Sunday, June 30, 2013

Meet of Champs 2013

I feel SO on top of it blogging something that happened yesterday! But we need to get these videos up for all the family that didn't get to witness the meet in person.
Yesterday morning we headed out early for the Meet of Champions. Ella was swimming in every event and Addie made it in freestyle. We dropped Preston off to spend the day with Grammy and Greatfrog (a HUGE help and he had tons of fun!) and then headed to our assigned high school for the day. Meema and Papa were able to make the drive out from San Antonio to cheer on the girls and it was really exciting to have them here!
Here are the basics of how the Meet of Champs and All Stars Meet work.
There were 6 divisions in the league this year (what division you are in is based on the size of your team...we were moved up to div 3 this year). We swim against the teams in our division during our regular season and then we all go to the Meet of Champs (MOC) together, with each division having it's own MOC.
The top 8 times for freestyle and the top 4 for back, breast and fly from your team go to MOC. So, it is awesome to make it to MOC, but there are quite a few that go from each team.
Going to All Stars is HARD. Until our last regular meet of the season I thought there was NO WAY Ella would go. The first place finisher for each event and age group is guaranteed to go to All Stars. So from our MOC 1 girl in freestyle from each age group and one boy, etc. They take 16 swimmers to All Stars total for each event (I heard 12 yesterday, but it is an 8 lane pool and I looked at the results from last year and there were 16, so I'm pretty sure that is what it will be again). That means that after the 6 spots are taken by the winners of each division, there are 10 left to fill and they do that based on the next best times from ALL the MOCs.
But back to our meet yesterday...
We got there, got set up and waited for start time. I was one of the 7/8 ready bench parents so I was with Ella's group all day getting them lined up for events. I was able to go in with Addie's group too though. These big indoor meets can be intimidating the first time so I didn't want her to freak out. Mike and his parents would go in for each event to watch and Mike took all the videos for the day. Ella got to help sing the national anthem with other members from her team, which was a fun way to start things off!
Ella's 2 relays (free and medley) went first. We have not done great at the free relay all year, but we have won the medley relay every time so I thought we had a good shot at that one. Sadly, we got 4th/5 teams on both. Oh well. I thought it was weird to have them do the relays first, but in some ways I think it was nice because they could get their nervousness out on those ones.
Then it was time for Addie's freestyle. She made it into the top heat with the 8th fastest seed. When I explained to her that she was against the fastest girls and just to do her best she was initially excited because she found out a couple days ago that 8th place ribbons are purple and she thought she could get one :-). But they don't do ribbons at MOC, so no luck there.
When she was getting into her ready position she fell into the water (they are a lot higher over the water than in the outdoor pools). She started crying but we got her right back out and off they went. It wasn't her best time, but she did a great job and I'm proud of how well she did this season! Such a HUGE improvement over last year!!! Good job Addie girl!
Addie Freestyle (lane 8)
seed time: 27.21
this meet: 29.56
17th/37 swimmers (and 3rd of our 8 swimmers)

The next 2 were freestyle and backstroke for Ella. Freestyle was the only event she wasn't in the top heat for. She swam right around where she has most the season.
Ella Freestyle (lane 2)
seed time: 20.09
this meet: 20.13
10th/38 (top 8 get medals, so it was a bummer she was so close)

Ella Backstroke (lane 7)
seed time: 23.16
this meet: 24.32
8th/20 (just made it for medals!)

Breaststroke was up next and then butterfly. Breaststroke had been her favorite for the last year, although as she continued to improve her butterfly time over this season she was starting to love it more :-). Her breaststroke time has been pretty consistent for awhile though so I wasn't expecting a crazy time on this one. She has a beautiful stroke but she never seems to pick up the pace on it. We figured butterfly was her best shot at getting to All Stars but that it would still be hard.
Then something clicked with breaststroke yesterday and she finally sped up the tempo!
Ella Breaststroke (lane 7)
seed time: 26.08
this meet: 24.62
2nd place/20!!! (we will know today whether that time will qualify for All Stars)

And the last event of the meet. I knew she could do it in this one but I was nervous for her! I nearly cried watching it I was so happy for her that she did her best when it really counted!
Ella Butterfly (lane 5)
seed time: 21.65
this meet: 20.72
1st place/20!!! All Stars here we come!

So, it was an exciting end to a big day!
The other cool thing is that in our heat sheets from the meet are the all-time records for the Division III MOC (top 10) and Ella will be in two of them next year!
She has the 6th best in breaststroke and 3rd best in butterfly! EVER!!
Ella really worked hard this year on her swimming so it is so exciting to see it all pay off. I'm so proud of her and so happy that she has found something she loves and can do well at. The funny thing is she has HATED butterfly for the past year. Her body just wouldn't get the motion down right and then half way through this summer season it just clicked. She wanted me to email her Katy Aquatics coach right away and tell her she got 1st in butterfly because she knew Coach Steph would be shocked :-). And now guess which stroke is her favorite :-)?!
Here is the other funny story about all these events. So, leading up to our last meet of the regular season I had looked at past MOC times and All Star times to see if Ella had a shot of making it. It had been her goal at the beginning of the season to go and I wanted to see if it was even realistic. This was before the butterfly thing clicked and it really looked like it was a long, long shot to make it to All Stars. So, one night when I was tucking her in bed and she asked if I would give her a reward if she made it there I just said without thinking, "Sure. I'll give you $100." The next meet is when she busted out that butterfly and I quickly realized that stinker just might cost me one hundred dollars :-)! She quickly decided she wanted a kindle and she did it. We ordered a kindle fire last night so we can get it in time for our big trip. Oh Ella :-).
She had a fun rest of the afternoon too. We picked up Preston and headed to eat straight from the meet. And when we got home her two best swimming buddies Claire and Madeline came over to play. I didn't see them much for the next few hours but I heard lots and lots of giggling :-). Ella is going to miss getting hang out with them all the time now that the season is over!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Flashback Girls Night Fun

Thursday night I headed out with some friends to see The Package Tour...Boyz II Men, 98 degrees and New Kids on the Block. We fueled up for the night at Torchy's Tacos and when we got to the concert we had to run to our seats because it had already started. The night was sooo fun! NKOTB put on an especially entertaining show (I won't go in to details here, haha!) and it was a blast to act like we were 13 again :-)! Here are some highlights...
My camera phone took terrible pictures, but the videos were a little better.
Boyz II Men

98 degrees

New Kids

When Donny made is way through the crowd towards us, Marie took off to try and get close :-)


Friday, June 28, 2013

Lauren is Here!!!

It was a sad day a few years ago when Ella's little buddy Lauren moved away. We did get to visit with them once 3 years ago when we were on our way home from a CA trip and it was really fun. Ella had so much fun getting to spend the morning with her again. They picked up right where they had left off. Hopefully it won't be 3 more years before we see them again!
our last visit
 photo 5-12-10-8.jpg
and this week...same pose pretty much :-)
But they really haven't changed too much deep down :-).
 photo 12-16-09-6.jpg

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Some Summer Fun

We have been swimming, and swimming some more and then going to swim practice. Sometimes we need an indoor activity to mix it up though so we have also been renting movies, working on our school books and even made it to Monsters University this week. We went to see it at the Alamo, which the kids think is super awesome, AND Rachel came with us too, so it was an extra fun afternoon. Last week Addie got to go paint ceramics with Brooklynn and Ian (she was in HEAVEN) and Ella has had some pretty awesome play dates and parties to go to (getting a pedicure!).
We only have one more full week here before we head out on the road and I am NOT ready. I haven't picked out our outfits for our family photos, I have hardly thought about the clothes we need to pack for all the other excursions...ahhh. I have 4 more photo shoots to edit before we go too and I'm going to the New Kids on the Block concert tonight. I seriously need more hours in my days! I definitely didn't think about how many working hours I would be losing when I spend the day taking the kids to do things during the summer days. Mike and I are both ready to escape in the RV for awhile.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Last Meet: Falcon Point vs. Pin Oak

Saturday (the 22nd) was our last regular swim meet of the season. It was at our pool and we won by a lot, which was a fun way to end the season! Nana and Grandad were able to come out to see the girls swim their freestyles and backstrokes and then they took Preston home with them so Mike could stay and see all of Ella's races (he usually takes the younger two home at that point). It was a dramatic meet for Ella...super low during breaststroke and super high during butterfly, but overall the girls swam really well! Addie beat her backstroke time and Ella killed her butterfly. It's been a fun season, but I'm glad that it is almost is hot out there! Both girls made it to the Meet of Champs coming up this Saturday and Ella has a shot of making it to All Stars in butterfly, so we'll see how it goes!
Addie Freestyle (lane 4)
seed time: 27.21
this meet: 29.11 (5th/21 on FP)

Ella Freestyle (lane 2)
seed time: 20.09
this meet: 20.67 (1st/17 on FP)

Addie Backstroke (lane 6)
seed time: 38.44
this meet: 38.00(4th/17 on FP...she ended the year 5th overall on the team, just missing the chance to swim this at meet of champs too)

Addie and Rachel waiting for their ribbons
Ella Backstroke (lane 4)
seed time: 23.50
this meet: 23.16 (1st/17 on FP)

And then after a long break it was time for breaststroke. Ella seemed ready to go but for some reason when she dove in she thought for a second she was doing butterfly and the first movement her arm made after streamlining was not the right one for breaststroke. She knew immediately she had DQd and the rest of the race she just went through the motions. I knew it would be bad when she got out of the water and sure enough she ran over to us and started crying. After consoling her a bit we told her to go over and get her ribbon and then come back to us but she didn't want to go get the 6th place ribbon for DQing. I was getting worried the funk would carry over to butterfly which was quickly coming up, so after trying some different approaches to cheering her up I suggested we burn the ribbon when we get home. It made her laugh and she thought it sounded fun, so we went and waited in line to get it. I was nervous about how butterfly would go though because she still seemed pretty sad.. But it all was fine!
Ella Butterfly (lane 4)
seed time: 24.56
this meet: 21.65!!!! (1st on FP)

And watch her in this relay.
 I only started recording at her leg and she was swimming like crazy!

So, it all ended well and she was so excited to jump in the pool at the end of the meet to celebrate!
And, as promised...

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Preston's Swim Lessons

Preston started doing some swim lessons with our favorite swimmer, Rachel. She helped both the girls learn to swim and now Preston is old enough to get started too! She does a great job of making kids feel comfortable in the water and building their confidence (since all our kids have freaked out initially when it comes time to learn) and she is super fun too! We all love Rachel :-)! Hopefully by next summer Preston will be ready to start swim team too...we'll see how it goes!
Here are some pictures of his first little lesson.
Preston trying to escape when it was time to go under the water :-).