Though we were disappointed that our studio's annual "Christmas at the Lake" became "Christmas at the Palace" this year (while we love downtown Bryan's The Palace, this venue was far inferior for the studio's Christmas performance), I enjoyed watching Hallie take the stage.
We survived finals week! All things considered, Will actually had a pretty easy finals week...but only because he had to drudge his way through a downright brutal stretch the week before finals. Hallie had to take three of her five finals, and after studying hard and doing well, she was thrilled to have her first semester of high school behind her. I managed everyone's altered schedules, gifts for all of the kids' teachers, two white elephant gifts for the kids' gift exchanges, a pan of brownies for...something Will needed brownies for (I honestly don't know why he needed to take brownies to school), and gifts for Hallie's dance teachers.
I also took both kids out for our bi-annual finals week lunches - this is one of my most favorite traditions, and I think they both enjoy it as well. Hallie picked Panera, and after lunch we went shopping at our favorite dance boutique. Will picked Twisted Noodle, and then took me to our local disc golf shop for the first time.
Another of my favorite traditions is meeting friends - mine and Hallie's - for coffee as soon as finals wrap on the Friday morning of finals week.
It was a busy week!
|I think this is the only pic I took during (tho it
works, since it's representative of) finals week.
|Though someone else took this one: post-post-finals
coffee date snacks and games. Love these sweet friends.
On Friday night a few friends and I celebrated my birthday - a few weeks late (Thanksgiving + Nutcracker + Christmas dance performances + finals week = celebrating midway through December) - and had a great time.
Throughout the last couple of weeks I've taken the kids - and Tom, once - on Christmas-related outings. Not expensive or elaborate outings, but simple, feel-good drives and walks through Christmas lights with hot chocolate and cookies in hand. None of us get so spend as much time with Will as we used to and want to, so it was especially fun for me to have these moments with him...and to watch him just be a kid with Hallie.
|This sweet neighborhood kitty and I are still friends.
|Love watching these "kids" play.
|It's her house now...we're all just living in it.
|Once in a blue moon she decides to snuggle with
me, and when she does, it's worth documenting.
|Will's friend Ben made the cover of the high school newspaper...
|...which featured an article for which Hallie was interviewed!
|She's finally decided she likes the fireplace,
which makes us smile and think about Tux.
|Plié waged war on Hallie's Nutcracker Army. There
were casualties... (This isn't the happiness highlight.)
|The happiness highlight is that the battle woke Popeye,
who, when I went in to survey the damage, looked at me
so innocently and then with despair at the nutcrackers. He
seemed legitimately concerned about their wellbeing.
|We didn't win, but our Nutcracker lottery ticket was fun.
|School break doesn't equal dance break!
|These girls were so happy for a masterclass with Mr. John.
|Popeye and Plié made the February cover
cats in the Six Kittens Rescue 2024 calendar!
|Hallie's Christmas cake.
|My little soldier doll in our/her last Nutcracker
outreach performance at one of our local libraries.
That's officially a wrap on the entire season!
Happy weekend, friends!