This kid. The other day I actually said, “Man if she wasn’t mine, I’d find all of her accomplishments kind of annoying.”

Also if she wasn’t so darn cute…

Annabelle has been tearing up life in general. She’s got an A+ average in every school subject (although she is working her butt off to achieve that – it’s not coming easy) and continues to completely blow away her mounted archery coach (who has invited her to train with the United States Cultural Heritage Team – the youngest kid by 5 years):

Now she rides in open fields, shooting multiple soccer balls in <20 seconds)

She was also selected to be a contestant in a reality TV show, which I’m not allowed to talk about but will take us to LA all next week. This is one of the crazier experiences we’ve ever had and I’m just crossing every finger and toe that it will be a positive one for her… since there’s no doubt in my mind that this footage will be watched by everyone she knows (and will know in the future).

Because this is how everyone she knows spends their time

She’s been able to keep her anxiety at bay, and is somewhat managing her extreme focus on healthy eating (borderline orthorexia) and no longer losing any weight. She also has great friends who are as adorable and interesting and goofy and awkward as she is, which I absolutely love. She’s still not (nor will she ever be) warm and fuzzy, but she and I are as close as ever, partly due to my willingness to drive her 45 minutes away for mounted archery (and both her gratefulness and the sheer amount of time the means we have to chat). I know the scary teen years are knocking at our door, but so far, so good.

Where’s Waldo? And Woof? Cute last minute Halloween costume for both!


I’m a little delayed on the update for this girl, but it just means she’s been able to accomplish even more. Like making it to the next level in ice skating! She’s now in “Basic 5” which involves crossovers, lunges, hockey stops and more. It is so much fun being able to help her improve and more importantly, share this love with my little girl! She’s even having an ice skating birthday this year – something I distinctly remember choosing myself (having flashbacks to the best day ever, when I had an ice skating birthday party AND got a cabbage patch kid)…

She passed on her first try!

Clem is also doing the children’s theater, though she was disappointed to get the role of Oompa Loompa #3 in Willy Wonka when she was going for Charlie. She got over it quick, though, especially when she became besties with O.L.#2. And she’s had enough to do with the business fair (Whatacorn made nearly $400 this year!!), her piano lessons (she’s working hard on Kasey Muskgraves’ “Rainbow” currently), and her various other projects, which mostly involve coloring, reading and writing her own little books.

3rd grade school photo. She threw on the peacock feather fascinator at the last minute

At school, Clem is doing great. She lost her core group of friends to private school, so she doesn’t have a “posse,” but she has lots of close friends and is always inviting different ones (often boys) over for playdates. At her parent teacher conference, her teachers said she’s doing great – A+ grades across the board, lots of friends, and just a lovely kid. They said she has the same challenge focusing that we see at home, which we should watch over time, but it isn’t impeding her ability to do great and have fun so we’re not too worried for now.

First classic Halloween costumer in a while – though she switched out her black dress for a swimsuit at the school carnival and came as a “sand witch”

All in all, Clem’s school year has been smooth and supportive – just what she needed after last year. She is getting sad FAR less often (although as an extreme empath, sad things in the world hit her hard). Her only (mild, quiet) complaint is that she seems to be living in her sister’s shadow these days — everyone wants to hear about Mounted Archery, the reality TV show Annabelle was cast on (more on that later), etc. But we gently reminded her that the spotlight will shift again… and again and again… whether it’s about Willy Wonka or Whatacorns or Whatever the next exciting adventure holds. And she seems pretty okay with that. Because, you know, she’s the best.