Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Diving and Resilience

Jack finished a great dive season this week with a pretty disappointing end.  He missed the All City Dive final by 1.9 points, placing 18 when the top 16 made it to the final round.  He was SO SAD because last year, he placed 9th and was 4th going into finals.

Jack is a really good diver, but he gets in his own head and has a tendency to do better in practice and warm ups than he does at the meet.  Which makes total sense, of course, because individual sports are scary and hard, and diving is, I think, particularly nerve-wracking because no matter how good you are, you can for sure still get hurt anytime you jump off the board.

My friend Jenny wrote this great blog post about resilience and how we basically demand it from kids all the time.  Just by asking them to participate in organized sports, we ask them to set themselves up for failure and then jump up and do it again like it's no big deal.  I was happy to read her post before the meet yesterday, but it made me appreciate even more the courage Jack showed all year.  It's a great post, and you can read it RIGHT HERE.

I was a national champion in college (not in a sport-- HA HA HA that would be hilarious-- in speech) and a state champion, too, and I want my kids to know what it feels like to be the very best at what you love. Because it feels awesome.  But, more than that, I want them to keep trying to be their best (and also THE best) again and again, and that resilience is really something to be proud of.

Jack won 2 dual meets this year, and he was so happy to add those blue ribbons to his collection.  I can't wait to see how his season unfolds next summer.

Working on his double, one of thee new, high-difficulty dives he added this year.  he also added a couple of lower-scoring dives, like an inward.

Soaking up the last few days of dive team with a tie-dye parrty

Ready to dye

Before the meet, sporting his tie-dyed shirt and his All-City hat

Where did he want to go after not making the finals?  Back to the pool of course, where he immediately got to work on an inward flip.

Closing out the night in our favorite place.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Lazy Summer Days

Let me show them to you:

harry was so scared there were snapping turtles in this water

practicing for her trip to the real beach

barbies at the pool-- what could be better!


Donut Friday

what is this strange artifact from history??

pizza dinners at the poooool

night hijinks

my mm came to visit, so the kids were up for a morning frolic at her hotel pool


reading, like you do

moar crafts
I am not sure how we are going to readjust to real life when this hazy summer dream is over.  Luckily we still have a full month to indulge. Phew!

Monday, July 29, 2019

Gamma Nu Reuinion

In college, I had some amazing friends who got together on the 24th of every month to hang out and eat themed snacks.  This was out TWENTY YEAR REUNION summer, and 3 of them came to speech camp because they are amazing.  We met up in my very own hometown after camp, and another member of our made up sorority, Gamma Nu, (GN-- Girls' Night) joined us, too.  It was the perfect home-form-camp transition that I needed.

THE BEST SNACK EVER-- thanks to my mom for introducing it.

I missed these kids so much!  Suddenly everything was cute again

Back in my favorite place!!

she was supposed to be taking a pic of my friend

Gammu Nu pool day!!

Making sure our visitors experience the best of Madison

Beatrix, one of the girls

FaceTiming our fifth member

FaceTime hangs

Fancy dinner!

Till 2021, Gamma Nu!

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Speech Camp: A Triumphant Return!

You guys.

I have spent the last 2 weeks at my alma mater, Bradley University, as the director of Summer Forensics Institute, the speech camp I attended before my sophomore and senior years of high school and worked at before my freshman, sophomore, junior and senior years of college, plus 2 years after I graduated, including one bonus year when Harry was little.  THIS WAS MY NINTH SUMMER AT CAMP, and it was magic.

For 2 weeks, I lived in my freshman dorm with a bunch of my college speech teammates whom I begged to come back and work camp with me.  I was kid-free, husband-free, and largely creature comfort-free.

Some of the kids at camp were children of people I knew from speech.  THAT'S HOW OLD I AM and how ill-suited to dorm life I am.

So why the heck did I do it?

Speech camp was where I met Ben.  And where I discovered my life's passion.  I feel like I owe it a lot, so when the comm department chair reached out and asked me to direct camp, I jumped at the chance.  And the whole time I was stressing about staff and salaries and schedules, I thought of 15-year-old me and how incredibly happy she'd be.

I even maned to haul my 41-year-old self into a lofted twin bed every night.

Ha!  My mom moved me into the dorm again!

Dorothy lent me a few room accessories.

Also I printed a ton of Insta-pics

Also, because I am huge loser, I selfied my outfit of the day every day.

My closest college speech friends came back to work camp, which was a total dream come true.  Here's a glamour shot of a dorm spa night:
 The kids came to visit over the weekend THANK GOD because I missed them so much.
 NON STOP GLAMOUR.  I had to get up super early to work on my online classes (3 adjunct sections and my for-real online class)
 I got to take a long walk with one of my favorite people in the world (who lives far away in real life but was just one floor down from me in camp life), and I would like to live in this perfect house:
 Harry and I love Lydia.  Side note: he got this Pride tank at Target and texted me a picture, saying it matches everything (LOLz).
 Kids, a still life.

A super cute dorm-bed accessory

My undergrad library!!!  My faaave!
 You guys know I love Lydia.  I think it's her simultaneous approachability (you can walk right up to her!) and standoffishness (look at that face!) that gets me.  Also, we are the same size and I am pretty sure she'd look great in my clothes.

 1980s Strawberry Shortcake sheets!
 My mom came to campus at lunch to walk with me.  One day, I asked her what was in the giant garbage bag in her trunk, and she said HUMAN HAIR.  (To solve a deer in the garden issue, but still super creepy).
 My view from the elliptical every morning, which does beat my at-home workout dungeon.
 My face like 5 days in when the group of kids I was supposed to take to the gym stopped showing up, and I was the only person in the whole camp working out on the daily.
 The best lecture slide ever.
 I truly adored the dorm food.  Especially the part when I would just walk into the room and all the food was ready for me.
 One of my friends celebrated a pretty big milestone bday at camp (turning 40 at camp!  how awesome is that!)
 The best breakfast: a turtle latte from One World.
 It was really like day 9:
 Happy birthday!  Cheesecake for the Golden Girls
 Saying farewell to dorm food
 The limited preppers had a double elimination thesis-creation tournament-- with cake and ice cream!
 Old camp pics.  I am in every one, and Ben is the guy on the hockey jersey in the front row of the first one.  Bonus appearances by my little brother in most:

 All packed up on the last day
Welcoming parents and staff to the end-of-camp banquet-- the end was in sight!
Golden Girls do speech camp!

I am not going to lie.  Camp hours were long (plus early morning adjuncting!), and it was hard to live in the dorms-- the ladder to my bed!  the skeezy shower!-- but camp was a total dream.  I got to go back in time and be with all of the people I used to live with in my 20s.  We ate meals together!  We walked around campus together!  We popped in and out of each other's rooms!  It was a gift.  Also, totally surreal.  Ah, to be young again (and for 2 weeks, I WAS).