Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Dust Off The Yearbook...

One of my favorite things to do in the world is go through the closets in my parents house. They still live in the house I grew up in and in every nook and cranny is a memory. I took these pictures of my high school letter jacket during my last visit...I need to spend some time filling this journal with tidbits from my life that Colin can revisit one day himself. My own mother was a cheerleader and I have always adored looking back at her life before "mom".

My high school was, and is, old. The building is old and the traditions are old...the school opened in 1958. My mother was the head of the English department (and AP Senior English teacher) for almost my entire childhood and did not leave the position until 1999 when she moved to Director of Advanced Studies for the school district. Growing up with a high school teacher meant that I grew up in that school almost as much as my own home! In fact, my mom arranged for me to ride the school bus from middle school to the high school in order to meet her when she got off work. I remember vividly getting off the bus at all of 12 years old and walking to her classroom in "A unit". Everything seemed so massive and her students in her last period classes always treated me like a little mascot. I thought they were very old and very cool. I went to all the games, plays and drill team performances from what feels like the beginning of time. I could not wait to get there myself and it felt like it took forever to be my turn. Most of all, I was beside myself to be on the drill team. As a little girl, I would sit in the bleachers and tap my feet to the music while watching in awe of what I considered the most beautiful girls in the whole world. I started taking dance at around 3 years old, so I was ready ready ready!! I just knew I would die waiting for my chance to wear bright red lipstick and white boots on the field during a Friday night game. :-) Once in high school, the wait continued...freshman girls had to be in "Cheering Squad", which was incredibly lame but being on campus and near the drill team was enough to keep me happy. Sophomores were in "Pep Squad", which was basically JV drill team and a requirement in order to try out for the real deal. The real thing was, of course, The Southern Belle Drill Team, which was comprised of only juniors and seniors. Tryouts were in the spring and it was a giant deal...looking back, it was too big of a deal...the stress on the girls trying out was "Lifetime Made For TV Movie" worthy. Luckily, I made the team both years in a row and had the wonderful chance to live out my childhood dream. We were busy girls...dancing at all the football games, pep rallies, camps, spring show, basketball games...you name it, we were the entertainment. Our dress uniform had a white hat that tied under your chin and it was big time trouble if it came off. Therefore, right before we went on the field, we would pull them so tight that you could hardly swallow...not to mention the 400 bobby pins on the inside. When we came off the field, the Belle Guards (i.e. super cute boys that we voted on to follow us around!) would come around and loosen the straps before we passed out. That makes me roll with laughter thinking back on it! We were not allowed to move when standing in position on the sidelines, so the boys ran around yanking our hats loose! Goodness, I have so many memories that this post could be days long! Another memory of note...my senior year, I was the shortest girl on the team, and therefore I lead the team out on the field to our fight song played by the band (we were in a height line). It was my job to count hash marks and stop the whole team in the right place on the field. My junior year, I was second in line and did not have to worry about it. I remember that first game staring up into the burning white lights and the giant stands and thinking..."HOLY CRAP! What if I go too far?!?!". I was taking giant deep breaths with my plastered on smile and praying to God above that I did it right. I did. :-) At drill team camp my junior year, I accidentally left one of my white keds in the dorm room. We did not go back to the dorms until after dinner, so this was VERY bad. Not to mention that I was a "Baby Belle" and did not want to mess up! I got demerits (of course) and also had to dance on the burning August concrete for most of the day with one shoe on. I was very happy for jazz class in the gym because I had both of my damn jazz shoes! HA! Anyway, the shoe thing became a huge inside joke to this day and my oldest friends still call me "shoeless" and take pictures with one shoe when they go places. (Melanie and Melissa!) Speaking of Melanie and Melissa...two of my oldest and best friends...they always got me in trouble. We were not allowed to eat in the stands during games, but they always had bags of chips and snacks in their bags. They would eat the whole game and I would put one cracker in my mouth and hear our director scream, "CHALNA! ; DEMERIT!". Everyone thought it was just soooo funny. Our annual fundraiser was a huge car wash that took place in four locations across town and the whole drill team and pep squad worked in shifts at them. All the boys in the whole school would take their trucks out "mudding" the night before and we would have lines of red clay covered pick-ups to wash while the boys started water fights and tried to be awesome. I can see those afternoons in my head...we had so much fun, but I don't think the cars were very clean.

My memories from those sweet days are so precious to me, as are all of my friends that shared it with me. I would love for ya'll to leave comments of your favorite memories from drill team, or high school, or your own dance teams if you did not go to school with me. :-) I could go on forever, but Colin will be up from his nap any minute and I have dinner to make. How life has changed!

The Southern Belle Drill Team, 1993 - 1994. This is my junior year. I am the very last girl on the right, second from the top perched on the high ladder. I was SO EXCITED to be taking that picture! :-)
This is just after I made it the second time, joining the Senior Line. The girls hugging me are Ann and Sarah, two of my big sis's.
My big sis Sarah hugging me before the Red/White game, which was the spring game and first performance of the new line. I thought I was a rock star for being a big shot senior. ;-)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Two Very Special Friends

Last Friday night was a magical evening! First, a little background...when I found out that I was pregnant with Colin, I joined a message board for mothers expecting babies in July 2007. The board was wonderful and it was awesome to have a large group of women to talk to who were literally going through everything at the exact same time that I was! On the board, I was immediately taken to two women...April and Kimberly. They both seemed like kindred spirits to me and I found myself following their lives just as I would a best friend that I knew in person. Kimberly moved about 15 minutes down the road from me, so we got the chance to become good friends in real life and I value very much the friendship that I was able to make with her whole family. April and Kimberly both keep blogs like I do, and from that I feel like I know them both like family of my own. April should honestly be my sister...she and I end up saying and doing the exact same things and our boys have been like little clones of each other through action and mannerisms. I just adore these girls and could not be happier to know them!!! We found out last week that April, who lives in Oklahoma, was coming to our area for a family event and that we could all three finally get together in person. I was so excited that I could barely sleep! :-) On Friday night, all three of our families met at Babe's (because really...you must take all possible excuses to eat fried goodness) and went to the splash park around the corner afterwards. Despite the 100 degree temps and having to wait outside for an hour for a table, it ended up being a magnificent evening and lived up to every expectation. The boys all managed to get through the long wait and dinner without major meltdowns and they had an absolute BLAST at the park. Since all three husbands were there, the girls actually got a chance to talk while they chased the toddlers. It was so soothing to be able to talk for an extended period of time to good friends like that!! I must say that it brings me a lot of peace and happiness to have women in my life that are going through the same ups and downs that I am and can share in the experience. I have been a self admitted "guys girl" in the past and generally shied away from what I considered girly interactions...I have moved on from that and now value these relationships beyond words. I am so honored to have these women in my life and I hope that when I look back on this blog post in years to come that I still count them as close friends. Now how is that for a cheesy Chalna post?!? Would you expect anything less? :-) Here are some pictures:

This one is Kim's son Hayden at the splash park. He was absolutely hysterical!!! He spent the whole evening waiting for those giant water buckets to rain down on his head, much to the amusement of the grown-ups! I love that little boy!

Colin watching Hayden in disbelief. He could not believe that anyone would want a bucket dumped on them. :-)

From left, Hayden, Colin and April's son Schafer. This is the only shot that I managed to get with all three boys and barely at that! :-)

Chalna, Kim and April...in one place!! Amazing!! :-)

Colin gives Schafer a pat on the back while waiting for dinner at Babe's. Could they be any more adorable?!? I think not!

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