Friday, August 9, 2019

High Five for Friday (8.9.19)

It took close to 10 days - two full weekends with a week in between - but we are finally settled back in at home. We reconnected with our friends first, and then I unpacked all of our bags, cleaned the house from top to bottom, returned all pieces of furniture to their correct locations, cleaned and restocked the refrigerator and pantry, caught up on the laundry, cleaned and vacuumed up Tux's messes and hair, bagged up all of the clothing and shoes the kids outgrew over the summer (?!), and struggled through (but survived) my first few workouts back at the gym. Oh, and my mom mailed back to us all of the things we forgot at my parents' house (thanks, Mom!). The only post-vacation project left on that to-do list is vacuuming out my car, which will have to wait until the temperature outside is not 100 degrees.

The kids start school next Thursday (?!) so I've now moved on to wrapping up that to-do list!

Last week Hallie attended her first truly intense ballet intensive, held at her dance studio and taught by the incredible Ashley Laracey. Ms. Ashley could be considered a celebrity in the eyes of ballerinas everywhere - she is a soloist with the New York City Ballet - but she holds a special place in the hearts of local dancers, as she has multiple times danced the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy in Ballet Brazos' production of The Nutcracker.

Hallie arrived on Monday morning a bundle of tic-ing nerves, but as the week went on she settled in and ended up having a marvelous time, which is more than I could have asked for. Hallie LOVED Ms. Ashley, and it brought such peace to my heart to watch Hallie dance ballet with a smile on her face for the first time in quite a while.

The video above is of the Bluebird Variation from Sleeping Beauty. The girls worked on the dance throughout week - in between their technique and strength and conditioning classes - and then performed it in pairs on the final day of the intensive.

(3a) My sweet friend Nuria, who moved away a couple of months ago, returned to town for a week so her daughter (Will and Hallie's friend, Paloma) could attend the same ballet intensive as Hallie. It was wonderful to spend time and catch up with her - we fit in pedicures on Monday, lunch and swimming on Wednesday, dinner on Thursday, and swimming again on Sunday - during their visit "home".

(3b) Speaking of dinner on Thursday, happy birthday to my fellow Wisconsinite-turned-Texan, Casey! We celebrated, appropriately, at Mo's Irish Pub, which has Wisconsin roots and serves Wisconsin cheese curds.
Casey's party was actually twice this big, but we forgot to take a picture
until the last six of us were walking out. Sorry to the friends we missed!
The birthday girl and her birthday apple pie!

I mentioned a few weeks ago that one of Hallie's best friends - Tessa - moved away at the beginning of June. The girls have missed each other tremendously throughout the summer, so on Monday, Tessa's mom and I met halfway between our homes and I passed Hallie off for the day. I didn't tell Hallie why we were driving all the way to Cypress that morning, so she was shocked when we pulled into the outlet mall parking lot and Tessa's car pulled up next to ours.

The girls had a great day together, and Will and I enjoyed a few hours of mother-son time while they played and caught up. (I decided to spend the day in Cypress, rather than drive back to College Station, so Will and I shopped a few outlet mall stores, went out for lunch, watched Spiderman in the theater, and then browsed Academy.) I truly hope we can continue carving out little windows of time for the girls to get together and maintain their friendship throughout the year.
Tessa and Hallie 😍
Tessa's little sister, Morgan (Tessa has three sisters), adores
Hallie and wanted her own picture with just the two of them.
What a great day!

Happiness Highlights

Learning how to make flower crowns.
Living his best summer life: chillin'
by the pool with a cherry snow cone.
First 100 degree day = Spoons. Though Will forgot to wear a shirt (?!)
so I had to leave him in the car and make his frozen yogurt for him... 
Will bought and installed (with a little help) this
handlebar attachment. Apparently this will make
biking home from his gym more enjoyable?
I think he's still a little small, but hopefully he'll grow into them!
This girl NEVER wants to play disc golf, but she actually gave it
a try last week. Maybe she felt buoyed by her new tie-dyed socks.
Learning how to do french twists thanks to Ms. Ashley!
Soccer practice started Monday night and this kid was
so excited to get back on the pitch after a few weeks away.
Schedule pick-up #1, done! Now all that's left is for
 them to actually start 7th grade...and for that, I'm not ready.

Happy Friday, friends!

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