Monday, August 24, 2015

2007 (Preschool):


2008 (VPK):


2009 (Kindergarten):


2010 (1st Grade):


2011 (2nd Grade):


2012 (3rd Grade/Preschool):

2013 (4th Grade/VPK):

2014 (5th Grade/K):

2015 (6th Grade/1st Grade):

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Hilton Orlando

We had our annual staycation before school begins this past weekend. This year, we stayed at the Hilton Orlando.

 


It was beautiful! It had a lazy river (which was the kids favorite!, a family pool and a 'quiet pool' (which we never ever saw).
 





It also had this water slide which was a huge hit too.


We swam most of the days and at night there was a fire pit for roasting marshmellows.
 


It was the perfect way to end the summer and relax before all the craziness begins again.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Eleven

I recently dropped a card in the mail to wish my father and his wife a happy 30th wedding anniversary! We were lucky enough to watch them celebrate with a special dance at my sisters recent wedding as well. As they were dancing, I thought back to their actual wedding. I was there. And I was eleven.

Up until his wedding, my father was a kind of escape for me. I was able to see him a couple times a year and so when I could visit, he tried to plan a trip or do something special. It was never about chores, homework or talking back with him...it was adventures planned just for us. When I was eleven, I flew to California, met his fiancé and then watched them get married a couple days later.

My daughter was sitting next to me at my sisters wedding. She is eleven. Eleven. On the outside, she is maturing....talk of boy bands and sleepovers with friends. But on the inside, she is still my baby girl and she is still making up voices for her cats and watching little kid shows.

Eleven is a tough age to begin with. The beginning of awkward....hair, friendships, skin, hormones....you name it. I think back to that eleven year old girl watching her dad get married and wish there had been some sort of handbook to help me navigate that awkward time. I always felt like I was saying or doing something wrong. I went from co leader of our awesome twosome club, to the person that you had to include but maybe didn't want to. I can't remember the exact moment when I realized I had gone from insider to outside, but I realize it now.

I watch Stella throw her arms around Tony and cuddle with her daddy. They have their own private jokes and loving banter. At eleven, I want her to feel like an insider.....in our club....one of the five founding members. As she navigates these awkward years, I need to say out loud to her that there is nothing she can do that will get her kicked out of the club. Nothing....we are family.

I actually wouldn't change anything about the past. My father married a wonderful woman who made (and continues to make) him very happy. And they had my two sisters who I am so thankful to have in my life. It was meant to be.

But as I watched them dance, I felt eleven all over again.

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