Hi, I'm Stephanie

 

 

 

  I love Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice so much that I decided to have five daughters and name the second one Elizabeth.  Like a modern-day Mrs. Bennett, I spend my days raising my girls so they will be happy and independent when they grow up – only I prefer that they make their money instead of marry it.  And if my youngest runs away to London with some loser at age 15, I will track her down and haul her home myself.  But I’ll totally do some sightseeing first.

 

Kira

 

The Guinea Pig.  Gives me hope.  My husband in feminine form, she just gets more fun.

Lizzy

 

 

 Energetic, smart, kind, and will argue her convictions to the death. 

 

 

 

Hallie

 

My Hallie Priscilla. Unique fashion sense, desperately wants to live in a purple house.  Loves skunks and fruit bats.

Sophia

 My girly-girl and lone lefty.  Charming, gracious, stubborn, preternaturally practical.  And ya, she and Hallie are identical twins.

Scarlett
Scarlett Bella, Bella-boo.  Becoming a daredevil. Spoiled rotten, practically perfect.

 
Mr. Man

My intensely private husband.  Hilarious, smart, compassionate, good. 

 

Joan Rivers on Housekeeping:

I hate housework.  You make the beds, you wash the dishes, and six months later you have to start all over again.

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Amen!

"I surely know that there is no role in life more essential and more eternal than that of motherhood.

"There is no one perfect way to be a good mother. Each situation is unique. Each mother has different challenges, different skills and abilities, and certainly different children. The choice is different and unique for each mother and each family. Many are able to be “full-time moms,” at least during the most formative years of their children’s lives, and many others would like to be. Some may have to work part-or full-time; some may work at home; some may divide their lives into periods of home and family and work. What matters is that a mother loves her children deeply and, in keeping with the devotion she has for God and her husband, prioritizes them above all else."

Elder M. Russell Ballard, "Daughters of God"

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Wednesday
May052010

Hallie's Purple House

Sometimes, when the weather is not too hot, and not too cold, but just right, I put either Hallie or Sophia in the jogging stroller and go for a nice long walk.   We set off, accompanied by the fading howls of whichever twin we left behind, to get some exercise and enjoy some one-on-one conversation.

Sophia, sweet and positive person that she is, mostly talks about how she admires things.  “That’s a nice house,”  “I like that car.”  I always finish a walk with Sophia feeling like the world is a very good place.

The first time I put Hallie in the stroller, she informed me, after just a few blocks,  that she would be moving to her new purple house soon.  There she would live with Sophia and a “different, still good,” mommy.

Trying not to feel rejected, I asked her more about this house.

Hallie’s purple house has a sticky purple floor.  She will bathe in purple bathwater.  Particularly exciting are the three purple, talking snakes.

Huh.

The following Sunday it occurred to Hallie that her friend, Abbie, should also live in the purple house.  Perhaps feeling that Abbie might miss her baby brother, Hallie decided that three purple brothers also lived there.

“Can I come?”

“No, the different, still good mommy will be there.”

I hate that different, still good mommy.

Hallie soon started to use invitations to her purple house as marks of her favor.  Sisters were invited, and uninvited.  Daddy would be allowed to come.  And, really, who wouldn’t want a house with purple bathwater?

Some aspects of the house I found a little worrisome.  A scary lady came to live there.  “Are you afraid of her?” I asked.

“No, she doesn’t say anything.  And she’s stuck to the wall,” Hallie said with breezy unconcern.

A few months passed, and that other mommy was no longer mentioned.  Then I got asked to move to the purple house.  Yes!  I’ve never been so happy to be invited to an imaginary house.

Hallie began to worry some days that Sophia or Abbie wouldn’t want to go to the purple house. With this new development, I started to wonder why she had invented the house.  Maybe, as Sophia told her yesterday, "Hallie, I think you have issues."

Lizzy, at the same age, had four imaginary friends:  Princess, Charlie, Kitty, and Witchy.  When she was about to start preschool, she told me all about her new school, which was made of paper, and had to be taped back together frequently.  Her four friends would attend with her. The preschool teacher’s name was Cloudy Mountain; she was bald and wore a princess dress.  I could understand that Lizzy was anxious and she was using her imagination to create something to put in place of the unknown.

But a house with sticky purple floors and talking snakes, where Hallie’s loved ones may or may not live?  Is that about her wild imagination, her insecurities, or, heaven forbid, her mother’s frustrations with our very real house?  I haven’t figured that one out, and probably never will, but the purple house is still very real to my daughter.

Lately, Hallie has been at times assuring me,  and sometimes demanding, that the time to move to her purple house is soon.  One day she told me I would be driving her there on Tuesday.  She really does know when Tuesdays come because that’s a day she attends preschool.  Tuesday came and went, though, and she didn’t remind me.

The scary, silent lady who was stuck to the wall finally left, but a new villain replaced her.  We watched Disney’s “The Princess and the Frog.”  Hallie got freaked out by the Shadow Man.  The very next day, he moved into her purple house.

For three days, Hallie fretted about what to do.  How does a four-year-old evict a creepy guy who knows voodoo? 

She solved her dilemma on the way to church.  “I know!  I am going to kill him with my green battle sword,” she announced from the back seat.  “It’s going to be very funny.”

You go, girl.

My husband and I have discussed the possibility of building a house.  It we ever do, we will seriously consider painting it purple.

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Reader Comments (6)

What a great story. I really loved that.Thank you.

May 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

That is so cute!

May 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJana Brown

This is such a delightful post! I think kids with great imaginations turn out to be great adults, so Hallie has a bright future ahead! Although I find it interesting that in your description of Hallie underneath her picture it says that she is blessedly reasonable. I would like to talk to Sophia and see if she thinks I have issues or if she had any advice on how to solve other people's issues.

May 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTahlia

Tahlia,
I think Hallie's great imagination helps her to be more empathetic, and understand things when I'm talking to her. When I explain that I need her to do or not do something, she generally gets it.
You can certainly have a professional conference with Sophia on "issues," but I'm not sure she really knows what it means. I wish I'd heard the whole thing, but I just caught the tail end of that conversation.
Glad you enjoyed the story. I've waited to write about it because something new is always happening in the purple house. Fortunately, I can always write about it again.
-Steph

May 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie Cozzens

Alyssa and I enjoyed reading about Hallie's purple house. She has quite the imagination. I love how you tell it. Thanks for sharing! : )

February 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCorinne

Waht an adorable story of the purple house. My oldest. E, used to have a best friend, imaginary, whose looked exactly like her, only had brown skin (her words) and lived in Hawaii. Her name was Anna Panna Poona Panna. I have no idea what her genesis was, but she stayed around our house for several years, doing wilder and wilder things. I miss Anna Panna Poona Panna. E is now 8, and Anna seemed to stay in our old house on the West Coast... :-( Maybe to be closer to Hawaii.

March 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTamar

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