First, there was the dance recital at the Merrill Auditorium in Portland. Elle and her class did wonderfully. Below are a few photos of Elle dancing to "Candyman."
And then we got a very special surprise. After the dance, her teacher kept Elle out on stage. She told the story of Elle having cancer to the audience and then gave her a special award, the "Heart of Dance" trophy. This thrilled Elle to no end. Especially because earlier she had seen older dancers get 5, 10 and 15 year trophies for how long they had danced and asked Beth "Where is my trophy?"
Beth said "You can get one when you dance 5, 10 and 15 years."
Elle's response? "I want one now." And by God, it happened.
Then, after a celebratory dinner at Applebee's (complete with the aforementioned "burrito") we went to the "Ride and Rock" at Mike and Christine Paul's home. Which was a great time.
The Paul's had a tent set up in the back complete with a band. There were lots of people there and everyone was waiting to meet Elle.
The first picture is with Elle and me talking to the singer of the band as she and Mike (in the middle) introduce Elle to everyone. She was shy at first but came out of her shell when they asked who her favorite ballplayer was (David Ortiz was the answer).
The next picture is of Elle playing the tambourine with the band. She loved this and has spoken often of starting her own band. In fact, the whole way home in the car she used her trophy as a mike, had Davey introduce her and then would sing each song that came over Beth's i-Pod. It was pretty great.
And then later came what may have been the highlight for Elle. Mike brought his bike around and Elle got to sit on it with him. You'll notice the do-rag Elle is wearing. This great guy at the party saw Elle and gave her his, which put a HUGE smile on her face. She wouldn't take it off for about the next half-hour.
Elle slept like a log last night after what was a wonderful, wonderful day. And after a relaxing day today, she heads back with Beth to the hospital tomorrow to start her next round of chemo. If all goes as planned, she'll come home on Wednesday.