Sunday, January 22, 2017

St Paul or bust

It seems that all of our activities took place this weekend in the beautiful city of St Paul. It was a great reminder of everything the city has to offer and how convenient and gorgeous it is! Almost makes you want to move (almost...)

1st up - The womens march.  Tracy and Michelle (college friend) made the trek over to the capital, along with 90k other people. Which, is just crazy. The organizers planned for 20k people and 90k showed up. Needless to say, many of our friends were there and Facebook was going crazy. It was completely positive and peaceful and a really fun spirit of camaraderie.  Honestly, there was very little Trump bashing, with most people more interested in positively expressing what they DO support, not what they dont support.  The police were thanked continually and genuinely and the only person to get arrested was a Trump supporter that sprayed pepper spray into the crowd. Oh the irony.

2nd up - We had to divide and conquer,  Tom took Billy to his taekwondo banquet. Its a crazy evening of 400 of his tkd peeps, awards, awful food and dancing. The kids had a gas.  Billy was up for 3 awards  but alas, not the finalist.  I guess we'll have to settle for him getting his black belt last year:)  Tracy met Sandy, Leona and Bob for dinner at Carmelo's to celebrate Sandy's birthday. You guessed it, Carmelo's is in the heart of a very traditional ST Paul neighborhood and the food was amazing. Totally out of "The Big Night" (a favorite movie of ours). We felt terrible that Tom was missing out and were sad he was eating rubber chicken.  Part of why Tracy joined the birthday dinner was because Kay was watching her friends at their gymnastics meet, in St Paul, and she was on the hook to pick her up at 8:45pm. Of course.

3rd up -  Kay's 1st gymnastics meet of the year. The Winter Challenge (at Concordia College in ST Paul). This meet is Kays nemesis. She gets really nervous and worked up and was a manic mess for a full week. The night before, she was in tears - so worried she wasn't going to do well and let her coach down. 1/2 way through the tears, she realized, 'maybe I'm not worried about disappointing my coach, I'm really worried about disappointing myself!'.  We did everything we could to get her in bed at a decent time (turkey soup, warm blanket, back rub) but Jimmy said he heard her pacing at midnight. Poor kid.  The meet was at 8am so we were up at the crack of dawn. There were highs and lows.  Highs = she hit all her new skills, even the ones she hadn't quite mastered in practice yet (full lay out and twist, pirouette) but ... that came with a price ... The Lows = she rushed and was off balance for part of her beam and over rotated on the floor routine, stepping out.  After the meet, she kept saying "didnt I do terrible, I did terrible" but ... quickly came around to a MUCH better perspective.  She actually said "To be honest, I didnt expect to make state in the 1st meet.  The 1st meet is about figuring out what you are doing that works and what doesnt work and what you need to adjust. Now I know.  Thats good" I think the next meet will go MUCH more smoothly but we do need to figure out some sort of pre-meet relaxation technique, for all of our sakes!

Overall, a fun weekend in St Paul!!  Gotta love winter in MN:)

(See Facebook for video's of Kays meet - 7.975 on Bars,  8.55 on Beam, 8.5 on Floor and 8.4 on Vault. She needs a 34.5 to go to state and is .9 off. She has 3 more meets and 2 more months, she'll make it:) SO proud of her!!)

the tkd gang - looking good!

Kids table

on their best behavior

getting organized for a group snap

the gang

They really do a nice job of decorating for the winter challenge

Found a TKD family at the march and hung out

Me and Michelle, love this photo

The march!

Ignore the middle finger

Trying to get a snap of the capital

WAY far in back

A little better vantage point

Still a long way to go

So handsome!! ready for the banquet

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

New Years with cousins and Grandma/Grandpa

A HUGE thank you to Brigid and Dennis for hosting us on New Years, the day after we got back for the Vikings game, homemade chicken stew and some serious play time for the cousins. It was so nice to just relax, watch the game and kids and not need to worry about anything.  Kay was smitten with Charlie (Charolette - 2yrs old) and Billy was smitten with the dogs (Maazel and Guinness) and the kitties (Oreo and Snowflake). Jimmy, of course, was smitten with the Vikings.  Everyone is doing well _ especially Grandma Kay, only 3 more chemo's and her tumor counts are going down fast, yeah!!

Again, pictures tell the whole story. Love the picture of Charlie and Jimmy - the height difference is hysterical!!

XXOO to all our family and friends

Stacia, Kay and Charlie playing house

Girl cousins rule!

Tom, Kay and Jimmy



Brigid being silly

Another killer game of pool!

Pool sharks at it again!

The whole gang

The tallest and the smallest Jimmy and Charlie



Toys for Tots at Pelican Hotel in Costa Rica - Esterillas Este - Diana and Mikey Host!!

Awesome photos and awesome day