Our summer was amazing. Truly! We only had one week of "nothing". The girls did swim team this year. That was great! Audrey amazed me with her growth there. She went from a flailing sea creature to a graceful mermaid in about 5 weeks time. They promoted her to the competition team mid season and she did fantastic! Definitely something we will continue to do. Maddie has also vastly improved. I'm very proud of her!
We spent 8 days at a resort in Destin, Florida. It was a super trip! Ironically, some of Derek's family from Dallas was in a wedding at the same resort the end of our stay. It was fun to see them. The girls absolutely adore their cousins.
Later in the summer the girls and I spent 8 days in TN for the Pure American Girl National Pageant. What an amazing opportunity! Maddie took home the National Talent Award and Runner Up Model of the Year. I believe she could have placed higher in the Queen division, but she turned into a little monster. LOL! After the first day of competition she basically decided she didn't want to do it and was a handful to deal with the rest of the competition. I can honestly say, I've never seen her act that poorly before. I'm praying this is just a short phase of life and she'll be out of it very soon. (I think she's making up for not going through the Terrible 2's or 3's!) It is breaking my heart right now. Anyway, Audrey had a phenomenal week. For those that don't know her personally, it will be hard to understand just what a huge step and growth she went through this summer and in this pageant. Many firsts happened that week. She spoke on stage for the first time in her life. She did forget some of her words and paused to regain her memory once, but I thought that was amazing. She could have fallen apart and quit right then, but she didn't. She pulled herself together and kept going. She also had her first panel interview. She felt really good about it, so I take that as another success. Her modeling progressively improved. By the final day her poise and confidence were clearly evident on stage. But, the greatest accomplishment was her singing a solo on stage for the first time in her life. She LOVED it! That's what she has talked about the most. She actually came off the stage and told me she was proud of herself. Money can't buy that, folks!
So, all in all, it was a fabulous experience. We have learned that Maddie will not be doing any more pageants any time soon. Audrey has one the end of the month. And, I am the new State Director for the Pure American Pageant System. I'm very exited about this opportunity!
We couldn't leave TN without a trip to Dollywood, The Wilderness Water Resort, Hollywood Wax Museum, and Country Tonite musical. Great trip!
Of course, our summer included a week of VBS and Arts Camp. There were a few sleep overs and lots of play dates. Truly a spectacular summer!
The biggest change this year is in our schooling. Maddie is in Kindergarten and Audrey is in the third grade. We have decided not to homeschool this year. It was a huge decision and not one we made lightly. I struggled with it and will spare you all the details, but in the end I have complete peace about that decision. The girls started last week and are absolutely loving it! I'm volunteering in both classes and plan to be as involved as I can.
I am coaching cheer again this year. I'm still with the little ones, which I love. They are doing fantastic! Maddie is on the squad, too. Audrey has decided not to cheer this year. She is concentrating on singing, dancing, and acting which is turning out to be her love. I'm totally fine with that and will nurture those gifts as much as I can. Tonight is her first night of dance - 2 1/2 hours of hip hop, tap, and jazz. Theater starts Thursday. Maddie, on the other hand, is all cheer and gymnastics. She had her first tumbling class on Saturday and loved it!
It is going to be a wonderful year! I hope you'll join me on this adventure as I recommit to blogging. :)