Thursday, August 23, 2018

No Pain, No Champagne

It's 10 p.m. and I am sitting on the couch post-scalding hot bath, watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2, drinking champagne, and eating popcorn for dinner. It's everything I wanted it to be. I taught two barre classes tonight. Normally I don't do that, but my beloved home studio needed a sub for the 7:00 class and my job at TCU kicked back up this week so I had my regular class there at 5:30. Forty people came to the first one. Forty! So fun, so crazy, so loud. I loved it. Every muscle I have hurts right now, but the popcorn + cheez-its plus the memory of the new sparkly leggings I bought on the way to my double-header have revived me, so let's blog.

When we last left off, it was the night before the first day of school. My favorite day! The kids like it too.

They were up early, smiles and HIGHLY ANTICIPATED new planet box lunchboxes ready. (We're on year 4 of Landon and Claire's and they still look perfect; Cora is SO EXCITED to finally have one too.)

Uniforms were donned, superhero muffins were eaten, and traditional first-day handshakes were given.

We got to school ten whole minutes early (this is remarkable given that our school day starts 15 minutes earlier this year), just in time for it to start to rain. We got a picture in front of the school anyway. Traditions are important.

(First pic, in front of the same tree in 2013; 6 months pregnant with Cora, holding our tiny preschooler and super excited for our still rounded-cheeked Kindergartener!)

Claire, our 3rd grader(!), was BEAMING with excitement. Of course. No one loves school like Claire loves school. She wants to be a teacher when she grows up and greeted her new teacher with a huge hug.

And then she got a daddy-hug from James. He gives the very best ones.

Landon is in 5th grade. 5th grade!!!

Next year he'll be a middle schooler. In a middle school. A school that is not our sweet local elementary school that we ADORE.

But I'm sure we'll all love that school and life phase too, even if I really love that for now he still let's me hug him on the first day in front of his classroom door. (A door that's right across from Claire's; the next time they'll be in the same school together Landon will be a JUNIOR IN HIGH SCHOOL.)

Cora is in her last year of pre-K at her little Montessori school nestled in between our house and the school that is 0.2 miles away. After 11 years, 3 children, and one million daycare payments, every month we pay her tuition is the last time we'll ever pay that month's daycare tuition. This excites me. She got another daddy-hug.

She continues to take school very seriously. This picture from her teacher cracked me up. She's like, don't bother me with your nonsense, I'm busy LEARNING right now.

Unless she's on the playground. Then she's always deep in a gaggle of her besties, leading whatever game she's made up and decided they need to play.

Landon started his competitive climbing practice on Monday and he LOVES IT. Loves it so much. Bouldering his way up a sheer wall is literally all he's ever wanted from life. To make his obsession worse, we let him watch Meru with us, an absolutely fantastic and terrifying documentary about the only successful ascent up the Shark's Fin of Mount Meru in India.

There's a quote in the film that says something like 99.99% of people who watch this will think it's crazy, but the rest will want to do it. Landon might be part of "the rest."

On Wednesday the girls started gymnastics. They're in different classes that run at the same time and James got to take them since the swim school is closed this week. This is the text I got from him soon after it started:

But she warmed up. Soon she was finishing every move with a very formal salute that absolutely cracked James and I up. Where does she get this?

Claire beamed the entire time and waved to me every 15 seconds after I got there towards the end. Both girls loved it. When Cora got off the floor she said, "Mama! I want to do it again!" "You can!" I told her. "Great!" she exclaimed as she ran back out to the floor while I yelled, "No! I meant next week!"

After gymnastics, while Landon was at climbing practice, both girls felt inspired to dance until dinner. Claire set up a videographer to capture all the artistry.

I believe this one was choreographed to Taylor Swift's, Welcome to New York.

And now, the menu:

Monday: Trader Joe's gyro meat, heirloom tomatoes tossed with feta, cucumber, kalamata, orange pepper, red wine vinegar, and olive oil (and oregano, salt, pepper), naan bread, and roasted potatoes. And tzatziki. Basically a Trader Joe's Mediterranean platter full of all my kids' favorite things.

Tuesday: OUT! Celebrating back to school, my first barre class of the new TCU semester, and James being off this week (and one of our favorite local restaurants having a "kids eat free night" on Tuesdays that we never take advantage of).

Wednesday: I'm super proud of this one - it was supposed to be pork enchiladas, but I realized we didn't have enough leftover and it was probably too old, so rather than eat out like I REALLY WANTED TO, I improvised vegetable enchiladas with a leftover zucchini in the fridge (from the super hero muffins), shredded carrot (that we always have on hand), frozen corn (ditto), and black beans (ditto again). Sauteed it together with chili powder and cumin, rolled into tortillas, topped with a bit of sour cream and shredded cheese and baked. SO GOOD. Seriously. Crazy good. Sliced avocado, tomato, and black olive served alongside.

Thursday: Leftover pasta sauce from Sunday with new pasta, garlic bread, and raw veggies on the side. I was teaching barre x2 and James loves a good pasta leftover.

Friday: Back to school pool party with friends! Our house, snacks, paper plates that won't match, rose wine poured into a margarita machine to make frose, and pizza from Costco. Plus a whole bunch of children and their parents. I'm looking forward to it.

I hope all your first weeks (if you had them) have been wonderful, and a rose is waiting for you at the end of it.


  1. I love Meru. Have watched it so many times! Glad your new year is off to a great start.

  2. I love when you share your dinner menus, always gives me some fresh ideas! What do you pack your kids for lunch? I'm in a rut and could use some ideas.

    1. James does the lunches. We use the Planet Box Rover lunchboxes which are AMAZING and make packing very easy, but I'm pretty sure my kids eat the same thing most every day. Cora loves leftovers, so she often gets that, but Landon and Claire have either a peanut butter tortilla (with granola and sometimes raisins) or peanut butter sandwich. Always fruit and veggie of some kind (usually cucumber and bell pepper for the veggie). And then something crunchy like pretzels, gold fish, etc. If it was me there'd be a ton of variety, but it's James, so it's pretty much always the same. The kids don't seem to mind!

  3. I have been staring at Planet Box's website for a week now. I think I will finally buy one now that I have read (yet another) good review on them.

    Three cheers for popcorn for dinner! <3

    1. We adore ours and they've held up with daily use for going on 4 years now. If you're interested but not in a rush, they do 20-25% sales on the whole website every now and then. Just follow them on facebook or sign up for their emails! It isn't very often, but it's great when they do!

  4. Did you/James realize he has the exact same outfit on in both of those “1st day of school” pictures?? :)

    1. I did, but I'm sure James did not!

  5. I really enjoy that James is also wearing his first day uniform.

  6. Thinking of you and sending hugs!

  7. Are you alive? I demand a blog post! (In a kind, flattering, joking and not-at-all demanding sort of way...)

  8. Is it weird to check in on a total stranger? I hope the lag liv family is well. This is a long time between posts for you and I guess I'm checking in.