Thursday, May 5, 2016

Fifteen on Thursday?

1.  Yesterday, I went to the Mother's Day Tea at E's school.  I was 100% anticipating maybe doughnuts and a handmade gift.  Turns out, it was a full musical performance!  Below are two of the possibly six or so songs they sang.  I have more videos uploading if there is interest!

2.  Tuesday was "Alphabet Parade" day for the Kindergarten.  M chose to go as Anna of Arendelle --- we wrote a story of "a" words - like carrying avocados, apples, and apricots.  The hair was a challenge, but worked out in the end.  I quickly visited the school to listen to them sing one song in the cafeteria and headed back home. 
3.  I came back from wandering through NYC to these more mundane, but awesome Sunday adventures - 1) E playing with his new castle book from the Met; 2) B trying to do the mummy mazes from the Met --- they may be too hard for us?  3) M&E finding a new hidden hideout in the bushes. 
4 Grandma bought all the kids NY tshirts - they love them and are very cute. There are obviously epic amounts I could write about this trip and I'll try to keep throwing in little stories, but here are a few of the highlights briefly. 

5.  In NYC, I happened to discover that Simone Biles, 3x world AA Gymnastics champion was doing an outside demonstration on our first morning there.  It involved a fair bit of standing in the cold, but it was amazing to be so close to arguably the best gymnast ever. 

6.  One of the last things I did was ride the seaglass carousel in Battery Park. We just happened on to it, but it was great fun and the video of my ride was the kid's favorite of my photos/videos.
7.  We also went the the Metropolitan Museum of Art - honestly I could just live in the museums of NY for a week (with occasional Hamilton breaks).  Here are some of our favorites and a few views of GW :)
8, The biggest and best part --- actually the reason for the trip --- was getting to see Hamilton in NY with the original cast.  My mom and I are obsessed with Hamilton and to my great amazement the production exceeded my very high expectations.  I have almost no words.  Just completely phenomenal in every component.  Daveed Diggs is my favorite actor in Hamilton and we happened on to him on the street and got to say hi as we were exiting NYC.  Just a huge bucket list once in a lifetime moment to have this experience.  Thanks so much to my mom for the tickets and sharing this amazing experience with me. 
9.  In less huge, but quite delicious news, we also stopped at Levain for huge cookies and, I think, managed to have cookies of some kind every day. I happen to love black and white cookies which basically don't exist in OK so I brought some of those home for the kids (and me).
10 - Random picture of my mom and Frozen Characters in Times Square before we saw Hamilton (it really all comes back to Hamilton -- I'm sparing you pictures of his grave and our visit to his house.... and some paintings elsewhere... obsessed).
11.  My mom and I hopped off the tour bus to check out some more gardens.  We both loved all the lilacs--- right around here my big camera broke :(
12.  We went to see a triple bill at the NY City Ballet.  It was a huge, extremely talented company and everything was wonderful.  It was 180 degrees different than Hamilton and just a huge contrast in experience. 

13.  Me, fittingly with GW.

Yesterday B's "family" for the upcomging land run built their wagon.  It went way faster than expected which was perfect given our crazy schedule yesterday.

15. We got to video some of M's dance practice yesterday.  She is front and center for most of both of her classses' performances so we're going to need to practice a bit more.  Enjoy!

Ps - let me know if any of those videos work. I'm always a little dubious. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Ten on Tuesday

1.  The Wainrights spent the weekend with us.  This is a great bonus of both of us having bigger houses now.  Our kids play so well together. It is relaxed and fun.  E said his favorite part of the weekend was playing Skylanders with Donovan -- this is how they play, not using the game itself, but just fun with the awesome figures.

2.  M & Serenity played with this flowers all weekend.  We have hundreds of them and they used them for many things and even tasted them like honeysuckle.  M loved having Serenity to play with all weekend and was a little sad when her friend was gone.

3.  Saturday evening - we hosted bookclub here on short notice.  It was a fun taco fest with several ladies I don't get to see that often.  Great wine, women, and chocolate!  The book, Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman was a bit macabre for my taste, but the first short story based in sherlock holmes was great!
4. Due to all the fun Saturday night, I probably didn't get enough sleep/eat properly, but to my great surprise had a really good race on Sunday.  It didn't feel as hard as most of my training runs and was much faster than it has been. I had been hoping for a sub 40 minute run and ended up at 37min45seconds which was awesome!  I had a great time racing and hanging out with Able & Kari through the early morning.

5.  Friday evening was photos for M's dance recital.  It took many hours, but getting to spend the time all fancy and with her best friend definitely helped.  They were very cute.  One ribbon was missing from her jazz costume, which was sad, but she persevered and a short two hours later we made it home.  Meanwhile, Brent thankfully picked up the race packets and Grandma took the boys to tennis.  It takes a village!

6.  Both Saturday and Sunday we took this crew to the park for tennis, nature time, and playground fun.  On Saturday we also had a picnic.  M& Serenity did lots of building up their faerie house in the woods.  It was great fun!

7.  This snuggly little guy still loves selfies, snuggling, and taking walks/stroller rides with his mama.  Love him to pieces. 

8. Thursday, it was beautiful outside so M&E spent a lot of time playing in the sprinklers.  It was one of many outdoor days this week, including a walk to the park with the neighbors to the tennis courts yesterday.  

9. Thursday evening Brent went to Dad's night at E's preschool.  They had Star Wars doughnuts, made a tie, pretended to shave, They also played lots of other fun games and apparently played with a bulldozer, which E liked most? Sounds like a lot of fun to me!

10. Today we're worrying about tornadoes and severe weather.  We're also trying to prep for my trip to NYC.  It is a big busy day.  Hoping all goes well on both fronts and that I'm full of news next week. 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Ten on Thursday

1.  A third blog in 10 days! Here I am just after finishing the last 4 mile run of the training for the 5k this weekend.  I've been running about 2 days a week in recent months and doing cross training the other days.  There are some caveats.  I didn't run for nearly two weeks around my surgery.  The runs are mostly around 3 miles in hilly conditions.  There have been a sprinkling of 4 mile runs and 2-2.75 mile runs in the mix too.  I feel under trained compared to prior years when I was running 3-4 times a week usually a mostly 2-3.2 mile runs.  Who knows.  My breathing this week was worth than usual so saying I ran the 4 miles is somewhat misleading as a few hills were walked in there.... It will be fine either way, but probably a slower 5k than in some year.

2. On Saturday, the OU Men's and Women's Gymnastics teams BOTH won the National Championships.  This has never happened before either for OU or from any university. I was, as you might imagine, very excited.  Big thanks to Brent who ran tech support for maybe 3+ hours to allow me to watch these stream live on the big tv.  Next year, Audra, M, and I hopefully will watch the ladies try for another in STL!
 3. On Saturday, M, Mom, and I went to see the lovely Iris at the Will Rodgers Gardens.  There were dozens of gorgeous varieties and I think our collection will be growing in August.  It was a lovely morning among the flowers.
 4.  I keep trying to get rid of this kitchen as it feels like weeks go by without anyone touching it.  And then suddenly this little guy will fall back in love with it and begin cooking me all sorts of things and it gets to live for another day.

5.  I have been trying to do more fun things with M's hair b/c you're only six once.  She went to school with her hair like this one day this week and it stayed in all day!

6.  Today is B's last day of state testing.  It has been a long road and lots of support and fun from the school and family (Gift pack above from Aunt Audra was a hit!)  I think we'll be glad to have it over, and move on to studying the Great State of Oklahoma!

7.  This is Dr. Dotter's Daughter's Daughter's Daughter -- so fun to say.  She loves to tell us stories, can barely stop talking, or moving. She loves flowers, the outdoors, dance, gymnastics, cool outfits, cowboy boots, fun hair, and being in the center of attention.  We love her madly :)

8.  We are focusing back in on some how projects because that is what I do in April.  A year ago today, our old house was put on the market.  Hard to believe it has been a whole year! Yesterday, we, at long last, had the concrete pad in our back yard ripped out.  The contractor lives in my neighborhood and is going to try and come up with some creative ideas for that dreaded retaining wall too.  Next up for the concrete pad site is two 8x4x2 ft. beds.  We are also trying to pick out a rug and a couch for the fireplace room... we shall see.  I did find a side table for my chair in the office and a few more smoke alarms for the house.  We also added some trellises outside.  Progress!

9. I am reading at least 3 books right now - Name the Wind, Hamilton: The Revolution, and Fragile Things. The later I picked up on sale because Neil Gaiman is a good writer/story teller.  It has suddenly become the book club book for Saturday as this book club has been thrown together at my house on short notice and books of short stories are good on short notice.  The first story was awesome.  I'm only to story 3 just now, but so far, very well written as anticipated!

10.  Brent is in that crazy time of year where he sleeps less, and works more.  He is prepping for the end of the semester, multiple summer camps, and a bunch of research opportunities for his students.  This weekend he is spending part of Saturday interviewing students for next year. It is a really intense time for him.  Weirdly, now summer is much more intense and stressful than most of the school year.  He is probably the only one hoping for August. Hoping it all goes well!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

1st Communion

 First Communion for B has been a long time coming.  First, there was the timing mix up that puts him at this place a year late. Then, there were two years of classes.  In the second year, there was also first reconciliation and its retreat,  prayers to memorize, the Catechetical Mass (where they explain all the things going on in Mass, making a banner, then the first communion retreat, then practice for the big day and finally here we are!  A lot learned and a big step.
Here he is in this magic suit we bought for Uncle Able's wedding that somehow still fit fine once we let out the hem and added a new tie.  He looked very sharp. 
 Aunt Audra helped with the banner and so many things this week including tons of delicious cookies from a Elieen's, new rainboots, and lots of encouragement along the way.  She is rocking Godmother work! Thanks so much, Audra!
 Today, B and I arrived at 8:15, but there really wasn't much to do the first 30 minutes we were in the Great Hall with his class.  We took some of the above photos, and in this one he is telling me a story. It might be my favorite of the day :)  He remarked that the girls in their fancy dresses looked a lot different, but the boys look about the same.  Good observation...
I don't really have a photo of him actually taking communion and, in fact, could barely see it as his extra tall teacher was mostly blocking the view.  Luckily, professional photos are coming (yes, that is a thing?)  It went like this though,  they processed in in pairs, and the entire class sat together in the front pews.  Some the kids did the readings, others helped with gifts, and everyone had a chance to answer questions during the Priest's sermon. I thought he did a really good job with them in contextualizing this moment and encouraging them onward.  (Father Ray has been awesome throughout this process.)  After communion and announcements, his class got up and sang/signed their song.  It went better than I had anticipated.  Then there was the mad rush for group pictures and I elected to defer to the pros I was paying for that photo in the crush of people and cameras.  
 Aunt Audra (to the rescue again!) took a family photo for us.  No clue what is up with E here, but that's about how it goes...
 Here he is with his Godmother and one of his best smiles of the day.  He was really hot in his 3 piece suit and it came off right over his final photos with Audra.  We had cake and punch at the church reception and then came home for the video game after party of a 9 year old's dreams.
 Here he is with 1/4 of the cookies Audra brought - a good mix of crosses, OU, Storm Troopers, and Thunder.  Perfect mix and another real smile! Two in a row!
 This is some of the wonderful crew that joined us for lunch.  Able & Kari made amazing pulled pork - so delicious and a huge help.  Grandma brought buns and Grammie and Granddaddy brought 4 kinds of ice cream!  Some of B's old friends from Angie Debo came to spend the afternoon playing along with some of our other friends.  It was great fun.
 These two continue to be adorable together.  E was a little emotional today, but still managed to have fun.
 Tracie and I had lots of time to catch up and we actually used our fire place room.  It is great for gatherings as people can talk away from where the kids are playing and the tv.

In addition to all that talking, there were video games, computer games, board games, and lots of nerf and light saber battles.  I think a great time was had by all.  We went in with Grandma to buy B a Kindle Paperwhite to help with is reading passions and have it all linked up to the library after he had nearly devoured the book we gave with it in one day.  We love to read!  I think getting presents surprised him quite a lot so whenever someone gave him one it was an extra cool bonus rather than an expectation, which is perfect.

After everyone left there were more games, some dinner and talking, Harry Potter time together and then off to bed for some more reading on the Kindle.

For me, I was surprised that I almost cried as he had his first communion.  I have worked hard and spent a lot of really good time with him to get to this moment.  I'm so grateful for the journey and the one on one hours we got to spend. Also, during that moment someone was singing "Remember me" and I thought how much my Dad would have been proud of that moment even as the rain poured down bringing him closer.  Undoubtedly, my connection to my Dad in the church is a big piece of what keeps us there and he would have loved this moment.

My favorite part probably was when he walked up stairs to take a bath and said : "Well, this has been a really fun day"  This is very high praise from B and I loved it. I wanted the day to be a fun celebration his style and I think it was.  Hooray for big milestones, faith, and a happy boy. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Ten on Wednesday

1.  Today I had outpatient surgery and my first full anesthesia experience.  All went well and I am fine.  We're actively trying to stay ahead of my pain and I'm glad I have a couple days off work to really rest before reentering the fray.  Thanks to all of you who sent supportive emails, texts, and phone calls.  Big thanks to my siblings and their spouses for the help with the kids and the scones today.

=== as a result I am lazy/tire so there will be limited photos today.

2. Yesterday we flew kites for the first time at the new house.  To my tremendous surprise, the kids made it work even with all the trees.  I think you can see the video here: Fly a Kite Video

------ This is as far as I got, two weeks ago, before I realized that sitting up for more than 15 minutes the day of surgery was a bad decision.... then two weeks passed.

3. Good news! Surgery recovery went well.  Taking a full three days to rest was a great decision.  I restarted exercise on the following Monday and am now on day 10 of 30 day Yoga Camp (via utube).  This does mean double run/yoga days at least twice a week as the race is coming up very soon... eeek.

4. B's first communion is this weekend.  It has been a long time and a lot of learning in coming.  I am glad they  are doing a thorough job teaching them about it.  We're having a party afterwards at our house complete with some of his friends from his old school, special cookies form his Godmother, and pork made by Uncle Able.  Should be fun!

5. This weekend, we made a last minute trip to the OU Red/White game. It went pretty well.  It was very clear that E is not ready for a real football game.  Everyone else did pretty well and enjoyed wandering campus a bit.  We had awesome Rusty's frozen custard afterwards too.

6.  On Friday, M, E, & I spent the duration of B's tennis lesson playing at Hafer Park.  This is becoming a bit of a Friday afternoon routine and the weather was lovely.  Can you believe this big boy can pull himself up like this repeatedly and easily? So big!

7. Thursday, Brent, Able, Kari, Tracie, Nikki, and I joined about 445 of OKC's coolest people for the Starlight Super.  Able, of course, knew everyone and Tracie knew the people he didn't.  This is one of those moments when I realize that thanks to telecommuting, living in north Edmond, etc... means I don't know anyone and that is kind of sad.  I then retreated to my forest home and am happily loving it here.  In other news, the food was delicious, the company wonderful, and the setting pretty magical.  I would definitely do it again!  (This was a fundraiser for downtown OKC and featured 5 courses of food from OKC restaurants and local wine pairings.  The dessert from Guernsey Park was definitely my favorite!)

8.  Due to his baseball team not reforming this spring, B is not playing baseball.  He has been to see Zane's team play a few times lately and I think there is some wistfulness there.  We will see if he starts again, but both boys are currently loving playing in the front yard til then.  Playing baseball with beginner tennis balls is greatly improving the safety and fun.

9.  Meanwhile Spring at the new house is completely beautiful.  I love it.  This was taken a week or two ago and it is already different and fully leafed out, but the flowers continue.  My iris haven't bloomed yet, but I'm watching them daily. Running in the neighborhood is awesome too.  M went with me last night and commented on how beautiful it was.

10. Also, there was Easter!  We spent part of Saturday with the Rouse/Richards crew and part at the farm where we made it through Easter Vigil mass in Bison and the Easter bunny found us too.  Maybe more pictures of that to come? 


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