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’s Glee club recently had a practice performance at Sonoma Hills Retirement Home. This is Elliot’s first non-school singing performance, so we weren’t sure what to expect, but there was no sign of the stage fright that Sarah and I were (are) prone to. Instead, she stood front and center and happily, proudly, loudly sang her songs.
She received several superlative compliments afterwards and we couldn’t have been prouder!
Elliot introduces us to the forest animals that populate her world and she regales us with a convoluted tale from the wilds of the playground . . .
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.
Our present to Elliot on her 5th birthday was a new bicycle (to replace her tricycle she was quickly outgrowing.) However, due to a combination of busy holiday schedules and bad weather weekends, it took us until the other day to actually get it for her. Immediately after purchasing, we took the very excited girl (she was jumping up and down with her hands in the air in the bike store) for her first bike ride—choosing the lovely Sonoma bike path as our setting. We ran into friends, listened to frogs and enjoyed the unseasonably comfortable weather.
Just yesterday, we all went for a ride and run/walk (to keep up with the rider) to the nearby bike store to get her promised basket, bell and streamers. She’s proving to be a strong cycler with a lot of stamina and courage—she already said she’s ready to take her training wheels off. Of course, that will probably happen a lot slower than she expects . . .
Not an uncommon sight around the house—Elliot loves to compose her own songs by transcribing in a string of notes as she made it up . . .
Another typical morning around our house—it’s hard to wake a sleeping cutie, but it’s worth the effort when they light up your home with play . . .
Here’s a couple other recent photos—the first of swinging with her friend Sophia at the Plaza playground and the second of us enjoying the weekly Shiso Sushi night at Sonoma Springs Brewery around the corner from our home.
Meema and Dampa came down to the Bay Area and we all spent Thanksgiving in the city with Mary and Karson. We also got to see their new house in Oakland and their new dog for the first times!
Elliot and I love making pulleys using jump ropes and the backs of two chairs. We send stuff to each other. You know, like tooth paste and legos.
The Bears won, I played with my daughter and had dinner with my gorgeous wife at my favorite restaurant—it was a good birthday.
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 . . .
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!
As the first official sign that summer is ending (the weather certainly isn’t showing signs) came in the form of the Sonoma Community Garden harvest festival—kids swarming the haybale house, hobo music in the Fig Forest, local brews in jam jars, pie contests, harvest produce. Makes us almost willing to say goodbye to summer!
On Fridays, Elliot has the afternoons off, which we spend at the Plaza playground before going grocery shopping.
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 was looking forward to school all summer. Here on the morning of her first day of her third year of preschool—she and her small group of friends will be the “older” kids in the class this year before they transition to kindergarten in the Elementary class room.
Dayglo cupcake decorating, an afternoon in the pool and an evening barbecue—I think we did it right?
Elliot attended several different week-long day camps at the local Academy of Dance & Arts just off the Plaza this summer. At the end of “Princess Camp,” we celebrated with both a Mommy/Daughter Tea Party and a Daddy/Daughter Ball. We all had a lot of fun, as evidenced by the videos above and below!
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.
We’re lucky, this summer, to have four farmers markets to attend—the Tuesday evening Plaza market, the Friday morning Depot Park market and the saturday morning markets at the Community Center and the Community Garden.
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:
My girls treat me right on Father’s Day—bicycling, ice cream and (not shown) a 3D movie and pizza!