Sunday, May 12, 2019

our national champion!


This was our view at breakfast the next morning before heading to the Broward County Convention Center!
I took no pictures before the competition because I was too nervous!  Ha!  Even during her passes I videoed them so I didn't get any pictures except for this one.  They were intensely waiting for scores.
This was an excited picture because her scores were VERY high!
I had to zoom in so this is blurry but I thought it was so cute.  There were 3 flights of 10 girls and they got individual placements in their flight.  These three Iowa girls were waiting to hear their names, as they were the last 3 to be called.  I loved how they were holding hands and looked so nervous!
There's my girl!  Number one in her flight!  At this point we knew she had scored well but there were 30 girls to place, so we weren't sure how she would fall out overall.
I had to include this picture of her waiting with this little girl.  This is the one who has won first place all season and was the Iowa state champion.  Kerigan made it her life's mission to beat her!  Ha!  We kept telling her, we only care that she does her best- she doesn't have to get first place.

Well.....

Out of 30 girls, there's our girl!  The National Champion!  This is called determination.
We all couldn't believe this moment and none of us ever expected it.

And I have to brag on my girl here for a second.  This level (Advanced Beginner) is HARD.  It may not seem difficult doing back walkovers and front limbers.  But let me tell you, there are RULES.  Like deductions and tiny little things they can do to get themselves a big ol zero for a score.  Most tumbling families we know and most gyms will try to purposely have their tumblers skip this level and move straight to handsprings because this level is so challenging.  
I loved this moment- coach Tasha talking to her afterwards and asking if she was surprised.  She whispered to me, trying to be so sweet but she was so proud and she said, "Mom, I beat Elyse!" (The little girl she had made it her mission to beat) and her coach leaned over and said, "Honey, you beat 'em ALL!"  
It was so cute. All she cared about was beating Elyse.  Ha!
I have to say, Andrew was so impressed.  He was so sweet to her and kept telling her congratulations and hugging her.
We were all SO PROUD of our girl!
I think it took a while for this to all sink in for her!
This picture is made into a canvas and hanging in her room- we can't get over that the trophy is half as tall as she is!

The other part about this is, that this was her first year at this level.  Many of the girls she competed against had competed at this level last year (including the little girl who got first place all year).  It is hard to compare 1st and 2nd year girls at this level because their skills are so varied.  There are different difficulty levels within the level and Kerigan worked her way up to almost 2.0 extra points of difficulty.  She just amazes us!
This has been my phone screen saver since this day. This is an incredible memory and a once in a lifetime opportunity to say your daughter is a National Champion.
So, so proud
Cheering for Kerigan!  Ha!
This is Tasha's sweet daughter. She has to hang out all day at all the meets because her mom coaches our whole team throughout the day.  So we offered to take her swimming back at our hotel with us and she was so thrilled!
And of course, we got ice cream!
One more picture by her door!
Then it was time to change into swim suits!
We saw these little lizards everywhere! This one was down by the pool.
Ready to swim and celebrate!
We cleaned up for dinner and took Tasha and Janessa out with us to our favorite place!
We had them try the alligator too!
Ready with our leftovers to feed the fish!

Andrew was so excited we came back here- it was his request!
It was absolutely gorgeous doing this at night!
You could see the fish so much better!
Fake but real looking alligator on the way out!  It was another awesome day that will be hard to top! We are coming home with a USTA National Champion!


Sunday, June 24, 2018

beach, sting rays and alligators!

The next day we drove a short 3 hours to Ft. Lauderdale.
This girl was so excited to see these signs on our door when we checked into our hotel- the Hilton Ft. Lauderdale Marina.  This was the host hotel for the USTA Tumbling competition and a short walk to the venue.
We had an amazing view of the marina and yachts coming in and out all the time.  So awesome!
#thoselegs
After settling into our room, we decided to check out the hotel.  It had an awesome pool area!
There was a little trail with things set up- the kids liked this steering wheel
Next we drove down the beach and checked out the ocean!  We took this picture for Ga Ga!
So much fun exploring!
I think it's in the kids rule book that when you're in sand, you have to dig a hole.  Ha!
She had to practice her tumbling pass on the beach!
Collecting seashells
All of a sudden we heard Daddy yelling from down the beach and we ran to see what he wanted to show us! Andrew couldn't get there fast enough!
Yes, that would be an actual, very mean looking sting ray just hanging out along the shore! 
#yikes #nothankyou
I will say I was nervous because I had taken this picture just before that sighting!
We took a little walk along the beach and they posed by this huge ice cream cone!
That made us hungry so we found the neatest little place to eat dinner right across the marina from our hotel called 15th Street Fisheries.

It quickly became our favorite restaurant in Ft. Lauderdale
And guess what?  We all ate alligator!
This was a first for all of us!
We all gave it a thumbs up!
It tasted just like chicken!
So the best part was, the waitress quickly brought us boxes for our leftovers and told us to head outside if we wanted to feed them to the fish.
We were a little confused, but quickly caught onto this neat little tradition!
They would literally throw a tiny piece of food into the water and a million fish would jump at it and make the biggest splashes.  It was so entertaining and hilarious! 
We had an absolute blast doing this and could've stayed the whole night!
Best.restaurant.ever.  We WILL be back!
We headed back to the hotel for an evening swim! The weather was perfect!
You just can't top this excitement
#thosemuscles
We swam until dark and the pool was just gorgeous
We ran into several tumbling families and had fun visiting
Daddy took Kerigan back to the room to get ready for bed since she had a big day the next day!  My little man and I stayed and swam and had so much fun.  That's a little restaurant and bar behind him.
When we got back to the room, these two were crashed!  It was such a fun day and evening exploring Ft. Lauderdale!

Up next, Kerigan's big day!

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