It is cold! It's been in the 30's here, in the morning and up to the 60's in the afternoon but then back down in the evening. I can't warm up. Phil won't let us take long, hot showers so I am drinking lots of hot water, tea and soup. It helps. I played a bunch tennis; clinic, round robins and a match. Ellie had her first soccer game on Monday. I drove out to Fletcher to watch her sit the bench. She was pretty upset. Phil watched her on Wednesday. They won and she got some playing time. My parent's had us over for dinner on Wednesday night to meet one of their Godson's from Miami. He's working to learn more about his recently deceased father who flew with my dad. It was an interesting dinner. I did a 36 hour fast from that night until lunch with my dad on Friday. It wasn't as hard as I was thinking. I'm going to try it once a month. I'm particularly interested in the benefit of the protection from cognitive impairment in Alzheimer's models (since I have some family history). If it can do any prevention, I'd say it's worth it. Here's the article I'm referring to. I played a relatively easy game of tennis with Rebekah on Thursday morning then went to watch Hillbilly Elegy with April. I finished reading The Last Mrs. Parrish, which was so good! I played a round robin with Amanda, Rebekah and Jane on Friday then Dad and I went to adoration. He treated me to lunch at Trent- yay for breaking that fast! We had pizza and watched the 3rd Star Wars on Friday. Ellie went to youth group and spent the night at Cora's. Saturday morning I picked her up with some hot chocolate and she came with us to Abby's First Communion Retreat. She did some crafts and got a behind the scenes tour of the altar. Phil picked up Ellie and took she and Voss to Marly's basketball game. The Nixon kids came over and the adults all went to dinner at TCC. Still hanging on strong with Dryanuary, not as much fun and I am slipping with the sweets so I need to reign that back in this week. The girls served in mass on Sunday and we brought up the gifts. Fr. Luke compared abortion being legal to killing and eagle's egg being illegal. He could have talked about so many great topics for Respect Life Sunday- like illegal immigrants in cages being separated from their children, how to support the poor and marginalized in our society, what we can do for a woman in a situation who feels like aboirtion is her only option, or maybe just help recruit nursery workers for the moms ministry I run in the church- where the only workers I have are NOT church members. So yeah, I was pretty angry. Luckily, my sisters helped talk me down over group text. After breakfast with the Smiths we celebrated Voss' 6th Birthday. I threw it together last minute but it turned out just fine. Two of his friends came with us to Camp Blanding. There were tanks, trucks, planes, helicopters and other army vehicles that the kids could run around and play around. It was perfect! Unfortunately, I forgot the cake on the way out there so we picked it up on the way home and did cake at the house. It was simple and fun. Early bedtime for all. I stayed up to watch One Night in Miami, maybe a little prep for MLK Day. Today, Ellie and I got up and went to lector training with Deacon George after some of Marly's pancakes. We're excited to get on the schedule for March. I did a tennis clinic then took the kids downtown for the MLK parade. We got there for the tail end then rode the skyway. We picked up s'mores stuff. We used our Christmas tree trimmings and had an afternoon fire. It was nice. I made chicken soup for dinner. Another early bedtime to get ready for a cold week of fun!
It was an emotionally charged week. I was very happy to send the kids back to school. Voss started to get a little whiney and tried to steal my heart by telling me he'd miss me, but I played Jock Jams every morning to get them pumped for school. It worked for all of us. Phil is still working from home and following me around the house. I played a lot of tennis. I won with a new friend, Mary Lee on Tuesday. Danielle and I got to play up (to B) together on Wednesday at Club Continental. I spent the day with coach Jen- got a lesson with her, Jane and Marleigh at TCC after. Danielle and I didn't quite pull out a win, but we did well and got 3 sets out of them. It still sucks to loose. Wednesday was a crazy day because Trump supporters stormed the Capitol and tried to block the senate's confirmation of Biden's win. As if that alone isn't completely nuts, I still have friends who support Trump and feel like the rioters were correct in attempting to block the stolen election. My neighbors are all still rocking their Trump signs. It's a Twilight Zone around here. It's not just back woods hooligans, either. These people are smart, educated, productive members of society. I kept thinking of that Rabbit Hole Podcast and wonder at some point if you don't believe the FBI, CIA, judges, scientists or doctors but you do believe an Instagram personality (whom you've never met) with no credentials....do you ever just pop your head out of the hole and say, "Wait a minute, maybe this is not true"? My mind is blown. On Thursday I pulled Marly out of school early and took her to my friend, Emily's funeral. Her son, Miles is in class with Marly so I wanted her to be there to support him. Emily lost the fight to cholangiocarcinoma (bile duct cancer). The funeral was probably the most difficult one I've been to. Seeing her children there (the same ages as Voss, Abby and Marly) was so rough. I'm praying for her husband, John and those kids and all the parents she left behind. Geeze, #cancersucks. So, Wednesday and then Thursday was just too much. I was still reeling on Friday and very grateful for adoration and a good run with Spot. I finished my two books and am working on finding another good one. Ellie came home crabby and I was happy to send her off to youth group. Phil and I met the VanWies and Burhytes for dinner (happy TCC is back up and running again). It was a cold week. I was happy to go home to a new hot shower and snuggle up with a book (hello Dryanuary week one!). Saturday I tried to sleep in but Abby and Voss had other plans. So loud. Phil and I challenged Richard and Krista in tennis and lost horribly- 2-6, 2-6 and then 3-6 for kicks. I even got a bloody knee to no avail. I was still happy to play. Abby went to play at the Nixons. Phil and I took Marly to her basketball game (where she also got killed). She did get her free throw and got a few good rebounds. Suzanne came to cheer her on, too. We ran into our ole pal, Kevin Valent at Dailys (hot chocolate!) and caught up with him. Marly spent the night at Brooklyn's. We had dinner with the Nixons (Bodrum take out was delicious). We were actually early for 8:30 mass. Ellie expressed her interest in being a lector. We went to Panera with the Hershorins during religion class. Marly, Voss and I took Spot to my parents for a visit. It was super cold today. We had a movie marathon day and watched the first 2 Star Wars movies. No, none of us had ever seen them. Phil and Marly fell asleep in the middle of the first two. Ellie organized all my wrapping paper and the downstairs closet (Christmas coupon book win!) and watched some. Abby popped in and out. Voss was glued to the whole movie. The second movie had everyone's undivided attention for the first hour. Then, Voss lost it and we sent him to bed. Still, fun family time. Just what we all needed after this week.
Did I skip a week there? Or was it that much of a blur? As usual, Christmas was a crazy, chaotic, sugary whirlwind! I got a call from Michelle (Phil's Godmother's daughter- so pretty much my sister-in-law) that everyone is coming for Christmas! So whew! Let the fun begin! The kids and I went Christmas shopping and dollar store hopping. I think it's so sweet when the kids use their own money to buy each other things. I especially love the homemade gifts (coupons are my favorite!!!) I had the cookie swap for MOPS and spent the day making ginger snaps- similar to the recipe I used to make as a kid. I ate lots of cookies at Kate's! My sister hosted a really nice family gathering at her house. She made her special beef stroganoff recipe. I came over (while she was still at work) and Marly and I made homemade gingerbread for the gingerbread houses. It was a day of cousin fun. We even stayed late to watch Christmas Chronicles II. The following day, Phil's parents came in from Miami. It was so special to see them, it had been a whole year since we've seen them. It was crazy to think that in the middle of a pandemic, we hosted the largest Christmas yet...but that's exactly what we did. I am so thankful that at this point, no one has gotten sick. We grilled chicken for dinner and stayed up watching Jingle Jangle. On Christmas Eve, Michelle arrived at breakfast. She was playing elf and transporting a new puppy to GA for a Christmas gift. We went on a family walk then welcomed Georgette and Vane- one big group! Phil took us on a sunset boat ride. I was thinking it was going to be chilly and perfect for chilly but the rain and cold didn't come until later (and wow, did it). We made space for Santa by opening all the gifts from each other. It was a fun night! But we were sweating while eating the chilly. The Knoepfels helped again to make the Christmas magic happen. We are lucky to have such wonderful neighbors! Michelle headed out early for her doggie delivery. Phil surprised me with the AirPods I had been wanting for my Birthday (he convinced me the bathroom is my gift for years to come). Christmas morning started early, as usual for us, too. All the kids seemed really happy with their loot. We went to 8:30 mass with Ellie and Marly serving. Abby stayed back with the abus to help make sure they found the church okay. She was a great helper! Voss, Phil and I passed out books. I recruited the Applegates to help. After mass we had a yummy breakfast of hash brown crack casserole, eggs and bacon. I helped myself to a Bloody Mary after Voss' inaugural drone flight flew high and away never to return. Luckily, he had remote control cars and other toys to keep him happy, while everyone loved burning wrapping paper in the fire. Marly got this cool light set up (to make YouTube videos). It made the perfect photo booth for some awesome Christmas pictures. It was loud and chaotic with kids and dogs running all over. I loved it. Phil hated it. My sisters came by for visits. We did a cousin gift exchange. For Christmas dinner, Phil grilled steaks and then we went caroling. The night ended with me watching A White Christmas with the abus (they had never seen it). The next day, Vane and Gee left to head back to Orlando. We went to Trents for a late lunch then met my parents at mass. The Feast of the Holy Family could not have come at a better time! I finished reading Rupi Kaur's Home Body (a stocking gift for me!) thus finishing the 2020 book challenge! Phil and I snuck out later for a night out at Mellow Mushroom. I finally got a warm butter rum drink (a recipe I had been hoping to make at some point this Christmas). Phil's parents drove back to Miami on Sunday morning. Sunday afternoon, my sister Katie (and Henry) came to stay with us. She treated us to dinner at High Tide and stocked us up on wine. Henry loved all the cousin play time! Katie had gotten Voss this flying bird. We spent lots of time flying it in the yard. Every morning that week we went to the TCC pool to swim. The weather got warmer and the pool is heated. It was the perfect thing to do with Henry and the kids loved being at the pool again. We pretty much had the place to ourselves the whole time. It was awesome. Then during nap time, Katie would take us out for lunch. I got to go to Biscotti's with she and Phil. She took Ellie out twice (a special Godmother time) and took Abby along, too. We were spoiled by her. At some point, she went back to my parent's house. Phil and I met the Norris' out for a night of fun and debauchery (including a power hour). We also met the Freemans for a lunch. The week just sorta blew by. I definitely spent time ignoring my family with headphones on, drinking eggnog and watching the entire season of Bridgeton (which is so good if you haven't seen it <just watch out for it turning into a porn about half way through>). I played some tennis and started reading our book club book. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and listening to Nothing to See Here (rec from one of my sorority sisters when she saw my awesome library pic (see below)). Our NYE plans at TCC were canceled (COVID, frankly surprised this hadn't happened sooner) so we went to my parent's for a lobster dinner. We got Marly and Ellie to come watch the fireworks on the dock at my parent's house. We couldn't see downtown but it looked like each neighborhood at their own display. It was neat to watch the ball drop with the older girls. Dryanuary has begun. Suzanne drove to Orlando and flew back to CA with Katie and Henry. We got caught up on much needed sleep. Marly spent the night at Addy's. We had black eyed peas and collard greens with the Bentons at Mojos and Charlotte spent the night with us. A few days of play dates with the VanWies and Cutlips. I got to play some tennis. Phil and I took the boat to the Osborne's for a fire pit French fry party on Saturday night. It was perfectly, glassy with a chill. We were home before the rain came. We went to a later mass on Sunday for the Epiphany. The Applegates had us over for the rosary and a backyard Christmas Story movie night. Today we spent putting decorations away, getting backpacks ready and clothes clean. A new semester begins tomorrow! We rode bikes to Ringhaver for a family soccer game. It was a wonderful Christmas. We are all just so lucky!
A little late to blog this week, the pace picked up now that kids are out of school. You wouldn't know we were still in Pandemic mode around here. I had one last week of "freedom" before all the kids were home from school. My house is finally quiet again now that the bathroom is finished. I enjoyed a few quiet days until Phil came back to his home office (aka where ever I am around the house). It is nice to be so loved. I went to tennis clinic on Monday and picked up a few good tips, if only I can use them in real life. That night was our book club party. I finished listening to Daisy Jones and the Six while working on the ornament to exchange. I typed up all the books we read and printed them on little slips of paper. Then, I put them in a plastic ball ornament. I used my Silhouette machine to print vinyl to stick on the ball that said "Book Club 2020". I attached a pretty ribbon and viola! April hosted a really nice book club. I worked on all the teacher gifts, monogrammed pashminas (11!). We went to the Penance Service at St. Matthews, which was really nice. I did lots of Christmas shopping and pretty much finished it all. I am room mom for Marly's class and put together a party from afar for her class. April hosted another party this week- a gift wrapping party! She set up card tables with wrapping paper, bows and other fun toppings for the gifts. She made a breakfast casserole and served mimosas. It was so nice! Then, she helped wrap all my gifts! My sister, Katie flew into Orlando and my dad drove down to pick her up. I went over to see them on Thursday night. Friday, Phil babysat with Katie came to adoration with us. Then she treated us all to lunch at the Brick. It's so nice having her and my nephew, Henry in town! Saturday started early with Phil leaving to play in a sneaks & cleats tournament. Tennis then golf all day! I did the single mom hustle with had friends help me with a play date for Voss. Ellie babysat for the Cutlips and brought Abby with her. Marly and I went to her basketball game (so close!) where she scored a basket and her free throw! Suzanne and Alex met us there. Then we went to lunch and SQ helped me run a few errands. Then, I took Marly to Adventure Landing for her friend, Timothy's Birthday. I went to high school with his parents. It was a sweet party. We flew back across town, picked up Voss, firewood and candles then went to our neighborhood progressive dinner party. I tried to keep it outside and socially distant; considering most everyone on our street is high risk. It was a huge success! A perfect night to be out, the candles lit and a great fire (thanks to my pal, Kathleen) in our back yard. Sunday we went to mass then breakfast with the Kuders and Hershorins. Katie came over with Henry for a play date. He is so cute! He has that Voss white hair! Sunday was much calmer and then we rode bikes to Ortega Forest for the bike parade and luminaries. It was a cluster to get everyone moving in the right direction. We borrowed a bike for Katie and Henry from my neighbor. Alex's bike broke and he went the wrong way and got lost. He and Suzanne ended up going back to my parent's house. Other than that it was a great night. Phil and I went back over to visit with everyone after bedtime. We watched Christmas Chronicles. Let the festivities begin!
On Monday I got to go the dentist for a cleaning. No cavities and nice, clean teeth. Yay! Our bathroom is all finished as of this week. I'll have to take some pics once it's all set up! It was Paige's Birthday so Matt hosted a fish fry for her at my parent's house. It was a nice dinner with her family. Ellie made the soccer team! We were busy getting her set up with cleats and practice times. I'm so proud of her! I hosted coffee club on Tuesday to discuss Fake News. We talked about the Social Dilemma on Netflix and the NY Times Rabbit Hole podcast. It was a good discussion. Then, Spot and I went on a manatee encounter. My Aunt Susan is not doing well. She's been in the Emory Hospital. They were worried with how much she's been sleeping. The next step is calling in Hospice and she's headed back home. Please keep her and my family in your prayers. It's all happened so fast. Phil and I went to Jekyll Island on Wednesday with Matt, Paige and my parents. It was a long drive just for lunch. I'd like to check out more of the island when I have more time. That night was my C team tennis party. We did a gift exchange. It was a fun night! Phil and I met up with Matt, Paige and her brother and SIL for a PH. That was super fun, sitting on their front porch listening to Gypsy Kings! Matt and I went on one last run together Thursday morning before he headed back to the west coast to quarantine for his next deployment. It's always sad seeing him go. Friday I played tennis with Suzanne, Christian and Kat. It was pretty light but still nice to be out. We went to adoration and then lunch with mom and dad. I packed up and picked up the kids from school then headed to Alligator Point to celebrate Tracy's 40th Birthday. We did a mom and kids weekend at her beach house. We picked up some seafood on our way in for dinner. The star gazing out there was incredible! Night walks on the beach, so many shooting stars! The weather was perfect on Saturday. We saw a bear! That part was creepy. I even got in some great reading time- Listening to Daisy Jones and the Six on the drive and Mexican Dirt while there. So many great conversations and tasty desserts. The kids had a ball, too. It was a good weekend. We took a misty walk on the beach this morning then packed up and drove back this afternoon. We did a rosary on the drive. We got home in time to unpack, start on homework and then hit up 5:30 mass. I was feeling crummy for bailing on our altar serving duties this morning. I think we got it covered in time and then noticed no one showed up for 5:30 mass. I'm proud of Marly for helping out last minute. Great start for the 3rd week of Advent.
You know how I like to celebrate my Birthday. Heck, I think everyone should- take time to celebrate yourself and do all the things you like to do for a little while. No big wager this year, no jumping off of bridges, just a low key weekend. The workers were back this week in the bathroom so it was a busy household. It's just about done, maybe just a few touch ups and a cover on the light in the shower (too nervous to try it out without that). I'm calling that my Birthday gift (probably for the next decade). I am feeling stressed with holiday chores (I know that sounds so hoity-toity and self-inflicted). I think I'll feel better when all the Christmas cards and written, which probably won't be for another week or so. I played in the tennis clinic on Monday. I took the younger kids to Owen and Alex's soccer game with my parents. It was so cold! On the way back I got a frantic call from Ellie that she missed the activity bus on her first day of soccer try outs. It was a cluster, the good news is that I got to know her coach and now we know how the activity busses work. She got called back for an extra day of try outs and she found out in school on Friday that she made the team! I'm so proud of her! She hasn't played real soccer since kindergarten! I got in for the Tuesday tennis match and played with my pal, Ann Marie. It was an easy, slow match with the other team giving up because the lady got a cramp. Afterwards we got Birthday pedicures (AM's bday was on Thanksgiving). It was fabulous! That night was a Friends of Stockton info session- outside by the fire pits with coats and masks! Wednesday was so cold! We were supposed to play golf but the ground was frozen so I got to play tennis against Jess Ryals instead. She beat me pretty badly but it was good for me. I was crampy and crabby all week. I didn't sleep well and even had a nightmare that I had COVID. I don't know if it was just part of being 41 or what. We had MOPS on Thursday and Kerri Napoleon talked to us about healthy eating. I've been trying to eat more leafy greens since then. I also need to think more about probiotics, omega 3s and vit D. It was a good chat, but a small meeting. Stephanie and Jessica hosted a Birthday lunch for me on Thursday. It was nice, just the 3 of us to catch up. That night my brother Matt came to town. Phil and I went over late to welcome he (and his girlfriend, Paige) to town. Friday I went walking and listened to this good podcast. I'll add Juliet Takes a Breath to my list. I got the most amazing massage from my 'ole doula, Sherry. She truly has the gift of touch! That was a fabulous gift to myself! I met my parents for adoration then Phil met us for an oyster lunch at Trents. That night we ended up without any kids. Ellie went to youth group. Marly spent the night at a friends. The younger two spent the night at my neighbor's. Phil and I went to dinner at TCC. We ended up meeting Matt and Paige out for late night pizza. I got to sleep in until 9am on my Birthday! Much needed! It was glorious! The neighbors brought donuts. Phil, Matt and I went to Marly's basketball game. They lost but Marly made a basket and then 2 foul shots! We went to Larry's for lunch. I got quiet time to read American Dirt and lots of calls, texts and messages of Birthday love. My sister Katie (and Uncle Steve) sent gorgeous lilies. Phil and I played tennis against my friend Rachael and her husband. Then we went to my parents for a Birthday dinner. My brother cooked this awesome beef tenderloin. My sister got this chocolate cake. We had a nice family party. This morning we went to mass, religion class then breakfast with Santa at TCC. Because of COVID they split the party up into multiple smaller parties. It was awesome! I hope they do it again next year! We skipped Voss' soccer game and went to a boat concert tonight. It was the perfect close to my Birthday week! I am so grateful for all the love and fun!
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!