Friday, June 20, 2014

High Five for Friday (6.20.14)

1. Soccer may not have won the title of "most popular sport" here in the United States, but the game holds a special place in my heart. Very little can top the international excitement, the national pride, and the local support and celebrations for hometown kids who have worked most of their young lives for a chance to showcase their talent and represent their country on the world's stage.

As a high school soccer player, I played in three international tournaments and an additional international friendly. I still remember the thrill of walking into the opening ceremonies carrying an American flag. The thrill of standing just yards from Pele in the center of the stadium. The thrill of scoring my (first and only - I played defense) international goal against Norway. Like I said…very little can top these experiences.

I tend to get swept up in the excitement of the World Cup (both men's and women's), so much so that from the moment the tournament begins until the tournament champion is crowned, my television stays tuned to ESPN. Will and I've watched the majority of the games, and on Monday night the four of us had a picnic dinner in front of the television so that we could watch the United States take on Ghana in their first game of the tournament.

And they WON. High fives all around, friends!

Here are a few pics, courtesy of the USA Today, from the United States vs. Ghana game.

2. While not overwhelming, the first three weeks of summer have been busy. The kids have participated in plenty of organized and scheduled activities - swimming lessons, yoga and cardio hip hop classes at the gym, baseball camp, dance classes, and Tae Kwon Do lessons - but we've made plenty of time for spontaneous fun as well. The problem is that after the gaps between the organized and scheduled activities are filled in with playdates and swimming and lounging in our giant beanbag while watching World Cup soccer games, I have very little time left to write.

Last week I came up with a solution: when one child is at a friend's house, class, or camp, the second child tags along with me to my McOffice or a coffee shop. This system works perfectly because 1) when on their own, my children behaves angelically (let's not get into how they behave when together), and 2) each considers a small treat from McDonalds or Starbucks or another local coffee shop payment enough to sit quietly with me for two hours. They read, work in their activity books, and where Hallie colors, Will uses my old laptop to work on his typing skills.

They also look super adorable in their headphones. It think it should be noted that Hallie's aren't connected to anything - she just wanted to wear them.

High five for a writing plan that actually works for everyone!

3. Hallie brings a toy or a small container of toys (dolls, ponies, Legos, etc.) with her to all of Will's baseball games and Tae Kwon Do lessons to keep her - and often her friends - entertained. On Monday, Elsa and Anna came with us to Tae Kwon Do, and while Hallie spent most of the 45-minute lesson making them dance and sing and changing their clothes, at the end of class she positioned them like this:

I asked Hallie what Elsa and Anna were doing, to which she replied, "they're doing push-ups, Mama! They want to have strong muscles".

I exercise regularly - both at the gym and at home/outside - for a plethora of reasons, not the least of which is that I want to set a good example for my kids. Maybe, just maybe, it's working.

4. Will's headed to a sleepover birthday party this evening so Tom and I plan to take Hallie out for the evening, just the three of us. Hallie would have preferred a date with just her daddy, but her daddy convinced her to allow me to tag along for a dinner of rice and beans and ice cream for dessert.
On our last ice cream outing as a threesome.
When the three of us arrive home, the two of them will branch off to the playroom for arts and crafts, dancing, a Sofia the First movie, and a sleepover, just like they did on their last date. And I'll enjoy sole control of the DVR. Glorious!

5. Happiness Highlights
That's actual progress on Sara and Jeff's house!
Apparently she sleeps better with a band aid on her nose.
My adult body winces in pain looking at this picture,
but his creativity, strength, and agility make me smile.
I wish I could have snapped a pic of this backpack in motion -
the Ewok's fur looked crazy realistic whipping in the wind, to
the point that Hallie cried with worry over the Ewok's safety. 
This is how Will put Lily's school picture on the refrigerator.
I had to laugh at his (lack of) attention to detail.
Happy Friday, friends!

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