Friday, May 28, 2021

High Five for Friday (5.28.21)


This year Hallie's school opted to forgo their usual in-person end-of-year awards ceremony/recognition in favor of a prerecorded version. The video was extremely well done, and we're so thankful Hallie's principal and teachers took the time to make the "event" special, even though it was different. We're also tremendously proud of our girl and how hard she worked this year!


Will's end-of-year soccer banquet was held in person this year. The evening was lovely, and we enjoyed celebrating how well the boys played; how significantly the boys grew as a team, as teammates, and as people; and how well the club managed to provide a sense of normalcy for its players during such a strange year.

One of my favorite parts of the banquet is seeing the boys - most of whom we never cross paths with when they're not dressed in athletic clothes - wearing jeans, polos, dress shirts, and even ties (the boys are encouraged to dress up for this special evening).  


Though it wasn't originally going to be my responsibility, I ended up, along with Hallie's wonderful GT teacher, in charge of the sixth grade dance at Hallie's intermediate school. Thankfully I had handled this event previously - two years ago when Will was in sixth grade - so we were able to pull everything together fairly quickly and put on a fun and celebratory event for the kids.  


Last Saturday brought about end-of-year parties - both in pools (one just missing the rain and one in the rain) - for both Hallie's dance company and Will's orchestra. It's just so hard to believe we've arrived at end-of-year anything...this year was truly both the longest and the shortest I've ever experienced.  


For Mother's Day this year, my friends and I gave ourselves the gift of our colors. We spent last Sunday afternoon having our colors done by Jordan, the color analysis consultant behind Color Me Light here in Bryan-College Station. We had a great time, and we learned a lot about what colors, jewelry, and make-up work and don't work for each of us based on our seasons. Here's a "before" (no make up at all) and "after" (just a little blush, lipstick, and a drape in our color season) photos!

Mandi - Sweet Pea Summer
(cool and muted)

Jenn - Sprinter Winter
(cool and bright)

Erin - Burnished Winter
(cool and bright)

This was such a fun experience!

Happy weekend, friends!

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Celebrities - They're Just Like Us. Some of Them.

A few weeks ago, Tom and I watched a basketball game that, because of how we had to stream it, showed the same three or four commercials over and over again, every single time the game paused for a timeout. One of these commercials was for Wing Stop, and besides making me wish I had wings to accompany our appetizers, had me scratching my head because I recognized one of the kids in the commercial. It took me quite a few viewings, but eventually I realized that the little girl belonged to one of the imomsohard mamas. 

The little girl, whose name is Eleanor, did a great job in what I imagine was one of her first acting gigs, and because most moms like to hear nice things about their kids, I sent Eleanor's famous mama a message through Instagram to let her know I'd enjoyed the commercial. I knew Kristin would likely never see my message, but I sent it anyway, just in case...

I've sent messages to actors, musicians, comedians, and influencers before (not weird stalker messages, but questions, answers to questions they asked, comments on content, etc.) and I've never received a response from any of them. So imagine my surprise when, two days later, Kristin actually responded. 

That was a fantastic day (the bar has been lower than usual these last few months 😂), and we're basically best friends now. 

Ok, ok. That's obviously not the case. But this small interaction made me like imomsohard even more. 

Friday, May 21, 2021

High Five for Friday (5.21.21)



Last Thursday night we attended Will's first and only live, in-person orchestra concert of the 2020-2021 school year. Don't get me wrong - I loved and appreciated the pre-recorded, virtual concerts Will and his fellow orchestra members shared with us earlier in the year. But getting to see and hear these talented musicians live, as they wrap up four years of playing together and their final year of middle school, was a gift. (And Will had a short solo - it was so exciting!)


On Friday we participated in our second (what seems likely to become annual) traveling photo party. Three girls, three mamas, one photographer, two time slots, six locations, two costumes, lots of laughs, and loads of fun. I'll share the real deal pics as soon as we have them, but in the meantime, here are a few teasers from our day!


Last weekend, our brother-in-law graduated from college. (When he attended college for the first time, he stepped away not long before graduating to tryout for the NFL. As is often the case, life started happening and kept him from returning until recently.) We're all so happy and excited for him, and we were thrilled that it worked out for Tom to fly to Nebraska - the kids and I had to stay home for dance recital dress rehearsals and a soccer tournament - to celebrate with the whole family. 


Tom and his grandma.

Tom and Fabio, who knows how to both
smile and make silly faces for the camera.


Speaking of dress rehearsals and a soccer tournament... I only survived last weekend - perhaps one of the busiest we've had all year and of course the one for which Tom was out of town and I was on my own - because of friends who were willing to lend a hand. So cheers to friends, to dress rehearsals that go reasonably well, to kiddos who are finally old enough to help with and take some responsibility for dance details, to soccer games that go reasonably well, to road trips (alone time) with just one kiddo, and to working through the emotional ups and downs and life lessons that come with youth athletics.

The only pic I (Will) took on our way out of town at 6:15am.


One shot down. Hallelujah!

CVS did NOT have cute bandaids, so Hallie and I swapped
out her boring beige for colorful stripes I had in my purse.

Happy weekend, friends!

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Texas Bucket List: Pleasure (Near the) Pier

My Texas Bucket List began taking shape shortly after we arrived in College Station. At first the list consisted of only a few touristy day trips and experiences (think Six Flags, SeaWorld, etc.) I'd thought of or heard about prior to our move. But as we made new friends, especially new friends who grew up in Texas, we learned from them about the lesser-known - at least to Midwesterners - but not-to-miss sights and sounds of the Lone Star State.

Each time I cross something off my Texas Bucket List I document it here, both because Chasing Roots serves as my Texas journal and because looking back on these posts and "watching" our love affair, if you will, with our now-home state unfold is a beautiful thing. 

You can see my full - but ever-growing - Texas Bucket List here. Feel free to let me know what I'm still missing!

My Texas Bucket List includes "ride the Pleasure Pier Ferris Wheel". So for our second spring break (outdoor, socially distant) day trip, we hit the road early, bound for Galveston Island. 

We arrived just prior to the masses, and found ourselves an amazing street parking spot close to the beach but also with an easy "out", or an "escape", as Tom and I like to say. (Both Tom and I care more than the average person about parking in such a way that allows us to exit a venue or event quickly. We're willing to walk a mile if it means we don't have to wait for our car or in chaotic traffic when we're ready to head home.) We started our morning with a long walk on the beach, which, to be honest, was all I really needed out of my trip to Galveston. To see the water again, to sink my feet into the sand again, to watch Hallie's face when she saw the Gulf of Mexico for the first time... 

After our walk, we joined the line for the pier. But as the line grew longer, the people in the line became more tightly packed together, and we saw people wearing their masks incorrectly or simply not wearing masks at all, we decided we couldn't do it. Tom in particular has never been a fan of crowds, so when we realized how unsafe and uncomfortable the pier environment was going to feel (keep in mind that this was more than two months ago, when far fewer people were vaccinated, not to mention that the pier seemed to be preparing to operate at full capacity), we opted to step out of line and rethink our afternoon. I hated to miss out on riding the Ferris Wheel, especially after we'd come all that way, but it just didn't feel right. I also hated for the kids to miss out on the rest of Pleasure Pier's activities, but when I made the decision, they both smiled, said they COMPLETELY understood, and started listing other fun things they'd like to do on the beach.

So we headed to a different section of the beach, where the kids played in the (chilly) water, built sand castles, and chased each other around like puppies. In addition to playing with the kids, Tom got in a little work (sadly, he had no spring break this year, so he worked all the way there, for about 30 minutes on the beach, and all the way home) and I worked on turning food storage containers into sand toys and sunburning my ankles. 

When we'd had enough sand, we dropped all of our things back at the car (shout out to our top-notch parking spot) and then walked the strip until we found a hole in the wall restaurant that served delicious fish tacos. After our late lunch, we made a brief stop in historic downtown Galveston to visit a coffee shop one of Tom's friends raves about, and then we made the three-hour drive home. 

I wish we'd been able to ride the Ferris Wheel, but Pleasure Pier will still be there the next time we visit Galveston Island and we'll ride it then. I'd also love to spend a little more time downtown, as there were lots of cute shops and restaurants I know I'd enjoy perusing/trying. Thankfully, we were still able to put our feet in the ocean, which as I mentioned above, was all I really needed.

And maybe I needed to see this smile too.