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Several weeks ago I shared that our family was going thru some unexpected changes. Everyone was so supportive and kind….I have been meaning to update you guys a bit, without going into any real squishy details, so here we go.
This beautiful little girl is now a stunning young 16 (and a half) year old young woman. She is the barometer of our home, the keeper of all memories, the sensitive but giggly girl with the dimple in her chin. She’s also got a heart as big as the whole wide world….some of her favorite things to do are head down to the men’s mission or the battered women’s shelter or the Burmese refugee community center to just hang out with the kids and bring some sunshine. She’s just finished her 3rd missions trip this year with her dad. Yeah. I know. She totally rocks.
Over the summer, we’d noticed our girl struggling with depression….making some choices that weren’t the best, and as a family we decided to drop everything and invest in this precious life. She decided to come back home to finish her junior and senior year, began doing some interning and volunteer work at her church, and started some counseling (her dad and I go with her every other week).
In the midst of all this change, her dad started taking off afternoons from work when he could to take her on dates…..practicing driving, sharing coffee at the bookstore, just hanging out and talking about the important stuff of life. Her older sister helped her make inspiration boards (which I’ll show in a later post), and her two other older sibs have been taking her out as well. My daughter in law and I will be taking her out on a shopping spree, then doing a photo shoot in her new duds at the Botanical Gardens at the end of the month.
I’m also doing my part by doing what I do best….giving her bedroom a makeover :) I’ve been taking my cues from what she wants…..using fabric and colors and styling that appeals to her. I want her to have a place that encourages her, a place that feels like her personal space, a refuge from the teenage angst that nips at her heels.
She moved into the upstairs bedroom after her sister moved out. The walls stayed this deep turquoise, but everything else is new. I’ve been busy painting furniture and the brown trim in the room, sewing stuff, shopping, and froufifying. I’ll share the full reveal in the coming days….for now, as she’s recuperating from her lastest missions trip by staying at Gramma’s, I’m scurrying around trying to finish up some final touches before she gets home tomorrow.
We still have ups and downs, still struggle with emotions, expectations, and disappointments….but we’re slogging thru day by day, and things are so much better than they were. I’m so extremely proud of her….the hard choices she’s made regarding her friends, time on facebook and texting, taking responsibility for looking for a job, working hard at homeschool, etc.
I want to show you some pictures of my amazing girl working this past week…..my hubby’s company sponsors short term missions trips, and for this particular assignment, they were helping to renovate a home that will become a half-way house. They also sorted medical supplies heading to the Congo, Haiti, and other places in need, and worked on a community garden. She got lots of practice with power tools!
Getting ready to leave…..
Team members taking a break from sorting medical supplies….
Prying off old siding…..
With the girls again…(dad in the background using the drill)Look at that power tool! Don’t even know what dat is…. But my girl gets busy using it! More work getting rid of the old siding…. Working on putting in a new sidewalk along the side….
Prepping the garden which helps feed homeless folk.
Yep. I’m wicked proud of my girl. I hope she likes her room.
The teen years are such a confusing time. So many parents these days are to busy to pay attention to what's going on in their childrens lives. I think it's so great that the whole family is pitching in during a rough time. What a blessing!
Thanks for sharing that - I need to get our family off our rears and help some people! Our families are all that really matter - other than God - take all the time you need when it is for family.
What an awesome young lady. I am proud of her and I don't even know her.
Big hugs, lots of prayers,
I'm sure the example of such wonderful parents and siblings has helped her make these good decisions in this time of her life. I agree that the teen years are so challenging. How does anyone make it through? She's beautiful inside and out and knowing that her family is there for her will make all the difference in her life. I can't wait to see her bedroom.
Oh she is a precious one, I can see why you are so very proud of her. I think any year can sneak up on our kids and throw them inside out. My oldest is suffering right now and he will be 23 its tough as a parent when you do everything you can and yet they still have a rough time. Keeping you all in my prayers. Love & hugs to you Kate
oh, she is just gorgeous!!! and a sweetie too, she is lucky to have you as a mom, family will always be there, friends come and go!!
Best wishes to the whole family.
It looks like everyone is pulling together to keep this one big happy family. I'm sure your daughter is a proud of her family as you all are of her.
I think in the end, the apples don't fall far from the tree. Your daughter is beautiful and blessed to have such good parents. Depression is a horrible thing. It wraps its hold around you and yanks you into a dark abyss. Keep fighting for those smiles. No way around it, but you will get through it. LOVE what I see so far of the room!
Sounds to me like your an amazing family and you have one amazing girl there!
What a beautiful soul. The teen years can be tough but a warm, loving family can be just 'what the doctor ordered'. I have three daughters myself so I understand how your heart hurts for her. When the good days outweigh the bad, you know you're on your way.
Wow, she seems like a great girl! Thanks for sharing that with us.
She sounds like an amazing girl!
My eyes are tearing up as I read your post. You have such a supportive family..I am glad better days are on the horizon due to your family pulling together and working as a team...pat yourself on your back-you've done good mom!!
What a beautiful and giving daughter you have! Best wishes to her and your family!
I went through something similar with my daughter and it was the hardest time of my life. We did a lot of the things that you are doing, and she is now the best kid in the world. I'm sure your daughter will love her room. She seems like a wonderful person.
She is a special girl. You must be very proud. Your family has come together to help her through this time and that is a powerful and wonderful thing.
This is so awesome. I am so glad that you are doing this (all of it) for her. Hubby and I are not planning on homeschooling right now, but I am a teacher, and I have considered it. I just told him the other day that there would be 2 big reasons I would pull my kids out of school...1) if they weren't getting what they needed academically and 2) if they were being bullied. I am glad that you decided to do whatever necessary to help your little girl!
Hi Cindy. What a beautiful daughter you have in EVERY way, you must be so incredibly proud of her. Wishing her all the very best and you are such an inspiration as a Mum!! Wishing you a wonderful day as always ~ Tina xx
What a lovely post! I sure hope you film her walking into her big reveal. Such a cool gift from a special mom. :)
I love how your family is all about love. The Harveys rock!
What an awesome young lady you have there! She's also a very fortunate girl to have parents and siblings who rally around her and provide such wonderful support. Being the parent of a young teenager, I understand what they face. I work for a school district and we often see parents so involved in the school at the elementary level and then they drop off in secondary. I think secondary is where they may need us most. Thanks for sharing her and her story with us.
Thanks for sharing, Cindy. You and your girl both made some wise choices.
i think it is wonderful that your family pulled together and helped rather than let yourselves get torn apart. your daughter is so beautiful, inside and out, and she has so much to be proud of. i hope that i raise my children to be the good-hearted girl she so clearly is. she is utterly deserving of the work you are putting into her room and i can't wait to see it all done!
What an amazing young lady! I hope that things go better for her and the entire family. ((hugs)).
Poo! I typed out a big long comment, and it's gone - but then I've had three glasses of wine to try to induce sleep tonight - so - I just can't wait to meet Maddie. She's a great girl. I'd like you and Chris to be my parents please. K - thanks.
She certainly sounds like an amazing young lady who has done quite a lot for someone her age. So much for you to be proud of. Teen years are harder on some kids and need more guidance. Sound like you all have got that part down pat!
Cindy- I have been traveling so I am just catching up here a bit. It is so heartbreaking to watch your child suffer through depression and sadness and NOT be able to help them. Especially, when as parents, we want...we need to be..in control. My heart goes out to you, to her, to your entire family.
One of my daughters suffered (may still to some extent) from depression. When she went off to college she had a very rough time of it. Now, she is married with a child of her own, but there were years when I just wanted to hug her to my heart and tell her to stay strong. She did a lot of missions work too...and I do think that helped..but counseling helped her the most.
I will be saying a prayer for all of you...and know that God watches out for his children. Hugs- Diana
How proud you must be!
What a remarkable, beautiful girl!
she's beautiful! being a consistent parent with boundaries and support is the most important job in the whole world! good luck to you all.
i really want to use my life for good and this has been inspiring to me!
I want to reach through this computer and give you xoxo!
She is going to love it!!
Your daughter is lucky to have such a devoted and caring family by her side during some trying teenage times! I love that you all slowed down to spend time with her and help her through her struggles.
Her volunteer work is amazing and you, I'm sure, are so proud of her! The fact that she can yield a power tool at that age is awesome!!
Take care Cindy! Thinking of you!
THANK YOU FOR POSTING THIS!!
I love your blog... Link Exchange??
Wow she is a stunner! So many young people could take a lesson or two from this young woman. Adolescence is a difficult stage in life. She is lucky to have parents who have taken the time to invest in helping her down the right path. Good luck to you and your beautiful daughter.
Wow - that was a Hallmark post!! Thank you for sharing that personal trip, it was beautiful as is your daughter. :-)
She's beautiful. I understand. At her age I was moved from overseas to America. I became what is now a 'Third Culture Kid' -I blew it so very often - actually had a lot of the same qualities she did - involved with people. I have beent thinking about her and praying......
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