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!
We've got fires on the west coast and hurricanes and noreasters on the east coast. Rain and maybe even a chill happening here in north Florida. Hurricane Sally hit the gulf coast. My parents are still waiting on a damage assessment for the condos. The river is over the bulkhead at our house. I spent most of Monday getting the house back to normal after the weekend. I guess that's my thing these days. I finished Women in the Window and started listening to Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. I listen to his Podcast so it feels like I've already read it. I did take over Tuesday for MOPS, which wore me out. Lots of posting. Laurie and Jamie hosted a really nice Birthday lunch for Stephanie. Afternoon of dance, then tennis in the rain. Wednesday, Allison, Kerri and I played 9 holes of golf then Kerri and I went to round 3 of the golf clinic. Another afternoon of dance. Thursday we had a MOPS meeting doing freezer meal prep. That's always a good one. Friday I went to adoration again then lunch with Sunny. Phil and I played in a tennis party that night to celebrate the new lights on the courts. RBG passed away. That set the tone for the melancholy weekend. What a legend. But still feelings of unrest with the pandemic and an election looming. Ellie had Cora over. Marly spent the night at the VanWies. Saturday was a nice, calm day of nothing. It rained all day. I finished reading Florida by Lauren Groff- a perfect book to read on a rainy day. Abby had her friend, Abigail over. Phil and I played in a tennis party again- this time a Birthday party. Late night after. This morning was mass then the first day of religion class. Phil and I went on a quick Panera date. The VanWies had us over to watch the Jags game. Another rainy day.
I think rain rain means fall in Florida. That's about all we've got. I'm okay with it. It's not too much that it's flooding. It cools things off and gives me an excuse to sit inside with a book. I'm listening to another one and trying to catch up with the reading challenge. I finished 9 Perfect Strangers but then realized Hulu's not coming out with the series until next year so it's not going to count for this year- back to the drawing board. I went on an Aldi field trip with my MOPS pal, Tori and spent way too much money. Trying new things, though. So far, so good. We had a PTA zoom call- getting things geared up and trying to figure it all out. I went to a Dynamic Catholic meeting then a tennis match with some heavy hitters- Danielle, Rebekah and Francis. Wednesday was a country club morning- I played tennis with Keri, Christian and Beth then went to round 2 of the golf clinic. I picked up Thai lunch for Ellie and I. This was her last week of distance learning Wednesday; now she is back full time. Village Dance started back this week. It was nice to be back in the park every afternoon (no fighting over screen time). Spot was happy, too and I got in some great steps. Rain or sauna, we are out there. The girls seemed happy to be dancing again (I think they are used to wearing masks all the time). Kate hosted a MOPS movie night to watch Mulan. It was pretty good- not like the animated version. Thursday my sister and I had a "liquid lunch" donating blood. I don't have the antibodies but I'm wondering if she does. I met my parents for lunch at Trents afterwards. It's nice spending so much time with them. Friday we rode bikes to and from school. It's so nice to not have to push a jogging stroller or coddle a child on training wheels. I must say, I am enjoying this phase. We had a nice, peaceful ride to school. I went to adoration with my parents again at Sacred Heart. This time I said a rosary. I'm liking this new tradition. I hosted a liberal ladies lunch with Rachael, Tracy, Jessica and Zoe. So much enriching conversation. Phil and I played in a Wine & 9 with the Napoleons. We only got about half way through before we were rained out. More time in the living room. This weekend was fairly relaxing for me. Lots of rain. The kids spent the bulk of their time with the Hayes kids across the street. I organized Abby's clothes and listened to "Women in the Window" and have been politically debating my brother all weekend. Phil played in a sneaks and cleats tournament. The tennis was mainly rained out. Ellie and I went to the TCC pool on Saturday and crashed a Birthday party. We kicked off the celebration for Stephanie's 40th at O'rsay (ended up back in the living room). Rainy morning mass then breakfast. Ellie went to tie dye masks at the Bentons. Phil took Voss to soccer "try outs" or more like placement for the league. We had dinner with the Bentons to kick off another week. And here we go!
Oh geeze, we are really on fast forward now! What did I even do on Monday? Maybe it took all day to get the house in order. Let's go with that. Tuesday I had a "The kids are finally back in school" brunch with just a few moms. I usually host a rager, but COVID. I may have to do a bunch of small brunches. It was nice to catch up with some pals- Stephanie, Meghan, Jessica and Laurie, the ole Steinhatchee gang. I went to a golf clinic on Wednesday- back to the basics. Thursday was our first MOPS meeting of our 2nd year. I was definitely scrambling this week with that- feeling very overwhelmed and under appreciated. I had to switch my thinking to love and then it was better. The St. Marks MOPS saved me with childcare. Becky helped me figure out nursery. I stayed up late making name tags. Maybe next time I won't procrastinate. The meeting ended up being great. It was a bit scrambled but we had a good turn out and kids who napped well after. Phil and I went to a Jim Furyk info session after for a golf tournament happening at TCC next year. Sounds exciting. We also kicked off the first of 3 nights chilling in the TCC living room. The next day I went to adoration with my parents after a run with Spot (he fills up at lot of my time). I had never been before. It took a bit to get acclimated. It was a nice way to spend a Friday morning. I met my friend, April at the pool after for DEAR (drop everything and read) time. The kids are all doing well in school. We learned how to submit the correct file format for Ellie in science- that took a few days of headaches. Marly's bestie switched schools this week so that was sad for her. A sleepover on Friday helped smooth things over, but she's still missing her a lot. Voss' teacher complimented his manners, he got a perfect score on his sight words test and got perfect behavior all week. Abby decided she really does not like shrimp so much that she threw it up at the dinner table tonight. Good one, Phil. We are struggling with communication in her classroom- not that she minds at all- good behavior marks and sweet wallflower attitude. We did First Friday but it was so crowded so we went inside and had crab legs before making our way to the living room for round 2. Saturday I did the tennis clinic then Phil and I played the Howards. My old pal, Kat was back in the mix at clinic. It was so hot out there! We had ribs at my parents house, swam and then all went to 5pm mass together. Ellie babysat the Applegates. Phil and I went back to the living room, this time with the Hemphills. It was still just too hot to sit outside. We ended up at VDub's Pub (getting him out of bed to turn the lights on- ha!) We all slept in on Sunday and headed to breakfast as usual. We played a round robin with the VanVies and Hershorins then went home for a break. We went back in the rain for the Labor Day fireworks (postponed from 4th of July). My only rule was that the kids had to stay outside- since they were inside all morning at breakfast and tennis. Despite the rain, the fireworks were still fabulous. I let the kids play for a bit after- when I went to gather them, guess where they were....INSIDE! Oh the wrath! Also, we came home to find that Spot had destroyed another pillow on my bed! Rough night for us! This morning Phil and I got up early to play the Rachels (and lost :( then the Hershorins for breakfast. Ellie and I headed to TCC for the Labor Day carnival while the 3 littles stayed back as punishment. I'm hoping a lesson was learned. Phil made fish and shrimp for dinner. Family rosary, books and early bedtime. Here we go fall!
Here I am, in a new phase of life. I could get used to this. The kids had their first full week back to school. Everyone was right, the time does fly by- but I have so much more of it. It's glorious! Ellie loves middle school! Her day starts early- dropped off at the carpool by 7:15am. She seems to be juggling her classes okay. She gets to see lots of friends, has made some new ones. I've friended some of her teachers. It seems like a great place. She even loves the bus ride to the elementary school. So far so good. Abby and Marly are moving right along. They each are happy to have a friend in class for starters. Abby is a little bummed about spending so much time in the class room (even for lunch). I'm debating talking to the teacher. Abby said it was too hot to be outside by the end of the week. Voss was good to go in the beginning, By the end of the week, he cried almost every morning on the way to school. We've been working hard on his sight words all week. He has his buddy, Giovanni here a lot before and after school. That's been a good distraction. It's busy and loud! Monday I watched Little Fires Everywhere on Hulu so I could compare it for book club. It was a great meeting. April had us socially distanced all around her pool outside. It was a great conversation. I played tennis on Tuesday, had a PTA zoom call then met Stephanie and Jessica for a Thai lunch. I watched the RNC all week and that good, blue feeling I had is now turning back to purple. It's not good. I've been politically charged on FB and debating abortion all week. It's intense. Wednesday was Ellie's virtual school from home day (all 6th graders in the county in public school, do virtual from home one day a week to stagger attendance at school). I spent the day pulling weeds and remulching the flower beds. Whew! I washed both white couches, did lots of laundry and just general house organizing- this could take a while. Everywhere I turn, there is more to be done. Of course we have a shower leak, which is turning into a bathroom remodel. Ugh$$$. I played golf with Keri and Abby (Allison was supposed to join us but her son came home sick- any little thing is a big deal these days). That night was a MOPS girls night pool party. We had a good group and stayed up too late. I tried to take a nap on Friday but my head was buzzing. I'm listening to the Nice White People Podcast and The Age of Innocence. That night I met Regan, Aubree and Tracy for happy hour at O'rsay. I maxed my 2 hour time limit and Phil threw a temper tantrum. Aubree and I went back to TCC to meet them for dinner. Spot was a handful. Oh Spot. He is getting us into trouble in the street- pooping in people's yards and we've been failing at picking it up. Hoping we can do better this week. Saturday was nice and calm. Marly made breakfast. Ellie spent the night at Robin's. Marly had lunch and swim time with friends at FYC. We tried to go see a movie but couldn't get 6 tickets (social distancing). We walked around the mall. It was too crowded and I got nervous. We left in the rain. Milkshakes for morale! Phil and I got a Cool Moose lobster dinner and caught up with the Shannons. It was such a soul enriching conversation. This morning was mass and bfast then Sunday Funday with the Nixons and Freemans. Family rosary with an early bedtime. I'm watching the Black Panter and recapping the week. Let's do this!
We are geared up and ready to go! Monday was the elementary drop off school supplise, drive through and meet your teacher. All a little odd with a mask on, but still great to be back! After we had a river play date with Ellie's new carpool friends to talk middle school and figure out logistics. That afternoon there was a PTA fundraiser with Kona Ice where Marly could run the field with some of her gal pals. I went to my parents to watch the kick off of the DNC and an awesome speech by Michelle Obama. Suzanne's ac broke so she was over there. Lots of red wine and late night political conversations. I stayed up late every night this week watching. I'm excited! Tuesday I played tennis, went to WD, had the Kerkezi boys for a few hours. There was lots of rain. We went to my friend, Lynn's house for a hair cut. She made us all feel normal again. Wednesday, the last day of summer, we loaded up with the Cutlips and spent the day at Ichetucknee Springs. It was an awesome day! The north end was closed so we went down from midpoint 3 times! We were there until 6pm! Later than I was hoping to put the kids to bed before the first day, but it was an awesome way to end the summer! Phil took Ellie to school the first 2 days of school. Temp checks at drop off, all was well. I got the elementary kids to school just fine, went for a run and then met my friend, April at the pool. Her dad recently passed away and it was her Birthday. She needed a happy. We caught up and had lunch. It was a delightful day. I finished reading Little Fires Everywhere and am now trying to watch it on Hulu before book club on Monday. Friday Phil worked from home. We met for breakfast then my parent's took us out for lunch at FYC. It was a fun day. The hours fly by! We did TCC for dinner and pool. Saturday was a lazy day. Phil made breakfast. Marly and I walked Spot. Lots of legos and electronics. We had popcorn and watched the new 'The One and Only Ivan' movie. We got take out Moon River pizza. Sunday we went to mass and were finally early! Ellie and Marly got to altar serve! The first ones back in the mix! We met the Hershorins and VanWies for bfast. It was the anniversary of Ann Marie's mom's death so we did a mimosa cheers to her. We were going to play tennis but the rain kept coming so we just stayed. We did a PH in the lobby and ended up having dinner at the Grove. An all day affair. Early bedtime for the first full week back to school. I snuck out for a last minute girls night at Tracy's. Lots of politics to discuss! I'm feeling good about this new phase of life! I could get used to it!
I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Summer is coming to a close. It's time to get geared up for the people to go places. We have been organizing school supplies (and reorganizing it since people keep messing with it), sewing masks, monogramming masks and backpacks, silhouetting lunch boxes and backpacks and water bottles. We are ready! I planned a fun treat for Ellie since most of her fun stuff was canceled. I invited her 3 besties to join us for a spa day but since most spas are not open or you have to be over 18, we went to lunch and got pedis instead. It was a really nice way to celebrate her. I haven't seen her that happen in a long time. Marly got sealants on a few teeth. We went to exchange a laptop we bought (it wasn't working) and got slushies as a little treat. I played some tennis and went to a Dynamic Catholic meeting. Lots of fun stuff planned and passing on the love for Matthew Kelley. I had a glass of wine in the rain on the porch with my pal, Cutlip. The rain kept coming (or said it was going to). It was the last week of DCPS free lunches. Marly did a lemonade stand with her friend, Addy (and her brother). She's been talking about doing this for weeks. I finally remembered to pick up the supplies. It was going great until a creepy man rode past a few times and exposed himself to the children. Luckily, they raced home to tell us. I filed a police report and posted on Nextdoor. Come to find out from cameras, the guy came back looking for them. Very scary. I'm thankful we've had lots of stranger danger talks. She is nervous to ride alone but I think time will help her. I was thankful for a backyard MOPS girls night to help me process it all. We picked up the cousins and did another beach day at Hannah Park. Kinda a MOPS play date, but only one St. Matts mom came. It was so cool to see so many live starfish and dolphin pods! I think they are all finally beached out. Ice cream on the way home helped. Friday Phil took all the kids to the mall (my idea of a nightmare). I got to stay home and read. Ellie spent the night at Cora's. Phil and I went to this golf lottery drawing for an upcoming tournament. He got in, lucky duck. Then the kids had a movie night in the pool. Nightcap at VDub's pub. Saturday we slept in then took the boat to the Julington Creek Fish place for lunch. It rained on the way and was a bit of a cluster. The food was amazing. I tried to water ski on the way home but it was choppy. We swam for a bit then a huge storm at TCC. We went home and got the kids settled then went to the Hemphills for a sing and dance along. This morning was mass and breakfast. Today we went to the Orange Park Community Theater to see the Yazdiyas in Mama Mia. It was such a great show and so nice to be in a theater! My sister and nephew came, too. Don't worry, masks for all and only 50% capacity in the theater. It was a great afternoon with the girls. Phil made a blackened fish dinner. We did a family rosary and a tumultuous early bedtime. Let's get this party started!