For starters, I'm so thankful all my kids went to school on Monday! Woooo whooo! I knew I'd only have 2 full days this week so I took advantage. Also, no one came to work on the bathroom so my house was nice and quiet. I truly appreciate that these days. I got to go to tennis clinic on Monday. I worked hard to schedule a tough match on Tuesday but couldn't find a fourth. So, Julie, Francis and I traded off playing singles. Matt, the pro came to play with us in the end. Phil and I met for lunch at TCC. The kids rode bikes to school. My tire was punctured on the ride home. Luckily, Phil came to the rescue. I came up after school to watch the grunge match between Brian and Phil Shad. Ellie and I had Chinese food and watched the 5th Harry Potter movie since Ellie finished the book. Wednesday the kids were off of school. Phil had some work in GA so we decided to go with him to make a day of it. We went to the Ritz Carlton for lunch then spent the afternoon at the beach and pool. It was really nice. Thursday we slept in a bit. Phil made breakfast. We watched the Macy's Day parade and got this neat scavenger hunt to follow along. We rode bikes to my parent's house and did the 2nd Annual Voss Family Triathlon. The older girls and Alex cheated so we made them re-do the run. The swim wasn't as cold as last year. It was fun! It was a little different this year with COVID and numbers on the rise. We sat at separate tables outside. So thankful it was a gorgeous day! We watched The Christmas Story. My brother Matt was supposed to come in town but someone in his squadron tested positive so he had to quarantine. We had a good conversation. He should be able to come next week. Friday was a down day. I reluctantly put up Christmas decorations. It was just so hot; I wasn't in the mood. Luckily, I could sit back and let the kids do most of it. I still ended up doing all the outside lights. The reindeer are not working. Phil and I played tennis with the Risdons (and lost). Phil took the kids to a neighbor's light display. I went to Tracy's surprise 40th Birthday party. Perfect timing for me! Saturday was another low key day. Phil played tennis. I ran errands. That night was the boat parade. There was a 5pm shower and then it got cold. It was misty and chilly but a perfect night for the boat parade- definitely one of my favorite things to do in Jax! Sunday we went to mass then breakfast with the VanWies and crashed their tennis afternoon. I got my sister to join us! I'm trying to get her into playing so we can be the dream team! We went to the VanWie's for pizza after. We have so much to be thankful for!
Mondays are my new favorite days to sit in a quiet house and get back into the swing of things from the weekend. I ran with Spot, did a much needed grocery run, cleaned up a bit. It actually hasn't been quiet because the bathroom is still being worked on. It's coming along nicely. Money is flying out the window. Erik and Kelley came over for a nice visit before flying back to LA. I enjoyed the glimpse into their fabulous lifestyle in YouTube and Pixar. Elizabeth hosted a gorgeous book club Monday night to discuss The Gifted School. Maybe it was a little too close to home. Monday evening I got a call from the health department that Marly has to quarantine all week. I knew there was a boy in her class who tested positive because his parents had told us 2 weeks ago. I assumed we were okay because we hadn't gotten a call. Come to find out, there is a backlog with the health department. Marly and I went and got tested on Wednesday. We did the rapid test in Regency and got the results before I hit the bridge. Good thing we are negative. I did some grassroots marketing to get the parents of the school to talk more and not rely on the health department for a call. The school is not allowed to notify you- so we really have to rely on each other. Now we know. So, Marly worked from home this week. It was tough on me, but I know she loved all the one on one attention. I'm hoping we helped to bring up a few of her grades this week with all the extra effort. I got to play in a tennis match with Beth and we kicked booty! It felt good to win! (Even if I keep playing on the last line). I'm trying to listen to this scary Rabbit Hole Podcast but the language is pretty terrible so tough with Marly following me around the house all day. We had a late night chat with tennis friends one night, I had a great conversation with my brother, Matt another night. Bummed he won't be here for Thanksgiving like we thought. We had a MOPS craft meeting making angels out of old hymnals. VPizza is going to sell them at a fundraiser for cancer patients. Friday I got to play tennis with Rebekah, Julie and Simmons. Marly came with us to adoration then Firehouse for lunch. Ellie was so excited for youth group (I love how she loves going!). We did a family movie and pizza night and watched the new Elf movie. Saturday Phil cooked breakfast then we went to Marly's first basketball game (out of quarantine just in time!). She hit all her free throws including a foul shot. We shopped for door knobs then headed home. I let the kids have a friends over. Phil played golf. It was wild and crazy but they had fun. Phil and I had dinner at FYC with the Ryals and sat outside on a chilly night. This morning we went to mass then Phil cooked another great breakfast. We went to play tennis with the Howards for Julie's Birthday. Then we headed to the soccer field for Voss' team pictures and game. He scored his first goal! My sister came to watch, too. Speaking of pictures, we got our photos from Andrea back. Wow! She is incredible! I had a hard time choosing 20! I grilled turkey burgers and hotdogs for dinner then said the rosary and put everyone to bed early with a book. I can't wait for another Monday!
The storm brought all the rain this week. I got in the clinic on Monday but other than that all my tennis was canceled. Half of the country thinks the election was stolen. I've been engaging in all sorts of stressful debates. I listened to the Podcast, Kamala Next in Line and that made me feel better about life. Wednesday was Veterans Day- the kids and Phil were home. We did a practice triathalon to Timuquana to prepare for the Turkey Tri. It was a fun day. Hurricane Eta came across the state on Thursday so we had home learning for the kids school. I nearly lost my mind. I set Marly up at my parent's house because I don't have 4 laptops for each kid. I don't know if I should have sent Marly in hindsight. I never could get her logged in for the live lesson. She ended up doing the work, though. All the other kids were logged in okay- it was just a lot of running back and forth. Plus, we have Ben, the tile guy working in the bathroom. So, there was a lot going on- oh and the rain. Erik and his girlfriend, Kelley came in town that night. The storm ended up being nothing by the time it made it here. We are grateful. I went over to visit with them Thursday night. We stayed up late catching up. Phil came by after tennis. Friday, I went to adoration with mom and dad then lunch at FYC with Erik and Kelley. They came with me to pick up the kids from school. Then, they headed over to spend some time with Suzanne and her boys. We did a low key dinner at the Grove that night with the Ryals. Saturday was a gorgeous day- finally the sun came out. We went for a family run after breakfast and hung out with the family. Mom and I ended up picking up BBQ for lunch. It was a nice, relaxing day. That night we met them in St. Augustine. Mom had the great idea to see the Nights of Lights. It was so crazy crowded! Way too many people and no masks. We had dinner at Mojos and then got out of there. We had a nightcap back at my parents. We went to mass and religion class on Sunday. Phil and I played some tennis, the kids finished homework and chilled- lots of legos. My dad made an amazing steak dinner Sunday night. It got a little heated, but we had a great conversation. Another late night with the fam- I love it!
On Monday after school, I took the kids (sans Marly due to dance) to Walmart to choose their switch witch item. This is the best idea! Some families have a witch that comes to their house to swap out Halloween candy for a toy. We missed the boat on that one. This year we gave half to the school (they were doing a candy drive to send to troops over seas) and the other half to my friend who works for Hospice. So thankful to get all that candy out of the house! I spent too much time watching TV and chowing down. Tuesday was Election Day! I volunteered to drive people to the polls. I can't decide if that was so worthwhile. First, I drove all the way to the beach to drive a lady. I wish I would have gotten her 2nd because she invited me in for a drink and I know Spot would have loved to run on the beach (of course he rode with me). The 2nd was a man in Arlington who had to make a pit stop at the Jiffy before we went to the polling location. I offered to drive on the Nextdoor app but didn't get any offers. For this election most democrats voted early and most republicans on Tuesday. So it looked blue until polls closed. I'm so proud of Duval for turning blue! Unfortunately FL and Jax locally is mighty red. I went to Tracy's to watch the numbers come in but was just too anxious. Lots of FB and text chatter. It was a pretty anxious week! We didn't get the official announcement until Saturday, but the week did get more and more blue as absentee ballots were counted later in some states- Joe Biden is the president elected and Kamala Harris will be the first female (half Indian, half black) VP! I cannot stop smiling! We had our last practice round robin on Wednesday. MOPS in the rain at the park on Thursday talking about gratitude. There was an exhibition match that night to kick off the Member Guest Tournament. It was rained out so we stayed to drink- uh oh. Friday was rough. My mom is checking in on Aunt Susan (please keep the prayers coming) so dad and I went to adoration together. We picked up Phil and went to Larry's for lunch. The day part of the tournament was canceled due to all this rain from tropical storm Eta. Phil ended up playing but not until 5pm that night. Ellie had youth group again, I'm so glad she's loving it. They moved the big party, Gourmet on the Greens inside because of the rain, but had to get creative with spacing. We stayed outside as much as possible and away from people. Attendance was low so that was good. The food was amazing, lots of dancing. I was up for an 8am tennis match that got pushed back to 10am. Renee and I finally got to play and had an awesome match with Rebekah and Melanie. We won the tie breaker, 10-7! It was good! We lost the 2nd match of the day to Danielle and Suzanne. I was bummed. Phil played in the elite division with his partner, Gary. They were fun to watch but lost all 3. We were all wiped out on Saturday night. Phil took the kids to mass, I had a 9am match. We did so well in the beginning then lost steam. A day of watching tennis was nice. Phil took Voss to his soccer game. I got Marly started on the last bit of her science project then headed to mass. Someone put dish soap all over the dining room table so I am now hoarse from all the yelling. One of those kinds of nights. Ready for a quiet week!
On Monday I did a round robin with my partner and some friends with their member guest partners. My pal had to leave early so I scouted the Monday clinic and found friends to fill in. Lots of work to make it all happen. I played a lot of tennis this week. Beth and I were partners. On Monday we played the beach and won in the 3rd set after a long match. Thursday we lost after the 3rd set after a tediuos lob game. Ugh. I played golf on Wednesday with some gal pals- it was so great to see women all over the golf course. It felt like a busy week. I picked up the tile and ended up cracking the threshold piece. I forgot about it in the backseat and then loaded the minivan with kids so of course that was the result. I read the Shining by Stephen King this week. Yeah, I see now how he is so popular. That was scary! Phil and I watched the movie on Friday night. It was pretty terrible, not nearly as good as the book (as usual). Perfect to read the week of Halloween, though! I engaged in lots of FB political conversations. I got in the Box Top order for the school, one of my new PTA roles. We also officially signed off on the school supplies fundraiser. I'm eager to get that one going. I spent Friday with my parents- adoration, LaNap, signage fun and then I went to rock the vote. Trying hard to make Duval turn blue! I took some kids to yappy hour with Spot. Phil took Ellie and some friends to her first youth group. So far, so good! Saturday was Halloween! It was a fun day! We tried to do a street cul de sac party. Our neighbor's grand nieces and nephew came over. We put out the bounce house and made a spooky punch with dry ice. I learned the Thriller dance and forced the kids to learn a bit. We needed an attitude change before the festivities began! Ellie spent the night with her friend, Cora and they went out together. The rest of us went to the Nixon twin's Birthday party and then in their neighborhood. It was rare that the kids went to a door. Most everyone had a bowl sitting on a table in their front yard. I feel good about the spacing out and little contact. Hoping to stay another week COVIDfree as we've seen cases on the rise here in town. Phil and I were going to stay up to watch another scary movie but he fell asleep during Unsolved Mysteries. I changed it back to Black List. This morning was All Saints Day at mass. We were grateful to fall back an hour. It was a busy day with homework, religion class, Voss' soccer game (in the rain), professional photos and then an evening concert on the water. We have got to get this candy out of the house!
I got in some tennis this week. I did the clinic on Monday and rolled my ankle again. It might still be weak from before. It got better as I played. It was a small group so we got personalized attention. That was nice. I spent the rest of the day finishing the Ninth House. Weird- it was just too much for me. The conversation was good at Katherine's. Of course it got political with Regan bringing up COVID (too bad that has to be political). On Tuesday we were able to play a "reject match". We didn't get in for the match so we all played together. It was fun. That evening, Phil took Ellie to her first JWJ football game. Abby and I had the first zoom meeting for her Reconciliation prep. She gets to have her First Confession in February. It'll be a big year for her for sacraments! On Wednesday the demolition began on our bathroom. It started with a leak a few months ago (water coming through the ac vent in the living room). We've been talking about a bathroom remodel for years. So, here we are. Now that it's down to the studs, the shower wall was totally corroded so that's where the leak was coming from. So, we've had guys in the bedroom all week. Dust all over the house. It's so fun. I will be so happy to have another bathroom back upstairs! My partner finally showed up for the member guest round robin practice. Of course the rain had us finish early- but at least we were able to get in. It's rained a bunch all week! Thursday began the member-member golf tournament Phil was in. He had a great time playing a total of 58 holes of golf and eating and drinking to his heart's content all weekend. He and Jason came in 4th (in their flight), which was good but not good enough. I watched the last debate on Thursday night. Ugh. I am so over all of this. Praying for a blue wave! I went to adoration and lunch with my parents on Friday. I was able to go to the member-member party with Phil. It was mainly outside until the inside cleared out and then we had our own dance party with the DJ. Saturday my dad picked us up and we joined his rotary friends to pick up trash in the river by boat. It was an awesome morning out there! We had lunch then made candy apples. It was all going well until I burnt the candy; luckily we got in a few and had enough caramel to cover. Very messy and sugary! I made everyone go on a walk/bike ride/roller skate afterwards. We watched the 90's version of Witches by Rahl Dahl then drove around eating ice cream and looking at the Halloween lights. We sang to Spot to celebrate him turning two! This morning was mass and religion class. Phil and I went to pick out tile. Phil took Voss to his soccer game while I took the girls to a Fall Fest at TCC. I grilled hotdogs for dinner then did a family rosary. We remembered tonight that the main portion of Marly's science project is due tomorrow so we were boiling eggs before bedtime. That child needs to get in line! She had a rough weekend with a slip in the mud, a toe in the table doing a cartwheel and a Halloween costume malfunction (she wanted to go as a zombie princess but the thrift stores are closed. Ellie did well convincing her to go with something more positive). And here we go, ready for Halloween!
It was hot this week but cooled down a bit this weekend. We did lots of fun fall activities. I was outside a lot this week- running and walking and playing tennis and golf. We had coffee club on Monday to discuss the Podcast, Nice White Parents. It was a good conversation. Phil was off for Indigenous People day so we had lunch together at the Brick. I'm loving that raw salmon bowl. I got to play in the tennis match on Tuesday. We won every line! I played with a new friend, Marleigh. We had a good group stayed for lunch then I raced home for a PTA zoom call. Another zoom call that night for Dynamic Catholic. I played golf with Christine in the morning. We had to wait in line to tee off and spent 4 hours hanging around the driving range, practicing chipping and finally got in a few holes. Then, we played an afternoon of tennis. We tried to put together a member guest round robin but my partner bailed on me. We had a MOPS girls night playing bingo that night. I was wiped out! For MOPS on Thursday I baked a yummy veggie casserole. We talked about mental stamina. It was a good discussion. That night Ellie and I got Chinese food and watch Hocus Pocus together. The kids were off on Friday so we celebrated the end of the first quarter. We took the skyway downtown and checked out books at the library. Abby got a library card. We renewed the older girls card. Voss wasn't in the system yet so he has to wait. Then we went to Sweet Petes to see their Halloween decorations and get ice cream. Abby and Marly need to work on their organization skills in the next quarter. Abby lucked out with a low B. Marly didn't get as lucky with a low C in math. They are way too smart for that! When Phil got home we went to the Amazing Grace corn maze. It was neat to go through the maze at night when it was cooler and creepy. Saturday morning I went to lunch with Tracy, Jess and Rachael for Rachael's Birthday. We went to the grocery store and picked out pumpkins. Each kid got to do their own. It was a huge mess but I think they all liked it. Marly made pumpkin muffins. I made pumpkin bread. I'm still working on Ninth House for book club tomorrow. It's taking me forever to read. Phil and I went out with the Hemphills and VanWies to the Fish House in OP. We stayed up too late and drank too much. Today was rough. We slept in and went to mass after CCD class. A lazy day of reading and watching the Jags game. Voss had a soccer game and played really well. He's getting the hang of it. We picked up a pizza on the way home. I'm ready for bed!
There were times when I actually felt a little bored this week. It was a good feeling. It was rainy so tennis was canceled, I had to cut a run short- so I'd pick up a book. I watched the VP debates with the Left Gaggle of Liberal Ladies. I played tennis with my friend, Renee from Deerwood. We are practicing for the TCC member guest tournament next month. I prepped for the Book Summit Weekend- something I've been excited about since last October! It coordinates with the 2020 reading challenge I've been working on. I still have 3 more books, but technically I have 3 more months, too. I went to adoration with my parents. Phil showed up and surprised us. We all went to High Tide for lunch. Then, Phil dropped me off at Tracy's. We headed to SSI for the Book Summit. Perhaps I've mentioned it, but my friend, April (who is in book club with me) started a book challenge a few years ago (this is the 3rd year). She makes categories of books in which to read for the year. It's usually 12 but this year was 20 (for year 2020). Then, she puts together an official summit- full of reading activities. It is awesome! We had such a marvelous time! I feel relaxed after the literary weekend. I got home in time to have lunch with the fam and then go to Voss' first soccer game. It was hot! We cooled off and I went to mass then picked up sushi for a Netflix and chill night with Phil.
I used to look forward to the weekend and now I look forward to Mondays. I nice, quiet house. It's amazing! I went to a C team tennis clinic. I am finally in the loop for the team now. On Tuesday I played with Patti, Rebekah and Danielle. It was a busy afternoon with dance and golf. Then, I stayed up to watch the presidential debates. It was a train wreck. Phil and I are still fighting. He threw away the sign I bought before I could even put it up. He hasn't seen my magnet yet, luckily. I took my car in on Wednesday and spent the day at TCC. I played golf with Keri, Allison and Christine. Then, Julie had her member guest friend over so Christian and I played them. We played well but lost. We had a nice lunch on the back patio. I got a ride to my parents house and borrowed a car to do the afternoon dance run. Thursday we did yoga at MOPS. Danielle did an awesome spiritual routine with prayer in the flow. It was just what I needed to chill out. April brought yummy salmon poke bowls from the Brick for lunch and then we went on an afternoon bike ride. I'm loving the afternoons in the park- getting some great steps. The weather has been fabulously fall- maybe even chilly. I finished both the books and have now moved onto Agatha Christie's Death on the Nile and a book my brother wants me to read, Scary Close by Donald Miller. Friday I went to a much needed adoration with my parents. I posted this article on Facebook and got a dynamite response. It was charged, but a great conversation that has so far lasted all weekend. Lots of side conversations all over the place. It's good. The best article was posted this morning in addition to the one I posted. Check it out. We rode bikes to school and I walked to and from to pick the kids up. Ellie spent the night at Cora's. Giovanni walked all the way back with me. We went to first Friday but it was too crowded so we went to the patio and sat with the the VanWies, Ryals and Cochrans. Extra anxiety with Trump being sick with COVID. Saturday was a lazy day. Ellie helped do an altar server refresher class. We went on a family walk and visited with my parents. Phil and I went to the FYC oyster roast and caught up with some old pals. This morning was mass, religion class and a Panera date. It rained all day. We did a bit of yard work then a whole day of nothing. Lots of reading for me. Phil took Voss to an indoor soccer practice. We put up our Halloween lights and said a family rosary. Extra prayers for family peace.
Monday was sorta an alarming day. We woke up to our boat floating loose in the cove; actually banging up on our neighbor's bulkhead. Phil had to take Ellie to school so Marly and Abby helped me get the boat back in the lift. It took me a few times of docking it to get it back in with all the wind. Not used to that in the cove! I spent the day watching the wind and the water come up. Pretty spooky. I went out a few times to readjust the boat on the lift. I went walking with my mentor, Jan. It was nice to catch up with her. That night, Tracy hosted book club in her backyard. It was a perfect evening to be outside and discuss Florida. Tuesday I got a flu shot and made the social rounds in Target. I did a PTA zoom call and hung out with the ac repair guy (just doing a seasonal check). I played tennis with Rebekah, Danielle and Francis. It was a nice night. Ellie was babysitting the Cutlips. We picked her up and got frozen custard for a PTA fundraiser (breakfast of champions for the other three!) Wednesday, after taking Ellie to school then the Stockton kids (Phil started a Dynamic Catholic mens group on Wednesday mornings) I had a country club day. I played tennis with Keri, Christian and Ann Marie then we had lunch together outside. Then, I was a bit late for 9 holes (more like putt putt) with Jess and Christine. I left there to go to FYC to meet my friend, Kasey for a drink then to pick up kids from school. Afternoons walking in the park and talking politics with Laurie. It got back to being hot a few days. Tracy and Lynn joined us out there, too this week. Kate hosted a MOPS game night that night. Thursday I met Phil for lunch at a French bistro near him. Ellie had a virtual open house that night. I am still very impressed with her middle school. All of her teachers seem amazing. It blows me away! It was neat to go through her day- and I got to be a few places at the same time with dance pick up, dinner and the open house. Friday was my dad's Birthday. I went to adoration with he and my mom then to lunch at TCC. I finished listening to Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell. Another interesting listen that I'm sure will come up in convo in years to come. I'm about half way through Angels and Demons (Dan Brown) for the 2020 Challenge- it's my book published 20 years ago. It was excellent to read today on a rainy afternoon with a glass of red wine; especially running through the streets of Vatican City! We rode bikes to school on Friday. Giovanni, Spot and I walked home that afternoon. Marly went to dinner with the Snopes at FYC. Ellie spent the night at Robin's. After tennis, Phil the littles and I went to the concert series on the river with the Nixons. It was a gorgeous night with live music. Saturday was a lazy day. Phil made breakfast, went on a run and got a haircut with Voss. Marly had the Snope twins over and baked a super chocolate cake. Ellie helped Abby organize her room with a new desk we found on the side of the road. I was put into a terrible mood because on the short drive back, almost all of my neighbors put up Trump signs. I'm working on rectifying that. I took the girls tubing then we met up with the Nixons again to try out some local BBQ and watch the sunset on the boat. The girls altar served at mass this morning. Phil and I got another Panera date during religion class. Just another lazy afternoon. Phil and I fought about politics. Luckily we have a huge house- I grabbed my book and found a quiet room. I made dough from scratch and we made homemade pizzas for dinner. A rocky rosary, books in bed and an early bedtime. It's still raining!