Saturday, November 26, 2016

Beast Mode Flying High

Guess what JB & I started on Monday, after Annelise's first big competition on Sunday?!?! BEAST MODE (Adrenaline's *PARENT TEAM*) began! JB actually knows how to base & back spot, b/c he & some football teammates cheered for basketball in college. I'm so ridiculously excited about it, and to do this now with my husband & new Adrenaline friends?! This. Is. Awesome.
I get to be a FLYER, y'all!!! And get this: we're going to COMPETE against other parent teams at our competition in New Orleans in January!!! :-O ❤️

I know it might seem kind of ridiculous, but I don't even care! Never in a million years would I have thought I'd get to do this at 38 years old! :-D And to have JB doing it with me, and to see how proud Annelise is of both of us out there – it is just truly the most unexpected joy!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Cheer America 2016 Capitol Cup Nationals

Last weekend was 100% cheer: we began Saturday morning running Turf Bowl Championship games for our youth football league, (JB announced the games; I ran cheer ceremonies & performances with my Cheertators,)
before hitting the road to Austin for Annelise's first-ever judged cheer competition!

Requisite Buc-ee's stop on our way:

We actually had such a relaxing time at the hotel! Getting competition-ready from bow to toe:

Cheer America 2016 Capitol Cup National Championship in Austin, TX was a total success for Annelise's team! 🎉 EXTREME won 1st place with ZERO deductions!!! No, I won't post any video until after competition season is over this coming spring, but I have lots of stills!
[All of the Extreme families and other Adrenaline teams
lined up in the arena to cheer Extreme to victory!]
[Extreme praying before taking the floor]
[Annelise is tumbling center closest to us]
[Annelise = the right flyer, in the center of the photo]
[A = teddy extension center]
[A = arabesque center]
[A = coming down in a cradle, center]
[A = right flyer, being flipped right, ponytail flying high]
[A = right flyer]
[A = highest flyer]
[A = 2nd flyer from right]
[Annelise's AMAZING bow & arrow hold!!!]
[Extreme accepting their championship banner!]
[Flyer teammates with their first gold medals & championship hoodies!]

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Krispy Kreme + Feed the Hunger

Krispy Kremes are the BEST doughnuts on earth. Hands down. Not up for debate. I love their plain original glazed; in general, I do not like cake doughnuts. (Up north, people go nuts for apple cider & spice cake doughnuts each fall; you'd think I'd like that, but they're just not my jam.) So when KK announced they were making their *original glazed* with *pumpkin spice* for ONE DAY ONLY in October, I was SO EXCITED to try... and then I was crushed that it was also Annelise's Eureka science program day at school, and I wouldn't have time to go. Fast forward to last week: due to the tremendous reception, KK decided to do it one day in November, too!!!
I went after Zumba!!! And they sooo lived up to the hype!!! Krispy Kreme FOREVAH!!! #ogpumpkinspice

On a completely different, also incredibly satisfying note: last Friday, the kids & I volunteered with Feed the Hunger, packing thousands of meals that will be sent to hungry people in Haiti, as well as in rural Appalachia here in America. I won't lie: Will was not super excited to go, at first... but I think he ended up having more fun than any of us! :-D It was so satisfying to do so much good for so many people so quickly. We packed 116 boxes at 240 meals each = 27,840 meals for children in just our session! It was a record-breaking total overall:

It was the perfect way for God to help us prepare for Thanksgiving...

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

End of a Era?

Saturday was possibly the end of an era... After 5 seasons here (& 7 total), this was perhaps my last youth league game head coaching just my cheer squad. (I said *possibly* ;-)) I'm definitely continuing as VP of Cheer - I love teaching Coach Certification, Cheer Camp, Opening Ceremonies, & Turf Bowl for every division! - but I have a vision for helping other new cheer coaches get started. My squad can stunt as high as we can safely go without mats, and we've learned almost 60 cheers, including most that our junior highs do. I'm not sure what else new I have to offer them...although I have a couple families who don't care if it's all the same: they filled my soul to overflowing! When I mentioned this was probably it & why, they said they absolutely didn't care if we repeated everything next year, that not only would it make their girls stronger & cleaner, but it would make them even more confident, and that above all, they just want *me* as their daughters' role model. :-O Whaaaat?! Holy heartstring tugs!!! I was 100% sure this was it: I had several parents/children I am relieved to be done with - challenging = understatement; they left me drained & emotionally raw... But then the parents of the girls I adore begged me to stay, and every challenge confirmed they are not coming back for different reasons, so...

Annelise will still have competition cheer, and she'll have Pep Squad, (you must do 6th Grade Pep Squad to be eligible to try out for 7th Grade Cheer,) so she won't *need* our youth league. There's definitely enough to keep me otherwise busy still as VP of Cheer - I really want to have the time to actively mentor our new coaches, beyond just troubleshooting when they have issues! It's exhausting to voluntarily pour HOURS & HOURS not only into practices & games, but exponentially more into preparing... ...But my select families & precious girls who want *me* to be their role model above all?!? We'll see. The possibility either way doesn't seem too monumental, b/c I'm definitely not leaving my VP position.

Our final complete game overview video!

Many families on my squad couldn't be bothered with a team party or even a team meal (?!?!?! - refer back to my challenging comment; I don't know why, but this felt like a snub & really hurt my feelings. The same people also left after getting their trophies at halftime of our last game Saturday; only one mom had the decency to tell me they were going, and they truly had a legit event. The others ditched as soon as they got their hardware. I'm sooooo not ok with my kids not completely fulfilling their commitments!) ANYWAY, cheering the 2nd half of our last game with only the girls & families who truly love being there was dreamy. (A taste of what coming back with them would be like...& why I'm remotely considering it!) It was also FANTASTIC to have just six girls, be able to hear them all clearly, be able to focus on each of them more intently, and have the time to let each one shine! Because it was my strongest, most focused stunters who remained, they put Annelise up in an extension for the first time all season!!! (The big girls who always put her up last year all graduated.) It took all season for them to get strong enough, but I was bursting that they reached it the last game...and I think having the concentrated focus without extra distractions was as important as having gained the strength.

Afterwards, these wonderful remaining families agreed we should all go out to eat to celebrate!!! BLESS THEM!!! I'm so thankful we did something to end it right:

To be very clear that I'm not trying to go out with any sour grapes, (just explaining the circumstances coloring my future decision,) we *did* also have happiness before halftime, too! We even did the mannequin challenge right before the game started, and we got the referees to join in!!! (Cinematographer: Will)

What's in store next season? Ummm, do you have any insight for me? I honestly cannot (should not?) decide right now. I'm going to pray for clarity...and stamina for this immediate week: teaching the Rookie & PeeWee Turf Bowl dances, extra competition practices for Annelise, Zumba, running Annelise's thankful party at school, hopefully volunteering Friday at the Million Meal Pack-A-Thon (packing one million meals for people in Haiti), and running two Turf Bowls Saturday morning before turning our attention to AUSTIN...

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Project V.O.T.E. Mock Election

I had the coolest school volunteering experience EVER on Election Day, 11/8: I was an election judge for our school district's Project V.O.T.E. mock election! Will's junior high went all out: students came to vote during their Social Studies class. They had to have registered to vote 9/27-10/11. If they didn't register, they couldn't vote. They had to show their student IDs (Texas requires photo ID to vote), and I found their names on the rolls. They verified their info, signed, and went back to vote on an iPad. We even provided "I voted" stickers! It perfectly mimicked the true adult voting process here, and it was such a valuable experience for our kids to receive!!!

[Me, verifying Will]
[Will voting]

It went even deeper: each campus in our district was assigned a certain number of delegates based on how many students registered to vote. The votes were tabulated & delegates assigned - like the electoral college - that evening to determine the mock outcome. I personally dislike the electoral college system in real life, but I love how they translated it into this project. Such a fantastic civics lesson!!!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Competition Cheer Showoff

Annelise had her very first competition cheer event on Sunday, 10/30. It was a showoff - judged, but no awards given - so it was the perfect way to prep for the real thing coming in a couple weeks Austin.

We got together with a bunch of our teammates the day before to practice the official hair & makeup. Oh, yes - there's a how-to video for how to achieve the gym's signature look for this season! :-O This is VERY NEW territory!!! I don't wear any makeup except brown glitter eyeliner (always looking for a fab one; current fave - Sephora Contour Eye Pencil 12hr Wear Waterproof in Cappuccino) and long-wear lip stuff (currently Revlon ColorStay Ultimate Suede in Supermodel,) so all the details were really intimidating. :-D It was much more fun to figure it out together!

The showoff was about an hour away, so we didn't have to go the day before & stay in a hotel. We just met at the venue:
Team Extreme!
Annelise with her gym "little sister" (on another team)
Team Extreme praying before going in... ♥

It's the very beginning of competition season, so we can't post a video of the routine on social media, but I have lots of stills!