Category: Julia (page 1 of 62)

Summer Lateblog #6: The Coldplay Concert

Julia and I had the whole summer to look forward to this concert. I gave her the tickets after the piano competition. I’d had them for a week before that and I could hardly contain myself. I was so excited! My mom took me to my first rock concert nearly 30 years ago. Guns N’ Roses and Aerosmith. I was 12.

Nearly 30 years ago, my mom took me to my first rock concert. Guns N' Roses and Aerosmith. I was 12. Tonight, I am so excited to be taking my oldest daughter Julia to her first concert. @coldplay #ColdplayCleveland

My mom was a pastor’s wife and plenty of people from our congregation hassled her about taking me. I didn’t know that at the time, but I’m glad she didn’t let it stop her. Music was so important to me, it was where I lived, and the fact that she went there with me is one of the reasons we are so close today. It still feels so good to remember the fun we had. So, of course, I was thrilled to take Julia not only to her first concert, but to see her favorite band.

Coldplay Concert in Cleveland 8/19/17

The trip to Cleveland was fantastic. I had butterflies! I’d read somewhere that anticipation is an important aspect of enjoyment, that it adds to your satisfaction and this was true for us. Just anticipating what was going to happen was fun.

Coldplay Concert in Cleveland 8/19/17

We arrived in time to grab a t-shirt and see the opening acts – Izzy Bizu and Alunageorge. And then, we waited to see what the bracelets they gave us were going to do.

Coldplay Concert in Cleveland 8/19/17

It was pretty exciting.

It was such a colorful show between our blinking bracelets, the lights, the confetti cannons and the balloons.

Coldplay Concert in Cleveland 8/19/17

I love Coldplay, too, and though it’s hard to pick a favorite song (Up & Up. But The Scientist. Also Fix You.), this was my favorite moment that I recorded.

Around then, I stopped trying to capture it all and just really enjoyed being there. It was fantastic. The best night.

After the show, about 45 minutes outside of Cleveland, we started to come down off our concert high and stopped for a bite to eat and coffee for me. We saw someone get arrested in a gas station parking lot!

Coldplay Concert in Cleveland 8/19/17

That’s Julia at 1 a.m. exhausted from exhilaration, happy, giddy, spent, and wondering when we can go again.

Summer Lateblog #4: What Julia and Lucy Did

Julia and Lucy attended the Tuscarawas Philharmonic Performing Arts Chorus Camp in June.

Tuscarawas Philharmonic Children's Chorus Performance with our best friends on my birthday.

Their capstone performance was on my birthday, which we got to enjoy with our very best friends.

Tuscarawas Philharmonic Children's Chorus Performance with our best friends on my birthday.

Look at all our kids together! They could grow up to be the next Arcade Fire or something.

Tuscarawas Philharmonic Children's Chorus Performance with our best friends on my birthday.

Summer means marching band for Julia and it gets intense in July. That’s when Lucy took some art classes.

Summer art classes

She learned to make amazingly useful things from t-shirts and a whole lot of art from recycled items in a Trash to Treasure class. And she took a Create Your Own Character class where she made an incredible Dipper puppet.

Lucy just finished two summer art classes: Build Your Own Character and Trash to Treasure. These are her favorite pieces from each one.

Julia and Lucy are both very creative kids. When they aren’t making music, they’re making art and I was so glad they got to explore those things a little more this summer.

Summer Lateblog #3: Julia turns 13

Happy Birthday Julia!

Look at this beautiful girl.

Julia is 13!

She’s officially a teenager now.

Julia is 13!

I was not nearly this gorgeous at 13. I was the most awkward thing you’ve ever seen.

Julia is 13!

It’s incredible all I see when I look at this child. (Can I still call her that? A child?) I see Dave and I see me. I see her tiny baby face grow up in seconds to the kid she is right now. And she’s this amazing kid. She’s creative and funny and full of life and love and ideas. She’s caring and conscientious.

I love these kids!

She’s a great big sister.

We all love her so, so much.

One of these people is a teenager.

Take Me Out to the Ball Game!

Dave loves sports and baseball is his absolute favorite. He watches it. He plays it. He has a secret blog where he writes an alternate version of baseball history, recreating old seasons with some kind of twist. For example, what if Thurman Munson hadn’t died in 1979? Baseball is his thing and the Cleveland Indians are his team. We’re just far enough from Cleveland that heading up there feels like a big deal. So, for Christmas I bought him two tickets to six different Indians games this summer.

Dave's Christmas present! Six pack of Indian's tickets.

I thought he might like to take each of the kids to a game, get some one-on-one time with them, make some memories, and maybe pass on his passion for baseball. This may have been the best Christmas present I ever gave him. He had so much fun!

At the Indians game

At the Indians game

At the Indians game

All the games were on Sundays, which are Kids Fun Days at Progressive Field. The kids get to run the bases at the end of the game.

Lucy runs the bases at Progressive Field

And there are cool activities if you come early.

At the Indians game

Dave and Bee at the Indian's game

At the Indians game

His seats were in the family deck.

Indians Game!

That’s also where the Kid’s Clubhouse is. It includes a play area with a two story slide and all kinds of interactive games to try.

At the Indians game

Jack runs the Tribe Tracker at Progressive Field

He took me to a game, too.

At the Indian's game

We all enjoyed it so much. I hope we can make it a tradition to do this every year.

Summer Lateblog #2: The Recitals

So, the piano recital wasn’t officially a summer thing. It was on May 20th. But school was nearly out and in my mind, I was already on summer vacation, so I’m including it here, too. Julia, Lucy, and Phoebe performed. I made a highlight video.

2017 Piano Recital Highlights

It was the first time for us that the recital wasn’t on a Sunday, which was fine, but weird. The girls were great and Jack fell asleep.

My girls after the piano recital

The dance recital happened after school was out on June 6.

Recital ready!

All four kids were in it for a total of eight performances and I made a highlight video of that, too.

2017 Dance Recital Highlights

Julia received her ten year award. That’s TEN YEARS of dance! (Remember the first one?)

After the dance recital - Julia's 10th!

She got to take a limo to the recital and at the end, she received a trophy.

That’s a whole lot to be proud of.

Welcome back! Welcome back! Welcome back! (Sung to the tune of Welcome Back, Kotter) (But you knew that.)

It’s time for school again!

First Day of school!

Today is the first day of first grade for Bee.

First Day of school!

It’s the first day of fourth grade for Lu, which is also the first day of middle school.

First Day of school!

And it is the first day of eighth grade for Julia. Around here, that’s high school, friends.

First Day of school!

Jack doesn’t start preschool for two weeks, so he is exercising his right to wear pajamas all day.

It's the first day of first grade for Bee, fourth grade (and middle school) for Lu, and eighth grade (and high school) for Julia. Jack doesn't start school for two weeks, so he's still in his pajamas.

We’ve made an after-school treat. Dirt. With worms.

After school treat: Dirt

And until we go and pick our students up, we’re playing with the newest Grimmett. Her name is Nala.

Jack and I have an adorable kitter to keep us busy while the girls are at school today. Meet Nala, the newest Grimmett.

She was born the day my beloved Mabel somehow escaped the house and disappeared. I still have hope in my heart that Mabel will return, but for now, we’re back to an even number of cats which we all know is better than an odd number.

I’m so glad it’s summer break.

how long has it been
since we didn’t have to rush
to get everywhere

how long has it been
since I listened to you talk
and did nothing else

how long has it been
since I held you in my arms
til you fell asleep

We did as little as possible the first few days after school was out. Now, we’re starting to shift into our summer schedule. We’re staying up later and sleeping in a little. Sometimes a lot. Each day, I put a to-do list in a clear pocket folder for each of the kids. It usually includes some school work, piano practice, and a few chores.

Just a little school at home during summer break

It doesn’t take long for them to get it all done. I do my part along with them, so then we’re free for laid-back summer fun until softball or dance class.

Phoebe and Jack playing in the sprinkler

Lucy running through the sprinkler and what is Jack doing?

Sprinkler!

Jumping Bee in the sprinkler

We have some busy weeks ahead, but I’m hoping a lot of the summer is just like this.

And all the years will come and go, take us up, always up!

We may never pass this way again! Seals and Croft sang that in 1973. And if you graduated in ’73, there is no way that wasn’t your class song. I was born in the 70’s and am soothed by that music. It makes me think of a golden-haired girl walking in a meadow at sunset. That may have been in the commercial for Sounds of the 70’s from Time Life. Still, it’s a nice feeling. I’m listening to it today because I am completely aware that a phase in our family life is ending.

Today was Julia’s last day of middle school.

Julia's last day of middle school

It was Lucy’s last day of elementary school.

Lucy's last day of elementary school

It was Phoebe’s last day of Kindergarten.

Phoebe's last day of Kindergarten

And it was Jack’s last school day at home as he’ll be heading to preschool in the fall.

We may never pass this way again!

Welcome to summer vacation!

The great thing about an ending is that something else can now begin. I’m looking forward to what will take us up. Always up.

Mother’s Day Weekend and Also the Day After

Dave gave me two dozen roses for Mother’s Day.

Mother's Day roses

Mother's Day card

The youngest three kids made me breakfast in bed, which they ate themselves, in my bed. And they made me some lovely crafts which they forgot to clean up after doing, but it was alright because they decided they’d leave that to me. You know how moms love doing that stuff! After Julia woke up, they all presented me with a card, some cash, and a sweet poem she’d written telling me to GO SHOPPING! We ordered Chinese for dinner so I wouldn’t have to cook and could instead sit on the couch and cross-stitch while watching Twister with my mom. So I guess you could say it was a pretty great day.

The weather was beautiful all weekend. We spent some time outside and that felt good.

She had her hands behind her back and said she had two things to give me.

We took the guinea pigs out for a while and that somehow magnified their cuteness. I mean, LOOK AT SPOTTY RUN!

The guinea pigs!

Spotty

Phoebe and Waddles

Julia’s team won their first softball game of the season, yesterday.

After their first win!

I missed it because I was watching Prince Charming perform with his dance class for some nursing home residents.

Jack's Tap Routine

Jack's Ballet Routine

This would be the perfect spot for some emojis because there are no words.

Dynamite with a Laser Beam*

Yesterday was Julia’s first game of the softball season and her first ever pitching.

First game of the season and first time pitching

I am so proud of her for trying something new! Pitcher is a high pressure position. She is sharing it with another team member – when one pitches, the other catches. I get so nervous watching her! It actually stresses me out to watch any of the kids play. My stomach churns when they go up to bat and I pray that they’ll hit it. They usually do and I realize my anxiety comes from my own experience with sports. I was never an asset to any team I was on. I know how it feels to see your coach hang his head and hear the crowd groan at your performance. I was an outfielder at best. I did have a kickass volleyball serve that landed me a spot on the varsity team in high school. My coach was never so nervous as those moments between my serve and his first opportunity to take me out of the game. He would give an audible sigh of relief when I’d take my place on the bench. I created such conflict in that man. He hated himself for loving my serve. Any time I played softball, I just wished to be walked because I was scared of striking out. Julia is furious if she’s walked. She wants to crush it! I love that about her.

Here is something I love about Jackson. He sings. For me and to me.

True Colors

I know, his face is dirty. It’s always dirty. Last night, I washed it immediately before we walked out the door for the softball game. By the time I was strapping him into his car seat, it was filthy again. How did this happen? It is the mystery of age 4. He’s living his Filthy Face Years. He also has two warts on his face. And, a broken tooth in the front. Much of what is left of the tooth is yellow because there is enamel missing. People notice these things. But when he sings? Love and joy.

Phoebe has been singing, lately, too. She’s on a real Queen bender. We listen to Queen plenty, but she watched the video for Bohemian Rhapsody recently and was completely awed by it. She’s been working her way though all the songs on Queen’s YouTube channel. She can’t get enough of Freddie Mercury’s theatrics and pays close attention to the way he changed his look from one song to another. And of course, she is blown away by his voice. She has specific moments in each song that she especially loves. She’ll listen to an “oooh” or some phrase again and again and sing it herself. Anyway, now we’re trying to convince Julia to learn this so she can sing along.

*From Killer Queen by Queen because oh my gosh, we love it.

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