Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Ringmaster proud, ringmaster LOUD

The circus was, as predicted, first class entertainment. My grandmother and I went Monday morning to the dress rehearsal, and I was amazed. All of the kids did so well, and Abby's part was way bigger than we even realized. Last night, we packed into the cafeteria (Abby had 16 people there!) to watch the show. It was so fantastically cute, I cannot even describe it. Abby was a star. We taped the whole thing, and I'm going to try to get Matt to put it on YouTube--you know, for all the people I know who have nothing better to do than watch a 30 minute circus of 5-year olds. I gotta tell you, though, it is something to behold.

Here are some pictures!

Dress rehearsal--she is such a poser!

The kids waiting for their entrance at the rehearsal.

Checking out her makeup--she LOVED it!

Madam Ringmaster:

Waiting to start the show:

For each act, Abby would introduce them, and then the kids all sang a song while that act "performed." First up, though, they sang the ringmaster song and Abby got to strut around and crack her whip. The words are: "Top hat! Cracking whip! Black vest! Long black coat! Ringmaster proud! Ringmaster LOUD! Calling the acts of the show!" And trust me, the exclamation marks are not an exaggeration. It's a very enthusiastic song. Here she is doing her thing:

Abby's class after the show. I mean, seriously, how much cuter could kids BE?
Abby's daddy gave her flowers after her performance. I know, he's awesome.
A couple of weeks ago, Abby decided she needed to learn how to do a headstand. What the child wants to learn, she learns. This was after the circus:
This last picture has nothing to do with the circus, but I like it and it's my blog.

Friday, April 25, 2008

The circus is coming

This coming Monday, Abby will be in her first ever real school play. Every year, the pre-K classes at her school put on circuses (circi?). For Abby's circus, she was selected to be--what else?--the ringmaster. It's perfect for her, because that child is bossy personified (can't think where she got it from). She has diligently practiced her lines every night, and is ready to show off. She has a great costume, top hat, tails and all.

I can't wait to see her and I know she'll do a great job, but I worry that this is setting a precedent that will cause some disappointment later in life. To get the lead role in the first production she's ever been is dangerous. She has grown very used to the spotlight and likes it a LOT. So what will happen the first time she's in a production and she has a bit part? It's bound to happen--she'll play the Thanksgiving turkey or a tree or the back half of a horse or something. She'll be crushed! Ah well, nothing we can do about it now. We might as well just enjoy this while we can, and worry about helping her be satisfied with being a side dish or scenery when it happens.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

It's a start

Life is clicking along nicely now that the drama and trauma of quitting my job has settled a bit. We have a lot coming up in the next couple of weeks, but right now we're celebrating a huge milestone for our younger offspring. To put it in his words, Ethan went pee pee in the potty!

Potty training Abby was a fairly painless, though lengthy, process. Her daycare did the lion's share of the work. Plus she's a girl so the procedure's a cut and dry one. But I have been dreading this stage with Ethan since we knew he was going to be a boy. I have no idea how to tackle it! For the last couple of months, we have been excitedly talking about the potty, hoping to incite interest. He's more than happy to talk about everyone else going, but when we mention his participation, we always get a flat "No." Finally, Matt decided to try a training potty. Genius! Ethan LOVES it. He hangs out there all the time. And he has actually used it for its intended purpose--one time, but whatever! We'll take our victories where we can find them. And yes, maybe he has peed on the bathroom floor too, but as my friend Marla pointed out, at least he got the right room.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Where are you?

I am more than a little miffed here. I make the biggest announcement I have ever made on my blog, and I don't get any comments? Not a SINGLE person that reads my blog has anything to say about me quitting my job?

No "WOW!"
No "you go, girl!"
No "Have you lost your MIND?"

I know I have been a little light on blogging lately, so maybe this is your way of punishing me, but come ON! A girl could use some support here!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

It's the end of the world...

...as I know it, anyway. I quit my job yesterday.


I know, that was kind of my reaction too. It's true, though. After spending more than 7 years working for the Walton College at my beloved alma mater, I have announced my departure, effective at the end of August.

I figure that most people who are reading this have already heard this news, but I'll give a brief rundown of the story for those who haven't. First, to answer the question everyone immediately asks when they hear that I'm quitting, NO--I'm not pregnant. It's not nearly as dramatic as all that. In fact, it's actually kind of hard to explain. I've never let that stop me, though!

Several months ago, Matt and I became increasingly aware of how thinly stretched our lives are. We struggle constantly to balance our work lives with our responsibilities to our family. Now that Abby is old enough to be involved in different activites and need different things from her parents, it's a challenge to make sure we do it right. Ethan is right on her heels. The rare times that we are all home together, we face a mountain of housework and "family maintenance" (school notes, appointment scheduling, clean clothes) that keep us from being able to do simple things like read to the kids or even eat dinner at the same time.

Once we recognized the problem, we did the only thing we believe we could do--we prayed. We prayed and prayed and prayed, and asked God to show us a very specific path if He meant for us to make a big life change. Well, He might as well have walked us through a football stadium it was so clear. Everything, and I mean everything, has pointed towards me leaving my job to make my family my main focus. And so yesterday I took my supportive, wonderful boss Karen, who has become a good friend and mentor, to lunch to tell her that I'm leaving the only real job I've ever had. No stress there.

Karen and the rest of my co-workers have been wonderful. I could not have asked for a more uplifting mix of sadness at my departure and support and joy for my future. I'm glad that I still have a few months to spend with these friends.

I have been so caught up in announcing my decision to the world that I haven't let my mind wander much past August. My life is going to be completely different. Suzy Homemaker I am NOT. But now, I have to figure out a way to at least channel her every once in a while. It's a challenge I'm up for. It's hard to be anything but excited about a change this big since I feel certain that I am following God's plan for my life and it means getting to spend more time with my children. I guess it really is the end of the world as I know it, but I feel fine.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Holding pattern

Slacking again, I know. I'm lucky that I've had time to take a shower lately, though, much less write a blog entry. It's registration right now at work, Abby has had a total of FIVE birthday parties the last two Saturdays (that deserves its own post later), I have a wedding next weekend and am throwing a baby shower this weekend (and attending another), the list goes on and on.

I have plenty to write about, but it's going to have to wait just a wee bit longer until I have a little more time. So, my faithful readers, check back soon and prepare to be delighted!