For the last couple months, Elliot has been taking an extracurricular Jazz dance class every wednesday morning at school. It is led by the school’s dance teacher—who does a wonderful job. The class culminated in this dance performance set to Owl Service’s “Fireflies” . . .
Sure, Elliot, you want to join the Glee club? OK, singing is a great skill to learn! Oh, and you want to be in the Peter Pan Musical? You bet—you love that story and it will be a fun experience.
Oh, wait—you mean your Glee Club recital and you Peter Pan performances and your piano studio recital are all on the same week . . . !!??
What did we get ourselves into??!
Yes, all of Elliot’s various activities somehow managed to culminate in performances during the same week. Fortunately, there was no ballet performance added to the list. We basically lived in the Veteran’s Memorial Hall where both her Glee club recital and Peter Pan performances were held. We also spent whatever time we could carve out in front of the Piano—along with several early mornings before school at her piano studio—practicing her pieces. And I have to say she handled it incredibly well (better than her parents!) She even got sad when her early morning duet practices were over . . .
And before you grandmothers and great grandmothers and other “loving worriers” out there worry—she also got a lot of free play time. Perhaps not as much as usual, but still some. And lesson learned: find out when performances are before committing to activities!
Below are photos and videos from Elliot’s big performance week.
featuring her first public performance of a song using both hands as well as her first performance of a duet (with friend Gabriella Sebastiani.) :
glee club recital
Elliot and her two friends Matea (center) and Jocelyn (right) by themselves on a large stage in a packed auditorium—fearless girls! :
Elliot played a Lost Girl, The Bluebird of Happiness and a Fairy Friend and was joined in this production by her friends Kate and Gabriella. This is a memory she’ll always treasure—she thrived being back stage and bonding with the other kids :
Dancing her heart out at the cast party:
Playing with her congratulatory balloon at Taste of the Himalayas after her final performance:
Elliot has become inseparable from the camera. She films herself doing puzzles. She films me reading her bedtime story. She films a tour of the house and all the objects in her room.
I don’t know where she gets it from . . .
She also always introduces herself to the camera—which is a must-see.
Here are the first two of what will possibly become many cunning tales from the world of Elliot.
When Kate and Elliot get together, they often find a reason to dance—this time it was dancing along to The Nutcracker.
On a cold November evening, we were getting a cone of ice cream when we got a text from Scribe Winery vintner Andrew inviting us to dinner at their “Hacienda.” We never refuse a Scribe invitation and were quickly there eating delicious, fresh food at a hay bale table and drinking wine from jam jars and socializing with a group of Levis creatives (who later made this.)
Yes, we were very much in our element (and the type of people who bring their 5yr-old to a winery party.)
Elliot and I decided to spend a beautiful autumn afternoon at The Plaza. We started off at the playground, but soon discovered we were amidst a sea of fallen leaves.
It wasn’t long before we were building and scattering piles upon piles of leaves. Then her friend Sophia, along with some older kids from school, showed up . . .
Elliot’s fifth birthday was wonderful—a weekend full of friends, Mimi, princess parties, ballet, presents, cakes, toys and more fun than can fit in photos and video form . . .
We love Halloween!
Another Kate date—this one replete with gingerbread cookie-making and French musical-watching/reenacting!
Sarah met Bobby on her first day at USF. They’ve been best friends ever since (or “Tacos” as they call each other.) Peter met Bobby on his first day living in SF. They were friends immediately and have been so ever since.
We love Bobby’s genuine friendliness, intelligent humor, creative positivity and musical talents (he’s a world-famous rock star, you know . . . ) He was a groomsman in our wedding and has been there over the years, even when he was living all the way in Minneapolis. We were delighted when he and his girlfriend Mary moved back to San Francisco (in our old ‘hood, nonetheless.) They rented a zipcar and drove up to Sonoma to visit us recently. We took them wine tasting (Scribe, of course) and then to the Plaza for a wine country picnic dinner. We look forward to more visits with Bobby and Mary now that they’re close again!
It’s late september and that means it’s nearing the end of a summer and the end of an era. The footage in this short video—of miscellanea from September—represents the last regular usage of my Flip camera. It’s been just over a year of having that Flip virtually attached to my hand—the Year of the Flip . . .
To my Flip: you’ve served me well, oh you trusty work horse. Your “making a lot with a little” attitude and pop art sensibilities will never be matched and you’ll always be close to my heart and a part of my arsenal. It’s just that, well, now I have a new starter—you may spend more time on the bench now, but when you’re sent out to play, it will be when we really need you and you’ll have a chance to steal the spotlight!
Ice Cream in Petaluma.
Call of the Wild al fresca in the winery ruins at the Jack London State Park.
Elliot had a couple recent “Kate dates,” during on of which they made a lemonade stand.
We went and visited some new friends at their rad new winery—Scribe—for a mid-summer dinner of wood-fire baked pizza and pinot out of jam jars. Elliot loved playing and exploring around the historic Hacienda.
One of our favorite days of the year in Sonoma is the Fourth of July. This year was one of the best: started off with a pre-parade breakfast at our friends off-the-Plaza apartment as we watched people toting lawn chairs and wearing red, white & blue stream by; enjoyed the hometown parade; swam and barbecued (Karson’s a grilling genius); rode bikes everywhere; partied with some of Elliot’s school friends (and their parents) and watched the best fireworks show this side of the Mississippi.
Here’s another video we released under Belle Creative celebrating Sonoma’s parade and Fourth of July festivities:
A few recent photos
Celebrating the last day of Elliot’s second year of Montessori.
Two of the cutest creatures. Ever.
Arguing over who gets to be which Star Wars character at Mihira’s (foreground) birthday. I think whoever holds the light saber gets to decide.
A proud architect.
Footage of Elliot and her friends at a recent birthday party.
We just closed out a weekend which was a culmination of two major projects we were working to promote: the Heels & Wheels fashion show and the Huichica Music Festival. Auntie Mato came up to attend both and we had a nice weekend with her including some breakfast at Artisan Bakery with Lauren & Penny.
Elliot’s eyes welled up with tears and her lip trembled . . . “we’re not going to give Mommy breakfast in bed . . . ?” This in response to me telling her we were taking Mommy to breakfast instead. The tradition is always to have breakfast in bed. So, before heading to the Fremont Diner with Lauren and Sasha, Elliot and I woke up early and brought toast and tea to our favorite girl.
And, of course, ice cream played into it too.
As young children, my Sister and I considered our tiny, rural town in northern California—Dixon—to be the center of the world. We felt especially assured of this fact every May when the glorious May Fair would descend upon our burg.
From the kickoff pancake breakfast and May Day Parade to the inexhaustible rides on motorcycles and ponies to lying in the bunk bed at night listening to the sound of live music filter in through the curtains on the warm, night breeze, we were in love with every minute of the Dixon May Fair. I think we looked forward to it almost as much as Christmas or our birthdays.
So it was a thrill, this May, to take Elliot to the fair with my Sister and some friends—reliving childhood through the wide eyes of my daughter.
Click through for some more photos . . .
A lot of paper, a lot of cutting, a lot of gluing and taping and a lot of fun. Less successful with the kite, though . . .
Local produce, our favorite farmers, warm evening picnics, good friends (Kate!) and clowns . . . who could ask for more? You could—ask for more photos . . . and you’ll get them if you click through . . . !
Here’s Elliot in her school’s Christmas celebration.
Balloons and presents. Trains and goats. Friends and cake. Sweetness and chaos. All items a four-year-old’s birthday should have. Click through for photos . . .