Monday, September 24, 2012

2008 Schofield Snapshot in Time!

The year is coming to a close so I wanted to write about what went on this year in our home. I feel as though I've been hiding in a cave socially only coming out to communicate with people outside my family here and there. This is partially due to the necessity of adjusting to the overwhelming change in our lives this year as compared to the past six years, but also due to the fact that all I seem to have to give only reaches my immediate family and work this year. Due to this, I've felt a bit disconnected with the outside world. People I love outside of my immediate family are still in my heart and thoughts often, and I truly missed that "connection" that comes from face to face interaction and phone conversation. Thankfully, I've been blessed with perspective and wisdom (except when I have PMS...seriously) that it's just a season, and that times will come when I have the opportunity, time, and resources to reach out a bit more. I think next year will be similar to this year, so I'm trying to mentally prepare for the joys but also the isolation that comes from living in your own little micro world of family and work. I've really enjoyed all the Christmas updates of what's going on in others' lives! It's given me a sense of connection which I've really longed for this year. Overall, I'm overcome with emotions of joy, humility, and gratitude when I think of how immensely my life has been blessed! When I attempt to say my prayers and thank my Heavenly Father for all I've been blessed with, I get overwhelmed because there are just too many things to thank Him for. There are thousands of blessings I have the privilege of taking for granted every day from the beautiful view of the woods in my back yard with frequent visitors (birds and squirrels) to the deep gratitude I felt when I attended Preston and Catriona's well child check-up this year. Any illnesses -no, any allergies-no, any hospital stays-no, any medications-no, the list just went on and on. Perfectly healthy children! I've had perfectly healthy children for the past 14 years! Some days I'm profoundly grateful for this, and other days I just have the privilege of taking it for granted.

So, that being said, here's an update on each of us in the Schofield Bubble.

Preston - Preston is in the middle of his 9th grade year at Jordan High School. He's been my heart break this year as I'm just now dealing with the fact that my baby is in high school. It's hard to describe how hard mentally it can be so see your baby become a teenager. It's as though I've kept him on this little island for the last 14 years, and now I'm sending him out in a boat by himself every day to learn to fish and just hoping that he won't get overcome by a shark or by inclement weather. I suppose this is excellent preparation for the ultimate "send off" which is coming in just a few short years. Preston's chosen to go on a mission which I'm so proud of him for doing. He's already got around $350 saved - almost one month down - 23 to go. He's well liked at school among his friends and teachers. He's got a very charismatic personality which is a big attractor more so of girls than guy friends. He doesn't talk on the phone much, but prefers socializing at church activities and on Facebook online. He's loyal and loving and has a very tender side which he sometimes tries to hide around his family. He moved into "Attica" a few months ago which he now loves. It's his little cave to hide in, well mostly sleep in, when he doesn't want to do homework, doesn't want to hear his mom nag him to do homework and chores, and just wants to get away from it all. He's made some real efforts lately to love his sister Catriona this year which has been touch and go. Sometimes he'll over hug her which he's discovered she hates, and other times he'll say a sincere thank you which is gracefully accepted. He's an awesome big brother to Tristan when he throws him on his back and runs around the house with him, puts together beads with him, and plays outside with him. His favorite hobbies are playing Rock Band on the Wii - his favorite instrument is the drum. He has taken electric guitar lessons every month from his fantastic guitar teacher - Mike and continues to learn the fundamentals of guitar. Preston makes A's and B's in school, and is an excellent test taker. He's grown a lot this year academically in having to learn not to procrastinate on assignments, to turn in homework on time, and how to stay organized. Sometimes he prefers to in-line skate outside rather than study and complete homework but he always seems to "bring it" by the end of the quarter. I'm really looking forward to watch Preston excel in school over the next few years. Preston's outside hobbies include gardening which recently he made an indoor garden for his room. He loves mountain biking although he can't ride his bike lately because it got ruined from popping wheelies...oops. So, he's been burning up his wheels on his in-line skates this year. If you're driving home in our neighborhood, you just might get passed by Preston whizzing by on his skates. He's fearless on those skates! Many days this year Preston told me to strap on my skates and ride all the streets in our neighborhood. I've really enjoyed this time with him.

Catriona - I think the best way to describe Catriona this year would be to describe what life would be like without her in our home. Without her in our home, who would offer everyone in the family a grilled cheese sandwich on a regular basis? Who would keep the spirit of Christmas alive by reminding us about the traditions of our Annual Schofield Fireside, the Christmas tree, the ornament giving tradition at Thanksgiving, and about the joy that comes from giving? Who would make chocolate milk every day and ask if they'd like a cup made for them? Catriona mostly spreads joy, quality time, and high quality living in our home. Since I re-arranged my office desk to have a view of our front yard I often get to see Catriona running home from the school bus. She can also be seen in the cul-de-sac on her in-line skates improving her skating skills. Catriona is a stellar student in school. Many teachers over the years have commented on her enthusiasm for learning. I still remember the day when one teacher talked of a writing activity using the analogy of the parts of a sandwich as the kids built their paper sandwiches to enhance their skills in effective and complete writing. She commented on how genuinely excited Catriona was to do the activity and said, "she's just the kind of student that makes you love being a teacher". At home it's not much different. Catriona aims to please and most the time hits the mark except when she's aiming to annoy which she also knows how to do very well. Two nights ago during a game of Rummikub, she laughed and laughed until we all said "enough". Catriona's hobbies this year have been in-line skating, discovering the forest and making forts back there, training Bits - her rabbit, taking guitar lessons every week, setting up sleep overs and learning to entertain her friends, learning to draw horses, and learning to be a fantastic babysitter. Catriona is very sensitive to how others are feeling and will often show her most beautiful attributes to her personality when she sees a family member in need. Yesterday, while her brother laid sick on the couch, she cheered him up by entertaining him. When she sees I'm overstretched with work, she'll make up the difference by making dinner at times, tidying up the downstairs, or keep up with her responsibilities to lighten my load. What a blessing Catriona is for our family. This year many will often comment on how beautiful she is making envious remarks of her two foot long blond hair and beautiful face, but it's her spirit inside that continues to humble me in gratitude that I've been blessed to be her mother all these years. By being around her, I'm surrounded by service, compassion, caring, and an appreciation of all things beautiful.

Tristan - a.k.a. Trouble, Baby Sweet Pea, My Little Mooka, etc. Favorite sayings to him - "you've got the cutest little toes", "you know your mommy loves you", "your the sweetest little baby in the whole wide world". Now when I say the last one, she says, "no mommy, I'm a big boy", so I say "okay, your the sweetest big boy in the whole wide world" and then frown because it just doesn't have the same effect on me when I say it that way. Tristan is my toddler boy version of me. He's giving back all I ever did to cause hardship to my older sister Liz, mom and dad, and other siblings growing up. He's such a loving little boy. He'll spontaneously say, "mom, I love you" in a way that makes my heart just melt. When his aunt Liz and grandma Kunz came to visit, he stole their hearts with his "stop" comment said in a flirtatiously and slowly. He's often picking up on comments of his brother Preston and sister Catriona and when he says them - it is, for lack of a better word, so adorable. He's our little toe head. He's a little albino baby with the lightest hair, skin, and gray/blue eyes. Preston and Catriona are blessed with beautiful olive skin and can't understand when their Dad lathers Tristan up after each bath with a 1/4" of lotion to keep his skin healthy. When I want to remember Tristan as a 3 year old, I need to think of string cheese, him jumping out of the bathtub and running away from the towel down the hall to escape, locking down the house to keep him from running down the street, that little smirky/mischievous smile, "mommy, I love you", "no thanks" when he didn't want to take Tylenol when he had a fever, riding on his tricycle so fast the pedals were just always in the way, learning to sing "I love to see the temple", night tuck-ins where he'd spontaneously hug me and not want to let go, and the run into my arms hug/love he gives me every morning when he's dropped off at Triangle Preschool.

Kelly - Kelly's career has totally taken a right hand turn this year. After our company was chopped in half in 2007, Kelly decided to go back and become a licensed physician in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. After planning to rank Duke and UNC as the only schools he wanted to match with and meeting with the director of Psychiatry last year to inform her of his plans, he was admitted on the spot and told that he just needed to pass his boards. He successfully passed his boards last fall after six years away from formally practicing medicine which still astounds me and started as a Resident Psychiatrist in January. It's now December and he's completed his internship year! Words can't even begin to describe how much joy it's brought me to see how competent, skilled, and compassionate Kelly has been as a Psychiatrist. His scores are top of his class and his maturity well beyond that of the other residents after all his years as Clinical Director for Youth Quest. It's been a joy to hear him tell of the veterans, hospital patients, and inpatient lives he's been able to serve this year. Last fall we sat down with our children and talked of how our lives would be different this year. It was hard for Preston to adjust to his Dad being less available, and Catriona often wanted to keep up with when he'd be on call and when he would be home. Kelly left his little buddy Tristan who started to ask "where's daddy" more often and Kelly made a frown when he called for mom at times loved rather than him when he was home. Kelly receives top marks from his wife for his ability to leave work at work this year. When he gets home, he hangs up his white coat and has been completely there for us all year. This is one gift he's given that's been one of those things taken for granted. When he's home, you'll often see him bird watching with the kids, outside keeping up his tropical gardens, giving guidance and discipline to Preston and Catriona, reading books every night he's home to them, giving Tristan baths and putting 1/4" of lotion on him, making sure we read a few verses of scripture each night and said family prayer, and getting angry at the kids if they weren't in bed on time telling them that they were stealing quality time his wife needed. Thank you so much Kelly for coming through for our family and working to get us back on solid ground. I love you. Kelly's hobbies this year have been helping the kids take care of the reptiles, maintaining a tropical garden, backyard birding, building an entire attic, hundreds of back rubs to his wife, being a home teacher, and being an assistant scout master at church. My name for Kelly this year is "Dr. McDreamy" because he's just the whole package. What you see is what you get with Kelly. He's truly a wonderful husband and father.

Emily - I'll let Kelly write this part. Here goes.

Emily is the model of perseverance... she has worked incredibly hard this year continuing to nurture Youth Quest through its trials and feeling as if I left her to hold the fort while I go elsewhere. She continues to extend her passion and compassion into serving the clients and staff that we have the privilege to try to have an impact on. She wonderfully gets our kids ready each morning, leaving at 5:45 with Preston to seminary, then sends Cat and Tristan on their way. She somehow finds time to take care of herself by working out and has found a new passion this year in roller blading; ripping it up along side Preston when he is home. Catriona tags along, but doesn't quite have the perseverance for it yet. Emily ran in yet another sprint triathlon this year, but unfortunately Preston and I weren't able to make it to watch her cross the finish line again. She literally does carry a large burden of our family on her shoulders this year and I've missed her and the kids while at the hospital. I have loved the exciting work I've done at the various locations, but I've missed her and the kids. It's a wonderful feeling to know that when I'm gone, my kids are getting her. I often return home to a delicious dinner and lately over the last few months, she's been in a cooking and baking mood; which we've all enjoyed, most of all me!!! She really enjoys our little "beach home" as she calls it and would frequently spend some weekends out there even if my work didn't allow me to be there. She loves to play in our warm ocean and is like a fish when she goes out alone or with Preston. They even jumped in the kayak once and tried to catch up with some dolphins we saw; they got away, but they had fun trying. I'm just really blessed to have a wife and mother as strong as her to hold our home together and wish there was some small way for me to accurately portray how important she is to me and our family. Thanks Emily.

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