Thursday, August 21, 2014

Ninja Update

Our ninja had a big week:

He earned not only his second stripe but also his belt tying patch! He has been working so hard to learn how to tie his belt on his own, and he was able to show it at the dojo and earn his patch. He has a unique way of doing it, but it works! I have a feeling that may be the story of our lives.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Coolest Kids Ever

I am a big believer in going back to school with clean rooms and organized spaces. I guess it's just the fresh start of it all. So, this week has been declared clean it up week. The kids' rooms looked like a hurricane blew through, and the playroom has one too many projects going. It's time.

Last night, I sent them upstairs to clean, which is a new found freedom for them. They are learning how to put things where they make sense to them, and I'm learning how to let go. It's a happier cleaning experience for them, and it's a growth opportunity for me. One the way up, I told them I wanted to see "significant progress" in their rooms before bath.

When I went up to check, some cleaning had happened, but not as much as I had hoped. Then I was informed they had been rehearsing a play entitled, "Significant Progress" and were ready to stage it in their rooms. I couldn't help but laugh and then settle in for the show.

In the play, Old MacDonald becomes disenchanted with the farm and sets out to find a life where he doesn't have to work so hard and can just buy groceries at the store. He says goodbye to the cow and heads off to Hawaii. At first, he enjoys the beach and sun, but he quickly becomes bored and decides the food doesn't taste very good. Having nothing to do, he launches into a song entitled, "I'm So Lost." At the end of the song, he decides to move back to the farm and realizes he is happiest working and food tastes a lot better when it's local. His faithful cow is there to greet him and they all live happily ever after. The end.

I was fairly impressed. Apparently all our conversations about local produce and work on the farm is hitting home. Their rooms are still a disaster, but I wouldn't trade that moment for anything. I sure do love these kiddos.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

He's Five...

..and he is never wrong. The forecast is for mid-90s. Evan is wearing a sweat suit into my office. Zipped. He does have a t-shirt underneath, but there was no convincing him that he might be warm. Since we will be inside all day, I finally opted to let everyone ask why is wearing a sweat suit and hope, perhaps, that he figures out he's a weirdo.

Monday, August 18, 2014

It Finally Happened week from today Evan starts kindergarten. About now, I will be snapping a few pictures and bundling kiddos in the van. And I have been fine. Really, truly fine. Nary a tear was shed at registration or school shopping.

But it hit me yesterday.

We were having a totally benign conversation about our schedule over the next few weeks, and I just mentioned, "And when the two of you get off the bus the first Friday of school Nana and Papa will be waiting."

Cue the ugly cry. My baby will be getting of the bus with his big sister. Because he will be in kindergarten. How did this happen? Let the adventures begin...

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Girl Friends

Last night, I went out for dinner with four other dance moms. Our little tribe has divided between two Companys this year, but we are still a pretty tight group. I can't remember the last time I've laughed so hard in the midst of truly honest conversations. These are women who know me--really know me--and I know them. We have laughed and cried together and occasionally told each other to get it together. These are the women that I know will pick up the phone, return a text, or just show up. They're a safety net and a push when I need it. We may be so very different in so many ways, but at the core we love fiercely and have a low threshold for drama.

As I raise a daughter, I am so grateful to have other strong women in my life, women who are generous and kind and brave. They're role models for her and for me, and I can't imagine doing this life without them.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

To Issa: On Leadership

Sweet girl, every once in a while in my life as mother, what is in my heart actually manages to come out of my mouth. For a brief shining moment, I feel like I was given the perfect words in a perfect moment to impart a tiny piece of wisdom you truly hear. Last night, we had one of those moments. You had finished your first night of boot camp, and in a quiet moment in the kitchen you and I could talk about leadership. Just in case you forget someday, I wanted to capture it here.

To my leader...

This year, you are the oldest veteran in the Tinys. Tonight, I watched the other Tinys look to you. Your teacher asked you to come to the front to help lead stretches, and I watched you quietly shepherd your team to the next class. Baby, that's called leadership.

There are two kinds of leaders. Some leaders stand in front and shout and boss. They have a commanding presence for a while, but eventually they will find themselves shouting to an empty room.

The other kind of leader, the one I pray you are becoming, is the quite leader. They don't shout or boss. More often, they work a little harder than everyone else. They ask questions. They coach when people ask--either with words or by coming close. They do the right thing. Sometimes, it can be lonely. But here's the thing, people find those leaders. And soon they are doing the right thing, too. They follow because they want to be part of what they see.

Baby, that's what I want you to do this year. You just do the right thing. You encourage your teammates. You work hard and stay focused on your goals. You are a leader; the other girls look to you. I saw it tonight, and I can see in your eyes it's a little bit scary, and I won't lie, it's often really hard. But guess what, I'll be right there beside you, and your team will be right there beside you, too. Just keep doing the next right the studio and in your life.

I was so proud of you tonight--so proud--and I always will be.

Love you forever and always,

Your Mama

Monday, August 11, 2014

Date Night

We had a great weekend, but the highlight was absolutely date night Saturday night. Brad and I hadn't gone out in about forever, and we had a whole French themed evening.

We went to dinner at Vin Rouge, which was a new find for us. We sipped red wine over a duck confit frisee salad and a trifellette that was said to be for two but was really for an army. They were both so decadent and lovely, and it was made even lovelier by eating on the patio listening to the rain. From there, we went to see "A Journey of 100 Steps," which I loved and Brad declared awful. It was admittedly predictable, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Even more than the fabulous food and a movie, it was great just to have time together. We talked about all manner of things, laughed, and got caught in a rainstorm that left us both soaked on the way home. It was lovely--even lovelier because this is a crazy week. It's campus kick-off week for me and Boot Camp for Issa. Thankfully, Brad was able to be home all week or I don't think we would have made it. I have a feeling I'll be thinking back to Saturday all week and wishing for duck confit and a quiet moment with my husband...