It's hard to know where to begin because I've been thinking about the day I'd be writing this post for quite some time.
I have filled this post with a ton of pictures because Princess has had A LOT of things going on the past week.
She had a dance competition, dance banquet, end of the year recital and her 7th birthday.
Dance life has felt crazy lately.
Cassie is the teacher who took Princess under her wing this year. She gave her the opportunity to do a solo and believed in her when Princess started to doubt her abilities. Cassie was sincerely an answer to my prayers.
This hasn't been the easiest dance year for my girly. She has worked really hard and at the beginning of the year, she was getting a lot of recognition and her confidence was high. But due to a lot of factors, some of them regarding home life and some of them regarding studio life, she started struggling mid-year. As her mother, this isn't an easy thing to watch. I have wondered a lot this year if I was making the right decisions for her by allowing her to stay in dance but her solo really brought back some of her sparkle that had gone missing and it was nice to see her feeling so loved and appreciated.
Anyway, more on that late...
Princess turned 7 this week and I had big plans for her main birthday present. I planned on redoing the kids' room while they were with their dad from Wednesday to Friday. I stayed up late each night painting and decorating and somehow, it all came together!
When P walked into the house after school, I told her I needed her to go look in her room.
Ha! That was her expression when I told her the room she was standing in was no longer her room.
Then we asked P if she would prefer to do presents on Friday afternoon or after her dance recital on Saturday.
Of course, she picked Friday.
So it was time for presents from her brother and I.
I woke up feeling all sorts of nostalgia. We have done recitals at Club Dance for three years now and Saturday was Princess' last recital with them. I haven't really opened up about this because I wanted to wait until after her recital but she will not be returning to Club Dance for next year. We have nothing against Club. In fact, Princess had some pretty amazing teachers there and she is sad to leave but this year really showed me that Club isn't the right place for her at this time. It was a struggle for her not to make the Allstars team (and let's be honest, it was a struggle for me as well) and then she struggled not feeling like she was a good enough dancer for most of the year---and this is where mom decision comes in.
Princess doesn't want to leave Club. She has friends there and loves her teachers. But I already teach dance at another studio and I believe it will better fit the pace Princess needs right now. She needs smaller classes, more positive and laid back environments, and a chance to breathe this year.
She will be on company at my studio which means she will be dancing more hours but she will be performing a little bit less than this past year and I think it'll be better to have her with me more often.
This wasn't an easy decision for us because really, Club has been her life. It is all she knows about the dance world. And after the recital, I started having second thoughts because we love the people we have met. But I know she will love the people at her new studio too.
Anyway, I know that was kind of long and maybe it seems silly but this was a big deal for us! It's exciting and sad and scary and happy, all mixed together.
Per her request, we headed to Texas Roadhouse after the recitals were over because this girl is a steak lover! She finished her steak and then asked if she could eat some of mine. And I was proud of her for being brave enough to sit in the saddle while everyone sang happy birthday to her.
Little did she know our favorite Lenahans had been decorating their house and baking a cake for her as a surprise.
And I was happy and so grateful for all of the love that was shown to her.
All in all, it was an incredible and busy and wonderful week. Celebrating my daughter and watching her participate in something she truly loves made it a happy day for the rest of us.
I am in disbelief that my BABY GIRL is 7 but I am so proud of the little lady she is. I love her so incredibly much and would not trade her for anything in the world.
Happy birthday, Princess.