Sunday, July 10, 2016

Under the Sea (and the Stars)

One of my favorite things about Utah summers are going to plays at the Scera amphitheater. When I saw The Little Mermaid on their summer schedule, I booked Chelsea and her daughter, Olivia, for a mommy/daughter date. We dropped off the boys with dad for a boy's movie night (they saw Angry Birds) while the girls and I stopped at the gas station and stocked up on junk food.

The show was awesome. I am always impressed with the quality of the Scera plays since it is a local production, and this was no exception. I loved the sea creatures, especially the eels and Flounder. Ursula was pretty spectacular, too. It was the perfect play for little girls, and even encouraged them to get up and dance at times. I was surprised how captivated they were through the entire thing. Afterwards, we stayed to meet the characters even though it was super duper late. They were all so nice to the girls and so fun to talk to.

It took two people to manhandle the eels, but the boys were the voices behind them. They were so animated! They would "swim" up and down the aisles right by where we were sitting. Both the eels and Ursula had light up costumes which made for some really cool effects when the sun went down.

This kid stole the show. What a cutie! The stage production changes the plot slightly, and one of those adjustments was Flounder had a crush on Ariel. Too cute.

And of course, we had to see the sea princess, herself. She was so gracious and warm. Just what a Disney princess should be.

Savannah's Birthday Party

Savannah requested a pool party for her birthday. Grandma Pendleton generously let us reserve her neighborhood pool and we had the whole thing to ourselves! Savannah had a long list of friends to invite and we had a fun mix of kids from school, church and soccer as well as lots of cousins. Even the Katschkes came, having driven in from Wyoming the day before, and second cousins Chloe and Delilah came too on their way home to Arkansas. Such a great group made for a great party!

Savannah loves planning parties and she had all the details of this one figured out. She wanted a banana cake with a number 8 candle and picked out water toys and beach towels for all her friends to take home. Emma took charge of the decorations and did a fabulous job turning Grandma's deck into a party oasis. By the time we got everyone back home and the party cleaned up, I was a little wiped, but I could tell Savannah had enjoyed every single second of it. To top it off, she and Logan slept over at the grandparents' and she and Logan joined the Katschkes and Grandma at Lagoon the next day. What a birthday weekend!

For her birthday gift, we gave her an overnight trip (just her and one parent of her choice) and some spending money to go shopping with. She has yet to redeem the trip, but has already taken her birthday money (combined with her Articles of Faith money) to buy herself a Kindle. Electronic devices and shopping trips-- why do I feel like I have a pre-teen?

Happy 8th, Savannah!

Dear Savannah,

June 24th marked the 8th anniversary of your entrance into this world and my arms. Your delivery was a piece of cake, despite your impressive 9 lbs 6 oz size, and other than a difficult stint with potty training, you have been a joy to raise ever since. You were a beautiful baby and we loved your dark hair and easy smiles.

Eight years later you have shed the dark locks for blond waves. Your smiles are still primarily toothless and often full of goofy sass. You are an entertainer at heart, and it is actually challenging to have a serious conversation with you as you love to make others laugh.

You are a mother's helper through and through. You love being around people and always want to be helping me with whatever I am doing. You don't play much with toys unless someone else is playing with you. Pretend games are your favorite, especially school. I am constantly finding spelling tests, homework, and art projects around the house from your various "students."

You love pleasing others which means you sometimes struggle making your own decisions. But you have grown tremendously this year and have surprised me by standing up for yourself when I thought I knew what you wanted but had guessed wrong. You are taking ownership for your decisions and I am proud of you for thinking things through and deciding what you want and don't want.

In a few weeks you will be baptized and I know it is not a decision you have made lightly. You understand what it means to be Christlike and I can see you try your very hardest every day to always do the right thing. When Dad challenged you to learn all the Articles of Faith, you worked hard for three weeks so that you could recite all 13 in one shot (and earned $50 for your efforts!).

You have no fear when it comes to water or heights or roller coasters. You LOVE to swim and dive and would spend every day in a pool if you could. Bugs are another story, and you threw a mini conniption when I made you stand in this field.

You love school and friends. Within 2 weeks of our most recent move you had your teacher and half your class wrapped around your finger. You are the most expressive 8-year-old reader I've ever heard and have a slight lisp because of your missing teeth that melts my heart.

You are growing up way too fast and I feel like I can literally see you slipping through my fingers every day. Sometimes I feel like a silent observer, witnessing your life unfold as my pleas to stop time fall on deaf ears. But it is a beautiful show and I am so grateful to watch from the wings. I love you, Savannah. Happy birthday, darling.


8-year-old (and 3 month) stats: 54 lb (33%), 50 in (37%)