Monday, October 16, 2017

Swim, swim, swim

Since Ella only has the first half of October to swim the short course season it is a mad dash to get times in all her events before we go. Her coaches let her attend a meet this past weekend that her group wasn't swimming at in order to fit them in and then she will have one more day of races on Saturday, the day before we head out. She swam a lot of tough races in order to get all her IMX events done (something USA swimming does to rank swimmers across the nation). Ella was nervous about it but I reminded her that during the summer when she was swimming so many prelims/finals meets she was actually swimming even more!
On Saturday she had the 100 Free, 200 Fly, 200 Back and 500 Free and then Sunday was the 200 Free, 200 Breast and 400 IM.
Saturday one of her best friends showed just what a dedicated friend she is, arriving at our house at 6:30am and then sitting at the meet for 6 hours with me cheering Ella on. My parents were also able to come out and watch all of Ella's races that day and man, was it fun to watch. Her times from last short course season were just ok and she improved so much over the summer that she just destroyed every heat she was in! She got almost all A times (a few were really close to AA) and she has only been 13 for 2 months, which means she has 22 more months in this age group. Even with the 7 month break she will be taking (which she is pretty worried about I might add) I think she is going to do amazing things as a 13/14 year old. We are not going to miss driving her to the millions of practices she has (especially the 5am ones!) but we will really miss watching her compete! We are so proud of this kid!
(all the seed times are from last short course season which ended in February)
100 FREE
seed time: 1:05.99
this meet: 59.71 (3rd/51 13/14 year olds)
3rd from the top, she takes the lead quickly ;-)

200 FLY
seed time: 2:39.84
this meet: 2:28.17 (1st/9...2nd place got 2:42.85 though)
lane 6, the girl who wins the heat is 15 yrs old

200 BACK
seed time: 2:46.70
this meet: 2:33.56 (9th/44)
lane 5

500 FREE
seed time: 6:07.05
this meet: 5:41.42 (1st/41)
Mike had to stay home and try to work as much as possible before we leave so we were especially thankful that my parents were there to time! Ella insists that only I can be her lap counter because she trusts me she says ;-)
Just Ella and I for most the day! Mike came out to see her 200 breast though. Her first two races she did well, but not as well as we know she could have done. It was a lot of long races though! She totally kicked it into gear on her 400 IM to end the meet!
200 FREE
seed time: 2:21.41
this meet: 2:10.45 (6th/58)
lane 7

seed time: 2:49.44
this meet: 2:43.52 (3rd/46)
lane 5

400 IM
this meet: 5:04.17 (1st/38)
Ella did awesome on this event long course (it was her very first AAA time) but she had never done it during short course season and ended up in the very last heat of the meet. I had to help time her so I couldn't video but I was excited to try and get some cool pictures of her while I was right by the pool. I took the one below to test my settings and was immediately told by an official that I couldn't take pictures while on deck :-(. I wish I had waited until she was coming back towards me to do my tester! Anyway, Ella was amazing this whole race! The 13/14 AA time is 5:00.49 and she was really trying to get it. She got SOOO close and I still can't believe she is doing this well so early in the season. It definitely makes me wonder what she would accomplish if we weren't taking off for so long, but hopefully her body loves the down time and she comes back stronger than ever!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Weekend Round-Up

2 weeks until we leave and we are ready!!!! The 7th was a busy day with swim meets, birthday parties, friends over and family in town. Ella swam great at her meet (and this particular meet historically has not been a good one for her) and we had a nice afternoon with friends over before heading out to dinner with Mike's parents, who came in to town for one last visit before our big trip. Sunday there was a special church meeting to announce the creation of 2 new wards in our area and boundary changes for the rest of us as a result. We headed to brunch with the Freemans after and the kids got a little early Christmas/trip surprise from them. I loved the cute bags Diane created for the presents!
Here are some highlights...
50 Free
seed time: 28.05
(at All-Star meet this summer: 27.57)
this meet: 27.37 (5th/31 13-14 year olds)
white cap, lane 4

50 Fly
seed time: 32.07
(at All-Star meet this summer: 30.49)
this meet: 30.68 (4th/21)
lane 6, the 2 girls in her heat who beat her were 16 years old

Megan gave Ella this adorable journal to use on our trip...LOVE
A few randoms...our September 1 second video, Preston being funny in the bath and possibly my most favorite school project brought home ever :-)!

And the Sunday fun...

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Preston's 3rd Grade Field Trip

Knowing that the kids had limited time at school this year before we pull them out we were really excited to find out that Preston would still get to go on his field trip. I immediately emailed the teacher that I could chaperone when I heard about it and, lucky me, I got the job :-). For the first time EVER (and I have helped on a lot of field trips over the years) they wanted me to ride on the bus with the kids. On the plus side I didn't have to drive there and back, but then there is that other side, and it's a big one, that meant I had to ride with tons of super excited and hyper 3rd graders. Preston was so excited for me to sit with him on the bus though and I quickly forgot all about it..almost ;-). It did help that he picked the "first class" seats...the front row haha.
The field trip was to the Fort Bend County Museum and was pretty fun. We spent no time in the museum itself, but the kids enjoyed doing old fashioned chores and games, eating lunch and then we loaded on the bus and headed to a nearby cemetery with a guide. I think we all could have done without this part of the tour, but oh well. A little old man talked about why we have graves, what the information on the headstones mean and then showed us some important people who were buried there. I thought it was a bit strange for a 3rd grade field trip, but what do I know ;-)?!
I was glad when it was over, but I'm glad I went. Preston definitely let me know multiple times through out the day that he was glad I was there. I sure love that crazy little guy.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Cousin October

As excited as we all are for our big trip, there is a part of even me that is sad that we won't be with extended family for Christmas again. The kids especially though love our traditions at home and with everyone on both sides of the family so we have PROMISED them that next year will be here in Texas to celebrate :-).
Mack and Cheryl and their 3 kiddos were finally able to make the trek out to visit from Florida (first they were delayed by hurricane Harvey and then Irma nearly caused another!). Our kids haven't seen them in almost 2 years, which is way too long, especially considering they hadn't even met their youngest cousin Molly who is nearly 1 1/2 now. So we were all very excited for them to get some time with them and hopefully it won't be as long before the next time we are all reunited.
Kayley, Cheryl and I decided to do a cousin gift exchange now that there are starting to be so many kids. Each cousin gave another cousin an awesome gift and my kids were SOOOO excited for the big moment!!! (they also got their early Christmas presents from Grammy and Greatfrog) From the moment they got home from school to the moment we walked into the doors at my parents house their energy level was off the charts...just like real Christmas ;-).
After a Torchy's Taco feast and some mandatory pictures with all the cousins (which produced the best smiles ever because they knew what was next), it was finally time for presents. It was loud and crazy with all the kids, but they all had a blast and got along so well. We wish the Miner crew didn't live so far!!!
Mike snapped a behind the scenes picture of everyone trying to get all 8 kiddos to smile for the camera :-)