Yesterday we went on a fantastic tour of Whole Foods with the homeschool group. I think we had about 7 parents and 12 kids (and another bunch of parents and kids for the later tour). We got there around 10:30am and met up with one of the workers who headed the tour. He has worked in Whole Foods over 10 years and was very knowledgeable. We learned a lot about organic food, GMOs, growing produce, and the ins and outs of how Whole Foods does things. This, by the way, surprise me the most. I was very impressed with the store and based upon how they "treat" their food, I would like to make more of an effort to shop there. Having an experienced employee explain their farming, fishing, and presentation practices is just so much better than reading it out of a dry textbook and lectured to by a "teacher" who just read the info that morning themselves. Oh, and the kids loved it - especially tasting all the free samples!
J was back at dance last night - 2 hrs of tap and jazz tech and 1 hr of lyrical. The lyrical class was taught by one of the studio's new choreographers - a young guy with a long resume and innovative ideas. J loves learning new routines and techniques with new dance teachers. Tonight is musical theater for J, K and W, boys hip-hop for W, and advanced hip-hop for J and K. We get there about 4:45 and leave around 8:15. The rest of the week is at least 1.5 to 3 hrs per day of rehearsing for J - including Saturday. I ask J all the time if this is too much or if she wants to take a break for a while or maybe even try something else. She looks at me like I'm crazy and says there is nothing she'd rather do than dance every day. And the funny thing is that she doesn't care a lick about competing. She'd rather not, actually. But she knows that only by being in the company would she get the intense training, difficult routines, and professional choreographers (and other perks, like performing at major NYC venues, getting free professional head shots, and being with her best friends in the world) that she loves so much. B and I are both very proud of the fact that J excels at something she so enjoys. I do tend to go through cycles of imagining about all the other wonderful things we could do with the time and money we spend on dance. But I know J's heart and soul are poured into dancing. It's her true passion and she always gives 100%. She's been doing this for 7 years. Here's J as the "logo" of her old dance studio - 7 years ago:
She also just got new headshots taken at the studio. I have all the proofs and can't decide on the ones I want to make in to a package. The studio chose a great shot of her to put on their wall. All 25 company members adorn the large wall in the waiting room, along with the dozens of trophies, plaques, and medals won by the teams this year. So we have one comp at the end of April and an optional one the first week of May (don't know if we're doing that one yet). May 12 is the all-day recital rehearsal (I took off work for that). Memorial Day weekend is 3 days in NJ of intense rehearsals and a photoshoot with the performance team J is a part of (she qualified for this team last year and they perform at various venues like, 6 Flags, NJ State Fair, and the South Street Seaport). June 3 is the recital and the middle of July is Nationals. And in between all these things are hours and hours of rehearsing. K and W get to be a part of this, too, and absolutely love getting to experience new places. The company kids and little/older siblings are great friends and getting to spend a weekend together with your friends is better than anything, lol.
Life is so good. I should learn to appreciate it more and savor this awesome time before the kids grow up and it's gone.