May 29, 2015

Friday Favorites: Noelle's First Dress Rehearsal!


Linking up with my faves, Erika, Andrea, and Narci for Friday Favorites, and my favorite this week is obviously Noelle's dress rehearsal!!

It's official. I have a Larkin Dancer. ;)  Noelle had her first dress rehearsal last night at Northwestern. The world's shiest little girl went on stage and performed twice! Yes, this will be even more WOW on Sunday when it's the real recital, but last night was her first time on stage, so it counts for something!

 
On the way there. Pre-tears. All smiles.

Getting there this time was a breeze. She had meltdown after meltdown at pictures when I had to curl her hair and do her makeup, but this time she happily let me do everything. She actually enjoyed getting her hair done and asked me to make her look like a princess. She instructed me though, "No eye makeup mama. I don't like stuff on my eyes. Just pink on my cheeks. And gloss. That's it." She was so excited on the way there and kept saying, "I'm going to dance on the stage, like Hello Kitty!"

Daddy with his girls.

Starting to get nervous. Apprehension written all over her face, haha.

We got there and the momentum kept going. She was excited to see her cousin Vivi, and she watched Vivi from backstage. She was excited....and then things went south. Fast. 

Noelle and Vivi.

I went to drop her off at her dressing room - wrong move. I should have clearly had her go back with someone else! I brought her, and then she freaked out when I said I was leaving. Noelle grabbed me (death grip) and begged "Mama. Don't leave me. I want you. Don't go. Don't go. Pleeease mama. PLEASE!!!" Broke my heart. So I stayed in the dressing room for a little bit and sat with her before her first number. She and her little friend Sophia were both asking me repeatedly what was going on, and Sophia asked me where her mommy was. Clearly the little ones were nervous. I left briefly, like seriously for 5 minutes to go give Joey the diaper bag in case he needed it for Halle, and when I returned I found Noelle in tears. She told me she couldn't find me and was scared. Awww. :'(

Noelle and Sophia.

Charlotte, Noelle, and Sophia.

Coloring with Charlotte...when I snuck away. Thought all was okay until I came back to tears. Poor baby!!

I stayed with her while she sat in my lap and buried her face in my chest. Then it was time. Time for Noelle's class to line up and get ready to hit the stage. This was horrible!! Noelle clutched onto me for dear life and begged me again not to leave her. She also told me she was scared and that she didn't want to dance. My heart felt like it was breaking when I handed her over to Molly and told her I had to leave. She was BAWLING. I felt SO bad!!!

In line before going on stage.

Then you want to know what happened?? I found my seat and watched her not only go on stage for her tap number, but she was SINGING along. She totally did her dance, and sang. I could tell she was completely confused and trying to figure out what was going on because she was looking all over the place, but she did it!!! Then Joey and I stayed away from the dressing room until her next dance, her ballet, and she went out there and ROCKED it. She was even SMILING. She danced, sang, did her arabesque and plies with no problem. We couldn't have been more proud!!

With Charlotte.

A horrible camera phone video of the ballet. She's the one to the right (our right) of the girl in the hot pink case (her friend Sophia).

I found her afterwards with Grandma Shel, who told me that she was a hot mess before her first number, and was searching all over for Michele while she dancing, but then for the second number Michele stood right off the stage by her so that she could watch her the whole time and that's why she was okay! She also ran off the stage and said, "I did it Shel!! I did it! I danced!" And gave her a huge hug. She was so proud of herself!


She got a "trophy" for her first recital, and was SO excited. She told just about everyone that she was going to put it in her room. Which she did. It's on her nightstand next to her bed now. She told me, "I was sad mama. I was sad because I wanted you. But then I danced! I did it mama. I danced!" She was beaming with pride. Needless to say, she got Skittles and a new My Little Pony, lol. 


She has not stopped talking about it since it happened last night. She keeps saying, "I did it! I danced! I do it again! I danced on stage!" She also told us that she couldn't find us when she was on stage, lol. "I didn't see you mama. I didn't see daddy. I didn't see baby Halle. I just see other people mama." Haha. I love this booger so much.

My angel.

 

She says now that she's ready. She understands that rehearsal was a practice and that she's going on stage again on Sunday and we know she will do even better on Sunday night. Her cousins Ellie and Ava will be there backstage to help her, as well as Grandpa Joe being backstage. He is the MC for the recital each year, and it helped Vivi a lot when she was in her first recital to have Grandpa hold her before her numbers. We know Noelle will get the same treatment. We cannot wait for Sunday!!

May 27, 2015

What's Up Wednesday: May 2015



Linking up with some of my faves, MelSheaffer, and Shay, for What's Up Wednesday! On the last Wednesday of the month we fill everyone in on our lives currently...just in case anyone cares, besides my mom, lol!


What we're eating this week...
Oh I wish I had some awesome recipes to share. Alas, I do not. What are we eating? Some Trader Joe's frozen dinners, lol. But they are our favorite easy meals!! We are ALWAYS dining on their mandarin orange chicken, their shittake mushroom and green bean chicken (this one is new and not always in stock - when it is - I purchase almost all of them, sorry people), and their spicy beef and broccoli. We also are huge fans of their gluten free chocolate cupcakes! I'm excited because they have some NEW stuff there this week that we are definitely going to pick up and try.

 
This looks so yummy. Picking this up asap!
Joey won't eat this...but I will!
Our current family favorite.

What I'm reminiscing about...
When my babies were small. Noelle is 3.5 years old now, and I am sad, sad, sad. Sure, I'm also happy because she's becoming a smart little sass pants, with awesome dance moves and beautiful hair....but I keep on looking at pictures of her from when she was little and want to cry!! My first little baby is half a year away from turning 4. That's like adult for babies. Boo hoooo, I'm totally reminiscing.

Can you believe this is NOELLE!?!

What I'm loving...
The library. I always have loved the library but lately it's been even more special. Mainly because Noelle also loves to read. So it's been super fun to go to the library with her, read a gazillion books, and then pick out new ones each week. I also think it's so amazing that the library has new movies for rent for .50 cents a day. I mean that's cheaper than Red Box! And less of a hassle too! You go there, you check it out by yourself, done! Love it. Plus we live so close so we can just bike or walk there. Sometimes we go 2-4 times a week. Yeah. I know, that's a lot. Joey makes fun of me, but Noelle and I just love it.

 
Story time.


What we've been up to...
So much family time. So much friend time. So much fun. More here.

What I'm dreading...
My physics class. This is my last class before I can student teach and get licensed and it's just kicking my butt. Like, seriously, whooping my assets. This is the hardest class I've been in. I read a chapter and seriously it's like I absorbed absolutely nothing. I'm currently on lesson 13, out of 34. God help me.

What I'm working on...
Just enjoying life and practicing sabbath more. I'm seriously constantly on the go and busy, and I've realized how burnt out I make myself. I'm making a conscious effort to just relax, enjoy life, breathe, spend more time actually playing with the kids instead of just taking care of them, and letting more things go. Life is much too short to worry so much about the dishes. I've been trying to carve out more time in my week for "me" time as well. I've been making sure to get out more on my own for runs in the evening (my fave). It's my favorite way to spend my time alone, because I can run from life. I run from problems, bills, physics, kids, and just concentrate on my breathing. It's also my pray time. I find that when I'm alone and just hitting pavement is when I pray best. No distractions!

What I'm excited about...
Noelle's first ever recital this Sunday!!! Eeeeek!! Will she dance? Will she stand and stare? Will she cry? Will she steal the show? LOL. Cannot wait!!!! Her dress rehearsal is tonight, I can't wait to share.

Pictures from dance during her FIRST week! 

What I'm watching/reading...
I never have time for mom TV. I seriously watch Disney and Nick Jr. like it's my job. (Well, I guess it kind of is...) I'm one of those sad individuals who have never watched The Bachelor, Housewives, Kardashians...anything. Maybe it's better this way, lol. I've been so lame and out of the loop with TV. The last thing I watched on TV was Glee you guys. And I'm afraid to say I only got to Season 3. I'm also way behind on my reading. The last book I started was Love, Rosie...and I got about 70% through it before I went on a reading hiatus. That was like, 5 months ago. LOL. I was intrigued to read it because a movie of the book was made, and it looks so cute. I love to read books before I see the movies, so that's how I discovered Love, Rosie. Hopefully I can get back to reading after my darn physics class.



What I'm listening to...
Taylor Swift's 1989 album. All day. Every day. Pretty much. I have been hinting like MAD to Joey that I want to go to her concert in September. Not only is she coming on my birthday weekend, but it's my 30th!! This means something. This means I need to Shake it Off. It's fate.

T. Swifty - my spirit animal.

What I'm wearing...
I just got myself some new items for Mother's Day and am excited to work them...


White skinny denims! (Forever 21)

Denim vest! (Old Navy)

Colored studs! (Old Navy)

My new swimsuit for this summer! (Victoria's Secret) 
(Time for some squats!!!)


What I'm doing this weekend...
DANCE RECITAL DANCE RECITAL DANCE RECITAL!!!

What I'm looking forward to next month...
Nice weather and for summer to finally arrive! More time at the park and pool much needed!

 



Hope everyone has been having a good month...can't believe it's almost over!! Here's to June!

May 26, 2015

Memorial Weekend Recap

We had the best long weekend. Honestly, the best. So good that I didn't even bust out my camera (all that much) because I was trying to live in the moment and not through the (crappy camera phone) lens. First off, I was lucky enough to have Friday-Monday off from daycare, so that was 4, yes 4 days off!! Woo hoo! I'm not going to lie, usually Joey and I are VERY, VERY lazy when we have time off and we like to do, well pretty much nothing. We get so tired with every day life that we just want to stay in and relax. However, we had tons of plans for the weekend - and it turns out there's STUFF and PEOPLE out there, and it's FUN!

Friday started off great because my awesome friend Hilary took Noelle for the morning so I could be productive! What a luxury that was! While Halle napped, I power cleaned, then when she got up we had ourselves a little mama and me Target and lunch date. It was so nice and relaxing to be with just one kiddo - especially Halle, who doesn't get tons of one on one time.

  
My little lunch date! <3

  
 

Then later that evening we had a dinner date with the family I nannied for prior to Halle, and we had so much fun. We grilled steaks, had some yummy pasta salad, tested out some new beers, and the kids ran wild playing around the house and yard. It was a beautiful evening, and we ended the night with dancing and running around to music. It was amazing to spend time with another family we love, and to see the kids continue their relationship right where they left off. We haven't seen them since Christmas, but you would have never known. The kids are like cousins, more than friends. They have a very special bond.





I wish I got more pictures of the kids together but my goodness, they were BUSY. I couldn't get one decent picture of the kids together without someone running off!

Saturday was our more chill day. Joey and I spent a lot of the day slowly working on the house, with lots of little breaks to play with the girls. No one got out of their pajamas this day, and we feasted on a horribly unhealthy McDonald's breakfast and Starbucks. We continued our holiday with Dairy Queen. Lol. Can you tell our family likes to eat!?! Another great day in the books.

 
We have Paw Patrol problems, lol.

 
Her cuteness is too much.


 Baking time with mama! We are always baking - this house is like a sauna, lol.

Cookies and Cream cupcakes!


Sunday, Noelle and I went to church with Hilary and Myla and checked out their church! I really enjoyed the wonderful music the best, and Noelle had the time of her life with Myla - as usual.

Off to church we go!

This was another fun packed day, as Myla came over to play for a little while, and then after nap we went to hang out with some new friends that we had made on a total whim. {Backstory: We had made it a habit of going out to eat at a particular restaurant every Wednesday night after dance class. We met a server that we just loved. We started requesting to be seated in her section every time. We started to talk more and more with her and found out that she also had kids that were the same age as ours. Well, last week was Noelle's last week of dance for the year, so we were afraid that we wouldn't be seeing our favorite server any longer. I then did something I never do, but I asked the server if she wanted to hang out with us and gave her our number! Totally out of character, but she contacted us over the weekend and we all went over to their house!} It was a blast. Papa Murphy's and wine, and lots and lots of playing with MagiClips and dancing to Taylor Swift. Yay to new friendships! Joey and her husband Dan got along famously, and Melissa (her name) and I found out we have tons in common! We seriously felt a great connection when we met, and we both had the same feelings about wanting to ask the other to hang out, but was afraid it was weird. Haha! I'm glad I jumped for it and threw it out there! Melissa and I already feel like old friends. :)

 
Deep Halle thoughts: "What is this stuff my parents are always drinking?!" And, "Why do they continue to put me in this ridic garb?"

Monday we went over to our friends the Pounds house for breakfast. Another super fun family event. The kids played, we chatted, and we had a great time just being ourselves. No one got dressed, and all our kids hung out in their pajamas. We (the moms) each brought something to share, and we  all dined on pancakes, eggs, and bacon. We spent the rest of the day napping as a family, and then Joey and the girls went over to his brother's house for dinner so I could have some time to myself to clean and do homework.


Finishing the weekend off with books with daddy!


Overall, what a fantastic weekend. But of course, we cannot forget what Memorial Day is all about. There is always a reason for the holidays we are given, and this is a very important one. It's a day to remember every fallen soldier who has sacrificed and risked their lives in order for us to live and enjoy ours. God Bless their surviving families.

Hope everyone had an awesome weekend as we did!!
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