Maya loved the mashed potatoes so much she had a serving for brunch
My simple centerpiece
Bruce is in charge of the turkey
Getting ready to eat
We passed around and read some little notes of thankfulness as we do every year.
Grandma looked wonderful in her new top. We had such a lovely time with them.
I am grateful for one more year of blessings, good health, and the health of my family. I am thankful for good friends and all the people in our little community who are helping us shape the future of our children. God knows I can't do it alone. Thankful for being surrounded by good people who love and support us.
Saturday was the end of Maya's first full season in Gymnastics. She has been rewarded for all her hardwork, ending it with the title of "State Bar Champion". We couldn't be happier for her.
With her best friend before State Competition
The walk-in. Those are always fun to watch because she is the shortest and is always in front carrying the sign.
There were tears of joy when the score flashed "9.675" on bars. We were hopeful that would mean first place but we didn't know until it was announced at the end.
But.... the whole experience was not at all perfect. There were the shocking falls (yes, two!) on the beam. It had never happened before and it rocked our little world at the moment. Our teammate's grandma started crying saying something about "she has worked so hard for this... and now this happens...", I cried, Bruce was visibly disappointed, and Maya had a good cry as the coaches hugged and supported her.
She still had the floor routine to do. I was really concerned that she wouldn't be able to pull herself together. Both coaches and I were tried to be really encouraging. I sat down to watch and hoped for the best.
She did it. She finished strong with a 9.425 and a second place on Floor.
Winning on Bars obviously helped. Yesterday she announced that she will make Beam her "best event" yet. There were many lessons learned, I am sure.
The coaches. What can I say?
Maya asked me on Saturday if I had posted any of her pictures on Facebook. I told her I was waiting to get home and write something really "sappy" about it. (She makes fun of how sentimental I am). So, here it is, copied straight from Facebook:
"Maya is State Bar Champion (9.675) and got second place on Floor (9.425). Just a big "THANK YOU" to Susan Sunseri and Cassy Carmody for giving her the gift of a season she will remember forever. This season she has learned to vault and to "dance", and has broken all of her records in every event! Thank you for the hugs today when she fell on beam, proving that you're there for her when things don't go as expected. Thank you does not seem enough."
Gymnastics has become much more than a sport. These amazing people are our second family and we can't imagine our lives going in any other direction.
(It's been a while since I've posted one of these).
First of all, a disclaimer: we don't talk about weight in this household, especially mine and Maya's weight. But I was brushing her hair and with the corner of my eye I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I made a comment about how "I think I've gained a little weight these last couple of weeks".
Maya says: "Seriously?" "You, fat? Nah.... Skinny mamas are not very good for cuddling".
Our little team delivered again! I keep talking about the "little team that could" because of all the changes that our gym has gone through this past year. We had a dramatic change in coaches and philosophy. Very talented girls such as Maya quit gymnastics left and right because of being pushed too hard, being encouraged to compete levels that they're not ready for, and plain and simple -- not having enough fun in their sport! We could have been on that boat with Maya. Except that Maya's coach has seen a lot of burn out in very young girls pushed too hard too young.We are hoping not to make that mistake with her.
Does she look like she's having fun?
Last Saturday, we drove one of her teammates and best friend to the meet, and another one back home. Before the meet, I fed them cheeseburgers (it has become a tradition), fixed their hair with the hardest-hold gel available on the market :-), and they did crafts together. On the way back, they used my phone to type a six-part text message to one of their teammates. Yesterday, three of them spent the whole afternoon together before heading to practice. Yes, I would say she is having fun in addition to having a great season. I know these friendships will last a lifetime.
Back to the meet:
First 9 on vault! Hurray!!! 9.2 - 4th place; 9.150 on bars - 4th place; 9.425 on beam - 2nd place; and 9.6 on floor - first place.
First all around in one of the largest meets of the season.
What I am going to remember, besides the fun and the medals:
My dear friend Patty surprised me and came to watch Maya. She got there as Maya was getting ready to start her floor routine. Patty has all her three girls in gymnastics and after four years of Maya in the sport, she was finally able to see her in action.
Maya's little traveling buddy who went to Houston with her was also at the meet as a volunteer (she belongs to the host gym). So, another little supporter to cheer Maya on. Together with Patty's girl, they ran around the gym yelling Maya's name and being as cute as eight and nine-year olds can be! They bought Maya a purple scrunchie as a souvenir and gave her a shout out during the meet.
We felt very loved. "It's not just about the sport", as everybody says. We are living that truth.
We carved our pumpkins last Sunday when I was home. As the kids grow, they require less and less help from me. They become less picky about having a fancy pumpkin, and more and more proud of their own simple creations:
Butterfly and grim reaper
He asked for a picture of his own
So did she. I love that she still loves non-scary costumes.
A good friend from the gym joined us
The whole group. A friend of ours hosted a great party. The kids couldn't contain their excitement. Halloween just gets better and better each year.
This meet had the promise of being a fun one: Halloween costumes, trick-or-treat around the gym after the meed, and judges dressed-up in scary costumes (aren't they scary enough already?).
First event: Floor - 9.3 - a great start!
Second event: the vault - 8.5 - she still has some work to do on this event. She finds it hard to propel her light frame over that table in a fronthand spring. Can you blame her? ;-)
Then, the highlight of the day. Rather, the highlight of her still sprouting career in Gymnastics: a 9.825 on Bars! The coach said she kept watching and thinking: "what are the judges going to deduct"? It was as close to a perfect 10.0 as that routine goes, she said. I will always remember our reaction in the audience. We screamed, the other parents screamed, the people who didn't even know her screamed. The owner of the gym was sitting next to me and got a little emotional. Yes, I'll always remember that routine. No, I didn't videotape. She will just have to do it again, we keep joking.
Beam was next: 9.225. Not her best this season, but a good score.
With one of her coaches
First on Bars (9.825), Fourth on Floor (9.3), Eighth on Beam (9.225 - yes -- it was a very competitive meet), and Sixth on Vault (8.5). Third place All Around - 36.850.
She also won a gigantic jar of skittles by guessing how many pieces of candy there were in it. It's always a good day when one wins candy, a few medals, and breaks her own record on an event.