Friday, February 16, 2018

A Very Successful Weekend

Last weekend, Issa and I headed South to Greenville, SC for West Coast. This year, we left early and rode down with friends. It was lovely. This is our fifth time in Greenville and the first where we have seen more than the convention hotel. Who knew Greenville had this lovely little park in walking distance from our hotel:
 Yes...there were waterfalls:
 And, Issa and I had a blast:
 This girl has grown so much in five years, and if I'm honest, I have, too. We know how to do these weekends. We have figured out what food fuels her and actually tastes good when she's dancing for six hours a day. We stayed around the corner so we actually got fresh air multiple times a day. I follow her lead and don't push. And she dances her heart out. It was so lovely to see her relax and actually enjoy the classes...and her friends:
 And even at competition time she was calm:
 These sweet girls made us so proud:
And the studio had a great weekend:
If you can spot Issa, you can see she was a scholarship finalist. She was so excited to hear her number called and go up on stage. She danced her heart out, and I couldn't be more proud.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Moving Up in the World

 I'm very behind here on the blog. It seems 2018 is the year of the blur. Everything is in warp speed and I'm just holding on for dear life. But...we are making it!

Last Wednesday was a very big week for our boys:
 The graduated to solid blue and solid red belts!

Mr. Justin pictures are always the best:
 This just wasn't a regular graduation, though. Evan had an extra thrill:
See that black belt in his hands? That's his! It has his name on it, and it is now hanging in the dojo where he can see it everytime he trains. With this graduation, he is now officially halfway there.

And this picture:
Well. My heart can't take it. It was taken at Winter Quest, and it might be my favorite picture of the two of them ever.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Big Weekend

We are caught in a bit of a whirlwind. School was cancelled last Tuesday for snow--totally unpredicted snow that caught everyone of guard. The rest of the week was a blur of trying to recover from that. It's amazing how one little blip can start a tail spin.

By the time we got to the weekend, we were all ready for some fun. Saturday, Issa and I worked about the house during the day, but then we went to see Les Mis with Nana:
 Issa was afraid the show would make her too sad, but she ended up loving it!

Sunday, the three of us headed to the ballet to see Romeo and Juliet:
 It is Issa's favorite ballet, and it was totally worth braving the pouring rain to see it! We all got home just in time to eat Super Bowl Food while not watching the Super Bowl. It was perfection.

While we girls were having all that fun, the boys were at Winter Quest at the dojo:
They loved training with Mr. Hayes, the founder of the discipline. They were both a little sore last night from two days of training, but they seemed to be moving pretty well this morning!

This week is looking just as crazy, but we can do it!

Monday, January 29, 2018

What a Difference a Year Makes

Yesterday we celebrated Company Showcase--the official public launch of the 2018 dance season. What a difference a year makes...

For starters, we are not wearing a low pony, which has given me back years of my life. And, our dancer started doing some of her own make-up:
 The production theme is School Days this year, and Issa looks a little too grown up:
 I can't believe the growth in her poise. She was cool as a cucumber as we were getting ready, and it lasted all day.

And this team of hers:
 Them trying to get a selfie was hysterical. And they are just the sweetest group of moms and dancers:
 I have never laughed so hard in a dressing room. And their cuteness and huddle was almost too much:
 I want credit! I got pictures of every costume!

 Issa can work that fringe, too!

This costume is an absolute beast to put on in all it's pleather glory, but it looks awesome one stage!

Musical Theater:
They are doing "Fathoms Below" from Little Mermaid, and Issa gets to be Grimsby, the advisor to Prince Eric. She actually emotes! She has never been huge for big faces, but she is rocking it this year!

 This is Issa's favorite group dance, and it made me cry. They are dancing to "The Rose," and it's a beautiful piece.

And her solo:
She is dancing to "This Little Light of Mine" this year, and she shines on stage. It is so lovely to see her calm and ready to do her solo--no nerves, no self-doubt. And she nailed her turns, so she was one happy camper.

With a Showcase this phenominal, I can't wait to see where we go from here!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

We Always Said She Could Run a Small Country....

...and now she's running a business:
Yep. Ellie and Issa have officially founded Slime Sisters.

Ellie spent the night Sunday, and while I was at work Monday morning, they made a ton of slime. Brad mentioned they should go in to business since they've created some unique recipes. He said we funded the initial round, but from here on out supplies needed to come out of the business. That's all it took; they were off.

By the time I got home, they wanted help developing a marketing plan and creating a business page on Instagram. Done.

By Monday night, they had a logo and a price and had made their first sales.

Tuesday, I helped them actually do a cost of good analysis, and they did all the math to be sure they were at the right price point and started planning their first slime workshop. They plan to charge a fee to learn how to make basic slime and then sell some of their premium products on site.

Yesterday, they started a company binder with inventory and sales sheets. They also have their first investor. Evan Shark Tanked them in to his whole spend jar of $11 for 10% equity. They are working on an investor contract.

It's hysterical. Brad is over the moon proud, and I'm thrilled to hear my daughter talking about price points and business strategy. I have no idea how long the business will last, but I do know what they learn while it's open will serve them well.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

A North Carolina Blizzard

The children are with me at work today. They have not been to school since last Tuesday! I think they are beginning to forget what their teachers look like. Yesterday and today are planned teacher work days, but last week was filled with snow days!

The forecast had been all over the place last week. At one point we were supposed to get 7 inches, then 1, then 2, then six, then two. Basically, it was a meteorologists nightmare. Wednesday morning, it started to snow, and it just didn't stop! I've never seen anything like it in NC. By the end of the day, we had 12.5 inches and two very happy children.

Tuesday night, I brilliantly put a bowl on the deck to collect snow for snow cream. By lunch time, we had to dig it out! After the first batch of snow cream, the kids and I headed out to try out the sleds for the first time this season:
 It was no good. There was so much soft snow the sleds just kind of sunk:
 It should not be this easy to get sledding pictures:
 After two times up and down, we decided to turn for home, where we encountered this on the road out of our neighborhood:
 If there was any doubt, we were not going anywhere.But, we did have a great snowball fight! And I caught this picture where my little man still looked little:
 And I swear the kids ate their weight in snow:
 By day three of the snow days, we were running low on layers, so Evan improvised. When all else fails, use your footies for the bottom layer:
He is nothing is not creative.

We were finally able to make it out, although a little treacherously, Friday afternoon, and by Sunday the roads were clear. It was a great snow while it lasted, though!

Monday, January 22, 2018

A Momentous Day!

Twenty years ago today, Brad asked me out.

We joke all the time that getting married was the best worst decision we never made. We just knew we wanted to get married. Period. We didn't think about it. We just jumped in and figured everything out as we went.

Deciding to date him, though, that was quite the decision. We had been friends, but that was it. And I had just decided I wasn't going to date anyone until college. I was over high school boys. And then he asked. And he lived an hour away. But he was really nice. And he wasn't like the other boys. But we were going to two different colleges. This wasn't the plan.

It was the first time (of many)  he completely wrecked my perfect plan, and I'm so glad he did.

Two decades, babe, and you're still putting up with my plans and helping me be more spontaneous. Here's to the next twenty...