Thank you all very much for your love and comments on the last post, I can't tell you how much they mean to get and to read. Even if I don't know you - sometimes especially if I don't know you, it means so much to have someone reach out and make a connection to your words. It's a balm when everything feels very raw.
Blogging is funny. Had I not felt like opening my computer last night, I never would have written yesterday's post. Today dawned brighter. I knocked myself out after pressing publish and got 8 hours of sleep. James and I were back on our usual even keel. The counseling with Landon is and always was a good thing that in a normal week wouldn't have thrown me. I meant what I said about experts. When you're not sure of what you're doing, seek someone who knows more. His tantrums, as we've termed them, aren't all that frequent, but they also aren't predictable and at least 90% of the time they seem to occur completely on purpose on an otherwise great day in completely innocuous circumstances. It's only after they start they occasionally get out of control, and we're just not sure how to handle that from a behavioral or disciplinary standpoint. So we'll talk to someone who might. And if nothing else, our willingness to ask for help will hopefully help empower Landon to do the same for himself in the future. The stuff with James's dad sucks but it has sucked for 35 years. Selling my childhood home is hard, but it was always going to happen someday and my parents are excited about the new place. I'm sure we will be too. But, it was a lot. Today dawned brighter.
If I was writing the post today I'd tell you about how I bought a Young Living Essential Oils membership last night. That I've always been intrigued and found oils helpful with my headaches, and I was in a sad and vulnerable place the night before and buying a wholesale membership that came with 10 starter oils seemed like an excellent solution because I'd bought 10 pairs of shoes in the last 8 weeks and I've cut myself off from DSW.com. I'd have mentioned the impending sale of my childhood home and how it rocked my foundation a bit. I'd maybe obliquely reference James's dad because it's a big thing but I also try to be considerate of the things he'd never want me to write about (just like he's considerate by never reading this blog and having to confirm his suspicions that I write about far more than he'd like (which, would be nothing)). Sometime I'd mention Landon, because I'm pro-counseling and in no way ashamed of it, but I'm also always aware of trying to walk the line between sharing my story and not telling the stories of others. Landon is old enough to have his own story. After that, I'd tell you about the photography class I took last week and how it has reinvigorated my passion and renewed my commitment to shooting in manual. And none of that would be fake, because today is better and all those things are on my mind and I'm not one to dwell on the bad and dwelling wouldn't be true to how I feel today. But it also wouldn't be the whole story. So blogging is funny. It's snapshots of where you are when the computer happens to be open. It's been 10 years and I'm still trying to walk the right line of what I share. Part of me is mortified I published what I did, the rest of me is just, yep, that was my yesterday. Here's today.
And today I got our family pictures back from our photographer and I love them. I'm shocked at how much I love them. The kids were crazy that afternoon. I had a panic attack about my hair before we left because I didn't think it looked like me (clearly I haven't changed my straight and boring hairstyle in a decade) but I didn't have time to change it. Cora declined to wear her gold shoes and chose an old black patent pair of Claire's out of a bin in the closet. The kids were crazy. Smiley, enthusiastic, and full of love, but running about like puppies with ADD suddenly unsure of their English commands. But my god I love this crew of ours. And I think that came through.
The outfits were the biggest challenge, as always. I never want to spend much money on them, but I want to generally blend together, and most of all I want everyone to look like themselves. Maybe just a little more refined and coordinated, but still- I want to see a picture and see us.
And here we are in 2016.
Claire in her favorite color and Jackie O style and the pearl bracelet she added herself as we were running out the door.
Cora in her super exciting and longer than usual tutu ("just like a princess," she whispered in awe when I showed it to her; $5 at Old Navy everyone) and GIANT coordinating bow.
Her 2 ponies and 4 hair clips are also present, though largely hidden by the glory of the tulle ball on her head. Her gorgeous hazel eyes are not.
Landon, not in his ever-present athletic shirt, but in shorts (no pants!), a button-down he found acceptable, and new men's sized shoes he picked out himself.
I'd asked our wonderful photographer to take each kid to a place of their choosing and just capture them as they are. And she did.
She got Landon's sweet non-painful smile that comes out when he's actually happy and not when someone says cheese.
Sweet Bear in her fancy shoes and accessories, sitting up straight and smiling away.
And Cora. Nearly 3, larger than life and still the beating heart of our house.
I love them all.
But this shot is my favorite. It was completely genuine- I wanted to kiss James and he let me even though someone was watching and the kids craned their necks around and found it HILARIOUS. It was their favorite moment of the day and they told everyone about it later "... we just took pictures and my parents KISSED and we LAUGHED SO HARD."
The hyperactive puppies were released and they raced down the sidewalk at full speed to our car. Our photographer happened to still have her camera in hand, so we got one more shot. Our party pack, sticking together like always, bursting forth to the next thing, heedless of the potential cross traffic we're yelling about behind them.
And that's our life. Beautiful, occasionally brutal, love and laughter and kiss-filled, sometimes tear-filled, rushing headlong, carefully planned, soaking it all up, and occasionally counting it down. I love these pictures as the glossy superficial snapshot of our best, most coordinated selves, but I really love them as the honest reflection of the love we share underneath it all.
The week isn't over, and some of the bad will linger well into the next and the next after that and that's okay. The good will too. Thanks for giving me a place to share both.