Tomorrow is June and I can’t wait to turn the page.  The past couple of weeks we have been busy running from one activity to the next, wrapping things up for the end of the school year and marking special occasions.  The June calendar page has far less on it than the past few months!

To-do lists have been long and sleep has been short.

I was in Digby at a tourism conference on Thursday & Friday.  It was beautiful & fun.  I was interviewed on camera about how the proposed new convention centre in Halifax would be beneficial for our business.  (1/3 of rooms in May were people traveling either pre or post convention!)  With many people feeling the outlook for tourism this year is going to be bleak, it was energizing to network and share ideas.

On Friday morning, I met up with the incoming Chair of the Board and we went for a morning run from the Digby Pines to the Ferry Terminal.  There was a beautiful rainbow over the water  and the sun had just come up.  What a way to start the day!

Morning Run from the Digby Pines to the Digby - Saint John Ferry Terminal

I arrived home just in time for D’Arcy to pull some reuben sandwiches out of the oven to go with a salad he & the boys had made for a late supper. (The girls were having a sleepover with my parents!) I immediately got started on the preparations for Alex’s First Communion Dinner. He had asked for spare ribs and I was making him a cake. I also had to make some cookies for Sarah’s dance recital celebration. Her grandmother let me know that she was wondering what her cookies would look like this year.  Apparently, I unknowingly started a new “tradition” last year after her first recital.

This year's ballerina cookies, to match Sarah's costume

Olivia came home first thing in the morning while Ginna took Sarah to her dress rehearsal in full costume and hair. We took Evan to his pick-up baseball game at the park, where there weren’t enough kids, so both D’Arcy & Alex ended up playing as well. Olivia & I ran errands and every time we went back to the park to check if they were finished, Olivia wanted to play on the playground. Evan was very pleased that he got three hits and Alex got two. Hopefully that’s a good sign that this season will go better than last!

We were expecting our guests to arrive for Alex’s First Communion Dinner at 3:30, so we got home and rushed around to get ready. D’Arcy was just finishing mopping the floors when my parents arrived with Auntie Ruth. Shortly afterwards, Theresa, Jeff (Alex’s godparents) and the boys arrived. We were a little bit rushed because we were trying to eat before Alex had to be at Mass at 5:30. Just as we sat down to supper, Grandma, Grandpa & Aunt Shannon arrived. We were happy to pull up a few more places and we all had a nice meal.

At one point, Sarah told me that she was kind of “scared” of Alex having his First Communion.  I reassured her that there was nothing to be afraid of when Evan interjected, “Unless Olivia goes into anaphylaxis and starts throwing up at Mass like she did at my First Communion!”

Um, right…

Luckily that didn’t happen this time!

The food and conversation were plentiful and the kids were all well-behaved at Mass.  We came back to the house afterwards for cake, cookies and photos.  Theresa, Jeff & the boys stayed overnight and we sat around watching the hockey game & talking (& laughing!) until after midnight.

Relaxing on the deck while the ribs were on the barbeque

All the Grade 3's after their First Communion

Alex with his godparents, Theresa & Jeff

Tyler, Aidan, Alex, Sarah, Olivia, Evan, Brendan

Our family

Alex with Aunt Shannon

Alex with both sets of grandparents & Auntie Ruth

Time for cake!

Sarah sees her ballerina cookies

Alex with his first watch - a gift from Theresa & Jeff!

On Sunday, we were all up shortly after seven and had breakfast before Theresa, Jeff & the boys had to hit the road for home and we had to get Sarah ready for her recital.

She had her make-up done at home, but then went to her grandparents’ to get her costume on and her hair done.  They took her to the auditorium so that we didn’t have to get there with the other kids too early.

Getting her make-up done for her dance recital. Sarah will rarely take her glasses off (even when she sleeps!) because she sees double and everything is blurry. It is amazing how straight her glasses keep her eyes!

Our beautiful ballerina!

With Katerina, her best friend

Visiting with her godparents at intermission

On the stage!

Chloe's group at the finale. Chloe is on the far left.

I love this one - Katerina is turned around talking to Sarah during the finale!

Sarah & Chloe

When we got home, Sarah carefully arranged her flowers in a vase and commented that her dinner guests would love her flowers.  When I told her we weren’t having any dinner guests this year because of Alex’s party the night before, her face fell.  A quick phone call later with her godparents and to the pizza place, a party was born!  It’s amazing what a pink table-cloth, candles, wine glasses and flowers can do to make a party!

This year's less-fancy-but-still-special-last-minute-ballet-dinner

And of course, the leftover ballerina cookies topped off the celebration!  I love these photos as she looks so pleased to be handing them out to Martha & Stephane!

I’m exhausted.  I just hope I don’t have to make dancers with kilts for her highland dance recital in two weeks!

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Our Ballerina

June 1, 2009

I often feel relief on Mondays when the business of the weekend is over.  Today is no exception.  We had appointments, a dance rehearsal, guests, a birthday party, a family gathering & our nephew’s First Communion, preparing for a dinner here, and the highlight –  Sarah’s first Dance Recital.

She (and we!) were so excited!

Sarah has wanted to be a ballerina for as long as she’s known what a ballerina is.  My mother stood in line last summer while we were in PEI on vacation to register her in creative movement for us and  starting in September, Tuesdays became their special day.  Ginna would pick Sarah up from preschool, take her to their house for lunch (a “girl” cheese sandwich each week), spend time together in the afternoon, and then go to Sarah’s dance class before bringing her home in time for supper.

Sarah went to my parents’ house on Thursday, since I was away at the TIANS Conference, and my mother kept her until yesterday.  They went to Sarah’s dress rehearsal together on Saturday morning, and before her performance yesterday, my mother got Sarah’s hair into her ballerina bun & dressed in her costume before bringing her home to get her make-up applied.    Sarah was so excited and insisted on putting on her lipstick herself!  The child has such long eyelashes – you can really tell with mascara on!

Make-up & hair done, ready to go to her recital.  Our azelia is beautiful right now!

Make-up & hair done, ready to go to her recital. Our azelia is beautiful right now!

We weren’t allowed to take photos during the show, but we will be buying the DVD.  The three creative movement classes danced to “Circle of Life” from “The Lion King”.  They were adorable and I cried proud tears through the entire thing!  (I had the foresight to wear water-proof mascara!) After they performed, the parents went to the stage to pick them up, and when we got back to our seats Alex presented Sarah with three peach roses, one from each sibling.

Our ballerina on the stage at intermission

Our ballerina on the stage at intermission

After I took this picture, Olivia wanted to get on the stage too and threw a full-blown two-year-old tantrum (complete with throwing herself down on the floor & flailing around), saying “MY TURN!  MY TURN DANCE!”  D’Arcy ended up taking her out of the auditorium for most of the second act.

Sarah & Chloe who had danced to "My Favourite Things" from "The Sound of Music"

Sarah & Chloe who had danced to "My Favourite Things" from "The Sound of Music"

We had invited my parents & my Auntie Ruth back to our house afterwards for supper.  It was a beautiful afternoon and we took advantage to sit on the back deck for the first time this season!

A rare moment of relaxation

A rare moment of relaxation

We had great fun outside.  Evan had received some Mentos in his treat bag from the birthday party he went to on Saturday night, so convinced his father to buy a bottle of diet coke so that they could do the mentos in the pop Science experiment.

My father enlisted his ballerina’s help to plant the onions in our garden.  There is still a chance of frost at night for the next week or so, so we’ve just started planting some of the heartier veggies.   The other kids were interested, but Sarah was the one who wanted to help!

Gardening with Beanah

Gardening with Beanah

I love how she has her hand on his knee!

I love how she has her hand on his knee!

Evan, climbing on the deck

Evan, climbing on the deck

Alex found an inchworm and was pointing it out to Olivia

Alex found an inchworm and was pointing it out to Olivia

D’Arcy & I had cooked Saturday night so that I wouldn’t need to spend all my time in the kitchen when we got back.  The menu was planned around Sarah’s requests:  Ham (with a Bourbon glaze), German potato salad, broccoli with a citrus crumb topping, honeyed carrots with raisins, a corn & tomato salad with feta, and rolls I had made before the recital.  I decorated the table with a ballet theme and used the rest of the roses from her bouquet and forget-me-nots (my favourite weed flower) as centerpieces.

The centerpiece

The centerpiece

The table

The table

We had a delightful dinner.  For dessert, Evan had made lemon pudding, which we added sorbet to (Olivia just had sorbet) and D’Arcy and I had made ballerina cookies.

Dessert

Dessert

Sarah's expression as she realized what the cookies were!

Sarah's expression as she realized what the cookies were!

Sarah & Ginna

Sarah & Ginna

Olivia couldn't fight sleep any longer...

Olivia couldn't fight sleep any longer...

What a wonderful day!

There is something so special about watching your children do something they love!  I’m hopeful that this was just the first of many ballet recitals – I’ve kept the pink tulle for next year, just in case!

Busy Weekend

May 30, 2009

I got back yesterday afternoon from my night away to attend the TIANS AGM in Pictou.  I had a great time.  Every time I attend one of these meetings, I come home energized about Tourism!

I was quickly thrown back into reality and have a birthday party, our nephew’s First Communion, Sarah’s Dance Recital & a celebratory dinner here this weekend.  I have to do some baking to make sure we have safe cupcakes for Olivia at our nephew’s gathering tonight since my SIL told me she made cupcakes, but they aren’t safe.  I’m glad she let me know (this morning!) because cupcakes are one thing Olivia is going to want that the other kids have.

D’Arcy & I cleaned out our linen closet and our own clothes closet this morning, so we are slowly-but-surely getting organized after the winter.  I have a whole bag of things to send along to our great-nephew; fun stuff like a potty seat and crib sheets, some clothes that are too big for him…  We’ve thrown a few toys in too, so it’s not all boring!  D’Arcy’s parents will take it all home with them tonight after Mass and make sure they get it.

Sarah has requested ham, broccoli & carrots for dinner tomorrow night, so that takes some of the pressure off to do anything too fancy.  The boys & I are going to make cut-out ballerina cookies this afternoon to have for dessert and D’Arcy will pick up the groceries while the van is getting an alignment.

I can’t wait to see Sarah in her first dance recital – I have a feeling I had better wear waterproof mascara!!

Tourism Conference

December 5, 2008

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a member of the Board of the Provincial Tourism Industry Association.  We left after Mass on Sunday to head to the city for their annual Tourism Summit.  I was so proud to be part of the Association.  What an amazing job the staff did of planning and executing the Conference!  We enjoyed performances by Squid, an opening keynote address by Chad Hymas whose presentation was so inspirational people were still talking about it at the end of the conference.  There were also presentations by the Disney Institute and Evan Soloman, as well as amazing food, and networking opportunities.  The Conference ended with a Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony, celebrating the achievements of some of the best & brightest in the Industry.   Wow! 

The kids did great, as usual, with my parents and Olivia went the whole three days without an accident!  I think we can officially consider her trained!  We were obviously exhausted when we arrived home, but the kids were so excited to see us and to tell us all their news.  I think we’ve taken multi-tasking a bit to far, when Sarah got some post-it notes and started issuing “tickets”.  D’Arcy’s was “No sleeping at the Table!” (yes, he fell asleep while the kids were finishing – I told you we were exhausted!) and mine said “No brushing your teeth while you’re on the potty!”  Don’t all moms do that??!

Now that I’ve caught up the eight loads of laundry, it’s time to start moving into Christmas mode.  We had a dinner that was scheduled for tonight cancel, so D’Arcy & I are heading out to the Teachers’ Union Dance tonight with Martha & Stephane.  The hospital is having their annual party here tomorrow night, and Sunday the three older kids & I are going to see “The Nutcracker”.  However, this morning’s task is to start our Christmas Cards – usually my favorite task…  I’m doing a separate card this year for family & friends or for guests.  Must go get at it!

Sarah’s big day

September 9, 2008

Today is the day that Sarah has been waiting for all summer- her first day of preschool and her first day of dance class!! She was up bright & early and kept asking what time she would get to go and see Ms. Ellen. We took some photos to stall for time since the boys go to school at 8:25 and she didn’t have to be to preschool until 9:00. I actually think her first day of school photos turned out better than the boys did!

We stopped by to get her photo taken with cousin Neil who is also in her class. They are so adorable together!!

When we got to the school and the doors opened, Sarah ran in without even saying good-bye and started to play. I had to actually go and ask her for a hug. There were no tears from either of us. (I shouldn’t be surprised – none of our kids were reluctant to go to school, although I had a harder time leaving Evan – #1!!) I was out of there by 9:05 and she didn’t even seem to notice!

My mother took her for the afternoon and took her to her first dance lesson which starts just as the boys are getting out of school. As long as she has been talking, Sarah has been saying that she wants to be “a dancer on the stage”. She was thrilled to find out that her friend Kiera from Library, who was also at Preschool, is also in her class!

Sarah & Kiera before dance class

Sarah & Kiera before dance class

My mother was able to take this photo through the door to their dance studio while class was in session:

She came home so excited and told me that she was a “good listener”! I have a feeling she’s going to be a great student – something we value very highly in this house!! She showed me some of her new moves before she had to take her leotard off and give it to her grandmother to mend – apparently she & Kiera were hiding in the lockers and Sarah got caught on the hooks, getting two holes in her new leotard!! Thank goodness for grandmothers who mend!!

The boys were so excited to hear about her day and her only disappointment was that she didn’t get to go to the “big school”. I explained that she’d be going there when she’s five; let’s get through three first…