She’s a Senior!

As I mentioned in my last post, my oldest child is a senior this year. I’m having a hard time wrapping my brain around that one. When I look at her, I still see this version.

first day of school, preschool, prek

My little girl going off to her first day of school ever with her little pink, Disney Princess backpack. PreK. Such a big deal.

So to switch from that to having her senior pictures taken last weekend. It’s a bit much.

senior pictures

OMG Becky picked a awesome, historic building downtown to have her session.

senior pic3

Outfit changes in the public bathroom!

senior pictures

And trains! We found trains to play on, too.

senior pictures

I can’t wait to share the finished professional photos with you! They are gorgeous! Now it’s just a matter of narrowing our final choices down. It’s hard to pick!

So for now, I am trying to focus on the fun, exciting parts of her senior year.

dessert

Like her need for dessert after her photography session. All the sugar!

And like college campus tours. We are going on our first one in a couple of weeks! And I’m trying not to think about the fact that these colleges are so far away. I can’t. That just makes my heart hurt. It doesn’t do much for my weepy eyes either.

Any parent of a senior past or present have any words of advice for me?

What were your senior pictures like? Two words. Big hair.

End of Summer Outings

Summer! How dare you leave me? Have I told you summer is my absolute FAVORITE season? It is. I could live somewhere that is hot and sunny all the time. I should look into that…

School here started in the middle of August for my girls. Ridiculous. It seems like they start earlier every year. I honestly wish they would just switch to a year-round school schedule. Makes so much more sense!

Mandatory first day of school pics!

Sassy is a freshman in high school this year. High.School. My baby is in HIGH SCHOOL. This may have been hard for me.

first day of school, high school freshman

OMG Becky is a high school senior. Her last mandatory year of school. When did this happen?!

first day of school, high school senior

Can you tell it was a rough morning for me?

So let’s talk about something more fun. Like roller coasters! Man, I love a good roller coaster.

rollercoaster

We recently enjoyed a day of perfect weather at the amusement park. Lines were short, temps were warm, breeze was slight, and the sun was shining. Good fun!

We also had a weekend trip to Omaha.

Omaha, Henry Doorly Zoo

We hadn’t been to Omaha in a few years. It was fun exploring the downtown Old Market area and the Henry Doorly Zoo. We did the whole pet a stingray exhibit. Sassy even fed one. Though she wasn’t too excited about holding a dead fish inbetween her fingers. I don’t blame her. That’s just gross!

Have your kids started school yet?

Do kids attend year-round in your district?

Roller coaster or water slide? Roller coaster!

Largest Shell in the Country

Independence Day snuck up on me this year. I was prepping for a large regional work meeting to happen the Tuesday after the holiday. Before I knew it, it was the Friday/day before the actual holiday and I was nowhere near ready. I ended up working Friday instead of having the day off.

When Saturday the Fourth arrived, I really had no idea what we were going to do to celebrate. OMG Becky ended up deserting Sassy and I to hang out at the lake, boating all day. I left our plans up to Sassy. She made some interesting choices. First up was a trip to Bass Pro Shop. I hadn’t been there in years!

bass pro shops

bass pro shops

I found a SUP board that I really wanted, but Sassy wouldn’t buy it for me. (Have I mentioned how much I want one of these boards?! I do! We live just blocks from two lakes. I want to train Stella the Boxer to ride with me. I think it would be a lot of fun for both of us!)

We hit a few more stores before heading to a festival at another lake in the area. We were hoping to get there in time to see the skydivers. Sassy had been excited when she heard there was skydiving until she realized she would not be the one skydiving. She is such an adrenaline junkie!

skydiverWe got there just in time to see four skydivers jump and parachute down with smoke trails behind them. It was a pretty neat sight!

We then got in the world’s longest line for a funnel cake. I kid you not, we were in line for almost 1.5 hours. This annual festival draws a crowd of 20,000 people, but only offered four food trucks. Four. Ri.dic.u.lous.

Luckily, the live music on the stage was loud so we got to enjoy a bit of entertainment. We also enjoyed watching the boats coming in. The lake gets pretty busy as the boaters all come over to this area to watch the fireworks.

lake festival

After getting our funnel cake, we walked over to the next cove to find a place in the grass to sit and wait for the show in the sky.

funnel cake

It was a sad funnel cake.  Not really worth the wait.  =(

About 20 minutes after we sat down, the fireworks started! It was only about 15 minutes of fun, but the best was saved for last. The reason we came to this particular fireworks show? They were going to shoot off the largest firework shell in the country! The largest. And here it is for your viewing pleasure!

Largest shell in America

Again, Sassy was disappointed. For some reason, she thought the fireworks were going to last over an hour. Not sure where she got that idea! She also thought the large shell would be more grand. I myself thought it was pretty cool!

Sunday we spent the afternoon at my parents’ swimming.

swimming, cousins

Great weekend!

Have you tried SUP boarding yet? Should I get one?

Soaking Summer

We finally enjoyed a rain-free weekend over the holiday. It has rained here every weekend since March.

Every.

Weekend.

Rain.

Ugh.

But let’s back up. In between rain showers, we have been fitting in a bit of fun. The Saturday before last my mom took OMG Becky and two of my nieces for a girls night out including shopping and dinner.

cousins

It’s been way too long since these three hung out! All three girls work two jobs each while attending school full-time. They are busy! So glad they could make this night happen.

Of course, Sassy decided we needed a night out, too. So out we went! My dad wanted in on our adventures. What was so exciting, you wonder?

jason's deli, ice cream cone

Dinner and ice cream! I’m pretty sure Sassy picked Jason’s Deli just for the free ice cream!

We then headed to Trader Joe’s to check out all the goodies. I was too busy browsing to get any pictures there. We bought many of our usual favorites and a few new-to-us treats. Dark Chocolate Speculoos Cookie Batter Cups. Enough said.

After that, these two decided it was too early to go home, so we did a bit of shopping. New sandals for Sassy and a new hat for my dad!

aviator hat

Just kidding. He didn’t buy it, but I’m pretty sure it’s on his wish list.

Next up was ice cream round 2!

froyo with grandpa

Actually it was froyo. I couldn’t believe these two wanted more to eat, but since I had skipped the ice cream earlier (because duh, vanilla. Just no.), I was down for dessert round 2. You know mine included 4-5 flavors of froyo with chocolate candy toppings. Yum!

The next day after a morning rain shower, the skies cleared and we thought a day at the zoo was in order. I think the rain earlier kept most people away. It also seemed to keep a lot of the animals out of sight. Boo. Either way, we still had a lot of fun.

sky ride, chair lift

Notice Sassy’s brand new sandals held tightly on her lap! Smart girl.

How is your weather this summer? Besides the rain, over the last week we have spent 4.5 hours in our basement waiting out tornado sirens on two separate occasions. We had one drop down from the clouds but not touch the ground less than 1.5 miles from here.

Favorite froyo flavor? Cereal Magic. It takes just like the milk left in the bowl after Fruity Pebbles cereal!

Prom, Track, & Needles

Spring, glorious Spring! Oh how I adore you! We are trying to enjoy every bit of it.

Last weekend was Junior Prom for OMG Becky.

prom, junior prom, prom dress

Love this dress! It had a modest slit (just above the knee) and an open back (not low, just open.) Gorgeous!

Sassy had a big weekend, too.

confirmation

After three years of studying every Wednesday night, she was confirmed last Sunday! So proud of her!

We are also enjoying her very busy track season. Track is a new sport to us. Up until this year, I had never even been to a track meet!

track, middle school track, run

Her usual events include hurdles, high jump, 1600 meter run, and 1600 meter relay. I am in awe of her high jump skills! And she is getting so speedy! Her placement ribbons are stacking up. I’m really going to miss these meets when the season ends.

A not so good thing happening around here. I hurt my right ankle. No idea how. It’s been giving me problems the last two weeks. It doesn’t hurt much to walk. And I can run on it. It hurts more in the side to side movements. I’ve been icing and elevating it often. Then swelling started on Thursday. Ugh.

On Friday at work, I had ASTYM performed on it and then kinesio tape applied for support. It felt great the rest of the day. Yesterday was another story. It was the worst it had been and hurt with every motion. I spent most of the day avoiding any movement of it.

Today, I got the privilege of being a “patient” for a residency lab on dry needling. They evaluated me, put me through exercises, stretched me, and then the needling began.

(Cotchett M, Landorf K, Munteanu S, Raspovic A)

They needled my lower back, right glut, right calf, and right ankle. And it wasn’t so bad! Half of the needles I didn’t ever feel. The other half were just a slight prick. Others would get into the muscle belly and start twitching &/or pulsating. It was such a weird sensation! A few would then hurt and cause me to curse a bit. I was there for a good two hours. They told me I would be fatigued for a couple of days. I can deal with that. The best part? My ankle feels so much better right now! I hope it lasts! They think I either have a muscle strain or a stress fracture. I will have a couple more treatments this week, perform daily exercises on my own, and then we’ll see how it is doing. If not better, off to the ortho doc I go. Boo.

I will leave you with this life hack today. I have finally figured out how to properly reheat leftover onion rings so they remain crunchy!

onion rings, reheat onion rings

Reheat in an oven at 450 degrees for 7 minutes. Perfection!

Did you run track in school?

What’s your favorite track event to participate in or watch?

We Are the Champions!

Yesterday was a fun day for us!

It didn’t start off on the best foot. I had to take OMG Becky to work because her car was in the shop very early. (Did I tell you she had bought her first car? She did and she loves it! So proud of her hard work!)  After dropping her off, I had a an hour to stop for coffee before heading to the part of my morning I was actually looking forward to.

massage, massage room, spa

A massage! Oh so heavenly! I have discovered since I was in the wreck a few years ago, a massage every month really keeps my back and neck pain at bay most of the time. And it’s awesome for my legs and hips when I’m really hitting the trails. I don’t look at it as a luxury, though it is fantastic. For me it’s more about preventative maintenance. Now if I could just get my insurance to pay for it!

After that I worked a couple of hours for my parents, then Sassy called and was ready to come home. She had spent the night with family at the lake.

lake house, lake

Such a gorgeous day! Spring is here, I can feel it.

After picking up OMG Becky and taking her to get her car, (No big repair, thankfully, just a vacuum hose that needed to be replaced!) we had a road trip to get on. We were headed to the middle of the state for her high school boys basketball championship game!

university, basketball court

I think most of our city was there! We played a city from the other side of the state, but the game was right in the middle of the two. I kind of felt bad for the other team and the lack of their fan support. Our fans made up 4/5 of the arena crowd. Yes, I counted! More like a visual guesstimation by colors worn and sections filled, but I’m sure my guess is pretty accurate.

fans, basketball arena

And my goodness, our fans were loud! We sat next to the student section. It was across from the parent section. These two sections chanted and cheered back and forth the entire game. So much energy!

students

Sassy and her friend were on the other side of the student section. She had come down with her friend’s family earlier in the day. They got there early enough to have lunch downtown and drive around the university campus awhile.

The game was an exciting one! We put the first points on the board and the other team, try as they might, just couldn’t ever catch us.

state champions, basketball, boys high school

State Champions! It has a nice ring to it!

What was the best part of your weekend?

Birthday Celebrations x 4

Sassy is breaking my heart. My baby. My little girl turned 14 last week. We had to celebrate and celebrate we did. For four days. It was a long weekend!

Thursday (her actual birthday), she got out of school at lunch time to spend the rest of the afternoon with her siblings. Their brother was in town! He’s a Marine stationed in California. He will be deployed for his second overseas mission later this month. This time to Iraq.

siblings, brother, sisters

How cute are they? I’m so glad they got to spend the afternoon together!

That evening I got her all to myself. We went out for froyo.

 froyo

She does it all wrong. She got one flavor of froyo, a bunch of candy, including gummy bears, topped it all with white chocolate sauce, and then stirred it all together. Ick! She obviously doesn’t know that you get a few different flavors. (On this day five for me.)  Top it with a few nuts, shredded coconut, and chocolate candies. Proceed to eat one flavor at a time. Perfection!

Back home, I left her open her a few of her gifts before she went to basketball open gym. Her main gift was a pair of running shoes she wanted.

open birthday present, Nike shoes gift

She was more than a little excited about them!

black nike shoes

I can’t say I blame her! They are pretty and they are my size. Hmmm…  She also wanted and received a pair of black and white running shorts to match. She is so my daughter!

With Friday night came more celebrating. We headed to the mall to meet up with Sassy’s best friend and her friend’s mom. The girls both had plans to get their ears pierced. Second holes for both of them. This was something Sassy had been asking to do for a few years. I had put her off, telling to wait until she was in 8th grade. Back then it seemed pretty far off! Either way, it was here and she still wanted it do, so off we went.

getting ears pierced

Sassy sat stone-faced like this the entire time. No flinching at all! I don’t know how she did it. Her BFF was so nervous! She made Sassy go first, but then she ended up thinking it wasn’t a big deal either. Silly girls.

pierced ears, double pierced

We also did a little shopping for the girls’ confirmation dresses. No pictures of the dresses because they are a secret until next month. I will tell you they are lovely!

The birthday festivities continued to Saturday for Sassy’s party with friends. She invited six of her friends over for pizza and an ice cream buffet. She got some great gifts.

birthday girl, teenager

Do you like her tiara? It was a princess party in honor of the new Cinderella movie. After dinner and gifts, we loaded the girls up and went to see the movie. We all really enjoyed it! Well, except maybe my dad. He was disappointed to find out Bruce Willis was not it in. :-/

Sunday was our final day of celebrating. This time it was a family dinner party also celebrating two other birthdays that week. Each birthday boy/girl got his/her own birthday balloon and birthday hats were required for all. The birthday cake was another story. One cake, three candle blowers. This is their reactions after my mom explained the logistics of which candles they were responsible for blowing out. And also that we had to whisper the singing of Happy Birthday to them because my baby niece had just laid down for a nap.

family birthday party, shared cake

You would think between the three of them, they would have gotten all of the candles blown out on the first try. Nope. Sassy let them down and missed one of hers. And we didn’t succeed whisper singing either. Well most of us did, but then my 5-year-old niece got so excited at the end of the song, she screamed out in glee. Ha!

Have you seen the new Cinderella movie? What did you think?

Do you have pierced ears or other parts? My ears are triple pierced, but I hardly ever wear more than one pair of earrings a time. I also have the cartilage at the top of one ear pierced. I always have a flat-back stud in it.