Monday, November 06, 2017

back to school

Summer always seems to fly by, but we were doing our best to enjoy every second. When the girls weren't at the pool swimming with their friends they had plenty of other activities to keep them busy. For the past few summers Olivia and her friend, Aleah have attended a show choir camp. It's fun and allows them to tap into their artistic side. There is always a little performance on the last day, and as usual it was super cute!

When it's not crazy hot we try to swing by the zoo. Having the zoo pass gives us the ability to pop in anytime and not feel obligated to see everything each time we go. On this particular visit we were able to explore with just Cece. It's always nice to spend some time with just her and the zoo is one of her favorite places to go!

My Aunt Sue made a surprise visit this summer to visit the girls and also make a trip to Michigan to visit Nana Cleo. The girls and I took a long weekend and went down to Michigan as well. Lake Michigan in the summer time is a beautiful place to be! The first place we stopped once we got into town was the old fashioned candy store. It's one of the girl's favorite place to go whenever we visit. Next it was off to visit Nana Cleo. She may not remember the girls name's any longer, but her face just lights up when they walk into the room. She was thrilled to see them!

The next day it was all about the beach. The weather was perfect, the sand was warm, but the water was freezing! Didn't seem to bother the girls though. They played for hours while I relaxed and enjoyed the sunshine! What do you do after a day at the beach? Get ice cream of course! And you can't beat $1 ice cream cones!

We wrapped up a beautiful day with a walk by the beach while enjoying a beautiful sunset. The girls love visiting their Nana Cleo's house in Michigan. It's really is a lovely place, and it's only 3 hours away! The girls also love nothing more than a visit from Aunt Sue Sue, so between her days in Indiana and our weekend in Michigan they were able to spend lots of quality time with her.

Even though we were on a break from soccer for the summer the girls still had the chance to play together in the Shoot for a Cure tournament. This great tournament raises money for breast cancer and it's lots of fun. The girls rocked it out in their pink shirts and pink socks and played great together, for a great cause!

Every summer our city holds it's annual Three Rivers Festival. I typically do not have a great deal of interest in the festival, but I know the kids enjoy it so we took them down one evening to walk around and go on a few rides. I took Cecilia on the ferriswheel and she LOVED it. I must admit it was nice to see our city from up high and enjoy some time with my girl. Olivia went on some wild ride that I was glad to skip. I can take it or leave it with the festival, but the girls had fun so I am glad we went.

This past year the girls became very close with one of the older girls at the dance studio, Lauren. She also was a lifeguard at our pool this summer, so they saw her quite often. Lauren lives in our neighborhood and her Mom is also one of Cecilia's dance teachers. She is great with my girls and they love her. She was preparing to leave for college at the end of the summer and she offered to spend a special day with them and take them to the zoo before she left. They had a blast together and I was so touched that she was willing to do that. Seeing her leave for college was tough, but since we are close with her family we will see her often.

We were beginning to count down the final days of summer and preparing to head back to school. One of the things on our to-do list was to get Cece's eyes checked. She had an eye test at school and they suggested that we see an eye doctor. We took her for her appointment and the optometrist discovered she had astigmatism. I was not initially thrilled about her having to get glasses, but once I saw her in them that melted away. Not only is she super adorable in them, they make her look quite grown up! And according to her, she can see things so much more clearly now!

Not sure how we managed to go almost the entire summer without taking the girls to a TinCaps game, but somehow we forgot. Lucky for us we were invited to enjoy a game in one of the suites! As far as I am concerned it's the best way to enjoy a game. Not sure how much the girls were paying attention to the game, but Olivia snagged a photo with Johnny TinCap and Cecilia ended the evening with her face in the popcorn bowl, so I think fun was had by all.

With only a few days left before heading back to school it was time to squeeze in as much last minute fun as possible. The annual "day out with Nana" included lunch downtown, a visit to Science Central and some shopping. It's hard to see the summer come to an end, but I think the girls were ready to start the new school year.

Olivia was off to school first. Not only was she starting 5th grade, but she was moving into a different wing of her school...the middle school wing. At her school 5th-8th is considered Middle School. So gone are the days of a single teacher for the entire year. She would be moving from class to class all day with many different teachers. Although she was a tad nervous, she was more excited than anything. This kid can handle anything that is thrown her way, so I knew her first day would be a success. And of course, it was!

The next week it was Cece's turn to head back to school. She also faced a few changes this year with a new teacher and a new classroom. At Cecilia's school first graders are in the lower elementary room with kids in 1st-3rd grade. She would be one of the youngest in her class, but she was ready to tackle her new school year, glasses and all!

Although it was sad to see our summer come to an end, the girls were happy to be back and school and I was looking forward to seeing what exciting things would be coming their way. Goodbye to lazy summer days and hello to busy schedules once again!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

summer fun

As soon as the girls were out of school for the summer we were off to the races! Just because it's summer time doesn't mean things slow down around here! Mid-June means it's recital time and one of the busiest weekends of the year in our house. With two girls that dance and a Mom who teaches it's non-stop craziness for two days.

On the first night of recital only Olivia had dances, but Cece came to support her sister. She had a total of 8 dances this year, which is more than ever before. I am so impressed with her ability to remember so many different routines and perform them so well. Not to mention how cute her costumes were this year!

The second night was twice as fun as both girls were dancing. Olivia had the rest of her dances as well as some that she performed on both nights. My favorite part of watching Olivia dance is seeing how much fun she has when she is on stage. She loves is and it shows!

This was the first year that Cecilia performed two dances at recital. She added ballet in addition to tap, which she has been taking for 4 years. She shares her sister's love of the stage and was super excited to get out there and show off her moves!

The theme for her tap dance this year was, "When I Grow Up". They each got to pick what they wanted to be when they grow up and Cecilia choose a veterinarian. It was an adorable little dance and Cece remembered all of her steps!

Her ballet dance was just as cute. They danced to a song from the Tinkerbell movie, dressed as fairies. I think this was her favorite dance, and she performed it with grace. I have seen a big change in Cecilia's stage presence and ability this past year. She has really started to come out of her shell with her dancing.

It was a crazy, but fun two days of recital. The girls are blessed to be learning dance from some pretty amazing teachers, and to be surrounded by some great role models in the older dancers. They look up to these girls and use them as inspiration. I am proud of the little dancers my girls have become. They make me so proud!

The day after recital was Father's Day. We didn't have a great deal planned other than relaxing by the pool while the girls spent time with their Daddy! Daddy deserved some relaxation as well after spending the past two days sitting through hours of dancing!

With dance done for the summer there was finally time to enjoy some of the other fun summer activities the girls look forward to. Each year Olivia attends the Beasley soccer camp with her buddy Aleah. It is a week full of soccer training and fun, and this year was no exception. Well the only exception was that she and Aleah won a few of the big giveaways of the week. Olivia walked away with a soccer ball signed by Beasley himself! She was pretty excited! The week always wraps up with the big water balloon fight, which is the best part!

Summertime means Cecilia's favorite day is approaching...her birthday! Hard to believe that my baby was turning six, but if you know my girl you know she was looking forward to this day for weeks! Things kicked off at her babysitters with a day full of her favorite things. She requested donuts for breakfast so Holly made them from scratch! Next she opened presents from her little buddies and finished things off with cupcakes and a birthday wish!

The celebration continued at home with a few presents before getting fancied up for her birthday dinner! Every year on Olivia's birthday her grandmother takes us all out for dinner at her favorite Japanese restaurant. Cecilia has been asking non-stop for the past year when she can start that tradition, and this was the year!

The girls love Takaoka so much, not just for the food, but for the experience. Problem is that Cecilia does not have the most developed pallet, so the thing she looks forward to eating the most is white rice. She obviously likes this restaurant primarily for the show, not so much for the amazing food.

She wasted no time tearing into her presents after dinner. She was anticipating her big gift from her grandmother...a ukulele! After dinner we headed back to Nana's house for a few final presents and cake of course! Olivia surprised her sister with a rice crispy cake that she made almost entirely on her own. We all had a great time celebrating our girl's birthday and the smile on her face told me that she had a pretty great day too!

So the following weekend we had Cecilia's first official birthday party. We made plans to have it at a local park with a wonderful playground and splash pad. The plan was to have pizza, presents, cake and let the kids run around the park. Well things don't always go as planned. Cecilia woke up with a slight fever. Even though she wasn't feeling very well she still wanted to have her party!

Come party time she wasn't feeling well at all, but was happy to see her friends. She managed to perk up a bit to open some gifts, but immediately after wards got sick. She blew out the candle on her cake, but did not feel up to having a piece. From that point on she was a spectator at her own party. She sat and watched as her friends ran around and played. She simply did not feel well enough to partake in the fun.

I did manage to grab a few pictures of her with her friends early on before she really started feeling terrible. Cecilia's wonderful babysitter did her cake and came to celebrate with us. Holly's lap was where Cecilia wanted to be for the remainder of her party. It was a huge bummer that my sweet girl was unable to enjoy her 6th birthday party, but we will give it another shot next year. The good news is that she woke up the next morning feeling 100%! Aside from the 24 hour illness Cecilia had a fabulous 6th birthday and is already anticipating turning 7!

The following weekend we celebrated the 4th of July! Things are pretty tame around our house on this holiday. The girls and I are not big fans of loud fireworks so we keep things simple with sparklers and other things that do not make any noise. We spent the day at the pool and had a quiet celebration at home before going inside and avoiding the loud booms for the rest of the night!

In mid-July Olivia was off to soccer camp at Notre Dame! She was looking forward to going to this camp with all of her soccer friends for months! She was excited to learn some great soccer skills, but more than that she was excited to sleep in the dorms like a real college student!

She enjoyed her week at camp exploring the campus, hanging out with her friends and even winning the little tournament they held at the end. She won a Notre Dame scarf and t-shirt which made the whole week worth it for her! The first thing she said to me when she came home was, "I can't wait to go back next year!" It was a great camp and a great experience for Olivia!

When we weren't busy with birthdays, soccer and other summer activities you could find us at the pool! Lounging by the pool trumped anything else we really should be doing. The girls have some great friends there and they swim for hours! Cecilia and her little friend Avery found themselves a life guard they were smitten with too, and they followed him around most of the summer! Our days at the pool are some of our best each summer. Thank goodness the summer is only half over!