I just had Monday to get my act together. I went to tennis clinic then spent the day doing laundry and packing. The girls had dance so we walked in the park. I figured out a schedule and put it on the fridge. Carolyn picked Ellie and I up at 4:50am on Tuesday. We were bussed up to DC with 90 8th graders, 4 teachers, 2 bus drivers, 3 tour guides and 11 chaperones. We stopped at McDonalds for lunch and Chipotle for dinner and arrived at our Westin in Old Town Alexandria by 9pm that night. A whole day of driving! Ellie sat with me for the first half then Renee for the second. On Wednesday we were up early touring the Arlington National Cemetery, Holocaust Museum, Air & Space Museum, Lincoln Memorial, Korean War Memorial then dinner at Chuck E. Cheese. The next day we drove the Philadelphia. I finally finished Circe. Ugh. We ran up the "Rocky steps" at the Art Museum, had lunch at the Reading Terminal market (Philly cheese steaks!), saw the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, Washington Square, Ben Franklin's home and grave. Last, dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe. We drove back to Alexandria. Friday morning we went to the 9/11 Memorial at the Pentagon, Vietnam Veterans Memorial and walked along Constitution Gardens and saw the WWII Memorial. We toured Howard University then passed by the White House. We went to the African American History Museum then Outback for steak dinner. We saw the capitol building then the MLK Memorial. Whew! What a busy 3 days! We had an amazing group of teachers who told jokes, danced, sang and made the trip SO MUCH FUN! I also had a great time with the other chaperones, laughing so much my stomach hurt. Sometimes I felt like I was having more fun than Ellie! I do think she had a great time and it was neat to see her in her element with all her friends. Making new ones and flowing through groups....oh middle school! A great team of people helped out at home so I could be away. Lots of help with transportation. Marly made breakfast each morning and stepped it up being the oldest child. Phil was ready for us to be home, but did great on the homefront. He picked us up around 10pm last night. We all got up for 8:30 mass this morning. The Birthday girl, Abby got to stand up at mass. We did a bday family breakfast at TCC. She opened her gifts. Ellie and I unpacked. We played family soccer with the Nixons, Hogans and Strassers along with a few other ringers at the park. Abby got to enjoy a cookie skillet at Lillians afterwards. Her special day ended in tears unfortunately...with a message from her math teacher saying she had 3 lessons due by midnight. Work still needs to be done, even on your Birthday was Abby's lesson today. Here are the photos of the week.
The long awaited day is here! Voss has been counting down all month. Today my baby boy turned 8. He got us up early to open the gifts collected on the dining room table from amazing family. Ellie and I read in mass (although I rehearsed countless times, I butchered the word "Naphtali"), Marly and Abby altar served. Voss was psyked to stand up for his Birthday. Father Pradeep high fived him and asked his age at the procession and he was absolutely giddy. I had a prize basket for my students who could recite the 10 Commandments (and explain their meaning) in my class today. This afternoon the festivities began. We had a caravan of 3 cars headed to Mayport. We had lunch and cake under a pavillion overlooking the jetties. Next, we worked our way onto a ship. First, we got a "no", which almost killed the Birthday mojo. We ran around and had some chaos but thankfully the CO of the USS Indianapolis was super cool and let us tour his ship. It felt like a field trip with question and answer time and snake-like tour of the ship. We spent lots of time in the control tour and took turns practicing driving. I think all the kids loved it (except one who freaked out thinking we were going for a cruise and spent the tour in the van). Voss spent the afternoon playing with all his super cool new toys. We went to dinner at Tijuana Flats and did a family rosary walk on a windy night. Lots of sugar'd up kids to settle down tonight. Talking backwards, we watched the Jags playoff game vs the Chiefs at Lillians. Sitting in my same seat, Phil and friends doing the same touchdown shots was not enough repetition luck for a win...but it was so fun while it lasted. It ended with a cookie skillet for the Birthday boy. We went on a family run on Saturday morning (I really want to get back into those). Ellie and I went out in the rain to audition for Sleeping Beauty with the Jax City Ballet. She got a part but we don't know what yet. Kerri and I won our tennis match on Tuesday vs Pace Island although it took 3 sets! I got a mammogram- whoop whoop. Ellie and I toured my alma mater and she liked it. It's currently her top runner, although we have one more high school to tour. Trying so hard not to be biased. Stephanie and I met up with my friend, Kim and got a night out to hear Allyson Felix at the Florida Forum. She was very inspirational. I loved what she said, "Use your voice, even when it shakes". We had a swim team coffee sesh to talk about the river rats transitioning to a new league. At MOPS we had a self defense training session. It was an important reminder about what to do if...Friday I went to adoration with my parents then brought Voss a Birthday happy meal lunch and donuts for his class. A kick off to the Birthday weekend even with a sleepover with Zachary. We took the girls to a TCC dinner. We were all home by 9. Catching up on sleep and drinking lots of hot tea. I'm enjoying listening to The Invisible Life of Addie Larue. The middle two are settling into their restricted lives NOT on the honor roll. No play dates, sleepovers or time on my phone. It stings. Here are the photos of the week.
We are getting back into the swing of things. January has me sober, going to bed early and trying to make better lifestyle choices. I went to tennis clinic on Monday. It took Kerri and I two 3 sets to win our match on Tuesday. I drove the swagger wagon to Palencia with Kerri and Kim. We had a salad bar MOPS leadership meeting to plan out the second semester of MOPS. My sister, Katie sent me the sweetest Happy Box with treats and a sweet note to celebrate Dryanuary. My parents and I went to Mayport to explore and map out Voss' Birthday party. We had lunch at Safe Harbor. It was a delighful day together. I spent the afternoon watching a team of people trying to rescue a manatee calf to no avail. (It had signs of cold water stress). I met some gal pals for dinner at Bellweather then went to see Aladdin at the theater. The genie made the show! We had a DC trip meeting for Ellie's 8th grade trip. I dipped out early to play with Jane in a tennis match vs the YMCA. It was an easy win. Friday I stuffed packets at the middle school to prepare for tours then took home all the lost & found clothes to wash and organize, to entice kids to claim them. I met my ole pals, Heather and CalLee for lunch. It was a great catch up sesh and lots of travel talk; my fav! Ellie babysat the Agrestis while we met the Hogans out for deep dish pizza. They all went out for a nightcap. The kids and I read and went to bed early. Saturday morning Spot and I went for a walk. I'm listening to The Marriage Portrait and reading Opal & Nev (the next two months of book club). We made a fire and I worked on Voss' Saratoga model. It was such a cold day! Ellie had a play date at Audry's. She, Marly and I picked up my brother from the airport. We visited at the house for a little while then went to my parent's for dinner. Dad and I made Caesar salad together. Matt grilled the steaks. It was a nice dinner. Ellie got a last minute babysitting gig in the middle. We took her to the Agresti's then went to Lillians to watch the Jags in the playoffs vs. the Chargers. What a game! We were down the first half, which was fine bc Jenny, Lauren and I chatted away. After we had caught up we started watching and the Jags took over. It was such a great game! My sister, Suzanne came and met us for a little while then graciously took my kids home. Ellie didn't get home until 2am! We all slept in on Sunday and went to 10:30 mass. We stayed for the Knights of Columbus pancake breakfast. Phil and I got beat in doubles against our friend, Jess and her mixed doubles partner. I picked up Ellie and Charlotte from a Birthday party way out off Beach Blvd then we met up with the group and played family soccer. Matt joined us, too. It's turned into a great Sunday Funday tradition. We did an adult only family dinner at the Brick....a last supper for Matt. We had a nightcap at M&D's with fresh baked cookies and milk. Monday was MLK Day. I went to clinic then took the kids to the parade downtown. The younger two were thrilled with the candy being thrown. Ellie loved the dance groups. Voss loved all the ROTC marching bands. We tried to tour the Orleck and the library (both closed). We headed home and I scrambled to finish reading Opel & Nev in time for book club. The girls had dance so we could get in our therapy walk. I was late to book club at Aubree's trying to get my costume on (complete with a flag on my bottom!) Here are our photos of the week.
It was nice to have a chill week to ease into the new year. The kids were out of school until Wednesday and then the quarter didn't end until Friday. Phil didn't go back until Tuesday. We had time to get back onto a sleep schedule. I went to tennis clinic on Monday and played an epic tennis match on Tuesday with Sally. Bummer that we lost but we played hard and it was fun vs Epping Forest. It helps that the girls we played are undefeated and the team won the other 3 lines. The girls started dance back up for the week, wearing their new leotards from the Bravos. Ellie went to Cora's for a friends NYE party. I had a PTSA board meeting and enjoyed some quiet time having the house back to myself. Suzanne and I did a 36 hour fast and took turns with my dad at Brooks for neurology testing. Abby had a play date with Abigail and Marly had a play date with Addy. We played a white elephant game at MOPS. I took down the Christmas decorations and celebrated the Epiphany. I started planning our summer road trip and we are talking about Steinhatchee. January is a great time to vacay plan! We went to Keith & Chris' for dinner on Friday. Saturday, Ellie and I started high school tours- first at Wolfson, then Douglas Anderson. It was nice to check them off without pulling her out of school. Phil met us for lunch at Moe's. That night, I filled up a minivan with middle schoolers and headed to Blaze pizza then Cotillion. It was fun, yet exhausting chaperoning a middle school dance with 400 7th and 8th graders. Happy to have my pal, Beth alongside and we made a new friend who recently moved from TX. The tooth fairy visited Voss last night. We were a bit late to mass this morning. We talked about the 10 Commandments in religion class then went to breakfast with the Hershorins. We chilled in the afternoon then had a family soccer match with the Nixons and Hogans. Ellie had Confirmation class. Dinner at LaNap with the Hogans follwed by a family rosary on the way home. I'm sewing pointe shoes and listening to Podcasts on Alzheimers prevention. Here are our pics of the week.
We zombied through the first week of Christmas. It was so nice to have a calm week where we could sleep in and recuperate. We played a family soccer game with the Nixons. The middle two spent lots of time with the neighbor's grandchildren. Voss had a sleepover and a few play dates with Zachary, another neighbor’s great grandson. I took he and a few friends to Camp Blanding to see the static displays of planes, Jeeps and tanks. Ellie and I finally made the shortbread rosemary cookies. We went thrifting. We had a few camping planning meetings at Lillian’s. We had dinner with the Norris’, our annual happy hour. The kids played with Christmas gifts and got a few more. On Friday morning we got up, loaded up and caravaned to the Westgate Dude Ranch in Polk County, Florida...in the middle of the state. We camped for two nights with the Nixons, Hogans (and Strassors before they got sick and went home). We grilled hotdogs and s’mores. Ellie and I went line dancing in the saloon. Saturday we rode horses on a trail ride around the perimeter of the ranch. That was my favorite part. We had lunch (with such awful service that our meal was discounted). The kids did wall climbing, putt putt, mechanical bull riding and rode bikes all over the property. That evening we went to the rodeo and saw an amazing fire works display. More line dancing and drinking (get ready for Dryanuary). We rang in the new year by the camp fire with Prosecco and all the camp side fanfare. This morning we cleaned up camp, packed up and headed back to town. Some interesting people watching, a dead truck battery and loading up the bikes. Combos and coke for the road while listening to the Last of the Breed. Another book challenge here we go. Thank you 2022 for a great year! Here are the photos of the week.
We went to Miami for Vanessa's baby shower to welcome sweet Isadora. Flawless weather in south Florida, enjoying the sunset at south beach while catching up with the Miami Bravos, meeting Vane's friends and chillin' with cousin Gee. Abu took us shopping at Macy's, dance parties with Pops and presents from Tio Edgar. Abby found coconuts and star fruit. It was a nice visit. We felt the weather drop as we drove up the state on Tuesday. The VanWies met us for a chilly TCC dinner ending in the living room. I started Christmas shopping officially on Wednesday. Follow me for more parenting fails. Remind me in October to get crackin'. This procrastination left me feeling like a very stressed Scrooge. Phil did a great job trying to get me back into the spirit...ironic, I know. We shopped together in the cold rain...him basically following me around 2 thrift stores and Walmart. That evening we kicked off the neighborhood progressive dinner party with some chili. It was a smaller group than last year. Heavy apps at the Langstons. Dessert at the Strassors. A night cap at Tray's. It was a good night. Stephanie had us over for lunch on Thursday. Voss went to his friend, Abbie's for a gingerbread play date. The kids had another gingerbread play date with Al & Linda. Oh, the sugar! Phil and I went to the Rachels Christmas party. I didn't last very long. I was partied out and stressed about slacking. Santa had some serious thoughts about bringing coal to some of the Bravo children. Snowball had to send some threats to get behavior in line. I think it worked. Phil took the kids bowling on Friday while I did some last minute shopping in Mandarin. I wrapped gifts and listened to The Happiest Man on Alive. The VanWies had us over for dinner to enjoy oyster stew and s'mores. It was freezing for maybe 3 nights in a row. I'm pretty sure I lost my oregano. We had a lazy morning on Christmas eve building a fire, watching the Christmas Story. Phil and I did a WD run for Christmas groceries. We picked up my parents and went to the 4pm childrens mass. Marly was an usher. Abby an altar server. Ellie read. I passed out Dynamic Catholic books. It was nice to all be together and hear Carolyn's awesome singing voice. The Nixons had us over for a Christmas Eve dinner. I made a buffalo chicken dip. Jess made bison sliders. She did a cute pass the gift game for the kids. We came home and opened the gifts under the tree. The kids were so sweet in giving to each other. Coupons are my favorite. There were also candles, jewelry boxes and nerf guns. Santa did come and brought Snowball back with him. Christmas morning came early and quick. We snuggled up to watch It's a Wonderful Life. Turns out I'm allergic to poinsettas. We had to bring them inside with the freeze. I ended up taking benedryl and going back to sleep. Marly made Jesus' Birthday cake. We went to my parent's house for Christmas lunch. It was so special making dad's Caesar salad with him. We did a Cajun gift exchange. Lots of fun gifts like Sudoku, puzzles, chocolate, baking supplies, band aids and socks. We came home and watched a Christmas Carol. Early bedtime for all. Here are our photos of the week.
The week of the pink candle, last week of school for 2022 and we are in full party mode! Monday might have been my most calm day. I went to tennis clinic, finished my book in time for book club, made the ornament for the exchange and celebrated Tracy’s Birthday at the park. I picked up Regan for the book club party. Sunny and Elizabeth had a marvelous spread. In addition to the ornament exchange, Sunny brought out a box of clothes to give away (mostly with tags). Another fun book club night! Early to bed though because Kerri and I had a tough match to play. We nearly beat Beachwalk. Ugh! Third set and we couldn’t close. We won the first one 6-3, the lost the next two 4-6. They were good and it was such fun. I barely had time to do a grocery run and early pick up for Ellie’s ortho appointment. Phil graciously had by tire replaced (yet another nail!) I loved wearing my new red skirt (thanks to Sunny) to our tennis party. Fun conversations with all my tennis pals. I was happy to give a Rethreaded necklace and receive cloth napkins in the gift exchange. We closed it down in the living room with the most seasoned players. So fun! Luckily, Voss didn’t mind that I missed his zoo field trip. Friend’s send me photos. Just too much happening at the same time. Wednesday was STEM day at the elementary school. I peeked in to see Voss’ class learning chromatography with nerds. I helped in Abby’s class with a lesson on carbon dioxide gas blowing up a balloon with Pepsi and pop rocks. Lauren and Leah did an awesome job coming up with candy experiments to match the school theme for the year. It was a half day. I headed to the middle school next to help with the teacher cookie exchange. So much sugar! Loved the time loving on those awesome teachers! Oh speaking of, I spent that afternoon embroidering pashminas for teachers. Way to wait til last minute! My brother, Matt flew in that night. Phil and I popped over for a visit, but I was wiped. Thursday morning the rain and chill came. Perfect timing for my Women Supporting Women brunch. I had frittata, shrimp & grits, fruit and donuts for a bunch of mom friends. It was a steady flow of amazing friends passing through to visit all day. I loved it! That evening Voss had a holiday sing along at school. It was cute and short and Phil and I decided, our last one! We had surf and turf at my parents with my brother and sister. I stayed late for a nightcap. I’ll just sleep next year. Friday I did last minute dashing to Target for teacher gifts. I met my parents and brother at adoration then lunch at Larry’s. I spent the afternoon at school to run the elf yourself photo booth for the class parties. Abby got to go to the symphony Nutcracker on a field trip the first half of the day. Matt came over for a visit with the kids. It was a low key Friday night. Marly went to dinner with the Knoepfels. Ellie babysat the Hayes. Phil and I met the Hogans and then Keith & Chris for dinner and drinks. El Jefe was delish then we checked out the German market. Another late night with our Friday crew. Saturday morning, I skipped out on the MOPS cookie swap to just have a breather. I was worn out. Suzanne hosted us for a family brunch. It was nice to get the whole gang together. Ellie babysat Wyatt. We went to Sacred Heart for confession. I got the times wrong but Fr. James saved us and did a VIP confession for us before mass. We met my parents and brother there. Ellie had another babysitting gig. The rest of us went to the McDonald’s holiday open house. We got the kids situated and donned 80’s attire and headed to the Harmon’s Radical 80s Christmas Party. They went all out! It was amazing! I didn’t want to leave but Sunday morning came early. Here are our photos of the week- https://photos.app.goo.gl/uZWC4XpFtessJcET8
Monday was my Birthday. I took the littles to school and went to flag raising. I snuck out in time to make it to a fun tennis clinic. After I got a massage with my favorite doula, Sherry. I spent the afternoon in a quiet house reading Run and all my social media and text messages. I got to talk to both of my brothers. It was a nice, refreshing day. Tracy, Laurie, Anne and I walked in the park. Laurie brought a bottle. Tracy made cookie dough cupcakes. That night Phil got Thai take out and we watched the latest Yellowstone episode. It was the calm day I wanted. Tuesday I drove out to St. Johns Golf & Country Club. Kerri and I lost (again) after a dueling match. We just couldn't close but it was still a good match. That afternoon was the kick off of Nutcracker week with a dress rehearsal at the Florida Theatre. I volunteered to help in the basement. I forgot how tough that job was. I did get great video footage of all the girls so that was nice. Wednesday, Kerri and I played again this time in a make up match vs Glen Kernan. We were so happy to climb out of our loosing streak but the match wasn't nearly as competitive as the last two. I went home to watch a Hallmark Christmas movie and work on Christmas cards. That evening I met Tracy, Katie and Rachael for dinner at Bellweather. Then we went to see the kick off of our artist series shows, Elf. Most people brought their children. We did not. The show wasn't as good as the movie but still a fun moms night out in the middle of a slammed week. Thursday morning was the opening Nutcracker show. I helped chaperone, Mabel at the school show. I left after the first act and took the girls back to school (with a lunch stop at Wawa). That night they had the community night show. My neighbor saved us with Voss. Phil and I dropped the girls off for the show then headed to Epping Forest for the Cogent Bank party. It was so nice catching up with some of the old gang he's recruited now from Everbank and Ameris. We ended up meeting Joseph at Lillians for a nightcap. My friend, Beth saved me by bringing all the girls home after the show. Friday morning there was another school show. My pal, Lexi saved me by driving the girls there so I could beat Vanessa in singles. I got them again after the 1st act and brought them to Wawa and then school. I met my pals Stephanie and Jess for a TCC Birthday lunch. The drove the girls downtown for their Friday night show and then made it to base to see Voss' last baseball game. My parents came to help cheer (even with dad's new broken shoulder) and Phil was a first base coach. My sister in law and mother in law drove up from Miami and picked the girls up after the first act. We had cookies and coffee at the house and went through all my saved baby girl clothes to pass along to the newest baby Bravo. Vanessa was impressed I had saved so much! Saturday morning we all met at breakfast at the Hyatt for a pre-party. We almost had a full row of fans to cheer on the dancers: Gloria, Vanessa, my parents, Voss, Phil, myself, Suzanne and Sean's two daughters. Aunt Sherry also brought her grand daughters. I'm so proud of my battle scene girls. They danced so well and held up to a crazy dance week! I hung out at the Hyatt all afternoon while they did the cast party and the second show. Voss, Gloria, Vanessa and I had lunch. Emma shared her super suite with us in between shows to get the girls primped between. After their final show we had dinner at a Mexican restaurant in Brooklyn then headed home before too much over tired drama occurred. Sunday morning we went to mass then religion class. The girls and I went to the Freeman's mother daughter gingerbread party. I took the girls Christmas shopping...by that I mean I sat in the car and read while they went shopping at the dollar store and Target. We were too wiped out to do anything after that. Too much sugar. We skipped the luminaries and bike parade and did a family rosary with the pink candle and all went in for an early bedtime. It was much needed. The Holiday craze is upon us! Here are the pics of the week.
We are racing into Christmas time before December even began. I got in clinic on Monday then spent the rest of the day cramming for book club, suffering through Cartel Wives. I do not recommend it. The conversation is always good and I got quality time in the car with Regan. I wanted to get good sleep for my San Jose match on Tuesday. Kerri and I fought hard and ended up loosing the third set. It was a long morning of dueling tennis with a 2-6 loss, 7-5 tie breaker win and then a 6-4 loss. That evening we went to the Inaugural Friends of James Weldon party. It was so wonderful to finally get that up and running. I also loved meeting some new middle school friends. Wednesday was an early release day. Right when I got all my wreaths up, the wind took over and blew them all down, along with a crazy down pour while the younger two rode home in the rain. My sister, Katie, Uncle Steve and their two boys popped in for a quick visit on their way into town. Uncle Steve had a convention in Orlando and drove up for a visit. It was so fun to see them back in Jax and snuggle the boys. Ellie went to babysit a new family while Phil and I headed to TCC for the Open House party. They did it again with a gorgeous event. Delicious food and fabulous conversations. I even made it to the photo booth. Thursday, I finally got into the PTSA lockbox (thanks to a locksmith) and was able to enter in a few more members for the November membership drive. I went to snuggle my nephews then headed to MOPS. Ashley did a great job with a toy swap and guided meditation. I got our Christmas cards printed and have been working on getting into the spirit with Hallmark movies and writing on the backs of the cards. Katie walked the boys over for a visit. I brought them to the park with us that night so Katie and Steve could go on a date. Conrad cried the whole time. Tracy, Laurie and I played pass the baby. Henry got beat up by cousins. It was a great night. Later, Phil and I went over for a nightcap. That was supposed to be our night off to rest up but we stayed way too late partying with my parents. Friday, I worked on getting out JWJ car magnets then mom took me for a mani & pedi for an early Birthday gift. The Kissing Kuklas and my dad met us for lunch at the Loop. I took Henry back to play for a while to give them a break. He loved having Voss' toys to himself. Voss had a baseball game that night. I wonder if everyone coming was too much pressure on him. It wasn't a great game but it was still fun to be out there together cheering him on. We met up with the ole Friday night gang over a firepit at the Bentons. Another late night. Ellie went to a CISV party. She still loves that crew. Saturday morning was the last studio Nutcracker rehearsal. My turn for carpool. I wrote out Christmas cards while waiting then went in to get costumes. We met the fam for a Firehouse lunch. Then we all went to Christmas in Avondale. I wish the weather had been a little cooler. Still fun getting into the festive spirit seeing friends, visiting the shops and hearing the music. Voss ended up getting lost and found some police to hang with. Too bad I had left my phone at home. Ellie and I read, Marly and Abby altar served and Phil, Ellie, Voss and I brought up the gifts. We took over the 2nd week of Advent mass. We had religion class then met my sisters at TCC for breakfast with Santa. I loved getting a Voss grandchild photo with Santa. We said farewell to the Kissing Kuklas as they drove to Orlando to catch a flight back to San Diego. We had a quiet afternoon watching Noel, having Sammy over to play and running a few card errands. We did a Birthday Eve dinner for me at High Tide. I was the only one who enjoyed it. Oh well. We ended with a family rosary in front of the advent wreath. Here are our photos of the week.
I got to go to tennis clinic on Monday then to Walmart to do some Thanksgiving shopping. Ellie had a dance class that night and then the studio was closed for the rest of the week. Tuesday we had a SAC meeting at the middle school talking about train traffic and road closures. I'm not seeing any big changes on the horizon. Vanessa finally beat me in singles that afternoon. I got her in the second set, but wow. Phil and I and the younger two walked two holes of golf before the sun went down. Wednesday the kids were off of school. Phil took them bowling. I took my parents to my dad's long awaited neurology appointment. It's nice to finally have a plan. The neurologist is not sure he has vascular dementia. She's thinking more like frontotemporal dementia. She ordered more tests to see. We'll go back in January. She also has him headed to Brooks rehab, SQ's old stomping grounds. I am very grateful I was there to participate in his appointment, be there for my parents and relay the info back to my siblings. We were together for the whole day. Awesome that the doc spent over an hour with my dad. We celebrated Mark's Birthday at TCC with a family dinner that night. Thanksgiving morning we got up and did the 4th Annual Turkey Triathalon. After a bit of bike drama we got everyone up and moving, helmets on, tires pumped. We rode over the bridge and parked at Timuquana (2 miles) then ran through the Venetia neighborhood (about 2 miles) then swam in the thankfully heated pool (your age in laps...I made it to 22). Anne Maria brought us a basket breakfast to enjoy poolside after the swim. Then we rode bikes back to the house. It was a fabulous morning. The family napped and watched the Macy's Day parade. Ellie and Marly put together a turkey veggie platter. I made a fruit salad. Marly and I did some baking. We used the rest of our pumpkin to make a pie and also a cherry pie. We headed to my parents for a Thanksgiving lunch. There was lots of laughter, which was so nice. We watched Elf then headed home. Our elf, Snowball was stuck in a snow storm and didn't make an appearance until Saturday. Casserole coma got us over the weekend. We watched the world cup games, took family photos and then the FSU game on Friday. Suzanne came out to join us. So awesome watching the seminoles beat the gators! Saturday we had friendsgiving with the McArthurs. What a fun day playing in the yard! Ax throwing, bow and arrows, ATV riding, zip lining and clay pigeon shooting. Lots of delicious leftovers, too. That night we celebrated Anne Marie's Birthday by being IN the boat parade! The Block & Tackle placed 2nd in the contest. It was a perfect night on the water downtown. We watched the best fireworks show in town with the bridges firework waterfall. It's my favorite! We stopped by Mark's oyster roast on the way home. Sunday morning all the girls altar served for the first week of Advent. We put up Christmas decorations. It was very frustrating. It's one of those years where lights are out, I lost the timers, we need new stocking holders. It's so much. I snuck out for some tennis and quick grocery shopping before the rain. That night we went to see Jack's Lights. A fun night kicking off Christmas with friends. Here are our photos of the week.