Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Running the Field + Mega Moon

Saturday evening, Will & his 7th grade football team got to run on the field with the high school team at their big football game. It was such a cool experience for him! (He's in a white jersey, #34)

During the 2nd quarter, the most SPECTACULAR full moon rose directly over the visitor's side! Moon pics never look as huge & amazing as "real life" (I know, I know this is why) ...but I *had* to try:
[I still can't believe how tiny the moon looks here. It was GIANORMOUS!]

Monday, October 17, 2016

Superman & Fight Song

We were missing a full third of our squad this week, but we had enough girls to do our Superman stunt!

After halftime, the girls decided they wanted to learn how to pop Annelise back up to prep, too... Yeah, that still needs work. :-P

Here's our Fight Song dance:

And another game overview with pics from an awesome cheer mom:

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Cartwheel Life Lesson

I can't do a cartwheel. I can dance circles around people, and I have no fear of flying in stunts, but I've always been terrified to purposely throw my head down towards the ground while flinging my body up & over. Head + ground = scary. When my cheerleaders were little, it made the ones who also couldn't cartwheel feel better when we were deciding tumbling in routines when I said, "It's ok if you can't do one - *I* can't do a cartwheel, myself!" That hasn't come up in a couple years now, though...and at practice, my girls used another one of my tactics against me: when I put a cartwheel ripple in our dance last week, I just did a tour jeté instead to demonstrate, b/c "I can't do a cartwheel." They pounced: "Coach Susie!!! Don't EVER say you CAN'T! You always tell us to try the hard things that we don't think we can do, and we can always end up doing them. You're strong! You're going to try right now! You can do this!" I was a little stunned...but they were right. And I did! I looove it when these girls remind ME of the truth!!! (Listen to those excited screams at the end! 💖)

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Football Choir Boy

So, Junior High football has been...different. There are 30 kids on Will's team, instead of (often under) 20 the last 4 years = with only 11 players on the field, he's getting less action than he's used to. It's weird for us, b/c we no longer have ANY insider info on the team: we're no longer the coaching staff, we have no idea who's putting in solid effort, who's making dumb mistakes, who needs work on this or that, b/c it's no longer JB's job to coach. This new detachment is dramatic...and honestly hard for me. Y'all know I like to be in the know, and now we're "just" plain parents. :-/ Not my style. :-P

But also, nothing I can change! :-D So, I try my best to cheer and take pics from a million miles away up in the stands (ugh!!! soooo missing our amazing sideline family photogs we had the last few youth seasons!!!) The team is at least doing well! 3-1 after this last week's win:

Here's a little highlight (they're almost impossible to capture!) from this Monday's game. Will is #34 in white on defense on this side of the field, lined up closest to the 2nd down marker:

There are only two games left!!! I can't believe how fast this season goes by. :'(

This Tuesday, he had part of a Fall Choir Concert. (Part, b/c the main concert is this coming Monday. During his football game. No, he will not be skipping football for choir. There are more choir events than there are football games, Grandma & Grandpa Blake are flying in to see him play in this game, and even though I never dreamed I'd have my child choose a sport activity over an arts activity, I am ALL ABOUT the football choice. Especially since he sang one of the two songs they're singing on Monday this past Tuesday. (Yes, they're only doing 2 songs Monday; another reason I'm ok missing that for a whole football game.) Choir has been...less charming than last year. There's a new teacher (the beloved one from last year is still around, but the new lady is doing Will's class. Yeah...) I don't know that his Tenor Bass Choir sounds as amazing as I expected, but hey - it's early! Here's their performance (Will = middle row, right end) of One More River:

(You can see two 8th grade football players made it from their game just in time; 8th grade plays on Tuesdays. This week's opponent is only 2 miles away; next week's is half an hour! Another reason Will can't swing both, like these two did.)

After the concert, I indulged Will with cheesy breadsticks :-D and we went to pick up Annelise from cheer:
"Why, of course - I dress like this all the time!" ;-)

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Ready Set Go

Another great youth cheer weekend! I really think that first week where I felt so *ugh* was a total fluke. Every week since has been easy & FUN! Maybe it was b/c Will hadn't started playing, yet, that first week. Maybe that first football team we cheered for really was blah. I don't know, but I feel like we are cruising now - and not only cruising, but still doing quality cheer. We've dropped down to one practice a week*, but we're still growing, adding cheers, and we did a new dance this week, too. I can't put my finger on what's so different - maybe without my fam on the field, and with Annelise also getting competition training, I feel more relaxed? The stakes aren't as high or emotional - I'm not Annelise's sole source of future cheer prep, anymore, and I think that's giving me a more fun sense of freedom.

Here are our videos from Saturday. The first is from the mom who did our Rice University overview video, too. I love that she includes pics!!! Watch the actual "Ready Set Go" dance, though, on the 2nd video - JB took it from a much better angle.

Our official 2016 squad photo!
[pic of the pic; missing four girls]

Our halftime stunt this weekend:

Teddy sit extensions:

Sweet girls:

This is how my girls wanted to take breaks! :-P

*We've dropped to one 2 hour practice a week instead of two 1.5 hour practices. Will & my assistant coach's daughter now have their junior high football games to play & cheer on Mondays when we had been having it. Annelise has competition cheer Tuesdays, and everyone has church Wednesdays, so Thursdays are it. I asked my cheer fams if they were ok with this (hoping they wouldn't feel cheated) ...and they all cheered!!! :-D Easier on everyone, and the girls are finally old enough to handle getting fully prepped in one shot.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Redemption Kick-Ups

We had the most perfect football weather EVER this Saturday: sunny 70's!

We did TobyMac's "Backseat Driver" again for halftime this weekend. (Please ignore my direction! :-P) We changed the stunts and got redemption on those couple muffed kick-ups! This video also shows the whole group, instead of just Annelise's side:

So, you'll notice we're not doing a new dance every single week this season. Since we're cheering for a completely different team & new set of fans each week, we're going to do about 4 total and repeat those, each time making several elements (esp. stunts) harder, better. It will be easier on both the girls & me, and the dances will (should!) look better & better.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Pumpkin Paradise

I'm unapologetic re: how much I love pumpkin! (BTW - not just pumpkin "spice" but actual PUMPKIN!) First fall pumpkin purchases at Trader Joe's: my two ultimate faves - Pumpkin O's cereal & mini ginger pumpkin ice cream sandwiches. Excited to try this cute pumpkin pasta, and I was intrigued by the crackers, which are DELISH!!! Definitely the find of 2016, so far...

We hit a low under 70°F for the first time since June this last week, and the weather has been absolutely GLORIOUS!!! Lows in the 60's, highs in the 80's - it just doesn't get any more perfect for me!!! Not hot in pants, not cold in shorts. *THIS* is dreamy. Happy fall, y'all!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Not Backing Down + Pic Day

Our Saturday football performance this week went well. We did our Not Backing Down dance, again, but I sped up the ripples double time & did a different stunt pyramid pose. (You'll see the left shoulder sit almost fall - argh! - but at least Annelise was solid in the middle.)

I also captured the girls doing their FAVORITE new cheer: Ain't No Competition. It gets stuck in all of our heads! I honestly wake up in the morning and find myself chanting & patting out the cadence! :-P

Crazy cheer pile:

"Can we do a cheer up in stunts?" "Can we do our shoulder sit?" "Can we do our teddy sit?" "Can we do..." "Can we do..."
"Sure, just get your stunt of choice up..." And this is the randomness that you end up with! :-P

Our official league Picture Day was Sunday. I can't wait to see our official team photo - we got to do a stunt pose! - but we took these while we waited for our big group shot with Dream Team Silver. It looks cloudy, but that sun was BLAZING!!! :-D

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Yay, Chinatown! Boo, Lightning!

A favorite tradition with my mom here visiting: our $30 hour-long massages in Chinatown!
Then dim sum and bubble tea!

So, my mom flew halfway across the country to see Will play junior high football... and the game was cancelled on Monday for lightning less than 10 miles away. :'( It was beautiful at the field, too! At least we got a pic of him coming into the stadium for warmups & one with her before loading back on the bus...
Oh my heart, y'all!!! He prayed before bed Monday night: "God, help me not be so angry that LaLa didn't get to see me play." I told him we'll take lots of video next week to share!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Titans' Backseat Driver

So, my laptop crashed this weekend, right after I scheduled that last Rice Performance post. It's not the end of the world, b/c I do 90% of my work on my phone...but I've always blogged on my laptop. :'( This stinks... but not enough to get a new computer, b/c honestly, I use it so little, it doesn't seem like a worthwhile purchase. Bare with me for a while...

My Dream Team Pink cheered for the Titans on Saturday morning. That football team was so kind & inclusive! They watched our entire halftime performance with respect & asked our girls to be included in a victory team pic!

Here's our halftime performance from Saturday to TobyMac's "Backseat Driver":

Monday, September 19, 2016

Field Performance Rice vs Baylor

My youth league cheerleaders had an AMAZING experience Friday night: we were invited to perform ON THE FIELD at the end of the first quarter of the Rice vs Baylor football game at Rice University in front of thousands of fans!!! We got to stand on the field for the National Anthem, after which we were taken out & around the stadium to come onto the field through the players' tunnel! We performed half of our Opening Ceremonies dance, (we had 1 minute, so I cut that song down to 55 seconds! :-D) and it just went perfectly!

Everyone I brought from our youth league: ~50 girls!

Here's the full dance video:

And here's a video one of my moms made that's focused more on our girls & encompasses the whole Rice experience:

They were *STILL* cheering in the stands after our performance...and they even made it up on the jumbotron TWICE! :-D