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  • Welcome to our blog!

    It seems crazy. Ten years ago Clint and I had just gotten married, and we were so young and carefree. It was just the two of us and life was pretty easy. The house stayed (reasonably) clean, we went out when we wanted, and traveled to some pretty incredible places. We didn't have a whole lot of responsibility, pretty much just to ourselves.

    Fast forward to 2014 and we now have three miniature versions of ourselves, two girls and a boy in the middle. Hayley is six and is as spunky and prissy as can be. Colin is almost five and is the nuttiest little thing imaginable, but oh so sweet. And Sydney, our littlest, thinks she's six and is already the comedian in the family. Despite our kiddos being so little, they not only now outnumber us, but they have managed to turn our world upside down. But we wouldn't have it any other way. We love 'em to pieces!

    The blog is filled with the weekly happenings within the Stuckey family, some funny, some touching, and some a little zany and crazy. Life is definitely better with kids in it! We love ours to pieces. Images + Words = Memories.

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Camping at the Yogi Bear Park: Day 2 (Pancake Breakfast, Playground, Waterslides)

We survived the camping trip, but barely.  Everyone fell asleep alright, but Keaton woke up in the middle of the night screaming his little head off!  And he wouldn’t stop!  Finally after 10 minutes of Keaton screaming at 2:30am I told Clint that one of us was going to have to take him home.  So Clint grabbed Keaton and took him to the car.  As soon as Keaton got strapped into his car seat, he calmed right down.  He was fine . . . so long as he was in his car seat.  So poor Clint slept in the driver’s seat of my car while Keaton slept in his car seat the rest of the night.

When I woke up the next morning, I stumbled out of the tent around 6:30am.  There was Clint sacked out sideways, mouth wide open, snoozing away.  And there was Keaton wide awake in his car seat quiet as a mouse just looking around waiting to be rescued. That little stinker!!  Thankfully, everyone woke up happy . . . but hungry!  The Mother’s Day breakfast started at 9am, but everyone was up and ready to eat by 7am.  We were so hungry and graham crackers weren’t going to do it! To the playground!!!  Thankfully, the Yogi Bear Park has an awesome playground!  The pancake breakfast was pretty good too!  Free breakfast for moms!!  You can’t beat that!

After breakfast the Yogi Bear Park opened up their waterslides (which was the real reason we came).  Sadly, the waterslides were closed on Saturday because a swarm of bees decided to build their hive at the top of the waterslides and kept stinging anyone that would get close by.  So we decided to play by “vacation rules” that day and let the kids have fun together on the waterslides!  And they did!!  They LOVED it!!  P.S. Sydney pouted at the end and didn’t want sit next to Yogi Bear.

Yogi Bear Park Day 2B May 2017

 

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Camping at the Yogi Bear Park: Day 1 (Swimming, Miniature Golf, Yogi Bear, S’Mores, Movies Under the Stars)

We decided to go camping for real this time, not just day-camping, but real sleep-in-a-tent camping at the Yogi Bear Park.  We only had one problem, our tent broke as soon as we got there.  Clint was so frustrated because this was only the third or fourth time we had used the tent.  He was ready to go home, but Colin kept saying, “Dad, we can fix it!”  “I know we can fix it!”  “Dad, I can fix the tent.”  I know how to fix the tent.”  Clint and I both both naively doubted Colin’s abilities to fix the tent, but Colin kept insisting that he could fix the tent.  To prove his point, Colin ran and grabbed one of the wire hangers we brought to make s’mores. “Here look Dad!  I can fix the tent with this!”  Clint looked at Colin and doubted whether it was possible.  Again Colin persisted, so we let him try to fix the tent.  Sure enough, Colin fixed the tent with a piece of wire from the clothes hanger.  And thankfully, Clint bought his army knife which had some wire cutters, so we got the job done.  It’s not a permanent fix, but Colin’s ingenuity fixed the tent for the duration of our camping trip!  Go Colin!

The kids had SO much fun at the Yogi Bear Park!  We spent Saturday afternoon playing in the water park, eating pizza, riding around the lazy river, meeting Yogi Bear, playing miniature golf, and drinking lemonade. That night we made s’mores and laid out under the starts to watch a movie.  They couldn’t get the real movie to play, so they put on Sinbad, which was a pretty terrible movie, but the kids liked it!  If they are happy, we are happy!

Yogi Bear Park Day 1 May 2017

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Colin and Keaton: Oh the LOVE!!

These two are SO adorable!!  There’s Colin and there’s mini-Colin!!!  They both adore each other SO much and love to wear matching pajamas!!  Every night Colin grabs matching pajamas for himself and his little bro.  I’m so glad we decided NOT to listen to Colin when he said that he wanted to be the only boy!!  LOL.  Keaton has been the biggest blessing!!  Colin needed a little brother!  And he definitely deserves a little brother!  Keaton is so lucky too!

Colin and Keaton Matching Pajamas

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Mommy Daughter Spa Day

The Mommy Daughter Spa Day is one of my favorite days all year!!  I was in charge of it again, but I had all the stuff from last year, so the set-up was easy peasy!!  The best part was being among all these amazing girls (mine included) and their sweet moms (which happen to be some of my greatest friends)!  Hayley did my hair and my nails and gave me a shoulder rub. It was bliss!

Mommy Daughter Spa Day May 2017

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Hayley, Colin, and Sydney All Made the Gymnastics Team!!

I am BEYOND PROUD of these three kids!!  They ALL three made it to the gymnastics team!!  When they first started gymnastics I never imagined they would love it so much or that they would all make the gymnastics team a year later.  I certainly did not set out to make them gymnasts.  They’ve tried soccer, swimming, dance, karate, baton twirling, cheer, ice skating, you name it, but nothing has ever stuck.  Hayley even took gymnastics when she was five, but gave up within a few months.  Colin took a Mommy and Me class when he was two.  This time was different.

In November 2015, I decided that I would take gymnastics.  My kids thought I was crazy!!  Okay, maybe I was a little crazy, but I LOVED it!!  Soon thereafter, Sydney wanted to take gymnastics.  The others weren’t at all interested (been there, done that).  In the spring of 2016 Sydney had to move to the afternoon class, which meant Hayley and Colin had to come watch her do gymnastics after school.  They were bored as can be.  So I told them, “Why don’t you take a class?”  And they did!  And they loved it!

Colin took his trial first class (Level 1) on May 16th and moved up to Level 2 the following week.  On July 3rd, Colin moved up to Level 3.  He was LOVING gymnastics and was picking up SO quickly.  Colin was taking two classes by then and was having a 30 minute private each week.  At each practice, he couldn’t help but look over at the boys who were on team.  He knew that’s where he wanted to be.  But those boys had been in gymnastics since they were three or four.  Colin had just started and he was seven.  But, Colin had natural talent and was learning quickly.  But even still, there were already ten boys on the Level 4 team and they were really good.  So, why didn’t they put Colin on pre-team??  Couldn’t they see his raw talent?  I emailed Coach Ben, the Level 4 boys team coach.  Coach Ben basically acted like I was crazy for suggesting that a brand new kid without any gymnastics experience would be put directly on team or pre-team.  “Sorry, the boys team has already been picked.  Try back next May.”  Next May?  That’s SO far away!!

I knew I had to be patient.  Colin was having so much fun and that’s all that mattered.  But it’s hard for me to be patient.  When I have a goal in mind, I have an action plan to get there.  So I talked with Coach Stephen to get some insight, especially to find out if Colin could be on the boys pre-team.  Coach Stephen basically told me that the pre-team wasn’t a good for him (i.e., Colin was too old and was too advanced for the pre-team), but that he wasn’t ready for team.  Colin was stuck in the middle with no sure guarantee of ever making team.  I asked Coach Stephen how we can get him ready.  Coach Stephen just told me, “It’s all up to Colin.”  That answer really frustrated me at the time, but it was SO true.  I needed to just step back and let Colin work for it.  It was solely up to Colin.  If he wanted the team badly enough, he could get himself there.

We then had one set-back, which turned out to be the biggest blessing.  With school starting back up Coach Stephen could no longer offer private lessons.  With only practicing two hours a week in a rec class (versus the team practicing six hours a week), was there any chance of Colin ever catching up to them and making team?  I decided to see if Coach Matt (the boys head coach) was available for private lessons.  He was!!  Colin had his first private lesson with Coach Matt on October 4th.  After the private, Coach Matt told Coach Stephen, “You need to move Colin up to Level 4.”  I think Coach Matt could see Colin’s raw talent and determination.

Most kids progress one level (maybe two levels) per year.  Colin went from Level 1 to Level 4 in less than five months.  Colin was having SO much fun!  Every morning he would wake up and ask me, “Do I get to go to gymnastics?”  Colin also asked me to buy him a pull-up bar, and he started doing pull-ups and leg-ups at home.  Of course, he was doing hand stands around the house non-stop.  By spring Colin could do a back handspring and was continuing to impress Coach Matt with his form and technique.  I remember Coach Matt saying to Colin after one of his privates in March, “Well, I think you’re about ready for team!” “Level 4 Team?” I asked.  “No, I wouldn’t put him there.” Coach Matt responded.  “He’s ready for Level 5 team.”  Level 5?!?!  That’s huge!!  So, in less than one year Colin went from taking his first Level 1 class to making the Boys Level 5 Team.  That’s quite an accomplishment!

I’m also pretty proud of little Skittles too!  She too was having so much fun in gymnastics!  She’s so silly and goofy that I didn’t realize how good she was becoming until one of the coaches pulled me aside in the fall and said, “Sydney is really good.  Have you ever considered putting her on team?”  “No . . . She’s only four.”  The coach was stunned that she was so young.  But the coach’s remark made me start watching Sydney more closely.  She was really good AND she was super strong!  I already knew they picked the team in May, but there were hundreds of talented little girls!  One of the moms told me that I needed to get Sydney into Super Fit Kids (which was basically the girls pre-team).  But, getting Sydney into Super Fit Kids was much harder than expected.  There was a huge waiting list and other factors that went into consideration, like listening skills and maturity.  Sydney was really talented, but she was still too silly and goofy.  But, that’s what I loved about her!!

So Sydney stayed in her normal Fit Kids class the rest of the year and into 2017.  While Sydney never moved up to Super Fit Kids, Coach Stephen kept telling me to be patient and that everyone was aware of Sydney’s talent. I started to become aware too.  Her cartwheels were perfect and she taught herself a pullover and a back hip circle.  None of the other girls could even come close.  But still, why hadn’t Sydney been moved up yet?  She was still silly and goofy, but when it mattered she was so focused.  I just wished I could peek into the coaches’ heads.

Finally, at the end of May, I got an email from Coach Denson that said, “Good Afternoon!  Over the last few weeks, the coaches have evaluated the students for movement to the Xcel team. I want to congratulate, your child for being invited to the Xcel Team.”  But, he didn’t say which girl.  Was it Sydney or was it Hayley?  Hayley also started taking gymnastics classes about a month after Colin.  I think the boredom of watching Sydney from behind the glass wall caught up with her and she wanted to give it a try.  After the trial class, they started Hayley in Level 2.  A few months later, Hayley’s coach moved her up to Level 3.  Hayley wasn’t the most graceful gymnast, but she was strong and fearless.  Like Sydney and Colin, she was going two days a week.  The front office was probably SO irritated with me because whenever one of the kids moved up, we had to completely change our schedule to try to get them all in together.

I was also taking classes (an adult class Friday nights and sometimes a private in the middle of the week).  And Keaton was taking Mommy & Me classes with me.  He LOVED it!!  My two favorite classes were the Mommy & Me with Keaton and my Friday Adult Gymnastics Class.  I especially LOVED going on Fridays because the class coincided with Sydney’s Fit Class, so on Fridays Sydney and I went to gymnastics together.  It was our thing!  And whenever our two classes were finished, we would jump into the ball pit together!  It was SO much fun!!!  I really miss our Friday classes!

Okay, so back to Denson’s email.  Which girl was it?  Which girl made the team?  I sent an email back to Denson asking for clarification, but I didn’t hear anything back for two hours.  That was the longest two hours!! I was so excited, but I didn’t know who to be excited for (and who to be sad for)!  Finally, I got another email from Denson which read, “Over the last few weeks, the coaches have evaluated the students for movement to the competitive team. I want to congratulate, your child for being invited to the Developmental Training 3 Team. The team will be training to compete Level 3 in the Fall 2018.”  Then Coach Denson clarified in a separate email to me, “Sydney is invited to the JO program to train for level 3 and Hayley is invited to the Xcel program.”

WOW!!  I was on Cloud 9!!  They ALL made the team!!  They all worked SO incredibly that past year and they ALL made the gymnastics team!!!  I was SO proud of them!!!  Colin had found out first that he made the team the day before.  Although Colin was told informally by Coach Matt in March, he had to wait until May before he received the official letter welcoming him to the Boys Level 5 team.  Colin was ecstatic!!!!  He kept saying over and over, “I made the team!  I made the gymnastics team!!”  He was SO happy!!!!

While it was hard, I decided to wait until after gymnastics the following week (just three days later) to tell Hayley and Sydney.  We knew Colin was going to make the team, but we didn’t know that Hayley or Sydney were going to make the team.  I wanted us take the time to celebrate Colin first and before we celebrated Hayley and Sydney.  They each needed to be celebrated in their own right.  And I’m glad I did!

After gymnastics on Monday, Hayley and Sydney climbed into the car.  I turned around to them and told them I had some exciting news.  They listened intently.  I said, “Guess what? You both made the gymnastics team!”  Sydney, cried out, “Yes!!  Yes!!”  Hayley had this confused look on her face. “You mean I made the team?  I made the gymnastics team?  Mom, I made the gymnastics team?  As in me?”  I told her, “Yes Hayley, you made the gymnastics team!”  Hayley’s eyes filled with tears.  She thought she had to first be on Level 4 before she could make the team.  That’s what we all thought.  But yes, Hayley too, made the gymnastics team!!  Hayley was SO happy!!  In fact, I have never seen her happier!  I’m SO proud of them!  Now we have high hopes for little Keaton!!  XOXO

Hayley Colin Sydney Made Gymnastics Team May 2017

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