Tuesday, August 02, 2016

wild & crazy summer

With the last day of school under our belts, it was time to get down to business and enjoy the summer! Early in the summer my Uncle Mike came for a brief visit. This was a big deal considering he lives in the Philippines. He was spending a month in Michigan visiting my Grandmother, so he wanted to come for a weekend to see us and the girls. He came bearing gifts, so the girls were thrilled. The biggest surprise was that he smuggled in some Kinder Eggs. Anyone that knows Cece knows how much she loves her Kinder Eggs! It was a quick visit, but nice to see him as it does not happen very often.

Our soccer season was nearing an end and our final games involved a tournament right outside of Indianapolis. It spanned two days, but the first day Olivia and I drove down with her BFF Aleah and her Mom, Lesley. The girls had two games that day. They played hard and had fun and we even had time for some fun in between the games. We grabbed lunch at a diner and even had time for a little shopping! 

The girls had more games the next day, which wrapped up the season. It was another great year of soccer and girls worked hard. The best part is watching how much they are growing as a team. Soccer is getting ready to start back up here soon. This group of girls has great potential!

Even though Olivia's time at Peace Montessori concluded at the end of the school year she still had a fun experience this summer with her Spanish teacher. During the annual fundraiser I won an auction that involved learning how to make pizzas at his local restaurant. She got to spend an afternoon with her teacher/owner of 800 Degrees Pizza, learning how to make pizzas in wood fire oven. She had such a great time and brought home some pretty delicious pizza!

We were thrilled to hear that our zoo was staying open later at night during the summer. Closing at 5 each night just made no sense, considering that most people work all day and cannot make it to the zoo until after 5. We have been taking advantage of the later hours and swinging by for a quick visit whenever we can. The girls never get tired of the zoo.

Olivia had a hard time saying goodbye to her friends at Peace, knowing that next year she would be starting at a new school. She made it known how much she wants to stay in touch with those that she was closest to. One of those is Sami...a sweet little boy she has known since she was a baby. In my opinion they make an adorable couple. But she gags and rolls her eyes whenever I mention that. They just love each other though, and it is so cute. Early in the summer they had a playdate that involved playing on their iPads, going out for sushi and seeing a movie...with Sami's Mom, of course. They get along great and have a ton in common. I really hope they continue to stay in touch. 

With things heating up we were spending as much time at the pool as possible. It's such a fun way to spend the summer weekends. The girls both have friends there to play with and they just so happen to be sisters. Olivia's friend Audrey is in many of Olivia's dance classes and they have grown close over the past few years. Audrey's little sister Avery was in my baby tap class this year at the dance studio and has also become Cece's little bestie. The girls all play so well together at the pool and have had such a great time so far this summer!

Speaking of dance friends, each summer we devote an entire weekend to the annual dance recital. It's a big deal in our house since both girls dance and I teach at the studio. The recital spans two nights. The first night Cecilia had her two dances, tap and ballet. She was excited, but a little nervous at the same time. Last year she freaked out a bit on stage, so I was little nervous about how things would go down this time around. 

First up was tap. This was her third year of tap and she has really started to progress. She was dancing to, "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun", My heart just melted seeing her in her sweet costume. Once she conquered her dance on stage I immediately had to shower her with flowers. I was so proud! 

This was also her very first year of ballet. I was surprised by how much she loved this class. I thought ballet would move to slow for her, but she loved her dance, her teacher and most importantly...the costume! 

Olivia had a handful of dances on the first night too, but she was repeating them all the second night as well. One of her production dances was based on the Dispicable Me movies. She played one of the minions and her sister even had a special part. She played "Agnes", one of the little girls in the movie. She had a solo part that involved galloping across the stages on a unicorn. She was thrilled about it and adorable too!

Night one of recital was a success. Cecilia performed like a pro and seemed so comfortable on stage...big change from last year. I was very proud of my little ladies, and ready to do it all again the next night. Cece only had to repeat her special role as "Agnes", but Olivia had a ton of dances.

Night two was busy with most of Olivia's dances. Tap, Jazz, Ballet, Hip Hop and all of her production dances. It was a busy night! I am in awe of how much Olivia has grown as a dancer. Not only in her ability, but in her confidence on stage. She is growing into a beautiful dancer, who just LOVES being on stage. 

We cannot thank our teachers at Northeast School of Dance enough. I am one myself and I know how special it is to work with these kids all year long. I know Olivia and Cece just love their teachers and we are grateful for everything they do for the girls. Our teachers at Northeast are the best!!!

It was a super successful recital weekend. Not to mention very exhausting! The girls did such a great job and I could not be more proud. I love being a part of the Northeast School of Dance family. It was where I grew up and seeing my girls following the same path makes my heart happy!

The day after recital Olivia packed up and left for camp. This was Olivia's second year spending a week away at camp. Last year Olivia and her BFF Aleah did camp together for the first time. They had an amazing time together and we decided to make it a tradition. She waited and waited for drop off day, and once we got there and they settled into their bunks I knew they were going to have an awesome week.

I was not the least bit worried about her being homesick since she did so well last year. One thing I love about this camp is that they post pictures on their website every night. I felt I knew everything were up to throughout the week. Every time I saw a photo of Olivia and Aleah, they had the biggest smiles on their faces. 

They keep the girls very busy all week long and give them the opportunity to try lots of new things. They meet new friends, learn responsibility, independence and respect. Most importantly she gets to have this experience with her best friend. Those memories are priceless!

When we arrived to pick her up, she started crying. I was concerned something was wrong, but she just said, "I am just so happy about my fun week at camp!" After a brief closing ceremony we packed up the car and headed home. I have no doubt Olivia and Aleah will be going back again next year!

One bummer about camp was that Olivia was going to miss her sister's 5th birthday. We were sad she couldn't celebrate with us, but that did not stop us from making it a super special day for Cece. We decided to keep this year's celebration simple with just us. Cecilia sort of celebrated all week starting with a movie date with Holly (her sitter). She took her to see Finding Dory. She was thrilled! They also took a trip to see a Minion silo in a town outside of Fort Wayne. Cece loves the minions so this was pretty exciting for her! We also celebrated with Todd's Mom with dinner and presents.

We had special plans on her actual birthday. It started with a visit to Build-A-Bear. This was what she wanted as her gift, so we were happy to grant her wish. She knew from the second she walked in what she wanted to make. She has wanted a puppy from a show she watches and that is exactly what she got. She was one happy little girl!

We grabbed some dinner afterwards then headed back to my Mom's for presents and cake. Cece couldn't wait to rip through her gifts. Even though her sister could not be there to celebrate with us, she had a gift for her to open. She was thrilled with each and every gift she opened.

Holly was kind enough to make Cece a cake, even though it was just the four of us celebrating. Cece wanted a butterfly and she delivered. The cake was beautiful and tasted so good! It was so sweet of her to do this for her. My sweet girl was so excited to turn 5 and blew out those candles with pride! I just couldn't wrap my mind around the fact that my baby is now 5! My girl is growing up!

Our summer has gotten off to a great start! Both of the girls have had so much fun with each other and with friends! So many fun things still to come!