"You can make anything by writing."

-- C. S. Lewis

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Craving Fall

Ryley started 3rd grade yesterday.


After dropping her off, I cried all the way to work. And then some. :-(

Because, look:

Kindergarten:                                      First Grade:

1 Kindergarten 1st Grade

2nd grade 010

2nd Grade                                           3rd Grade

I don’t remember her growing and maturing this much.

Her face is different. I think the difference between 2nd and 3rd grade is especially pretty drastic.

Let this be a lesson to my friends with younger children: enjoy every second of babyhood while you can. Soak up every stage. Someday they won’t want you to walk them to their classroom. And they’ll only be eight years old.


Back-to-School Night was last week, and she got to see her classroom, meet her teachers, etc.



Very fun! The first day couldn’t come soon enough!!!! :-)


The Broncos games are also back! Does this mean fall is on the way???

We only have two tickets this year. Look at that rain storm in the distance!


Ryan and I went to the first pre-season game and had a great date night. We ended up walking around the stadium and taking a lot of pictures…. I love these pics of downtown Denver and Elitch’s. The clouds were so beautiful that evening, and the weather was lovely.






Pre-season games are perfect for moseying around the stadium because once the season starts, it’s all business!!! :-)

The next weekend Ryan and Ryley went to the pre-season game. They had a really great time!


Ryley got to meet Thunder.






Bring on the fall!!!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

What I’ve Learned (and Writing It All Down)

It’s been a different kind of summer. Despite the ongoing issues we’ve had with bedtime, irrational homesickness, silly fears, and tummy aches, it’s been a fun few months, and I hate to see it come to an end.

Ryan gave me the sweetest compliment the other night as he was folding up our telescope: “Joy, I have to admit that though your planning was a little annoying at the time, your ‘summer of fun events’ turned out to be really fun. We did a lot of things we may not have done otherwise, and I’m appreciative of all the research and planning you put into it.”

The fun is starting to peter out, though, as the first day of school approaches. Bedtime is getting earlier and earlier. The school supply list didn’t include scissors or construction paper this year, a sure sign that 3rd grade is here, and our little girl is growing up. When she told someone the other day that she loves the first day of school because usually they just do crafts all day, I told her not to be so sure! :-)

I am realizing that, if anything, I have been humbled in my parenting this summer….I have learned that you can do all the right things and do everything in your power (and then some) and max out your creativity in discipline, etc., etc., etc., and still your child can get the best of you.  You can wonder what other parents do that works so well, and you can wonder where you went wrong, and you can feel sorry for yourself and think that nobody in the world has ever dealt with these issues you are dealing with. But in the end, you remember that there is nothing new under the sun. And really, truly, God is the only one who can help, and even if it doesn’t seem like He’s helping, He is quietly doing His work, deep below the surface of your child’s heart. And you know that God has special plans for your child….that the over-sensitivity was placed in her heart with a purpose, and with patience, God will mature it and develop it to be exactly how He wants it. And despite my best efforts to mold her how I think she should be, God has the last say. And I must learn to back off and let her learn from Him herself. The very things I am fighting in her character are very possibly there for a purpose, and instead of smoldering them, I must prayerfully help her redirect them.

That’s what I’ve learned this summer. That’s what I’m still learning this summer.

I’ve also learned how much I LOVE being with Ryan. I mean, I’ve always known it, but now that he’s home more, I am feeling it more.  We’ve been playing the board game “CLUE” as a family on random evenings, and I remembered that  the last time I played CLUE was the summer I visited Ryan and his family in Florida for a week when we were 19 and dating.


It was that brother-sister banter and silliness during an innocent game of CLUE that made me realize I wanted to marry Ryan…that I wanted to build a family with this man. And now, here we are, almost 15 years later, with our sweet girl laughing and pronouncing it “leed pipe” and “Co-lon-el Mustard.”  And we’re a little family.

And we’ve had several perfect weekends of doing things like meeting each other’s eyes above our daughter’s head as Jackie Chan hums a cheesy Chinese lullaby during the “hit” children’s movie “The Spy Next Door.” And we’ve been sleeping in, talking, cheating together at CLUE to make the game go faster when bedtime approaches, laughing at the hidden innuendos in the reality show “Hillbilly Handfishing,” and generally catching up on all the time lost when he’s worked evenings the last 12 years. And I just really, really love him. :-)


Images from the last few weeks:

Having a little chat on the patio…


We stumbled across the Budweiser Clydesdales just a 1/2 mile from our house last Saturday… How crazy is that??



Looking at the moon…


My boss gave me a “spa day” for reaching the 5-year milestone with the company, so I took a few pictures to show Ryley…


I was particularly fascinated by the hot stone massage, which was a first for me…


Ahhhhh. That was a great day. :-)

Then, Ryley’s been hanging out with me at work for a few days this week since her daycare is closed for the summer, and school doesn’t start until the 29th….This is her camp-out under my desk…



The other day we were talking about “Little House on the Prairie,” and Ryley asked, “Why is Laura Ingalls so famous?”

“Because of her books,” I replied. “Everybody loves them. Don’t you?”

“Yes, but there were thousands of pioneer girls just like Laura,” Ryley responded. “Why is she famous and not them?”

“Because she took the time to write it all down,” I answered.

So, I’ve been pondering that for a few days. Everybody is unique, of course, but when it comes down to it, why do we care more about some people than others? In the grand scheme of things, our lives are like fading flowers, and our stories aren’t super different, from one person to the next. I mean, just think about all the blogs you might read, and everyone is just living life and putting their own spin on it.

I think about all the pioneer girls who were just as special as Laura, but because their stories aren’t written down, we know nothing about their existence. It’s actually kind of sad.

I love the power of writing, and even though my stories (at this point, anyway) are simple and nothing more extraordinary than recounting the events in our lives, I am doing this for Ryley and for the history of our family. Someday in the future it will be treasured, and this moment in our lives will not go unnoticed or forgotten...

…Because I took the time to write it down.