Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Legacy

I always laugh when I tell people "I used to dance", because I feel like I have to follow up that comment with "not the pole kind, but the real jazz, ballet, was the colonel on the dance team kind." It was a love of my life for many years, and as much as I would love to do it everyday in my thirties...I feel like passing the torch may be a bit safer for my elderly muscles.  I taught my girls ballet terms way before they were ever in a class, and sometimes an attempt to show them an amazing leap results in a pulled hamstring and ice packs, (for the record...i still have a mean leap though haha) my pirouettes make me a little dizzy and my toe touch can be done most successfully on a trampoline. Still, I love it! My favorite quote ever is... "life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain." When we are bored in this house, we dance. When I'm feeling bad, I dance. When we are feeling silly...we dance. A peek into our window in our living room at 3pm will likely reveal a small recital going on with couches pushed back, and pandora blaring. It's what I love, and I'm so happy my efforts to brain wash my girls has been successful, because they love it too.


So, when the summer schedule at the studio had a spot for my itty bitty, i excitedly snatched it up. She will be my youngest dancer at a teeny tiny 2, and I think she knows more than I knew at 14. She's sort of become the studio mascot, whom they have renamed "boo". At any given moment on any given day if anyone asks her to do an arabesque, chase', leap, pirouette, or plie' she knows exactly what to do, and proudly performs on demand.

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I was such a proud mama peeking through the thick black curtains of the dance room. Although she was a little shy at first, she jumped right in and willingly participated...might i even add, showed off a little. She wore her tutu with pride, and adored her pink ballet shoes that are two sizes too big from the moment I slipped them on her little feet.

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The definition of a "legacy" is: "anything handed down from the past"... maybe I will never make the top 20 of So You Think You Can Dance, or chaine across a New York stage, but this tiny dancer...she just might.


Saturday, July 14, 2012

Always Stop For Lemonade

A lemonade stand is a favorite childhood pastime.


We were preparing the final details this morning...finding the perfect ice bucket, a mason jar for our money, and 3 fresh lemons to accessorize our table, when Ashlyn asked me, "mama, did you do lemonade stands when you were little?" It brought back fond memories of flipping over a large ice chest and preparing a fresh batch of lemon flavored "Flavor Aid" (cause it was cheaper than the real stuff), and sweating it out in hopes of striking it rich. It's the quintessential summer activity, and a childhood is not complete without one good attempt at entrepreneurship.







I've said it before..."i think the love is in the details." Yes, a flipped over ice chest is just as memorable as a homemade stand, but they will remember...They will remember the sound of the hammer, painting lemony yellow stripes, and carefully crafting each letter to make the sign. It's also a testimony to what you can do with what you just have around the house.


We built this together last year. (just me and the girls). With caveman tools. A hammer, some spare nails, a left over pallet from a grass purchase, and some rotting fence wood from a neighbor. I may or may  have not done all my wood cuts with a jigsaw (fancy huh?) But, this year we just had to give her some fresh paint, and a few more nails, and I'm pretty sure she will be around for a while. As will the lasting memory of the lemonade stand with Mom.

A quick note to grown ups: You should stop at every lemonade stand. A quarter is not a lot to spare for the opportunity to brighten a child's day, validate their efforts, and make them feel important. Besides...how could you pass up this face?


Go make some lemonade!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Makin' beachy summer memories


We packed up another summer memory this weekend. I have a great appreciation for mother earth, and I love any opportunity to revel in the awe of beauty. Beaches are gorgeous. The smell and taste of salty water that lingers on your lips long after you've left.  The sound of crashing waves, squawking seagulls, the whooshing of the wind in your hair, and the beautiful sight of the golden buttery light that you can't escape as the sun slowly fades into the horizon. It's heaven, and I see why my Dad made the choice to move there shortly before he passed away.





Most of my family lives in a coastal city, yet very few of them take advantage of the gorgeousness that surrounds them every day.  I had to twist some arms to get them to join me, but I'm glad they did. We don't get to spend as much time with them as we would like, and in the crazy hectic thing called life, sometimes you forget how much you miss them.



(i love this picture of my grandpa...He's so not "beachy", and was perfectly happy watching from the car.)

My Grandmother is a first generation paparazzi. We grew up in the olan mills portrait studio, cheesing in front of fake waterfalls, and winter wonderland's. The fondest memories of my childhood are getting to wear lipstick and blush before a session, and playing in the studio where my grandmother worked. I think I get my love of photography through her.




that little one is always trying to steal the spotlight


(props to the sister for unknowingly using the rule of thirds, and executing some superb composition in this shot)


Summer is in full swing at our house, yet I feel like the time is fleeting. There are only 6 weeks left to make the best of it and,I have a couple of night owl's calling me right now to join in their puzzle fun.