Our Weekend

It's the start of pre-school in our house. A day that once seemed so far and completely distant has at last arrived. And it's not just pre-school. It's the very fact that twice a week, my kiddos will be going to school to learn, play and interact with teachers and fellow students and that twice a week I will get a chance to work, create, clean and perhaps even rest. (Every now and then I give myself a complete "day off" and come home after school drop-off to go back to sleep and have no real agenda during my time alone. I can't be on the go all the time. It's exhausting!)

For the weekend eve of our foray into pre-school, we got to enjoy plenty of social time, family time and even a date night. I'd been counting down the days and then, ultimately, hours until date night with the husband last Thursday. We did our favorite things—a steak for dinner (Texas Roadhouse is one of our favorite casual restaurants) and an action movie. Because this gal doesn't typically do chick flicks. I love action. The more shoot 'em up, the better! We saw The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and enjoyed it very much and really, just enjoyed the chance to sit in a cool, dark place where no children were calling for me every five seconds or needed assistance in the bathroom/kitchen/living room/mess they made. Bliss, I tell you. One hour and 56 minutes of it, if we're really counting.

I also finally wore my first-ever pair of Miss Me jeans that the husband had bought me for my 30th birthday back in June. I love them! There's nothing like having a little sparkle on your butt to get through the day.

On Friday, I spent a lot of time just me and the kids and we had a really great day. I took them to the park before lunch so they could run off some energy—and steam, apparently, since even the "cooler temps" still ducked just below 100 degrees. 

Then in the afternoon we spent some time strolling leisurely through Target, snacking on popcorn and checking out pretty much every item available in the toy aisles. They do so well with understanding that we are just looking and checking things out, not buying everything. And they don't throw a fit about it, either. They really do enjoy just seeing what all is out there and they do make sure to tell me about the stuff they just loooooove, mama. The good behavior is often because I also try to set myself up for success and not take them out or run errands with my crew when they are either tired or hungry. Because neither of those scenarios ends up going well, ya know? 

(I also realized while posting this that I took a photo of everyone in front of the Frozen display. And while Harrison likes Sven and Kristoff just fine, he was in hog heaven over on the aisle full of trains and cars. On which we spent plenty of time, so quickly wanted to clarify he's not required to endure tutus and tiaras just because he has three sisters!)

While we opted for pizza for one night's dinner and some easy fixes for other meals, I did manage to make some pretty dang good teriyaki chicken with freshly steamed veggies and a heaping bowl of brown rice. Mmmm mmm good.

On Friday evening, I got some more orders made for my Etsy shop, Texas Take—my hand stamped key chains have been a hot ticket item lately! And it never fails that when I sit down to work at my computer, despite the kids being occupied or sleeping, Bandit (our tabby cat) always has to make a prompt appearance. In my face or on my keyboard.

Saturday morning I successfully baked blueberry muffins (from a box, don't be too impressed), of which we all ate every last crumb. Then the kids watched Tangled while the husband got some yard work done and I arranged some of the blossoms I'd gotten at the store. Fresh flowers in the house never fails to make me smile. And the husband knows there are three sure-fire ways to cheer me up, make my day or earn bonus points: the movies, flowers and candles. Done, done and done.

Saturday afternoon, while the husband took Harrison and Logan with him to get haircuts for the guys followed by frozen yogurt, I took Kailey and Trystan to a pool party for a little friend's first birthday. The girls had a blast swimming and my friend, Medley, helped me toss them around in the water so I didn't have to wade up and down the pool with my arms full. 

A few cupcakes and some water-logged little girls later, we headed home for dinner as a family followed by baths and some serious giggles. The kids got a hold of my phone and started taking pictures of each other, literally posing for one another and saying "CHEESE!" without any prompting whatsoever. Ham bones!?

Sunday was spent attending an incredible service at our church, and we went back later in the afternoon for our first meet-the-teacher experience! It was awesome and I'm so excited for the kids to start pre-school! They love going to the school at our church and we have been so happy and blessed to be able to send them there. They started out one day a week last fall with the Mother's Day Out program, and are graduating to two days a week with the pre-school program this school year. It's going to be exciting to watch and see what all they learn in a steadfast educationally-formatted environment!
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Guest Post Series "The Professionals," Part 2

Hopefully you were able to read my friend Christine's guest post on the blog last week, which kicked off my new guest series dubbed "The Professionals." I'm introducing several of my friends who are all accomplished, creative professionals in their respective fields and have asked them to share advice, parenting tips, how they pursue their professional goals and more in each post. Christine, who is a talented and passionate teacher, is sharing the second half of her post on teaching children literacy. Read on!

6.) Vocabulary: Beginning readers must use the words they hear orally to make sense of the words they see in print. Vocabulary also refers to high frequency sight words, which are the most commonly used words that children are encouraged to memorize as a whole by sight so they can automatically recognize these words in print without having to use any strategies to decode.

· There are two parts to vocabulary: high frequency sight words (words that CANNOT be decoded), and vocabulary words.
· For sight words look up: http://www.wisd.org/users/0001/docs/GVC/WISD%20High%20Frequency%20Word%20Lists%20by%20Grade%20Level.pdf
· This is the list of all high frequency sight words kids should memorize broken down into grades. These are words that cannot be decoded and must simply be memorized.
· To help with memorization of sight words you can: begin by teaching the word to your child, put the words up on a wall so he/she sees them frequently, ask your child to find the word in newspapers, magazines, books, at the store. Play the memory game by putting the words on index cards. Make flash cards of the sight words and time your child to see how many he/she can recite in a minute. If your child can write, have he/she write the words on paper, chalkboards, or dry erase boards.
· For vocabulary words: read, read, read! The more your child hears words in a book, the more familiar he/she will become with vocabulary words.
· Speak to your child in complete sentences and using adult words.
· Give definitions of words your child is not familiar with
· Pick one new vocabulary word a week and study it all week long, put it up on a wall, have your child try and use it in a sentence, or identify when YOU use it in a sentence.

7.) Comprehension: Comprehension is the reason for reading. Good readers think actively as they read. They use their experiences and knowledge of the world, vocabulary, language structure, and reading strategies to make sense of the text.

· Comprehension is the most important part of literacy. A child can be an excellent, fluent reader, decode any word, or know an arsenal of vocabulary words. But if he/she cannot comprehend what they have read or written, the above skills are without value.
· For beginning readers, give your child a picture book and even if he/she can’t read, ask her to “tell you the story” using the pictures. Most children begin by looking at the pictures, flipping the pages and telling the story as they think it goes based on the pictures.
· The most basic steps of comprehension begin with conversation. Ask your child what happened in the book. What happened first, next, and last?
· Who are the characters in the story? Where there any villains? Where did the story take place? What happened?
· Use past experiences to connect the story to your child. Ex. Has this ever happened to you before? Did this remind you of a time when…? Where have you seen this animal before?
· Read a story to your child, then have him/her draw a picture of what happened in the book.
· Ask your child to predict what could happen next in a story. Before turning the page, talk about what they think will happen next. Ex. What do you think will happen next? Can you make a prediction?
· Encourage further comprehension skills by teaching inference. The most basic way is by using the pictures to decipher what has happened in the story, even when the text does not say. Ex. A picture of a boy with tears on his face but the text does not say he is sad or crying. Ask your child: how does the boy feel? (sad, upset, crying). How do you know he is sad? (because he has tears on his face, because he is crying, he looks sad).
· For older students, have them make a comparison and contrast chart (Venn diagram) on two characters in the book, or two different settings, or compare and contrast two different books.

8.) Spelling: the understanding that words are made up of separate speech sounds (phonemes) and that letters represent those sounds.

· Spelling is a combination of writing, phonemic awareness, phonics, and memorization.
· To reinforce spelling, all of the above literacy characteristics must be practiced regularly.
· Play the memory game with spelling words, have your child practice writing out words and use flashcards
· Remind your child to sound out words that can be decoded and memorize sight words.
· Have your child “write” the spelling words in the air with their fingers.

9.) Writing: writing is a complex task that balances purpose, audience, ideas and organization with the mechanics of writing (sentence structure, word choice, spelling).

· The only way to become a good writer is to write constantly. This begins as young as children can begin holding crayons, markers or pencils.
· Writing can be drawing a picture that a child then orally tells a story for.
· At the beginning stages, drawing pictures is a child’s form of writing and their way of communicating stories. Even if the pictures look like scribbles, if a child can orally tell a story and describe what they drew a picture of, this is considered writing (think back to the early days when humans drew pictures on cave walls)
· Have your child practice writing his/her name
· Tracing letters, writing sight words, vocabulary words, or creating sentences with magnetic words
· Use shaving cream or sand and have your child practice writing his/her name, letters, or sight words in the shaving cream and sand
· As they get older and can begin writing sentences, have your child write a daily journal of what they did that day.
· Make them write the grocery list for you, or cards to grandparents and siblings. 

Each child develops differently and as a parent we must evaluate what our child’s strengths and weaknesses and work on what we think they need the most or believe is the most important. Teaching literacy to children can become a part of your everyday routine if you choose to incorporate it into your daily activities. Simply by instilling a love of books and writing to your children will help them realize that reading and writing are fun and hopefully they will carry those beliefs into their years of schooling.


Thank you so much, Christine, for sharing such great information! And hopefully you, the reader, have been able to glean a fresh perspective or some helpful ideas and tips for your own kiddos! I know as mine begin to recognize more and more letters and express a desire to learn how to write or constantly ask what words say that they spot everywhere, I'll be implementing as much of this as possible. Literacy is as literacy does. ;)
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A Gym Snooze, Painting, Verbal Antics & Purchases

Things have continued to be non-stop lately and I found myself multi-tasking to a ridiculous level (kinda the way the title of this blog post sounds, ha) the other day so I'm trying to tone it down and focus on one job at a time. Obviously parenting comes at the top of that priority list, so there's that. And then I took a 45-minute nap today, which kept me from being a zombie the rest of the evening, so giving myself props for slowing it down long enough to rest. Because a bed (or couch) is a way better place to snooze then the gym!

I was in my Body Pump class the other day lifting weights while the quads ran out some of their endless energy at the kid's club. My arms were burning and I was laying on the step bench on my back, so I lowered my weighted bar onto my stomach and closed my eyes to catch a breath. I kid you not that I flat out konked out for a couple seconds and completely went to sleep!!! My eyelids jerked open and I side-eyed the room to see if anyone noticed and then realized they were still finishing out their set of chest presses so obviously I hadn't been checked out for too long. I got moving pretty quick and finished out my own presses before I accidentally passed out again, ha! So you can see why I made time for a nap today.

We're also firmly in the phase of "kids say the funniest and most random stuff." The quads have been cracking the husband and me up quite a lot lately. And then also just interjecting their blatant observations whenever they feel so compelled. Like this evening when I went to pick up the kids from my mom's house—Kailey asked me to pick her up, so I did. Then she proceeded to pull the top of my shirt out wide, look down inside and casually say, "Those are your boobies."

Yup, that they are. Thank you for reminding me where I put them. Oh, and hi there Aunt Deanie and my younger brother, Ben. So nice to see you!

my younger brother, ben, and my aunt deanie 
myself and ben

my grandma, ben and my mom
Kids! They don't care who is there or where you have. If they've got something to say, it's gonna be said! And they'll wear necklaces. Logan put on seven of them this morning in preparation for going to her meemaw's (my mom's) house and I managed to bargain with her and cut it down to two. It was an intense negotiation there for a minute.

In between trips to the gym or visiting the grandparents, we've passed a lot of time at home reading, coloring and, more recently, water color painting. Logan is such a little artiste and takes it all very seriously, sometimes coloring or painting for over an hour.

Anyway, over the past two weeks I've had the chance to run a couple errands and even discover some good finds that I'm loving, like these darling floral PJ's. Both sets came together at Ross for only $8!

A trip to Bath & Body Works yielded the perfectly matched candle holder to my wine-themed kitchen and some deliciously-smelling coconut lotion. I'm a sucker for coconut every time.

Then another trip to Ross this week (while looking for a cheap stool) resulted in scoring a most comfortable pair of Steve Madden black heels for $21.99. Done and done.

Lastly, I couldn't resist this sweet Carter's outfit for a friend's upcoming baby shower. Those leggings are too much.

In other news, aside from shopping or my kid's verbal antics, I just recently launched my new blog series, The Professionals, where I'm sharing insightful advice and Q&A's from some of my good friends who are very talented in their respective fields and professions. It's gonna be a a fun series and I kicked it off with my long-time friend and synchro teammate Christine who is handing off her top tips for teaching kids how to read and enjoy literacy! Check back for part dos coming next...
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Introducing My New Guest Post Series, "The Professionals"

When I first met my friend, Christine, 29, we were both scrawny, skinny kids in a big giant pool learning how to do a ballet leg and master moves upside down with our legs in the air that looked graceful and not like we were drowning.

In fact, I can thank synchronized swimming for introducing me to an entire group of lifelong friends that I’ve held close for many years now (you can read about our team's 30 year reunion here!). Christine and I met in 1997 when I was 12 and she was 11. It’s been so special for us to have grown up together and continued our friendship as we parted ways post-synchro to pursue educations, careers and, ultimately, family and children.

christine and her family
When it came time for Christine to begin her college adventure, she chose the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio—where our former synchro head coach now oversees the team there—to pursue synchro collegiately in tandem with her degree in psychology. “I followed through with that dream for the first year of college, then decided that it wasn’t for me and pursued other ventures for the remainder of my three years,” says Christine. “Following my college graduation in 2009 (magna cum laude), I was accepted into the New York City Teaching Fellows and immediately moved to New York City to follow my two passions: becoming a teacher, and my then-boyfriend of six years.”

Out of 700 applicants accepted into the NYCTF program, Christine was one of only 24 that were bilingual and was placed in a bilingual special education program. For the next two years, she taught full-time while simultaneously earning her Masters of Science in Bilingual Special Education, where she graduated suma cum laude from the City College of New York in 2011.

Christine married her highschool sweetheart, Juan, four years ago and they now have an adorable little boy and live in Chicago. She currently substitute teaches when she’s not busy toting around little Juan Jr. or working on combining her love of education with that of nutrition as she is also an independent educator for the New York-based biz, Veggiecation. “It’s a culinary, nutrition, education program that teaches kids the importance of eating their vegetables in a fun, engaging, and interactive way,” she explains. “In the fall, I will begin working with schools and teaching kids of all ages the importance of eating their vegetables and creating new and exciting recipes with them that they can taste.”

But being a mother has and will always be the highlight of her life. “Having a child of my own has been the greatest joy I could ever as for, both as a parent and educator,” says Christine. “It has been fascinating for me to see the different developmental milestones and how he has approached them and watch his personality and curiosity for the world develop.”

When I asked Christine if she’d be interested in guest posting on my blog about education, she couldn’t have said yes more quickly! This is a very passionate topic—and lifelong endeavor—for Christine and I’m thrilled to share her story with you as well as her tips and information on teaching literacy to children. This will be a two-part post, so don’t miss it!
My Passion for Education and Teaching Children Literacy
By Christine Muldoon

My first teaching job was at PS146 in East Harlem. I was originally hired as a Bilingual Special Education teacher and aside from teaching in a class room, my job was to work with another bilingual educator (another teaching fellow in my small group of bilingual educators) to develop the transitional bilingual program at PS146.

At the time we had no idea what that meant and neither did our principal, so we flew by the seat of our pants the first year and tried our best to create a functional program, interact and translate with Spanish-speaking parents (70% of the school population was Hispanic and only three teachers spoke Spanish fluently). And, of course, be the best teachers we could be to a group of disadvantaged kids in East Harlem.

My first year I taught Kindergarten, followed by teaching first grade for the next three years. I was in a co-teaching classroom for three years as well—which means there are two teachers in a classroom. One is a general education teacher, and the other a special education teacher. Legally, in a co-teaching classroom, 60% of the students are general education and 40% special education, and the classroom caps at 28 students. Unfortunately, in a D-rated school in East Harlem, this is hardly the case and many general education students should be special education and vice versa.

In my fourth year of teaching I was moved to a self-contained classroom. There are 12 special education students, one special education teacher, and one to three para-professionals. For my fifth year I switched to a private school, also in East Harlem, and a school just for special education students where I taught 1st grade again. Currently I am substitute teaching for two private schools in Chicago, and I work with mostly pre-K through 2nd grade.

There are many different theories on how to teach literacy and each school or daycare uses a different curriculum or method. It is very easy to get swept up in the waves of information the Internet can provide. I do not consider myself a literacy expert by any means; however, I have six years of teaching experience, four in a New York City public school and two in private schools. I’ll offer my point of view and hope you find it useful.

I believe that although some methods differ, there are many basic steps parents can take to adequately prepare their little ones for school and get them started on a successful path to literacy. In order to fully understand the purpose behind these educational activities, it is important to comprehend the building blocks to literacy.

Literacy begins at a young age, it can even begin as early as infancy. The concept of literacy looks different at each developmental stage of a child and differs from child to child. The following are a few basic characteristics of literacy:

1. Print Awareness: this is the understanding that the squiggly lines on a page represent spoken language.

2. Sounds of Speech: In order to understand a spoken language, a child must be able to hear the sounds and words that make up the language.

3. Phonemic Awareness: the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate individual sounds (phonemes) into spoken words. Before a child can read print, he/she must know how the sounds in words work.

4. Fluency: the ability to read a text quickly, accurately, and with expression. Fluency is the key to connecting word recognition with comprehension.

5. Phonics: the idea that letters and letter patterns represent the sounds of spoken language

6. Vocabulary: Beginning readers must use the words they hear orally to make sense of the words they see in print. Vocabulary also refers to high frequency sight words, which are the most commonly used words that children are encouraged to memorize as a whole by sight so they can automatically recognize these words in print without having to use any strategies to decode.

7. Comprehension: Comprehension is the reason for reading. Good readers think actively as they read. They use their experiences and knowledge of the world, vocabulary, language structure, and reading strategies to make sense of the text.

8. Spelling: the understanding that words are made up of separate speech sounds (phonemes) and that letters represent those sounds.

9. Writing: writing is a complex task that balances purpose, audience, ideas and organization with the mechanics of writing (sentence structure, word choice, spelling).

Now, as parents, how can we apply these characteristics in a practical manner on a daily basis? For many of these characteristics, the application can be as simple as conversations with your little one (no matter how young) or reinforcement of activities you probably already do during the day. Below are a few examples of how you can apply the literacy characteristics on a daily basis and what it would look like.

1. Print Awareness: this is the understanding that the squiggly lines on a page represent spoken language.

  • pointing to the words on a page as you read to your child
  • asking your child where are the pictures, where are the words on a page
  • asking your child where is the title of the book
  • having your child point to (or show your child) words in a magazine, newspaper, signs at the grocery store, signs on doors, etc.

2. Sounds of Speech: In order to understand a spoken language, a child must be able to hear the sounds and words that make up the language.

  • modeling appropriate conversation for your child, speaking in full sentences (even to babies)
  • peaking with intonation, expression, and using adult words; even if you think your child will not understand them, they are getting exposure to those words at an early age.

*Most teachers would agree that phonemic awareness is extremely important in regards to literacy. Most kids will come into Kindergarten knowing their letters but not knowing that letters make sounds and the sounds are what we use to create words.

3. Phonemic Awareness: the ability to hear, indentify, and manipulate, individual sounds (phonemes) into spoken words. Before a child can read print, he/she must know how the sounds in words work.

  • teach your child that a letter has a name AND a sound. ie: “Yes, that is the letter “T” it makes the /t/ sound.
  • ask your child what SOUND do the letters make
  • model the correct way to sound out the letters. ie: the letter P makes the /p/ sound, not /pu/
  • look for other objects that begin with the same sound as the letter you are studying. ie: “What else starts with the ‘s’ sound? Snake, soup, sad, etc
  • for older students have them underline, color, or circle words that begin with the same letter sound
  • start with your child’s name. ie: Harrison starts with the “h” sound, what else starts with that sound?
  • begin teaching sounds with basic consonants and short vowel soundsthe first. Most kids don’t move onto diagraphs, blends, or long vowel sounds until the end of 1st grade

4. Fluency: the ability to read a text quickly, accurately, and with expression. Fluency is the key to connecting word recognition with comprehension.

  • once a child is beginning to read, fluency is taught by encouraging the child to use his/her finger to follow the words as they read. This is called: tracking
  • as a child becomes a better reader, the finger is removed and the child is taught to track the words with his/her eyes.
  • you can model fluency by tracking the words as you read to your child. Fluency also includes reading with expression and intonation. ie: use expression when reading a sentence that ends with an exclamation mark or question mark.
  • for young readers you can use popsicle sticks as a “pointer”
  • if you have access to a big book, use a pointer stick and have the child come up to the book and point as you read.

5. Phonics: the idea that letters and letter patterns represent the sounds of spoken language

  • the goal of phonics is to teach kids to decode words (sound words out, or blend sounds together to read a word).
  • similar to phonemic awareness, ask your child to identify the sounds the letters make in simple words such as: cat, hat, pat, etc.
  • use Dr. Seuss books to begin teaching sounding out words
  • use fingers to “tap out” sounds in words. ie: when sounding out the word “cat” hold together thumb and forefinger and clearly say the sound /c/, then hold together thumb and middle finger and say the sound /a/, then hold together thumb and ring finger and say the sound /t/. c-a-t. This is a full sensory (visual, auditory, kinesthetic) approach because it helps kids break words down into each individual sound using their hands (kinesthetic), saying the sounds (auditory), seeing the separation of sounds with the tapping of each finger (visual).
  • for more information on “tapping” words you can go to www.fundations.com It is an entire literacy curriculum based on decoding words using the tapping method.

-----stay tuned for part 2!

I hope you enjoyed this post and thanks to Christine for sharing such insightful information and tips! I'll be back soon with part two, the completion of this post, and also have a few other guest posts lined up for my "The Professionals" series that I hope to continue into this fall!

Thanks for reading :)
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My Synchro Team Turns 30

There's no doubt in my mind that each of my four kids will be involved in sports. They'll be able to try a variety of activities—starting soon, even, now that they're getting older (3) and bigger!—and hopefully they'll find something they enjoy, get excited about or display a natural talent for. But more importantly, I want them to learn all the things that being involved in a sport has taught me over the years.

Swimming certainly played a very huge and impactive role on my life, ever since the age of seven. That's the year I joined The Pirouettes of Texas (PTX), a synchronized swimming team that was then based in Irving. I loved the water and one of our neighbors at the time saw a flyer for the team then immediately brought it to my mom and insisted I needed to try it out! I truly did enjoy my first practice with them, but I thought the caps and nose clips were pretty weird. And the goggles they made back then tended to take up half your face and make you look like a bug, ha. But it didn't take long before I got on the band wagon with all the getup and was swimming away like a fish.

Swimming with my team earned me several life long best friends, many of whom I've now known for 23 years—including my coaches! I learned how to apply myself, set goals to accomplish, work hard, stay dedicated to the cause, be a member of the team, push myself both mentally and physically and support those around me as well as display good sportsmanship and set an example for younger swimmers coming behind me.

It was hard for me to leave the sport behind, I was nearly 18 and ad suffered a slipped disc in my lower back that caused me a lot of pain and made day-to-day life pretty difficult. After much therapy and many treatments at Scottish Rite hospital, I finally made a fair recovery but it came at the price of stopping swimming. The doctors warned me that if I didn't let my back recover, I would end up having to get my vertebrae fused together. Eek! I had harbored hopes of swimming through college or possibly even doing more, but I decided to take a different route and pursue my college education in Texas and follow my second passion of journalism. Thankfully, I've had minimal back issues ever since finishing treatment and even survived my quadruplet pregnancy fairly well—the extensive bed rest probably kept a lot of the stress off my back, I figure.

Through all those years of swimming, I learned a lot about myself and certainly grew as a person and a teammate. It helped me become strong, independent, strong willed and driven. And, like I mentioned above, I am still best friends with pretty much all my teammates and many of us live within close distance of each other today! We all have regular get-togethers and coordinate meet-ups when everyone's in town for special events, holidays and such. It's such a special bond and one that we will always share!

Celebrating the 30 year anniversary for PTX was such a fun, special night! We caught up with swimmers and coaches, both former and new, enjoyed watching photos from over the years, ate, drank and laughed together, honored several former PTX members by inducting them into the team hall of fame and I believe there were a least a few hundred selfies snapped.

all the swimmers and coaches (both former and current)  in attendance for the 30th anny party
my longtime coach, megan (left), and my mom!
myself, my mom and former ptx head coach patti—who founded the team in 1985
myself and megan
A couple years ago, we teamed up again to compete in the Masters synchronized swimming championship in 2008, which was held in Las Vegas that year. (A big part of what motivated us to compete, a trip to Sin City!) We ended up taking the gold and it was so awesome to be back in the pool swimming with my girls again, and we hope to do that again in the coming years.

Now with careers and jobs, spouses, kids and family, we've all certainly gotten busy with life but still keep in touch regularly and talk online just about every single day. We support each other through all the challenges and celebrations in life from near and far and I cherish my teammates and my beloved sport so much!

Here's a video I worked (many long hours) on and assembled for the official 30 year anniversary party this past weekend. It brought back a lot of memories and laughs, and you can also get a good look at the sport of synchro and the history of our team! Go Big Red!

PTX Synchronized Swimming Team 30 Year Anniversary Tribute from Texas Take on Vimeo.

I wore a red dress in support of my team—our colors are red and white—and loved every second of such a special evening. (The husband unfortunately couldn't attend since he was on quad duty that night and did an awesome job of keeping the kids. They all ended up in the front yard running through the sprinklers before showers and a freshly cooked meal he made all himself!)

Needless to say, I am grateful for swimming, for synchro, my awesome coaches and my team. I wouldn't be who I am today without them! May my love of the water never end!
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