I love, LOVE, the tradition of decorating a Christmas tree.  If you stop to think of it, it’s kind of a strange tradition… I don’t even let my kids bring sticks into the house on a normal basis, but every December, we head out, chop down an entire tree and bring it into our living room.  We then string it with lights and hang tons of sentimental  and breakable decorations on it. 

None the less, I love it.  And as soon as Thanksgiving is over, I am chomping at the bit to go cut down our tree and bring it home. 

This year’s tree cutting was a momentous one. 

2012… the year our oldest son chopped the tree down himself

Now for years, Scott’s let him “help”… some years he’d come with his own plastic saw to cut with Daddy… as he got older Scott let him hold the real saw and take a few strokes at it.

This year, he told my son, he thought he was ready to do it himself.

I think Scott did one or two strokes at the beginning to get him started and then he handed it over to our son.


(see him lying there at the bottom of the tree?)  Scott helped by pushing the tree to the side for him.   But, the work was all our 8 year old.


I was worried we wouldn’t make it, as darkness was quickly falling and the farm was getting ready to close.  He kept at it though.  And Scott was confident he could do it.

I LOVE the look on his face when he came up from chopping it down. 


He did it!  And he’s so proud!

Our 6 year old had her first gymnastics meet this past weekend.  I can’t really put into words the feelings of pride I had in watching her. 

When we first enrolled her in gymnastics 3 years ago, we did so because she was tiny, tough and flexible.  It seemed gymnastics might be worth a try for our then 3 year old.

Somewhere in the last 3 years, a light when on inside her.  It turned every curb into a balanced beam, and made every wide open space beckon her to do a cartwheel or round off or handstand. 

Saturday was her first competition.  I was so excited to see the new skills she’s learned.  But the thing that made me the most proud, wasn’t her round off back hand spring (though that was really cool to watch for the first time), but rather her ability to get back up on the beam after falling.  I was impressed with her poise and confidence.  She walked out by herself onto a wide open floor and performed her routine with people watching.  And when she got off from the music a little in her routine, she didn’t panic and fall apart, she slowed down and got herself back on track.   I marveled at her ability to shake off a rough warm up and minutes later fight her way through her bar routine and do the best I’d seen her do. 

She has lots of room for improvement in her scores.   The smile on her face and the light in her eyes on way home confirm she has the passion to keep practicing hard and I am eager to see how much she grows this season.  

I am thankful she has the opportunity to do something she loves so much and I love that light in her eyes when she walks in the door after practice.  And I’m not gonna lie, I’ve watched the video of her floor routine more times than I can count… I simply, love love watching my girl perform. 

However, as awesome as it was to watch her first meet, the day of her first meet was insane. 

Enter… the complete story of the circus family’s first gymnastics meet…

While watching her compete,  Scott and I were also literally juggling our traveling circus, as you would expect.  Somewhere in the stress to get her hair up and sprayed perfectly, I neglected to make myself a cup of coffee.  As we drove off for the meet, I was a tad grumpy.  After arriving at the meet, in plenty of time, and realizing with plenty of time to have grabbed that coffee, it soon became apparent, that I neglected some other important items for the circus crew. 

Things like diapers and wipes. 

Yes, that’s right folks, I’ve been a mom for almost 9 years now and yet I still can’t seem to remember the importance of packing extra diapers and wipes when leaving the house.  You can only imagine how well it went over when 15 minutes after arriving at the meet, our son reeks of all get out and Scott offering to go change him asks, “Where’s the diapers?”  Only to be met with a blank stare. 

(Scott headed out to find the nearest store, but thankfully he double checked the van only to find a surprise stash of diapers in our sons beloved backpack… seems the 2 year old is more on top of things than the Momma).

As if that wasn’t bad enough, I also neglected to pack food for the crew.  Any mom with any ounce of experience would have known to pack food when taking her crew of 6 to a gym for 4 hours. 

And to top it all off, my 5 year old was a giant ball of misery.  She mentioned something about her ear hurting in the morning and thankfully I paid attention enough to give her some Motrin, but it didn’t take long at the gym to realize Motrin was not going to cut it.  My usually amicable and go lucky 5 year old was a moaning, whining lump on the floor. 

Yes, to all those around us, we looked like that family.  I’m going with the assumption that most people were too busy focusing on their daughters out on the floor, to focus on our little traveling circus act beside them in the bleachers. 

This view in the van as we waited in the parking lot of Rite Time Care, made all the chaos fade away in my mind.

photo (8)

(as did a stop at Chick-Fil-A for substance and milkshakes)

The doctor at Rite Time Care to confirmed an ear infection for my 5 year old so bad her eardrum had ruptured.  So the circus van then added a stop at the pharmacy for antibiotics and ear drops…

It was quite a day for the circus fam… one that will surely go down in infamy.  But at the end of it all, once we were home, meds given,  diapers changed, and tummies filled, I found this image on my camera.  This is the picture I will treasure in my heart from the day.

Presents to Judge

I can’t wait to watch her compete again (though next time I’m packing  a survival bag for the crew and making time for my morning coffee).