Friday, May 31, 2024

High Five for Friday (5.31.24)



I'm a little late in sharing these, but HOLY COW, do they deserve a spot in a HFFF post. 

Ashley Siegert with Fig-Mint Photography did a fantastic job with our dance photos this year. Hallie actually liked most of her individual pics (which isn't always the case):

We all especially loved these, of my fiercest girl:

No dance photoshoot would be complete without buddy pics. This year, instead of trying to match or coordinate, they all just wore what they felt good in; I love how it lets their personalities shine through.

This is one of my favorite pics - taken after we were joking around about how lovely all of our girls looked but how we all looked considerably less "made up."


On a dance-related note, recital season 2024 has come to an end! Hallie performed in both her ballet academy's production of Cinderella and her studio's "storyline" show/recital, and she did a beautiful job.

Headed in on day one!

Jazz - when they first put on these costumes we thought they
resembled scuba suits, but they ended up looking great on stage.

Grasshoppers from Cinderella

Mr. John

Ms. Aya

Ms. Christi 
Dance mamas (taking advantage of a very "smoothing"
filter πŸ˜‚) hanging out and waiting for day two shows to start.

I just realized that I have no pictures of me and Hallie, nor do I have any pictures of her with Tom and Will, even though they came to one of (they performed each show twice) both Cinderella and the storyline show. Oops.


We have new babies! Pathos and Adansonii went on their merry way, back to their previous foster en route to their forever homes, which freed us up to take on a tough socialization case. Kiara, Kovu, and Vitani (the Lion King 2 litter) had never met humans just 24 hours before they came into our home, which meant (means) we had (have) our work cut out for us. When they first arrived (and for multiple days afterwards), all three cowered in the corner of the bathroom behind the toilet, huddled tightly together in a tiny little tangle of skinny legs and floofy fur. They were terrified of us, hissing whenever we approached, but we knew we could change that. (Hallie has a reputation within SKR for socializing some pretty feral and/or fearful kittens: Aretha 1, Aretha 2, Aretha 3, Dumpling, Bill/Molly/Annie.)

Kiara started warming up within about three or four days - I think she's the smartest of the bunch, so she realized fairly quickly that Hallie and I were the ones who fed them, and that we're both really good at giving tummy rubs. She was slower to warm up to Tom and Will, but that's normal because they're bigger and louder and their voices are lower. Kovu took a little longer to come around, but where Kiara adjusted slowly over a few days, Kovu adjusted almost all at once - it was like a switch flipped and he went from terrified to little love bug. I don't have favorites, but he's my favorite. πŸ˜‰ Vitani is proving to be our most challenging socialization case in quite a while, but we're still working on her and I have every confidence we'll eventually help her realize that people are good and kind.



Vitani (she was SO angry at me for weighing her...and then SO
angry at me when I tried to make her leave the "weigh station")

The girls in Hallie's sweatshirt.

Kovu got a turn too.

Litter box photo bomb.


A good friend of mine is moving away, and honestly, I'm feeling pretty broken up about it right now. We had a going away get-together for her on Tuesday night, and we had a blast...though it didn't give any of us closure as she prepares to leave. Instead it just made us want to plan more get-togethers, so it looks like a road trip to Oklahoma will be on the calendar for fall!


Happiness Highlights

In case you didn't recognize him, that's my boy...with a shaved head.
Last weekend he guest played with a different Cavalry team, and despite
the fact that almost all of the parents know Will, most didn't realize it was
him until halfway through the first game. I hate this new do, but he played
really well in this tournament (the morning after he shaved his hair off) so
he feels awesome about it...and I'm (now) trying to be supportive.  

Tom and baldy playing a little pool in between recitals.

Hallie's last dance class this year was Throwback
Thursday jazz, during which Ms. Isabella rocked her own
throwback (she was a Kilgore Rangerette) ensemble.

Tom's branched out (beyond the Lads) and made
McPherson matracas for my friend Kristen, whose son
is going to play soccer for the McPherson Bulldogs.

I mowed the lawn (Tom likes to mow but had a busy week, so I
was just trying to lighten his load) so I had to take our traditional
"look at this beautiful smooth lawn" picture for him.

Happy weekend, friends!

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

That's a Wrap

That's a wrap, folks.

On junior year for Will and freshman year for Hallie. On another year of PTO as well as school and district committees for me. On orchestra and choir. On Cavalry and Lads soccer. On dance. 

Throughout the last nine months we've basked in the glow of more than a few glorious moments and milestones...and battled through a handful of painful and frustrating experiences as well. As clichΓ© as it sounds, this school year was an emotional rollercoaster for all of us. And so while I didn't want it to end (because its end marks the beginning of Will's senior year), we need to get off this ride so our stomachs can settle and our brains can stop rattling around in our heads. 

I don't feel quite ready to dig into the twists and turns and loop-de-loops this rollercoaster involved, but a deep dive is coming. 

We kicked off summer with our traditional Starbucks coffee with friends and summer baskets, but because the last day of school was on a Thursday, after that we had to take care of the day's usual work, dance, and soccer commitments. Friday felt a little more like summer - Hallie went swimming with friends, and Will played at graduation (non-senior orchestra members play before, during, and after the ceremony). 

We've traveled quite a bit this year, and we have a few trips planned this summer as well. We're headed to Nashville, Tennessee (Hallie's summer intensive at Nashville Ballet and visiting family and friends) and Tulsa, Oklahoma (Will's disc golf junior world championships and visiting family) for sure, and college tours are on the docket as well. While at home, both kids will continue their athletic and artistic pursuits, try to earn a little money, volunteer their time, and work on their adulting. πŸ˜‰ (Here are a few links to posts about our past adulting attempts: Adulting 101, Adulting 201, Adulting 301.) We also have plans to sleep in, stay up late, go for night walks (a favorite of mine and Hallie's), eat ice cream for dinner, go swimming, throw water balloons at each other, watch movies, read books, and spend time with friends.

I'm a tangled mess of emotions heading into this - Will's last before turning 18 and graduating high school - summer. I'm trying to get a handle on them though, so I can follow through on my two goals: 1) say "yes" as frequently as possible when Will asks me to do something (even if it's playing disc golf on a 100-degree day*), and 2) not get so caught up in "lasts" that I miss out on the present. 


Happy summer, friends. I hope yours is restful, relaxing, rejuvenating, and full of all the fun things.


* Day one of summer vacation and I've already failed at this one. Yesterday Monday morning I went for a walk outside and came home feeling barely human because of the oppressive heat and humidity - my shirt was so wet I could almost ring it out. As I walked in the door, Will asked, "wanna disc golf?" In that moment I just couldn't say yes to going back out into the mouth that is Texas right now. Thankfully, Hallie said she wanted to go, and so while I feel badly that I couldn't muster the strength to face our horrible weather a second time in one day, I feel wonderfully about the two of them spending time together. 

Friday, May 24, 2024

High Five for Friday (5.24.24)



Last week (or the week before - all of May is running together and as a result I think I've shared a few of my high fives out of order) I had the honor of accompanying a good friend to the CSISD Awards Banquet, where she received the Paraprofessional of the Year Award for A&M Consolidated High School. 

Kristen works as hard as anyone in our school district, and she cares for and supports all of her students (which is all of the students at Consol) with her whole heart and every ounce of her being. She's also a wonderful friend, and I'm so sad that in a few weeks life's twists and turns are taking her away from Consol and out of College Station. I think knowing that she's leaving soon made celebrating her that evening even more meaningful.


Both Will and Hallie received a Tiger Award last week - Will for mathematics (Calculus AB) and Hallie for foreign language (Spanish II). Hallie was in her seat a good 15 minutes before the presentation started; Will, on the other hand, sat down in his seat 10 seconds AFTER the principal started talking. We're working on understanding what it actually means and looks like to be on time...


Though their time with us was short-lived, Pathos and Adansonii fit right in at our house. They were fun and easy, all things considered, and when they weren't playing, they liked to snuggle - which is our favorite characteristic in a kitten. πŸ˜‰


One of my favorite traditions is taking my kids out to lunch - each of them individually - during finals week. This week Will picked Twisted Noodle (I think he's chosen Twisted Noodle for our last three finals week lunches) and Hallie picked Freebirds. I usually take a picture of their food when they're not looking so I can remember the lunch but they won't be annoyed by me asking for another photo with them.

I also got a bonus lunch with Will last week, when he finished his AP test and texted me to see if I wanted to meet him for lunch before he had to go back to school. "YES" will always be my answer.


Happiness Highlights

Tom in Montreal for a conference.

Hallie and Cayla "twinning" for studio spirit week.

My inlaws, sis-in-law, nephews, and niece all together
in Canada! (I wish it were sweatshirt weather here... πŸ˜‚)

Look what I made!

Enjoying a little peace and quiet on campus (last week,
before it got too hot to be outside which is the case now).

A little - a lot of - love for Ms. Aya.

Will decided we needed to do a taste test of these
three weird beverages. Spoiler alert - they're all terrible.

Ms. Natalie is heading to Texas Ballet
Theater (in Dallas/Fort Worth)...

...we'll miss her!

Last week of school errand running. πŸ˜‹

Tom and his student, Anderson, made the TAMU Instagram page!

His tiny little blep... 😍

A sweet card from Ms. Aya ahead of
this weekend's production of Cinderella. 

Under Hallie's name is "Aya" and then "thank you."

Happy weekend, friends!