Thursday, April 18, 2013

Dance Competition Season... 2013

First experiences ever being a "real" dance Mom.
Sure, Brenna's been dancing a couple years now, but this is the first year it has gotten serious for us. 
Competition season is in full swing.  
Last weekend Brenna had her second of four competitions and I must say #2 was much easier on my nerves than the first, BUT for some reason things didn't play off quite as smoothly as the first.  
Prior to the first competition I was a wreck.  Anxiety THROUGH THE ROOF.  As a control freak myself, not knowing what to expect on comp. day was not sitting well with me.  I felt very un-prepared and we were still two weeks out from competition.  As comp. day drew closer my nerves continued to spiral out of control.  
You can read more about this HERE.

I was put as ease about this competition stuff very quickly.  Brenna's first competition was FUN!  I learned very quickly that my fellow dance Mom's were all just AMAZING.  If there was the slightest struggle with anything or any of the dancers, the Mom's were quick to pull together and settle the issue quick.  

Brenna and Jocelyn heading out for their first competition together.

All smiles after their second dance and our first competition.

Posing for their 1st grade teacher, Mrs. Taylor, who came to watch them perform.

Trophy time.

I admit, I've watched that dumb Dance Mom's show on T.V. and I was really stressed about the possibility of experiencing that sort of cattiness.  Though I knew better, those crazy dance mom moments that play out on T.V were still in the back of my mind.  
Our group of dancers, Mom's, and teacher's couldn't be any more opposite than that Dance Mom's show.  
I learned that we are a family, and that first competition I felt I finally found my place among them all. 
Can I just say, I LOVE OUR STUDIO and all the people involved in it.  Maybe it's the small town effect, but I must say that every single person is sincerely there for all the right reasons.  It doesn't matter which girl shines bright in the spotlight at any given moment... every parent, student, and teacher's heart just swells with pride watching every dancer do their very best. 
It's very heart warming.  

Anyway, back to the competitions.  Last weekend was our second competition.  Our studio did AMAZING!  Though I had quite the hair fiasco that morning that may have pushed me to tears... the rest of the day went smooth and Just Dance Studio walked away with many first place trophies. 

Our little Gems (Brenna's team) walked away with first place trophies for BOTH of their dances AND they both took a platinum ranking.  I'm still learning about what all this means myself, but I'm catching on.  In case you don't know every dance is scored on a point system.  Where your total points fall determines your ranking.  The ranks range from Silver to Platinum.  Silver being lowest, Platinum being highest.  Needless to say, to have both dances rank Platinum was AWESOME!  Not only did they take First in their age bracket, they even walked away with a first place overall (which means they scored highest of all dances in that catagory).

Warming up.

I love this girl SO MUCH!

So beautiful

Ready for dance two...

Proud Mom, Tired Mom.

Silly girls.

Dance party on stage.

I'm so very proud of our girls. 
Their team spirit is like none other I have experienced.
These girls truly love each other and LOVE dancing together.
They mesh well, and it shows out their in the spotlight.

This weekend is our third competition.
I'm so excited I can't stand it!
And to think this once made me nervous....

Monday, April 15, 2013

2013 Baseball Season Begins....

Baseball season is now in full swing.  Last year I made the mistake of not watching for registration information in January. I didn't anticipate that baseball registration would happen beginning of February when it doesn't start until April.  My bad.  Sam ended up having to play rec center t-ball last year, which was okay.  He liked it, which is what mattered.  
You can read a bit more about that HERE and HERE.
It was fun to watch him learn some of the basics of baseball and improve upon his hitting/catching.  

I grew up watching my baby brothers play baseball for a league and I can honestly say those are some of my favorite memories of them.  There is just something about little league baseball that gets my adrenaline going.  I love it.  I love the smell of the snack bar hot dogs grilling in the distance and indulging in far too many sunflower seeds.  I love the eruptions of cheer when a good play is made and I love to watch those huff and puff moments when a bad call is made.  I was totally consumed when my brother's played baseball.  I may have even been one of those individuals who allowed a bad call get the best of me...
Lets face it, it's simply hard to not get emotionally riled up while watching this game.  
I hate to say this, but rec center ball just didn't do it for me.  The feeling wasn't the same.  Maybe it's something to do with the fact you are playing in a large, open, grassy field among several other games at the same time.  There were no bleachers, snack bar, dirt... You have to have the dirt.
A slide into home just isn't the same without that red dirt.  
This year I made certain that I didn't miss league ball registration.  
I couldn't wait to have that ball park feel again.  
It's been so long since my brother's played I didn't realize until I was there, opening ceremonies, this year just how baseball deprived I have been.  It was a cold morning... bitter wind, uncomfortable... but I didn't care.  I was there, soaking in every single moment. 
I'm so excited to finally be able to watch my own boy play.  I'm so excited to sink my teeth into another ball park hot dog.  I'm so excited to spend my evenings soaking in too much sun while my boy plays a game that we both love.  

This year Sam plays for the NY Mets.
Sam's first game was on the 6th of April.  
We had to be to the park early for pictures, which were immediately followed by opening ceremonies, which was immediately followed by his first game of the season.  

This game isn't serious for him yet.  He is still just expected to learn the basics... and the ultimate goals this year are that these kids learn to hit the ball without a tee, run the bases in the right direction, and learn to get in front of the ball while in the outfield.  I was so proud watching these little boys and girls in their first game.  They all hit without the tee, they all ran in the right direction, AND they all did pretty well making some plays.  Every time a ball was picked up in the outfield... they always threw it to first base in an attempt to get that runner out.  Granted there is no score keeping at this age and everyone gets a turn at bat each inning, but these boys and girls get it.  They did so well.  

Sam got a couple really good hits in too.  He did really well in the outfield.  He didn't run clear across the field to try to get to a ball before a team mate.  He was content waiting for the balls to come in his direction before he went after them.  

Game two happened that following Thursday and they did just as well as the first.  In game two our team even made a play that would have resulted in the first baseman getting the runner out had we been keeping score.  It was great.  I was all smiles.  

I can't wait for this season to continue and for our days to become a little warmer.  The heat of the sun will be the icing on the cake to a wonderful first year of League Baseball.  

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Sun, Water Fun, and Shaved Ice... Just what our Easter needed! Part 3

So what if I'm a little behind...
It's how I do.

Lets just jump right in.  The kids woke up Sunday VERY excited to see the goods the Easter Bunny left for them overnight.
Brenna quickly piped up with, "MOM!  I heard the bunny. I swear I did... I heard him hopping on the floor!"
I would normally chalk this up as her telling stories... You know the kind that if you tell yourself enough times then you start to believe it kind.  BUT I have to give her some flexibility here Mom may or may not have been up quite a few times that night.  At all hours.  I'm certain Brenna heard something, just wasn't the bunny.  I was okay with Mom getting up though cause it gave me a good excuse to get up myself and grab just one more piece of licorice.  Damn that yummy little red treat.

Brenna first noticed the shoes.  She's been begging me for shoes with a big flower on them.  I don't think it mattered the color or even the fit... just that it had a flower.  Good thing I was still able to find something  with a flower on it.  Apparently those sandals are the big trend right now cause the were VERY difficult to find, let alone in the right size.  Sam on the other hand first noticed the single metallic egg sitting front and center in his basket.  I've mentioned before this kids obsessions in life... Money being one of them.  This kid must have a nose for it because that is exactly what that one single egg contained.  Never mind the rest of the stuff.

However, the real excitement hit when the kids noticed that COMPLETELY crazy Easter bunny brought them wrist rockets (or sling shots??? Is there a difference?).  Not sure that the Easter bunny was fully with it when that decision was made.  Actually, I take that back...
The Easter bunny most certainly had "checked out" when deciding to put that in their baskets.  Mr. Easter bunny is to blame.  
I take no responsibility.

It took awhile after the wrist rockets were discovered for the kids to take notice to anything else... including the empty carton sitting right in front of them or the slew of eggs laying just outside the doors waiting to be gobbled up by their perfect little hands.  Eventually, we did make it to taking notice to those hidden eggs and their excitement shifted.  The kids were quickly at the back door, plastic sacks in hand, ready to take on that hunt.
They were then forced to wait for dad to get out of the shower...
Seriously, who gets in the shower first thing on a morning like this?  He must not have any recollection of the excitement of these moments as a kid.  How dare he make them wait! LOL

But, there they waited... anticipation growing.
Dad finally joined us and off they went.

The hunt ended quickly.  They were good little egg hunters those two.  Surprisingly we even made it through that egg hunt without a fight.  That rarely happens.  It was already turning out to be a good day.  When we wrapped up outside, Sam was quick to request that Grandma and Grandpa make Swedish pancakes.  We just can't go to G&G Eldredge's for a visit and leave without having them.
It's tradition. Can't brake tradition. 
They were also just as quick to comply.  
We scarfed down our food and the kids got dressed up in their new Easter clothes....

Only to be rushed out the door to once again pile in the car for a long ride home.  The ride home was definately much longer than the ride down.  Why is that?  Why is it that when you have a fun and enjoyable trip, but are ready to be home... home just seems SO much further away?  It's a rude trick I tell ya.

We finally made it home, unloaded the car, then the kids and I piled back in the car and headed over to my mom's boyfriends house for an Easter dinner.  It was perfect as he lives in a pretty secluded place with plenty of rocks.
Perfect for some wrist rocket action.
The kids were well occupied and ran a muck.
They needed that open space to wind down and let loose some energy after having spent the time we did in the car.  
Food was good.  Thanks to Terk for his hard work and hospitality.  

We were even graced by four darling deer.
They came right down the mountain and took comfort right in Terk's (Mom's boyfriend) backyard.  The kids really enjoyed watching them. They were even able to go stand outside, just 10 feet from them without startling them.  

This little girl walked right up to the window they were first gazing at them through... She was clearly curious. 
It was a great ending to a GREAT weekend.  

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Sun, Water Fun, and Shaved Ice... Just what our Easter needed! Part 2

I know I didn't give much detail to the whole nephew buried in quicksand story on day one of our trip.  The reason being was because Sister Steph really did save the day earning her bragging rights in all places, not just as "favorite" Aunt to the young one who's life she saved.  She's the better story teller anyway, I knew my role on this day and stood behind the lens documenting this great story for her.  I don't mean to be unsympathetic, but when everything was all said and done... one couldn't help but laugh at the situation poor Ayden (as appose to how I've been spelling it... it's NOT Aiden) found himself in.  As Sister Steph makes reference to... who would ever think you would find yourself in a pirate like situation where having watched mythbusters would come in handy when saving a boy's life?  Without further ado, I suggest you just go read for yourself at Sister Steph's Blog The Circus HERE.   
It's all in the wiggle. 

Anyway, on to day two.  We woke far too early than I would have liked after the night we had with poor Sam and his swimmer's ear.  Mom and Dad were in a rush to get out the door as Dad had a singing gig he had to do at a local rest home.  Apparently they (him and his brother's) are a BIG DEAL around that place.  They go play there weekly.  The elderly folk love them, and they too must love the elderly folk as they do all this out of the kindness of their hearts.  These brother's (The Eldredge Brother's) are quite talented.  Prior to Mom and Dad heading out the door, Dad spent a good half hour or so warming up.  Brenna was quick to find her place right beside her Grandpa as he sang some fun songs for her.  She loves to listen to him play guitar and sing.  She could sit and listen for hours and I as a mom love to watch her just gaze upon him while he sings. The love she has for that man is so apparent in those moments.  You can see it in her eyes, those are the moments she will one day grow to cherish.  I love that.  

After Mom and Dad left, we got some breakfast in us and got ready for the day.  We didn't have any set plans aside from me heading out for some much needed shopping. We had traveled down to St. George without having done any Easter shopping and here it was day before Easter and we had nothing to give the kids.  I knew what was on the agenda for my day, which meant that Bill had to occupy the kids while I went shopping.  Bill decided to take the kids up to a little reservoir not far from the parents place so Sam could try out his fly fishing pole that he has yet to use since he got it for his birthday nearly a year ago.  Both kids were excited to go fishing, which is good cause fishing is not my strong suit and didn't mind missing out on that "fun". 
Dad requested that I make ribs for dinner so I threw them in the oven then met up with Mom in town to do some shopping.  We were quick.  I hate Walmart and the crowds in St. George were insane.  I don't like crowds either.  I didn't want to be shopping so I rushed through Walmart, poor mom having to remind me to slow down.  I forget one doesn't always function like a 30 year old.  
We were back home in a little over an hour and was surprised to see Bill back with the kids already.  Apparently the biting wasn't all that great and the kids got board fast.  
Mom suggested that we head out to a park that was all the rave in St. George at the moment.  We showed up only to find it extremely crowded due to an Art Festival taking place.  That didn't matter we got out, listened to the live music, and walked around admiring some of the local art.  There is quite the water set up there too.  The kids couldn't wait to submerge themselves in that ice cold water.  

When we were headed to the park, we notice that the shaved ice shack was already up and running.  Dad has a weakness for black cherry shaved ice so we knew if we mentioned that the joint was already open he would insist on stopping by for a cool down.  We weren't disappointed.  Dad did suggest we stop on our way back to the house for some delicious shaved ice.  Why don't these places just stay open year round?  I would so pick one
 up in the dead of winter.  They are so good.    
I've decided that someone needs to open one in Magna that stays open all winter.  I won't be doing that though cause that would mean I would have to run it in the dead of winter and I'm just now willing to sit out in the cold.  Someone else can do it though.  I'll let them. 
We had a bit of a late dinner, which resulted in having to dye Easter eggs late and an even later bedtime than I had hoped for.  

The kids crashed fast once they made it to bed and I was able to play Easter bunny and make it to bed before midnight myself.