Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Happy 40th to the Best Dad Ever!

So this is the year Doug and I turned 40!  Yikes! We were in San Antonio for Marlie's Elite National competition on Doug's birthday so Doug's Mom and sisters put together a great little surprise party for him and I rounded up his BFFs from high school. It was so fun hanging out with everyone and even better meeting all of the kids!
He are the boys plus the under 40, super sweet Konnar Klinksiek who is the perfect mix of his Mom and Dad!
 Here are my besties from high school too! Lots of fun memories with these girls. 
 And our friends by marriage that we tend to like more than their sweet husbands! LOL
The boys were all playing football but I got a quick pick of Matt with Parks Zunker. I think these two look so much alike. On the way out Parks' little sister saw a picture of Matt in the house and she thought it was her brother! Maybe we can talk Parks into ATM baseball camp next year. 
I also got a quick pick of Matt and Maggie, his closest cousin in age. These two are so athletic and would probably enjoy competing against each other like their parents did at this age!
Marlie and Hayden...these two have been far away friends for a long time. Marlie couldn't wait to see Hayden on this trip. Maybe these two will end up going to college together!
And I did get a pic of almost all the girls.  I can't tell you how much I love seeing these little people!
Thank you to Doug's Mom, Dani and Dawn for putting this all together. Thank you to our sweet friends for coming! Can't wait to get together again! Happy Birthday Doug!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Everything's Coming Up Roses

Marlie's solo was so cute this year and really showed off her personality. She danced to Everything's Coming Up Roses. Clara did the choreography and worked with her throughout the year. She competed it at Strutter and Elite competitions. 

This video is from KPark in January. She danced it so well at this competition. Mom's fault that her bow came flying off - oops! I am certain she did so well because her BFF came to watch her and Marlie was thrilled!
This is the first year Marlie competed on stage. It took her a bit to get used to the stage...the lights are bright, you can't hear the crowd well and you have to watch your placement on the stage. As the year went on, she got the feel of it and did great. She placed in the top 10 several times with an 8th, 6th and 4th place finish. She even won a "golden ticket" at one competition to dance somewhere in New Jersey???? 
I think she danced her best at Hall of Fame where she placed 1st in Musical Theater and 4th overall.  She was so excited and I was so proud of her!  I love this picture of her tilt leap which is absolutely amazing!
What Marlie was most excited about was her Elite Nationals experience. As I mentioned in the previous post, Marlie moved up to the junior division so as a 9 year old she had to compete against girls that were 12! She knew she was dancing for fun and she would not place. Honestly she hardly practiced the few weeks before Nationals. As they were calling the names for the top 10 they got to 4th place and called "The Roses"! Marlie was shocked and we were too! She danced really well but we didn't watch the other dances and assumed there was no chance. Her friend Tatum came in 8th place and Reagan came in 3rd and they look so little onstage compared to all the other girls. I'm so proud of all of them!
Marlie had so much fun with all of her friends this year. Thank you again Clara for picking a great song and doing such a great job with the choreography on this dance! It was amazing to see how much she improved this year. We will miss you a ton next year when you're off to college!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Elite Nationals

This year Marlie decided she wanted to tryout for the Elite dance team at her studio instead of playing sports. I'm still not sure I like this decision. I really missed watching her on the soccer and softball field. But I also really enjoyed watching her 2 elite dances this year - The Big Dollhouse and Bathing Beauties.
We left on June 29th to San Antonio for a full weekend of dance! At this competition, Marlie's age group was going to have to dance in the junior division for both their team dances and their solos.  That meant as a 9 year old, Marlie would be competing against other teams and dancers up to age 12.  So we went with the idea of having fun and not expecting to come away with any wins. Well...Big Dollhouse came in 2nd place and Bathing Beauties came in 1st place in the junior competitive division. Both dances were SO good and I was so proud of our girls. 

Ms.Yvette did an amazing job with the choreography for Big Dollhouse. Each girl had a part and she made it flow with the dance. Technically it was almost perfect. I hope to get a video at some point to post. I was so glad Marlie had the opportunity to be a part of this team.
Ms. Jordan put all her heart and soul into Bathing Beauties. It is the cutest dance I've ever seen and I'm sure that's why it won 1st place! The girls even made it to the Winner's Circle and Showcase and performed it again twice on Sunday. I didn't get a video from Nationals but here is there performance earlier in the year...
All of our family got to watch Marlie dance in San Antonio which she LOVED! Thank you all for coming to watch her. Papa and Nona Lisa even made it to the showcase but sadly we didn't get a picture!
The girls had so much fun throughout the year and Marlie was lucky to be on teams with such sweet, talented and funny young ladies. 

Summer Fun!

Our summer got off to a fun start. I got to take Matt, his best friend Caden and his Mom Melissa to the Astros game.  My very kind boss shared his diamond seats with me and we ALL loved it.  The game went by too fast for sure. We enjoyed the Friday night fireworks too!
Doug and Marlie had a fun night while we were gone. They went to Ghengis Grill (which I refuse to go to but the kids love) and then Marlie got Daddy to take her to Build-A-Bear...still one of her favorite spots!!

The first week of summer the kids were off to camp!  Matt went to a basketball camp with Caden, Jordan and Ashdin and he really enjoyed it.  He learned a ton and got a great review from the coaches.  He can't wait to try basketball so hopefully we can do it this year! Marlie went with Jaden to TUTS camp again this year and the girls loved it! They did a NY theme and the girls were so excited that they got to sing King of New York from Newsies! I could see Marlie wanting to do this instead of dance!! We really enjoyed their performance at the end of the week!
Marlie turned 9 in June...oh my! And though she gave me about 50 different ideas for her birthday party we decided no official parties this year. She invited some of her classmates over to play and make pizza and cupcakes. We sang happy birthday while the girls played with sparklers. The girls had a great time! Happy Birthday Marlie! We love you so very much. You bring so many smiles to our family!