Saturday, May 28, 2011

"And It All Came To An End!" NOT!!

Sometimes life seems like it will never slow down.  Here is a run down of the last 11 days.

1.  Addie's middle school dance concert.  Little Miss Gymnast who has been opposed to taking dance lessons her whole life has now discovered that she loves to dance is actually very good at it!  I was very impressed with the talent at this middle school dance concert.  This was light years away from anything we could have done at good ol' Dixon.  Addie's dance was mostly done in the dark with a black light and I could only see her part of the time.  Oh well.  What we saw of her looked great!  Her arms are ripped!

2.  Isaac's breakdancing concert.  He was so excited for this!  And he did an awesome job.  Such a cool kid.

3.  My parents requested that my kids give a short recital at their home for some of their friends.  I told my mom that May was not the best time for something like this -  but I am so glad we did it.  As usual my mom planned a perfect evening with a lovely atmosphere and delicious food (my dad did a lot of work too!).  And then we were overwhelmed by the love and support shown by their friends and neighbors.  Marion B. even brought two trays of divinity!!  Addie sang 4 songs, Isaac played the cello and the piano and Cate sang a song.  They did great.  Here a few videos for anyone who might be interested.
"Come Thou Fount"  - Addie

"Gesu Bambino" - sung by Addie with Isaac on the cello

Cate's solo.  I think Cate is a born performer - she just eats it up!  She will sing or dance for anyone, anywhere, anytime.

Isaac's cello solo.

4.  The next evening we took the older kids to the long-awaited (over one year awaited!) U2 concert.  And it was worth the wait!  It was quite a spectacle and the kids loved it - including Wes - our family's biggest fan.
We rode trax to the stadium.

 "The Claw"

5.  Sarah wasn't left out of the fray!  Her preschool program and picnic was the next day.  Being the unpredictable child that she is - upon arrival the tears started to flow and she refused to participate.  Ugh.  After a lot of coaxing (and threats that we would have to go home) she finally agreed to sit with the group.  But she didn't move her hands or open her mouth more than one or two times.  She warmed up a bit after the program and we ended up having a nice time.
 Notice Sarah - far Right on the first row.

 She joined in the relays and had a lot of fun!
 Getting ready for the 3 - legged race.

6.  Later that day it was off to the elementary school for the end of the year dance festival.  Cate did the Hukilau while Isaac's class did their dance from the Hope of America (forgot to blog about that!  Oh well).

7.  The next item on the docket was another outing with the older kids (we starting feeling sorry for Cate and Sarah but they didn't seem to care).  We saw Les Miserables at the Capitol Theater.  It was fantastic - powerful and moving.  I love that show.

8.  And finally the big whammy - Friday.  Three recitals back to back starting at 4:30 pm and ending at 9:30 pm.  I will post about this later.  But I think some "Grandparents of the Year" awards need to go out to the grandparents who stayed for 5 HOURS (!) to watch these recitals.  Wow!  Brother and baby sister were troopers too!

I can't describe what a relief it is to have these two weeks over!  And believe it or not - we still have a couple recitals to go!  Now I can officially start catching up on the last three months.
I have had several conversations with moms over the past month about how crazy life seems these days.  And I know there are many moms out there that can sympathize.  It's partly my own fault - I know - that my kids are so busy.  But I am starting to believe (after talking to moms whose kids are grown and gone) - that this is it.  That it isn't going to get any easier - any less stressful.  In fact it may even get worse!  So I am trying hard to embrace it and make the most of it instead of complaining about it all the time and constantly wishing for the return of simpler times.  It's not easy - but I am trying.  I may be completely off-base here but as I am figuring things out as I go along - this is the conclusion I have come to.  Thoughts?   

Thursday, May 19, 2011

And It All Came To An End!

Last Monday was the school carnival that I was in charge of.  Whew!  It was a lot of fun and we barely missed the rain by the skin of our teeth!  I can't believe it's over.  It has consumed so much of my life since...January!  But so many people helped and work so hard to make it happen.  It really took a small army to run the carnival. We needed volunteers to run 18 carnival games, a photo booth, a reptile booth, pony rides, a petting zoo, a train ride, tie dye, sand art, concessions, a bake sale, a cake walk, a silent auction and raffle, a beauty booth and to serve pizza and sub sandwiches to close to 1,000 people.  Not to mention the set-up and clean-up crew!  Anyway - it was a huge event and I am incredibly relieved that it is over.  Of course I didn't think to take one picture!  Dang.  But one of my teacher friends took a couple including a picture of SJ at the petting zoo (which was darling!!).  So here are a few shots.

My work actually isn't quite over yet.  There are still lots of details to wrap up but at least the major work is over.  And if anyone out there needs more information about any of these activities - just let me know.  I have some great resources.

And the kitchen?  Pretty much finished too.  It's amazing how everything is winding down all about the same time.  And it's a good thing because the end of May is busy enough!  I have so many rehearsals, recitals, concerts and programs ahead of me, my head is spinning.

The kitchen looks great and even though there are still some finishing touches that need to be done - we started moving in today.  Ugh.  That was really, really discouraging.  Probably because I am still in stress mode and very tired.  But my once brand new, pristine kitchen is now a disaster zone.  Oh well.  I will deal with it tomorrow.  And hopefully clean it up enough to take some pictures.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Kitchen Remodel Updates

The kitchen is really coming together!  Counters went in on Wednesday.  We copied my cool cousin Julie's countertops - Caesarstone Lagos Blue.  It is mostly grey but has just enough warmth to tie in the wood floor.  And it has such a nice subtle texture (pattern?) - not too busy.  I love it. 

Lagos Blue

Appliances were installed on Friday.  It's starting to feel like a real kitchen!  
The Domsjo - Ikea's farmhouse sink.  Not sure what the "N" refers to - probably something in Swedish.  I haven't dared remove it!

Not only does the laundry room look better, it will be so much more efficient.  There is a space for coats, backpacks and shoes.
Still waiting for some door fronts.
I have been wanting these bar stools from Crate and Barrel for a long time.  So thrilled to finally have them!  And yes - they are too tall for the counter height but hey - my kids are small!  They sit on these stools 90% of the time and I don't want them to have to kneel.  
My new front door - still needs to be painted.
I know it's silly but this handle makes me so happy!
To match the new windows they replaced the window in the back door.  It was smaller and had grids.  We love the look of it now.

Although it seems like we are almost to the end there is still quite a bit to do - finish cabinets, backsplash, electrical, floors, paint, etc.  It's amazing how long this can drag on!  And then I have to begin the HUGE job of moving everything back in.  But I don't mean to complain.  We feel so lucky and are very happy with the results.