Thursday, June 14, 2018

spring time, fun time

With 2017 well under way the girls were excited as signs of Spring were in air. St. Patrick's Day does not tend to be a holiday that we typically celebrate much, but that doesn't mean you can't sport a cute T-shirt and wear green with your sister and friend. I think there's a bit of Irish on my side of the family, so we will use that as our reason to semi-celebrate!

This year Olivia decided to participate in her school's Spring musical. Performance time was fast approaching and occupying a lot of Olivia's time. She really wanted to be involved because this year the musical was Mary Poppins and involved quite a bit of dancing. Once her drama teacher knew she was a dancer she begged for Olivia to be involved. The whole process was a good learning experience for Olivia, and lots of fun too.

We were super impressed with the musical and very proud of Olivia's performance. Fifth graders typically do not have major roles in the musical. Those are reserved for 7th and 8th graders. But she was part of the main chorus and was featured front and center because of her dance experience. The singing, dancing and stage design was top notch...quite impressive for a middle school performance. The musical may have been time consuming, but Olivia said it was totally worth it.

Spring time also means dance competition time. Each year our dance studio competes at a regional competition, and this year we will be heading to a National competition in the summer. This year our regional was in Michigan, squeezed into one long day. The girls prepare all year long to perfect their dances for this big performance. Olivia performed beautifully in six dances. Watching her light up on stage brings such a smile to my face. She really loves to dance and it shows!

The girls did a great job at their competition and will be competing again this summer in Myrtle Beach. Since our regional in March the girls have been working to improve their dances with the hope of improving their scores at Nationals. Dance competitions are tough, but they are good learning experiences for the girls. They can see what else is out there and that often pushes them to want to work harder.

A few weeks later it was Easter! Aside from Christmas this is by far the girls' favorite holiday. The night before we had our annual evening at Nana's to do all of their favorite Easter activities. There was so much to squeeze into one night, so we dove right in with egg dying. After that the girls decorated cookies. The finished products of both were quite impressive!

Next up, it was time for an egg hunt. The girls search Nana's house for eggs filled with goodies and at the end they take all of the contents of the eggs and split the rewards evenly. They searched hard and fast knowing that there was money to be found and trinkets to take home! Of course after everything there were still Easter baskets to receive. Those smiles show just how happy they were with their goodies! It was a fun night and great prep for Easter the next day.

In the morning the girls got dressed in their pretty Easter dresses and we headed to church. They looked so pretty! It was a chilly, but sunny Spring day. So chilly in fact, that the girls had to wear their winter coats for the egg hunt after service. After church we headed home and the girls opened their Easter baskets from us. No wonder Easter is one of their favorite holidays. The goodies just keep on coming!

That afternoon we went to our friends, The Fortes for our annual Easter dinner. Every year they invite us to join their family for dinner. They treat the girls like their own grandkids and include them in their egg hunt and give them each an Easter basket. It's a lovely way to celebrate the holiday and it has been a tradition we have enjoyed for many, many years!

Spring Break came out of nowhere, and although we were not traveling anywhere the girls went to Michigan with my Mom and Aunt Sue. The main reason for the trip to Michigan was to celebrate the life of my Grandmother who had passed earlier this year. We were having a service and reception in her honor towards the end of the week. But first the girls were able to have some fun with my Mom, Aunt Sue and Uncle John. On the trip down to Michigan Cecilia lost one of two front teeth. It was a monumental occasion for her that I missed. But I couldn't help but smile when I got a text with this photo attached!

While on their little getaway they visited a museum, a bounce house place and some fun restaurants. It was definitely strange not having them home for the week, but they were having fun on their Spring Break which made it a little easier not being with them. Todd and I drove up to Michigan at the end of the week for the memorial service. It was bittersweet saying good bye to Nana Cleo, but the service was lovely. Olivia surprised us with a special poem she wrote for her. I was able to hold it together until that moment. It was a very special moment, and I was proud of my girl for having the courage to do that in front of so many people. 

With Spring Break over it was back to school and time to start the last big stretch before summer break. Within a few days of being home Cecilia lost her second front tooth. And just like that my girl had a big toothless grin. Olivia jumped right back into school with a big school presentation dealing with the constitution. Her presentation took place at our courthouse and was a big part of her grade that quarter. Of course she did a great job and made us extremely proud.

Even through Spring Break was over Spring was just getting started. Hard to believe we were getting ready to wrap up another year of school and jump into summer once again!