Sunday, April 30, 2017

Life lessons on the court

Evan joined the middle school tennis team again this year.  So far he has been loving it and having success on the court as well.

Yesterday he had his second competition and he and his doubles partner from last week were joined again to take on the competition.   His partner is a great kid.  He is a year older than Evan - he is not a super sporty kid but just really enjoys tennis.  I see him leaving practice carrying his cello and tennis bag while wearing his Mathletes shirt.   Neither he or Evan would be considered jocks - if we are assigning labels they would most likely be the nerdy kids - but you can tell they both really love to be on the court and they are both surprisingly good at it.

So back to yesterday.   The school they were playing only sent five doubles teams whereas our school had fifteen.  Evan and Matt were lucky enough to get to play against the other school for their first match instead of just scrimmaging with the rest of their team.    We found out what court they were assigned to and hauled our chairs and blankets over to watch them play.

It was immediately clear that the team they were playing was far below them in ability.  The poor boys had no idea what they were doing.  Matt was trying to guide them along.  You start serving on the right side.  You need to move back.  You get another serve if you miss the first.  He was being very helpful and not mean about it at all because he is just not that kind of kid.  The kids on the other team were not completely horrible.  They had a few good shots but it was obvious they needed a lot more practice.  It is hard to watch matches like that because I just want to run on the court and give them big hugs.  Predictably Evan's team won the match 6-0.

On the way back to the car after his matches I told him that he played really well (in his second match he had a scrimmage and was much more evenly matched - they still won 6-4).  I said how the first match was kind of hard to watch because the boys were not that good.  To which Evan replied - Yeah, and since they only had five teams those guys probably had to play non stop and got killed in every match - they probably feel horrible.  I hadn't even thought of it that way and immediately had a lump in my throat both for sadness for the boys and for the amazing empathy that my boy has for people.  I am so often in awe of him.  He is so much more mature than his almost thirteen years.

I told him that I was proud that he and Matt tried to help them in the match they played.  They were very respectful and helpful. The boys could have easily been given a team that would have been mean and snickered and laughed at how they played.  I hope they didn't have to experience with anyone on Evan's team.  I would like to think they are all better people than that.  I told him that maybe the advice that he and Matt gave them helped them in their next matches.  I hope it did.  I hope they learned something from Evan and Matt yesterday.  I know I did.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Monday moments...the first day of Spring!

I am so excited it is the first day of Spring.  There is nothing I like better than the change of seasons.  I love them all for different reasons but I am READY for warmer weather and to be outside.  

Last weekend was Evan's DI regional tournament.  He purchased a monkey hat. 

On the way back in to the school to watch a DI challenge Hailey spotted a "dinglehopper" on the ground.   It was very apropos since Daddy was at his school directing The Little Mermaid. 

Evan's team placed 2nd.  Out of two teams - but we won't talk about that.   That gives them the chance to go to the State tournament.

Thursday night while Trent and I were attending the Rocket Scholars fundraiser, we snuck out to peek at Spencer in his Mary Poppins rehearsal.

Thursday night Hailey FINALLY got to set up her leprechaun trap.  She had been so excited for over a week.   She didn't catch the little bugger but he left some chocolate coins and some troll candy.

The kiddos all decked out in their green to wish Grampa a Happy Birthday!

Some leprechaun evidence.  I don't know why he always has to use the bathroom when he stops here.

One of the theme days for MIRM (March is reading month) was dress like your favorite book character.  Nothing will ever be as cool as her Amelia Bedelia get up from last year.  We found her Laura Ingalls Wilder dress from her wax museum so she wore that.  We have actually been making a lot of progress on reading through the Little House books so it totally worked out.

Friday was a half day so I took my favorite girl to see the new Beauty and the Beast.  It was really good.  We both loved it.

I feel like I haven't been taking many photos lately.  My ears are still plugged - almost three weeks now so maybe because I am not feeling a hundred percent.  The weather has also been super gloomy and I have found myself in kind of an end of winter funk.   But the sun is out today and it is the start of spring so let's hope things are looking up!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Monday moments...almost human again

I started this post a week ago.  Before another round of the ickies was upon us.

Last Saturday it was nearly 50 degrees and sunny.  This past Saturday it was side ways snowing.  Something for everyone here in Michigan. 

We took advantage of the great weather last Saturday by having a lunch picnic on the beach.  It seemed a bit early for me, but Hailey begged to do it. 

Saturday evening Hailey was planning to spend the night at Grama's when the flu hit her like a truck.   The poor thing was so miserable.  She does not get sick very often so it is hard to see her like that.

By Sunday afternoon she was feeling a bit better and thought the fresh air might help her air her germs out.  She set up her art studio with the truck blocking her wind.

Oh and no big deal but Trent taught Spencer how to shave for the first time.  My BABY had to shave his moustache.  #pleasestopgrowingup

Spencer also got some good news when he found out he was cast in the civic theatre production of Mary Poppins this May.

Oh and the first correspondence from a college arrived in the mail for him.  Gulp.

Hailey always cracks me up when she wears this outfit.  She calls it her tiny businesswoman suit.

On Tuesday a friend called me and told me they were opening a new block of ticket sales for Hamilton in Chicago.  Since it was in the middle of dinner time/getting three kids where they need to be at the same time I didn't have a chance to look into it.  Fast forward to an hour later when I am texting back and forth with Trent.  Should I do it?   What side right or left?  Partially obstructed?  They won't let me buy an odd lot?  I am so nervous.  Should I do it? 

I went through with the purchase and we are all over the moon about it.  And if for some reason we can't go and have to resell the tickets I will be able to cover the cost of college for one of my children.  Win win.

Then Tuesday night round two of my ickies set in.  I am joking calling it the Hamilton curse because I was fine up until I bought the tickets.  My left ear started killing me right before I went to bed.  I don't think I slept more than an hour all of that night.  The next morning I got into the doctor and they cleaned out my ear with some squirt bottle contraption that hurt so bad I thought I would die.  The doctor thought I must have an infection so prescribed a z-pack. I spent most of the rest of Wednesday sitting in this chair under a blanket.

Occasionally I had a visitor to cheer me up.

So hear we are a week later and my ear is still plugged.  The right one also tends to plug a little but not nearly as bad.  The doctor's office told me that it can take up to three months for ears to clear out.  I seriously will have a nervous breakdown if that is the case. I get little glimmers of hearing hope every now and then and then they are dashed.  Ugh.  Pray for me.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

A decade

My baby is ten years old.  A decade.  It doesn't seem possible.  

It's not like it feels like it was yesterday that I was carrying around this sweet little face, but it does not seem like ten years could have gone that fast. 

Because now instead of a adorable, but sometimes fussy baby, I have a beautiful girl that fills my heart and days with more sunshine and laughter than I could have dreamed.

"If you have good thoughts, they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely."  - Roald Dahl

This girl of mine has always been special.  I don't know what it is about her, but people are drawn to her and what she puts out into the universe.  It has been that way since she was a baby.  She is meant for great things.  I know she is.  She just has to know it for herself.  

I know what is ahead.  I can see the tweenage insecurities starting to try to take root.   She is embarrassed by things that I do.  She is starting to be particular about what she wears and how her hair looks.  I know that is a part of growing up but I am going to try my hardest to not let it get to her and change the person she is too much. 

On her birthday we were sitting on the couch and I was showing her all the Facebook birthday wishes she had received and we were looking at the photo montage that I had posted.  When we were finished I noticed that she had tears welling up in her eyes.  When I asked her what was wrong she just shrugged her shoulders and didn't want to tell me - kind of embarrassed that she was crying.  I asked her if they were happy tears from all the nice wishes but she shook her head no.  Finally she agreed to write down what was bothering her.   She wrote that looking at all the pictures of her as a little girl made her sad because she didn't want to be ten anymore - she didn't want to grow up.  

After my heart broke into a million pieces, I hugged her tight and told her of course she wanted to grow up.  I told her that little baby girl would always be my baby forever and I loved her dearly, but I was excited for her to grow up because that little baby girl was growing up into the most awesome bigger girl and would someday be my little girl and my best friend.  

We celebrated her birthday by going to dinner with Grama Bonnie at Red Robin and then coming home for cake and presents.  She couldn't decide what she wanted to do for a friend party this year so she didn't have one yet.  There is talk of maybe a half birthday party/sleepover this summer. There are so many more options for fun things to do in the summer.  Early January is a hard time to feel motivated.

She was so excited to get her "fit bit" from Grama.  She told me that was all she wanted for her birthday.

Until she opened her "Flip a Zoo" from Grama.  Then she was super excited about that too!

She made a wish and poof - she was a decade old.  Hailey Marie, you bring so much joy to our lives.  I know it seems cliche but you have the ability to light up a room just by walking in the door.  You have the biggest heart and so much empathy for people.  I can't count how many people comment to me about how sweet you are. I hope you never lose your sense of humor and goofiness.  You have so much to look forward to and we can't wait to come along for the ride....

...from first to has been amazing so far!

Happy 10th Birthday Sweet Girl!