Friday, March 31, 2017

Happy 7th Birthday, Madilyn!

Madilyn Rae turned seven last month.  Seven seems like such a BIG age. I can’t quite wrap my head around it, but I do know one thing.  It’s going to be amazing.  

She is so much fun right now.  She is becoming quite the little-big girl.  She loves to embrace responsibility like chores and helping around the house, but she also wants to sit and cuddle on the couch and hold hands while we run errands. 

She loves school, especially art.  She loves to read.  She has started to read chapter books and cannot get enough of the Junie B. Jones book series.  

Madilyn enjoys having conversations and telling you all out her day or what is going on in her life. But she also loves to ask questions and learn the hows and whys.  

She is super imaginative and very artistic.  Every day she creates some new masterpiece or drawing.

She is also very emotional, although she is becoming much better at controlling them better.  

She loves to dance and be silly.  

She is quite the little swimmer and is so passionate about the sport.  I am so proud of her.  She consciously chooses to swim no matter how cold it is outside.  What determination!

She is definitely my little fashionista.  She loves clothes, shoes and accessories.  

She is an amazing big sister.  She and Aiden are the best of friends, when they are not fighting.  But no matter what, she looks after him and makes sure to help Aiden be happy.  She is very thoughtful and kind.

Miss Madilyn, you make me a proud Mom everyday.  I can’t wait to see what life has in store for you.

Madilyn, age 7
Posing for mommy's camera
Birthday Donut Castle
Make a Wish!
Thursday, March 30, 2017

Winter Orange Crush Soccer

This winter both kids wanted to play soccer.  After watching Aiden play soccer last fall, Madilyn really wanted to play with her brother.  So, we enrolled her with the Sereno Soccer Club and now both of our kids play for the Orange Crush.

Our kids had a great winter season!  Aiden even played with his fractured elbow.  We actually feel that it made him play a little more aggressive and with better balance.

Madilyn played really well for her first season.  She wasn't afraid to get in the middle of the pack with the other kids.  She learned to dribble the ball towards the goal.  And she even scored more goals than her brother. She has really blossomed into a good soccer player and she does seem to like it.

I cannot wait to see how much better they get this spring.  It should be fun!

Madi ready to play
Aiden warming up
Team meeting before the game
Aiden playing
Madi dribbling
Aiden and Coach Pete after scoring a goal
Madi tells Coach Pete, "That's two goals!"
She is so proud of herself!
Half-time oranges
Monday, March 6, 2017

Washington, D.C.

Each February, my national industry association has their annual Capitol Conference in Washington, D.C. This conference provides me the opportunity to join with hundreds of my colleagues from around the country to lobby for health reform changes of importance to me and my clients on Capitol Hill.  It is, by far, my favorite industry conference I attend annually.  

This year's visit to Washington, D.C. was extra-special.  My sister and her husband, who recently moved to Alexandria, just recently welcomed a baby girl into our family.  What a perfect way to blend business with pleasure!  And now that the kids are getting a little older, we thought it would be a perfect time to introduce them to their cousin and to some their country's history.  My conference started on Sunday afternoon, so we arrived into Washington, D.C. on Thursday.  That gave us a couple of days to visit with family and tour some of the capitol's infamous monuments, museums and sights.  The kids favorite part of the trip was holding their cousin, Mina Rose, and playing with Charlie, Lynsey's dog.  

On Friday, we walked around some of the National Mall and visited the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution.  We thought for sure that Aiden would love this museum, but we were wrong. In fact, he continued to tell us that this was the most boring vacation ever.  I guess when your last two vacations have been Disneyland and Disney World, historic monuments and museums would seem boring.  

On Saturday, we had brunch in Old Town Alexandria and had the chance to walk around for a little bit. Later in the evening, we took the kids to visit the National Memorials at night.  Madilyn was really excited to see the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial since she had just learned all about him in school. Actually, she loved all of the memorials.  Aiden not so much.  Our last memorial of the evening was the Thomas Jefferson Memorial.  As we walked around the memorial, we could hear kids singing. We looked down on the steps of the memorial and there were about fifty students singing and holding candles.  Our kids automatically recognized the songs, started singing and asked if they could go closer to the group.  Sure, why not.  After speaking with one of the organizers, we found out it was a group of tenth grade Reform Jewish students from all over the country participating in a social justice conference.  In fact, some students where from some of the Phoenix/Scottsdale temples.  That evening on the steps of the memorial they were celebrating Havdalah and Tu B'Shevat.  It was so beautiful!  

I am so glad that we had the opportunity to visit my sister and her family while also introducing the kids to our National's Capitol.  What a great trip!

Madi, Aiden and Charlie
The kids in front of the Capitol
National Air & Space Museum
Standing in front of the Washington Monument
The Capitol
Aunt Lynsey and the kids
Aiden, Madi and Mina
Aiden and Mina
Madi and Mina
Lynsey, Tonny, Mina, Madi and Aiden in Alexandia
The Matenges
Josh and I
Josh and the kids
MLK Memorial
Aiden and Madi
Lincoln Memorial
Lincoln Memorial
Washington Monument
World War II Memorial
Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial
Washington Monument
Thomas Jefferson Memorial
Tu B'Shevat Havdalah