Almost There

Well, we are almost at the end of 2019. What a frantically busy year it has been for both of us. Kyah finally has some time now to slow down a bit and get her breath back ready for next year.

Just after the last post, we went  to a girlfriend’s (Hannah’s) 18th birthday party. That was loads of fun. A few of us are now of the age where we really have no concern for what people think of us having fun, enjoying ourselves. So Kyah ended up having a great laugh with a friend of ours, Steve, at the rest of us enjoying ourselves. We all had a great time; perhaps for different reasons but that’s OK.

We had one homestay girl leave and another homestay arrive. This one was a male school teacher from Japan. He was really interesting. We had lots of great discussions about life in Japan. He was a real pleasure to have stay with us. He only stayed in Australia for ten days, so it was a very short stay, but also a busy time. The other homestay girl we had staying with us, finally moved out towards the end of November. She was also an absolute pleasure to have stay with us. I think that might be it for homestays for the rest of the year.

It is kind of nice having just Kyah and I in the house for the time being. We are looking at the possibility of having someone stay with us permanently next year, so that will be nice.  We are discussing it with him at the moment. In the meantime, we are going through all our stuff we have managed to accumulate and are culling things we do not need. The house is a mess, but soon enough it should be a more sparse, tidy home.

How is this for decoration on a coffee? I thought it was pretty cool, so decided to take a photo of it. I have never seen swans on coffee before and found that pretty amazing so thought I should show off someone else’s handiwork. The swirls are a result of me stirring the coffee. Even this was quite amazing – a different pattern was created. I found that quite fascinating and thought I should share.

                     

Kyah went to the Powerhouse in Brisbane and saw QB perform Bespoke. Apparently it was really good. I had a ticket but I somehow managed to double book myself for that night. I gave my ticket to a girlfriend and I caught up with an old school friend. We both had lovely evenings. It is very unusual for me to overlook something like that, but there’s been heaps going on. That’s my excuse and I will stick to it!

We had a girls night one night. Who needs a reason to get together? We don’t. Just a group of girls decided to get together and catch up over food and great conversation. We all had a great time. It is not often we take the time out of our busy schedules, but it is essential sometimes to have some down time with lovely friends, just so we can get up and go the next day, week, month. We both find the enjoyment and good memories of these times far outweighs the tiredness we may experience from an hour less sleep. It is worth it. We also try to schedule these things for Kyah on weekends, so she has a chance to catch up on any lost sleep immediately. It is not good for her to be living her busy life sleep deprived.

Weekdays have been busy for Kyah with finalising all school assessments, doing her diploma as well as her dance commitments. She is ploughing through her business diploma; it has proven to be more time consuming than we thought, in that receiving decent feedback from drafts is taking a lot longer than anticipated or expected. So Kyah currently has  four modules on the go, waiting for final approval of each and then checking them off. It will be really nice when it is fully completed. We anticipate she should be totally finished by April next year.

One weekend in November we had a very quiet, very low-key weekend. Did not go anywhere. We both needed a rest and I wanted Kyah to be fully rested and prepared for her ballet exams that following week. It was such a nice restful time. Both of us benefited from it. It is so unusual for us to have literally nothing on over a weekend. It was just wonderful. I should try to make sure there is more of them next year.

Kyah continues to see her physiotherapist regularly for prehab. Jo is great. She was a dancer in a past career, so she can very much relate to Kyah and her niggles and knows exactly what she needs to work on. It also helps that Jo and I think along the same lines, so I am very confident with what she recommends for Kyah, which is fantastic. The best thing is that Kyah listens to Jo! Prehab is essential; the prevention of injuries is so much the preferred to rehabilitation. So far what we are doing seems to be working quite well. Kyah has not had an injury this year. We will continue doing this over the Christmas break as well as next year. If we are finding it is not as effective as it has been this year, we will reassess and implement new plans.

Kyah had her dance exams  over four days in mid November. She felt quite confident that she did a good job. We got her results and she is back in QB for next year, Praise The Lord. They have asked her, and two others, to repeat this year. We are actually really pleased about this for Kyah. The year she has just completed, and is going to repeat, is focused more on technique, so she will have a chance to really master her technique, get a great foundation of technique, get a lot stronger and a lot more confident, especially with pas de deux dance. It is also really nice that the other two people that have been asked to repeat she gets on very well with, so we are looking forward to next year.

Kyah’s dad came up to stay with her while I went to Sydney for a weekend. I am sure she thoroughly enjoyed her dad’s company instead of mine for a change.

QB allow family and friends to watch classes on a specific day each semester. I was fortunate enough I could rearrange clients and sit to watch all the classes Kyah was in. It is always nice to see how they practice and how they interact with each other. I do love watching Kyah dance and I can see she just loves dancing. We are still believing it is part of His big plan for her, and we walk by faith.

Kyah has been attending Pilates sessions regularly. Getting stronger and more aware of what she needs to work on. In the holidays she plans to do Pilates at least four times each week, plus other stuff in our gym to stay strong, and prepared for next year. Once they start back it is straight into it. There is a level of expectation that each dancer stay strong, fit and flexible over the break so Kyah plans to do just that.

We did a very quick trip down to the Gold Coast. Kyah needed to see the orthodontist for a check up. While we were down there, we stopped in at a number of dance stores and fitness places and showed them my books I have written. So far they have proven to be very successful and very much wanted, which is great. I hope it continues. Kyah doesn’t like the dance book because it features her as the model for most exercises. Oh well, too bad! She was the best, most convenient option for a model I had. If any of you are interested in looking at the books, here is the link http://www.corestrengthhq.com/product-category/books/

We managed to see a couple of friends for very short times while we were down on the Gold Coast.  It was nice to see friends, and catch up, even if it was only for a very, short time. Even though it is only an hour away, we hardly ever get down there anymore.

We set the Christmas tree up and all the decorations. Kyah didn’t like the Christmas wreath we had. (I have had it for at least 20 years – it has served me well though). Anyway, she kept on about how it was too small and didn’t look nice. So we went to Spotlight and spent two hours in there; choosing things that I could use to make a new Christmas wreath. We do like to wander around and browse in that shop. We ended up purchasing a number of things so I could make a new wreath from scratch. I wanted to make my own rather than buy one. At least that way I know it is ours and no one else will have one the same .Here’s the before and after.

Here are the items I used to make the new wreath

This is the new wreath. It is at least twice the size of the original – Kyah is now happy!

We have had a lot of socialising this past month. It has been nice. We also went and saw A Christmas Carol; at QPAC. It is adapted and created by shake & stir theatre co. We both thoroughly enjoyed the performance. It was really different to go to QPAC and see something other than the ballet. I am not complaining at all about how much ballet we see, it was simply a nice change.

I (along with many others), had helped QB on their “Giving Day” – making phone calls to help raise money to fit out the new building that is being constructed at Kelvin Grove State College. As a “thank you” to the volunteers, QB allowed us to watch the rehearsal of Act 1 of The Nutcracker. It was so interesting … simply fascinating to see these dancers performing in clothes that were not their costumes, and having imaginary props – some props were there, but others weren’t. Then when you see the actual performance (I have seen The Nutcracker a number of times) it is just amazing that what they have been rehearsing is almost identical to what they do on stage with props. It is definitely a very underrated skill and talent these athletes have.

Here is a photo of the very unique Christmas tree Queensland Ballet have. I think it is fantastic. The pointe shoes have been put to good use.

We have pretty much completed our Christmas shopping. A few different shopping expeditions, and we are pretty much done. We need to give each other our presents before Christmas Day. We will not be at home then, as we are off on a cruise – so it is necessary for us to do it beforehand. It is amazing how fast the time is going. Almost two weeks and it will be Christmas! Still so much to do before then.

We are planning for Kyah to have some time down at The Bay in January, with her dad and other friends of hers. She will also be doing exercise, and her diploma, just to ensure she is on top of everything. It kind of never ceases, but this is the life of any serious athlete.

We went to the QB breakup yesterday. It was nice to speak to all her teachers, even if it was only briefly. They are extremely happy with Kyah and her efforts this year, but want her to get much stronger. It is difficult for someone with Kyah’s body type. She is hyper mobile and so the perception is that she is not as strong as others. But in actual fact, sometimes she is stronger than other people that are less mobile than her. It can be deceptive. We really don’t mind that she has been asked to repeat. We totally believe it is God’s will and the best thing for Kyah. She knows all the dancers in the year below, so next year it won’t be that daunting for her, she will be with two friends from this year and she knows everyone moving up to level 2.

Kyah is off to see The Nutcracker  this Thursday night. It is part of the QB Academy program, and if the academy students are around and want to watch the final dress rehearsal, they are able to. I think it is a great opportunity for the students to watch. Most of the kids will be heading home to wherever they live, so we are thinking that there won’t be many students there watching. But Kyah enjoys watching the dress rehearsals – it is a great way to see the company perform.

So we are winding down to Christmas, or rather winding up to Christmas and all the activities we have planned over our break. Still so much to do before we go on our cruise. I am hoping that  once we get on that ship we will be able to turn off the brains and relax for a while, in amongst the daily gym sessions, rock climbing, indoor sky diving, dodgem cars and all the evening entertainment we have planned.

Life has been good to us this year and we are very much looking forward to next year.

Deut 7:9 Know therefore that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments. (NASB)