One. Day. At. A. Time. That is how I'm doing this. Abby is now officially a patrol. Her training is over and now she is on the job. We have a bike gang that meets up and rides in together (while younger siblings hang until their turn to go in to school). She's selling ice cream gift cards as her first fundraiser. We had our last First Coast match of the season. Kerri and I walked away with a win. We stayed for lunch to celebrate. We had a new student night at the middle school so I went to help get new PTSA members. It was a big night for Duval county, turning quite blue and electing our first female mayor! I got to lunch with my high school pal, Alex on Wednesday. And then Thursday was a tennis play day with lots of the country club crew followed with a nice lunch at Jax Golf. I was happy to walk away with a win on every court for that round robin. Our team got a huge trophy for winning the league. That night Voss had his final play off game and won! He's so lucky winning the whole division AGAIN! I ran from there to Wine Women & Shoes, supporting my friend, Lauren. It was such a great event. Rachael and I ended up meeting Phil at Lillians. All week were studio rehearsals at dance so that was a lot of racing back and forth with new times and durations. I was saved Thursday night, already being two places at once, when a friend's mom dropped Ellie off on base barefoot at the ball park; yeah that's about how the week went! Ellie got to go to Gradventure with many 8th graders in the city. They closed Universal down and had a ball...even in the rain. We had a great night with Keith & Chris catching up over charcuterie in the living room. I got up and got beat in a singles match at Boone park then Spot and I took Ellie to her dance practice in St. Augustine. Phil took Voss to his baseball team party then dropped Marly at one Birthday party and took the littles to another for Voss' friend, Isabel. That night was the MOPS & POPS party at the Spencer's. We went to mass on Sunday and had our CCD end of the year party. The older girls went to a volunteer meeting for VBS while Phil and I went to lunch. Then the girls got ready and we headed downtown for dress rehearsal. We had 14 costumes to bring and Ellie left one at home (to be fair, it was a costume they re-used from last year). Phil and I got into a knock down drag out and he eventually brought the costume to a friend who brought it to the theater in the second shift. That put a damper on the night but it was still fun to see all the dances and sit with all the dance moms. Monday Voss had a Kindness Cotillion at school. It was the sweetest thing. His teacher started it years ago when she felt the need to teach the class empathy. She read the book Wonder and then put on this day of fun activities. They wrote kind notes to each other, dances, made crowns and watched the movie, Wonder. It was amazing. I raced from there to get Ellie out of school and ready in a hotel bathroom for the first call time. I went back home to get the others and get them ready. Phil got my parents and Voss and tailgated with other dads at the hotel across from the theater. The girls did such a great job knowing all the steps, smiling and showing off their stage presence. I'm so proud of them! It rained like a monsoon! We went to Mellow Mushroom for a late dinner. I worked on my VO2 max and met Steph and Jess at High Tide for lunch. Voss cleaned up at his awards ceremony; All A's, citizenship, perfect attendance and the PE award. I met Rachael for rucking and lunch downtown over the bridges. Ellie graduated from 8th grade that evening. We were only allowed 2 tickets for guests so Phil and I went and sat in the hot gym bleachers. It's a very impressive group of 8th graders! My parents picked up my other 3 and met us for a celebratory dinner at TCC (calling in our orders before the kitchen closed!) Gorgeous sunset for photos with friends outside the gym. I'm so proud of Ellie on finishing middle school with all A's and headed to one of the top high schools in the country! Friday morning we hit the ground running for Readers Beach. In the rain we set up tents, water, popcorn and snow cones. It was a cluster! I'm amazed at the teachers at this middle school who go all out and do so much for the students! I dipped out in the middle to go to my first Nutcracker board meeting. Who knew the Community Nutcracker did so much for Dreams Come true and for the dancers! I can't wait for this party to begin! Back to the middle school to close down readers beach and return everything I had borrowed! Right about then I got a reminder that Ellie had rehearsal out in St. Augustine! I was wiped! Thankfully Phil drove and we met the Hogans for dinner while the girls danced. Marly and Voss had a sleepover with our neighbor. Abby was happy to have a quiet night alone. Saturday was a chilly day. I spent most of the day cleaning the house and getting my life back together. Marly went to a friend's Birthday party. I finished listening to Hello Beautiful and started Demon Copperhead. Ellie went to Addison's, Abby had Virginia over. Voss went to the Jumbo Shrimp game with the Strassers. Abby, her friend and I surprised my parents at 5pm mass. I went to my neighbor's Birthday party with a live band on the roof! Sunday was kina an off day. We were supposed to go for a boat day but it was too chilly so we went to TCC instead. We hung with the Hollands and had lunch by the pool (in sweatshirts!) Abby spent the night at Virginia's. We took Ellie to Anna Kate's graduation party. This morning we celebrated Memorial Day by reading about Lt. Murphy then doing an abridged version of the Murph Challenge. We headed to the pool for festivities. Water slide, candy and money dive and I won a cocktail by being the only mom to do the obstacle course! We had ribs for dinner with my parents. Phil took all the kids tubing. Home in time for an early bedtime and to take a breather before the last week of school! Whew! Here are the pics of the last 2 weeks.
So Much Dancing
And here we are mid-Maycember. I got a few more gray hairs this week. Just sitting here amazed with myself at how all these things happened and I got to be all over. I love it, but it does take a toll. Monday was a breather to prep for the week. After tennis clinic, I started the new Bridgerton and it is so good! Rucking in the evening for dance and Laurie helping me put all of next week in my phone calendar. Phew! That's the first step. Tuesday was Phil's Birthday. After getting spanked on the court (and not my best match with Sally), I met the Birthday boy for lunch at a burger place near his office. They had the best brussel sprouts I've ever had! Voss got a great hit to third (to bad he got out) to celebrate his dad's Birthday. The team sang, they brought in a win and we did an after party at Mellow Mushroom with some friends to celebrate. We continued to the Bier hall. I got in a good run on Wednesday and started Peter Attia's new book. April and I met for a pedicure and Judy Blume sesh. Such chicken soup for the soul! Ellie babysat, I drove Marly's dance carpool that night and packed up for a quick dash across the country. Thursday morning, I picked up my parents, drove middle school carpool then headed to the airport. The stress began early with my nephew waiting for us at the airport then our flight was delayed so much that I considered not going at all...thinking we'd miss our connection and not get into WA until 10pm that night. We ended up getting super lucky in ATL and although we missed our connection we did get on another one that left at 2pm (instead of having to fly to Michigan and then to Seattle). Running through the airport with my parents and nephew about did me in. The good news is that we got on that flight and I read 75% of my book club book. Crazy that we can cross the country in one day (even with delays!). Suzanne got the rental car and picked us up and drove the Whidby. We made it just in time for the sunset and my brother's party. I helped close it down and clean up, fumbled around the inn seeing deer and looking for our room. I got up way too early (thank you east coast time zone) and got to see my nephews and have Belgin waffles for breakfast. We loaded a car and went to check out Deception Pass on the way to the change of command. We got to see Matt's last flight which was super cool and emotional. He gave a great speech and the captain after him showered on the accolades. I'm so proud of my brother, Matt. We had a seafood lunch to celebrate after then I hopped in the car with Kelley and Erik to head back to Seattle. They flew out first. I returned their rental car and my friend, Jenny picked me up. She was my first sight mate in the Peace Corps. I hadn't seen her since our wedding! I loved catching up with her! I thought I'd have plenty of time since my flight didn't board until 10:50 but the traffic and security line at SeaTac is insane. I ended up sprinting through the airport (I seriously ran a mile in 10min barefoot- no time to put my shoes back on!) and making it to my flight...I did have 10min to spare but didn't know that at the time. Phew! That was scary! Of course we sat on the tarmac for half an hour and something was up with the ac and water so it was a hot mess. I tried to sleep on the red eye but there is a reason they call it a red eye. The delay didn't affect me too much in Atlanta. I had time to let a few people run before me (been there!) then brush my teeth in the bathroom then immediately board the flight for Jax. I was lucky there and had a whole row to myself. I laid out and slept the whole way. I stopped for coffee and made it just in time for the Confirmation practice. I am sponsoring Charlotte and her mom is sponsoring Ellie. Meanwhile, Voss won his playoff game and even slid home for a run! We left right from there to go to Jax City ballet for Ellie's Sleeping Beauty practice. I rucked, read and napped. I had time to unpack, shower and then head to the Confirmation mass. It was a nice ceremony with the new Bishop. Ellie did an excellent job of introducing him! I loaded up the JWJ kids after the mass and headed to MOSH for the 8th grade semi-formal. The Rasches treated us all with CFA on the go. I'm so amazed with the teachers at this middle school. They went above and beyond to make this such a special event for the 8th graders. It's such a cool school! Somehow I made it to the Benton after all this to put my feet in their hot tub and sip a glass of wine. Ah. Sunday was Mother's Day and my children let me sleep in until almost 11! It was luxurious! We finally had a lazy day of getting read for the week. We had dinner and dessert at Biscottis as a family to celebrate mothers and Confirmation. We did a rosary walk then an early bedtime. Here are the photos from the week.
Teacher Appreciation Week
I mean, it shouldn't just be a week. We should appreciate teachers all the time. Think of them when voting. Stephanie did an awesome job with the week at the middle school. Massages, snacks, thank you notes (hanging in the lunch room for a few hours about did me in). We had the final PTSA meeting and stuffed all the snack bags for exam treats. Stockton has everything working like a well oiled machine. Aside from Venmo-ing a few room moms, I came to the school one morning to buy coffee and a cinnamon roll from the coffee truck outside the school. It was pretty amazing. SQ and I went with M&D to his neurologist appointment and then I took them to his primary care doc for a follow up. A lot to manage and keep tabs. I played a lot of tennis this week. No Tuesday match, it was a bi-week. Steph invited us to sit at her table for the Angels for Allison breakfast. Vanessa has me in this USTA 3.0 league. I played in a make up match with Patti on Monday. The wind was so crazy it was laughable. I played in a singles match on Thursday. It was so close it was killer. I lost the first set tie-breaker 4-7, won the 2nd set 6-4 then lost the third set tie breaker 7-10. Ugh! Jennifer and I played in a doubles match on Sunday and got spanked 3-6,3-6. Gotta get out of my loosing streak! I convinced my mom to go to her high school reunion. We took care of dad duty. Ellie, Abby and Voss spent Friday night with him. Ordering Chinese food and watching movies. Phil and I went to the beach with the Camps to 11 South and then the PV Concert Hall to see Kathleen Mattigan. I think I laughed for 2 straight hours. It was awesome! Saturday Ellie had dance and I rucked. Voss had a bi-week but Phil and Marly volunteered in the concession stand. Abby and Voss had Papa duty. He loves Voss' transportation book. Marly stayed with Papa Saturday night. We went to two Derby parties. So close for 2 Phil's! Dad came with us to mass on Sunday. Then, SQ took over the afternoon. The girls and I paddleboarded to the Nixons for a visit. It was an early bedtime for all! Here are the photos of the week.
Hello Maycember! It's here! The last week of April was on fast forward. One great thing about a weekly blog is that it allows me to reflect on the week and acknowledge the highlights. It is amazing how much happens in one week. While rucking on Monday, Tracy gave me props for the scheduling aspect of my motherhood journey. It's insane. We had book club on Monday night to discuss Four Winds, which I listened to on our first road trip and it's still fresh in my mind. Not Kristin Hannah's best, but still a good read. Regan was surprised I left early but this party rock star is getting old. I chose SAC over tennis on Tuesday morning then popped in for the DCCPTA meeting. I made it to a pop up school board meeting on Wednesday after getting to sub in for B. Lots happening with Desantis trying to clean house. Trying to keep my foot in the door and my eyes open. Kona Ice for early release kept the kids entertained so I could be late. We had our last show of the season that night: Mean Girls. Definitely the best show of the season! We went to a fundraiser for the Will King foundation on Thursday. We made it for Holy Shiitake right in time to listen to the monsoon happening outside. Adoration with my parents on Friday was a perfect quiet time to remember I had signed up to bring dinner to a friend who had surgery. Got that together then hugged my sister on her Birthday then went to celebrate Lauren's Birthday at Steph's. She really is the hostess with the mostest. My in laws came in town for the weekend so we welcomed them with Friday night dinner at Trents. Another super Saturday starting with a baseball game for Voss, loved seeing him slide into home for the first time! Phil took some kids and his parents to celebrate Alex' Confirmation with a family lunch. I took Ellie to dance and then popped over to Maggianos for Kathleen's baby shower. I loved catching up with the SHS crew. After dance we got Abu hair cuts then took Ellie to a babysitting gig. TCC threw an incredible 100 anniversary party. Thunderstorms were a bummer that afternoon. Instead the mermaids moved into the bar. It was a prohibition theme with black out curtains, speakeasy, so many flowers, acrobats, robot light dancers, live music, DJ and so much delicious food. I can only party like that every 100 years. Sunday we celebrated Voss' First Communion. We had lunch at the Grove after the celebrate. We had to chill that afternoon to recover and prepare for the first week of Maycember. Here are the pics from the week.
I had another week of tennis. I guess I need to step it up in the weekend parenting going forward...but it was so nice to be in yet another tournament. On Monday I went with Voss on a field trip to see the Magic School Bus musical at the Florida Theater. We had lunch at Boone park after (crashing sweet Franny's 3rd Birthday). It was fun to meet new parents, connect with old ones and spend time with Voss. More afternoon rucking in the park (thankful for the leftover jellybeans for fuel). Spent some time with my dad in the afternoon, adoration and Voss' games. He had one on Thursday and Saturday. He got a hit but wasn't safe on first. He's slowly creeping out of baseball and back into soccer. I think he needs some batting practice. It was dance photo week so we had lots of practice doing hair and make up and getting into and out of costumes. That part is getting easier as they get older. Voss got to go to Luka's Birthday party on Thursday (love the after school parties). Ellie had a babysitting gig (her usual one) on Wednesday and then another on Saturday. She was calm as a cucumber and pulled a metal piece out of a 9 yr olds foot- go girl! Abby got to sleep over at her pal, Virginia's on Friday night. I met with Paxon IB students to kick off a little library project at JWJ. So hoping this works out! I let Ellie skip French class to go thrifting for a semi-formal dress (nailed it). We celebrated Lauren's Birthday at O'rSay then saying no to the full bottle of Josh at Lillians (look at us!) We had a 4 line sweep on Tuesday's match vs Magnolia Point. I was emotional since that was who we played when Sam fell and tore her hamstring last fall. We had MOPS on Thursday but I spent most the time holding babies. I met Jess, Jamie and Steph for a last minute fun lunch. My old pal, Anna had texted me months ago asking to play with her in the San Jose Member Guest. It was so fun to reconnect with her and smash some balls. Who knew we could play tennis together, too?! Their tournament kicked off on Tuesday with a ladies night round robin. It was so fun to get to meet such fun tennis ladies, get massaged, have some drinks and play some tennis. We were lucky with great match times this weekend, too. We won our match on Friday at noon (time for adoration with M&D that morning), great to get out some wiggles then relax and drink and watch more tennis. Phil came up, too for the fanfare after work. I came home for an early night and a good night of sleep to prepare for a full Saturday. Phil helped me take my car in for routine maintenance early that morning. By the time I borrowed dad's car for the day it was already ready. So we had a quick scramble back to pick it up, missing most of Voss' game and just getting to our match in time. And oh what a match it was! We lost the first set 4-6, won the next 6-1. At one point we were ahead in the tie breaker, 5-1 and then there was this bad ball fairy who put them ahead 8-9 and we lost the tie breaker 10-8! Such a bummer! Although we won our super nutty match that night, the team we lost to got to advance to the finals (and won our division!). Sooooo close! But still such a fun weekend. We had a weather delay on Saturday and didn't finish until close to 10pm. Great music, conversations, food and drinks. So fun! We made it to mass and CCD on Sunday morning then I went back over to watch and cheer. I finished off the weekend with a boat ride to the club for swim and dinner. Watching my older two take charge on the boat was super cool. Go girls! Here are the pics from the week.
April Showers Bring May Flowers
It's been one of those wacko rainy weeks. It's made tennis complicated. A lot of wait, watch, play, watch repeat. I had a strange forfeit issue in our Tuesday match where I had a stand down with the other team over re-scheduling a third set. I also was bitter over loosing to Epping Forest. We celebrated my parent's 48th wedding anniversary with a nice dinner at TCC. My sister in law had her angel baby, Isidora! She's been great about sending us adorable photos. Our Thursday match was rained out so it allowed me time to get caught up around the house and with PTSA. Tracy, Laurie and I have been rucking. We had an impromptu night out with wine and chocolate (I was aiming for Biscottis but ended at Lillians) with the Hogans and Strassers. Lots of conversations making me thirsty for Bud Light. I went to adoration and lunch with my parents on Friday. It was so nice to get caught up again. We are so proud of Abby for making patrols! I took them out for ice cream after school on Friday. Phil and I were invited to play in a mixed doubles night out that night. We took the kids to a late pizza night at our fav, Moon River. Sally and I played in the member member tennis tournament. Phil played with Jason Kuder. A friend nailed the tournament description in saying it was like everyone took a gummy and took the tournament down a notch. It was all so chill. The music was turned down low and almost like coffee shop station. No parties or late nights. You got your own drink out of the cooler. The times were perfect for us. I got to take Voss to his game on Saturday and Ellie set up with the Hogans for dance again. Phil got to catch the end of Voss' game. I took the kids to mass on Sunday and taught Phil's CCD class along with mine. Sally and I won our first 3 matches and almost got the 4th. We played so well together and had lots of fun. It turned hot summer on Sunday. Phil got too hot and ended up forfeiting his final match. Evenings chilling in the pool with dinner at the Grove and early bedtime. It was nice and much needed. Don't worry, Phil is feeling better, too. Here are the photos from the weekend.
Oh dear and now it's been another two weeks since I've posted! I went to Tallahassee with my friend, Jamie on Sunday afternoon for the PTA Legislative Conference. I knew so little about this process and am concerned with the FL scene. I'm so impressed with the work Florida PTA is doing. Apparently there is a conference in Orlando every summer for PTA board members to attend where we vote on issues in which the advocacy team goes to bat for each year. Who knew? On Monday, Jamie and I dipped out of the conference to check out the capitol (tours and meetings happened the third day of the conference but we missed it). We made a friend in the elevator with a guy from Equality Florida and tagged along with him to see a bill be debated in the senate (HJR 31/SJR 94 (Partisan Elections for Members of District School Boards—the primary focus of school board members/candidates should be the best interests of students, not adherence to political ideologies.) and then again in the house (HB 1423/SB 1438 (Gender Clinical Interventions)—interferes with parent’s right to determine the medical care of their child, in consultation with the child’s medical provider; runs counter to the recommendations of medical authorities in the field.) It was overwhelming and inspiring and infuriating all at once. With that, I failed in my parenting roll and didn't ask friends to help with after school pick up and the first round of after school activities. So it turned into a cluster of an evening. It was also our 19th wedding anniversary. Phil and I fought about kids logistics all afternoon then went to a late dinner at Moon River right before it closed. Ugh. Real life. We had a SAC meeting and a coffee chat at the middle school. Ellie got her braces off, a retainer and bleaching! Her smile is gorgeous! All ready for 14! Phil and I both played in the Steeg Tennis tournament at the Yacht Club. It was a week practicing and then a weekend full of playing. My partner, Vanessa has come a long way with tennis in a year. She is a beast and has me out there playing singles for a warm up. We had some easy matches on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Lots of parties and perfect weather. We accidentally played an April Fools joke on the Birthday girl. We were in two cars going in all sorts of directions with Voss' baseball game that morning, Phil had an early match. We met at breakfast and left Ellie home! She handled it well. I ran back to get her, we were soon on the way. My friend, Lauren helped me get Ellie to dance on Saturday and make her Birthday fun. My parents took all the kids home from Voss' baseball game. Suzanne came to watch tennis, too! Sunday, I felt God's wrath when skipping Palm Sunday mass when I pulled something in my calf. I heard a pop and was in some major pain. I'd love to say that's why we lost that last match, but I think it made me think clearly about my shots so I didn't have to move so much. So I played pretty well (aside from my double faults- oh my!) A super fun weekend and fabulous time with the Hollands. It took me days to recover (not just the calf- although massage and movement have been amazing). I did some assessments of Teach for America on Monday and Tuesday. Tracy and I did some rucking and catching up during dance. We had a PTSA board meeting to prep for the end of the year. Flashback to Voss's baseball game on Saturday, my dad was very weak. So much so that he had to go sit in the car because he didn't have the core muscles to sit on the bleachers. Before Tuesdays game, Abby and I went to check on him and he was bedridden. Just pale and weak. We finally got a call on Wednesday (from his appointment on Monday)that his hemoglobin count was a 3! We rushed him to the ER. Thank you for my pal, Kim who got us in a room quickly. The ER ended up busy and he didn't get his own room upstairs until 2am. In between there was a blood transfussion (4 pints!), CT scan and colonoscopy prep. The next morning we luckily ran into a fellow Blue Devil who did his colonoscopy and esophagoscopy. He had another colonoscopy the following morning. After all that they didn't find any aneurysms or internal bleeding. The guess is that it was an ulcer who was bleeding but has healed on its own. He was finally released to go home on Saturday. What a week! He looks so much better with coloring and energy. Now we just need to find a new primary care doc. How he got to a 3 is scary. In the midst of all of that we hosted Ellie's murder mystery Birthday party on Holy Thursday. I filled up a van load of friends from school and additional friends were dropped off through out the afternoon. They played in the river for the first half then came in to change for the murder mystery. Marly and Abby helped put together a charcuterie board. Marly went to dance. Voss went to baseball. We played Mafia. I think it was a huge hit. Around midnight, I put my ear plugs in and passed out. Friday the party kept going. More time in the river then we wrapped it up and brought the last friend home. We saw Abby's artwork in the library, a self portrait! Then went to visit my dad. We did the station on the cross on our street. Abby went to a friend's Birthday party. We went to dinner at the Freemans. It was so nice of them to host us with a Bodrum veggie dinner, with a gorgeous moon and soul enriching conversations. Just what I needed! Saturday morning we went to an Easter egg hunt in San Marco, visited an Easter bunny then went to confession. We did a family dinner at TCC then a nightcap with the Johnson-Hardisons and Strassers. The Easter Bunny did come that night. There was talks of budget cuts but each Bravo child got a basket full of good things. The animals did, too. Everyone consumed way too much sugar and fun was had by all. The weather turned and now it's cold and rainy. Not usual for us, but still so much to be grateful for. After mass we went to my parents for a late lunch. Lots of laughs, WWII conversations (thanks to Voss) and time together. It was an especially fruitful Easter. Here are the pics from the last two weeks.
Here we are entering the final quarter of school, the home stretch. The same half did not make the honor roll. One smart child needs to make some serious adjustments. It was great having everyone back in school. I got to play tennis on both Tuesday and Thursday and we won both days. Although the Thursday match was not much fun with unfriendly players. Lots of practice for upcoming tournaments, too. Voss had a baseball game on Tuesday and Saturday. No hits but some runs thanks to walking. We are on a fun, undefeated team this season. It feels like a big jump but fun to watch. We had a girls night out to see Jesus Christ Superstar. Not quite what I was expecting, but still good to get out. We celebrated Jessica's Birthday again with a ladies lunch and Aubree's with a happy hour. I worked a bit of the book fair and got books for the younger two. I hit up a PTA meeting on my way home. Saturday was a busy day. After Voss' game Ellie had dance at the Jax City Ballet. Then we went to her friend's Birthday party at Jax Golf park and then to Rise Up. I am impressed with Onie's creation! We had a nightcap at the Hogan's then to bed, I was wiped! I read at mass while Ellie and Charlotte served. Marly and Abby went to a Birthday sleepover. Voss and Phil had a guys sports day. Of course now Voss says he wants to play soccer! Here are the pics from the week.
You'd think with a Staycation for spring break, I'd have time to get caught up on all the things. Alas, it's been 2 weeks since a blog post and I have too many of the things. I try not to glance at May because it stresses me out. I have learned though, that if I don't take those peeks and start planning then life happens and is more stressful because I'm unprepared. Hello to future me when I am sitting in a boring, quiet house....reminisce about this insane time of life and send back some of those zenful vibes! Marly turned 12! I did make her Birthday video so you can see that on the videos page here. I met her at school for a Wawa lunch after tennis. That night, I was invited to go with my friend, Anne to the TPC kick off party. I hadn't been to that on in years (back in my Arena days) and it's still such an amazing party! I saw a few blasts from the past. Tuesday was Marly's actual Birthday. I had a painful loss all the way out at Hugenot at the beach. Kerri and I just couldn't close. I was doing some poor poaching. I broke a string. I did swing by the town center (hate that place) and got Marly's coveted lulu fanny pack she's been wanting. Seeing her face was the happy of the day. That afternoon Ellie threw a temper tantrum over the photos I chose for her yearbook ad and kicked the windshield breaking the glass! Fast forwarded to me being out a van for the day while she's galloping around London. Hoping she learned a lesson (not by galloping around London but by the wrath of her father later that evening). We did have a Birthday dinner for Marly at TCC (where Abby got left at home after math club and Phil and Voss dashed out early for baseball practice). Night cap at the school board meeting (our first one!). I spent Wednesday with my mom taking her to the TPC for an early Birthday celebration. We had perfect weather and walked about 10 miles all over the gorgeous course. The next day we took the younger two to school and then got the older two all packed up for their big spring break trip. We had breakfast at the Fox then took them to the airport. Phil was a nervous wreck but chilled out after a trip to Walmart to buy snacks for the middle school movie night. Yes, awkward that I didn’t have middle schoolers there. I borrowed my nephew, Alex (while Suzanne had Owen at a swim meet [2nd in the state and Olympic cuts!] ) and Abby, Voss and I watched Goonies for the outdoor movie night. Ellie and Marly flew to Chicago (and hung out with Dude Perfect) then London with the school travel club. They were with a group of 21 students and 17 parents and teachers. I'm hoping they can do a special spring break post or video for their trip. They were in London for a few days and then took the train to Paris. It was an incredible trip. I was bummed we weren't able to do a spring break trip with the younger two. By the time we agreed on what to do everything was either sold out or too expensive to stomach. So we did a staycation. You know how I feel about that idea. It didn't seem to bother the younger two and I think that's Phil's ideal vacation. They had Play Day on Friday but the volunteer slots filled up so I volunteered for Pi Day (rounded down) at the middle school. We did a Friday night with Keith & Chris having pizza and wine. Voss had his first baseball game that morning. First time up and he got a hit! No more pitching machine so it's a learning curve. Way more real time! We took the boat to the pool that evening. The weather was perfect and spring (still too cold for the pool for me). Abby is into mermaids now; watching them on TV and becoming them in the pool. The Strassers met us up at the pool. Monday we met the Nixons, Hollands and Agrestis out for ice skating to kick off the Staycation. I took my mom out for manis and pedis. My saintly neighbor took the kids to an indoor bounce park. Abby had a sleepover with the Suter sisters. Voss had a baseball game. I took the kids and friends to an indoor playground. My neighbor took the kids to St. Augustine. I finished reading Firefly Lane. On my mom's actual 70th Birthday we took her to dinner via boat and then home with a sunset cruise. Phil played in the Pirate's Cove Cup- match vs FYC. Suzanne came with me to watch. That night we picked the girls up from the airport at midnight. Ellie accidentally threw her passport away in Miami. We were so lucky she made it home. I guess that was the best time to loose it. Friday was a low key day. It was so nice to have the family together again! It was Jess' Birthday. We did an adult lunch at the Julington Creek fish camp and saw the Michiganders come to surprise her. We had crab legs for dinner to celebrate. Sunday we taught religion class after mass then celebrated Zachary's Birthday. My parents took the older two on base for Birthday shopping sprees. So many Birthdays! They all had one more day off before going back to school. I went to tennis clinic, took Spot for a check up then to book club to discuss Night Tiger. Here are our pics from the two weeks around spring break.
All of a sudden, I look up and azaleas are in full bloom, the sun is hot (with a slight cool breeze), kids are in the pool and the Grove is open. Hello spring! I'm reminded that March is gorgeous in north Florida. On Monday I went to clinic and then picked Ellie up early from school. She had the laser gum shaving appointment with Vaughn. April hosted a fabulous book club discussing the Portrait of Marriage. I stayed too late and drank too much wine but it was such a great discussion. Instead of playing in the match in Amelia Island, I dipped out to go to the stake holders SAC meeting at the middle school. I always learn so much at those meetings...just how amazing our school is; and a new science class progression. From there I went downtown to the school board for the DCCPTA meeting. Ugh stupid FL politics has everyone sitting wide eyed at those meetings! The magnet deadline was that day so I double checked I did things right this time. Fingers crossed for Ellie. It was a scramble on Tuesday night, taking my dad to a rotary dinner, going to a Donna for Mayor party, dance pick up then meeting at VDub's Pub for a night cap. Wednesday was a great day. I was very productive. I got 2 vehicle passes for our summer road trip. I was so nervous about this- all the alarms set for the release time, palms sweaty, heart racing...feels like I won the lottery! I ran and did weekly body pump. I met an ole pal from high school for lunch. It was so nice reconnecting with a stay at home mom. Mae saved us for MOPS and gave great tips and reminders on kids behavior. I hit with Steph for a bit then had lunch at TCC. I loved catching up with her. I went to adoration and lunch with my parents on Friday and planted fresh flowers in the front yard. I still need a few days of weed and moss overhaul out there. Abby had a sleepover with her friend, Virginia. We hosted Marly's Birthday party that evening. My sister, nephew and parents met us and Marly's friends at TGIFs to kick off the party. Marly had 4 friends from 4 different schools. She's so cool. Ellie, Marly and her friends and I went to see the new Puss in Boots movie. I was worn out and went to bed early while the sleepover kept going. I took the group to Starbucks and Target then brought the girls home. I took Ellie to her Sleeping Beauty practice and walked listening to my crush, Pete then read in the car when it rained. Phil took the gaggle of girls to Audry's to get ready for Cotillion that afternoon. It was a Luau theme. Marly got called up to babysit for the neighbors that night. Phil and I got in off the waitlist for the Oyster Roast. It's always so good...ended up at the Awful Waffle for an early breakfast. We slept in on Sunday. I picked up Ellie and got gas for the boat. We took the boat to TCC for a relaxing pool day (still too cold for me). I read some and caught up with friends. We made it in time for 5pm mass then dinner at Tijuana Flats. Here are our photos of the week.