Sunday, August 28, 2016

Dinosaurs and Sword fights

We had a pleasant weekend together.  Saturday we took the kids to Dinosaur Ridge and did the bus tour and had a picnic.  The kids seemed to enjoy it. 

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We watched the Princess Bride together for the first time.  It's one of my all time top three movies (The Princess Bride, Singin' in the Rain, and Rushmore).  We split the movie over two nights.  The kids both enjoyed it, though it was scary and had a lot of talking they didn't understand.  They both loved Fezzik and the Miracle Max scene.  The Fire Swamp was maybe too scary.  Sam retold me the story, "There was a scary mouse, and the sand ate the girl, and there was fire, and the guy in black put fire on the mouse."  I hope we didn't induce any nightmares.   We laughed out loud when, in the Pit of Despair, Fezzik announced "He's dead" and Jack spoke up "Wait, did he say he's dead?" right in time with Fred Savage interrupting "Grandpa, grandpa, wait. Wait, what did Fezzik mean, he's dead?"

Jack told me he loved the movie and was surprised it was so funny.  I'm glad he got over the "princess" in the title and watched a challenging movie. 

We also started reading Harry Potter together when school started.  I'm much more enthusiastic about our reading times now, and have to restrain myself from reading ahead on my own! 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

First Grade and Preschool

Today is the first day of school - Woo-Hoo!!!

The kids were pumped.  I've been sick all week but feel pretty normal today.  I got up in time to make them a hot breakfast.  Surprisingly we were ready to go on time.  I credit that to packing lunch and laying out clothes last night. 

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Jack's nerves dissolved when he got to meet his teachers yesterday.  He's excited because it's one he met last year and was hoping to have, and also there are some old friends in his class.  He gets his own desk this year.  His first grade class is in the same pod as kindergarten, so he sees his old teacher walking around, uses the same restrooms, so he will be fairly comfortable with the transition.  Man, I'm so excited for him to be back in school.  He'll be there until 3:00pm today.  I can hardly believe it!  It's been a looooong summer.

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This other goober is excited too.  Sam shoveled the scrambled eggs in like he meant business.  He's very pleased with his monkey backpack and wore it all morning.  I'm pleased that he agreed to wear clothes today - that's been an argument between us every day this week.  I feel guilty that I didn't make it clear I won't be at school too.  I figured it will be ok - he does nursery at church and childwatch at the gym for hours every week.  So this morning I just sort of slipped out.  I hope he doesn't freak out when he realizes I'm not there anymore.  I'm positive he'll have a great time though.  At the meet and greet yesterday they had playdough and cookie cutters out and that's all he could talk about today.  "I'm going to make duck cakes!"  I checked with the teacher before I left and indeed, they will have playdough time today.  Hooray!

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Oh, I'm sooooo happy about this.  Two hours without kids twice a week?  It's gonna be great.  I can clean one room without the other getting messy at the same time.  I can change the oil in my car, or get groceries, or other errands without having to juggle carseat belts and waterbottles and snacks and potty breaks.  Also, having time away from the kids makes me love them even more.  Having a little distance will be good.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Lost a tooth

Jack lost his first tooth the natural way today. Looks like the tooth fairy is coming right before he starts first grade!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Vail Update

Hey look!  They posted a video of the show we saw.  If you want to see a condensed version of the whole night, watch here:



Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Let's go to the mall, today!

I had no plans for today. Asked Ben for advice and he suggested the mall. I was dubious, but he was right! The kids are having a blast! I guess it's been a year or more since we came here.

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Vail Getaway

The Vail trip was relaxing, delicious, and beautiful.

We walked around town in the rain, popping in art galleries and catching all the unusual pokemon that spawn here. 

Vail anniversary

I fell in love with an artist at the first gallery we found.  If I had a spare five grand I'd be all over any one of Tracy Felix's works

We checked into the hotel and were pleased to find they had upgraded us to a full suite with a mountain view.  Lovely!

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I changed into warmer clothes for the evening and we ventured out again.  The clouds parted and the rain stopped for the rest of the day.  We enjoyed the abundant flowers and had dinner at Tavern on the Square.

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The shuttle was an easy and quick ride across town to the Ford Amphitheater.  We were a bit early, so we had plenty of time to explore the Alpine Garden just outside the theater.  So many gorgeous flowers!
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We had excellent seats near the front and under the pavilion.  It was a really cool space to see a show.  The lights changed dramatically as the sun set.  They leave a natural plant backdrop in the rear of the stage.  During one piece with live piano accompaniment. there was a bird calling in response to each pause in the music.  So cool!   Here's some pics before the show and at intermission. 

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Ben's favorite dancer was Tiler Peck from NYCB.  She was indeed very light, smooth, and a strong performer.  Lovely feet.  She danced a mazurka and later this exact same piece with the same partner:



My favorites were the duo from the Royal Ballet in London.  I loved Lauren Cuthbertson's performance in Alice.  Eric Underwood was also in it as the caterpillar.  They danced this explosive excerpt from Chroma.  (This is Eric below, but not Lauren.  Couldn't find a recording of her in it).


They were unreal!  Such power and grace, so unworldly.  I loved seeing this up close.  My desire to see a Royal Ballet performance in London is only stronger now. 


Ben and I both LOVED this group from Philadelphia called BalletX.  They performed this piece:



They remind us of a local Colorado company, Wonderbound, but they have greater dance technique and better, more mature choreography.  If they ever tour to Denver I definitely want to see them.  The director and the program mentioned a piece they do called Slump.  There's a part of it online:



The show ended with Lil Buck doing his famous Swan routine.  I've seen him perform online and on TV a few times.  In person, it was mesmerizing. 



We got to stay up late watching the Olympic Opening Ceremonies without worry of kids clamoring for us in the morning.  We slept in late and slowly made our way back down the mountains to our family.  Amanda is a fantastic aunt.  The kids were over the moon with all the fun stuff she did for them.  I'm so lucky to have her so close by and to offer an overnight stay.

I wouldn't mind repeating this weekend every August.  Happy 14th anniversary Ben!

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Saturday, August 06, 2016

Prisma

Is anyone else discovering the Prisma app? I'm having fun :-)

Thursday, August 04, 2016

Counting down the hours

I'm so excited for our trip this weekend!  Last Tuesday was the 14th anniversary of our wedding.  To celebrate, Ben and I are taking a short trip to Vail.  We have tickets to the Vail International Dance Festival.  I can't believe we've never been to it in all these years.  I'm super pumped to see Isabela Boylston (again!), Lauren Cutherbertson, and Lil' Buck. 

Plus, you know, QUIET CONVERSATION!  Amanda has graciously offered to watch the kids and house overnight.  I cannot wait to escape to the mountains for some fresh air, art galleries, nice meals, beautiful dancing, and no messes to clean up!

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If everyday in summer was cloudy, bug-less, and 70 degrees, maybe I wouldn't hate summer.  Today is a nice break.  Hope it stays cool.  Two weeks until the first day of school . . .