The kids spent the weekend dancing in their studio’s Christmas shows. There were four – two on Saturday and two on Sunday.
Julia, Phoebe, and Jack performed on Saturday.
On Sunday, Julia and Phoebe performed again, along with Lucy.
I did the girls’ hair and make up. Even after all these years in dance, I’m not great at those things, so it was A Big Deal for me to do them. Phoebe’s hair isn’t even long enough to get it all up in a bun, so what you see happening on her head is an actual miracle, or at least the illusion of a miracle as it all started to fall apart after the first show each day.
Hair glue is a miracle for no more than two hours.
Thankfully, we had a break between shows and she was patient with me while I worked at it. I think they looked fine and that’s as good as it gets when it comes to me and hair and make up.
Now, here are just a whole bunch of performance photos because who even reads words when there are pictures?
I have been writing here for eleven years. There are times when it has been my journal – intensely personal and for the purpose of working through thoughts or gaining perspective, which is mostly about being honest and vulnerable. Sometimes I was here trying to be “a real writer” and focusing on craft and caring whether it was right and good. Other times, I was just really looking to connect with other people and that was mostly about sharing what was relatable. But always, it has been my treasure house of family memories. And it has mostly been that the past few years. The most important thing about that is timeliness. Capturing the moment before it passes. And here I am, late again.
But look, we carved pumpkins!
Mine was an owl.
We went Trick or Treating.
Julia and Lucy dressed as Hogwart’s students – a Ravenclaw and a Gryffindor, respectively. Phoebe was a skeleton. Jack was a dog, so “I can eat Phoebe’s bones,” he said. Haylee was a nerd. And did I mention that Haylee has moved back home? She has! And she’s in band, too. Our last football game of the season was against her school, so we got to see their field show, which was great!
The following Wednesday was Jack’s Fall party at preschool.
I got to be a helper and provide the craft. I bought craft kits from Oriental Trading Company which were adorable and fun, but I felt guilty because it was so easy. Why is this? If another parent had provided that craft, I would have genuinely found it delightful, but I kept kicking myself for not aspiring to a better craft. We had some extra time at the party. (Maybe because my substandard craft didn’t take enough time?) I ended up pulling out Dave’s old Halloween Mad Lib from Julia’s preschool Halloween party, which I loved. So did the kids. They were literally rolling on the floor laughing when they heard their names and word choices. It was so fun to revisit it. But it also made me realize I’ve lost some of my energy and optimism since the first go round. Where did it go and how do I get it back?
If she looks tired in that picture (and she does) it is because we did a whole lot of celebrating. We spent the day at COSI.
They just opened a new Thomas the Train exhibit.
Phoebe and Jack loved it!
Julia rode the High-Wire Unicycle!
We thought COSI would be a fun way to spend Phoebe’s day, especially since we were already going to Columbus for Julia’s marching band competition on Saturday.
They won second place in their class and were awarded Outstanding Percussion, too.
We were happy to be there to support them!
But before we left for Columbus, we got to celebrate another friend’s birthday at their party at the park. Jack was crazy about her balloons and kept running around with them. He was having so much fun, I wanted to get a picture and we accidentally reenacted the It trailer.
It was a great weekend. We used it all up, every bit.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It was pretty exciting.
It was such a colorful show between our blinking bracelets, the lights, the confetti cannons and the balloons.
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!
That’s Julia at 1 a.m. exhausted from exhilaration, happy, giddy, spent, and wondering when we can go again.
Julia and Lucy attended the Tuscarawas Philharmonic Performing Arts Chorus Camp in June.
Their capstone performance was on my birthday, which we got to enjoy with our very best friends.
Look at all our kids together! They could grow up to be the next Arcade Fire or something.
Summer means marching band for Julia and it gets intense in July. That’s when Lucy took some 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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
The dance recital happened after school was out on June 6.
All four kids were in it for a total of eight performances and I made a highlight video of that, too.
Julia received her ten year award. That’s TEN YEARS of dance! (Remember the first one?)
She got to take a limo to the recital and at the end, she received a trophy.
It’s the first day of fourth grade for Lu, which is also the first day of middle school.
And it is the first day of eighth grade for Julia. Around here, that’s high school, friends.
Jack doesn’t start preschool for two weeks, so he is exercising his right to wear pajamas all day.
We’ve made an after-school treat. Dirt. With worms.
And until we go and pick our students up, we’re playing with the newest Grimmett. Her name is Nala.
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.
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.
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.
We have some busy weeks ahead, but I’m hoping a lot of the summer is just like this.