Thursday, February 26, 2015

Marlie Takes 1st Place for her Solo!

Marlie wanted to do a solo dance again this year and after trying to talk her out of it at least 15 times, I reluctantly said yes.  I mean I love watching her perform, means an extra trip to the studio every week (which isn't near our house) for a 30 minute practice, finding a cute costume that is comfortable for Marlie and doesn't require 500 rhinestones to be added, a few additional competitions to attend where it takes Mom at least an hour to get hair and make up done, and the fact that after 2 years of this I still can't figure out how to put her hair into a bun so it makes me nervous every time I do it!! 

But I decided it was worth it when she performed for the first time in December.  It was early in the season and she knocked it out of the park!!!  She had the biggest smile on her face the whole time and I enjoyed watching her sweet teacher Clara run up to Marlie and give her the biggest hug!  The smile on Clara's face was priceless too!  Love my little Spanish dancer!
I think the reason she really likes her solo is that she gets to spend time with Clara. Clara has picked a great song for Marlie and choreographed a fun dance that totally fits Marlie's personality.  The first pic is my favorite. Clara gave Marlie this sweatshirt last year.  It is Clara's Strutter sweatshirt from when she was Marlie's age and now she's a junior in high school!!!  Too sweet!!!
This may be the most exciting picture of them all!! Here are Clara and Marlie with their first 1st place trophy!!! Marlie won for her age group and both of them were so excited!!! Marlie got to perform her dance again for everyone at the awards ceremony.  It was lots of fun!  
Here are all the Strutters who won at this competition.  Marlie was so excited to be a part of the group! 
Matt, Daddy and I were so proud too! 
Marlie has had a blast with all of her friends too.  I like how she screams at the top of her lungs for them when they perform.  It's a loud screeching sound like no other (like nails on a chalkboard!). I may have to teach her how to cheer loud!!!
2 more competitions to go before the dance year is over.  Marlie I'm so proud of you and how hard you've worked.  Thanks a million to Clara for working with Marlie and being so patient!!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Christmas Blessings

We are definitely counting our blessings this Christmas.  We are safe, we are healthy and most of the time pretty happy!!

Christmas started with school parties and as usual the room moms did a great job planning the festivities.  Marlie's class decorated bags for Lunches of Love and she loved telling everyone about how we went there to volunteer for her birthday party.  Matt's class played all sort of games including this one where you have to throw the marshmallow in the bucket. The kids were told several times NOT to eat the marshmallows but I'm pretty sure I saw one kid sneak one into his mouth that had been on the floor and through everyone's hands!  Grrrrrooossssss!
We had a nice Christmas visit with family.  We went to children's mass at 4:00 on Christmas Eve and then spent the evening eating, drinking and being Merry!  I think what my kid's love most about our Christmas Eve celebration is the annual gift card exchange. This year Marlie, Doug and Nene ended up with the special $50 cards and all 3 were overly excited!
 The kids enjoyed exchanging presents with their grandparents and Uncle Jay. 
Marlie's favorite gift was Pinky that she got from Matt. She loves these animals with the big eyes and this is by far the largest one she has.  She couldn't have been more excited!  Surprisingly Matt was super excited about "socks" that he really wanted that Marlie bought for him.  If you saw the price tag on these socks you'd flip. Do they massage your feet while you're walking?
Christmas morning was so fun.  I was so exhausted that it took me a few hours to wake up and pull out my camera.  But I managed to at least snap a picture of Matt trying out the new scooter Santa brought him. This thing is even fun for adults too!  I wonder if Santa was riding it around the house when he brought it? I bet he did! 
The second annual gingerbread house decorating with Papa and Nona Lisa started bright and early too.  The competition got a little intense and the kids (and I think grandparents) loved it!
For New Year's weekend we went to Dallas to watch Baylor play in the Cotton Bowl.  We got to go back to the ICE exhibit which I think is just amazing!! This year the theme was Frosty the Snowman! The kids (and Dad too) loved the ice slides. The exhibit ends with a separate room with ice sculptures of the nativity scene.  It's just beautiful!
After the ICE exhibit the kids got to go snow tubing! On the way out we ran into Matt McKinney (Doug's fraternity brother from Baylor) & his cute family.  We ended up meeting them for dinner later that night and had a great time getting to know their very sweet kids.  So sad I didn't get any pictures.  We also got to see Kascie Smith and his family. Kascie and Doug ran track together in college and Kascie was the best man in our wedding.  He and his wife have the cutest and sweetest little boy named Elijah that jumped into my arms when we first met him.  I would have taken him home with us if they would have let us!  
Dad got us great seats to the Cotton Bowl. It was a tough loss but we had fun seeing friends and cheering on the Bears. 
I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and got to enjoy the season with their families!  Merry Christmas!  Blessings to you all!