabeth does.  I don't know what this writing project is that she is working on - but I know she is excited about it.  That excitement is contagious because now I can't wait to see what she comes up with.

I think I will submit this one today.  These two peas in a pod spend a lot of time doing Legos together.  Brandon will work on his own for hours - but nothing gives him as much joy as getting to work with his Daddy on Legos.  It is kinda "their thing."  Really all the kids love to work with Rich on his Simpson Legos - but no one hangs out for the long haul like Brandon does.  Here they are working on a set that Brandon got for his birthday.  Brandon opens ONE lego box at a time and refuses to open another until he has completely built the set. 
I do not know what got these two giggling.  And this picture is far from perfect with its movement and blurriness - because these were full belly, eyes watering, can't help but make you laugh with them giggles.  If I had to guess - it was likely bathroom humor.  ;)  But I choose this picture despite its photography imperfections because it is perfect in showing a pretty special Daddy/Son time with two guys who love to laugh.