Monday and Tuesday was a mad dash of last minute school prep. Ellie, Marly and I got up early and put on a breakfast for the teachers at JWJ kicking off their first week of pre-planning. The vision in my head was much prettier than what we put together, but it was much appreciated and I got an inside peek on the new teachers. Abby and Voss got their COVID boosters. Ellie and Marly got an assessment from the Peterson former teachers to get them ready for a successful school year. Tuesday night was the kick off tennis party. Sally and I had speaking rolls then stayed for drinks. Wednesday morning I finished my packing then my parents and I ubered to the airport to fly to Chicago for #ErikandKelsWeddingBells ! We got checked into our hotel rooms then ubered to Wrigley Field to surprise the siblings who flew in earlier for the Cubs game. It was tricky to get in (had to ask the right people at the right box office) but we bought the cheapest tickets and walked in for the last inning of the game. It was a great surprise! The Cubs won and Erik and Kelley made it on the Jumbotron! We stayed after the game and had drinks at a local pub then ubered back to the hotel. My parents, Matt and I ventured back out for an evening stroll and to find a neat dinner spot, Purple Pig. The tapas were so amazing, well worth the walk! The next morning, Suzanne, the boys, Matt and I found coffee and walked to the Navy Pier. Matt and I took a refreshing dip in Lake Michigan. Then, went to try on his suit for the wedding. We met my parents for lunch at the corner pub then we all went to the Art Institute of Chicago. After a few hours they all went back to the hotel while I kept going. So nice to walk and enjoy the art alone. That evening we ubered to a rooftop lounge for a welcome party hosted by the Losiks (Erik's in-laws). We had local Chicago favorites and enjoyed an awesome Lake Michigan view with a full moon. It was a great way to kick off the wedding weekend and meet the family. Kelley took us to one of her fav dive bars. We ended up closing out a club. What a night! The next morning I had breakfast with my parents then we all walked down to the Navy Pier for the city architectural tour. Andrew, our tour guide was a high school history teacher. He was witty and informative. It was a good one! Erik ubered back to the hotel with M&D while the rest of us walked. I rode with Kelley's Aunt Kathy to help with wedding decor. I got to stand in for Steve at the rehearsal (their flight was delayed) then we headed to Gibson's steak house for the rehearsal dinner. Erik gave a nice speech thanking my parents. I got to sit with the Losiks and Sillanpaa cousins. The dinner was so delicious. The seafood tour, steak and dessert was out of this world. I even tried the sea bass and chicken entrees. All so good! Back to the hotel for a nightcap then off the bed. The next morning I got my nephew, Henry to hang with over coffee and snuggle time. Then I got to hold baby Conrad while Katie got ready. Katie, her boys and SIL, Liane and I all walked to the Sears (Willis) tower. We went to the top and checked out the views. I had this great idea to do a handstand against the glass. I totally busted and created a scene. So embarrassing and almost caused myself a concussion. I did a headstand to recover. Laine captured it all! I rode to the Lacuna Loft, wedding site with Aunt Kathy and cousin Laura to prep the wedding decor. We got dressed there. SQ and Katie helped with my hair and makeup. It was a perfect afternoon to get married. The ceremony was so emotional. So much crying and heartfelt words, just wow. They really did such a great job! There was a cocktail hour then we moved into the reception. My brother, Matt gave the most amazing best man speech. We were all balling. Then, lots of dancing. What an awesome night! There was an after party at the pub then another after party in Aunt Kathy's suite. We just had the best time meeting the new family and catching up with everyone. Just, wow! We got up and flew out the next afternoon. Phil picked us up at the airport in Jax. Meanwhile at home, Phil had an intense work week with personnel. Abby and Voss had a meet the teachers. Ellie had orientation and a friend's Birthday sleepover. Marly had a 6th grade pool party mixer. All last hurrahs before the start of school! We had Pizza for dinner then ready for the first week of school! Here are the pics from the week.
Summer is winding down but we still have another week. This week there was a lot of action at the schools getting things ready. Monday, Marly had bootcamp at the middle school. It was a fun day where she learned about the expectations, how to's and even took a field trip to the Ritz theater to learn the legacy of the school's namesake, James Weldon Johnson (how cool is that?!) While she was bootcamping, Ellie and I cleaned out the PTSA closet. Actually it was two closets worth of random junk. We threw a lot of it away, donated and consolidated. I had book club that night at Anne Marie's to discuss Intimacies, more like lack of. She did a wonderful job hosting. It was a gorgeous night with excellent conversation. I played a lot of <HOT> tennis. We had our bootcamp on Wednesday and Friday, plus a fun match on Tuesday and then a summer ladder league match (ending in a win with two tie breakers) on Thursday. Whew! Phil and I did some work on our marriage with a meeting with our ole pal, Al and a sushi dinner date. He's decided not to go to Erik's wedding, which has us in a funky spot. One day at a time. I'm working on choosing to be life giving. Marly has been play date and sleepover hopping. I think she's been at our house for one night this whole week. Her friend, Langley had a chicken limo Birthday party. That girl is living her best life! On Thursday afternoon we went to the elementary school to sort school supplies and deliver them to the classrooms. Lots of work but the kids helped along with my pals, Liz and Jenny. We celebrated with ice cream after. I took Abby and her friend, Marlee to the Cummer for a play date on Friday afternoon. Then back to the pool because it's just too hot to do anything else. Saturday morning the older girls and I got up early to hit up Walmart for mulch and flowers then met a team of volunteers at the middle school for Trojan Beautifcation Day. It was a lot of work but we have a great team of people. Phil took the younger two to the elementary school for a much easier spruce up day. We met for lunch at Firehouse. We met the Nixons at FYC for a gorgeous dinner on the river last night. I stayed up too late talking to west coast siblings and making TikToks so I was tired this morning. We went to mass this morning for the blessing of the backpacks then brunch at TCC. Ellie and I went to WD to prep for the welcome back teachers breakfast in the morning. Free balloons, too! I'm embroidering backpacks and working on logistics for the week. Here are our pics from the week.
We made it home from the Michigan road trip. After Benton Harbor, we got up and drove to Kentucky the following day. It was about a 5 hour drive to the Holland's hunting cabin in the middle of the woods. We chilled that afternoon, I drank a cold beer on top of a shady hill hiding from my kids. We got up early the next morning and went to Mammoth Cave National Park. It was fairly anticlimatic. We paid for a self guided tour, which only allowed us entrance to one, small cave. Not nearly as impressive as Carlsbad last summer. I made the kids do a quick hike to work off some 'tude and then we got back in the car. It was less than an hour to Nashville. We met the Skwaras for ice cream and caught up with them and planned another vacation in the meantime. Then we drove another 5 hours to Marietta, GA and stayed with the Thompsons. PT, Jean and I caught up over a bottle of wine while the kids took over the basement. The next morning we visited Aunt Susan in the assisted living facility. We took her out to McDonalds for an early lunch. The visit broke my heart. Long gone is my cool, stylish, supportive, fun Aunt Susan. She's a shell of who she used to be. I wish I could be closer to her to take care of her. The 5 hour drive home was full of traffic and accidents that we were luckily not a part of. I made major headway on the Count of Monte Cristo. We got home Wednesday afternoon and had pizza for dinner. Phil was very happy to have us all together again. I made the kids go to swim practice (the last one) on Thursday morning. I walked with Emma and caught up (and tried to get Spot back on a routine). We spent the next two days doing laundry, unpacking, play dates, grocery shopping and then re-packing. The Michiganders came to Florida. We had dinner with Adi at the Nixons on Friday night. Saturday morning we got up early for the city championship swim meet. Abby and Voss were able to compete. Ellie and Marly's was later that afternoon so they helped as assistant coaches keeping the swimmers on track. It was SO HOT! We found a hiding spot of shade behind the bleachers. We had a quick lunch then headed to Steinhatchee for a few days in old Florida. We met the VanWie's at the Serendipity house at Steinhatchee Landing. The Michiganders were all staying in the same neighborhood. We went from house to house and even had a nightcap at the Park's house. The next morning we were on the boat and ready to go. We had to wait a bit for the Michigander boat to get movin' but we eventually met up and headed out for some scalloping. The kids were all scalloping champs. They would jump in as scouts to see if it was a good spot. My rule was for everyone to get their age in scallops. The kids killed it. I got 50 the first day and right at 42 the next day. We saw stingrays, all sorts of fish and crabs even a horseshoe crab. It was awesome. We helped the Michiganders get acquainted. The Gilbos picked it up quick. The guys grilled burgers for dinner. We went house touring again. The next morning, we were out on the water early. The morning went well...but then the rain came. There was drama about what to do. Against my choice, we drove into the storm back to the channel and stopped at the Steinhatchee Marina. It was a grueling ride back. The Gilbos bought everyone a few rounds of tequila shots to celebrate our safe return. The Marina gave away free dry long sleeve shirts. We did a TikTok and then I convinced Phil and the VanWies to go back out to keep scalloping. The Michiganders had enough and went back to the house. We had a great afternoon. I convinced Sea Hag to let us have the boat an extra hour. We used a scallop bag as a live box and brought in a whole bunch, enough to make me happy. Anne Marie made a delicious scallop pasta dish with our freshly caught scallops. Yay! The next morning, the Michiganders went back out and we checked out and headed back to Jacksonville. We had a post trip lunch at Firehouse. Wednesday morning, I got right back in the tennis game with a match with Keri. A win felt great for morale. The older girls had their annual check up at the pediatrician. We had talks about healthy eating and exercise. Marly got a meningitis vaccine, both girls got a COVID booster. I went to Burrito Gallery for happy hour and had a productive meeting with the JWJ PTSA board. I've got a list of items to kick off the year. Working on finding sponsors for meals and mulch! Thursday I did a day of fasting to get myself in gear after all the yummy eating and drinking (and kill some Alzheimer cells hopefully). Liz helped me sort school supplies for the school fundraiser. I forgot I had committed to tennis so I scrambled to get there in time. I took Voss to the dentist to get his cavity filled. The Michiganders and VanWies came over for Abby's play. She'd been working on it for days. Being a director was more pressure and work than she thought but she's already working on the next play! I went to the tennis captains meeting with the new tennis director. It's going to be a great season! More tennis Friday morning. Ellie babysat the Agresti kids at our house since their air conditioning was broken. Marly had a play date and sleepover with Addy. The rest of us drove out to Phil's office to bring him lunch. Ellie opened her first bank account! We turned in Phil's suit measurements for Erik's wedding. Ellie babysat the Gilbo's son, Jack while all the adults went to happy hour at O'rSay. Saturday was a very lazy day (finally). Phil and I walked Spot and visited my parents. Voss had a play date with Walker. I took the girls to Target to get Birthday gifts. Ellie went to Imani's Birthday party at the movie theater. Later, we sat in the pool at TCC and had dinner. It was a nice, relaxing day. This morning we slept in. Phil and I did a round robin with the Wilhelms, Risdons and Gibbs. Now it's a lazy afternoon of homework packets, laundry and going through emails. I finished reading my book club book. We're getting geared up for the start of school. Here are our pics from the last 2 weeks.
We are currently spending our last night of the road trip in the great state of Michigan! When I last wrote we were on our way to Port Sanilac to see our next Great Lake, Huron. The Nixon’s besties, the Gilbos were so welcoming at their “cottage” on the lake. We had two days and two nights enjoying Great Lake life. It was cold but felt awesome. We drank, laughed, swam and ate. I even went night swimming on the last night. Gilbo was kind to drive Phil and Mark to the airport. I scooted out by 9am and the rest of the crew stayed to help with clean up. The kids and I headed to Mackinac City to check into our real cottage on Huron. We took the ferry to Mackinaw Island. We are fudge and rode bikes around the perimeter of the island. Ellie says this was her favorite thing. Then, we hiked to the top of the island and then met up with the Nixons and gal pals for dinner. The kids and I ferried back, saw the sunset and fireworks. The next day we drove over the bridge to the upper peninsula. Not much cell service and it was cold. We checked into Uncle Ducky’s paddlers village. It took me a bit to get used to it. I failed at packing for this part of the trip. We had no blankets, sleeping bags or pillows. We used towels and wore all our clothes to stay warm that first night. Epic fail. We all got back in the car at 6am that first morning to warm up. I drove up the road to a Holiday Inn and sent Marly and Abby in for hot chocolate and coffee. They saved the day! Once warmed up we went back to camp. The kids took naps and I read The Alchemist. I’m so glad I booked the noon session of kayaking. The sun was out and the day warmed up. Kayaking Pictured Rock and exploring Lake Superior was my favorite part. It was surreal. Clear, cold and colorful. We stopped by the National Park office for stamps and to see the Muinising water fall. We had dinner at the Duck Pond (blackened whitefish right out of the lake!) and then went on a pontoon boat tour of Grand Island. The boat captain was so kind to let us borrow blankets. That nights sleep was much better. We learned all about body heat! We checked out and drove back down south. We stopped for lunch at Legs Inn in Cross Village then continued down the coast of Lake Michigan through all these cute towns. We met back up with the Michiganders in Traverse City and hung out with them at their hotel bay beach. The next morning we drove up to check out Fishtown and then Sleeping Bears Dunes National Lakeshore. The kids got their Junior Ranger badges and we explored the scenic tour of the dunes and the towns around. We rented tubes and floated down Platte River which empties into Lake Michigan. It was a very slow float. We now have an appreciation for Ichetucknee not allowing food or drinks. We stopped for pizza then drove down to Ludington. We watched the sunset on the beach then headed to bed at a cute lakeside inn. This morning we went to mass at a cute chapel in a neighboring town called Pentwater. We explored Snug Harbor and stopped to see Silver Lake. We went to a cherry farm then took the long route along the shore of Lake Michigan to Benton Harbor. Ellie and I are loving listening to Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus! This hotel is more off the coast close to the interstate. We checked in then went to Silver Beach. The rain cleared everyone away so we had the place to ourselves. It was a nice, low key night. Here are the pics from the week. https://photos.app.goo.gl/nC2pbvPrKMV9jv7c7
We met the Nixons at Dunkin Donuts at 7:30am for some parking lot dancing and to begin our road trip. That first 8 hour drive went by pretty quickly thanks to rotating kids and driving assistance. We made great time and arrived at our cabin in the Great Smoky Mountains by 5pm. It was close to 100 degrees up there, not the cool mountain weather we were hoping for. I’m thankful for that cold basement with two master suites where the adults slept for two nights! The next morning we slept in a bit then headed out to the Upper Pigeon River for some white water rafting. The cold water felt awesome! It was a category 3-4. I was expecting it to be more rigorous, but I’m thankful it was a good first time family rafting trip. We headed back to Seiverville to be closer to the cabin for burgers and local beer for lunch. Next, we went zip lining. I’m so proud of Phil for going way out of his comfort zone, especially for this one. He skipped the first two lines but joined us for the rest of the course. Voss was apprehensive at first but said he felt like Ironman by the end. It was lots of fun! You know I loved it! I wish the photographer let us bring a camera. The professional photographer was only there at the beginning and missed Phil and all the cool trick shots. Still, it was an awesome day! The next morning we got up nice and early to pack up, check out and continue on the road trip. The next leg of 8 hours was a little tougher. Phil and I got into a knock down drag out because I insisted we stop and check out Lake Erie. I really wanted the kids to see their first Great Lake. That put us about 30min behind the Nixons, which I think was totally fine. We made it to Jessica’s sister, Adrienne’s house in Rochester Hills, Michigan (a suburb of Detroit). She rolled out the red carpet for us to welcome us to Michigan! They grilled burgers, had two fire pits going with s’mores, cocktails, ice cream and the kids loved chasing fireflies. They have a beautiful home with a big basement for all the kids. The next morning we walked to Van Hoosen farm to see the fairy garden, old time dairy farm and the kids loved stream walking. After a Greek and Cony Island hotdog lunch we headed out to the state capital, Lansing to see the Kuklas. My sister’s sister-in-law, Liane wined and dined us. She and Kyle made brats and all the salads. Their Uncle Bill played baseball with Voss. We got to catch up with my brother-in-law’s parents, aunt and uncle. I was impressed they all drove a few hours to meet up with us. It was also Liane and Kyle’s 22nd wedding anniversary so we loved being there to celebrate them. We all went to their daughter, Isla’s softball game. She played great and we were able to catch up with the Kuklas while cheering her on. Later, we had a nightcap in the infamous Matson Basement Bar and pretended like we were freshmen at MSU! We got a tour of the Michigan State campus seeing the botanical gardens and museum. We took a quick pic in front of the state capital then said farewell to the Matson fam and continued on the road trip. We stopped at a farm town for a local lunch then headed back east to Grosse Pointe, another suburb of Detroit to meet back up with the Nixons. We stayed with their besties, the Guillaumins. They hooked us up with their park passes and we had a day of exploration while they did some family time. We started at Windmill Point park and saw Lake St. Clair with Canada right there below us! Next we went to the Ford House to explore the grounds. We couldn’t go in the house but we got to see the rose gardens, cove and bird island. More amazing views of Lake St. Clair. We went to Mike’s on the Water for dinner (fish burgers and lobster rolls) then went back to Gilbo’s to meet some of the high school friends. The next morning we went to an outdoor mass at St. Paul’s on the Lake and then continued on to the next leg of road trip. We’re having lots of fun exploring new places and seeing new (and old) friends. Here are the pics of the week.
Wow was I tired after that week with the patrols! I slept a lot, did a 36 hr fast and sweat it out on the tennis court to get myself back again. I hosted book club on Monday night. I made a tagliatelle al limone and used all my nice china. Late night discussions about all the topics including lots of womens rights. Delicious “chicken soup” for the soul in these times. We spent the week knocking out some of our summer bucket list items. Stephanie came over for an old school play date and took Marly back with her for a sleepover. We spent the evening at the Cummer museum and gardens. We did a water skiing Wednesday. Voss got up on his first try! He struggled after that but once he works out some technique and emotional control, he will have it. Abby took a few tries, but she’s there now. Ellie picked it back up like riding a bike. She even drove the boat so I could take a turn. We brought our neighbor, Zachary with us for his first boat ride! Along with some attitude, we rode the skyway to the downtown library and Sweet Pete’s for ice cream. Marly had a week of play dates and sleepovers. She is so popular! Ellie and I went thrifting and scored some excellent finds! For a rainy Friday night we headed to TCC for live music and Cadillac. We had our last swim meet on Saturday morning early at the beach. It was hot and luckily quick. I got to hug some Hicks cousins along with my high school pal, Kristina. We have such a great group of swimmers; it’s been a fun season! The Bentons invited us over to cool off in the pool for the afternoon. The rain eventually saved us…it was so hot! We ended up at the Falafel bar for dinner sampling all the Mediterranean tapas. Sunday morning, Ellie and I lectored while Abby and Marly altar served. It was powerful having 4 women up there! We spent the rainy afternoon packing and getting organized. The rain finally stopped and we did an evening swim and dinner at TCC. We picked up my brother, Matt from the airport that night and got some extra time with him. I played singles with Julie Monday morning and got spanked. The second set was closer and finally felt good and competitive. We had lunch at my parent’s with the fam to kick off 4th of July. Marly and I put together some appetizers. We went to TCC for pool games, face painting and the water slide then back to my parent’s for dinner and baseball. We closed the night at TCC with amazing fireworks on a gorgeous night. Lots of mixed feelings this 4th of July weekend. With the reversal of Roe v Wade it feels like womens rights are depleting, but so many awesome conversations with supportive
friends and family have kept me nourished and optimistic. Here are our pics from the last week.
I missed a week of posting so I'm a little delayed. We've been enjoying our lazy June with lots of tennis in the morning while the kids have swim team. Ellie moved to the elite swim group so she practices at 7am for two hours before the other kids get there and then stays to help with the junior river rats. She's doing a ton of babysitting...almost every day. I had a few JWJ meetings- with Megan to take over the Facebook page and Mr. Stuckey, the principal to get geared up for the next year of PTSA. My nephew, Alex spent time with us to beat the summer boredom. We have been spending evenings at the TCC pool...it's just too hot for much else. There was a dive in movie one night. Last Sunday morning (Father's Day), Chris picked Marly and I up and we hitched a ride to Regency mall where we met up with 6 bus loads of patrols from all over Jacksonville to head up to DC for the week. What a week! We pulled out at 6am and arrived in Potomac Mills at 7:30pm! I shared a room with Emma. Marly was in a room with two of her pals, Kayleigh and Izzy. Monday morning we were up nice and early to take a group pic in front of the Capitol. Then we toured the National Cathedral, WWII Memorial and Air Force Memorial. We had lunch at the Pentagon City mall food court (poke bowl for the win!) then toured the Smithsonian Museum of American History, Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Memorial, Korean War Memorial and then a big family style pasta dinner at Primos in Alexandria. Tuesday we did Arlington Cemetery, tomb of the unknown soldier (where a rep from our school laid a wreath), lunch and tour of the Air Force museum. I think the morning was a little too military heavy. Luckily we went to the National Museum of African American history which was amazing. I could have spent all day there. We went back to the mall for another poke bowl and took it to go to eat at Iwo Jima while watching the hot marines show. Wednesday morning we checked out of our hotel then went back to the DC scene. We saw the National Law Enforcement Memorial, TikToked in front of the Capitol, saw the Library of Congress and did the cha cha slide in front of the White House. We had lunch at the International Trade Center food court then saw the Jefferson Memorial. Then we headed out to Williamsburg. The next morning we went to Busch Gardens. It was the perfect day. Not too crowded, overcast weather. I made Marly ride all the roller coasters and she ended up loving it. I was officially roller coasted out which says a lot for me! We did a pizza party, tshirt signing in the hotel lobby and one more TikTok before bed. What a trip! We were home by 5:30pm on Friday night. I went to sleep at 8pm and didn't wake up until 8am on Saturday! While Marly and I were on the patrol trip, a village of people helped at home. Ellie did the most of it; cleaning, organizing and keeping the younger two in line. She had some fun with Cora, did lots of babysitting and a night with Charlotte after the swim meet on Monday. My mom took the littles in the afternoons to hang with their cousins. My neighbors drove the kids to and from swim team each day. Phil took them bowling, out to fun dinners and more time at the pool. We took it easy with a lazy pool day on Saturday. Ellie babysat. We did a family tennis match. We did a tour of the rooftop bars last night. More drinks than food made for a slow Sunday. We went tubing with the VanWies and then to 5pm mass. Here are the pics from the week.
I signed the younger 3 up for vacation bible school at their old pre-school, St. Johns. They cornered the market with an evening VBS. I love it because it doesn't conflict with swim. So Monday-Thursday, they swam in the morning (again, I played tennis or ran/walked with Spot), took a break during the day (with 3pm DEAR time) and then VBS 5-8pm. Ellie babysat the first two nights. Phil and I got some date nights. We went to the Dave Matthews Band concert one night, went to dinner with the VanWies another night. I did Sally's girls night tennis one night. Ellie and I went out for sushi and ice cream the last night. Fun for all! Ellie and now Marly went to youth group on Friday night. We had a big group from Stockton there. We took the younger two to the Grove for dinner and pool time. Voss had a play date with his pal, Isabel one day. We went to Arlington for a swim meet early Saturday morning. It was hot and crowded, as usual. Proud of all of our swimmers! No time for lunch because the girls and I met Suzanne and Sean's girls at the Orange Park Community theater to see the Yazdiya gals act in Freaky Friday. Phil and I ended up with a date night in the PowWow bar. Marly and Abby altar served again at 8:30 mass. We celebrated Father's Day early with my dad. I sure hope he wears the fun shirt we got him! I finished listening to Finding Me by Viola Davis, just wow! You must listen to it and follow Oprah's book club on Instagram. It was an amazing experience. We did a Sunday Sunday tennis afternoon with 5 courts of friends. We got in a bunch before then rain hit then an early dinner to kick off the week. I feel asleep in Abby's bed reading The Tale of Despereaux. Happy Summer! Here are our pics of the week.
We kicked off our first official day of summer by taking a friend up on her invite to join them at a beach house they rented in Ponte Vedra. It was a perfect day out there. It rained a bit but the sun stayed out. The Howards were gracious and it was nice to catch up and slow down into June. Morning practice for swim team kicked off this week. We're falling into a routine of the 4 of them going and getting worn out, coming back to the house for lunch and down time. I ran with the dog and played tennis (STILL have this water in my ear!) I ODd on Mucinex and the water came out for a bit on Saturday morning but then I tilted my head wrong and it came back. We hit up the library to get excited about summer reading. Phil met us downtown on Wednesday night for the Art Walk. I hadn't been in years. It's just as neat as I remember. Plenty for the kids to do, too. I had to drive to PV for a tennis captains meeting on Thursday. I felt like it was a waste of time but I'm excited about being in charge. Ellie spent the night at Charlotte's and then had her over Saturday night. Marly had Addy over and Abby had Sammy over. Voss is bummed because his play date never happened. We'll work on that next week. We've had dinner at the Grove a few nights in a row. Tennis with the girls on Friday morning, the Hollands Friday evening and then the Wilhelms on Saturday evening. Saturday morning we had a swim meet at Fletcher High School. I was grateful Phil timed. I finally got smart and recorded all the kids' events in order so I could stay on top and not miss a race. I'm proud of all my strong swimmers! We went out for a Moon River pizza lunch. Abby went to Landis' for a sleepover. Ellie went to babysit for a new family. We took the other two for my neighbor, Jack's 100th Birthday party! My neighbors did such a great job hosting. It was a fabulous party! After Ellie's babysitting gig we met the Benton's for an E-street nightcap. Sunday morning, Abby was trained to be an altar server with Marly. It's so neat having her up there! The Bentons came with us to the beach for the day. So much fun for another perfect beach day. Ending with live music on the ocean. How perfect. Here are the pics of the week.
It was fifth grade week for Marly at school. I left the week open to be able to pop in and out as needed. Monday they tye dyed shirts. I dropped off dinner to the Matney family. After school we headed right up for the kids first swim meet. It was busy and chaotic. Marly and I left in the middle for her patrol meeting. She didn't miss an event, we were right back to the meet. It went late. I did a day of fasting that day and was particularly feisty. No deep sleep for me that night, either. Tuesday I took Ellie to school and helped set up for Readers Beach (an party day at her school to honor those who met their reading goal). I raced back to Stockton in time for Abby's awards ceremony, grabbed two more coolers of ice then raced back for Readers Beach. It was a nice day and nice to spend time meeting and getting to know people at the middle school. I was wiped out by the end, though. Late back for elementary school pick up and somehow Ellie rode the bus home instead. Tension was tight with mean kids that afternoon. We had the last PTA meeting of the year and the nominating committee presented our slate of new officers. It all went very well, phew! I went from there to our C team tennis party. It was nice seeing everyone dressed up and delicious sushi! I came home early because I was just so wiped out and wanted to be prepared for the next day: class parties! I'm grateful Voss' teacher started their party in the morning so I was able to start there to volunteer. But that meant I missed the middle school principal coming to school to welcome all the kids graduating and going! That was super cool! The room moms of third grade pulled together for a group party with rotating stations. That made the day fly by, and I had so much help so popped in and out to check on 5th grade week. The clap out was awesome. Another fun, yet exhausting day! Thursday the 5th grade did a scavenger hunt, game truck (the laser tag was intense after the school shooting this week) and baby picture guessing game. I let Ellie skip on Friday and we checked in on Alex and my parents. School got out at noon. Marly went to the Englands for a sleepover and shopping. We met the Bentons, Dearings and Charnleys at TCC for summer kick off fun. The weather was spotty but I think that helped clear out the pool. We pretty much had the place to ourselves. Melissa, Sara and I did the obstacle course over and over. I lost an earring, got water in my ear (still in there!) and my muscles are sore! I was asleep by 8pm that night! Saturday was nice and relaxing, the first of many! Ellie, Phil and I took the boat to TCC (more obstacle course) for lunch. That night we all went to see the new Maverick Top Gun movie. Voss and Abby fell asleep within the first half hour, but it was really good. Ellie was watching neighbors dogs over the weekend so we went over for a late night check in after the movie. Sunday, Phil played tennis while I took the kids to mass. Ellie and I read, Marly altar served. We met for brunch then went to the Nixons. It was nice to catch up with them and plan a bit of our Michigan trip. We went to the Johnson-Hardisons for dinner. We stayed wait to late, but the conversations are just so good! Monday was Memorial Day. It was kina odd to be out of school this early. Also, kina odd and never know how to celebrate the holiday. We went to my parents for bloody marys and ribs. A gorgeous day on the water, watching all the boaters out there! We went to TCC for the festivities. Of course I fell doing the obstavle course when I did it for time! We convinced the water slide guys to keep it going. Another fun time at the club! I snoozed and rallied while finishing the book club book, Joyful. It did not bring me much joy reading it, but being with friends discussing it brought me joy! Here are the pics of the week.