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Happy Sunday! No, I have not disappeared. Not yet anyway. This month has been absolutely brutal. I did not expect it to be like this at all, and it makes me very nervous about the school year. However, we survived last year. We can do it again, right?

So, what has been keeping us busy? Well, the cross-country season has officially started. Connor has two practices a day until school starts in September. The afternoon practice is at the same time as Holly’s dance classes, so it has been a challenge driving back and forth getting them to their various locations. He has a new coach this year, one who is actually excited about running and anxious to have a successful team. Connor has run more during the first week of practice than he did for an entire season under his old coach. This is a very good thing, and we all enter the season hopeful. His first meet is on Wednesday of this week. I know I am very excited to see how much he has improved from last season.

After a longer wait than normal, Holly found out that she did indeed make the competition team again this year. We are all very excited for her and proud of her. She has grown so much as a dancer over the past year. I know she is going to positively shine this year.

It was a big week for Holly in general, as she made the team and registered for seven different dance classes plus established private lessons for the season in two different dance styles.  She will actually be in eight different dance classes at first as there is some question which ballet class is most appropriate for her skill level. She also celebrated her eleventh birthday on the 5th. We kept it low-key this year, as she received most of her presents early.

Speaking of dance, I volunteered to help with registration this year, so I was at the studio at lot the last two weekends. I enjoyed watching the kids’ excitement at the thought of starting new classes and had fun with all of the other staff during the slower moments.

If that was not enough, I am helping out with the planning of next year’s ballet recital. They chose Mary Poppins, and it just so happened that another production group performed the very same show. Several of us went to see the show and scouted the scenery, as they graciously offered us whatever scenery we wanted to take. As you can imagine, we took as much as we could, and I now have several flats and some other odds and ends in my garage waiting for us to decide what we want to do with it.

One of Holly’s favorite dance teachers and a very good friend of mine is due to have her first baby in September.  Earlier this month we held a baby shower for her at the studio because it seems that has become my second home lately. Several of us spent the morning decorating the studio and cooking various desserts and hor d’oeuvres. The turnout was not as large as we expected, but for those dancers and parents who attended, it was a nice afternoon.

We are still moving forward with the house. I keep telling Jim that he owes everyone an update, but he has been just as busy with business travel this month. We are wrapping up the construction loan and should be breaking ground this month yet. At least, that is the plan. Given the hoops through which we have had to jump so far just to get approval on the loan, there is a chance we might have to delay ground-breaking until September.

Speaking of September, the kids start school on September 1st.Connor is a junior this year, and Holly is entering sixth grade. I registered them at the end of July. They had to go to the school earlier this month to get their school pictures taken and for Connor to pick up his schedule. We picked up the last of their school supplies yesterday, and Holly has open house tomorrow to drop off those supplies and meet her teacher. Connor also started driver’s ed in the last week. I am pushing them to start use planners and calendars, either written or electronic, because I have a feeling that given their individual after-school schedules, they are going to need them in order to remember everything! I know my planner is bursting just keeping up with them!

For those of you who have been long-time readers, you know that Jim trades cars as often as I change shoes. Even though we have a house we are getting ready to build, it has not stopped him from selling both of our vehicles and getting two new ones in the last month. First, he was offered an unbeatable deal for the Toyota 4-Runner by someone on a Toyota forum. It really was too good an offer to pass, so he sold that and got a 2015 Ford F-150. The thinking is that with the house, having a truck will be a necessity. Plus, he loves trucks. I do not, so when he sold my Prius, I got nervous. Instead, he used by new company and the GM Supplier discount I now get to buy me a Cadillac ELR. It is a gorgeous car with the added bonus of being electric. Given my very short commute these days, there is a chance I will never have to buy gas again. I love it. Not only does it fit into the net-zero house we are hoping to start building soon, there is something very cool about owning a car of which they only made less than 2,000. Even better, it is in my name only this time thanks to the discount, so he cannot sell it without my permission. We might actually own a vehicle for longer than a year!!

Given how busy we all have been so far, my reading and especially my reviewing have taken a huge nosedive. So far, I have only posted one weekly reading summary, a review for Mother of Eden by Chris Beckett, another review for The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman, another weekly summary and a review for The Fold by Peter Clines. That’s it. I have been reading, but I cannot find the energy to write. I feel like I am at a crossroads with this website. I do not want to disappear completely, but I know that my new job and the kids are going to keep me busier than I have ever been. I do not know what this means quite yet, but I will be doing some soul-searching in the next few weeks until I figure out things. To be continued…

Now, given that this is the first Sunday in about two months where I have an empty schedule and weather that does not want to drown me with humidity or fry me with heat, I am going to make the most of it and go read on my porch. I hope everyone is having a glorious Sunday. Have a great week!

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