Follow the saga here.
Yesterday was a challenging day. I knew my niece very well when she was a little girl but once I married and moved far away, I haven't seen much of her. It's almost like a stranger has moved in with me but I'm warmed when I see the glimpses of her sweet soul that I once knew.
As you all know, yesterday morning I took her phone away. I had my reasons and didn't feel I could reach her at any depth if she was constantly texting and giving her friends the play by play of her day. Also, I read every single comment and appreciate them all- even the critical ones. Apologies for not responding much but I hope you all understand that my hands are very full at the moment.
My intentions with having my niece come out here was so that I could guide, teach, love and bond with her. I had no idea how off the rails she was and was blindsided- my sister and I will be having a conversation about this later. Anyway, I wanted to get back to the original plan so that's what happened. Let her know that I loved her very much and that she was allowed to question and disagree with me, that I wouldn't become angry with her for doing so. Also reminded her that I was the adult and she is the child and that if I see her behavior as unbecoming and childish, that I will place certain measures to correct that behavior while she's in my home.
Much of the afternoon was spent being silly and playing with the babies. My niece lacks skills so my initial mission was to teach her how to cook beautiful food, so that's what we did. I gave her the option of preparing the pork chops (under my direction but completely with her own hands) from start to finish and taking thorough notes for the chance to have 30 minutes of phone privilege after dinner. She happily accepted and did a beautiful job with the meal.
There was a lot of laughter and joking yesterday evening. She also began opening up to me in a major way. I told her that 1) I'd never lie to her and 2) that she could confide in me and I wouldn't share her secrets. I did tell her all bets were off if she gets pregnant and that I would have to tell her parents.
Empress' Pork Chops
Start preheating the oven to *420 and grab a cast iron skillet, add a quarter cup of avocado oil and toss it in the oven while it's preheating. Next start making the seasoning. Mix course salt, ground pepper, granulated onion, smoked paprika, and a touch of regular paprika in a bowl and mix. Measure to taste- it needs to be fairly salty.
Grab your bone-in pork chops and cover both sides and edges with seasoning and rub it in. Once the oven comes to temp, pull out the hot pan and add a good amount of butter. The butter will melt in just a few seconds. Grab your tongs and place the chops in the pan and return to the oven. Set the timer for 15 minutes. Once the timer goes off, pull the chops out of the oven and flip them over. Set the timer for 10 minutes. Use fresh clean tongs to grab them out of the pan once they've finished cooking. These are the perfect pork chops.
Thank you all for your help and guidance during this time. Cannot tell you how much it means to me to have your support. This morning I'm going to give my niece the opportunity to earn some phone time if she views Lauren Southern's What Every Girl Needs to Hear. Wish me luck and send prayers this way. Thank you <3
Edit: Forgot to mention this. Before we went to bed, I sat her down and told her the things she'd done that day that impressed me. Let her know how impressed and proud I was of her performance at the gym, how great she did cooking dinner and how well the chops turned out, and most of all, how incredibly well she did receiving difficult and hard truths. That she didn't act like a brat and stomp her feet but instead listened, disagreed, cried a little but then came to in a very short period of time. She impressed me yesterday and I have hope for her.