Tuesday, May 31, 2016

May Celebrations

• Thrilled to hang out with MasterChef winner, Luca Manfé, at his delish food truck, The Lucky Fig, in our neighborhood on Food Truck Friday Night! His polenta fries have CHANGED MY LIFE! :-D Also, bread pudding is one of my most fave desserts, and his chocolate topped with strawberries & vanilla gelato = divine!

• I met with Rice University's athletic department & marketing staff last week re: future opportunities with my youth cheer program!!!!!

• Undefeated regular 7-on-7 football season; our final 2 playoff games were last Wednesday night: we won the 1st game 26-6, with Will running back an interception for a TD! Championship game: we scored 1st, & Will scored our extra point. They tied. They went up. We tied. OVERTIME... And we lost. In OT. Heartbroken. As evidenced by his face with the runner-up medal, Will & I are both extremely sore losers. (He does come by it honestly...) At least we had the hottest coach! ;-)

• Mary Lou Retton (aka Annelise) in her Famous Texans living wax museum presentation at her 4th Grade Celebration of Learning:

• We spent all Memorial Day out on the beach! Grilling lunch along the shoreline, Jimmy Buffett on the speaker, kids jumping waves, adults lounging in the hammock & beach chairs... Finishing strong with a celebratory Team Extreme (Annelise & our friends' two kids here are on the same competition cheer team :-)) stunt salute:

Monday, May 30, 2016

The End of the Van???

My van broke down Thursday morning a week & a half ago, right in front of our elementary school when I went to get Annelise for the pediatrician (her annual well-check). JB was gone, traveling for work, & I do not handle car problems well. (I resent every ¢ spent on their depreciating issues!) I wanted to bawl...but I focused on every positive:
* It happened in a super safe place (school driveway, not during dismissal) with 3 sweet friends working in the office to help me not freak out & get Annelise back to class. Thank goodness I wasn't in Houston!
* My Cheertators texted instant ride-share support.
* Our trusted auto shop is literally across the street from the school & around the corner from our house.
* I learned my insurance covers free roadside assistance towing!
* It ended up being the shifter linkage, NOT the transmission! HUNDREDS of $ less to repair than initially feared!!!
* I was able to walk home from the shop to wait and arrived 2 minutes before the heavens opened with 4 hours of storms.
* God may have prompted me to finally be ready to get something newer. (The van is over 10 years old. :-/ It's paid off & that's SOOOO tough to give up, esp. when I don't obsess about new cars!!! But this might need to be it, esp. with the distances we drive in the city, with JB traveling more often, & since now the check engine light won't turn off, so it won't pass another inspection...which is due next month... *sigh*)

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Ten MORE Days Later

Is this my new trend, posting in 10 day-spurts? :-P

A BFF gave me the most wonderful revelation: I've always been über indulgent in nostalgia, but I've felt less & less like that the last few years. Why? Because I'm actually content in my present. I don't have a little bit of depression in my heart, longing for those times & places past. I actually like my now, my present best... And that is an amazingly satisfying revelation!

Two of our principle worlds conflicted last Friday tonight: our last regular season 7-on-7 football games...at the exact same time as Will's final choir pop show. :'( Obviously Will was super ticked to miss football with Daddy & his team for school music...and I can't lie - I was, too. Out of 20 songs, Will was only in 3. (*sigh* Someone give me the mic! :-P) But I have to say, I was SOOO IMPRESSED by 1) the confidence these kids had, 2) the fearless way they brushed off not hitting every perfect note onstage (I wish I could let mistakes go like that!!!), and 3) esp. the way their peers so passionately support each other!!! (There were some horrific notes hit, and not a single boo, nor even a snicker. Just thunderous applause for every song!) These are really *quality* kids. Dagger in my heart, though: it was the best 7-on-7 game our team has EVER played in 4 years. We won 47-13! Yaaaay!!!! ...But crushed that Will & I missed it! My BFF, Amy, had the best perspective: amazing that it only has conflicted once! True. I'll be thankful...

Cheertator bowling night:

Geckos outside on our window screens make me SO HAPPY!!! I loooooove them!!! (Keep eating every bug out there, sweet friends!)

CHEER-O-RAMA last Sunday!!! Not only did I have a stellar planning session with my Cheertators (solving huge team assignment problems & developing exciting new Coach Certification & Stunt Clinic updates for my rec youth league!) but Annelise's competition cheer gym announced the teams for this next whole year...and she's flying on a SENIOR team!!! (Small Senior 1) Our lives are officially "EXTREME" ❤️ (The team name is Extreme ;-))

She had a soaking wet morning, though, on Monday for her very 1st day on SAFETY PATROL! (This is the week the 4th graders who made it for the Fall as 5th graders start early & finish out this school year.) Proud she's carrying on my legacy from 1988... ;-)

After teaching 4th grade Junior Achievement from 8:45-1:45 on Tuesday, I had Annelise's year-end Special Buddies celebration. Her buddy has the sweetest, genuine smile!!!

Elsa, her betta fish, died while we were at school, though, Tuesday. :'( Annelise presided over her first-ever fish funeral, [buried in the front side yard - not back (no chance of beagle grave digging) & not flushed (that thought made her bawl.)] RIP Elsa! (And so thankful Annelise had her first official night of Extreme cheer that night to help her feel happier!)

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Last 10 Days & ...Wait For It: BIG NEWS Reveal

What have our last ten days looked like?

Bursting with gratitude over sharing lunch with my precious Zumba BFFs, esp. when one has been out on injured reserve for the last 2 months! (PS: best honey-fried goat cheese arugula salad with chicken, dried mango, & mango ranch dressing!!!)

I *LOVE* days when we run errands and get to eat a lunch of samples!!! At Costco: tamales & white queso, mango peach salsa & fresh pita chips, barbacoa & organic guacamole, yogurt, applesauce/veg blends, roasted pumpkin seeds, & chocolate caramel pretzels. At Trader Joe's: Moroccan mint tea, hatch chile mac & cheese, 2 new kombuchas, & dill pickle popcorn! Our buddy who works there always indulges the kids - she tells them to pick ANYTHING in the store to try! :-D This time: lemon meringue pie & chocolate molten macarons! Mmmm...

"There's a war between guilt and grace
And they're fighting for a sacred space
But I'm living proof
Grace wins every time"
~Matthew West

We had a long-awaited Cheertators' Night Out last weekend. I love how much I laugh with these ladies:

Annelise asked to take another nature walk last weekend, so we did ~4 miles on a Buffalo Bayou Trail with Bonnie Blue beagle. I can't believe Sweet B has just turned 14!!! She still has such a young pup spirit, (& apparently, stamina!) ❤️ We always find something new on these walks - this time: wild blackberries! Tons of them!!!

I had to miss Will & his choir sing the National Anthem at the Astros baseball game Wednesday night. :'( I had my own singing rehearsal for Praise Team ❤️, & JB was traveling for work*, so Annelise had to tag along with me after flyer cheer practice. I STILL NEEEEED a video from the game!!! [No response from the Astros (yes, I contacted them directly) or the other chaperone parents. :'(] I found this random fan pic on the Astros FB page. :-P

So proud of Annelise's after-school theatre club final performance Thursday! She rocked her Narrator role with clarity, enthusiasm, ...& the mouse hat from one of my childhood Halloween costumes!

Will had THREE scoring plays Friday night, and the Mud Dawgs are STILL undefeated in our 7-on-7 football division! ‪#‎youcandoit‬ ‪#‎highqualityh2o

* Traveling for work? JB hasn't done that often since Chicago, 6 years ago, right? Right. That's the BIG NEWS we got the end of March that we needed to wait until everything was set to share! JB has gotten a NEW JOB!!! His previous company was hit hard by the oil & gas downturn; as the HR director, it was his job to downsize what became 75% of the company...before it was time to literally downsize himself. He could see what was coming, so he was completely prepared, and boy, did God come through: the new job was offered before he officially left the former company. Talk about provision! It's a better job in every respect - a step up at the perfect time. The one difference: there's some travel; but it's so much easier now than when the kids were little! ECSTATIC!!!