Five on Friday | February


That multitalented pianist above played in his very first US Chess Federation (who even knew that was a thing?) tournament this past weekend, and he did awesome. Of course we try to go the Carol Dweck route and focus on praising hard work and effort versus praising winning, so the fact that Parker had four wins and one draw was just the icing on the cake for us. 



We learned a lot about the US Chess Federation (I mean, I went into the weekend not even knowing it was a thing). They are just as meticulous and detailed as you would expect a bunch of chess enthusiast to be. At one point Max looked up how a tie breaker is determined, and they had pages and pages on how it's done. Similarly, a huge amount of work goes into rating the players (Parker will get his official rating based on his performance in this tournament next month). 


We also learned that chess tournament days are loooong. Luckily, this tournament was hosted at our neighborhood elementary school so Finn and I were able to walk back and forth for meals and naps - but Max and Parker were there from 9am to 5pm! There was an hour and a half in between each round (though Parker never took anywhere near that long for any of his games). 


Parker played in the K-3 Under 300 division (for players unrated like him or whose rating was 300 or below). We had no idea how he was going to fare. Parker is used to playing with his own chess club and he's used to winning (he hasn't lost a single game at chess club this year) so we gave him lots of warnings that this would be different and that he should be prepared to lose. We didn't know what this would look like - would someone checkmate him in just two moves? (Something Parker affectionately calls a Scholars Mate and something he's done to me on multiple occasions.) But when he walked back from the chess room just 11 minutes into the first round with his first win, we started to think that maybe, just maybe he really does have a knack for this. 


And oh yes, he walked back in alone from the chess room - parents are not allowed to watch the live play which I actually prefer (I get way too nervous). Parents may walk the kids to their spots and then can return to the cafeteria waiting area. Round two, Parker was paired with the number two ranked player (out of the thirty three participants in his division) and when he came running into the room with his second win, I just about cried. 


Each round's results were studied before pairings for the next round were made - and it was all extremely complicated and methodical. Once the final round was complete, I had every confidence that the rankings were as fair and accurate as could be. 


Parker was over the moon to get a trophy - and it was ginormous to boot. He's been moving that thing up and down the stairs to keep it in sight since we brought it home and it's the cutest thing ever. I need a #chessmom shirt. 



In sadder news, my beloved Niners lost the Super Bowl last weekend. I mean, I was stoked that they made it though - especially since not many of their games are televised here in Alabama so I miss most of them over the course of any football season. But, back in the day, I was a proper fan. 


I lived in the Bay Area through the really low years (think first round draft pick years) when the first "49ers Faithful" campaign went around (faithful like - we know we're the worst in the league right now but remember when we won Super Bowls?). I feel like the campaign has had several revolutions at this point. The last time they were at a Super Bowl was actually when I was pregnant with Parker!


We lived in Scottsdale at the time and hosted a viewing party in our theatre (side note - I totally miss our Scottsdale house sometimes!). 


If you remember, that Super Bowl was super wonky with a stadium power outage. This one unfortunately started off great for the Niners until they tanked (as seen in real time via my family's text chain below). 





In more bad news, I posted several videos on Instastories explaining the latest on our bathroom drama. We spent the good part of a week with fans and dehumidifiers running in the shower and under the house and finally got everything dry... only to confirm that our shower pan in the master bath is leaking. We need to remove the tile to get to the shower pan, which means we need to gut the entire bathroom. Yep, you read that right. 


The shower tile is connected to the bathtub and floor tile, so it all needs to come up. The vanities sit on top of the tile, so those need to be removed. The granite on the vanities is attached to the wall, not to mention the plumbing... its a mess. And I feel like renovating a bathroom is just the last thing I want on my plate right now (especially since we were perfectly happy with it!). 






Back to happier news: Max and I had a rare date night last week, attending The Huntsville Museum of Art Guild's annual fundraiser. This is my third year on the guild, and the first on the committee for the fundraiser, doing the social media. I've been having so much fun posting - especially on Instagram. Follow along @hmaguild to see what else the guild is up to!







The witching hour is fierce around here, y'all! So, anything I can do to get a head start on dinner is just a heaven sent. I feel like I make this crock pot chicken once a week because it's tasty and sooooo easy. 


Here's a snapshot from October of what is looks like:


Yesterday, I made the chicken with Whole Foods BBQ sauce and a champagne vinaigrette since that's what we had on hand from Amazon Prime Now Delivery from Whole Foods (what did I ever do without this service?). The chicken is super versatile. Last night I served it on hamburger buns along with the easiest slaw made with the mix and dressing below (the dressing is actually Whole 30 approved and so yummy, very heavy on the dill). 


I've also used the chicken in stuffed potatoes, on flatbreads, in salads, on nachos, and today I had it in a quesadilla for lunch. 


The chicken is also kid and baby friendly, too! Win, win y'all. Happy weekend!

1 comment

  1. Parker looks so excited with his trophy and I fully support a Chess Mom shirt. Also, that BBQ chicken looks amazing! I will have to add it to my recipe ideas.

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