Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Belly Laughs

Home life is feeling lovely right now. Brad came home Friday after two weeks away--two weeks that included teacher work days, snow days, and car troubles. That just shouldn't be allowed to happen. The good news is we all survived, and we now know that one raccoon can seriously jack up a car. Thank goodness for good insurance and a great body shop.

Last night was the first just regular night we have had in what seems like forever. I took Issa to dance, came home to make and eat a family dinner, and then the kids sat down to play Go Fish with Daddy until bed. It's those moments I love most. The moments where I stand at the kitchen sink and just see them being. Evan is quite the card shark, and I love watching his whole face light up when his plans fall into place. He also has this awesome belly laugh that's loud and half maniacal and always cracks us all up. It's that laugh that makes everything seem so perfectly right, and I love that it's the simple things that bring it out.

Monday, January 26, 2015

So Very Proud

This weekend was the official kick-off for competition season for Issa. The Company debuted all their dances at the Showcase, which is a lovely trial run of a competition. We will get the official feedback this week, but we couldn't be more proud of Issa:
 The Tinys were ready for Production:
 It was a great way to open the show, and they did so well all night. There were some hiccups, but Brad and I were both amazed by the growth in Issa. She looked like she was having fun up there, and she performed those dances.

My heart almost couldn't handle her solo, though:
She was so calm, but I was a wreck. I really thought I might vomit, and poor Brad had to keep loosening my hand from his knee. She rocked it. We know it wasn't perfect, but it is the best we ever saw her dance it, and she did more than the choreography. She performed. When I met her backstage afterwards, she literally jumped into my arms. She felt so good about her performance, and when we watched the video later, I was so proud of the way she critiqued and set new goals.

I couldn't be more proud of this girl. Now if I can just get my nerves to be as still as hers.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Little Things

So...this is a return to the mundane. After two hair stylists told me I was killing my hair by washing it everyday, I finally made the grown-up move to every other day. I know. This falls squarely in the category of who cares. But...there is a point. On the no wash days, I have all this extra time. I been getting up at the same time and using it to do a little extra housework or tackle a small project before school. I love starting the day with such a feeling of accomplishment. Sometimes, it really is the little things. And...my hair really does look better.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Half a Lifetime

Today marks the date when I have officially spent half of my life with the man I adore. On January 22, 1998, Brad asked me out and we've been together ever since.

I will be forever grateful for a certain friend who called us out after an afternoon of bowling. I believe the email started, "If you two wanted to go out on a date you could have just told me..." and went on from there. We thought she was ridiculous, and then we started thinking. Who would have know that five years later she would be standing with me at our wedding. Jamie, I will be forever grateful for your honesty and friendship. You started something magical.

I was 17 when we started dating, and I vividly remember being so annoyed by the situation. I had just decided to not date at all anymore until college and he royally messed up that plan. I remember talking to Mom about it and being reminded that just because we dated in high school didn't mean I was committing to a lifetime...

...but I did--we did. We dated long distance until we were married. The longest we had ever seen each other was ten days in a row--with his parents. Getting married at 22 was the best, stupidest thing we have ever done. It made no sense but it was absolutely right. We have grown up together in so many ways. All of the firsts--apartments, car purchases, being flat broke--we did that together. Between us, we have earned five degrees past high school together. We have seen each other receive awards, promotions, and children. We have seen each other with the flu, job loss, and trying to figure out who the hell we are now. We survived the earliest years of parenting when we were exhausted and clueless.  The one thing we have always known, though, is we belong to each other.

One of my students asked me when I knew Brad was the one I would marry. It seems like a complicated question, but it isn't. I decided my senior year in March. Two months in. I knew. I still know.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Showing the Love

Yesterday was a very exciting day around here. The kids had a day off of school, so Buddy made one of his drop-in visits. He left a note saying, "This home is full of love. Let's decorate to show it!" He had laid out the very few Valentine's Day decorations we have along with some new paper and ribbon to make some decorations. The kids hauled out some stickers left over from last year, and voila:
Evan was not so much interested in the actual crafting, but he made plenty of suggestions. Issa and I made this love bug garland, which she is very proud of. Each heart has a little bug on it. We also made all kinds of hearts to hang about. We are definitely showing the love around here.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Our First Lady

We have a first lady in our midst:
Issa's class has been researching famous people for a month. She chose Michelle Obama, and we have heard all about her until she became her on Friday in the class wax museum. This was her first real research project and her first real presentation. We couldn't be more proud!

Friday, January 16, 2015


Thursdays are brutal. I teach at night, which means it's a very long work day. It's also the end of the week when the kids are starting to fade, Issa's longest dance night, and the night that homework just seems to be a bit harder. In short: a perfect storm.

I have an incredible sitter who covers when Brad is out of town, but she's not mom. I come home to happy children and a house that is not a mess but not right. Everything is just a little wonky. She finishes dinner while I get the kids in the shower, and then she heads out while they eat and we finish homework. It's a great system.

But Thursdays are still the bane of my existence. I end up trying to clean life, the universe, and everything after the kids are in bed a little later than usual, and then promptly collapse into bed.

I want to say it's okay. I don't mind. But I do. This whole idea of balance is just crap for moms. There is no such thing. It's more like juggling, and Thursdays are the days I just make sure nothing crashes. Today, though, I get to start fresh. The normal routine. And for that, I am grateful.