Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Tiny Trailblazers and Super Seahawks

Avery just finished her first season of basketball. She played on a co-ed team of 1st and 2nd graders aptly named the Trailblazers. Avery liked basketball, but she didn't ever want to go to basketball. Every Wednesday she bemoaned having to go to practice, but after practice she didn't want to leave. Every Saturday I had to drag her out of bed for her game, but as we drove home she would declare "I wish I was still in the game!" I couldn't wait for Avery to start basketball, and even though she enjoyed playing, it was a two and a half month struggle. Our only rule about sports and activities is that you have to finish the season (and you don't have to play again even if we really, really want you to play basketball). So Avery finished the season and decided not to play a second session. She's ready to swim again, which is great too.

But, look at that defense! And then dribbling up the court, even with all those boys waiting at the other end. I don't know if I would have been that fearless in 1st grade. It was so much fun to watch her play (and boy is she proud of that medal).

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And while we're on the subject of sports, how about those Seahawks? I know I've mentioned it before, but we love football in our house (and we especially love our Seahawks). The NFC Championship on Sunday brought Washington to a stand still, and we went from the lowest of lows to the highest of highs within five minutes of football. Two Super Bowls in a row? Are you kidding?! Our neighbor told us he didn't have to ask who'd won the game because he could hear Erik screaming from across the street. Erik is actually rewatching the game as I type this. He's in football heaven.

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Go Hawks!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Smart Cookie, Responsible Cookie

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I thought going back to school after winter break might be hard for this sweet girl, but it turned out to be a great first week back. On Wednesday we found out that she'd received the Character Counts Award for Responsibility, as well as a Continuing Self Manager Award. And on Friday another paraeducator told me that Avery had done amazingly well on her literacy testing. I try not to brag too much about Avery, but sometimes there is just no getting around it. She continues to blow us away with her determination, her hard work, and her willingness to learn new things.

When Avery was a baby she had this amazing little "smart cookie" onesie that my sister bought for her. I loved that onesie...I put Avery in it all the time. In fact I've kept it over the years because I can't bear to get rid of it. Here's 3-month-old Avery sporting her smart cookie onesie, when she still had baby blue eyes and chunky little thighs. 6 years later she's tall and strong, and has beautiful hazel eyes...but she's still our smart cookie.

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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Goodbye 2014

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In 2014 Avery started ballet, we visited friends in Oak Harbor, the Seahawks won the Super Bowl, we saw the Lombardi trophy in Seattle, it snowed and snowed and snowed, I turned 33, we went to the beach for spring break (and then to the capitol), baby Rylee was born, I got a job at Avery's school, Avery lost her first tooth (and then lost three more), Avery earned all kinds of school awards, Avery turned six, Avery earned money for an American Girl doll (and then we went to Seattle to buy her), we visited a ghost town in Montana, we went to Yellowstone, we went to Jackson Hole, we went to the Grand Tetons, Avery learned to swim, my Mom turned 60, Avery went to VBS with her cousin, we went to Seattle with my brother and his family, baby Leeland turned one, we went camping at the beach, we grew lots of fruits and veggies, Avery started 1st grade (and earned lots of awards), Erik and I celebrated our 12th anniversary, Avery was Anna (and Elsa) for Halloween, Erik turned 35, Erik and I went to Seattle to see the Seahawks, Avery started basketball, we did the Hot Buttered Run and Kandy Kane Kids Race, we cut down our Christmas tree, we spent the holidays with family... 

And we loved eachother. A lot.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas

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Christmas has come and gone, and even though the decorations are down and the house is back to normal, I'm still basking the joy of the holidays. We have family coming for New Year's Eve, we've been spending time together as a family, and Avery and I are thoroughly enjoying our winter break. The biggest perk of working at Avery's school is having the same scheduled vacations. I feel very, very lucky to spend this time with her.

Our Christmas was wonderful. Avery got an Elsa doll from Santa, the new Taylor Swift CD, American girl doll furniture, and a doll house for her doll that Erik built to fit in her closet (more on that later). Erik got kegs for brewing beer and Seahawk checkers, and I got a Kitchen Aid mixer (!!!). There were other gifts as well, but those were the big ones. Oh, and Santa brought me Newsies...this was a big deal, because Avery has been obsessively listening to the soundtrack every since she found it on my old iPod. She's pretty sure Santa put it in the wrong stocking, but forgot all about that when we watched it together the other night. When it was over she said "I didn't like it...I LOVED IT!"

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There were more beautiful moments with grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and new friends. but for some reason I didn't take many pictures. All I know is that it was a great day, Avery couldn't have been happier, and we were surrounded by wonderful people. What more could you ask for?

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

All the Christmas Things

December has been crazy. One minute it's Thanksgiving, and the next thing I know it's Christmas Eve. How did that happen? December didn't just sneak up on me this year, it flew past in a whirlwind of work and school and basketball and PTA events. But despite our hectic schedule, I was determined to do as many Christmasy things with Avery as possible. Erik misses out on a lot of these things...when you're a mailman December is the lost month. A black hole of 12 hour work days, poorly addressed Christmas cards, and packages being delivered after dark.

So, last Saturday was the beginning of my Christmas to-do list, which started with a trip to see Santa after an 8:30 basketball game. I made Avery change into regular clothes in the gym bathroom, and it was off to Portland. Here she is asking for a "singing Elsa doll", otherwise known as Snow and Glow Elsa (also known as one of the hardest to find top toys of 2014).

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The Santa visit was followed by lunch in Portland, a little Christmas shopping, and Christmas at the Fort. This is an event that apparently everyone knew about except me, even though I've lived less that 15 minutes from Fort Vancouver for my entire life. It was AMAZING. It's free for kids, and Avery got to make crafts, a toy, and a sachet. We tried wassail (cider), Avery tried out the hatchet throw, she danced with the reenactors, we heard carols, violin music, and saw the blacksmith at work. It was amazing.

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That night Erik joined us for the Vancouver School of Arts and Academics' Jazzy Nutcracker, a 1940's USO themed concert and dance performance to Duke Ellington's Nutcracker Suite. These are high school kids who could outperform most concert musicians. They were fantastic. We topped off the evening by driving around downtown and looking at Christmas lights.

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Last Thursday Avery and I made Christmas cookies, and delivered them all on Friday. Every year our list of cookie recipients grows, and this year we were up to a dozen families. It's kind amazing that we have such wonderful family, friends and neighbors to share our treats with. We're very lucky, that's for sure.

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And this last weekend Avery and I headed up north to stay with my brother and his family, and we all to the Spanaway Fantasy Lights. We'd been before, but it was great to experience it again, and best of all Avery got to share it with her cousins.

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It's been a busy month, but I wouldn't change it for the world. I only I wish I could live in these moments just a little longer, because it all goes by so fast.

I'll leave you with this video of Avery dancing at the Fort. I just love this kid.