Little Dancer

Will I ever learn to never say never?! As a general rule I don’t believe in absolutes like “never” or “always”. They don’t tend to hold up over time. Life and times change and some (most) absolutes tend to change as well. I should know I used to say I would never be a runner…ha.

I was pretty certain Sky would never be a dancer. I mean have you seen Dance Mom’s…no thank you! All the hair, makeup, and girly outfits…please no, just no. Based on some of the experiences some of my friends have had with body image issues and mean girls…nothing about dance lessons for Sky appealed to me, and I was confident in saying she would never take dance lessons.

When she stared dancing around the house, leaping, twirling, spinning, and asking for ballet outfits I just ignored it. Besides she is/we are busy with golf, soccer, swimming, biking, and you know life.

But, when a girl has her heart set on something it’s hard to ignore it. She was begging for dance lessons, and I kept putting her off until she took matters in her own hands….sort of.

Not so graceful. Photo: Mark Yeatman

She entered a coloring contest at a summer fair booth for one of the dance schools, and won the contest! Her reward was a month of free lessons. I still wasn’t sure how I was feeling about all this, but after meeting with the owner, talking about my hesitation, and what we hoped Sky could get out of it I felt so much better.

She’s in a tap/jazz/ballet class with 15 min of instruction in each type of dance. And, while Sky didn’t really want to do any performances she ended up in the class that has a number in the Nutcracker in Dec. So, we are practicing for that, getting fitted for costumes, and are going to see this dance thing through until then at least.

The smile on her face when she got to try her outfit on, and the fun she has at class…well it makes it all worth it! Hopefully at the very least she will gain some grace and elegance, and it will help with her balance.

The lesson here, that I apparently still need to learn, Never Say Never.

Teddy Bear Picnic

Way back in July we went to a little thing called Teddy Bear’s Picnic at Curran Apple Orchard in University Place. Total last minute decision to go check it out, but we figured it was a lovely sunny day, and a free event, and Sky was so excited to take one of her bears on a picnic, so we grabbed our picnic supplies and headed out.

We got lucky and ran into the Beckham ladies and enjoyed our picnic with them! It was a really fun event with tons of activities to keep the girls busy for hours, a teddy bear parade, live music, and princesses wandering around. Had I packed more wine we could have lounged for hours! 😉

I’ve been paying attention to the numerous free summer events in the area, there are a lot! We haven’t been able to enjoy most of them because we’ve been gone so much, but I’m already planning ahead for next summer and hopeful we will have a quieter summer (not complaining, we are having tons of fun, just feels like it’s been busy).

I love that she picked Pooh Bear to take to the picnic. That is the very first thing we purchased for her when we started the adoption process. Oh, and a funny side note…I LOVE the pants I have on, but Sky says they are embarrassing because they look like pj’s. I don’t care, I still love them! 

 

Thankful Thursday

With the beginning of the school year right around the corner today I’m thankful that I get to spend my summers home with Sky. I know not everyone can do that, and I’m so thankful to have a supportive husband, with a job that allows us to afford me working a job that matches Sky’s schedule.

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Sky wants to learn how to bake, so we started with Strawberry shortcakes. She’s working with the dough here.
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Homemade shortcake and whipped cream with strawberries from the garden…so good!
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Play time at the park with Uncle Brian. This rock is way higher than this pic makes it look, also see how hazy we are from wildfire smoke?! Really hard to take clear pics right now.

Sooner than I’d like she’ll be off to college, living her life, and I’m going to have so many good times to hold onto. Plus, even though she has her moments she’s really just so fun to be around. We laugh a lot, try new projects, and learn new things, and just have fun! I’m thankful I get to be part of her summer fun and experience it with her.

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Goof ball! She is a crack up! 

 

 

Hands On Children’s Museum

Last year one of the kindergarten field trips was to the Hands on Children’s Museum in Olympia. Sky loves it there, but she did not love the trip with her class so much. She was forced to do what the group wanted to do, and didn’t get to spend the time she wanted to doing what she wanted. She was so mad she told me I don’t need to go an anymore field trips with her class. (Whatever…I’m still going, she can deal).

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The one thing she wanted to do on her field trip was spend time in the “Vet Clinic”, but none of the other kiddos in her group wanted to…that’s what pushed her over the edge. She played in there for ages while I sat outside the window and read my book.

I told her we could visit during the summer, just her and I, and she could do what she wanted for however long she wanted to do it. So, that’s what we did. She had 4 hours and complete control over where she spent her time, and she was in Children’s Museum heaven. She may beg for a baby brother or sister every day, but being an only does have it’s benefits. And, being able to do exactly what she wanted for as long as she wanted is one of those benefits.

I highly recommend a visit to the museum if you are local. Totally worth it and right now Groupon has discounted tickets!

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Umm, yea she spent a good hour of her time on this stage singing, dancing and pushing the applause button on the sound effect board. Girl will create her own hype when needed!

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She’d be a scary officer!
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She still insists she wants to be a police officer. We shall see.
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See Mommy I’d be a good older sister. I know she would, that’s not the issue. We are just done that’s all.

Thankful Thursday

Today I’m thankful for Fleet Feet Sports Tacoma! I have spent the last 5+ years “leading” (I’m too slow to call myself the leader, more like directing from the back of the pack) first the stroller group run, and then the Tuesday night run. I have loved every single second spent volunteering with the store, leading the run groups, and making some amazing friends.

Fleet Feet truly changed my running life, and if not for the support and gear they offer their volunteers I would not have been able to afford to continue running after we were down to a single income. They helped keep me going and growing, and treated Sky like she was the best friend the store had. She still loves running and visiting the store to this day!

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First race with Sky.

I feel like I have always received way more than I’ve given with support from the store and other runners. I know for a fact I would not have had the courage to run my first half without the encouragement from the run group, and I never would have PR’d the half that I did without the Tuesday Night runs pushing me to my pace limits.

Week after week…such an awesome group of people!

This last Tuesday was my last run as a group run leader. It was a hard decision to make, but it comes down to what is best for my body. Given some of the aches and pains that I have with road running, and that those aches and pains are not an issue (or as much of an issue) when trail running I decided it was time to take care of my body, and run in a way that will allow me to still be running with I’m 90 (lets hope!).

Celebrate good times!

Sky asked me the other day if I’d run her first half with her, if and when that happens I want to be able to do it. With that long term running thought in my head I pounded my last 3 miles of pavement with some of my favorite people in my favorite run group.

A huge Thank You to Fleet Feet Tacoma, and every single stroller runner/walker and Tuesday Night group runner out there. You’ve all made me smile and helped me be a better mom and runner!

I’ll see you all on the trails I hope! Fleet Feet Forever!

 

Pedal Power

This summer is going down as the summer of family bike rides! Sky has gotten so much better on her bike and is taking on longer more challenging rides every time we go out.

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It’s sort of crazy to me that she’s on a bmx bike with no gears yet is riding right there along with Mark and I like a champ.

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Sky’s first serious trail ride, was very seep downhill for a good mile. She did great. Coming back up was another story, but once she has a bike with gears she will power up those hills no problem.

The other night at the park she made it up the steepest, paved, hill the park has. She had to work for it (way harder work than it was for Mark and I with our gears) but she was determined and she made it!

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Old train tunnel at the bottom of the hill, and we found a small beach that we didn’t even know was there.

So proud of her! I’m seriously loving our family bike rides. I’m already trying to figure out our schedule once school starts so we can fit in homework, dance, swimming, and bike rides. Wow…that makes me tired just typing it. But, we will make it happen!

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That view! 

Pedal on!

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Love that kid so much! 

Summer Tradition

Last weekend we headed to the hot side of the state for Boat Race Weekend in the Tri-Cities. One of my favorite summer traditions! I love hanging at the river all day watching the boats & air show with people I love!

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Beginning of the air show.

We go on Friday and skip the actual races Sat and Sun. Friday is free (on the Pasco side anyway), way less people (I don’t care to do the overcrowded drunk people thing), you still see a few races, qualifications, practice air show, and you can bring all your own food and drinks! We actually eat dinner after everything is done for the day, around 5 pm, because we’ve been in the sun all day, drinking on and off, and don’t want to worry about dinner after getting home from a long, hot day in the sun. It seems like less work (and more fun) to eat there before loading up and heading home.

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F22…so cool!

This year the patrol boat was very lax. The fact that there was only one is odd, but also odd that they didn’t say a word to us about floating in the river while the boats were running. Usually they don’t even want us standing in the water. We tied our inner-tubes down with rocks and a 5 gallon bucket full of water pretty close to the bank, just deep enough that our butts didn’t hit the bottom, so maybe that’s why they didn’t care that we were out there. Seriously it was so nice though…being able to float in the river all day in the blazing sun…so refreshing. The only down side….when I went to bed that night the bed was floating…took forever for it to stop so I could fall asleep.

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My view…you would think I would manage to get a pic with one of the boats going past.

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Art and craft time with Daddy. I packed plenty of fun stuff for Sky to do since she needs sun breaks here and there.

The rest of the weekend was full of yummy food, lot’s of wine, and great family/friend time! I always feel pretty lazy the next day. Even though floating on the river all day sounds easy, being in the sun all day takes it out of me. I just want to lounge in the shade with cold wine and water!

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So much good food…Korean Short Ribs FTW!
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Sky eating all of Aunt Candy and Uncle Paul’s blackberries.

My take away from the weekend…so many mosquito bites! We sat out until late Saturday night talking and watching shooting stars. Maybe it was the wine, but I had no idea I was being eaten alive. Yikes!! Three days later and my legs are still itching pretty bad and I take my bug bite stick with me everywhere I go. Lesson learned…bug spray next time!

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Very small example of the bites I have all up and down both legs and on my feet. It’s pretty bad. 

I recommend having a summer “thing” that you do every summer. We know we will be in E WA the last full week in July for boat races. It sort of anchors our summer and actually makes it easier to plan other summer fun around that weekend. The only down side…It’s now Aug and time to get the back to school stuff going. Boo!