Sunday, December 16, 2012

Recital & Cookie Bake Day!

This weekend started off pretty busy.
Friday night was my 2012 Holiday Recital for one of our Community Center programs.
It was my smoothest recital yet. Just 35 minutes long and I only had to coax one child onto the stage (meaning I carried her onto the stage and didn't let her go until she felt okay) : ) 
I had such a great time and so did all the kids and the families.
It was a nice way to end such a sad, sad day. I soaked up every moment of seeing all of those parents who got to hold their babies all night and feel so proud of them. I said many prayers on Friday for all the sweet little angels that will now never be able to have their first recital. So heartbreaking.

Yesterday was our 2012 Lanese Family Cookie Bake Day and also our White Elephant Gift Exchange. I really, really am not a fan of white elephant (not what Christmas is about), but I do love cookies and spending time with our family. 
The family enjoyed playing "Spoons". I didn't partake in this game because everyone gets a little too violent and I know I would just get mad. I got some really funny pictures, though. 

Clare all ready to decorate some cookies!

We got Quenton a broom for Christmas and he was so excited :) 

Clare has learned to tie knots, lol.

Clare unwrapped all the kisses for me and then chose to eat one of the cookies we made as her treat. She loved it :) 

While everyone played Spoons I enjoyed cookies and milk :) 

Looks like a nice peaceful game of Spoons....


Today we got a lot of house errands done and it feels good. We donated 2 full bins of things to Goodwill and brought about twice that amount of dance items from our apt to the studio. It feels better in here now. Tomorrow we have two more piles to tackle, garbage and storage unit. We also need to clean our car out tomorrow before our big road trip. 
I also took a 3-hour nap today and it was awesome! Now I'll never be able to fall asleep. I'm glad I don't teach until 4pm tomorrow. 

Just 3 more days and we leave on our road trip for WI and...we have severe snow warnings tonight. The pass is currently closed. We are expecting this to be one long trip. Today we went to the library and got The Hunger Games audio books to listen to so I stay awake for Matt. I am known to be the world's worst co-pilot, I always fall asleep in the car. I could fall asleep in the car from the grocery store home. No really, sometimes I do. I'm getting so excited to go see my family. Less than one week from today and I'll get a "Family Hug"! Can't wait!!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

A Beautiful Wedding

Last night at midnight was the first time gay couples could get married in the state of Washington. We (Matt's family) had the opportunity to be at the Thurston County Courthouse last night to witness one of the marriages. It was the most beautiful wedding. There were no flowers, no suits or tuxes even, but the couple's happiness & love for one another made up for all of that. None of that was needed. 

We do not know the couple. One of the guys is a friend of Matt's brother. But, we were in the courtroom with about 15 other people (their family & friends) to celebrate and support their marriage. It was a night I will never ever forget. The words spoken during the ceremony were beautiful. The judge (an older man) even said, "these have been the only weddings I have cried during". That is saying something. I of course cried quietly knowing what an incredible day this was for this couple. They were so in love and you could tell, just from the 20 short minutes we were in the room with them, that they are not just in love, but best friends, too. That's how I feel with Matt. It makes me so sad knowing there are so many people who are not able to marry their best friend like we were able to. Watching them seal their marriage was the most amazing thing. 

I was so proud to be sitting in that room with our family. 

One of my favorite moments may have been seeing one of the guys' parents during the ceremony and before. They looked so incredibly happy and proud of their son on his wedding day. They cried tears of joy. There seemed to be no doubt that they would ever choose to be anywhere else but right there. The way it should be on your child's wedding day. It was beautiful.

The whole thing was beautiful. 

Matt and I have so many friends who are gay and it makes me so sad for them. I hope that someday soon, gay marriage is legal in all states. I don't even like to think of it as "gay" marriage. It's just marriage. They are two people who want to spend the rest of their lives loving each other and taking care of one another. 

Here is an article that my brother in law found this morning about last night.
I love that we were there!

I am just really happy and proud that I was there last night at midnight to witness this couple's marriage. It truly was a beautiful wedding, in it's own amazing way, the most beautiful I've ever seen! 
I hope for many, many more!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Delicious New Recipes

Matt has given me free reign all week to pick what we have for dinner.
No questions asked...Oh man I have been loving it so much. And to his surprise, he has been loving our new recipes too. Of course, I found them all on Pinterest. I thought they were too good to not write about. So here you have it, 3 delicious new recipes with the links too!

We will definitely make this recipe again. We are huge fans of salmon but never make it at home. I just bought a frozen bag of salmon for $10.00 at QFC. We can make this meal 3 more time with how much salmon we got. We did not make it with green beans because Matt hates them, so we did asparagus instead. I can't wait to eat this again!

I definitely want to attempt this again. Next time I make it, I will blend it longer in the food processor and add more vegetable broth. I loved the flavor but was having a hard time with the texture. Ours turned out more like a porridge. Matt loved it and scarfed it down. I ate mine slowly as I had to get past the texture. I loved knowing how healthy it is though and that my hubby was scarfing something this healthy for us. That's all that really matters to me :) 

Oh. Em. Gee! 
This was delicious. We just had it tonight. Matt made it while I was coaching and I came in the door wanting to just jump in the pot, lol. The smell was so amazing. It tasted just as good. Again, Matt scarfed it down but also said, "We definitely need to make this again!!" Fine with me :) 

Hmmm....what to make tomorrow night??? Time to look through my pins :) 

Tomorrow is one of our last days watching Miss Avery :( 
I want to do some fun Christmas activities this weekend. I told Matt that if it's not raining I want to go to Seattle's Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition!! How fun?! 
We'll see...


Monday, December 3, 2012

Christmas Party 2012!

I had 20 kids sleep over at the studio on Saturday night.
20 K-7th graders.
All by myself...all night long. 

I was fully confident that I could do it. They're my team kids. I know them. They listen to me and are very respectful. I totally handled the whole night just fine :) It was a lot of fun (especially for them). 
At one point in the night I heard one of the girls yell, "this is the best night of my life!" This may have been around midnight...oh to be 6 again...

{cake and marshmallow pops made by one of my awesome match the studio of course!}

{One of my other families set this tree decorating up as well as decorated the whole place!}

{It was only 7:30pm when these two came up to me (ages 5 & 6)..."Miss Chelsea, we're ready for you to read us our bedtime story"....they were for real, "Girls, everyone isn't here yet...we haven't even played any games yet or opened presents.." Too cute!}

{Remember, we just got back from Disneyland} :)

We only had a few mishaps.
1. 11pm, I'm trying to get the 10 and under crowd to bed. I go to put "Elf" in. DVD player does not have any sound. I try to call Matt. He says he has no clue. I adjust all air mattresses and sleeping bags to fit around my laptop to watch it. No once did I hear anyone say, "I can't see!" (that was my goal)
...I rock. Problem solved.

2. 1:15am-ish, movie is now over and I'm exhausted. None of the kids are asleep. My plan of all my little ones falling asleep during the movie failed. How they managed to all stay awake is beyond me. (Oh wait, could have been the fact that they were all eating candy canes in bed!) 1:30pm I tell them I don't anymore talking because I'm so so so tired. Older girls are now on the other side of the room in a little huddle giggling and just being middle school girls. Oy. At this point I do remember one of my 6 year olds jumping up, chasing around balloons yelling, "I've never been up this late!!!" To which I replied, "PLEASE GO TO SLEEP!"

{I had to document...}

3. 2am, finally all the little ones are sound asleep. One of my kids was scared and insisted on sleeping with her foot and hand on me, "I just want to touch you". Fine. No big deal. 2:30am, I'm finally asleep as well and...smoke detector battery dies. Beep. Beep. Beep. Every minute it was beeping. One of my seventh graders, "Miss Chelsea! That's freaking me out!" UGH...I get the big kids to come over. We stealthily move the air mattresses, with children on them, to the sides so I can get a ladder (yes a freakin' ladder) to fix it. Done...I rock again. Back to sleep.

3. 3am, yes, just an hour later. "Miss Chelsea, Kiera is puking!" Oh shit! (No I did not say that out loud) I get up to help her, as she is indeed puking (all over the mattress and thankfully not on the little girl sleeping with her). My older girls, remember they're just 12, had already cleaned most of it up and held her hair and rubbed her back before they thought to wake me up. Apparently they had it under control. Which actually, they, they rock! I called her mom and she was there with in what felt like just 5 minutes. I didn't have to clean up a drop of puke. The kids did it. (I made them scrub their hands for a while!) I was so proud of them. At this point, I-am-exhausted.

7:15am Alex arrives and we wake the kids up. Oy. The last child left at 10am.
I went home and felt like a teenager again all day. You know that weird yucky feeling you always had all day after a sleepover. So. So Tired. I actually still am feeling it. 

But...will I do it again? Most definitely.
Especially if they had that much fun! :)

Merry Christmas my sweet sweet team kids, I love you! :)