I have this distant memory of it being early May and me thinking "Wow, we are going to be pretty busy for the next few weeks." Now it's July. I guess I was right. (EDIT: The original version of this post, when I started writing it, read "Now it's late June." So apparently that month got away from me too.) So here is a quick catch-all post on what in the world we've been doing. I might be able to catch us up through June. July will have to be another post, probably written in October. I'm just being realistic.
Back in April, our friends Cody and Erika drove all the way from Albuquerque to come and see us here in San Antonio. As people who routinely load up our kids and travel long distances, we really appreciate it when someone does that work for us, so major props to them for braving West Texas and coming all the way out. We tried to make it worth their while. We took the kids to Sea World:
And to our favorite local park:
And to Freebirds, which is pretty much our best shot at convincing people to move to Texas. It's addictive. I am not sure they were ready to pack it up and come (one state) east, but they did admit that it beats the pants off of Chipotle, and Erika made a really cool rose with the leftover foil from her burrito:
Then the rest of the time we sat in the house letting the kids run around in a screaming pack while we ignored them and enjoyed catching up. Cody and Erika are some of our oldest friends as a couple. We met when we had all been married less than a year, and we have kids almost the same ages. Since we moved away, Erika has Skyped with me every Wednesday afternoon and we've gotten the kids in on the action too, so while it's been hard not to be able to spend time with them it hasn't felt like they are gone from our lives. We are very thankful for their faithful friendship to us -- and their hours on the road!
Once April was over, we moved on to May, or as I now think of it, Ballet Month. Kate has been in a ballet class this year and since about February we have been stopping in the lobby every day before class so she can view the picture of the butterfly costume for her recital. Last year Kate went to a great small class that met at a church and they had a recital, but it was very low-key. This was our first year at a larger studio with students of all ages and I'll spare you the suspense: It was not low-key. Well, it was up until Ballet Month and then it was extra classes, photo day, dress rehearsals and a handout detailing the steps of her dance so that we could practice at home. Not that I need to make Kate practice. Starting during Ballet Month the moms were invited into class at the end to watch the girls perform their dance so they could get practice in front of an audience. Kate never missed a step. I'm not bragging -- I have nothing to do with her dancing abilities and I probably shouldn't admit this, but I never made her practice at home. She just loves to dance, so she did it.
But since I wasn't a dancer growing up, the entire Ballet Month experience was pretty intimidating for me, starting with when we were handed the costumes and given instructions on the care and keeping of tutus that were lengthier and more complicated than the instructions I was given before we took Kate home from the hospital. And they didn't even give us the butterfly wings to take home at first, just the costumes! Because we couldn't be trusted with the wings.
It's a good thing there were some moms for Kate's class who weren't in their first rodeo/recital. They gave me crash courses in Ballet Buns and Stage Makeup on the side and overall I think I managed to avoid any major faux pas other than being a total nervous wreck backstage and making Kate eager to bid me farewell at the first possible opportunity. The next time we saw her was out on stage, and she did beautifully even in front of so many people. She did refuse to wear her ballerina costume after the recital was over (apparently all that tulle is itchy) but here are a few photos from before and after, when she greeted her admiring public.
With Grammy and Grandpa Wachdorf, who had the ballet recital on their calendar months in advance thanks to Kate's vigilant reminders starting in about February:
And with Gam, Geez and Uncle Ryan:
As you can see from the pictures, my mom and dad paid us a visit and attended the big recital and we really appreciate them coming so far. My brother Ryan was also very insistent that he would drive down from Austin for the privilege of watching a couple of hours of ballet on a Saturday afternoon, which was really sweet. I am not sure if Kate completely understands how big an effort her cheering section had to make to be there that afternoon, but I do, and I know we are really blessed.
The other big excitement in June was Dan's birthday, for which we did what we always do: Eat good food and order an ice cream cake. The kids love that tradition.
As for Gam and Geez, we will see them again soon, when the kids and I hit the road for one of our epic journeys to Mississippi. Because I like to wait until it's blazing hot to undertake 12 hour road trips. Stay tuned.