Friday, June 14, 2024

High Five for Friday (6.14.24)

 


One

We kicked off our second year as members of SheServes - Brazos Valley (and mother/daughter service organization) with a fun evening at volunteering at the food bank. I appreciate that being involved with this organization allows us to learn more about the MANY different ways one can give back to the community while also actually giving back to the community and spending time with each other and friends.



Two

Will went from a few debut minutes in his first UPSL game to playing the full 90 in his second UPSL game, and they won! Unfortunately I was on the road and missed the game, but Tom provided me with a great voice-to-text play-by-play and this picture.


Three

A quick shout out to our local dance store - Attitude Dance Boutique - and its fabulous owner and employees, without whom we would not have arrived in Nashville prepared for Hallie's summer intensive. They went above and beyond to get her the pointe shoes she needed, and they everything else I needed each time I popped in (yes, it was multiple times) in the days prior to our departure. 


Four

Speaking of Nashville, Hallie and I made it! Our road trip was pretty uneventful, thankfully, and within a couple of days we felt like we had settled in and figured out the lay of the land...meaning we've found Target, Trader Joe's, Starbucks, and a few of our favorite restaurants that we don't have in College Station!



Five

Will "borrowed" my phone for about a half hour on Monday night and left me, as a parting gift, with 18 minutes worth of video and more than 700 images of...him, most of which were discretely taken while engaged in a conversation. I saved a few, and I'm sharing my favorites here.








I sure do love that kid...

I usually run by him photos I want to share here, but I didn't do so this time - if you're going to take 18 minutes and 700 photos on my phone, I'm going to assume you're ok with me sharing them. 😉

~

Happy weekend, friends!

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

A Day (Few Hours) Late and a Dollar Short

Sometimes things don't go exactly like we'd planned, and today's post is one of those things. 

Hallie and I spent all day Friday packing our bags (laundry baskets - my newest packing trick that I can’t believe I didn’t try sooner) and loading the car. At 10am on Saturday morning, we hit the road, bound for Nashville. We made it about two-thirds of the way, to Forrest City, AR,  that evening, and then we finished the drive on Sunday. 

The reason for our road trip? Hallie’s summer intensive at Nashville Ballet. She started yesterday, and day one - while not without a couple of snafus - was as successful as I could have hoped for, all things considered. 

I had plans to write Friday night at home, then Saturday night on the road, then Sunday night in Nashville, and then yesterday while Hallie was dancing…but none of those scenarios played out. I’m hoping to find a coffee shop and crank out a few hours of writing and work tomorrow, and then I should be back on track for Friday. Until then, here’s an early glimpse into our adventure!


Friday, June 7, 2024

High Five for Friday (6.7.24)



One

Late last week I was able to have coffee or lunch with multiple friends, a few of whom I hadn't seen in quite a while. I think the kids - who were home each time I headed out the door - were surprised at how often I leave the house on a normal day. 😂


Two

On Friday night - more than six weeks late - Hallie "celebrated" her birthday (and by celebrated, I mean used her birthday as an excuse to plan an extra fun sleepover) with friends. I'm so grateful she has these three in her life.



Three

Will was recently added to Cavalry Soccer Club's UPSL roster, and on Saturday night he dressed for the first time. He wasn't sure if he'd play at all, but he ended up with 10-15 "debut" minutes at the end of the game during which Cavalry came back from a two-goal deficit to tie the game at three all. Will didn't directly influence either goal, but it was really cool for all of us to see him take his game to the next level. 

UPSL, or United Premiere Soccer League, is the largest and most competitive pro-development league - for players 16+ - in North America. There are more than 400 teams across the United States and I believe the league has now expanded to Mexico and Canada as well.

Halftime nap for Tom. It was one MILLION degrees
with one THOUSAND percent humidity outside, so his need
to doze was understandable - it felt like we could barely move.

Add to the heat and humidity that they played at dusk, so the
mosquitoes were out in full force. (I realize I've made it sound like
we didn't have fun, but we always have fun watching him play.)


Four

After a week off, Hallie returned to dance - with a week-long intensive at the new Elements Academy of Dance - on Monday. You know your kids love what they "do" when a few days rest just makes them want to get back into the studio more. 

Hallie loved learning from her usual teachers, but she also had a great time with guest teachers Dominick Oliver and Gary W. Jeter II.

Mr. Dominick

Mr. Gary


Five

We've made tremendous strides with two of our three Lion King 2 babies - Kiara and Kovu are completely delightful and are going to make wonderful additions to a family as soon as they've finished all of their veterinary care. Progress with Vitani has been s...l...o...w, but these last couple of days we've seen noteable progress - she's still scared, but she has started allowing us to be near(er) to her, she will now eat while I'm in the same room as her (as long as I don't stare directly at her), and she's now playing with her siblings. We're getting there!

Kovu

Kiara

Vitani, solidly under the bed...

...Vitani, at the *edge* of under the bed...

...Vitani, out from under the bed and in the bathroom!

Happy weekend, friends!

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

"Do the Fun Thing. Write the Fun Thing Down." And Other Summer Traditions.

I mentioned last week that we kick off summer with a couple of simple traditions: Starbucks with friends as soon as finals are over, "summer baskets" full of goodies I think they'll need and/or enjoy throughout the summer months, and photos in their "class       of ___ " shirts (see below).

Beyond that, we've gravitated away from summer traditions, bucket lists, activity calendars, chore charts, and/or job jars. We've been there, done (all of) that, but with each passing year this organization and these "systems" have slowly faded into the background...which makes sense given my kids' ages. I still like to document our summers though, so a couple of years ago I started using an approach borrowed from Emily Ley (the founder of the Emily Ley Simplified Planner and the Simplified brand): a summer memory list.

"Do the fun thing. Write the fun thing down. Pressure off."

Hallie made us both adorable checklists
on which to document our summer fun.

I hope your summer is full of fun things.

~

For the last time before the "Class of 2025" actually becomes the Class of 2025...

End of Kinder

End of 1st Grade

End of 2nd Grade

End of 3rd Grade

End of 4th Grade

End of 5th Grade

End of 6th Grade

End of 7th Grade

End of 8th Grade

End of 9th Grade

End of 10th Grade
(Last year he only agreed to be
photographed if he could hold Plié.)

End of 11th Grade

End of 11th Grade Bonus
(It seems Plié remembered these photos from
last year and wanted to join in on the fun again.)

~

Somehow this pipsqueak already has a year of high school under her belt:

End of Kinder

End of 1st Grade

End of 2nd Grade

End of 3rd Grade

End of 4th Grade

End of 5th Grade

End of 6th Grade

End of 7th Grade.

End of 8th Grade

End of 9th Grade

It goes SO fast...

~

Note: I say this every year, and I'll say it again - I should have started with a bigger or less fitted cut of shirt for my girl...not sure why I went with the baby tee. 😂