Tuesday, July 11, 2017

little miss {six}

My Little Princess.
You are six.
That's 2 hands!!
I always say that I want to slow down time because you just grew up overnight.  
This is your first photo shoot without a bow in your hair (insert me sobbing here!)  And if you had your way, you wouldn't be wearing ruffles either.
Where do I even begin to describe how much you've grown this year?
Probably your biggest accomplishment would be that you are now a reader.  You just took off after a couple months of Kindergarten and are now reading second grade level chapter books.  It amazes me every time I listen to you read with such expression and fluency.  You are a joy to listen to and I'm so so proud.  
Probably the next biggest accomplishment was learning to ride your bike without training wheels.  One beautiful evening this spring you asked Daddy to take off your training wheels...
Within 10 minutes you were doing it all by yourself and you haven't stopped since!
I also didn't realize there was a method to scooter riding but you have become an expert.  You and your friends love to cruise up and down the sidewalks and driveways with steep hills!
You lost your first tooth.  And then the one next to it came soon after!  You just lost your top front tooth a few days before your birthday and I love that!
Except that hole just makes you look even more grown up and I can't take it!  
You were so proud to earn a first place trophy for the first time at your tumbling competition this winter.
Speaking of tumbling.  You had to start over at a new gym this year and you have done amazing.  You love your new coach and have learned how to do back and front walkovers and are working on handsprings!  We are so proud of how hard you work and how much you love this sport.  You are always flipping over the couches and doing handstands all over the house.  I'm pretty sure it's just in your blood!
Here's a little sneak peek of a future update but you qualified for nationals again this year and rocked it!  This year the competition was much higher with 42 other girls in your age range.  You got 2nd place in your flight and placed 8th overall!  That made this mama cry some proud tears, baby girl!  You just amaze me.
You also had to switch from the dance studio we loved so dearly and join a new one, and get to know a new teacher since you've had the same one since age 3.  Watching you in the recital made me also realize how much you've grown up.  You no longer needed to watch the teacher and your smile just lit up the stage.
Dance and tumbling sort of go hand in hand and so far you want to continue to do both and I'm so happy about that!  (Even though driving you to and from multiple activities every night of the week has me exhausted!)  You love to be busy.  It's just your personality!
The next sport you fell in love with was T-ball.  You played for the first time this spring and learned so fast!
When you started you couldn't hit the ball without the T, and you had no idea how to play the game.  You finished knowing how to pitch with the windmill,  rocking first base and hitting the ball almost every time the coach pitched!
You can't wait to play again next year and you think it's pretty special that your cousin Evie got you into softball and you are using her glove.
And this might've helped a little too.  Let's talk about boys for just a minute.  You adore them.  And they love you!  You've got every boy in your class swooning over you.  You've been invited to mostly boy birthday parties and at one of them you were the only girl in class he invited!  Daddy says we should be worried about this (ha!) but I am just happy you're sweet and friendly to the boys (unlike your mama was! Ha ha!)  One day you were telling me your friend whispered to you that she hated boys and I said "You don't hate boys, do you?" And you responded with a very shocked "NO!  They are my dream come true!"
Right after you turned five last summer you tackled the diving board and swam to the edge in very deep water all by yourself!  So think it's safe to add swimming to the list of activities you love and are good at!  You've taken two sessions of lessons this year and continue to improve!
This doubles as a 6 year picture and also something else you conquered- monkey bars!
This look of determination is such a part of who you are.  You don't let anything stop you and you just excel at everything you do!
Most things in life so far have come easily for you, and you are blessed to be a very talented, well rounded little girl.
Since we're talking activities, let's not forget about ice skating!  You started lessons this winter and loved it so much you took two sessions and are doing a summer ice skating camp!  Girl, I just can't stop you!
I can't do this update without talking about your friends.  They are such a part of you, too.  You absolutely have loved school this year and have made too many friends to count.  You are not shy and have no problem going door to door ringing bells in the neighborhood until someone will come out and play with you.  We are so thankful to live right next door to Avery, who has quickly become your best friend.
You get all mad when I call you my baby girl, but it's just who you will always be.  You have grown up into a teenager right before my eyes and I just want to keep you my sweet baby girl forever.  You finished Kindergarten a smart, talented, reader with a better social life than your mama!  Ha!  We had debated about sending you to Kindergarten this year.  It was one of the biggest conflicts I felt in my heart last year at this time.  You are one of the youngest in your class and I just wanted to keep you one more year.  But I would've just been holding you back.  You were ready to take that step and conquer the world!  And you did it, baby girl!  You rocked it!
The best part for me was doing it with you!  I never dreamed I'd be lucky enough to have Andrew in my school, and now you!  Even after a move and everybody switching schools, we still ended up together.  And there's just nothing I love more than seeing you in the halls, running up to me with your arms outstretched for a hug.  You just melt my heart into a puddle.  I'm so proud to call you my daughter.
We took you on a special 5-year-old trip to Disneyland this year to soak in one more year of princesses before you outgrow them.  It was such a special time as a family and you loved getting to do all the roller coasters and bigger rides this time because you were tall enough!

You had no fear and wanted to ride everything you could!
You set foot in the Pacific Ocean...
And the lake in Madison, Wisconsin, where we traveled for nationals this year.
We had a little family getaway at Adventureland this summer, and you rode all the roller coasters except one you were too short.
You did your first upside down roller coaster which scared me to death!  Ha!
Now that we live in Hawkeye country, Daddy is trying to turn you into a fan just to spite me!  Ha!  He's taken you to some games and always buys you things and texts me pictures to cry over.  I wanted to keep you a Cyclone fan but growing up here it's just too hard!  I think it's safe to say you've been converted, against my better judgement!
Kerigan, you are just the sweetest little girl.  Of course you aren't perfect, and we've had to work on a fair share of relationship issues with friends, and this sassy attitude that comes with getting older.  I never want you to lose the sweetness that you possess.  
We've grown and learned things together, and I just pray we are raising you to have a kind heart and a love for Jesus.  One of your favorite things you said is that you love it when I sing to you at night before bed.  You love "Jesus Loves Me" and when I sing you just watch me so intently.
Despite how grown up you are, you still always want your mama.  If Daddy, Ga Ga and Papa are just sitting and visiting and I can be working or right in the middle of something and you still want me. You don't want anyone else to help you or answer your questions.  Daddy is a close second, but you and I have gotten pretty close these last few years and I couldn't love it any more!  Since I've worked part time I've been able to spend more time with you and it's been the best thing in the world. 
You have such a caring and giving heart.  You always love to give things to me, or Ga Ga and daddy and your friends.  When Ga Ga asked what you wanted for your birthday you told her "I'll love whatever you and Papa give me!"  You love to be surprised and don't like to tell people what you want when they ask.  Blind bags at the store are your favorite thing.  You would be happy with a $2 blind bag because you would get to be surprised at what's inside.

6 years of joy!
All of my dreams have come true because of you.

Love you forever to the moon and back!

Love, Mommy

Monday, July 10, 2017

takeoff trouble

I'm back!
No excuses for not blogging except the computer gets used less and less by me these days.  I have lots to share so I'm trying to get back to it!

Backing up to our spring break vacation...

I made this Mickey/Minnie Countdown for us to look forward to our trip!
The kids were so excited to take turns moving Minnie's bow every day!
When there was one day left, we were pumped!  We headed out of town a day early because Daddy had a basketball championship game and Kerigan had a tumbling meet!  Nothing like cramming in a ton of things right before our vacation!
We ran into our old friend Avery from Kerigan's old tumbling gym!  They were so happy to see each other!
My girl would've placed 3rd but she had a mistake that cost one of her scores to be removed, called a scratch.  She was such a good sport and was still smiling in 5th place!
Afterwards we stopped over at Craig's brother's house to see some family that was in town since Daddy was still at the game.
Then we headed to Ga Ga and Papa's house to spend the night since it was closer to the airport and they were already ahead of us in California!  They were predicting snow, but I didn't expect to see this when I stepped out of Target for a few last minute things!
Kerigan and I had fun giving ourselves a pedicure in Ga Ga's "spa!"
When the kids were in bed I cuddled up and watched the Bachelor on mom's cozy couch by the fire!
The next morning we headed to Minneapolis!  We called Ga Ga In Cali on the way and said we'd see her in a few hours (or so we thought)!
It was also Daddy's birthday!  We met Craig's brother and his family for lunch and they drove us to the airport.  We were leaving our car with them for the week!
So we checked our bags in and waited for our flight.
And waited.
And waited.
Suffice it to say, the plane was majorly delayed.  Apparently it had had mechanical issues in Chicago and that pretty much screwed up the rest of our day and night.  We were set to head out before the snow storm, but since the plane was so late, we watched it start snowing and I began to get nervous...

They called us to board the plane!!  
At this point we were 6 hours behind schedule and had missed our connection out of Denver.
I took all these pictures of us saying thumbs up all around!  We were finally on the way!  They had set us up on another connection out of Denver which we would have to rush to when we got there...
They decided to deice the plane for the next hour.
So we busted out the reinforcements.  At this point I could've cried.  I held it together but I am a planner.  I had reservations at Disney for the next day and things were not looking good that we were going to make it.  We knew at this point we would be missing the second connection flight as well.
We finally arrived in Denver around 10pm.
And this is where I need to brag on my kids for a minute.
They were AMAZING, people.   I couldn't remember the last time we'd eaten, or slept, or gone to the bathroom for that matter. We were all exhausted and the kids just kept on going.  
Things get a bit fuzzy here, but I fought for about an hour with a lady from our airline (note- we will never fly Frontier again!) to get us out of Denver THAT NIGHT.  I told her under no circumstances would we be staying overnight and catching the morning flight to Orange County (at this point there were no more flights that evening to OC).  I told her to find a way to get us to California.  So we ended up switching airlines and flying into San Diego.  Which meant renting a car and driving another hour and half once we landed.  And baggage issues.
My girl had a very special appointment at the Bippidi Boppidi Boutique at 8am that I was not willing to miss.  For those that don't know, these appointments are impossible to get, and cannot be easily rescheduled.  And, you're only 5 once!
Whaaaat?!  You're telling me I'm going to miss my appointment!?

Anyway, as you can imagine our princess dresses were packed in our luggage and would be heading to the wrong airport in the morning.  So, daddy came to the rescue and ran down to go through baggage claim and check in AGAIN just to get our bags switched.  He also had a fight with someone who told him this process would take 45 minutes, which would put us on the plane and in the air without him!
Let's just say he was not willing to let this happen.  His facebook post said it best!  Ha ha.

A very nice agent from Southwest (the airline we switched to) made sure we got our luggage on the right plane, and came to personally escort Daddy through security so he wouldn't miss the flight to San Diego.

So.  We arrive in SD around midnight.  Still hadn't slept or eaten, and now had to find a car.  They directed us to a shuttle, which took us to a long line of rental places.  We went in the first one and were told they were out of cars.  The next place?  Same thing.  By the third time I was ready to lose it.  Thank goodness they had some availability and ended up upgrading us to a minivan, which was perfect!
They're still smiling!

So we pulled up our Disneyland hotel on our GPS and drove an hour and half to Anaheim.  We arrived at 2:30am (that's 4:30am back home!) and got a royal 5 hours of sleep before we had to be up and ready for princess day at Disney!
I have to say I'm shocked we actually made it.  We ended up being 9 hours late.  We were supposed to meet Ga Ga and Papa at Downtown Disney for dinner to celebrate Daddy's birthday.  So we were bummed. 

But I was so thankful we made it in time for this...

And my sweet neighbor made me laugh when I woke up to this on my Facebook feed...

More to come soon from the Happiest Place on Earth! ...

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