Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Hello, Friends!

Well, we are down to just one trick-or-treater left in the Terlap family.  And to be honest, I can't imagine Jack ever giving up the chance to get free candy.  My boy loves candy!  Jack is going to go out with some of his friends the minute it becomes "legal", which in our city is 4 pm.  Jack's got a three hour window, and he intends to use his timely wisely.  He asked me if it was okay for Davis' mom to pick him up from school so that he and Davis wouldn't be 12 minutes behind like they would be if they took the bus home.  He's hardcore, that one.  : )

This year I'm going to miss most of trick-or-treat time because I'll be at practice.  Boo.  I love passing out candy and seeing all the costumes.  Speaking of costumes, a friend took me out to lunch today and our waitress was dressed up as a nun, habit and all.  It was a little bit disconcerting, honestly.   I would have rather had the roller derby queen waitress.

I hope you all have fun tonight!



Monday, October 29, 2012

Conference Champions!

 This past weekend was our Varsity Conference meet, and our ladies did it again:  FVA Conference Champions!  Woo-Hoo!  I couldn't be more proud of our talented divers and swimmers.  I'm not going to lie:  it is so much fun to coach a team that has a legacy of winning.  But you know what?  I'd love these girls even if they didn't bring home the Wisconsin-shaped trophy year after year.  I am so proud to coach this group of amazing young women.
Way to go, Neenah Swimmers & Divers!!  You are simply the BEST!



PS Bottom picture taken by Zoe Arnold's dad--thanks!!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

20 Things I'd Like to Tell My 17-Year-Old-Self//From the Archives

Each year around my birthday I repost this blog I wrote to my 17-year-old-self.  Wouldn't it be great to have known all this way back when?



1. You are not fat. Seriously. In fact, while we’re thinking of it, go ahead and slip on that 2-piece swimsuit and take a big bunch of pictures. One day you’ll be 40 and you’ll drive a minivan and you’ll look back at those photos fondly.

2. He is not The One. It might seem like he is, but he is not.

3. It is okay to change your mind. You are not expected to know what you want yet. Honestly.

4. Diet Coke is not the answer. If you don’t start, you will never have to go through Diet Coke detox (over and over and over again).

5. Never be afraid to stand up for what’s right. Even if it’s not popular.

6. Keep writing. And save your journals. One day you will get a kick out of reading them out loud to your kids.

7. For the love of God, do not take that M-F 8:00 am math class your first semester at Illinois. You will never be a morning person. Especially in college.

8. Do not stop writing letters to your French pen pal. One day your sister will take you to Paris and it would be incredibly cool to share a cafe au lait with Claudia.

9. And while we’re at it, work harder in French class. It would be nice to remember something you learned in those 8 years of French classes.

10. Pay better attention when Grandma teaches you how to make her spinach ravioli. In fact, take notes. Lots and lots of notes. Even better: video tape the whole session. One day you will want to make her recipe and you will feel paralyzed by the fear of not remembering how to do it. Plus, how cool would it be to watch a video of that day?

11. Gather old stories from Uncle Al. And Uncle Lou. And Papa. And Grandma. Write those stories down.

12. Nobody cares what size shoes you wear. Seriously. Do not wear tiny penny loafers to waitress in just because you think they look “cute” on your feet. If you continue on that path, you will end up suffering through two separate foot surgeries.

13. Umm…that sky-high bang thing? One day you will look back at pictures and cringe. Every time. So just cut it out. And lay off the hairspray while you’re at it.

14. Find a way to study abroad. Even if it means taking an extra job. If you don’t you will always regret it.

15. Do not take honors chemistry just because Tom did. You are not a math/science kind of gal, and the sooner you accept this, the less tears will be shed. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

16. Mom was right about the “Sister’s are Forever” thing. Cherish every moment you have with Christy, because once you graduate from college, you two will never live in the same state again.

17. Start saving money. Now. You’ll need it more in college than you do in high school.

18. Learn how to drive a stick shift right away. One day you’ll want to drive a truck and you’ll have to re-learn how to drive. This will not be fun after you’ve already been driving for 10 years.

19. You are enough. You do enough.

20. You are spectacular.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

This & That

Hi Friends!  It feel like forever since I connected with you here.  Here are some highlights from the past week:

**JV Conference was Monday night.  Our girls cleaned up.  There were Neenah swimmers at the top of the podium for every single event.  Emily won the 100 back and the 400 free relay, and made the podium for every event she was in.  Maddie took third in the 100 back, 6th in the 50 free, and also made the podium for all of her events.  Raffi swam personal bests all night.  It was a good night to be a mom to those three incredible swimmers.
** I absolutely can not believe that it is the end of the season for our Junior Varsity swimmers.  This year has been good.  Seriously good.  Last year's season was hard.  By this time last year, I felt like I had been through the wringer.  But this year!  This year was a joy.  I love that I get to work with so many fabulous young women;  young women who are well on their way to becoming incredible women.  I saw courage this year and kindness.  I saw tears and laughter.  There was a lot of growth, both in the water and on deck.  I will miss my JV swimmers.
**Our varsity swimmers are still training hard, every day.  For many in this select, elite group, there are still three huge meets to go.  Our varsity swimmers carry the weight of a huge winning tradition on their back.  They are fighters, and they are amazing.  Truly.  They will continue the winning legacy for our team.
**John and I snuck away on Saturday afternoon for a little walk.  It felt so good to just be outside together.  I miss both of my boys during swim season.
**Yesterday was my birthday.  It was a good day.  I felt loved:  flowers, tea, dinner out, and many choruses of "Happy Birthday."
**I haven't opened my birthday presents yet.  They are still in a big, 'ole fun pile on the dining room table.  We just didn't have time to do it after dinner last night;  we had to get back to the house right after dinner so Emily could host a huge study session in the basement.  I firmly believe that you should wait to open gifts until you can thank the person who gave them to you.  Hopefully, we will all be together at some point tonight so I can open them.
**I really, really wanted to take a picture of all the big brains gathered in my basement last night, but I knew Emily would have a heart attack if I went down there with my camera.  I think there were 15 of Neenah High School's best and brightest down there studying together for Thursday's calculus test.
**I'm pretty sure I never studied for a math test two nights before the test.  (Although if I had, I might have been better at math...)
**Emily took the PSAT test last Wednesday.  She said there were 6 questions on the test she didn't know the answer to.  Six.
**Jack is busy trying to figure out what he wants to be for Halloween.  There is a costume party after school on Friday.  He really, really wants to be Sheldon from Big Bang Theory.  He spent the entire ride to school today trying to get his friends to agree to be the other characters.  Love it!
**My *very favorite* moment from Monday's meet was watching Maddie's reaction to her time and place after her 50 free.  She did one of those Michael Phelps two-arms-in-a-victory-pose leaps in the air.  There is nothing like seeing your child that happy and proud.  Nothing.
**John's parents drove up for Monday's meet.  John's mom said it was "better than the Olympics!"  Love that.
**On Sunday I tried making Austrian Farmer's bread.  It was an epic failure.  I think something got lost in the translation.  I will try again soon.

What's new with you?



Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Cutest Geeks, Ever!

 Hi Friends!

On Saturday the whole, big, fabulous Neenah Swim Team headed down to Oshkosh West to swim at the Natalie Bolin Spirit Invite.  Without a doubt, this is always the loudest, rowdiest meet of the year.  This invite is varsity only, but the whole team comes along to cheer them on.  Each year, the coaches vote on which team has the most spirit.  For the second year in a row, Neenah won.  I think it may have had something to do with the "geek" theme our captains picked this year.  There's nothing cuter than a big bunch of cute swimmer geeks!

 Jessica Werhand made an awesome poster which completely cracked Emily up (math humor):
 While our varsity swimmer swam, our JV swimmers yelled and cheered and clapped and danced.

Emily didn't swim until the very last relay, but she had a blast leading cheers until it was time to get in the water.  I just love Maddie and Emily's big 'ole glasses, don't you?!?
 Oh!  And we also won the meet:
And our divers took 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 5th! Greysen Hertting set a new diving record (woohoo!). 
Way to go, Neenah ladies! 



Friday, October 12, 2012

Walk To Defeat ALS

 Hi Friends,

On Sunday morning, I got up bright and early, put on my layers, laced up my shoes, and headed over for the ALS Walk in Kimberly.  It was an absolutely beautiful fall day;  sunny and crisp, and the course was gorgeous--every street was lined with beautiful fall trees. 

Before the walk, we all gathered inside for pictures and team bonding.  I walked in support of my friend, Robin, and her mom, Dar (pictured above).  Dar had quite a team gathered to support her!
One entire wall of the building was covered with cardboard walls so we could write messages of support:
 Each team had T-shirts supporting the patient they were walking for.  I loved the back of this T-shirt:

 Part of the course went through Sunset Park, which was completely lovely.
 I was overwhelmed by the kindness I saw on this walk.  I loved that so many family and friends were there walking in support of their loved one.  It was truly a family event, from start to finish.
I know that right now there is no cure for ALS, but there was a whole lot of love and HOPE on that walk.  Here's hoping that a cure is right around the corner.



Thursday, October 11, 2012

Investing My Love

Hi Friends,
I just got back from a whirlwind trip down to Chicago for my childhood best friends' Dad's funeral.  She told me not to come.  She knows how crazy my schedule is, especially during swim team.  But I got to thinking;  if you don't make the effort to go down for something like that, what is worth the effort?  So I packed a bag and drove home after Tuesday night's meet.  I got to my parent's house a little after midnight.  But you know what?  It was totally worth it.  DeAnn bawled when she saw me.  I just hugged her tight.   I was so glad to be there for her
There are no do-overs at moments like this. 
I am so glad I invested my love yesterday.


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Homecoming Weekend Highlights

 Hi Friends!

Thought you might like to see some highlights from the big, crazy Homecoming weekend.  We had three high school girls going in three different directions all weekend, but we all managed to have a great time.  Friday afternoon was the parade.  Maddie & I walked with the swim team float (only seniors get to ride on the float), Emily marched with the band, and Raffi rode in a convertible with the foreign exchange students.  Jack, John, and Grammy cheered for each group as we passed them.  : )  I had a blast throwing out candy to all the cute kids who lined the parade route. Next year I'm bringing twice as much;  I ran out before the end of the parade! : (

 After the parade, Jack, Grammy, and I bundled up and headed to the football game to see Emily's halftime show.  It was so cold!  Jack brought his friend, Davis, and they had a great time going back and forth to the concessions stand. : )
 I'm bummed that I didn't bring my long lens.  This is the best shot of Emily from the night, and it was before they even started moving (she's the forth whole person from the left):
 Saturday morning, Emily, Maddie, Raffi and I had practice from 7-8.  : (  No rest for the weary sectional-champion swimmers!  Saturday was a blur of getting things ready for the pre & post parties at our house, and then getting girls to where they needed to go for pictures.  Maddie and her friends decided that they would have more fun going to dinner and a movie than going to the dance, so that's what they did.  But first, they came over to our house to take pictures. Aren't they adorable?!? 
 These girls are all on the swim team, and they are all completely fabulous:
After pictures, they headed to Olive Garden for dinner and then to the show.

Meanwhile, Raffi was off with a different group of girls getting ready for the dance, and Emily was over at her friend, Charlotte's, house to get ready.  John, Grammy and I headed over for Emily's big picture taking session at 6:00.  The girls were all so lovely, and the boys looked great.  I loved what Hailey did to Emily's hair:
Emily looked stunning:
Charlotte's backyard was perfect for photos:
They live right on the lake, so we had to take a dock picture (of course):
The whole group:
And one last silly picture before we left:
And with that, we left and they headed off for dinner.

Before we knew it, Maddie's group was back at the house to hang out after the movie.  I set out a bunch of snacks, and made my famous cupcakes in a jar to celebrate the "Anti Homecoming" group:
At a little after 10, Emily called to see if her group could come back and hang out, too. She brought Raffi home with her and there were kids everywhere!  We had a group upstairs, and a group downstairs, and the "Anti Homecoming" group shared their snacks with the Homecoming group, and all was good!

The next morning, I snagged a couple of pictures off of Facebook from the dance.  This is a shot of the swim team group:
And here's a picture of Raffi with her group (she's on the far left):
And there you have it, Homecoming 2012.   A good time was had by all!



Sunday, October 7, 2012

Fall Wreath

Hi Friends!

I looked up at the calendar last week and realized it was OCTOBER!  How did that happen??!?  Fall is my very favorite season, and October is definitely the best month, ever.  Usually by this time of year I have my entire house all decked out in fall decorations.  I knew that the kids were going to have some friends over before and after the Homecoming dance, and that was exactly the kick I needed to get into the decorating spirit.  I had spied this fabulous wreath a few weeks ago, and knew I wanted to make one for my front door.  I love, love, love felt, and I especially love all the jewel-tone fall colors together. 

The directions for this wreath are really simple:  I started with a green Styrofoam wreath form (I got mine at Hobby Lobby), and just cut up dozens of felt leaves.  Then I just used straight pins and pined them on randomly.  Some of the leaves I pinned on straight, but many of them I folded up a bit before I pinned them on so they would stick out.  I made sure to do the outside and inside of the wreath, but I did not do the back.  I think from start to finish this project took me about 2 hours;  super cute and easy--the best kind of project!

Have you decorated for fall yet?



Saturday, October 6, 2012

And One More Makes Six!

Hi Friends!

Sorry for the lack of posts this week, but there have been BIG changes in the Terlap household this week;  we have officially gone from a family of 5 to a family of 6!  We were thrilled to welcome Raffi into our home this week.  Raffi is an exchange student from Austria, and she's been on my swim team for the past 7 weeks.  She is a complete sweetheart, and a great swimmer!  She is fun to be around and a joy to coach.  She even laughs at my jokes.  : ) 

When we found out Raffi's initial placement wasn't working out, we jumped at the chance to have her move in with us.  Once we committed to hosting her, things moved really fast around here.  We shuffled a few things around and turned our den into a bedroom.  A few marathon interviews later, she became our new "daughter." 

This week has been a whirlwind of fun.  Because she's on the swim team, she has the same crazy, busy schedule as the girls and I.  Add on the fact that this week is Homecoming week, and it's been especially busy.  We have snuck in a few actual sit down meals, but for the most part, it's been go, go, go.  I am so glad she'll be with us until June;  we'll have plenty of time to get to know her better.  In the meantime, we are busy making lists of things we want to do with her while she's with us.  First up:  go apple picking tomorrow so we can make Austrian Apple Strudel.  Raffi brought an Austrian cookbook, and I'm anxious to learn how to make some of her favorite dishes.

Hooray for new adventures with our new daughter!