Ella Does a Show

“Just picture the audience in their underpants,” I said to Ella as we drove to the ice arena after she confided in me that she was nervous because there would be a lot of people she didn’t know watching her skate.  Hysterical laughter erupted from the backseat.

By the time we made our way downstairs to check her in, she was ready. She seemed so grown up all of the sudden. She confidently gave me a hug goodbye and walked back with one of the volunteers to the locker room where the kids in her group would spend most of Saturday. Hair curled, flower clipped in, one frilly costume and a pair of white ice skates – she was ready for the big show.

As I walked away, I felt nervous for her. Would she feel scared being in a room with a bunch of strangers all day, would she freeze when she got onto the ice, would she forget the routine and get upset? A half hour later, we took our seats in the front row where she’d be able to see us. She had a whole section cheering for her as she took the ice.

She is second from the right, next to the little boy. She was cautious, which she said she was going to be since she didn’t get to wear her helmet and didn’t want to fall, but she worked her way through the routine.

She had done it. I was proud of her for being brave enough to participate in the show. When we picked her up after the first show, she was beaming with pride and loved getting flowers.

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She could not wait to do the second show later that evening. It was her best performance of the day. I wish I would have been able to get video of it rather than just catching it from the far end with the other volunteers. When I told her that she’d be able to watch it on TV later this week, she was super excited.

After a very long day, I took her our for frozen yogurt, just the two of us. She just could not stop smiling and saying how much she loved being in the ice show. It looks like we found an activity that may stick, at least for now.

This morning she passed her current level and is going to be starting in the lessons for older kids. She’s so happy and I’m happy for her.

Winter Happenings

When we told people about our plans to move to Minnesota, we were met with all sorts of grunts and goans immediately followed by ‘just wait until winter.’ Well winter is here and it hasn’t been so bad yet. Yes, it gets damn cold. Even this week when the thermometer tells me it’s 30-40 degrees outside, thanks to humidity and wind, it feels 10-15 degrees cooler.

Regardless of the chill in the air we’re making the most of our winter. There isn’t too much you can’t do if you’re bundled up. Last week we did just that.

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Friday night Josh fired up the chiminea and we roasted some marshmallows for some winter s’mores under a clear, star-filled sky.

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Sure there were some sticky gloves and frosty noses, but we had a great time.

We heard about the Winter Festival in Saint Paul which featured an event called Crashed Ice. We strolled through some ice sculptures which we unfortunately melting due to the unseasonably warm (for Minnesota) temperatures. It was a muddy mess.

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We ate some dinner and then made our way through the crowds to see the Crashed Ice event. It looked terrifying, but then again I’m not such a great ice skater.

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It was hard to see and there were so many people that we stayed for a couple races then went back down the the ice skating rink. Ella was really excited to ice skate for the first time. She waited so patiently for our turn.

They handed me the tiniest skates I’d ever seen. She could hardly contain her excitement as she waited for me to put on my skates. She practiced walking around on her skates until I was ready to head to the ice.

The minute we got onto the ice she wanted to skate on one foot. She must have seen it in a movie or something. We very very slowly made our way over the the side of the rink where Josh and Anderson were waiting.

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The pictures aren’t the best, but that’s ok. It took us probably 20 minutes to get all the way around. We didn’t even fall down! Once was enough and Ella said she was done until we could go again at the rink in the park by our house. We may have ice skating lessons in our future.

Once we actually have snow I think we’ll head out to snowshoe and cross-country ski. We still have more winter ahead so there will be time I’m sure.