Sunday, May 7, 2017

Ballet Super Star Weekend

You guys, we have SO MUCH to cover. I always think our weekends feel so fun and lazy and easy and restful, and then when I go to type them out I spend like 4,000 words and too many pictures trying to capture it all. That's about to happen again, so consider yourself warned. And lucky that I left my phone in the car as part of my unplugged New Year's Resolution while we were at the zoo this morning so there aren't any pictures of that.

First up, Tara is pet-sitting a French bulldog puppy and asked if she could bring her over Friday. "Of course!" I yelled into my allcaps text message, "Cora LOVES dogs!" And oh does she.

Hermes is the cutest and Tara said she was as obsessed with Cora as she was with her. Which seemed obvious when I got home and immediately tried to love her and she was super skeptical.

Claire tried too and she was just "Where is the little one?"

Here she is!

And then, after Tara and Hermes left (after Cora gave Hermes a thousand kisses and some sticks from our yard to-go), I realized Landon was spending the night with a friend and James was coaching late and the weather was spectacular and it was Friday and we most definitely needed a girls' night out.

The girls grabbed their purses and we were off to try a new Mexican place that opened up near us with a big patio and $5 happy hour margaritas. It was great. I love spending time with the girls, and not just because they love cheese as much as I do (side-eye to Landon) and they fill up on tortillas and queso and are super cheap (side-eye to James), they're so fun and funny and so very much themselves. I love any time I get to spend a little extra time with them.

We got home at the same time as James and let the girls pick the movie. It was Trolls (obviously) and there was a lot of dancin, but we all missed Landon and kept wondering where he was and why he wasn't asking to switch the movie. Claire said she got up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night and saw his door open and went in to check on him. James swam at 7 a.m. and went in and did the same. We're used to all our ducklings being together. Luckily Cora had her second dance recital at 11 a.m. (relieve the first here) and we like to turn out for these things in full force, so we went to pick him up at 10. He may half-heartedly pretend otherwise, but Landon LOVES a family supporting occasion.

And a photo booth accessory.

Cora had been talking about her "ballet 'cital" for weeks, asking every one of us repeatedly, "Are you coming to watch my ballet?" When each of us always responded, "yes! of course!" she'd squeal and give us a hug. She loves with her whole body and soul and it is the best and she was SO EXCITED to do ballet up on stage and that was the best too.

This would be our 5th ballet recital as parents and we'd never had a child dance on stage to every song. But Cora seemed calm and confident and overflowing with the joy of dance.

They did the introductions and she stood up and said her name and did her poses and we were like, oh my gosh, is this really going to happen?

And then BAM. It did!

We had toe pointing.

Second position.


She rocked it. And she loved every. freaking. minute.

The big kids were beside themselves, "She's dancing mom!" James and I were cracking up and passing the video camera back and forth between the heads of the women in front of us who would not stay in their seats. This is the last song and my personal favorite, but if you need more camera, the other 3 little parts are all here.

It was amazing.

We brought her flowers and she loved them.

She got to sit on faux-Princess-Belle's lap and she loved that.

She got glasses as a dance recital party favor and she loved them too.

It was 11:30 p.m. when it was all over and it was probably the best day of Cora's life. Besides basically all the other days.

She got to pick the location of her victory lunch, PIZZA! (AND SQUASH AND CHEESE!, though I couldn't fulfill the squash part until we got home; butternut squash is literally her favorite food while she still hates fruit and candy and most delicious things, she is such a weirdo and I adore her), so we drove to Mellow Mushroom and feasted and then she went to bed and napped for 4 hours. Being a star is exhausting.

My favorite part is when I finally went to wake her up (at 5 p.m.) she emerged from her bedding wearing her new princess shoes. Shoes that were not on her feet when I tucked her in.

Once everyone was awake we drove over to our local polling place to vote in our municipal elections (mayor, city council, school board, and water district board). I will admit I have frequently ignored local elections- figuring that either all the choices were depressing or I didn't know enough to vote and/or it didn't matter anyway because I'm a democrat in Texas and see reason 1, but after the shitshow of last November I vowed I would never ignore any election ever again. A week ago I went online and downloaded my ballot. I read all the voter's guides I could find to learn more about the candidates and also WTF a water district board is. This guide was my favorite, mostly because of the title, but also because it was the best description of what the water district board is, something even the water district board's website could not tell me. So we voted! And we all got stickers. And the whole thing took 10 minutes and then all we went home and ate dinner.

After dinner we went on a family walk/bike ride to visit a friend's new puppy. It was the perfect end to Cora's awesome day. And then she went back to sleep at 8 p.m. for another 11 hours. She sleeps more than any toddler I know, but I think exuding all that joy all the time just wears you out. Or she's just the rare toddler who understands how awesome it is that for a few years of your life everyone in your world will structure their life around your sleep whims and desires and she's soaking up all she can.

Today James and the big kids went on their run and then we headed to the zoo. Much joy and happiness and running ensued. We pink puffy heart our zoo.

When we returned we brought champagne over to some new neighbors, ate leftover pizza, and then tucked Cora back in bed for another nap. Claire had a friend over, which turned into two friends, which turned into a mom date for me, while Landon worked on a robot alligator metalworks kit he bought in the zoo gift shop. He's running a small business selling hand-made bracelets and necklaces to his friends and it's surprisingly lucrative. I'm probably going to have to do an audit soon.

I erranded, Cora awoke, and other friends came over for more swimming. It was such a gorgeous day. Cora had a wardrobe change partway through when she remembered she had a Princess Belle swimsuit. I understood.

I made these black bean burgers for dinner and they were SO GOOD. I had never had a black bean burger but they were easy and hearty and everyone loved them. I served them with roasted sweet potatoes and strawberries. It was the perfect Sunday night dinner after being outside as much as possible all day.

And now I'm doing Orangetheory in 7 hours so I need to end this, but may you all embrace your weeks ahead with the joy of Cora on stage and the enthusiasm of my children jumping into our freezing cold pool. Or even just half the enthusiasm. I'm aiming for half.


  1. OMG we had recital weekend too!!! ours appears to be stuffier (think: piano music played live, no glitter!) but it was still SOOOO CUTE! i would go to one every weekend if that were an option.

  2. Little girlies doing ballet recitals are THE BEST. I love them all: The ones who stand there not moving and the ones who are super enthusiastic like Cora! (Waving to you WHILE keeping up with the dancing! Impressive!) So adorbable.

  3. So many awesome things, and I'm hung up on the pic of Cora spinning. Look at the definition in her shoulders and arms! Not obvious at all that she comes from a family of swimmers... I'm so jealous!