Sunday, February 17, 2013

We Love a Long Weekend!!

Long weekend?! Yes, please!
This weekend is much the same as many others we've had recently, with one big difference... we get Monday off!! Recovery day! Sa-weet!

Yesterday was pretty typical for a Saturday, with practices in the morning. After gymnastics, we did some browse shopping... Uncle Bill's (no tempting puppies this time), Lowe's (I have a to-do list a mile long), and Meijer (because I actually needed some groceries... boo for grocery shopping on Saturday).

We did do one fun thing that we haven't done so much lately. We had ourselves a family movie night! Love that tradition! Last night we watched Here Comes the Boom! And we laughed. A lot. Good fun movie!!

This morning, we all forced ourselves out of bed e.a.r.l.y so we could get to Sebastian's meet on time. He had another great day! He placed 2nd on high bar, 1st on all other events, and 1st all-around. But the cooler thing was that he was brave enough to put a new bonus element into his floor routine - a handstand pirouette that has plagued him all year! But today, he totally owned that pirouette! And he did great on floor! I was proud of him for going for it! He told us afterwards that he is planning on trying flares on mushroom at his next week (which is another bonus move he's been working all year but has never competed). So happy to see him getting bolder! Love it!

So this afternoon, I think we're going to lay low... maybe do some laundry, watch some hockey, take a nap (at least that is on MY list of things to do... not sure about anyone else). Enjoy your Sunday afternoon and your long weekend! I know we will!

Project Life 2013: week 5

Keeping up!! I like it!!

Unfortunately, not every week is full of happy memories and good times. Sometimes life just doesn't roll that way. This week was one of those not-so-great weeks! By the end of it, I felt moody and grumpy and junky all over. Lucas was out of town. Meagan was sick. We rushed, rushed, rushed. And there were some weird things that happened during the week that just built up to a bunch of yuck. Such is life.

Left side:
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Right side:

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Sunday, February 10, 2013


It's the magic number these days! Meagan needs 2 32.0 All-Around scores at 2 different meets this season to qualify for state. Her first 32 came at Circle of Stars. But it didn't come easily, and her score came in at 32.0 exactly!

Since then, she's fallen short - not by much, but by enough that it's not a 32. Yesterday was her LAST chance to get that last score to qualify for state before the qualification deadline.

Beam came first. She did great!! It was the cleanest, steadiest routine I've ever seen her do in a meet! So proud of her! And she scored an 8.025!

Floor was next. Again, the BEST routine she's done in competition all year! Unfortunately, the judge was judging hard. All of the scores were pretty low, unless the routines were near perfect. Her best floor routine earned her her lowest floor score she's gotten. A 7.25. Sometimes it just works out that way. Judging is subjective, so from meet to the next, scores can vary greatly. Anyway, a low 7 was a big blow to needing to average 8's on all 4 events. But not a deal-breaker. Yet.

Vault. Oh my gosh!!! I didn't know my girl could vault like that! She looked great!! Score... 8.9!!!  Almost a 9 for her!! Sweet! That' more than erased the deficit she carried over from floor. It's okay.

And bars is one of her strongest events. At this point, she needed a 7. 825 to get her 32. Totally doable. And then... At the beginning of the routine, there's a combination series, where the girls are supposed to combine a few elements without a pause. If you DON'T combine them and you stop between, it's a small deduction. But not major. Well, she WENT FOR IT!! She had a pretty decent first element, and she went for that combination. And missed. She fell on the 2nd element. Stink. The score posted as a 7.45 or something like that. She missed the 32 by a few tenths. But at least she didn't hold anything back!!

But wait!! The meet was all over. The last gymnast was just finishing up on floor, and all the other events were DONE. The only people left in the stands instead of the award room were those of us from our team who staid to watch the girls finish on floor. All of a sudden, Meagan's  name starts flashing up on the score board again. Bars: 7.850.  What?! They changed her score!

Come to find out, when her coach got the score cards back (or something like that, I'm not exactly sure how that all works), there was a pretty big discrepancy between the 2 judges' scores - a 7.2 and a 7.9 or something like that. So he, being the incredible person that he is, inquired. And there had been a math error in calculating the deductions taken by the 1st judge. The result... her score was bumped up to a 7.85! And her ending all-around score was a 32.025!!!

Now, in a gymnastics world where most of the girls are getting 36's, 37's, and even 38's as all-around scores, this may not seem so spectacular. But to me, and to Lucas, and to those around us who know and love and have been rooting for Meagan all year, really it meant the world. Sappy as it is, it choked me up a bit. Not because I care if she goes to state or not. But because I've watched her struggle. And try. And struggle. And try harder. And struggle. I've watched her watch her teammates load up on the medals while she walks away empty handed. And I've watched her continue to support them and congratulate them and cheer for them. And I'm just happy for her. That's all. I'm happy that she's been rewarded with the chance to compete with her team at state. No matter what the score is.

Project Life 2013: weeks 3 & 4

It's been yet another small eternity since I've blogged. I know. I'm sorry...again. I really DO want to do better with keeping up on this stuff for you. To be truthful, I think blips and blurbs on facebook have taken the place of my blog. I'm not okay with that, though, because truthfully my blog matters more to me than updating my facebook status.  One is definitely just quicker & easier than the other. But I will try. From this point forward, I will try to get back to some quality of blogging. Because it matters to me. So there. Enough said.


I'm still doing pretty well with my Project Life for 2013. So far I've gotten through week 4 done. Yea me! I've shared weeks 1 and 2 previously.  Moving forward -today I'll share weeks 3 & 4.

A couple random thoughts about my Project Life so far this year.... First, I've noticed myself using a TON of neutral backgrounds in my scrapping lately. Mostly just white or gray or some shade very close to white. I'm just drawn to the cleanness it gives to the page. This has been a shift for me from my historical way of building a page, but right now it makes me happy, so I'm going with it.
Another observation about this project for me... In years past, I've struggled with the format - all digital? paper? use the standard templates? use the actual PL products? photo pockets? page protectors?  Seriously, WHY did I make it so complicated? This year I've gone back to what I know and love. I've just decided to plop the pictures on a (digital) page in whatever layout strikes my fancy at the moment (using that phrase makes me think of my grandma *lol*). And so far I like the look. Nope, there's no continuity from page to page and week to week - not in color scheme or layout format or anything. But really, that's pretty appropriate for me, I'd say.

So for those of you tackling this for the first time, or considering it but standing back out of feeling overwhelmed, take heart! You can do it however YOU feel like doing it. Just do SOMETHING with SOME of your stuff. It's better than nothing. And perfection is NEVER the goal... being DONE is.

Okay, on to the layouts...

WEEK 3: We finished the first round of puppy classes. Lucas left for Ohio for the week. And Isaac spent the night with one of his friends while Sebastian, Meagan and I headed to Chicago on Monday for the Windy City meet.

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Why is it that every picture of Dublin looking at me sort of looks like he's a possessed zombie dog? Really, he IS a cute dog, but he sort of always looks a little off his rocker in photos!! Ha!!
Oh, and this was the kids' first encounter with Starbucks. They got steamed milk with syrup. And whipped cream. And they were happy kids.
(Oh and one more thing, that's NOT our dog. :)  He's a sweet doggy named Abner, who belongs to our trainer. The kids were so happy to finally get to pet Abner once the class was all over because he was finally a 'free dog'... no longer on teaching duty!!)

 WEEK 4: Meets, meets, and more meets. I've really not been doing a great job of taking photos all the time. But I'm okay with that. Sometimes our life is pretty repetitive, and I don't need 700 pictures of us in the van, or the kids doing homework, or the dog playing with toys. It's all kind of the same. Sometimes, it's okay to let myself off the hook and just get the highlights. That's what happened this week. It was another week of Lucas traveling, and I was just busy. Not a thought was given to photography, except for at the meets.

Meagan had a meet on Saturday, and Sebastian on Sunday. One in Indy, the other in Cincy. Lots of time traveling and sitting on uncomfortable bleachers. The tough thing about meets is that you sit for SOOOOO long to watch a sum total of about 5 minutes of action from your own kid. That's just the way it is.
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In my journaling, I did document some of the other things that happened during the week.

Originally with this second page, I wanted to just highlight some extra photos of the kids from their meets. But as I was looking through the pictures, I was really struck by how very different their gymnastics experiences are right now. Meagan is struggling. She's not scoring anywhere NEAR what most of her teammates are scoring. On any event. And she's struggling to get the minimum qualifying score for state (which is a 32.0). This particular meet was her 2nd to last attempt at getting the 2nd 32 of the year so she would qualify for state. She missed it by about a tenth. She was so discouraged at the end of the day. It breaks my heart to have these conversations with her - conversations about trying and keeping a good attitude, even when things don't go your way. I mean, they are great life lessons. And I'm sure God will use these to temper her and to shape and mold who she is. Still, those realizations don't make it any easier to see the hurt in her eyes. I just want to hug her until it's okay. But I can't make this okay for her. She has to work through it on her own. 
That, in contrast to Sebastian, who is having a stellar competition season. So far he has won all-around at every meet he has participated in. Translation - he's getting lots of medals, while his sister gets few or none. It's been a bit of a challenge to navigate through these waters. Thankfully, Meagan has a great heart, and she IS genuinely HAPPY for her brother when he does well. It's simply that she wants to also be doing well. 
So, my page 2 morphed from a few extra photos to a documentation of this experience. It's part of our life - a big part - right now, and I thought it was worth noting.

Also this year, I'm going to throw in extras. I want to have more of a comprehensive album when I'm done, rather than just a week to week to week. The plan is to try to stick 'regular' layouts, as well as documents (like report cards, art work, and other such goodness) into the album as well. True, this may require more than one physical album to get through the year. But in the end, it will all be in one place, and I will give a happy sigh.

This is one of those extras I'm planning to include. Because a book about our life is NOT complete without Dublin. This dog and his outside play time!! He LOVES it! Loves to run and chase down the frisbee. As to whether or not he'll give it back to throw again, that's a toss-up. Sometimes it turns more into a game of keep-away than fetch. It's all good. As long as he's happy, I'm good with it.