We were looking at old photos on Facebook last night, and my heart broke a little, realizing how many memories were on there, even though I don't feel that I put all that many photos up. And I realized I had hardly taken a picture since my last post, back in December. And what of all the memories about life I have written about on here? That does it, I thought, and first thing this morning pulled up Life of Seven and decided to post. I'm a person of extremes, I believe, always have been. It works for and against me, and I have tried to become more balanced over the years. But the times it works in my favor is when I decide something is a good idea and go with it. For instance, reading. Last year I read so little beside audio books. The beginning of this year, my sister printed out a checklist for friends who would want to do her invented "52 book challenge." To make a long story short, I scoffed at the idea initially. There was no way I could possibly read that much this year. But I got to thinking about it while I heard my kids talk about how fun it would be to try to reach that reading goal and realized how silly it is that I don't read more. I used to read all the time. I used to read voraciously, in every spare moment of the day. I used to go to the Denver Public Library and leave with a brown paper grocery bag filled to the brim with books (granted, a huge percentage of them were Babysitter's club books and the like) and read non stop for about three days before I finally slowed down, but got dangerously near to the end of my library stack before the three weeks before the next library visit were up.
"Where is that girl?" I thought when faced with Stephanie's 52 book challenge. Years ago, I would have scoffed at the 52 book challenge list because that would have taken me closer to a month than a year. But once I decided I wanted to find that "girl who reads" again, I started picking up books in my free time, like I used to. No lingering over the decision or easing in to it. No, reading is a great thing, and I'm going to do it, I determined. So here I am at the end of February and I find myself ahead of schedule, ahead of the schedule that I thought was impossible just a few weeks before (So far this year, I've read or listened to 12 books, in case you were wondering).
My impulsiveness relates to my blog post today as well, and even blogging in general. One day a few years ago, I decided to start a blog, because I wanted to write more, and have more motivation to take more pictures of my kids. Which actually doesn't sound very virtuous, now that I think of it, hah! "Hey kids, I probably wouldn't bother to take pictures of you on my own, but now that I have a blog, lets get some quick pictures of you riding your bikes." "Look, Clemmie's walking! Better let the blog know." Shallow reasons or not, there's no denying that I've missed recording details and pictures from life when I haven't posted regularly. Well, why wait around? I decided. Let's rev up the engines again and have a go. So that's what I'm doing today.
And now let me take a second and tell you about those photos: First of all, Clemmie was in a great mood and smiling for the camera. The problem is, when you ask her to smile, she squinches up her face and closes her eyes. So out of the different pictures I took, only a few of them showed her eyes open. But she's actually not pouting. I feel like the luckiest mom in the world when I look at those pictures of my four beautiful girls.
And the final ones, why yes, that is Cate on her 17th birthday. The strawberry cake was pink and lovely and tasted...well, it was okay. Beautiful food doesn't necessarily always taste good.
And about Cate: I'm going to just copy and paste what I wrote on Facebook the morning of her birthday, because my day is getting away from me and there are children who are supposed to be doing school work right now but are actually playing while my back is turned.
So, here is what I wrote about Cate, and I still mean it with all my heart: "I love this girl SO MUCH! Happy 17th birthday, Cate! Your first moments on this earth feel like they happened just yesterday, and at the same time, a million years ago. Over the last 17 years, while I've taught you to do things like talk and read and ride a bike and share with your siblings and how you should tell the truth and love God, at the same time, you were teaching me just as much, if not more, about life. About how precious relationships are. About the fierce love a mother feels for her child. About turning to God when you feel hopelessly inadequate. About putting time and effort and work into something, and reaping the glorious rewards for years (and years) to come. The privilege of being your mother has made me a better person than I could have ever been without you. Happy birthday, my darling. Every day that goes by, you become more lovely and sweet and good and interesting and fun than you were the day before. God blessed my life so much when he gave me you!"