When I was a kid, rollerblading didn’t even exist. There was roller skating, and ice skating. If it hadn’t been for birthday parties at the roller rink in Paxton, Illinois, maybe I  never would have learned to roller skate. My first couples skate was holding hands with a boy named Quentin when we were literally 12 years old. Then we moved to the ‘burbs, and I went roller skating with my youth group. We skated to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and Axel F. from Beverly Hills Cop back in the 80’s.

Then in the 1990s, the rollerblading craze hit, and I jumped right in. I bought my own pair of rollerblades. Skating on rollerblades was deceptively harder than roller skating, this balancing on a row of wheels, but I was soon rollerblading along the blacktop paths of DeKalb, Illinois. As long as there weren’t any hills, I was okay.

roller blades

As with most athletic activities, such as biking and skiing, rollerblading went by the wayside when I became pregnant for the first time. It wasn’t until Lily was in Kindergarten when the rollerblades came out of retirement. Every year, her school has a rollerskating party, and we love to go when we can. Sometimes I see some of my students skating with their older siblings, and they get a kick out of seeing their preschool teacher on skates!

This past year, the girls enjoyed the rollerskating party so much that I took them to the roller rink for open skate on President’s Day. Lily has her own pair of roller blades, and I rented a pair for Emmy. The rink was less crowded than it is when the school goes, and we had a lot of fun skating together. I loved seeing the moms who were encouraging their kids to skate. Some watched from the sidelines, some were learning to skate themselves, and some were obviously pros. I’m definitely wobblier than I used to be, but I feel pretty good getting out there and skating even though I’m definitely a middle-aged mom. Lily and Emmy loved skating to Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” and of course, “Uptown Funk.”

roller blading

Since our weather seems to be very fickle this year, I think we’ll have to go skating again soon!


Birthday Birthday!

Someone crawled into my bed this morning at 5:30 a.m. Someone is so excited this morning, and has not adjusted to the time change yet. Today, Lily is 9 years old!

Since I have been participating in NaBloPoMo every November for a few years, Lily always gets a birthday post. Emmy’s birthday, however, is at the end of July. This summer it was right in the middle of BlogHer13, VBS and our Grand Canyon vacation. I mean to blog about Emmy’s birthday, but somehow it slips right past me.

This summer, Emmy turned 6 years old! Emmy is kitty-crazy, so she planned her own kitty birthday party. We rented a room at the park district, ordered a bunch of pizzas, and invited 30 of Emmy’s friends. To my amazement, most of them came! Fortunately, my sisters were there to help me with our crazy party; I meant to take more pictures, but Emmy’s guests kept me very busy! Emmy wanted to play cat cat mouse (the cat version of duck duck goose), pin the tail on the cat, and going on a mouse hunt. Party favors were kitty ear headbands and little fuzzy toy mice. Everyone had a meow-velous time!

kitty cat

This past weekend, the family celebrated Lily’s 9th birthday. Lily does not like birthday cake. At first, it broke my heart because I wanted to make her homemade birthday cakes just like my mom did for me growing up. I’ve learned that I can still make Lily fun desserts, but they are just not traditional cakes. Last year, I made homemade strawberry shortcake. This year, I made a layered Jello dessert with an Oreo crust. My sweet daughter loves fresh berries, so I topped it with raspberries.

Lily's 9

Over 9 years ago, I gave up my teaching job in a top suburban school district to stay at home with my baby. To this day, it is a decision I still struggle with; I loved my job and spent 13 years in the classroom. Motherhood is the best thing that has happened to me, and I love watching my little girls grow up. I’m so proud of all the things they have already accomplished.

Happy Birthday to both my sweet little girls!