Friday, August 17, 2012

Jack’s Birthday

…was August 2nd, of course, but I’m just now getting around to blogging about it.  The day of Jack’s birthday was a day completely engineered by the boy from start to finish.  The perfect day, as written by a newly 7-year-old boy.  

Early morning Dunkin’ Donuts run for his birthday “cake” of choice, an Oreo Donut.  Opening presents.  Playing with the new toys—trying out kick-flips on his new skateboard and tossing around the Beam-O.  After lunch, a couple hours spent jumping on trampolines at Sky High.  Dinner at Salsarita’s.  And then, in lieu of a birthday party, our little family of four spent a night playing arcade games and then boys vs. girls for three games of laser tag.    

We hope Jack had a wonderful 7th birthday—we sure had a lot of fun!

{check out ella’s face in the next series.  i was too busy trying to make sure i didn’t miss the moment of jack blowing out the candles to be as shocked as ella.  that face of ella’s is because jack went right to blowing out the candles without letting us sing the happy birthday song to him.  hope he took the time to make a wish at least.  :) }

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Discovery Place

Near the end of July we spent a Saturday at Discovery Place.  I was photographing a group of kids participating in a JLC-sponsored workshop, so our kids tagged along for the fun, too. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

YMCA Camps

The kids went to a lot of camps this summer—VBS, triathlon camp (Ella), soccer camp (Jack), Sports Connection camp (a.k.a. jumpy place camp), art camp, etc.—but I really don’t have any pictures from the majority of their camps.  At the end of July, however, Ella did a Water Adventure camp with her friend Baden while Jack did an All-Star Sports camp, both at the Y.  Luckily enough, the Y shared some photos from each of their weeks.  My kids l.o.v.e. camps—this is just a small peek into some of the fun they had trying out new skills.

{baden.  this is a lot of what they were doing at ‘water adventure camp’.}

{jack loved the all-star sports camp.  his favorite sports that they played that week were flag football and soccer.}

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Our Little Triathlete

On the evening of Friday, July 13th Ella competed in her first triathlon, the Kids Tri! Ballantyne triathlon—she had done a run-through one at the end of triathlon camp back in June, but this was her first “race”.  Ella was gung-ho about the whole thing.  She had actually asked us to register her for this race last summer, but by the time we tried to register her there was already a waitlist.  This year, so as not to disappoint Ella again, I got her all signed up way back in March.  She couldn’t have been more excited, while totally not anxious about the whole thing. 

The pre-race orientation, where they show you where all of the stations and transitions are, was stormed out, so we showed up Friday night for the race not feeling two well-informed.  Ella didn’t sweat it at all, though.  We showed up early, set up her transition area, talked her through the race, had a 30-minute delay because of storms (keeping our fingers crossed that they would pass, because there would be no postponement, only a cancellation), and then the racers all had to line up at once.  Ella was #128 and she had to line up at the same time as the early racers, so it was a long wait.  We picked a good spot where we thought we could see her for the most amount of time while Ella was apparently making friends in line during her wait.  There were three age groups and each age group went different distances for the swim and run.  Ella was in the youngest age group (ages 6 to 8) so she swam two lengths of the pool and ran two laps around the track (I think the oldest age group swam six lengths of the pool and ran four laps).  Her age group definitely had one of the larger fields of racers.  There were 181 racers in total—the results provided to us don’t break it down by age, or provide age, so it’s hard to know how many were in each age group—but I would probably guess in the 70s or 80s, half of which were girls. 

Jonathan, Jack, and I weren’t the only ones on-hand to cheer for Ella on race night—the entire Brown crew, amazing friends that they are, came to watch, too.  They stationed themselves by the pool at the beginning of the race—Brooke snapped a few pictures with her phone of Ella about to start her swim—while we waited for Ella to run past us to the transition area after her swim.  It was all so fast that I decided to put it on video rather than photograph her race.  This girl tore it up—she swam, ran barefoot, biked, ran her bike, and then sprinted those laps like a rock star.  We were so impressed with the effort she put into it—you can tell by how tired she looked at the end of it that she really raced hard.  The whole thing was over for Ella in 12 minutes and 27 seconds (they didn’t provide results for each part of the race, which stinks because next year she’ll do different distances in two of the events and we won’t be able to compare anything).  We got to the event at about 5:15pm and, with the rain delay and waiting to get into the transition area to retrieve Ella’s stuff, we weren’t done until 8:45pm.  By then we were all starving for dinner so we decided to head out and not stick around for the awards.  We came home to a message on our answering machine that Ella had been called out for placing 3rd in her age group for girls.  Still can’t believe we missed it!  That is truly awesome, but more than anything, we’re just so proud of the gusto, athleticism, and courage of our little triathlete.  Well done, Ella!

{talking through the race and the transitions with dad.}

{she’d gotten marked and chipped—ready for the race!  it’s a lot cuter on kids how they mark your age on the back of your calf…}

{all of the band-aids are from a skateboarding accident the night before.  this girl is hard core.}

{jack was a very supportive little brother.  look in the video for his high five as ella runs from the pool to the transition area.  he says he might do it next year.}

{almost her turn—from brooke’s phone.  again, those bright pink goggles always help find her.}

{waiting in the pool to start swimming.}

{she did it!  she looks kind of worn out…}

{part of the video you really have to know what you’re looking for—there wasn’t time to get to a good spot for every part of the race.  just know that ella’s wearing bright aqua shorts for the bike and run.  part of the video, too, is to show the awesome fans she had there to cheer her on.  mike actually raced in the ballantyne triathlon for adults bright and early the very next morning.  also note that ella running through the finish line wasn’t her actual finish—hence the lackadaisical jog through.  the race photographer and i had both missed her finish so, fortunately for me, he asked her to run through the finish line again.}