Torneo de Futbol 2012.

September 30, 2012

Last year at the Alliance soccer tournament, Mi Esperanza’s girls’ team was the laughingstock of the day with our rag tag group (going into this year’s competition, I still didn’t know the rules of the game…) and borrowed cotton t-shirts. But we mustered up a scrappy second-place finish, and vowed to return the following year for first-place honors in styled veteran savvy.

So in preparation of the arrival of September 29, 2012, we held intense weekly practices complete with an official coach, repetitive drills, scrimmage games, and serious determination. Additionally, S and I drew up plans for jerseys and spent many an afternoon on the phone debating colors, designs, and prices. We conducted extensive fundraising events to help cover costs for those who couldn’t front the money and when those efforts more than paid off, we added matching accessories to our ensemble as well.

Needless to say, we were looking and feeling awesome when we rolled onto the field (except for me; my athletic relationship with playing soccer has not changed one bit). The weather even felt like it was on our side–not like last year when all I can remember was how stinking hot and thirsty and desperately parched I felt all day long.

Unfortunately, despite the ideal conditions, our earnest training, and stunning good looks, we only managed to pull out a fourth-place result (out of five teams). But in the end, fun was had by all and we looked awesome doing so. Those are wins in my book.

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Funfetti fun-ness with dulce de leche for extra sass.

The kids were skeptical when I unveiled the “Fun” Cake recipe, whose name derives directly from my inability to translate “funfetti” into Paraguayan Spanish. I reassured them that anything in honor of a birthday and containing entire packets of sprinkles was definitely something they would enjoy. Suspiciously, they mixed and poured and buttered and refused to comprehend that half of 1/2 is 1/4 (I give up trying to teach fractions…).

Tara turned ten on Tuesday (woot, alliteration). While many children in the United States usher in a decade of existence with multitudes of electronic gadgets, a scoop of sprinkles, wilted cupcake liners, and a squashed teddy bear with obnoxious pink hearts on its fur are the stuff birthday dreams are made of here.

With seven other siblings at home and pennies feeling the pinch, I am not sure how birthdays are celebrated in this family, if at all. But at the very least, this sweet girl, who dubbed herself “Princess of Princesses” for the day, had an afternoon of sparkly candles and a crown made of a bulletin board border, ringing in year ten with giggles, sugary delights, and yes, lots of fun.

And an off-key serenade: