Sunday, March 29, 2009

What a Week!

March 29, 2009

I spent much of this week trying to be two or three places at once. There was a flurry of activity in the household--everything seemed to hit all at once--but despite the hectic nature, we thrived on the energy and had a fabulous week.

Danielle ended drama this week, and started softball. That little overlap provided us our first schedule conflict of the week. On Monday, she had a blocking rehearsal for the play from 4:30-6:00, and her first practice for softball with her new coach from 5-6. (She actually had a practice last week, but due to numbers, that team was collapsed redistributed to other existing teams.) I thought that perhaps she could attend half of each, but she was told she needed to stay for the duration of the rehearsal. I went to the ten-year old softball practice without a ten-year old, just so I could meet the coach and let her know why Danielle was unable to attend.

Tuesday's schedule unexpectedly got a little lighter when we discovered that Brianna didn't quite have everything she needed to be able to take her driver's permit exam--apparently you have to already be enrolled in and have a signature from the driver's trainer instructor--so we postponed that event for a couple of weeks. However, we still had Danielle's dress rehearsal and a Dance Rep audition for Brianna. In addition, as soon as I got done shuttling between activities, I had to get home and pack for my trip to Sacramento.

Wednesday and Thursday were relatively mellow days for me, since I was focused on only my task at hand--my annual work on the Item Review Committee for the high school exit exam. (This is an annual trek I make that really renews in me a sense of competency and knowledge which I truly believe helps to make me a better teacher for my students.) Meanwhile, back at home the kids' dad had quite a task trying to juggle all the places they needed to be. Danielle had softball practice, Bree had play auditions and youth group, and Nicholas and Danielle both had Chess Club and Awanas on Wednesday. On Thursday, Danielle also had her first night performance of the play.

Although I love doing the work I do in Sacramento, I was really upset that I was going to miss Danielle's play. Unfortunately, her dad also was not going to be attending. Her step-dad, though, was amazing. Despite the fact that he's been working incredibly long hours these past few weeks, he didn't want Danielle to have no one in the audience, so he was a surprise attendee in the audience. He said that when Danielle saw him in the audience, she almost forgot herself and went to give him a hug. She stopped herself, but still gave him a big smile. How adorable is that? Afterwards she did come find him to give him a big hug, and he loved that he was able to show her that kind of support.

Friday and Saturday were a little bit of a blur. Often when I do this work in Sacramento, we finish up a bit early on the last day of the workshop. That didn't happen this time. I knew I wanted to make sure I made it back in time to see Danielle's six o'clock final performance of the play, but we didn't wrap up until 3:00. Knowing that I had a three hour drive ahead of me, I was praying that a traffic jam didn't cause me to miss it. Luckily, my sister Lisa had come into town late Thursday night with her girls, so she was able to get there a little early to save me a seat. Bill dropped off the Bree and Nicholas to be stay with her until I got there, too. I didn't even have time to stop at home--I drove straight to the auditorium and literally walked in the door just as the principal was beginning her opening remarks. I didn't miss a thing! The play was a fifties-style Red Robin Hood musical, and it was a great deal of fun. It was wonderful for all of us to be able to see the end result of all the hard work she's put in for the past few months.

After the hugs and kisses and pictures, I had to whisk Danielle off to a sleepover birthday party, and the rest of us headed to a late family dinner night. It was Doug's dinner choice, but he had the task of finding something that Lisa and the kids would like too. We ended up at Yukon Jack's, which is always a big hit with our family. We came home and stayed up way too late letting the kids play while Lisa and I chatted until the early hours of the morning.

Saturday we all headed out to Danielle's first softball game at 11:30. She got some good fielding in out in center field, and actually made some contact with the ball in her at-bat. Doug, Nicholas, and I stayed for the whole game, and our team, the Firecrackers, fared well against their opponents. Danielle wants to get a little batting practice in before the next game; she's hoping to get on base next time.

Lisa and the girls were also able to stay for most of the game, but they left a little early to attend a gathering to honor the memory of the mother of a long time friend of ours, Brady. As soon as the game was over, we changed and headed over there as well. It was an informal gathering at Brady's brother's home, and we reminisced and caught up with each other while the kids played in the yard. I have always felt that a gathering of friends and family to remind ourselves of the bonds we have created is a wonderful way to honor the memories of loved ones, and this was certainly that.

Finally, we came home and napped for a bit, and then decided dinner at Me N Ed's was in order. We try to get at least one visit in whenever Lisa and the girls come. It holds a nostalgic throw-back to our high school days for us, and now it's become a tradition for our kids as well. We get pizza and kick back, and the kids throw quarters in the jukebox and sing and dance to their hearts' content. Bill Murray saw our invitation to join us, so he and his kids also stopped by to add to the party. The evening at home was a quiet one (as quiet as can be with that many children), and ultimately everyone settled in to a late night viewing of "Twilight" before bedtime.

This morning, after the hustle and bustle of packing and finding misplaced items, and of course hugging and kissing, we sent Lisa and the girls back on their way home with the promise that we'd see them again soon when we visit at Easter. I also packed up my kids and took them over to their dad's house for a couple of days. I got home to just Doug, and he and I cuddled up on the couch together, house to ourselves for the first time in many days. Sigh...

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