Today the 8th grader wrapped up academic UIL season. It seems she definitely inherited the spelling gene. She placed first in all three meets she attended. She was all excited at the thought of continuing UIL next year in high school, expanding into the writing events since it's something she enjoys. Then it dawned on her she would be competing against upperclassmen. I explained the importance of getting her feet wet at the next level so she'll be a lean, mean UIL machine by the time she's a junior and senior. Here she is posing with me and her best bud Leighton, who also competes in UIL. I'm glad the 8th grader experienced the thrill of winning, but I won't miss the rude 5 am alarm on Saturday morning to get us up and outta the house to catch the big yellow school bus to the competitions at such an ungodly hour.