Friday, May 25, 2018

Team Brazil, Champions!

I’ve lost track of how many years Danny was part of Team Brazil in the YMCA league. And I’ve also lost count of how many times they came this/close to making it to the championship. Turns out it was worth the wait.

Guided by Coach Bobby, the most encouragingly passionate coach I’ve yet to encounter, the boys played hard all season - lots of ups and downs - and, in the end, won it all (against their arch rival, too). Given that this was the final year for Danny, Coach Bobby and most of the other players, it was a marvelous send-off!

Danny’s Dozen

Danny’s birthday fell on his least favorite day of the week this year: Tuesday. Fortunately, we managed to redeem it for him. It was a simple but perfect day for our guy, starting with specialty donuts, a soccer play date after school with his BFF Luke, burgers and an Arsenal cake to finish the day. He was a happy camper.

We made our annual pilgrimage to Fogo de Chao the following weekend, and will close out the celebration on June 24 by attending our first Atlanta United game. Did we mention he’s really into soccer? 

Happy birthday, Dan-o!! We love you and hope you always stay passionate about what you love.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

An Honorable - and Honored - Ninth Grade Year

For the third year in a row, we received the email from Marist announcing that Clare was going to be honored with an academic award. As always, we weren’t sure which award she was going to be given. She has had a stellar year, so we felt like it could be anything. 

When she was announced as the recipient of the Theology award, my initial reaction was “Oh, that’s nice.” But then when I read what her teachers wrote in her book (every award is a book pertinent to the subject), I was filled with more pride than I thought was possible.

We love you, Clare, and we are so inspired by you.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

CKS Spring Break 2018

Once again, we divided and conquered our spring breaks this year. Tim took Clare down to Sarasota for a few days on her break in March (which I may or may not get to blog about, given my lack of photos), and then Danny, Laura and I drove down the day after Easter. It's not necessarily ideal to vacation separately, but I think we all took advantage of what we had. And we were certainly grateful to Donna and Larry for being such willing hosts for it all.
Flat Stanley was a featured component of our adventures, as you can see. I'm pleased to say that while it wasn't *always* the case, Danny and Laura chose to be companions more often than not.

We did many of the classic things we love about Sarasota, staying mostly local with one day trip to the fabulous zoo in Tampa. The weather was gorgeous, and we soaked up the pool and the beach most of all. Sunset on Siesta Key never disappoints, nor did anything else!

Monday, April 2, 2018

An Excellent Easter

We celebrated another beautiful Easter on a picture-perfect day. It was a leisurely day, culminating in mass in the evening at CTK and then a home-cooked feast.

Blessed beyond measure on this most glorious of days!

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Fantastic Fifteen

Another birthday has come and come for Clare, and if 14 was fabulous, 15 is looking to be fantastic! I know we still have a long stretch ahead of us, but thus far I am a big fan of the teen years - at least as far as this girl goes.
Once again, she opted to celebrate with her friends at dinner, and this year she chose a tapas feast at Eclipse di Luna. This proved to be an extremely fun venue, and the girls all loved the way "the food just kept coming!" Everyone had a chance to order something they liked or were interested in, and I'm pretty sure no one left hungry (particularly since we concluded with ice cream cake).
This group of girls was fun (they opted to dance to the live music), thoughtful, sweet and polite. Everything we could have asked for, and so much of what we see in our incredible firstborn.
We did our traditional family dinner and homemade cake the following weekend, and I love that she chose a Harry Potter theme for her cake. May her love of books continue well into the next phase of her life.
Happy, happy birthday, Clare!

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Sadie Hawkins 2018

One day, Clare announced to me that she planned to ask someone to the Sadie Hawkins dance. I'll admit I was surprised, but impressed - that's a bit intimating, after all. Given that "asks" have developed into a bit of a production among high schoolers these days, she had to come up with a strategy. Fortunately, her friendship and inside jokes with her intended made that easier: She went with a Harry Potter theme, crafting a variation on the Marauders Map (see above).
Over the next few weeks, Clare was very good-natured about our questions - and comments - about "Ben from biology," and of course we were looking forward to meeting him. Her friend Eva's parents kindly hosted a picture party (another development that has evolved significantly since my days at high school dances), so it was a nice opportunity for the parents to mingle while the kids enjoyed a lovely dinner. And took lots and lots of pictures.

It really seemed to be a good group of kids who enjoyed each other's company. Given that these are 9th graders, they all relied on parents for transportation, so we departed en masse from the picture party to the dance - fortunately Marist was only a couple of miles away.

Clare clearly had a great time, but not surprisingly, the highlight was meeting up with Abby after the dance and heading to The Cheesecake Factory for a debrief, just as they did after Homecoming. Sounds like this is a non-negotiable tradition from now on - and an event I can fully support!

These girls are definitely growing up, and I love that they continue to do so together.