Friday, November 3, 2017

Happy Halloween!

Halloween has never felt like such a blur before! But with both kids in school, having parties, a parade AND the main event of trick or treating that night, it was a VERY full day!

Cassidy was excited to dress up as Belle in a REAL Belle dress. Thank you Beema, for Cassidy's REAL Belle dress. It was absolute perfection!

The dress went on first thing in the morning and didn't come off all day.

First up was the preschool class party. No duplicate costumes and a whole lot of cuteness!

Cassidy "talked to" me on the way to school as she knew I was coming in for the party and she instructed me "not to sing, not to dance, not to clap" at song time. What?! I'm already embarassing you, kid? When song time came, I stood there and chatted with some other moms. Cassidy took that moment to REMIND ME in front of the whole class that I was not to sing or clap or dance. We discussed that later. #TooFarGirly

Overall, it was so fun to see Cassidy in her school routine! She's very obedient and listens to directions well!

She loves projects! A LOT!

And has been talking about this doll house for several weeks. She showed it to me before I left!

After a couple hour break from fun, we went over to Troy's school, brought him his costume and watched him in the Storybook Parade outside his school. Part of me leading up to this event was like "WHY do we have another thing to add to the Halloween frenzy!?" And then once it actually began, I melted into a pile of Mommy and fell in love with my kid and this town even more. Sigh. Such is life. 

Afterwards, we returned to the classroom for Troy's class party. Cass, as always, was delighted to be included in the snack and crafts.

Fast forward a couple of hours and through my Body Pump class, and we were back home to trick or treat. We had this giraffe head passed along to us from my brother and well, let's just say it added a whole new layer of fun to Halloween AKA Mike's new favorite holiday.

We trick or treated around the neighborhood with neighbor Josh before Troy met up with friends Nick and Cal. 

Not knowing what was happening back at our house, we arrived to this creepy scene. Giraffe on porch with candy. Poor kids of the neighborhood LOL. I couldn't stop laughing.

Troy wrote this during a writing exercise on Halloween at school. "I like my Halloween costume. I will wear a T Rex costume. It is scary."

And he is journaling on his own quite a bit before bed these days, too. This is what he wrote while I put Cass to bed that night. "Today I got candy. LOTS of it. It was Halloween."

First Fire

The plan was to have a fire OUTSIDE over the weekend. But, alas, it was practically arctic out there. So we opted for an inside fire instead. I LOVE our fireplace. And I predict it will get lots of use this year :) 

Monday, October 30, 2017

Troy is Baptized

Troy has been asking to be baptized for about two years now. Every time it comes up at church, he asks when he can get baptized. We kept waiting a little bit to make sure he was old enough to really understand it, and when it came up this fall, we realized he absolutely was wanting to do it for the right reasons. So proud of this guy and the life he lives for Jesus!

He wasn't phased at all by sharing his testimony in front of 1000+ people. Here he is:

He chose our friend and pastor, Leah (who oversaw the Mahomet Vineyard the last couple years before we moved back to Urbana) and Daddy to baptize him. Cassidy and I, Gramma and Grampa and several other friends including our neighbors Bonnie, Jack and Haken joined us, too. 

Video from the Vineyard is below. Look for Troy's testimony around the 4:00 mark and baptism around 11:45.

Afterwards, we went out to Cracker Barrel. Troy's choice. Because "they have toys, they have games while you wait, and there's something for EVERYONE!" Troy said. 

And then we enjoyed a few hours back at the house with Gramma and Grampa afterwards!

Haunted Hayrack Ride

Mike asked earlier this fall how long until he and Troy could go to a haunted house. I had no idea, but I said I wished we had something like the "haunted forest" we had near our home in Chicago growing up. I remembered it being a little scary, but not too scary for this scaredy-cat (who never went to a "real" haunted house.... haunts just aren't my thing!)

Then, I fell upon this haunted hayrack ride at a campsite fifteen minutes outside of Mahomet! It sounded like a good fit for my boys so off they went on a freezing cold night for October! It got a two thumbs up from Troy as he said, "I didn't pee my pants mom!" Well thank goodness.

Parent Teacher Conferences

Now over two months into the school year, we had our first parent teacher conference of first grade. The 20 minute session included Troy's teacher, Mrs. Snow, just gushing over how much she loves having him in her class. Not sure when I'll go to a parent teacher conference that doesn't make my eyes well up with tears as I listen to what the teacher says about my child :)

One of the things she showed us was this project. A picture of Troy on the school playground (that really captures his personality well), his self portrait of himself (he looks like a superhero to me!) and two short sentences. The second was supposed to be about one thing he likes. He wrote his sister. #ComeOn #MommyMelt

Preschool Photo

Cassidy's preschool photo came home and I'm in love with it!

Goodbye, Transform

When I became a group fitness instructor two years ago, I had exactly no plan at all for what I would do with the certification *if* I actually passed (which I lacked confidence in believing actually was going to happen). When I received my Body Pump certification in my email inbox, it was time to figure out a plan! We had just moved out to Mahomet and I knew we had a studio in town that offered Body Pump, so I reached out to the owner and introduced myself. She warmly invited me in to team teach with her and offered me a spot on her schedule alternating with another new instructor (also named Aimee).

Before long, there was an opening in the early morning schedule and, despite my reservations on how I would work it logistically, I began teaching that class once a week. I *fell in love* with early morning classes at Transform, and this group of women is truly the best. God always provided a sub for me when I wasn't able to make it due to Mike traveling and I was so blessed by my time with the members and other instructors at Transform. Not only that, but that simple email to the studio owner was the beginning of a special friendship I cherish now just two years later.

My time at Transform was an absolute blessing. It's where I grew in my confidence as an instructor. And even though the studio is closed now, I know that we'll continue to see the impact of what happened at that studio in my own life and the lives of many others!

Below, a huddle with the early morning crew following my last regular Body Pump class with them in the final week of the studio.

Me, opening the studio at 5am on the day of my last class.

I had the pleasure of introducing this group to my new favorite workout, POUND, two weeks before closing. They packed the place and I had so much fun with them.

The final workout of the studio was a mash-up with several instructors on a Saturday morning. Followed by mimosas. Because #yes. I will miss this group so!