Monday, February 27, 2017


After riding a balance bike for a few months, Hallie learned to ride her big girl bike right before her fifth birthday. I wrote about the accomplishment here, and then a few months later I wrote (a song) about how even though Hallie could ride her bike with the best of them, in the stylings of Dr. Suess, she COULD NOT WOULD NOT learn to stop.

I'm proud to report that three years later, Hallie has finally mastered her bike brakes. It took a brand new bike, a sweet friend who encouraged her, an extraordinarily patient daddy, countless failed attempts, and enough tears to fill our hot tub, but eventually Hallie managed to bring her bike to a complete stop on her own without falling off, without crashing into a fixed structure, and without crying.

And now the girl who hadn't ridden a bike in nearly three years is a biking machine. She and Tom cruise around the neighborhood every weekend, and we took our first family bike ride to the donut shop just last week. College Station remains far from bike-friendly (only about 50% of our streets have sidewalks, the sidewalks we do have are narrow and in need of repair, and we have very few bike lanes and paths...and don't even get me started on the dangers of biking in the street in this day and age of distracted driving), but I believe city government is making an effort to improve its accessibility to/for bikers. When it does, Hallie will be ready.

Congratulations, kiddo. I knew that if you put your mind to it, three years later you'd be able to do it.

Friday, February 24, 2017

High Five for Friday (2.24.17)

1. It may have been a Friday afternoon in February, but last Friday afternoon felt more like one in June. We had nothing on the calendar (a rarity for this time of year) and the temperatures had climbed to 80 degrees (also a rarity for this time of year, even here in Texas), so Will grabbed a friend and a soccer ball and Hallie grabbed a friend and their bikes and we all headed to the park. A relaxing Friday night is a fantastic way to transition into the weekend!
It's February, folks.
2. My car has needed a good deal of maintenance over the course of the last 15 months, so a couple of weeks ago we added "start to think about looking for a replacement" to our to-do list. Then on somewhat of a whim, we decided on Saturday morning to go look at two of the makes/models we were considering...and 90 minutes later we'd traded in my old Buick Rendezvous and bought ourselves a new Chevy Traverse. All I really wanted in my next car was a powerful air conditioner, a split third seat, and an automatic trunk; I ended up with those three features - plus plenty of others - so all in all I feel like we pretty much owned Saturday!

3. The kids didn't have school on Presidents Day, which meant I didn't need to wake up at zero dark thirty. There's something magical about waking up when your body decides to do so and not with an alarm, right? (It also rained almost all day, which made sleeping in and taking our leisurely time to get moving even sweeter.)

4. This one's kind of silly, but Tom and I legitimately high-fived over it so onto the list it goes... Our favorite syrup is called Log Cabin Lite. We don't like regular Log Cabin syrup, and we can't stand the sugar free version either. Problem is, every grocery store in our area stopped carrying it. I discovered I could buy it from Wal-Mart's website, but only for a significant mark-up and with an exorbitant shipping fee. I also found it on Amazon, and since I love Amazon Prime like one of my children, I went ahead with the purchase...of an economical 12-pack. Pancake party anyone?

5. On their way to a two-week vacation in South Padre Island, my parents stopped over for a visit. We spent half of Wednesday and all of Thursday and Friday working on a surprise bedroom makeover for Hallie - an early birthday gift from my parents. She LOVES it, and I can't wait to show you the before and after photos next week!

Happy Friday, Chasing Roots!

Linking up with High Five for Friday here:

Wednesday, February 22, 2017


Last Wednesday I wrote a lead-in to today's post. If you missed that story, check it out here before continuing below.

The SAFE 2 SAVE app first appeared on my radar last December. I immediately wanted to learn more, so I sought out the creator - Marci Corry - on Facebook and sent her a message. Because of the holidays and our busy schedules we played message and text tag for more than a month, but a couple of weeks ago I finally had an opportunity to talk with her over the phone.

While having lunch with a friend, Marci looked around and realized that everyone in the restaurant was using their phone in one way or another. You've probably noticed this too - perhaps you find it frustrating, or perhaps you've accepted this circumstance as the new normal in our society. Whatever the case, the fact of the matter is that our phones distract us. And while phone-related distractions might be annoying in a restaurant, when we climb behind the wheel of a car they become tremendously dangerous.

Marci began researching distracted driving, and the more she learned about the dangers, the more she felt called to take action. She investigated existing safe driving apps, and while she found a couple of options, nothing on the market looked like what she envisioned for SAFE 2 SAVE. She connected with a TAMU student app designer who turned her vision - an app that offered locally-based rewards for making smart choices and driving safely - into a reality.

So how does it work? First, download the FREE app and follow the prompts to set up and adjust the settings on your phone. This includes adding a picture to the app's home screen so that if you try to exit the app while your vehicle is moving, the picture will pop up along with the words, "Is it really worth it?" I used a picture of Will and Hallie.

Second, start using the app! While in SAFE 2 SAVE mode (the app is open), the app tracks how far you travel and rewards you with points. These points can then be exchanged for discounts and even freebies at local restaurants, coffee shops, stores, entertainment venues, and fitness facilities.

After downloading the app and using it almost daily for three weeks, I have earned more than 1,000 points and already used 250 of them for a free frozen yogurt at Spoons. And speaking of using the app "almost daily"... The first week I had trouble remembering to open the app when I got in my car. Thankfully, Marci came up with a solution and recently rolled out small SAFE 2 SAVE "reminder" stickers. I attached mine to the center of my steering wheel so that when I sit down in the driver's seat I immediately notice the sticker. After a week, however, both kids - who LOVE making sure my phone stays in SAFE 2 SAVE mode and watching our point total climb - and I started to remember the app without the sticker. The SAFE 2 SAVE stickers can be found at any of the participating businesses.

Thanks in part to local media coverage, sponsorships from the City of College Station and the City of Bryan, and word of mouth, since launching on October 4th SAFE 2 SAVE has gained more than 15,000 users in the Bryan/College Station area. And while reward points were originally redeemable only in the Brazos Valley, throughout the last month SAFE 2 SAVE made its way to both Madisonville and Waco. Midland, Conroe, and Magnolia are up next, followed by Austin and Dallas. Marci plans to continue expanding the app's reach, but slowly and intentionally. The goal is to promote and reward safe driving, but also to support local economies by encouraging app users to redeem their points at small businesses close to home.

And if SAFE 2 SAVE rewards haven't yet made it to your city or town, don't worry! The points can be accrued anywhere in the United States, so you can start earning points in preparation for the day the rewards do arrive.

Last week I shared a story about a texting and driving accident that happened all too close to home. Even though we have all heard these stories - these terrifying, heartbreaking stories - and read the statistics, we keep texting and driving. I see people using their phones behind the wheel every single day, and I bet you do too. But why?!

"For young people, phones and social media are an addiction," explains Marci. "They want to be included and to feel pursued and loved, and they get all of that through their phones." The reason is different, however, for adults. "Adults want to be productive. We feel like we need to respond to texts, voicemails, and Facebook messages as quickly as possible to get them checked off our to-do lists."

Most of the time, "accidents are predictable and preventable", Marci points out. We can predict that distracted drivers will eventually cause accidents on the road. We can prevent these accidents from happening by continuing to increase awareness, calling each other out on unsafe behavior, and advocating for stricter safe driving laws and regulations. Our lives depend on it.

~ SAFE 2 SAVE is available for download in the App Store and on Google Play.
~ If you would like to help Marci bring SAFE 2 SAVE to your city, email me at and I will connect you.

Monday, February 20, 2017

4th Grade Going on College

Because of complicated schedules, Tom and I have to, on occasion, come up with new and creative ways to handle afternoon and evening soccer practices and dance lessons. We decided that when I have commitments other than the kids (this semester I have had a number of meetings with start times between 5pm and 7pm) I would drop Will off at Tom's office on my way. Both Will and Tom liked the idea of Will getting to hang out on campus for a little while before heading to the soccer fields, and me bringing Will to Tom slightly ahead of rush hour - rather than Tom coming to get Will right in the middle of rush hour - made sense both time- and stress-wise.

The blip in this plan is that Tom teaches until 5:10pm, and on some days, I need to drop Will off no later than 5pm. That means Will arrives 10-15 minutes before he can connect with Tom and spends that time hanging out in the commons area of a college building, with only college kids.

We tried it for the first time on a day I didn't have to be anywhere until 6pm. I parked the car and walked Will inside, and then we sat in the lobby and waited for Tom to finish his class. (We can't wait in Tom's office because we'd need both a swipe card and a key to get in.) But on the second day, Will assured me he could go in alone - he knew exactly where to sit, how to behave, who to talk to (and/or not talk to), and when to expect his dad.

And so I let him go.

I dropped my 10-year-old off at college.

I rolled down the passenger side window and yelled "I LOVE YOU", a little louder and more emphatically than necessary. Without breaking stride, Will looked back over his shoulder and with a barely detectable smile on his face, answered, "I love you too. And I'll be fine."

How is it possible for hearts to swell and break at the same time?

Ok, ok...I realize Will isn't heading off to college yet. (He may be bright, but he's no Doogie Howser.) But watching him climb out of the car, grab his belongings, and disappear through the massive double doors provided me with an all-too-real glimpse into our future.

I can only imagine how much harder it will be the day I drop him off at college and he doesn't come back home for dinner three hours later.

Friday, February 17, 2017

High Five for Friday (2.17.17)

1. On Friday evening we visited a new (to us) bar/restaurant in College Station called The Backyard. "We do sports, but we're not a sports bar. We do craft beers, but we're not a pub. We do tropical drinks, but we're not a beach bar." Sounds fun, right? We were pleasantly surprised to discover that The Backyard, not unlike an actual backyard, had lots of outdoor games - ping pong, washers, and beanbags - as well as plenty of places to sit back, relax, and either chat with friends or watch sporting events. The Backyard may not have earned a place on Spoons' "45 Places to Eat in College Station Before You Die" list (typical bar food), but we'll definitely return for a second round!

2. This weekend Will played his only in-town soccer games - part of a tournament hosted by his soccer club - of the year. We travel for all of his regular season games and for almost every tournament, so getting to watch him play without having to road trip on either end felt extraordinarily relaxing. The best part, however, was that our friends turned out in droves - four families, four moms, three dads, and eight kids - to cheer for Will. How incredibly lucky are we, to have such tremendous support from our friends?! (I wish I would have taken pictures of him with everyone who came, but at least I managed to take these two.)
I took A LOT of pictures of these three boys...this is the best one.
3. On Sunday I went to brunch to celebrate a good friend's birthday, and our morning out reminded me that 1) I have great friends, 2) I don't brunch often enough, and 3) brunching decreases my productivity for the remainder of the day.

4. I survived Valentine's Day! I wrapped up two weeks of construction paper heart "love notes" on the kids' doors, made heart-shaped Rice Krispie treats, and managed to pull together my annual treasure hunt for Tom and the kids to find their Valentine's Day presents. (This one came tremendously close to not happening at all, as no one could find the treasure hunt cards and I had to make all new ones after the kids went to bed on Monday night.) Whew!
Sweet friends at their school Valentine's Day party.

 It's tough to get good pictures of the treasure hunt since they hardly ever stop running...
The "finale" - Tom's photo album and the kids' treats.
5. And finally, this. A great read for Valentine's Day week.

Happy Friday, Chasing Roots!

Linking up with High Five for Friday here:

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Is It Really Worth It?

The sunny skies and warm breeze made that Friday afternoon in January feel more like one that belonged in April or May. Will and Hallie chose to play in the front rather than the back yard, so I set myself up on the porch - complete with laptop and cell phone in hopes of getting a little work done - to keep an eye on them. I texted my friend and neighbor to let her know my kids and I would be outside for a while and she was welcome to send her oldest two over for an impromptu playdate. Shortly thereafter, my friend's front door opened and her daughter, Grace, came running out. I watched as Grace bounded down the front sidewalk and then stopped abruptly next to her mailbox just before the street. I could tell from where I now stood in my front lawn that she could see a car coming; I kept one eye on the road and one eye on Grace, just to make sure she stayed put until the coast was clear.

When the car came cruising down the street that separated me from Grace, I couldn't help but notice that the young woman behind the wheel was very clearly texting while driving. I cringed and said a few choice words under my breath, but then directed my attention back to Grace, who was now crossing the street. Not three seconds later, a booming crash shook the neighborhood. I whipped my head toward the noise and saw bricks flying through the air and landing in the street, on the sidewalk, and in lawns. The texter had driven her car - which I expect was traveling around 30 MPH - directly into and demolished the substantial brick mailbox two doors down. 

I gasped, and started walking quickly - then jogging - across my lawn; my first thought was that I needed to make sure the young woman had not been injured. I quickly realized, however, that not only was she fine, she was in the process of turning around to drive away. As she cruised past me heading back the way she came, I ran into the street behind her car and yelled out her license plate number to Will, instructing him to repeat it out loud until I could find a piece of paper and pen to write it down. Once I had documented the license plate number, I made sure my two kids and Grace were playing safely, walked down the street to the mailbox house, and rang the doorbell.

The poor 16-year-old kid who answered the door (I had never met these neighbors prior to that day) looked overwhelmed as I explained what I had witnessed. I gave him my name, my phone number, and the license plate number of the car, and I suggested he start by calling his parents. I also told him I'd be happy to talk to them and/or the police, and then I headed home. 

Just a few minutes later, the same car came back down the street, this time driven by a middle-aged woman. I walked back down to the mailbox house, where I learned that the woman was the mother of the driver. I also learned that the driver had told her mother "she'd lost control of the car".

After making sure the two primarily involved parties had everything squared away, I started to walk home again (I got a lot of steps in that day) but stopped halfway. I knew I had to tell the mother; if it had been my child texting while driving, I would want to know. I approached, put my hand on the mother's shoulder, and gently said, "I need to tell you something." I then shared with her what I had seen, why I had been watching the road and her daughter behind the wheel so closely in the first place, and that if her daughter had veered off the road just two houses earlier, she would have hit not just a mailbox, but an eight-year-old little girl named Grace, who had been standing in front of her own mailbox waiting to cross the street.

I don't share this story lightly, or to scare you.

Actually...I take that back. I do share this story to scare you. Texting and driving terrifies me, and it should terrify all of us. We should fear texting and driving like we fear drinking and driving; according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, driving a vehicle while texting is six times more dangerous than driving while intoxicated (source). Every day in the United States, nine people are killed and more than 1,153 people are injured in crashes involving a distracted driver (source), and when distracted driving is broken down, 78% of all distracted drivers are distracted because they have been texting (source).

I also share this story because it serves as a perfect lead-in to a (at least partial) solution to this problem: a simple yet effective app, created by a woman here in BCS, that reminds and rewards users for saying "no" to distracted driving.

But...because post has already gone on for ages, I will write about the story and the woman behind the app a week from today. Please come back then, and in the meantime, stay safe on the road by putting down your phone and encouraging others to do the same.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Looking for Love

I usually put a fair amount of energy into Valentine's Day. I don't necessarily go overboard, but the holiday doesn't go unnoticed either. I decorate the house and the front porch on February 1st, decorate the kids' bedroom doors throughout the first two weeks of the month, bake heart-shaped cookies and brownies for snacks, and send Valentine's Day-themed cupcakes to school. I buy the kids a couple of small gifts, put together a photo album showcasing the previous year for Tom (an annual tradition), and assemble my (also an annual tradition) Valentine's Day treasure hunt.

But this year I am d...r...a...g...g...i...n...g. I skipped the house decorations and didn't put up my Valentine's Day wreath and front porch decorations until last Wednesday. I have been decorating the kids' bedroom doors with notes of love written on construction paper hearts, but I haven't baked cookies or brownies or cupcakes. I have a couple of small gifts for the kids and Tom's photo album ready to go, but I haven't yet started on the treasure hunt.

What has been one of my favorite months since we moved to Texas has been kind of a bummer for me this year. A variety of reasons come to mind: I accidentally over-extended myself with writing assignments, I can't seem to get ahead of my volunteer commitments, my allergies have been giving me a run for my money, I've been under the weather (for the first time in a year though, so I really shouldn't complain), and, speaking of the weather, we have had record-setting highs almost every day for the last week. I know it sounds ridiculous, but I truly believe I have some strange version of seasonal affective disorder; I cannot handle warm hot, sunny weather when the calendar indicates it should be cold and snowy (or at least chilly and rainy) outside.

February is my comfort month. In February we make hot chocolate after school, curl up in front of the fireplace with a good book, and watch movies snuggled under blankets on the couch. We go to bed early, sleep late on the weekends, and reconnect as a family as we "hunker down" to endure winter's last flurry and prepare for spring's arrival. And since none of that has happened this February, I'm just not feeling it this Valentine's Day Eve.


Valentine's Day will be here tomorrow whether I like it or not, and my kids (and husband) need a little love spread around the house. They need their heart-shaped cookies. They need their traditional Valentine's Day treasure hunt. So today is all about looking for love (and perhaps a little humor), so that when tomorrow rolls around I'll have enough in my tank to make my family's day special. Here's what I've found so far.

  • 15 minutes of yoga courtesy of my friend and yoga instructor, Bev. (Best to start off the day with a little self-love, don't you think?) 

I feel better already! And it doesn't hurt that today and tomorrow's high temperature are 70 and 60 degrees. 😉

Friday, February 10, 2017

High Five for Friday (2.10.17)

1. On Friday night we - Tom and me, along with our friends Isaac and Natalie - participated in the 10th annual 50 Men Who Can Cook fundraiser to support the CSISD Education Foundation. Last year we signed on for the first time, and after having a LEGEND - wait for it - ARY time, we agreed to sign on again for this year's event.

Isaac made his famous Carne Guisada Frito Pies topped with an avocado jalapeño cream sauce, Tom entertained the crowds with his light suit, and Natalie and I served, convinced guests to vote for our dish, and learned how to "go live" on Facebook. Our boys won second runner up in their category, we helped raise (hopefully - I haven't seen the numbers yet) lots of money for our school district, and we had a great time with our friends - not bad for a Friday night!

2. Why are there not more restaurants with outdoor playgrounds for kids? Especially here in Texas where the weather, even in February, is nice enough to dine outside? College Station has two that I know of, and while neither are worth writing home about, at least they exist. I can't think of a better way to spend a Saturday afternoon than relaxing and catching up with friends while our kiddos do the same (except instead of relaxing, they're burning off steam) with their own friends.
Missing from this picture: Will, the one and only
boy on a lunch date with 10 girls and their seven
moms. He complained a little, but not a lot. 😉  
3. On Saturday night we watched Hallie perform with her dance company in their studio's annual Night of Worship. I admit that when Saturday afternoon rolled around I wanted nothing more than to skip the hair, make-up, and costumes and curl up on the couch in my pajamas. But once we rallied and made it to the venue, we had a great evening. The performance took place in a rebuilt (the original marquee and main entrance were preserved) open air theatre designed to host concerts, performances, and movies in downtown Bryan. It's stage, sound system, and seating were all simple but sufficient, and the girls shone as brightly as the christmas lights wrapped around the venue's many trees. I love watching my little Hallibee dance.

4. Our Packers didn't make it to the Super Bowl, so we had a not-Super Bowl party instead. Lots of grilling, games, and television watching...but only the commercials and the spectacular halftime show! (Ok, we watched a little of the game.)

5. Happiness Highlights:
Will is teaching Calvin how to solve the Rubik's Cube.
Meanwhile, Hallie channeled her inner Ghostbuster.
A truck cut me off in a traffic jam...but George Clooney on
a motorcycle made the inconvenience a little less frustrating.
100 years old on the 100th day of school.
Two little 100-year-old friends.
Loving my 50 Men "costume" the morning after.
Nap time for my boys. Are they not the sweetest?!

Happy Friday, Chasing Roots!

Linking up with High Five for Friday here:

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

No One Leaves Home

Two notes:

First, I do not enjoy poetry. I pause to read poems only if they have an extraordinarily enticing title, come highly recommended by a friend, or were written by someone I know. The poem below does not fall into any of these categories, so I honestly can't explain how it ended up nestled among the recipes, book recommendations, and articles about trying to raise strong, hard-working, and kind children in my "saved" folder on Facebook.

Second, I do not enjoy politics. I occasionally post political memes and videos, but only those I find funny because they poke fun at the system:

I have no desire to debate politics - even the issues I feel most strongly about - with anyone. I stand up for what I believe is right in a variety of ways, but won't ever try to convince people to think what I think or believe what I believe using this blog...the rest of social media and the internet are infested with politics and I want Chasing Roots to be a safe and neutral place for both me and you.

I mention all that so you'll understand that I've chosen to share this poem not to bring about a political discussion or to show my support for one side or another, but because it inexplicably appeared before me and then made an unexpected impact. I could hear the author whispering - kindly but with conviction - in my ear. I could feel her willing me to understand that my reality looks nothing like the reality of so many others. I could see her using carefully chosen words to open my eyes a little wider and encourage me to share love.

I promise to do my best.
~ Warsan Shire

no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark
you only run for the border
when you see the whole city running as well

your neighbors running faster than you
breath bloody in their throats
the boy you went to school with
who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory
is holding a gun bigger than his body
you only leave home
when home won’t let you stay

no one leaves home unless home chases you
fire under feet
hot blood in your belly
it’s not something you ever thought of doing
until the blade burnt threats into
your neck
and even then you carried the anthem under
your breath
only tearing up your passport in an airport toilets
sobbing as each mouthful of paper
made it clear that you wouldn’t be going back

you have to understand,
that no one puts their children in a boat
unless the water is safer than the land
no one burns their palms
under trains
beneath carriages
no one spends days and nights in the stomach of a truck
feeding on newspaper unless the miles traveled
means something more than journey.
no one crawls under fences
no one wants to be beaten

no one chooses refugee camps
or strip searches where your
body is left aching
or prison,
because prison is safer
than a city of fire
and one prison guard
in the night
is better than a truckload
of men who look like your father
no one could take it
no one could stomach it
no one skin would be tough enough

go home blacks
dirty immigrants
asylum seekers
sucking our country dry
niggers with their hands out
they smell strange
messed up their country and now they want
to mess ours up
how do the words
the dirty looks
roll off your backs
maybe because the blow is softer
than a limb torn off

or the words are more tender
than fourteen men between
your legs
or the insults are easier
to swallow
than rubble
than bone
than your child body
in pieces.
i want to go home,
but home is the mouth of a shark
home is the barrel of the gun
and no one would leave home
unless home chased you to the shore
unless home told you
to quicken your legs
leave your clothes behind
crawl through the desert
wade through the oceans
be hunger
forget pride
your survival is more important

no one leaves home until home is a sweaty voice in your ear
run away from me now
i dont know what i’ve become
but i know that anywhere
is safer than here

Monday, February 6, 2017

Six Years of Grump

My little Packer Backers spent yet another Super Bowl Sunday protesting Green Bay's absence from the big game.
This is our "official" 2017 photo...
...but this one - in which Hallie somehow looks even scarier
with a unilaterally flared nostril - is worth sharing as well.
This year was especially frustrating, given how close the Pack came to playing in yesterday's game. (Which, incidentally, took place just 90 miles from our house.) At least we have this fun tradition to look forward every year!
The emotion in the first picture of this series (taken in 2012) was captured accidentally. On Super Bowl Sunday I brought out all of the kids' Green Bay gear for one more wear. As Will pulled on his Packer shirt, he asked excitedly if the Packers had made it to the Super Bowl. When I explained that no, the Packers weren't playing that day, the authentically forlorn expression you see above passed slowly across his face. Hallie, on the other hand, just didn't feel like smiling for the camera.

Year after year, when the Packers once again miss out on the Super Bowl, I ask the kids to make the same grumpy faces they made that first year. Both pull out their turned-down mouths and furrowed brows (and occasional they bare their teeth) for the photo...the difference, however, is that while Hallie hangs on to her angry expression for as long as possible (she claims to be practicing for "mad face" contests), Will starts laughing as soon as the camera clicks.

This tradition of Will and Hallie wearing their disappointment on both their faces and torsos began in 2012 will continue as long as is necessary…hopefully 2018 will see our Green Bay Packers rise to the top once more.

Friday, February 3, 2017

High Five for Friday (2.3.17)

1. After months of planning and weeks of rehearsal, the 4th Grade Variety Show at Will's elementary school - which I coordinate with a friend of mine - went off without a hitch. (Well, with only a few, barely noticeable hitches.) We heard from many in attendance that this year's show was our/the kids' best yet, and while I can't say for certain if these opinions are fact, I can say for certain that this year's show was the most rewarding for me: after multiple years, this was the first in which either my friend/co-coordinator or I had a child perform.
Best buddies and our first and last biological Variety
Show participants: Will, 2017, and Calvin, 2026. (There'll
be three more in between these two book ends.)
Will, dressed in a (homemade) Rubik's Cube shirt, solved his Rubik's Cube. Because each act could not exceed two minutes, he had to know with certainty that he could solve the cube in that amount of time. He also had to figure out how to coordinate the last twist of the cube with his music; he used The Final Countdown by Europe and had to finish the cube, toss it up in the air, catch it, and then thrust his arm - finished cube in hand - into the air as the rockers blared "the final countdown". I was ridiculously proud of him for choosing to do exactly what he wanted to do in the show and then practicing extremely hard to perfect his act.

We also had singers, dancers, pianists, a flutist, a guitarist, hula hoopers, a magician, comedians, a martial artist, and a basketball trickster, all of whom brought their "A" game on the day of our shows and made us proud. On the off chance you'd like to watch the show, check it out on YouTube here. (Will performs second to last, about 43 minutes into the show.)

2. We spent the weekend at an out-of-town soccer tournament, and while Will's team didn't do as well as they/we had hoped, the boys wrapped up their run with a shoot out victory. Our goalie was on fire and Will made his shot (whew!), and ending the tournament on a high note meant our weekend also ended on a high note.

3. About 15 months ago my car began acting up. It started with little problems here and there, but then bigger problems like tires and brakes and electrical arose. We chose to fix each problem, always weighing the financial cost against what we felt the lifespan of the car should/could be and taking into account the fact that I like this car and had no interest in shopping for a new vehicle. But on Saturday morning, when it wouldn't start - at 6am and with all four Ferri and everything we needed for the weekend soccer tournament loaded and ready to pull out of the driveway and into the darkness - I decided the time had come to move on.

This time around the car just needed a battery, so we replaced it and are now officially car shopping! As of right now I think I'd like a GMC Acadia, but I'm open to any and all suggestions...I really need seating for at least seven, a third row that splits, an automatic trunk, and a powerful air conditioner. Thanks in advance for any advice you can share!

4. On a related note, I have great friends who bring me wine and drive me around when they know I've had a rough day/weekend and while my car is in the shop.

5. Last but not least, my hubby has spent the last two months creating from scratch (think designing, soddering, sewing, programming...the whole nine yards) this light suit, which will debut tonight at a special fundraising event on behalf of our school district. (More to come in next week's High Five for Friday post.) I tease him about his light suit to his face, but the kids and I really are proud of how hard he worked on - and how much he had to teach himself to accomplish - this project.

Happy Friday, Chasing Roots!

Linking up with High Five for Friday here: