Archive - December 2013

Looking Back at 2013
A New Start
One More Dream Fulfilled
Worth the Wait
One Last Look
Happy Sigh

Looking Back at 2013

It was a very good year.

But we started on a sad note when we lost my grandfather in January.

In February I admitted I have a yarn stash.  Even though sock yarn doesn’t really count as stash.

After nearly 20 years of beige military housing and 4 years in our very own home,  in March I started welcoming color into our lives in the form of Fiestaware!

fiestaware table

I got a knitting injury in April, because I’m talented like that.

May was a very important month, with Boo being Confirmed and Bip making his First Communion. So very proud of my boys!

June was tough.  Just days before the first anniversary of last year’s devastating fires, our city burst into flames again, and this fire took over as the worst fire in state history.

I created my own personal planner pages in July, and in doing so, unexpectantly launched a business selling them!

planner open

Bip turned 8 in August and Boo became a member of the Order of the Arrow.

I didn’t post much in September.  I don’t know why.

We went on a cruise in October!!

In November Pumpkin Girl danced the role of Clara and I cried.


After a weather delay, Boo passed his Board of Review and became an Eagle Scout! Pumpkin Girl then danced the role of Fritz and rendered me speechless with her acting talent.


Yes, it was a very good year.  I hope 2013 was good one for you, too and that 2014 is even better!  What was the highlight of your year?

A New Start

Are you excited for a new year? Each December I come up with the usual good intentions of being more organized in the house, with homeschooling and life in general.  This year it’s happening!  No really, it is!

100DaysI found an ebook called “100 Days of a New Year” which is getting me really motivated! I like that each day’s assignment is actually something attainable, rather than telling you to clean out the garage in a single day.  You can get a copy of “100 Days of a New Year” here: ListPlanIt.  (disclaimer: it’s an affiliate link) Take a look around the rest of the site, too.  She’s got a lot of good stuff there.


And don’t forget Pumpkin Girl Designs 2014 Planner Pages!  We’ve got weekly and monthly printable calendars in full page, half page and Filofax personal size.  I also added menu planning pages and an add-on set that includes daily pages, contacts page, year at a glance and dates to remember.

Add-Ons Overview 2014

I’ve been using my own planner for about 5 months now and it’s made a huge difference in my life.  Just having a single To Do list in one place keeps me from going off the deep end. I also added a section where I kept notes on all our holiday preparations.  Over the next few days I’m taking those notes and turning them into the beginnings of my holiday planner for next Christmas.  That’s my plan, at least.  I’m hoping for the calmest, lowest key holiday season yet.

One More Dream Fulfilled

Pumpkin Girl has danced in her ballet school’s pre-professional company’s Nutcracker for the last three years. She’s been a tumbler in the Mother Ginger scene, a party girl, a battle soldier, and a ribbon girl. CharlotteSoldierAnd for the first two years, the role of Fritz was actually played by an actor. He did a great job until last year when they decided to use a dancer – a girl- in the role, and that started Pumpkin Girl thinking.

In her company’s Nutcracker, Fritz is a big role. He doesn’t disappear after the party scene, but follows Clara back to the family room and they both fall asleep near the Christmas tree. He helps her fight off the rats in the battle scene and then accompanies her to the Land of the Sweets, staying with her through the entire show. The role requires good acting skills, as Fritz provides the comedy relief for the whole show. And with a dancer in the role, Fritz now dances  in the Winter Scene, as well as the whole Russian variation.

Pumpkin Girl set her sights on being Fritz and thought about it all winter long and through the spring. She couldn’t figure out how to let her artistic director know she wanted the job, because part of being a company dancer (in any company) is that you accept the role you are given and do your best. And yet, this was a role that not every girl would even want. Plus, she knew that the previous girl Fritz had been given the rare chance to turn it down. So maybe, just maybe, it would be OK to ask. Because wouldn’t it be sad for the role to go to someone else because the director didn’t even know Pumpkin wanted it? She asked the advice of her favorite ballet teacher, who also happened to be her Broadway dance teacher. She was the one who’d cast Pumpkin as both Sebastian in “Under the Sea” and as The Artful Dodger in “Consider Yourself.” She understood Pumpkin’s love for acting, knew her ballet skill and worked closely with the artistic director. With her guidance, Pumpkin wrote a letter letting the AD know that if she needed a new Fritz, Pumpkin would love the job.

And then we waited. All summer we talked about it. Was her dancing good enough? What if last year’s Fritz wanted to be Fritz again? What if they brought in an actor again? What if they gave it to another dancer?

It was a long summer.

And finally, early in August, the day came. A dancer/parent company meeting was held, with the casting list to be posted afterwards. I swear that meeting took forever and I was a tense mess the whole time. The meeting ended and I did a great job of not tearing down the hallway with the rest of the dancers.

I’m sure you know where this is going.

Pumpkin Girl was indeed cast as Fritz and I cried, because that’s what moms do. I even made the moms of her friends tear up because I was so happy.


Her company’s Nutcracker was two days before Christmas. They sold out two shows, a total audience of over 3,000 people. And she was amazing, absolutely amazing. Every person who talked to me afterwards told me what a wonderful job she did. She was a lovably naughty Fritz and laugh out loud funny.

Clara and Fritz in the same year! That girl never ceases to surprise me. This was the best Nutcracker season

Five days later, she turned 13 years old.  It was a banner year for her.

(And incidentally, I will have a teenager in the house, without a break, for the next 19 years.)

Worth the Wait

Boo passed his Eagle Scout Board of Review.


He was visibly nervous beforehand and more than one person told him to breathe.  But he did it and he is an Eagle Scout.  His Court of Honor will be early in the New Year.  I have to admit, I teared up a bit on the ride home.  I sure am proud of my boy.

One Last Look

Just one last look at Pumpkin Girl as Clara.  I can’t help it.

Here we are, after the first show.  She is holding the flowers we bought her.  Pipsqueak loved the show, but fell asleep during the Waltz of the Flowers.



She also made an appearance at a local Barnes and Nobles store.  First the Sugar Plum Fairy danced, then Pumpkin danced, then she read the story of the Nutcracker to the children.  She was wearing the Clara costume from her ballet company for their performance later this month.




Happy Sigh

It was an amazing weekend.

So many memorable moments from backstage, but they are Pumpkin Girl’s stories to tell.  As for me, I was an emotional mess in the final 10 minutes before the show and the long, long overture.  And then she ran on stage to see the Christmas decorations in her house and it was nonstop from there.  She was amazing in every way and I just sat back and enjoyed every minute.  Two hours later and it was over too soon.

Then on Sunday I was offered the chance to sit backstage and watch the whole show – and I did! It was equally as wonderful, but in a different way.  I had my camera ready for the moment it was all over.  I took this picture of my beautiful girl at the close of her first major leading role.  My Clara and her Nutcracker Prince.


Happy sigh.  I am so proud of her.

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