After the Junior High All State concert on Saturday I came home and collapsed for two days. Living in a hotel for two nights and eating at wonderful restaurants can really take it out of you.
No really, late nights and early mornings and worrying about the people I left at home does stress me a bit.
After my two days I unpacked, washed everything, repacked, cleaned my house, and left again.
It was time for Children's All State!
This one was farther out of town so it took a bit more planning.
It was my 5th year so I knew everything that would be happening.
I knew what exit we took to stop for lunch.
I knew that we'd check in and get warm chocolate chip cookies.
I knew our rooms wouldn't be ready when we were.
What I didn't know was that we wouldn't get connecting rooms like we'd asked for. That was a problem since I try not to speak to the mom that was sharing my room and coming the second night. It's a long long story. The other two moms told me they'd make sure we spent lots of time in their room and left me to go to the car to get their luggage. (Kennedy's and mine had been delivered by the two guys from our school who'd made High School All State. They said they got some weird looks pulling pink polka dot and zebra suitcases:) I sat down and texted Shawn, prayed, worried, and couldn't bring myself to unpack. Luckily for me the other two moms are amazing and campaigned for me at the front desk and got us connecting rooms on the 18th floor! That's the top baby!
By the time we'd gotten moved it was time for the dinner break. Unlike Junior High where Bricktown is blocks away, downtown Tulsa doesn't have a lot to offer. Tradition means we race to Spaghetti Warehouse. It's close enough and we've figured out that if we tell them we're in a huge hurry and order our food and drinks at the same time, we can make it. We've had years when the students ate in a car racing back to the hotel. Not only did everyone have time to eat, we also had a few minutes to take our traditional shoe shine picture.
Those are some amazingly talented students and their fabulous teachers! I stole a second or two to take this picture. Makes me miss my clowning days when I was pretty good at balloon animals. That night while everyone was cuddled into bed I was up late reading a really weird book that I insisted on finishing. Around 1 am I looked out the window and found this. Our view was beautiful when we woke up! Soon enough the sun was shining and the snow and ice were melting. Thankfully. Shawn and the girls were driving up the next day for the concert. Walking two blocks to dinner that night was a bit hazardous though since we were hurrying and it was still a bit icy in the parking lots. Tennis shoes really didn't go with my whole ensemble.
Way too quickly the two straight days of practicing were over and it was dress rehearsal and concert time. And I'd been reunited with Shawn, McKinley, and little Reagan:c) Oh, and Mom and Dad! I love that they live close enough to come to the concert.
Our little Chickadee got her 3 year medal. We were so proud! Since it was my fifth year I have seen quite a wide assortment of guest clinicians. McKinley's first year was a very driven lady who covered everything from exact timing on the final bow to hunting down an alto that was off pitch every time they sang a certain spot in a song. The next year was an incredible man named Greg Gilpin who engaged them, entertained them, and excited them. He. Is. Amazing. The next years lady wasn't strict...but wasn't exactly as fun as Greg Gilpin. (Seriously. Go look the man up. He's pretty cool.) Last year they had a man who had a very unfortunate name who everyone loved. And this year....this year...it was an older lady. I'm sure she was encouraging and engaging in her time, but I think her time has passed. I know why she was chosen (by our music teacher no less) and she was an excellent teacher, but they need someone fun. A little comic relief goes a long way, you know?
Plus, when she talked, it sounded like Pop Rocks were going off in her mouth.
Weirdest thing. After an amazing concert it was time for the pictures. Not the best set up, not the best background, but it's tradition. (Who's singing the Fiddle on the Roof song right now??) But incredible students and great teachers. We are so blessed at our school! This is Kennedy's last year with her sweet teacher. We have one for Kindergarten-6th and another for 7th-12th. Hopefully Reagan will follow in her sisters footsteps and I'll continue my yearly trip with Mrs. Adams. I would have withdrawals without it:c) And it frightens me how good this girl looks in mascara. Seriously? Could we just freeze time here?So proud of you Chickadee!
And a HUGE thanks to Alisa and Lori for making it a wonderful trip and saving the day!