Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Our Week - The One with a Field Trip, the 7th/8th Grade Dance, and Olivia’s Recital Weekend

Whew.  That’s all I have to say about that.  Keep reading for the busiest week everrrr!

Monday, May 13

Monday morning, I dropped the kids and I hit the ground running.  My to-do list was a mile-long (and then some), so I headed straight home to tackle all the things – laundry, blog work, 7th/8th grade dance planning, recital organizing and packing, end-of-the-year teacher gifts, Olivia’s end-of-the-year class party, and the list goes on foreverrrr.

At 3, I grabbed the kids from school, and then we headed straight home.  It had rained all day Monday, but thankfully, it had stopped by the time we got home.  We did, however, get delayed on our drive home because there was a dump truck turned over on its side right down the street from our house.  It must have just happened right before we got there because the first responders weren’t even there yet.  We heard their sirens as we were pulling into our driveway, though.  It appeared that whoever was involved was already out of it and okay, but it was hard to tell.  There were plenty of people who had already stopped to help.

When we got home, I got my Bible study done while the kids had some screen time, and then I wrapped up a few things around the house.  The favors for the eighth graders had arrived, and they had to be assembled – the cutest pineapple cups since our theme is a luau theme.  I was going to put the kids to work, but the green tops were such a pain to get on that I could barely do it. 

Brian ended up coming in there to help and I figured out the trick to getting them on… we ended up getting a little more than half of them done… and we had to do 80.  Sheesh.

While we did that, the kids went around the house and replaced all of our family pictures in the frames with the cards from our What Do You Meme? game and I about died laughing.  Those kids are a HOOT.

After that, we made breakfast for dinner because I needed something easy as there was just too much on my plate last week, and then after dinner, we cleaned up the kitchen and headed outside. 

The kids rode bikes for a while, I got in a 2.38 mile run, and then I watered all of the outdoor plants when I got home.

After that, it was showers for the kids and me, and then I spent some more time on laundry.  Then Olivia and I spent some time together playing countless games of tic tac toe with her little wooden set that she had resurrected. 

Jacob came in to join us for a bit, and then we got the kids in the bed early since we knew there were going to be a lot of long days and late bedtimes ahead.

Brian and I watched some of American Idol and then we headed to bed early, too.

Tuesday, May 14

Tuesday was another day with a crazy long to-do list.  I dropped the kids at school, gassed up the car, grabbed some chicken from Fresh Market to put in the freezer, and then I spent the rest of the day working and doing all the things.

At 3, I grabbed the kids from school, and then we headed home.  The kids didn’t have any homework, so they hung out for a bit while I did my Bible study, and then Jacob and I dropped Olivia at dance.

After that, we swung by the library to pick up a book that had finally become available for me (at the worst possible time when I have no time to read – haha), and then we headed home.

I used the next couple of hours to work on laundry, check more things off of the to-do list, and do a stair stepper workout. 

Jacob helped me chop all of the veggies for our sheet pan sausage and veggies meal for dinner, and then once that was in the oven, I made some cinnamon muffins to go along with it per Jacob’s request.

When Brian and Olivia got home, we all ate dinner together, and then once the kids were showered and ready for bed, we got them in the bed.  We also finished assembling the pineapple cups.


Brian and I watched some of American Idol, and we headed to bed slightly earlier than usual.  We had lots of late nights at the end of the week, so I wanted to get as much sleep as possible leading up to it.

I took a peek at the kids as I always do, and it'll never get old seeing her in a sleep mask.  <3

Wednesday, May 15

Wednesday, Olivia had an all-day field trip to Callaway Gardens, and I chaperoned.  I dropped the kids at school, swung by the house for a quick cup of tea since they weren’t leaving until 8:30, and then I drove to Callaway.  It’s a haul from where we live, but it’s always worth the drive.

When we arrived, we toured their butterfly center first.  We’ve been many times as a family, and Olivia is always so hopeful that a butterfly will land on her.  It NEVER happens, and she’s always so bummed that it doesn’t.

Well, on this trip, the butterflies all loved her, and they were landing on her constantly (probably because of her bright shirt).  She was even able to hold a couple of them in her hands which just completely made her day.  She was thrilled.  Her face says it all!


After the butterfly center, we headed to Callaway’s Discovery Center, and we watched the Birds of Prey show.  We got to see two different hawks and an owl, and it’s wild because they fly back and forth over the crowd, and one even grazed my friend, Kristen’s head.  She was sitting right next to me, and we both ducked because we thought it was going to fly straight into us.  Haha.

After that was done, we took a water break, and then Callaway did a special show just for us about animals in the food chain.  They brought out a giant rabbit (the biggest one I’ve ever seen), a turtle, and another hawk.  They let everyone touch the turtle, and again, Olivia was thrilled.  My girl LOVES animals and insects and creatures of all kinds.

Once we were done there, the kids grabbed their lunches from the bus, and we headed to a nice picnic area with a large playground.  And it was in the shade which was the best part because even though it wasn’t terribly hot on Wednesday, it felt BLAZING in the sun during the Birds of Prey and Food Chain shows.

I ate with Olivia and a few of her friends, and then after we were done eating, they headed off to play on the playground and I headed home.  They had one more exhibit to do after lunch and playground time, but I had to be in the car line early since it was Olivia’s early dance class day, and I wanted to swing by the house and let Maui out before I had to be there.

After school, Jacob and I dropped Olivia off at dance, and we grabbed her show tights and my special ticket that allows me to get backstage all weekend for the recital.

When we got home, I hit the ground running because I had so much to do.  First up, was a Bible study, and then I labeled every single item that has to go with Olivia to the recital.  It’s chaos in the dressing rooms during the recitals because there are so many girls sharing one room (Olivia has a big class), and they have to get changed very quickly sometimes, so there are just costumes and accessories everywhere.  Haha.  Therefore, they ask that we label every single item just in case things get mixed up or out of place.

After that, I got some more rehearsal packing done, I got all of the laundry put away, and I got the kitchen cleaned up and some of the house tidied before making dinner.  I just did turkey and cheese biscuit sliders and fruit to keep things easy! 

When Brian and Olivia got home from dance, we ate dinner together, and then I got out for a walk/jog to clear my head.  This time of year is just completely bonkers, and my brain was overloaded.  Walking/jogging/running outside and listening to music is my favorite way to decompress, and I felt a little better when I got home. 

After my post-workout stretch, I watered all of the outdoor plants, and then I got showered and in my PJs.  I spent some time with Olivia doing magic tricks while Jacob was finishing up getting ready for bed, and then we got the kids in the bed on time.

B and I finished American Idol for the week, started an old episode of Shark Tank that’s in our backlog, and then we went to bed early, too.

Thursday, May 16

Thursday, the insanity began!  Thankfully, my day was wide open while the kids were at school, so I was able to tackle some blog work, and then I spent most of the day getting everything ready for Olivia’s recital weekend. 

At three, I grabbed the kids from school, and we headed straight to piano and voice lessons.  We got there with just enough time for Olivia to duck in the bathroom and change into her leotard and tights first since there would be no other chance for her to get ready before we had to be at the theater.

Music lessons went well.  Jacob worked on another Minecraft piece that he’s been learning, and he sounded amazing.  He has picked all six of those songs up well on his own, and his music teacher is helping him with any of the parts that he can’t get quite right.

That was their last music lesson for several weeks as the music school will be closed for the next two weeks for a short summer break, and then the week they reopen, we’ll be at the beach, so I had to reschedule their lessons for our beach week.  So, in addition to being done with school tomorrow, we’ll also get a short break from music.  A break from all the things is much needed!

After music lessons, we headed straight to the Chick-Fil-A drive-through to grab dinner for Olivia and me, and then we both ate in the car on the way to the theater.  They ended up having a main road shut down on our route, so we had to detour along with all of the other traffic, and we ended up being a little bit later to the theater than we wanted, but thankfully, it was no big deal.  My main concern there is ALWAYS parking, because the theater is smack in the middle of our vibrant downtown area, and parking is always impossible.  We miraculously got a front row spot, though.

Brian met us there to grab Jacob and they headed home for the rest of the night.  They had mac and cheese and hot dogs and watched Guardians of the Galaxy 2, just living their best bachelor lives.  ;o)

Meanwhile, Olivia and I headed into the theater, and we found all of the moms and girls from her class.  We were able to get a good spot near the front and center, so we had a good view of the girls.  The rehearsal is done out of order (littles to bigs so they can get the little kids done early so they can go home and go to bed), and they don’t dress in costume, so the girls stay in the theater with us rather than going back to a dressing room.  

All of the girls claimed a spot together in front of us, and they spent the next four hours watching the other performances, clapping and cheering for the other girls, playing on iPads, and running in and out of the lobby to eat snacks.  Haha.

I sat with all of the other moms, and we chatted, watched all of the performances, videoed and cheered on our own girls all six times they took the stage, and we took bets on how long this year’s performance was going to be.  Hahahaha.  Our recital is always really long – usually averaging about four hours – and this year, most girls agreed that it would be longer than that.

Miraculously, rehearsal seemed to go MUCH smoother and quicker this year than any other year, and we were out of there by 8:30, which might be a record?

Olivia and I headed straight home after that where she still had to study for a test – BLESS – and she still had to shower and get ready for bed.  We finally got both kids in the bed by 9:30 (which actually wasn’t too bad considering), and then Brian and I followed closely behind them after we gave Maui her treat and watched, like, 15 minutes of Shark Tank.

Friday, May 17

Friday morning, I hit the ground running yet again.  It was one of the busiest days of the whole year as we had Olivia’s dress rehearsal, and I was chairing the end-of-the-year seventh/eighth grade dance.  It rained literally all day and I had a splitting headache literally all day (probably because of said rain) that never subsided despite that I took not one, not two, but three rounds of Ibuprofen – cringe.  Those were not ideal conditions for the busiest day of the year, but there wasn’t much I could do about it but keep on moving.

First thing, I had to pick up all of the stuff for the dance along with my school key from the office, and then I had to meet one of the other room parents to hand off the balloon arch supplies.  She was so kind to spend the day inflating and assembling the balloon arch, so all I had to do was get it attached to the ring and decorated later in the day.

After that, I swung by Publix to grab two beautiful bouquets for our girl since she was performing in her two recitals during the weekend. 

Then, I headed home to spend a few minutes on some blog work, and then it was go time.  I had to spray Olivia’s ballet shoes tan since her costume required it, and then I spent the rest of the morning and afternoon packing for the dress rehearsal and the seventh/eighth grade dance later that night. 

Since I couldn’t be with Olivia at dress rehearsal, Brian had to take her for the first time ever, so I also spent some time going over all of the detailed instructions and forwarding the info to him so he would know what to expect. 

I headed to the car line even earlier than usual because of the pouring rain, and then when I got there, I parked my car in the car line, shut it off, and then walked into the school to see how the balloon arch was coming along and to see if Carrie needed any help.

I was SOOOO glad I stopped by because they were unable to find the clamps that keep the balloon arch in place around the ring.  Apparently, the metal backdrop that we use to attach the balloon garlands to had been used for prom, and the clamps hadn’t made their way back into the box.  I spent the next 30 minutes walking around the school with our resource officer asking all of the teachers who had been on the prom committee if they knew where they were, and nobody did.  Sigh.

I had to get back to my car since the car line was about to start, so I made my way back to the car in the POURING rain.  I was soaked even though I had my umbrella.  When I got in the car, I plugged my phone in to the car to charge it only to receive a message stating that water had been detected in the charging plate and that the phone needed to be unplugged and dried out before the phone could charge safely.  The message also said it could take hours for the phone to dry aaaand my phone was sitting at less than 30%. 

<Insert panic mode here>

Of aaaallll of the days for something like that to happen, that was the very last day that I could be without a phone as I had to keep in touch with the other volunteers for the dance all night, I had to be able to text song requests from the DJ all night, and I needed to be able to keep in touch with Brian all night since he’d be giving me the play-by-play at Olivia’s dress rehearsal. 

I continued to try plugging in the phone for the next 30 minutes only to keep getting the same message and I was low-key freaking out.  I even held it up to the air conditioning vents for some of the drive home to try to dry it out.


Thankfully, shortly after we got home, I tried plugging in the phone again, and it started charging – PRAISE – so I was able to breathe a sigh of relief.  But only for a split second because…

It was go time for dress rehearsal.

When we got home, I hit the ground running yet again – getting Olivia’s hair in a bun, getting Olivia’s makeup done, getting myself changed into my clothes for the dance, getting myself freshened up (I had gotten drenched, after all), packing last minute stuff for the recital, packing last minute stuff for the dance, going over all of the instructions with Brian again, and showing Olivia how I’d organized her dance bag so she’d know where everything was.  A couple of her dances were very close together during the performance so she had to do two quick changes, so everything had to be organized to perfection so she could be lightning fast.

I realized about halfway through all of that that I needed to eat something since I wouldn’t have a chance to eat dinner, so Brian was kind enough to make a sandwich for me and I choked it down while I was doing all the things.

At 4:45 (which was 15 minutes later than originally planned), we said our goodbyes and "break a legs" to Olivia, and Jacob and I were out the door and headed to the school.  I pulled up exactly at the same time as my friend, Shaun (our DJ), thank goodness… I would have felt terrible if he’d gotten there and there had been no one there to let him in.  Haha.


Jacob helped me carry in all of the stuff for the dance while Shaun unpacked all of his DJ equipment, and shortly after that, Merritt, another room mom, showed up to help me decorate.  She was able to help me get the balloon arch up – thank goodness!  I was stressing about that because our stand is really tall and I would have had to stand on a chair or a ladder to get it clamped to the top, and that would have been an accident waiting to happen with my vertigo.  Ugh.  I don’t even like to think about it.

While we did that, Jacob set up the table for the favors, and then when his friend, WJ, arrived, I put him to work, too.  We also had a seventh-grade girl show up 30 minutes early because she thought the dance started at 6 (LOL), so I put her to work, too.  I was soooo grateful for all of them for helping so much… I couldn’t have gotten it all ready on time without them! 

Since we had so much help from the kids, we ended up having a few minutes to spare before the dance started, so the three kids played makeshift volleyball with the beach balls we’d brought, and I was able to pass out leis to Shaun, Merritt, and myself, and chat with Shaun a little bit.

Local friends, if you ever need a DJ, message me and I’ll send you Shaun’s info… he is the best DJ in town!!  He and I have been friends since our movie theater days, and we always spent lots of time listening to music together, so I can attest to his impeccable taste in music and his DJ skills.  ;o) 

As a matter of fact, our school had been using other DJs in the past, but when I took over the dances this year, I started using him to support his business, and I can’t even tell you how many people have raved about him.  I had numerous people come up to me at all three dances I did this year to tell me that he was the best one we’ve ever had.  He does pretty much any kind of event including weddings and I promise you’ll love him!  Just holla if you want his contact info, friends!

All of the kids started arriving around 6:30 and we had a great turnout.  The kids danced the night away, that’s for sure!  Even our resource officer joined in for one dance.  ;o)  The kids ate it up.

I was Shaun’s personal DJ request line all night… he always sets up on the stage and he has tons of equipment around, so we didn’t want the kids going on stage.  He also wears headphones and is constantly busy mixing things up, so he can’t hear the kids if they try to shout requests from the floor.  So, I told all of them to come to me with their requests and then I texted Shaun all of their requests all night long.  Shockingly, most of the requests that came in were 90’s and early 2000’s songs.  We got requests like Yeah! by Usher, Wannabe by Spice Girls, Cupid Shuffle, and so on… I felt like I was at the club in the early 2000’s again.  Haha.  You can tell these kids are all being raised by millennials, that’s for sure!  Haha.  We also got a few really odd requests so our text thread was hiiiilarious. 

The dance ended at 8:30, and we spent the next 30 minutes cleaning up.  It takes Shaun a little longer to get all of his equipment down, so I stayed with him, along with our resource officer to get everything shut down and locked up, and then Jacob and I hit the road for the theater.

By that point, I had missed three of Olivia’s dances, with three still to go.  Jacob and I arrived downtown and (miraculously) got a front row parking spot at the theater right around 9:30, and we got in there just in time to see Olivia do her fourth dance.  Brian had videoed all of her performances thus far, and I was able to screenshot parts of them to get pictures... they're pretty blurry, but here they all are anyway.  ;o)


Once that was done, Brian and Jacob headed home, and I sat with the other moms in our class for the rest of the night.  The next two hours dragged because there’s a huge break in between Olivia’s fourth and fifth dances.  Finally, around 11:45 PM she came out for the fifth dance, and then, thankfully, their dance instructor (and the guy who owns the studio) let them come right back out and do their last dance back-to-back so they could get out of there.  Normally, they go in show order on dress rehearsal night, but he knew it was getting late and the girls needed to get home.  That’s why half of the girls are still in their hip hop costumes… because they didn’t have time to change.  Haha.

Olivia and I left the theater at midnight and headed straight home.  She passed out and then Brian and I passed out, too.  Jacob had already gone to bed!

Saturday, May 18

Saturday morning, I slept until 9, which is late for me, and then I got up and hit the ground running.  I think I have been waking up and hitting the ground running every day for the last three weeks.  Haha.

It was recital day, so I had to organize all the things, but first, I had some household duties to tend to, and I wanted to get in a mixed cardio workout since I’d skipped my workout Thursday and was going to have to skip my workout Sunday, too.

I made homemade waffles for breakfast, and Brian, Jacob, and I ate without Olivia because she was still snoozing.  As a matter of fact, she snoozed for so long that I finally had to go in her bedroom and wake her up just after 12 PM.  Lol.  That is, by far, the latest she’s ever slept!  Since she had skipped breakfast, I’d saved her some waffles, and we put them with some chicken fingers so she could have chicken and waffles for lunch.  ;o)

After lunch, I packed Olivia’s recital stuff only to receive a text in my dance moms group right afterward saying that since the girls had a quick change towards the end of the show that they wanted us to pack half of their costumes in one bag and half in another so they could keep the first ones downstairs in their big dressing room and then keep the quick change costumes upstairs in a room right by the stage.  Most moms had already packed in one large bag, so we all just decided to keep it that way and reorganize when we got to the theater.  But it was sure stressful knowing that the girls were going to be using two dressing rooms on two different floors… I was soooo worried something would accidentally get put in the wrong room and then somebody wouldn’t have something that they needed.

I had to get myself ready and then get Olivia’s hair and makeup done, and we had to eat dinner all before leaving home at 5:30.  Brian picked up dinner from Panera and brought it home, and I choked mine down while also taking pictures of Olivia.  We only had time to take pictures of her in three of her costumes before heading out the door, so I added that to my list of things to do Sunday morning, too.

This is her Lyrical costume also known as “Enchanted Paintings.”


This is her Ballet costume also known as “Bank Executives.”


And this is her Jazz costume also known as “Music Legends.”


We got to the theater just before six, so we had some time to take a few pictures, and then I walked Olivia to the stage door while the boys went in to get good seats for us. 

I ended up staying in the dressing room to help out until about 6:45, and I took the time to reorganize all of Olivia’s costumes into bags so we could make sure everything was where it was supposed to be.  Olivia was excited because she had several gifts awaiting her from the older dancers who were starring in the show.

Then I headed into the theater to meet B and Jacob + my mother-in-law and step-father-in-law who were also there to cheer her on.  We had just enough time to take a bathroom break and hit up the concession stand for some beers (yes, they serve beers at the recital… because it’s a full production that’s open to the public… we actually have to buy tickets for it…LOL) before getting seated for the show to start.

The recital ended up being right at four hours on Saturday, putting it ending at 11 PM.  The girls nailed all six of their dances, and they all looked fantastic on stage.  The production was Mary Poppins, but they always do a 30-minute Jazz and Musical Theatre production with a totally different theme in the middle right after intermission.  Olivia had two numbers in that this year, and the theme was Super Bowl Halftime Performances.  My favorite dance this year was, by far, her jazz performance… they did a tribute to Janet Jackson, and it was incredible.  Those girls learned some HARD dance moves and it was super-fast-paced, and they all looked amazing up there.  If you missed it, you can see snippets of it in my “Everyday 6” highlight in my Instagram bio.  It’s worth the watch!

My second favorite dance this year was her ballet performance.  She was so excited because she got to start out that performance being on stage in the background acting as a bank executive for a few minutes, and it was just the cutest thing.  She had to stand there for a couple of minutes and pretend like she was having a conversation with two other girls, and she did the best job pretending to talk and laugh.  She was so animated! 

The entire production went off without a hitch, and it was just wonderful.  So. dang. long.  But wonderful.   I swear, my mouth always hurts from smiling too much after her recitals.  I could watch my girl on stage forever.

After her production, we showered her with flowers and presented her with her Mary Poppins trophy, we took some pictures with Nana and Poppie, and then we headed home. 

We all got in the bed sometime after midnight, so it was another crazy late night.


Sunday, May 19

Sunday morning, Olivia popped out of bed at 9 and I was shocked.  Haha.  She was ready to go!  We had cinnamon rolls for breakfast, I spent a few minutes organizing my planner for the week ahead, and then it was go time.  I got Olivia packed, I got showered, I got Olivia back in hair and makeup, and then Olivia and I did another photo shoot for her last three costumes…

Her Musical Theatre costume AKA “Disney Magic”

Her Hip Hop costume AKA “Movin’ Musicians”

And her Tap costume AKA “Lamplighters," or as all of us dance moms like to call it... JoJo Siwa.  Hahahaha.

Right after that was done, my dance moms group started texting saying that they really wanted the girls to have two separate bags for Sunday’s show, so I had to repack everything.  OMG. 

That set me waaaay back, so Brian went ahead and took Jacob to his mom’s house (so he wouldn’t have to sit through the recital twice – LOL) and then he came back to get us.  That gave us more time to get organized.  Whew.

We arrived at the theater about an hour before showtime again, so we had enough time to take a few pictures before it was time to walk Olivia to her dressing room.  Brian headed to the theater with his dad to get good seats for us again, and I made sure Olivia was organized and good to go with half of her costumes in one dressing room and the other half in another dressing room.  Sheesh.

Recital #2 went off without a hitch, and my girl shined on stage yet again, along with all of her friends.  And in Sunday’s performance, we had a bonus kid to watch, because my best friend, Jeannine’s, son danced in three of the performances.  He was just precious, and he kept throwing up peace signs during his performances.  Haha.

We’re not supposed to take pictures or videos during the recitals, but Olivia had begged me to try to sneak a picture of their final pose at the end of their Janet Jackson dance, so I did, and it turned out so cute!

And our wonderful room moms also took some pictures back stage and from the wings as the girls were performing.   


After the recital, we showered Olivia with more flowers (and a gift from Grandpa), and then we said our goodbyes and headed to pick up Jacob and Maui. 

On the way home, we picked up Five Guys for dinner, and I was finally able to enjoy a Moscow Mule and put my feet up.  Just kidding, I enjoyed my Moscow Mule and then had a million things to do to get ready for the next day because it was a school day.  Hahahaha.

We were able to get the kids in bed just after nine, and then I nearly fell asleep on the couch while we watched a few minutes of the American Idol finale before calling it a night!

WHEW.  If you’re still here, you deserve an award!  Haha.  This was a LONG post for a LONG week. 

And I’m still tired.

Happy Tuesday, y’all!


  1. So much FUN! I miss the craziness of the end of the year!! Ben proposed to me at Callaway Gardens!! :)

  2. That does sound like a long and busy week! I am loving all these dance recital photos though.


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