Wednesday, March 20, 2019

A Little Taste of Show Choir

Soon, the season will be over and I won't write about being a Show Choir mom. It has been an adventure these past four years, seeing my kid grow from a  shy and quiet introvert that loved to sing, to a shy and quiet introvert that loves to sing-but now, with perfectionist tendencies and a drive to get better with every performance. If you have never experienced it, YouTube has plenty of options to see it from all over the country. 

In a few snap shots from last night's finale show for their home town before heading to the national competition, this is show choir.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Life in the Fast Lane

Happy Tuesday, readers. This week will be fun, but a whirlwind. I have so many things that need to get off my work plate so I can be off tomorrow-Friday stress free. This includes reading and scoring another 40 funding proposals, each will take at least 10 minutes, setting up six new contracts, preparing two financial reports, and catching up from last Thursday and Fridays messages before my in box fills again. I joined DD1 last night for a dinner/presentation on female entrepreneurism. She is looking deeply at her options for a side career, if not eventually full time career free lancing. I want to understand better the opportunities and challenges should I decide after retirement that I want to perhaps contract out for a while. 

     Tonight is DD2's finale show. All three choirs, the girls prep, the mixed prep, and her varsity choir put on a final show for family and friends. It is the last show for the other choirs, but the launch for DD1's choir as they head to their national competition. When we get home, there will be last  loads of laundry, packing, and a quick tidy up. DD1 is staying with pup. We are so grateful for her. It is quite inconvenient for her, and is requiring her coming home after work instead of going right to her gym, or going in a little later, or coming home on her lunch hour. Good thing she love the little  guy. 

     We are driving as far as Bloomington, Illinois on Wednesday and most likely meeting up with other parents. We are not at the same hotel as the kids. We hope to get to Nashville by 4:00 on Thursday, and enjoy the night life before I head over to the kids hotel to help with hair. They perform the next morning for preliminaries, done by 3:00, so then we get more free time. If they make finals, that will be Saturday morning. The kids have a big show choir event that evening with all the schools and choirs, so again, we'll find more adult fun, though not too late. We are making the long drive home on Sunday in one swoop-taking nearly 14 hours. Perhaps not smart, but is what it needs to be with our schedules. 

     Life in my lane will be pretty tiring this week. Hopefully I'll get a few pictures here and there to share. Whatever is keeping you busy this week, make the most of it. 

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Travel Week-Travel Meals

Happy St Patrick's Day! I have just a touch of the Irish in my blood but didn't hit the big downtown St Paul celebrations. I last left our grocery balance at $107 for the week. With some crazy scheduling, we didn't get sandwiches and snacks made for the road trip, but DH bought some muffins and juice when he filled the car, which came to about $10. I did my meal planning yesterday, picked up a few things last night to go with the soup I made for dinner, and to relieve  the complaints that there was nothing in the house. I need to head to the store for a few more items today like laundry soap and pups food. We have several variations of chicken so like it or not, that is going to be featured in the meals. This is a Saturday-Tuesday menu, heavily featuring leftovers and reheat and eat (bought a few microwave pot pies) as Monday and Tuesday are jam packed. We'll be leaving Wednesday morning, more than likely eating some egg burritos or something substantial before getting on the road. 

Saturday: Chicken tortellini soup with vegetables and French bread
Sunday lunch: Meatballs, mashed potatoes and steamed carrots
Sunday supper: Chicken strips,sweet potatoes, steamed vegetables
Extra: Pulled BBQ chicken (I made extra chicken for the soup and will shred and add BBQ) + baked beans-from a can
Monday: leftovers and reheat
Tuesday: leftovers and reheat

For road trip
deli ham and turkey
sliced cheese
dollar buns-need to buy Tuesday night
granola bars-will get when I get pups food and laundry soap
Gold Fish
Pea Pod snack

We'll send DD2 with a lunch/large snack of a couple sandwiches on the dollar buns and apples, plus a couple of the snacks she likes including the Gold Fish crackers and pea pod snacks. I spent $45 at the store yesterday, now with a $52 balance. We'll still have nearly a full week once we are home Sunday night. I have a two day business trip almost immediately once we are back, leaving just next Monday to plan for the week.  Even though I'll still have chicken, ground turkey, and lots of tuna plus pantry items, it's doubtful I'll stay under my $400 average despite so many meals out this month as after today there won't be much if anything left. Some months are like that. 

Saturday, March 16, 2019

College Decision Made

     Thursday was an exhausting trip, four + hours east and then back again, with 8 hours in between to give DD2 an opportunity to see if her number one choice of schools was indeed the right fit for her. If anyone has been watching the national weather, you will know we have some crazy stuff going on in the Midwest. To the west of us was blizzards, and in our part of Minnesota heading east and south in Wisconsin heading to eastern Iowa and Illinois has been a mix of daytime sun, then freezing overnight, and a lot of fast melting. Then, the rain started Wednesday continuing into Thursday. This meant a lot of fog, nearly the entire trip. We left at insane O'clock, but later than intended, and slowed by the fog, she missed the first class she intended to sit in on. Parking was a nightmare as it was spring break for a lot of schools, there were massive numbers of other families of high schoolers on campus for tours and visits. We ended up parking at the farthest most point of a sprawling campus, and learned too late we could have hopped on the campus circular. I got my steps in Thursday. 

      As DH hadn't been to this school before, it was good that we had the long walk, though later got caught in the rain a bit, because he could see the way it was laid out in full and see where one set of dorms were in comparison to another group of resident halls. We grabbed some early lunch then she went off on her own to explore a bit, sit in a class, and explore some more. We met back up late afternoon. While nibbling on popcorn, she made a list of pros and cons of her top two schools, eventually deciding, this was the school she would choose. We walked to the book store and she got her first college sweatshirt and t-shirt, because according to YouTuber's that attend this University, you can't show up to the first day of class not sporting your school. (I'm kidding.) She felt better having made the decision, and we made the long drive home. We chatted about one of the choices she still needed to make regarding housing preference, second major, and acclimating to the huge school. Our daughter gets cars sick, mostly a head ache, so was not feeling the best We stopped for a quick supper as it was nearing 7, thinking she was maybe also hungry. Her head ache didn't go away, and she ended up falling asleep though for most of the trip home. 

     She woke up on Friday, feeling a bit overwhelmed about how hard it might be to meet people, or trying to fit in She joined a Facebook page for incoming freshmen, at my suggestion, as a way to start making the mental transition and meeting people she could potentially connect with over the summer. However, reading profiles and reading the posts, made her feel more disconnected, not less. Long story short, she had an anxiety attack. While this was her "dream school" the reality was it was just too big a school for her, with too many changes that would require her to be pushed out of her comfort zone in too many areas. From learning how hard it might be to participate in a stellar choir program, to navigating class registration for a double major, to finding like minded friends, to avoiding the hard party scene this particular university is known for, it all felt like too much. Forcing herself to decide, then visually seeing herself there in real life trying to navigate these things was what she needed. She went back to her list, and realized the two cons of the big school were more than just cons, they were overwhelming challenges. The cons on her 2nd choice were looked at again-too small, not enough "going on" in a new vein and decided, it was really the best fit for her. 

     The anxiety and stress seemed to melt away immediately. While she stated she felt a bit disappointed to give up her dream school, a school she worked darn hard to get accepted in, it was in reality not the right fit for her.  She's finally realized  that if she was going to successfully double major, study abroad, and immerse herself academically, a smaller more supportive environment would be more conducive to her personality and learning style. Plus, she already has a connection through the music program at her now college of choice. It has been a long road to get here. In hindsight, she made a connection with her college pretty much at her first tour, and solidified at her scholarship and audition day. While she also loved the big school after the tour, until it was a "real" option, she couldn't see how it fit her. Financially, the two are negligibly different because of her scholarship package. Distance from home is almost exactly the same door step to door step. I'm really pleased for her and feel like she will truly have a positive academic and social experience.