Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Black Belt Spectacular

If every picture tells a story, then these pictures tell a story of perseverance.
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The Black Belt Spectacular
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Signing the certificate
More than 4 years of training, countless hours at the gym.
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Introducing Chloe
A grueling final testing process, heaps of stress, sleepless nights, and training 7 days a week.
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The black belt candidates
And nobody gets a black belt alone. Chris and I spent countless hours in the car, ferrying her back and forth. Aidan made dinners, and sometimes accompanied Chloe on her bike to make sure she made it safely on days we couldn't drive. I coached her soccer team because then I could choose the schedule. Some days felt like a merry-go-round that strapped you and wouldn't let go. On those days,  friends and family stepped in various ways, taking over portions of the carpooling, bringing dinner,  coffee and chocolate.
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Our little warrior
And not because Tae Kwon Do is so important, but because Chloe is. And if she sets her mind to accomplishing something, then we are going to do our darndest to support her.
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There was a whole community to celebrate with her. Grammie flew in from Oregon and spent three days cleaning our house from top to bottom. (Including the oven that caught on fire while roasting tomatillos for salsa. I was shoveling burning chunks out of the bottom with a metal spatula while Chris and my mom looked horrified. Don't worry guys, it's not my first fire. So then Chris recommends dumping baking soda in the oven. Brilliant plan, worked like a charm..and also filled the room with chalky dust. That's the point when Grammie decided that our competency might be a little lacking and took over. )
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The knife edge strike
I think I'm going to show this picture to every potential boyfriend, that is, when she's 39 and allowed to date.
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Board breaking
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Hammer Fist
This is her instructor's daughter holding the boards for Chloe.
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The spinning Crescent Kick, which is kind of like Chuck Norris' Tornado Kick
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On a side note-Chris is thinking about doing his hair like Master Tran-there on the right
We had a party to celebrate our girl. We made lots of food, chili and hotdogs, bacon wrapped dates, guacamole and salsa (hence the fire), cheesecake, orange spice cupcakes with chocolate ganache, cider, and chai...and our people showed up, crowding our tiny yellow house, bringing more food, (smoked pork and chili, pesto in canning jars, cupcakes and brownies...) and laughter, and the presents of community who wanted to honor Chloe.

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There she is
Chloe went to bed wrapped in a cocoon of happiness. She was completely blown away that so many people loved her enough to show up. And that feeling of being surrounded by people who love you, is more empowering even than a black belt.
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All the black belt candidates from Muy Thai and Tae Kwon Do
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