Thursday, June 30, 2016

The beauty and strength of a ballerina

Disclaimer: I am quite sure Hailey strongly dislikes all these photos.  It was pulling teeth to get her to do them for me, but this mother's heart needed a ballet fix of my girl after only seeing her dance one time this year on her birthday.  So she amused me (very begrudgingly), and let me take a few pics of her in Central Park last Wed. and in Boston on Thursday.  I know she is highly disapproving of pics of herself dancing. especially those taking by her mother who knows nothing about shooting ballet pics  But I did the best I could and she helped me out.  As much as she hated doing these, my heart was so happy to be able to capture her growth over the last year and the strength and wisdom she has gained at SAB.  Her beauty through this art amazes me.  Even those who know nothing about ballet, have to admire the stamina, strength and beauty behind this art.  
So, all that being said...thank you, Hays, for letting me catch a glimpse of the gift God has given you.
(above is her by the big Bethesda fountain in Central Park. I gravitate towards this fountain every year. It is beautiful by itself, but with a ballerina in front of it seems even more lovely)
 Love the architecture of the stairways here.  I know this wasn't her fav. pic, but it shows her long legs, arms and neck. 
 LOL!  I took multiple angles of this one, but I love the bird in this particular shot...it looks like Hays is casting it away!
 I laughed at this one bc you almost don't see her.  Until you see her shadow and look up a bit.  Plus she sorta looks like Cousin It :)
 Love.  So simple, but so pretty.
 My fav. I like silhouettes and this was a new area for us to try one.  But I love it. 
 I think one of the things I love most about Hailey (in regards to her dance) is her feet (not necessarily the smell and fungi-ism of them :)), but they are beautiful in pointe shoes.  This is God-given.  You have to gave good feet to dance (I never know this until recently)...good turn-out, high arches etc.  And apparently Stegs have this. 
 Beautiful architecture in CP!  Fun to photograph here.
 And in Boston....the ship ones are for Kev...he loves ships!  And the USS Cassin Young (Navy Warship) made a great backdrop.  She is getting ready to jump here, but I love that she looks like she is floating in air doing pointe. :)
 Such ballerina strength in front of a strong warship. 
 My fav. pic in Boston.  Love, love, love. (three things I love...our ballerina, water and the city backdrop)
 I got the USS Constitution in this one too.  Double ships for daddy!  Love it!
LOL...I caught Ash pushing Logan in the stroller in this one :)
                                                                
And my fav. LOL-one! :)  The sisters always have to showcase their flexibility too. Ash actually has some, but Shelb has her mama's flexibility.  She's stickin' to violin. :)

My heart is happy seeing pictures of my girl doing what she loves....and I am so grateful she let me take a few snapshots of her life in her two new homes.  I think I have struggled more than I admit this year having her gone from home at such an early age. There is nothing I want more than for her to be fulfilling her dream, but it just means we miss seeing her for 3 years of her life that she would normally be home.  This is hard on a mother...and a family...and a daughter (though she wouldn't admit it I'm sure :)).  A few pics like this just tide me over for awhile...especially since I cannot return to Boston to see her dance in 4 weeks.


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

A lovely summer Wednesday

 Well, it's amazing to me how many pics I can take of a mundane day. :) But honestly...mundane days are my fav.  I like doing nothing special.  It's what summer is all about!  Here is our earlier than early morning.  Shelb had to get up super early to make bfast for her core group.  She had volunteered and was excited to bake. She loves it and the core group loves her food!  She had wanted to make it last night, but we ran out of time after violin.  So up early, we were!  She was only slightly grumpy. I cannot blame her. Mornings are not my thing either.
 While I was watching the oven...I saw our bunny...back to say "hi"!
 All ready to go.  Sour cream coffee cake and strawberries.  Yumm! I was bummed we lost our coffee cake recipe...but this Taste of Home recipe was still ok.  The girls in the group loved it!
 Writing to someone very special on the east coast.  And check out what hand he is using in her honor :)
 I decided to just take some candids today.  Here's a few while Shelb was at church group.  Playing blocks.  A fav. pastime.
 Playing DS.  He finished his reading program today so this was well-earned.
 Waiting for Shelb to finish playing spoons at core group.  Lo found foosball...fun!
 Look what I found at B&N...I haven't read this book, but heard it is so cute and so very Boston.  Love it.  I need to check it out from the library.  Love the ducks and the swan boats!  I will post pics soon, I promise!
 Playing at the train table at Barnes and Noble.  D was so sweet playing with him.
 These three finished the reading program here.  But they had sold out of the book D wanted, of course.  The B&N guy was so sweet though and he ordered it for Dylan.  He'll get it next week.  The girls were excited about their books...Chomp for Shelb and AG Lea for Ash!
 Surprise! Someone is excited about going to see Joshua Bell next week!  I couldn't not take her...cheap students tickets...who can see J. Bell play for $5!?
 Love how sometimes the sibs are so sweet together. Have to capture the sweet moments bc sometimes I feel they fight too much.
 He had finished his reading program a week ago, but he had to bring in his reading log anyway and color it.
 He might look stoic, but he was very excited about finishing his log and finding a free Pokemon book to take home.
 He can't resist playing with these even though we only had 5 mins to play.
 Ash was thrilled to find this book at the library. She wanted to get it at B&N for free, but I talked her into the Lea book.  And poor Shelb finished her reading program, but apparently you can't get the free book til Friday.  Go figure.
 A picnic in the living room. It was actually gorgeous out today...75!  But the kids loved this idea.  Shelb said, "it's like being outside without the bugs!" Amen to that!  Plus they got to watch a movie which we all know the Steg kids love!
 Dishes girl. She didn't complain at all. The chores are getting more routine!
 The laundry mountain grew a Shelby head! 
 Lo had issues today.  He was mean and grumpy.  He was calling everyone "stupid". He had lots of apologies to make.
 It took about an hour for mommy to figure out how to put up the net, but we finally played badmitten!  Lo was my teammate.  He wasn't all that bad!
 Shelb joined us after violin practice.  She was quite boastful about her skills, but I am not sure why...she is serving and the birdie is still in her hand?!
 FYI: She talks a lot....even at dinner.
 Since potty training was an easy thing, we are moving on to summer goal #2...eating better.  We are putting everything on his plate. He is not a fan, but he tolerated it today.
 Daddy took Shelb to violin tonight.  I took the others on a walk and to the neighborhood playground. There was a sweet little boy there who just wanted to play with our kids.  Dylan is truly the best kiddo. He asked that little boy to play with him and Logan. It was very cute.  Little kids look up to him. He is a good example.  I love to see that.
 All Lo wanted to do was walk this by himself. 
 Walking home.  Someone read the whole time. The boys fought about who could be in front of the other.
 Seriously...how does one do this?  I can barely text and walk.
 Awww, so sweet :)  There were lots of moments of sweetness today.
 Showing me what she learned tonight. 
One last moment of sweetness. I love summer family togetherness :)

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Back to boring

 Well, it's back to boring in the Steg household.  I guess I am ok with that.  Not all days can be fun in the city.  And the best way to get back to the basics is to just jump right in.  It was an early morning for us...Shelb had her church core group...and has it every morning this week.  So out the door we were to rush here there...she even gets to eat bfast at her sweet core group leader's house...yumm...they had her fav cereal (cin toast crunch)...so she was happy!
 It was officially chore day, but I let the younger gang veg for awhile. They built a tent!
 And played inside for awhile :)
 Then it was down to business...LOTS of laundry...a week's worth. I have not not done laundry in a week in a looong time.  That was numerous mounds of laundry...but they didn't complain. Even Lo worked hard!
 LOL...still makes me laugh to see a 3 year old folding a towel. :)
 Ash learned to sort and wash laundry today. 
 I had to sort through piles of mail (ick) and make a long list for Kroger and figure out recipes for the week.  It wasn't all that bad.  The kids made their own lunches.  It was fairly laid back.
 I think I might actually miss these guys in August when all of them are in school and they leave me empty nesting to do the Kroger-ing.
 Someone is planning out her secret county fair recipe...hint...it's something that daddy likes and involves cake flour. I have never used cake flour so we had to search for it.
 OOOOH!  So happy about his cool patriotic new car...that he got for being an awesome pottier in NYC and Boston!  He even pooped there...and no accidents!  Pooping and peeing in big cities is awesome and definitely HotWheels-Worthy! 
 Big news of the day. Free gum. You would have thought she won the lottery.  Gum is the new summer fun for our kids.  Simple joys.
 Best dishes-doer.  He never complains. He might not be super fast, but he does the job well!
 Violin while sibs play at her feet.
 Lots of violin practice.  Lots.
 Someone officially finished 10th grade today (I think)...and she wasn't even in the same state as her school. So odd.  Congrats, Hays...now onto the big Junior year!
 More violin. She loves her teacher...and she helped her so much with all the trouble she was having with her new, difficult intensive music.
 Playing away on the old Nina violin!
 She is now practicing at least an hour a day and going to class 6 hours a week.  That is 13 hours of violin! Yikes!  Hard to believe was only doing a few hours this time last summer.
 Taco Tuesday (Hays had the same thing as us tonight!) and some crazy shananigans going on about making faces through our glass candle.  Yes, we are weird.
 The dishes king.  He seriously never complains about it!
Talking to our Bostonian!  Apparently Shelby made her cry.  Not sure what was going on in that apt, but those ballerinas were hyped. 

That was the day.  Not real exciting...borderline boring. I hated not being outside on a nice day, but had to get the chores and unpacking done and get food in the cupboards.  It's always funk-ish getting back from vacation and getting back into life.  Sigh.

Hopefully tomorrow I can rehash vacation pics!