Wednesday, February 22, 2017

In the Past Five Days...

1. I went on an amazingly perfect date to Table with Brad on Friday night. It was a long leisurely dinner with the best lamb shank I have ever eaten. Truly lovely.

2. Saturday, we managed to get the kids new tennis shoes and me two pairs of shoes to take to Italy and no one cried once. Small miracles.

3. Saturday night we got to the Lego Batman movie with the dojo; I've never felt so safe in a theater. As soon as the credits ended, we got to meet up with Rachel and Mom for dinner--super fun way to end the day.

4. Sunday, I welcomed 32 potential Teaching Fellows to campus. They spent the night, and I loved having them in class Monday morning. I'm really excited to see them again in the fall! It was also great to go out to dinner with Mom and Rachel again on Sunday night!

5. Tuesday, I did an elementary college fair. I love little kids, but they are exhausting! It is also very hard to go from teaching itty bitties to teaching graduate students. Hello, whiplash.

6. Mom and I chose blinds for her new place! They are super simple and will look amazing. Brad is excited they are also being installed.

7. Ryan and Felicia came over for dinner last night. Thank goodness they didn't mind that I nearly fell asleep at the table.

Friday, February 17, 2017


So...Brad is taking me a on surprise date tonight, and the suspense is killing me.

Bless his heart, he wanted the date itself to be a surprise. He contacted our sitter and was working the whole thing out, but his car betrayed him. He finally let go of the Saturn and has a lovely new-to-us Ford Focus. As if the power locks and windows were not enough of an upgrade (seriously...the Saturn was a 2001 with manual everything), he has a fancy back-up camera and screen that connects to his phone. We were headed to the dealership to sign the last paperwork, and his car read the incoming text from our sitter saying she was free tonight. Poor guy.

But...I have no idea where we are going! I can't wait to find out, though, and have a little quality time with my favorite person.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

My Forever Valentine

19 years ago yesterday, Brad and I went on our first date. It was perfectly imperfect. He had planned every single detail and it was truly a perfect day--even when our reservations got lost and we ended up at Taco Bell for dinner.

Life since then has been perfectly imperfect. Monday, I broke. Life has been so full lately, and I felt like I was drowning in my roles: wife, mother, professor. The list went on and on. I love each of those roles, but at the end of the day I was feeling like there was no room for Heather anymore. I was missing something of my very own. Monday night, Brad took over dinner and the kid shuffling. I had a chance to breathe a bit. I found a yoga class that will fit my schedule and be a sacred hour and half of my very own every week. It's better.

But here's what I love. He loves me, and he knows me. Not once did he question my love for him or our kids or our life. He just knew I needed a little breathing room, and he made it for me.

Last night, I made heart shaped pizzas and opened a bottle of our favorite wine. He made me a cake. We tucked the kids and watched Netflix. It was perfectly imperfect, and I can't wait for an entire lifetime of the same...

Monday, February 13, 2017

To West Coast and Back Again

 Issa and I made our annual trek to Greenville, South Carolina this weekend for the West Coast dance competition and convention. Issa danced her little feet off! She competed tap:
 And lyrical:
All three dances earned 4 out of 5 stars, and I'm so proud of how much they've grown since Showcase.

Issa also had a little fan:
 Blair is one of the littles in the class she helps out in and the studio director's daughter. Watching the two of them have ballet class in the dressing room melted my heart.

I actually loved watching all of the big girls play with her:
 It truly is a family, and those little moments are perfect evidence.

Issa's whole Mini group is so sweet this year:
 And she loved spending time with these two:
 They've danced together sine the beginning:
I loved seeing how much Issa has grown since last year. She picked up on the choreography so much more quickly, and she had fun in classes. I couldn't be more proud, and I can't wait to see where the rest of the season takes us.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Full Circle

Last night was another big night for Evan:
He got to officially help in a Mighty Dragons class as the dojo. He was so excited to be one of the coaches, and it was so surreal to watch him be the "big kid." He did a great job coaching, too! It's still odd for me to see him correcting someone's form or helping a kiddo figure out how a move works. He loved it, though, I love him!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Too Cool

We have retrieved the trapped pictures! Evan was so proud to have his picture taken with Mr. Hayes:
 But Brad and I think this picture from the dojo's webpage is way cooler:
Evan hasn't reached the point of training with knives yet, so everything they did with knives was brand new to him. He was having some trouble with one of the techniques, so Mr. Hayes himself came over to be his training partner.

We are so incredibly grateful to continue to be in a dojo that models community. Rank only means you help those behind you, and the founder himself models that creed. We will be forever grateful for the opportunities Evan has had and we know he will continue to have at Quest.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Big Weekend

This was one epic weekend. All of the pictures are trapped on Brad's phone, though.

Friday night, the four of us went to our first Hurricanes hockey game. The kids earned tickets from school, and we had what we thought were perfect seats. We were all the way in the third tier, but we were behind one of the goals. We could see absolutely everything and the concourse was way less crowded! The Hurricanes won 2-1, and we got to see some really good hockey. Evan was a little too excited to see someone get a broken nose, too. In related news, I have forbidden Evan from ever playing hockey.

Saturday, Issa had dance rehearsal in the morning, and then we dropped Evan off for Winter Quest at the dojo. This was his first time to get to train for a whole weekend with Mr. Hayes, the founder of To Shin Do. Evan was over the moon excited. Brad and I were both so nervous dropping him off. We trust the staff there totally, but Evan was the youngest one there by a few years, and when he got there he was the only youth. He had an awesome time, though. He got some great coaching from Mr. Hayes himself, and he got to do his first work with a knife. It was a big weekend for him!

While he was there, the rest of us went to Nana's. We went TV shopping, and then Brad started all of the installation before Issa kicked us out so she could have her first slumber party with Nana. They went to dinner, baked cookies and cupcakes, and generally had too much fun. Yesterday, the two of them used our tickets to the ballet. Issa woke up this morning babbling about how much fun she had, and Evan is counting down the days until his turn next weekend.

While all of that was happening, Brad and I snuck in a dinner date Saturday evening at a Thai place we've been wanting to try, and we went back to Mom's yesterday to do some more of Brad's honey-do list.

Last night, Nana came over for a Super Bowl party. Brad made wings, which were awesome, and we watched through half-time before Nana headed home. I still get giddy that she can just come over for dinner. Or we can pop over whenever. It makes my heart happy--the whole weekend did.