I have been back and forth on whether I want my kids to make much of appearance here on the blog or not. A big part of me is terrified of having their lives out there for the whole world to see. That alone has kept me from going crazy posting pictures of them. Plus, some of them are private people who do not like to be in the spotlight, and I do have to respect their privacy. That is part of my job as their mother, so I do ask them before posting information about them on any form of social media, including this one.
However, there is another part of me that believes I must involve my kids if I am going to tell my story and give my insight in a real, believable and helpful way. I am, after all, entrenched in the business of motherhood at this stage in my life. I simply cannot separate my insight from my daily life, which now revolves around children and teenagers.
When I started this blog, I did not want it to be a travelogue or journal. I wanted it to be about ideas that made people think. While that will continue to be my main focus, you may see my kids show up a little more often.
With that introduction, meet my family:
Jordan is the oldest at 17. He has been fascinated with the piano since he could sit on the bench and play with the keys. He started accompanying the church choir at age 12, and currently accompanies the congregational hymns on the organ. He also teaches piano lessons in his spare time. He will be graduating from high school next year and is considering the possibility of studying music in college, either as a major or a minor. He is throwing around names like the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Vanderbilt, and Stanford…but we are hoping he chooses something a little closer to home (and cheaper).
While he loves performing, his real passion lies in composing. I cannot see him being truly fulfilled unless he is able to use his creativity (musically or artistically) on a regular basis.
Jordan is naturally studious and driven and is currently taking six AP classes, which keeps him extremely busy. He is quite a good cook and has his chocolate chip recipe perfected.
He also loves the outdoors. He and Andrew hiked 50 miles last summer with their boy scout troop, culminating with the summit of Mt. Whitney. He now dreams of hiking all 2,663 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail.
Andrew is 15 and stands about 6’4″, with no signs of slowing down in the growth arena. He passed up his older brother a year ago and likes to hold that over Jordan’s head (literally). He has a gift for keeping things light, and has always been the comic relief of the family, right alongside his father.
After a couple of years of struggling with friends during middle school, Andrew’s natural confidence began to emerge and shine. He is an excellent and fearless leader, successfully taking charge of any given situation without even thinking about it. Part of that means that he is not afraid to tell people what he thinks. You always know where he stands, and if you are doing something that he does not agree with, you will hear about it.
Andrew is a people person to the core. He loves being surrounded by people, and usually is. You can count on him taking the spotlight at youth dances, unafraid to show off his moves. He has a very sensitive heart underneath his confident exterior, often going out of his way to help those in need.
He is obsessed with college football, and dreams of following in his Dad’s footsteps by joining the ranks of the BYU Cougars, followed by The Ohio State Buckeyes before taking over Dad’s dental practice.
Elise is 13 and also inherited some tall genes. At around 5’7″, she towers over most of her friends. She hopes that she is almost done growing, but I would be willing to bet that she still has a couple of inches to go.
Elise loves drama. Being on a stage acting in front of a crowd is where she truly shines. She especially loves musical theater and is not afraid to show off her pipes. Don’t ask her to give a speech in front of a group, though. Apparently that is a completely different ball of wax!
While she loves being on stage, she also needs a fair amount of time to herself. She always has a book (or kindle) in her hand, often using breakfast and after school snack time as her reading time.
When not reading, she also loves watching TV, baking (and eating) treats, spending time with her friends, writing stories, journaling (a girl after my own heart), holding babies, and making sure her stuff is clean and organized. She even asked Santa for a clean room one Christmas several years ago. She and I are cut out of the same cloth in so many ways! (Perhaps that is why we seem to butt heads more often than anybody else…) We even share similar taste in clothes…sometimes…at least in the case of these dresses:
Kate is a 10-year-old ball of energy. She is always on the move. She especially loves playing outside. Playground bars are her favorite, but she also loves swings, slides, bikes, roller-blades, and anything else that gets her moving outdoors.
She is obsessed with stuffed animals and always has a few in bed with her at night. The others just get thrown on the floor. She likes her stuff out where she can see it at all times, but somehow she can’t always find it…
Kate is an enthusiastic learner, often going above and beyond the call of duty in her studies by doing extra work. She is also very creative and resourceful and loves to make treasures out of whatever she can find, like these homemade stilts that are created from cups, string, and painter’s tape.
Kate avoids drama at all costs and is usually content to do her own thing. She is observant and quiet, but also confidant in front of a group, as long as she is prepared.
At 7-years-old, Carson is the baby. He is severely allergic to peanuts and keeps us on our toes with multiple stashes of Benadryl and epi-pens in various locations, just in case. He constantly keeps us supplied with ideas, which are never lacking in his mind. He is the most creative kid I know. He is rarely bored because he always has some sort of plan. Whether it is a lemonade stand or a make-shift beauty spa, he has it covered.
He is constantly making cute things for his friends, family, and teachers. I especially like this one:
And this one, which he just made for me yesterday morning:
With all of the new ideas that are constantly coming into his mind, he tends to get distracted easily, but his adorable dimples make up for a myriad of sins.
Carson loves to be with people, and feels like it is a punishment to be alone. We finally moved him into a bedroom with Kate and gave Elise her own room because he would cry and complain every night at bedtime because “Everyone else got to share a room” and he had to sleep alone. It works great to have them together for now because they are best friends and do everything together.
Last, but not least, Greg is my other half. He keeps me (and the kids) laughing. There are very few times that you can take him seriously, and I have been known to tell people not to laugh, as it will only encourage him. That is what I love about him, though. He keeps me young and encourages me to let go and live more fully. As a pediatric dentist, he is right in his element since he is really a big kid himself.
There you have it – my family in a nutshell. Hopefully you enjoyed getting to know us a little bit better.