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The girls have been gone for 8 weeks. This is honestly about 3 weeks too many for me. They’re normally gone for roughly 6 weeks out of the summer… and during that time period Russell and I run around the house naked, take the motorcycle everywhere, eat out a lot, sleep in on the weekends, and really just have a yearly honeymoon period.

It’s never boring. Always very good for our relationship, refreshing us after a long winter of short days, long extra curricular hours of kid stuff, and the basic routine of life.

This year we had an extra 3 weeks added to how long the girls would be gone… and although we have had a ton of fun… the kids always seem to grow like crazy when they’re gone… and now… to be honest, I’m just ready to have my family whole again.

They come home this weekend, and I CAN’T WAIT!!!

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Hailey will be starting 5th grade… cheerleading… and turning the giant 11 this year. I’m still in a small amount of shock over this. She was born the year September 11th happened. Can you believe it’s been that long ago? I cannot believe how much she is growing up. In less time than I’ve had her… she will be off to college… and I just have no idea where the time is going. She’s a stubborn little person with fire in her eyes and although I am already seeing how frustrating her teen years are going to be for me, I love and respect the strength in her character beyond my capability to explain. She is a wild horse. She will be whatever it is that she wants to be. Hopefully she will just allow me to assist in guiding the course as she grows.

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She is the defender of all those smaller than her… she fights hard for the underdog. She hates to see people in agony no matter who they are. When Russell and I had difficulties, Hailey was the one that stood by me…. angry at him (no matter what I said to her to convince her that it was the both of us).

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She seeks vengeance when those she loves cry. When she was 4 in preschool with her sister, they were across the playground from each other when I was coming to pick them up one day. It seemed to happen in slow motion, I saw a kid push Faith down into the sand and take her toy (she was 2). Faith immediately went to bawling… and Hailey went into motion… sprinting across the toy covered field screaming, “That’s my sister,” at the top of her lunges….She was at a full sprint toward the culprit with Faith’s toy in his hand when I scooped her up, it took a minute of fight for her to realize that it was in fact her mom that had her before she began to calm down and explain what had happened. I was so proud of her in that moment, and I’ve seen nothing but that spirit in her since.

In watching Hailey grow I have been determined to keep Faith the baby…. and she has avoided that by having the responsibility of a 20-year-old. Although she’s still a snuggly child that loves to hug her mom… she sure doesn’t need me for much. She maintains great grades, a clean room, and is actually one of those people who can wear the color white… I still can’t even do that.

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She’s a sweet soul and takes every ounce of criticism straight to her heart. She would give anything she has to those that she cares about and she takes a lot of flack from kids at school because she doesn’t like to fight. She just wants everyone to love her… and quite honestly, if you don’t… well you’re a fool (but hey, I’m her mom what do I know?) 🙂 Faith is strong in different ways… she’s competitive… hates to lose… and works hard to excel at sports, academics…well anything she is doing really. She’s quite OCD in her need for perfection.

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The strange thing about my daughters is they are both halves of me… they are the day and night that rage inside of me. One compliments the other in such a strange rhythm. They are different in every way imaginable and yet complimenting of each other perfectly. I cannot wait to see their faces. I’ve missed them so.

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