Sunday Reflections – 2 October 2016 – Surviving

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Happy Sunday!!

Yes, all of us are still alive. It is just that season – the one where we have some school-related event to attend every single weekend. With both kids running cross-country, it means even more of our Saturdays are spent at the various races, as the middle school races are usually not until the very end. Plus, we have marching band competitions, and none of those are in nearby locations. So, we have spent these last few weeks out of the house, going all across southern Wisconsin to watch the kids at their various activities. We have about three more weeks of this insanity too before we settle down into only dance on the weekends. I speak for everyone when I say I think we are all ready for that relative calm.

The kids are already preparing for the end of cross-country as well by prepping for their next after-school activities. Connor is already hard at work writing his pieces for Forensics this year; he wants to compete in two different categories this year, hence the early prep work. Holly is trying her hand at the school newspaper, having submitting an application and been accepted on the staff. Of course, the kids also head into concert band mode as well once marching band is over, so learning new pieces and perfecting them will also keep them busy.

Cross-country is going okay. Connor cannot seem to get out of his head, and his performance shows. At this point in time, he is putting so much pressure on himself that he is guaranteeing himself a poor run. He is two minutes off of his PR this year and has been right on the Varsity/JV bubble for the past few meets. He is frustrated and angry and anxious that he will not letter his senior year, even though he has lettered in this sport the previous three years. It is equally frustrating for Jim and me to watch him self-destruct this way, knowing that this is something he is going to have to figure out on his own. All we are doing is supporting him and reminding him to relax and have fun. It is all we can do.

Holly is enjoying cross-country a lot. She is not the fastest runner at all, but she is dedicated and puts in the effort. She has been improving every time she competes, and while she will never win a race, I am proud of her. It is so much fun seeing her out of the dance environment, where she sometimes feels ignored and the group dynamic is so competitive. With cross-country, she is vibrant and outgoing, much more of her true self than what I see in the studio most of the time. Both Jim and I are so happy to see her branch out towards other interests. While dance may still be her number one passion, she is learning that there is so much more to life than dance, and that is exactly what we hoped she would learn as she entered middle school.

Speaking of dance, we are fortunate to only have the weekly classes going on right now. We did have the first competition team meeting, where the girls received the list of dances in which they will be competing this year. Holly will only be in two dances this year. She is disappointed. She has been putting in a lot of time and effort to improve and was hoping to see the fruits of that effort in the form of more dances. However, she is not backing down and already has a game plan for improving even more for next year. The girl is nothing if not dedicated! We start practices for these dances next week, and so far, the practices will fit into the other events on the calendar for October. The first competition is not until March, so there will be a lot of time at the studio between now and then!

Last night was Connor’s last homecoming. He kept it extremely low-key this year; his date was just a friend from band. His group did not even stay at the dance that long. They all ended up coming over to our house to play games and watch movies. We even had a few of the kids stay the night. Of course, because our son hates the camera, we got no pictures but were promised some from one of the girls in his party. I’m sure they will be wonderful when we see them.

Speaking of pictures, Connor has his senior pictures on Friday. I am really hoping to capture the colors of the season in them. The photographer we have is one who seriously does not take a bad picture. I cannot wait to see what she does with Connor!

We also are hosting the cross-country spaghetti dinner on Friday evening. Spaghetti and meatballs for 50 kids. Unfortunately, due to timing, it is also the last day of month-end close. AND they have a cross-country meet on Thursday evening. Jim is taking off on Friday, and the kids have off of school that day so the brunt of the work is going to fall on them. See what I mean about surviving?

Here are past posts from the last few weeks in case you missed them the first time:

Now, it is off to another marching band competition on the other side of the state. Hopefully, the rain holds off so there are no delays, and we can all get home at a decent hour tonight – like before sundown. I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend. I’ll see you back here next week, hopefully!

12 Responses to Sunday Reflections – 2 October 2016 – Surviving
  1. Tif
    October 2, 2016 | 11:23 AM

    Hmmm … let’s see if this comment goes through because I don’t think the last one did.

    Good luck with everything this week. I keep thinking that the schedule will get easier as the kids get older, but I keep getting proven wrong. I just need to accept that my idea is not a reality!!

    • Michelle
      October 16, 2016 | 5:37 PM

      LOL! I think when both of our kids are out of the house for good, only then will the schedule get easier!

  2. Kailana
    October 2, 2016 | 11:28 AM

    You are always so busy. I get tired just reading about it all. lol

    • Michelle
      October 16, 2016 | 5:38 PM

      Trust me. I get tired just thinking about it. Yet somehow we manage to get through it. Insanity.

  3. Lisa
    October 2, 2016 | 11:29 AM

    Oh my goodness – you’re even busier than usual! I wonder if Holly loves cross country so much precisely because she knows she will not win so has only herself to really compete against? When our kids were competitively swimming, during the summer season, at the pool we belonged to, I really pushed the kids to focus on their own personal improvement as much as worrying about doing well for the team. They were always so excited when they could come and tell me that their times had improved. Good luck surviving the next few weeks and I can’t wait to see Connor’s pics!

    • Michelle
      October 16, 2016 | 5:40 PM

      Thanks, Lisa! I think Holly has always enjoyed running. This is her first opportunity to actually do it in a group setting with her peers. I love that she was never stressed about her time or felt pressure to be the best. Her times consistently improved, and while she may not be the fastest runner on the team, she was probably the most dedicated. It will be interesting to see what happens as she gets older!

  4. Care
    October 2, 2016 | 11:46 AM

    Yikes. I am glad you can enjoy tracking all that activity. Kids are lucky to have such supportive parents.

    • Michelle
      October 16, 2016 | 5:41 PM

      In a sadistic way, I do enjoy it. I love watching them doing activities they love.

  5. Ti
    October 3, 2016 | 11:13 AM

    Oh yes! The pasta dinners. I remember those as well. Are you making the food or picking it up? I made the food once but it was cheaper to pick it up the second time, if you can believe it.

    I am sorry that Holly didn’t get more dances but she certainly seems to have a good attitude about it.

    Senior pics. We didn’t do fancy schmancy pics because my kid would not sit for pic so all we did was the studio pic and I bought one incredibly overpriced package just so I could say that I have a nice portrait.

    • Michelle
      October 16, 2016 | 5:49 PM

      We picked up the food and still ended up having more than enough – on some things at least. I don’t know if I really ever want to do that again though. What a pain in the butt!

      After the initial tears, she is handling it better than I am. I still struggle with the mean girl atmosphere in the studio, but she seems to be able to brush it off and focus on dance. She is proving to be a better person than me.

      I have only seen one picture from the photo shoot, but I am so impressed with what she was able to capture. I cannot wait to see the full photo shoot! I can see not paying for them if your son is not interested. I don’t think C was either but I told him this was for me. He was a good sport about it.

  6. Brandie
    October 3, 2016 | 5:52 PM

    You continue to amaze me with your crazy schedules and keeping it all together! I’m glad to hear Holly is loving CC and trying other things. That’s so awesome! I hope the senior pics turn out great! Feed 50 kids?! Holy crap, that’s a lot. Hope it all goes smoothly!

    • Michelle
      October 16, 2016 | 5:53 PM

      You are way too kind. I am insane and crabby and thoroughly stressed and overwhelmed by it all this year. I am so thankful the kids are enjoying themselves.

      Fifty kids was a lot. We borrowed as many tables and chairs as we could and still did not have room for them all in our garage. Plus, they ate so much more of the garlic bread than the actual pasta, so we had way too much pasta. I think the kids enjoyed themselves though. Hard to tell with that age.

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