It was a grueling 364-day wait, (made slightly more bearable by the snow day that cancelled school on the eve of winter break), but somehow we made it to Christmas! For months and months, Genesee and I have been the hype crew, spreading anticipatory cheer like only a 5 and 8-year-old can, counting down the days until the most wonderful time of the year.
As tradition would have it, we made Christmas cookies with Grandma, participated in the meatball assembly line with Dad, enjoyed Grandpa’s signature Grasshopper shakes, and left out cookies for our main man, Santa.
It was the Christmas of Robux gift cards, Prime hydration drinks, Milwaukee Bucks paraphernalia, Apple watches and TVs, winter storm/blizzard warnings, hot chocolate mornings, and fireplace crackles all night.
It was Christmas, finally. And then it was December 26th.
Of all the many things Genesee has ever lost, my favorite so far has been her first tooth! She pulled it out all by herself after it became too wiggly to bite into some of her favorite foods, like, you know: candy. This is the same first tooth that I lost, around almost the same age! Mom and Dad always try to tell us we are twins – just 3+ years apart.
That night, Genesee put the tooth under her pillow, with a heartfelt letter for the tooth fairy. She also left out a glass of milk and some chocolates.
I’m pretty sure the tooth fairy doesn’t even drink milk, and bribery is probably frowned upon. I told my sister it was a bad idea, but by morning, the glass was empty, a chocolate was gone, and Genesee was $10 richer!
Something else I’m pretty sure of: I, too, will leave out milk and chocolates next time I lose a tooth!
It was a sold-out crowd for the 2022 Mel-Min winter music program, but somehow mom and dad bought 2nd row seats, just minutes before the performance. The rest of my fan club was scattered across the gymnasium, but luckily, a star like me shines so bright that you can see me nail my lines from any seat in the room. My back-up singers also put on a good show, and after a thunderous applause, I stepped down from the risers and got tossed in front of the paparazzi for several photos. It was a little inconvenient, as I was trying to get to Grandpa’s house to celebrate with chocolate malts and cheesy nachos, but that’s the price one has to pay for having so much talent and being Melrose-famous.
If you missed out, I’ll be on tour again next year.
Between Montana hunting trips, Arizona travels, and basketball games, we didn’t have time to get our Christmas tree until well into December this year. That’s cutting it a little too close to Christmas, if you ask me.
Nobody asked me.
Instead, my parents decided to exacerbate my anxiety by visiting a new tree farm, on a cold, snowy day, and arriving just before dusk (when they close).
We had to make a game-time decision, and although we were under a lot of pressure, we got the job done, took a quick selfie with whichever family members were immediately available, and yelled Timbrrrrrr as Dad sawed down the tree.
The late great Christmas tree search wasn’t pretty, but our newly decorated corner of the house surely is!
I’ve officially launched my basketball career! My summer camps prepared me for this moment; now it’s time to show the world what I’m made of.
If you’re looking for me out on the court, I’ll be the one biting my nails and sporting Giannis Antetokounmpo’s jersey number (34) and his signature Nike shoes.
Basketball is definitely my favorite sport so far! It doesn’t hurt that we have a pretty good team (currently undefeated), a dedicated coaching staff (shout out to Coach Dad), and the best cheering crowd around!
I can’t wait to see how the rest of our season unfolds; we’ve got a lot of potential!
It took us seven years, but we finally made a return trip to Arizona! This time, I had a sidekick instead of an empty seat belt next to me.
After 2 gas station lunches on the truck topper, 17 art projects completed, an undisclosed amount of screentime minutes, 26 hours of backseat bonding with sissy-butt, and 1,700 miles traveled, we finally arrived!
First stop: dropping dad off in Payson, AZ for his hunting adventure. That, of course, was the worst part of the trip. A close second, however, was experiencing mom’s driving, as she anxiously navigated Dad’s new Toyota Tundra across Phoenix’s 10-lane interstate so we could meet up with our Arizona familia.
Spoiler alert: We made it there safely and with very few naughty words spoken.
We arrived on Thanksgiving day, just in time for Aunt Nay Nay and Uncle Jon to cook us a delicious turkey dinner! After giving thanks for that spectacular home-cooked meal at a cozy, shared table, it was time to do ALL. OF. THE. THINGS.
Between a boys vs. girls basketball game at the park, tagging along on a photo shoot with Brooklyn, hitting the jackpot at Dave and Buster’s arcade, braving the local indoor ropes course (thanks, Brooklyn!), arm wrestling Codey (I won), tossing the football around with Jon, playing with our furry friends, decorating a Christmas tree, eating lots of popcorn, and watching the gorgeous sunsets, WE. LOVED. EVERY. MOMENT.
…Until the sun set on our party and we were forced to say goodbye.
We hated to go our separate ways, but mom reserved an airbnb for us, near dad’s hunting camp, and the hot tub was calling my name! So, next stop: Pine, Arizona, where Genesee, mom, and I set up a home-away-from-home in the middle of the Pinal Mountains, hoping for Dad to harvest his elk early so he could join us for the fun. And sure enough, sometimes hope is an effective strategy because we only had to sleep there, fatherless, for two nights before we got to enjoy Dad’s company (and dad jokes) in the hot tub.
It was another trip for the books! We were amazed by the Saguaro cactus, we improved our chess game, we received breakfast in bed, we hiked through local state parks, and we even got to visit one of the seven wonders of the world: the Grand Canyon! Genesee and I were in constant awe of all 217 magnificent miles of it, except for those moments when Dad had us in constant fear by talking about all of the tragic endings that have happened onsite. I don’t think Dad meant for me to poop my pants, and for the record, I didn’t, but me and my puckered butt cheeks stayed VERY far from the edge.
Clearly, you don’t have a vacation like this without a lot of f-words: Family, Fun, Foaming hot tub bubbles, Friends along the interstate who admired dad’s rack, and Food in the form of elk meat for a year!
Apparently, some of the best things in life require a 52-hour round-trip expedition.
We will be back, Arizona! And hopefully before the next 7 years pass us by.