Riding her bike to school on the last day

It feels like yesterday that Annabelle was embarking on her first year of middle school, nervous and wide eyed and seemingly less prepared than the kids who got into her fantastic magnet program from more academically rigorous elementary schools. But here we are with our newly minted rising 7thgrader, and she absolutely killed it! Annabelle’s final grades were laughably great – her lowest one being a 97 in Science. She has also made a group of wonderful, funny, quirky, sweet and brilliant friends whom I hope will remain as her “pack” through middle and high school. And she is now shooting archery six days per week, has become a major fitness enthusiast (you should see her nose-to-ground push-ups), and loves playing her trombone in the middle school band, cooking and baking (this week: perfecting salt water taffy), reading, trying to train the dog, and more.

Taffy takes muscles and she’s been working on both!

Sure, she can be a very age-appropriate tween, sneaking screen time (something we never had to worry about before, but now have strict rules around), giving sullen one-word answers to her parents and nanny on occasion, blowing off her adoring little sister, and hanging out in her room more than with us. But most of the time, she remains joyful and interested in interacting with all – a guest whom parents always tell us they LOVE having over.

Such a great set of girlfriends!

Annabelle’s bout with anxiety back in January was scary, but it has now been under control for a while (she sees the therapist occasionally for help). She seems to be managing her stress smartly, such as agreeing to the major challenge of taking High School Algebra next year in 7thgrade (you have to be invited by the teacher, but with a 99 for the year, that wasn’t tough), but asking the band director to put her in the least advanced band group next year so she won’t be required to stay and practice after school, and taking French instead of Spanish, which she hears is an easier language at Kealing.

Convincing both of her siblings to get their fitness on at the park

Annabelle is SO excited for this summer, which she will spend primarily on horseback (a month’s worth of riding camp + her trip with Clem and her cousins to a dude ranch). She is also looking forward to tons of friend time – she spent her first 3 nights after school ended at various sleepovers and headed out at nearly 9PM last night for a night swim at Barton Springs with another friend. She’ll keep up with her archery and has a decent amount of summer homework (to prep for Algebra and keep reading and writing for language arts) but she isn’t worried about it. Kealing is so rigorous that she is mostly looking forward to some brain rest and carefree fun. And I’m thrilled to be off of work so I can enjoy a lot of it with her! Her bouts of tweeniness can be annoying, but they never come out when we are on an adventure together (even if that adventure is going shopping or cooking fried rice together) and I want to fit in as many of those moments as possible with this joyful, quick-witted and quirky girl!

Annabelle making everyone laugh in San Antonio (our Hamilton trip)

One thought on “Eleven.5

  1. Dear Lauren and Marc,
    Thank you for this wonderful Blog. I am so happy to catch up on my very special
    Great Grand-daughter and especially happy that you are able to be home with her.
    Love you so much. Gramma-Great Gramma

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