Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Chloe Lou Retton

A while back, Chloe took gymnastics for a couple of months. She was. . . not exactly a natural, and it was kind of expensive, so we dropped it.

Last fall, she convinced us she was ready to start back. Wings Gymnastics has classes twice a week at Idlewild, and the price seemed more reasonable now that we aren't in daycare, so we signed her up. She has loved it.

I was surprised by how much she enjoyed it, considering she couldn't even really do a cartwheel. She didn't care- she practiced her afflicted-looking cartwheels all the time, and looked forward to each class. Her teacher, Miss Mary Hannah, is really patient with all ages and skill levels. Chloe talked for months about the recital her class would have in May, and couldn't wait to show us what she'd been doing. And we were all surprised to see that she actually held her own out there.

One of the instructors, who isn't her normal teacher, spotted her the first time she went on the beam at the recital. She didn't touch Chloe at all, and Chloe did great. Only later did I realize that her everyday teacher almost never takes her hands off of Chloe on the beam! Yet at this recital, in front of everyone, Chloe just sucked it up and did it with no fear and no complaints. I realized this weeks later, and I just want to hug Chloe for hours whenever I think of how she handled herself at the recital.

About a month after the recital, Chloe was doing her usual nightime routine of practicing cartwheels and handstands in front of the TV while the rest of us tried to watch basketball. And suddenly she just did a cartwheel! All that practice finally paid off, when something clicked inside her and the cartwheel happened like it was supposed to. It has really been fun to watch her growth in gymnastics- especially since some of our kids (hint: not Chloe) tend to give up right away if they aren't perfect at something on the first try.

Chloe is just basically a ball of self-confidence, and it amazes me. She is my idol.

Monday, July 30, 2012

National Anthem

The Olympics have started, and my kids are totally invested for the first time. I think this is awesome. We watched the opening ceremonies from our condo on the beach, and I fondly remembered watching a lot of the 1984 Summer Olympics from a condo at the beach, down the road in Destin. (Perhaps I need to start branching out, vacation-wise?) Of course Connor was going to love every event, from skeet shooting to basketball, because he's my son and if our team is playing, we're all in. But even Chloe can lower herself to watch sports when two of her favorite activities, swimming and gymnastics, come on.

You aren't surprised to know that I wander around the house belting out off-key renditions of the National Anthem basically all the time now. Chip knows me well enough to know that, in my head, I'm totally singing Whitney's version. So he always counters with Beyonce's version. Some couples fight about money, or infidelity, or how to raise their kids. Not us. If divorce papers are ever drawn up, Whitney vs. Beyonce will be mentioned in the first paragraph.

I present my case:

This is it. This is the standard diva anthem. This became a Top 20 hit! No one else has done that with The Star Spangled Banner! I believe that if this video were shot in HD and Whitney looked like Beyonce, Chip would maybe see my side of the argument differently. (Do not listen to him when he talks about ambitious chord progression.)

Chip's case:

Blah blah, chord progression, he's picturing her naked, etc. I agree that this is wonderful. But she's no Whitney.

Please feel free to pick a side. (Especially since  I already know you're going to pick Whitney. Duh.)

In case you're now worried that diva National Anthems have driven a permanent wedge between me and Chip, you should know that we are in total agreement as far as National Anthem fails go. We've decided that there is just no way to pick between Carl Lewis and Clent Bowers. It would be like naming a favorite child! These guys are so important to us!

Enjoy all of these, but particularly the segment starting at 1:25.

USA!!! USA!!! USA!!!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Hey Girl

Hey there. How is everyone? We're doing okay, thanks for asking.

Not to be dramatic, but the first half of 2012 was just monumentally awful for us, in a "first world problems" kind of way. In my adult life, I've only had one other time period that was as stressful. I have cried a LOT of tears so far this year. It hasn't been pretty.


The kids don't know about all the adult stresses. They've had a great year. And things have turned around enough as a whole that I think I'm ready to be chatty again. I've got lots to tell you about my awesome kids, and plenty of fantastic pictures to illustrate their awesomeness. So let's get back to normal, shall we?

See you soon,
The Chockleyblogs