We did it! Before Memorial Day arrived, I transformed into a third grader…

…and Genesee became a kindergartener.

Mrs. Miller and Ms Toni taught us well and we LOVED them for it, but the time has come to dazzle our brilliance in front of new teachers and bigger classrooms. We. Are. Ready. For. It. But first, summer!

Rush in the Spring (2022)

Spring soccer with my Rush club team was a blast! After our initial poor performance at the Des Moines tournament, we finished our regular season in undefeated fashion, even with one man down or no subs.

Still, even though winning is fun, the best part for me was participating in the victory lap at the conclusion of each game, because there’s just something about receiving high fives from your smiling, gushing parents fan club (especially since last season’s protocol was to wave from a COVID-safe distance). In fact, this lap of love even topped the feeling of scoring a goal in the final game of the season, after spending most of my playing time in a defender position. You might not have assumed this after bearing witness to my over-the-top celebratory run-dance, but truly, the highlight was not the super impressive, career-building goal that I scored; What I loved most about this season was the receiving line of proud supporters.

Thank you, loved ones, for faithfully cheering us on and for always being there to tie the occasional loose shoe string in the middle of the games. We hear you on the sidelines even if we’re too cool to acknowledge as such.

Surviving Dad’s Birthday Hike

For Dad’s birthday this year, mom surprised him with a fun hike around Devil’s Lake! The weather was surprisingly perfect, and the element of surprise continued when we accidentally found ourselves on the Balanced Rock Trail: a steep climbing path with stone steps on the south face of the East Bluff that is assigned the level “Difficult” (if you’re paying attention).

Although this was Genesee’s inaugural hike outside of Dad’s backpack, she still rocked it! Mom’s performance, on the other hand, was a little more questionable. Thank goodness her shaky legs were unaware they were trembling on a “difficult” path less traveled. Otherwise, the anticipation of death might have killed the mood a bit.

In the end, we lived to see two spectacular views… 1) an overlook of the beautiful Devil’s Lake, and 2) the interior view of our Toyota Highlander from the safety of our seatbelts.

Ready, Set, Action City Trip!

Post quarantine era, I was not mad about the return to field trips, especially when it meant second graders got to splash around at the Metropolis Resort, enjoy a delicious pizza party, and then play mini golf at Action City afterward (for those who could sweet-talk their chaperone mom into getting a sneak peek of the arcade area).

Although you can never go wrong with a water park, the day was initially dampened by the tragic news of a house fire that killed 4 Melrose-Mindoro elementary students. I cried in Mrs. Miller’s class as the news sunk in deeper by witnessing her tears.

So, the joy of a field trip was a timely and much-needed distraction from the sadness and concern that subsumed our small community. I suspect the teachers even gave us more free rein to make happy childhood memories because life felt that much more precious… We played, we laughed, and we even ran our little hearts out in walk-only zones.

Upon my return home, the family dinner conversation held space for every fun detail of my trip, before revisiting and improving our fire drill protocol, and then hugging each other a little bit tighter.