Oh dear and now it's been another two weeks since I've posted! I went to Tallahassee with my friend, Jamie on Sunday afternoon for the PTA Legislative Conference. I knew so little about this process and am concerned with the FL scene. I'm so impressed with the work Florida PTA is doing. Apparently there is a conference in Orlando every summer for PTA board members to attend where we vote on issues in which the advocacy team goes to bat for each year. Who knew? On Monday, Jamie and I dipped out of the conference to check out the capitol (tours and meetings happened the third day of the conference but we missed it). We made a friend in the elevator with a guy from Equality Florida and tagged along with him to see a bill be debated in the senate (HJR 31/SJR 94 (Partisan Elections for Members of District School Boards—the primary focus of school board members/candidates should be the best interests of students, not adherence to political ideologies.) and then again in the house (HB 1423/SB 1438 (Gender Clinical Interventions)—interferes with parent’s right to determine the medical care of their child, in consultation with the child’s medical provider; runs counter to the recommendations of medical authorities in the field.) It was overwhelming and inspiring and infuriating all at once. With that, I failed in my parenting roll and didn't ask friends to help with after school pick up and the first round of after school activities. So it turned into a cluster of an evening. It was also our 19th wedding anniversary. Phil and I fought about kids logistics all afternoon then went to a late dinner at Moon River right before it closed. Ugh. Real life. We had a SAC meeting and a coffee chat at the middle school. Ellie got her braces off, a retainer and bleaching! Her smile is gorgeous! All ready for 14! Phil and I both played in the Steeg Tennis tournament at the Yacht Club. It was a week practicing and then a weekend full of playing. My partner, Vanessa has come a long way with tennis in a year. She is a beast and has me out there playing singles for a warm up. We had some easy matches on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Lots of parties and perfect weather. We accidentally played an April Fools joke on the Birthday girl. We were in two cars going in all sorts of directions with Voss' baseball game that morning, Phil had an early match. We met at breakfast and left Ellie home! She handled it well. I ran back to get her, we were soon on the way. My friend, Lauren helped me get Ellie to dance on Saturday and make her Birthday fun. My parents took all the kids home from Voss' baseball game. Suzanne came to watch tennis, too! Sunday, I felt God's wrath when skipping Palm Sunday mass when I pulled something in my calf. I heard a pop and was in some major pain. I'd love to say that's why we lost that last match, but I think it made me think clearly about my shots so I didn't have to move so much. So I played pretty well (aside from my double faults- oh my!) A super fun weekend and fabulous time with the Hollands. It took me days to recover (not just the calf- although massage and movement have been amazing). I did some assessments of Teach for America on Monday and Tuesday. Tracy and I did some rucking and catching up during dance. We had a PTSA board meeting to prep for the end of the year. Flashback to Voss's baseball game on Saturday, my dad was very weak. So much so that he had to go sit in the car because he didn't have the core muscles to sit on the bleachers. Before Tuesdays game, Abby and I went to check on him and he was bedridden. Just pale and weak. We finally got a call on Wednesday (from his appointment on Monday)that his hemoglobin count was a 3! We rushed him to the ER. Thank you for my pal, Kim who got us in a room quickly. The ER ended up busy and he didn't get his own room upstairs until 2am. In between there was a blood transfussion (4 pints!), CT scan and colonoscopy prep. The next morning we luckily ran into a fellow Blue Devil who did his colonoscopy and esophagoscopy. He had another colonoscopy the following morning. After all that they didn't find any aneurysms or internal bleeding. The guess is that it was an ulcer who was bleeding but has healed on its own. He was finally released to go home on Saturday. What a week! He looks so much better with coloring and energy. Now we just need to find a new primary care doc. How he got to a 3 is scary. In the midst of all of that we hosted Ellie's murder mystery Birthday party on Holy Thursday. I filled up a van load of friends from school and additional friends were dropped off through out the afternoon. They played in the river for the first half then came in to change for the murder mystery. Marly and Abby helped put together a charcuterie board. Marly went to dance. Voss went to baseball. We played Mafia. I think it was a huge hit. Around midnight, I put my ear plugs in and passed out. Friday the party kept going. More time in the river then we wrapped it up and brought the last friend home. We saw Abby's artwork in the library, a self portrait! Then went to visit my dad. We did the station on the cross on our street. Abby went to a friend's Birthday party. We went to dinner at the Freemans. It was so nice of them to host us with a Bodrum veggie dinner, with a gorgeous moon and soul enriching conversations. Just what I needed! Saturday morning we went to an Easter egg hunt in San Marco, visited an Easter bunny then went to confession. We did a family dinner at TCC then a nightcap with the Johnson-Hardisons and Strassers. The Easter Bunny did come that night. There was talks of budget cuts but each Bravo child got a basket full of good things. The animals did, too. Everyone consumed way too much sugar and fun was had by all. The weather turned and now it's cold and rainy. Not usual for us, but still so much to be grateful for. After mass we went to my parents for a late lunch. Lots of laughs, WWII conversations (thanks to Voss) and time together. It was an especially fruitful Easter. Here are the pics from the last two weeks.