It was picture week at the dance studio. I think of it as a good time to practice with hair and make up, make sure we have all the costume pieces, tights, shoes, etc. Catherine and I played together in clinic and then won our match on Tuesday. It took us a bit to get warmed up, but then we held on and pulled it out. Anne Marie was sweet to drive all the way out there. I went to the zoo with Marly's grade on Wednesday. It was nice to have quality time with her and meet some of her classmates parents. Everyone is excited about the middle school acceptances. It seems like everyone got in where they wanted to, which is so nice. Play day was Thursday. I ran the potato sack races all day. Wow, I was wiped out! It was nice to be on campus again, see all the mom friends and kids cycling through my station. Voss had a game that evening. This is the second time he got a hit and I missed it! I have to pick up Marly from dance usually right in the 4th inning of his weekday games. Ugh! He was tagged out at first again, but it's a hit! I took Marly downtown that evening to the old Landing sight for a river jam concert series. We met up with the Suter gals and saw Boys II Men. That was my first concert here in Jax about 27 years ago! How cool that it was Marly's first concert, too! It was a gorgeous night on the river! Good Friday we all took it easy in the morning then did the stations of the cross down our street and the Applegates. Zachary and Linda came with us. It was a little chaotic but still really nice. Phil has been fighting a head cold, maybe allergies all weekend. The guys got a haircut (Voss really wants to look like Tony Stark). Marly had Addy over and they dyed Easter eggs. Ellie helped me organize all of our Easter eggs (they were in pieces). Abby spent the night at Abigail's for her Birthday. We went to the Johnson Hardisons for a taco bar. We always have such a great time with them. Saturday morning started early. We went to San Marco for an Easter egg hunt, then to Voss' game and then the kids and I went to the Fererrs in Julington Creek to celebrate my friend, Andrew's Birthday. It was so nice to catch up with my high school friends and see our kids play together. Tripp took all of us out on the boat to Pineapple Point. Everyone was wiped out and ready for bed when we got home. The Easter bunny came! Voss started the party at 5:30 the next morning. I had him wait until 6:30. The kids got some fun Easter treats and looked for eggs outside as the sun rose. Ellie and I read at 8:30 mass. Marly altar served. I made deviled eggs and scalloped potatoes. Marly made a carrot bunny cake. We went to my parents with Suzanne and her boys. Fr. James came for a quick visit at the end. It was a nice day together with family. Check out the pics from the week.
I was stressed at the beginning of the week. It took a few days to recover from last weekend. A few nights of early bedtime helped us all. The girls had state FSA testing this week, the first round. Prepping for end of the year fun, patrol trips, dance recital, summertime. Whew! I went to tennis clinic on Monday and a fun match at Boone park on Tuesday. I finished all the pressure washing. Ellie had an ortho appointment and she and Marly had a dentist appointment (scheduling that in unison is no small feat!) Voss had a make up game and got a hit! He was tagged out but still so excited! Sad I missed it as I had to pick Marly up from dance. He went to his friend's Monday night Birthday party (love a good weekday party!) Tennis and baseball were canceled due to some Thursday rain. Phil and I had a breakfast date (yes to thick pancakes with fruit compote!) and a Cuban lunch date. I spent Friday with my parents; adortion, Trents and watching the new Supreme Court Judge Jackson! Phil and I played in the Margaritaville tennis social that night. Saturday morning Voss had an early game. He was bummed he didn't get a hit, but they did win the game. That afternoon we hosted Ellie's 13th Birthday party. She had 30 kids and 10 adults for a river play date. We rented a 19' water slide for the front yard. Our amazing neighbors let us use their dock and paddleboards. It was wild and crazy and really fun. I am so proud of Ellie for inviting friends past, present and future. We had pizza, fruit, veggies, chips and a cheese plate. Cookie cake and ice cream. It was chilly and windy but most of the kids didn't seem to mind. That evening I took the kids plus Ava May to the Riverside Arts show called My Mommy is a Zombie. The Suter girls and some other friends were in the play. I am impressed with their acting and ability to memorize all those lines! It was Palm Sunday. We got to bring up the gifts. We made palms into crosses and read the Passion in our CCD class. Marly made blueberry pancakes after for a late breakfast. Ellie babysat a new family while Phil and I did Sunday Funday tennis. Here are the pics of the week.
Oh wow, a full week of tennis. Lots of practice for the Steeg. After clinic on Monday, I took my parents to La Nap to do a belated Birthday party for my mom. Lots of great conversations about this transition in life. Afternoon of dance with perfect spring weather. On Tuesday Rachael and I won an easy match against Jax Golf, well Rachael had to carry me in the beginning. I tried to meet Phil for lunch but it didn't go well so I watched Bridgerton and had leftovers. I played a fun match with the ole Euchre gals. Abby went to Brooklyn's Birthday party (I love a good weekday afternoon party!) Wednesday I started listening to Violeta while pressure washing. It's taken me forever to figure out how to use Paul's pressure washer. Now that I figured it out, it's amazing. I've had to work around the rain, but it's good. An early release day so Vanessa, Rachael, Beth and I had to get in a quick match before pick up. Abby and Voss had dental cleanings. Afternoon dance and then Rachael, Tracy and I saw Anastasia. It was a good show. I'm on the fence about renewing tickets for next year. Phil is on my back about finances. It all seems to be raining down at once. Thursday I took a group back out to Jax Golf for our tennis match. Jennifer and I played great together to win the second line. I rushed back to meet Jess and Steph for a quick lunch then Vanessa and I went to warm up for our first match. Rain looming, the wind was crazy. We lost our first match against Vanessa and Katie. Still so much fun to be a part of this amazing tournament. We stayed for the happy hour. I left to pick up Marly from dance. Friday Ellie became a TEENAGER! She went home with Charlotte after school then came to cheer us on at the tennis tournament. We rode bikes to school. The weather had a chill but was so nice, a gorgeous tennis day! We lost our second match against Maureen and Perry but still having fun. Lots of friends came out to watch. Vanessa and I cheered for our husbands who won their first match that afternoon. Ellie and Charlotte ran back and forth between the Bentons and the club. We all stayed for dinner then Charlotte came over to spend the night. Saturday morning was chill. Marly made a Birthday pancake breakfast. She, Abby and I did a little Birthday shopping for Ellie. Phil and Vaughan gave Vanessa and I a good warm up then we went over to play our third match against Kerry and her friend, Theresa. That was our best match. We lost in the tie breaker 8-10. I dressed up as Elsa and Vanessa Ana. It was an adjustment playing in a cape, but so thrilling! We were lucky to get in because then the rain came. Suzanne came up to join us. We sat, drank and waited for the rain to stop. It finally cleared that evening. Phil and Vaughan were able to play an awesome match. We missed the party because we all stayed to watch. They were wiped out when they finally finished. We were home by 11! Ellie and friends went to the Rise Up concert. Blythe and Sam drove a group of new teens out for the concert. So cool! Marly spent the night at the Freeman's for Sophie's Birthday. Sunday, Phil left to warm up. I took the kids to religion class. I had to teach Phil's class. I made them unload all the groceries for the St. Vincent de Paul ministry food drive. I went back up to catch the end of Phil's match. They lost. We had lunch and watched more tennis. Then went to the Freemans for a bit of Sunday Funday/after party for Sophie. I was so happy to sit in the hot tub to soothe all my aches and pains. We all went to the Penance Service and then Little Ceasars pizza. Early bedtime for all! Here are the pics of the week.
I had some anxiety in the beginning of the week over PTA, sounds nuts I know. Just looking at April and May kept me up a few nights planning how I'm going to juggle everything. It's fun stuff, but wow, Maycember is coming! It all worked out, we got the dress code resolution passed at the middle school and then it passed county wide. Next, the school board should be making a decision that will hopefully go into affect next school year. It all seems to happen at the same time. I'm standing at Voss' baseball game, on a zoom PTSA call, running late to book club to discuss The Island of Sea Women. First world stress, for sure. I rode the swagger wagon out to the tennis match on Tuesday. We lost all 4 lines, got totally spanked. It was depressing. I got to play up on Wednesday with Marcia and we won, so that made the tennis week much better. And then Vanessa and I have been playing a bunch this week to prepare for next weekend. We played after clinic on Monday, fun match on Wednesday vs Rachael and Beth and then again on Friday afternoon with a lesson. My sister, Katie had baby Conrad Axel this week! Castor oil to the rescue. They also celebrated an anniversary (5 years!) My parents were out in CA all week to help. Little snafu getting a ride home Friday night but we are figuring it out. It was art day at the elementary school on Thursday, of course the super rainy day. I volunteered in Marly's class doing a landscape art project. They even got to plant flowers (making the kids work was a great idea from the beautification committee!) and design their dream yard. I ran from there to April's mom's funeral mass. It was so special to see her mom's friendship with the priest and sweet Quinn do the 2nd reading. Somehow I made it in time to pick up my orthotic shoe pads that are going to fix my toe bones. Whoop! The rain saved us with a canceled baseball practice and tennis for Ellie so Phil and I had an easier time making it to the Rise Up fundraiser. We stayed too late talking to the legendary Onie about her new gig. I'm excited for Ellie to go to this event next weekend! Friday night we had Corked Crew and caught up with all of our wine friends. It was a gorgeous evening on the river. Saturday morning, back to the ball field for picture day and then a game. Not hits but 2 tips, so that's something. Phil and I celebrated our anniversary with afternoon massages. He went to a random place on my way to Sherry. She was amazing. Later that evening we went to dinner at Primi Piatti. Delicious mussels, lasagna and wine. We used my Card Decks app and had good conversations about where we are in life. We ended up having an after party with the Strassers, who were across the dining room at Riverside Liquors. Sunday we got up for mass, fun that Fr. Luke was there to shout out for our anniversary. After CCD we stayed for the pancake breakfast. Phil took Voss to batting practice at the Crass'. The girls and I walked down for a visit with my parents. Marly had a play date with AM. Phil and I headed up for Sunday Funday tennis...with a warm up match to practice for Steeg. It was the largest group yet- 6 courts! We ended with a quick nightcap at the VanWies to push back the Sunday scaries (not for me, though. You know I love a good, quiet Monday). Here are the pics of the week.
This year for spring break, we drove to Clearwater to meet up with the Skwaras at the beach. They were in Florida visiting birth parents and staying at the Wyndam on the gulf. We stayed at Pier 60 across the street on the sound. It was so nice to spend time with them and go back and forth to the hotels. We drank too much and stayed up too late. It was like going back in time to our FSU days. Wednesday we drove to Seminole to visit the Spead Squad and celebrate St. Paddy's Day with the Betancourts. It was nice to catch up with them and see their new digs. Thursday we went to Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay. Phil was apprehensive about the crowds. I knew it'd be bad but I was counting on the single rider line, which they do not have. So we waited in lines for 6 out of the 10 hours we were at the park. The roller coasters were amazing...but hard to enjoy when you waited so long for it. Everyone was crabby when we finally left and headed to our hotel at the Tampa Palms Golf and Country club. It was quaint and quiet, just what we needed. The Johnson Hardisons invited us to dinner that night, a huge reprieve after the week. Awesome conversations and another late night. We got up early on Saturday for Voss' first baseball game. What an experience. Folks are really into this! We can only go up from here so more practice in the works! They had the opening ceremonies after the game, which was a huge social meet up of almost everyone we know! Firehouse for lunch and a walk with Spot that afternoon. Ellie babysat Ava May. We went to dinner at the Crass'. We got to bring up the gifts in mass on Sunday and met two new potential MOPS moms over coffee and donuts. We went to Get Air to celebrate Zachary turning 5. Then, Sunday Funday tennis in the afternoon. We still have not adjusted to the time change. No one was excited to get up for school or work (well, except for me!) Let's tackle this FOURTH quarter! Whoop! Whoop! Here are the pics of the week.
The first half of the week it felt like summer with the humidity, then the rain came and brought a cold snap for the weekend. We had 3 solid days of rain. Bummer that it fell on TPC week. Tuesday, Julie and I won line 1. All lines swept and played a third set. I wish I could have gotten a photo of the dream team at lunch. It would have been an awesome International Womens Day post. Don't worry, I have 3 amazing daughters to showcase and embolden. Wednesday, Phil and I got to go to the Players with the Bentons. It was a great day out there with perfect weather, relaxed golfing and not too large of a crowd. When the rain came, we went to happy hour at O'rsay. Such a fun day! The kids did a great job riding bikes together and no after school activities made it easy. Thursday was a rainy day. I tried to do a little pressure washing before the rain came. I ran errands and caught up on chores. It cleared up in the afternoon in time for tennis for Phil and baseball practice for Voss. I think he really likes it. Ellie went out for pizza with Charlotte. She has decided to become a pescatarian. That's been an interesting transition. The kids didn't have school on Friday. It was a teacher planning day ending the 3rd quarter. Phil snagged an appointment at the post office. We took Marly to get the paperwork turned in for her passport. I picked up Huck and Fox and took Abby and Voss to the Trinity indoor playground. It was closed! I was saved by a pregnant mom, Leigh who told us about another indoor playground, this one at Evangel church. We got in and the kids played until sweaty and crabby. I took them out for happy meals then brought the boys home. I made Marly and Ellie come with me to the gym at TCC. They loved it. Ellie was amazing on the Peleton. I finished reading The Book that Matters Most. Marly spent the night at the Englands. Ellie babysat Theo while his parents had dinner. We met the VanWies for a tasty dinner at TCC, ending in the living room. It was a great day. Saturday was rainy in the morning and then cleared up and was windy. Abby made crepes (accidental really) then Phil and I took Spot for a walk. He was fiesty after all the rain. He escaped to the swamp on Friday night and needed a bath Saturday morning. I made Marly's Birthday video. Marly came with me to pick my brother, Matt up from the airport. We met up with my parents after mass then we all went out to dinner at the Brick. Matt had his neighbors from Panama City with us, too. They are moving to Jacksonville. The weather dropped. Dad husstled us a table inside. We went back to M&Ds for a nightcap. This morning, we sprang ahead an hour and were a little late to mass, then to TCC for bfast then M&Ds for a visit. Ready for some Sunday Funday tennis and time for spring break! Here are the pics of the week.
It was a quiet week with no tennis matches. I had to come up with other things to do. Lots of walks and runs with Spot. I even sat and watched a movie one afternoon. The girls had tennis and dance. Voss had baseball practice. We moved from winter to spring and into Lent. Phil and I had a Fat Tuesday date at Biscottis (cake before I give it up). I pulled Marly from school at lunch to get ashes with my parents at Sacred Heart. Phil took the other kids after the fish fry that evening. In MOPS we learned about calligraphy, although I spent a lot of time with a crying baby in the parking lot. I've still got the touch! Abby and Voss went to a playdate at the Lay's. Voss came home with a new pair of Air Jordans! Ellie and I watched Inventing Anna. I got to do a clinic with the potential new pro, then a fun match with Julie, Rachael and Jane. Dad and I went to adoration and to lunch. For Marly's Birthday party she had 3 friends (from 3 different schools) over Friday afternoon. I took them to the dollar store for treats then off to see Sing 2 in the movie theater. We were the only people there so they had a dance party in the front of the theater. It was cute. We came home and had the house to ourselves. Abby and Voss spent the night across the street. Ellie went to Harley's. Phil got Thai while the girls did facials and a foot bath. We went to bed early after watching an episode of Ozark. I think the girls stayed up late. Saturday morning we got some kids home and some kids left. Ellie fed some friend's animals while they are away. Phil and I went for a walk and checked on my parents. Later, Ellie, Marly and Ella came with us to the Tiny Dock series boat concert. We tied up with the Bentons after some anchor issues. That night, Phil and I were invited to the Falconetti's for a bourbon tasting. I only sipped a bit and then had to switch to wine. I had an interesting conversation with some cops and am hoping for a ride along! The next morning we made it to 8:30 mass, then religion class and then TCC bfast. The kids loved (sarcasm) me telling their birth stories at breakfast. Suzanne took Marly out for her first pedicure! We took our kids to the Hollands then went to TCC for Sunday Funday mixed doubles. Taking it to the next level with traveritas! Early bedtime for all to get ready for the week. Today Marly is ELEVEN! Vanessa and I played a match this morning and then I went to clinic. I am wiped out! I brought the Birthday girl Chick Fil A for lunch. Phil even popped in to say hello. I have ice cream for the park this afternoon (even though it's spring break for dance). Then I hear it's Tijuana Flats for dinner. Marly is so excited to be the Birthday girl today. She sat next to me in the theater and told me this was the best Birthday. Here are the pics of the week.
The last week truckin' along through February. I played a lot of tennis. Julie and I won together on line 1 on Tuesday. A tough match but we pulled it out in a third set once we figured out how to break a serve. Beck and I won together on line 2 on Thursday; much easier, then stayed to watch more tennis wins. I listened in on a call on Tuesday afternoon diagnosing my dad with vascular dementia. It's not a surprise but still an emotional week talking through options and game plans. I'm grateful to be right down the street. Aging is tough, but what are you going to do? I let Abby have friends over on early release Wednesday. We spent most of the time waiting in the food truck line for slushies, but it was another gorgeous day. Rachael and I met up with the Centola sisters to see Cats that evening. Meh, everything I've ever heard about it was correct. Dancing and costumes were good but that's about it. We googled the plot at intermission to try to figure out what was going on. I did a day of fasting on Thursday. Black coffee wasn't so bad. Friday I went with Abby on a field trip to MOSH. It was so great to be back on a trip with the school again. That afternoon she and Voss went to Camp Immokolee for the weekend. Crazy that the younger two can do a sleepaway camp! We played mafia with some friends that evening. I ended up watching Inventing Anna with Ellie on the couch until 2am! Lazy Saturday morning (more IA) then we took Ellie and Marly to get new dance shoes. We checked out a Peruvian restaurant for lunch. That evening Ellie babysat AM, Marly came with us to the FYC oyster roast. Great weather and delicious oysters! Sunday morning, Ellie and I read. Marly altar served. After CCD we went to breakfast at TCC. It felt so odd to have a table of 4. I missed the younger two. Marly and I went to my parent's to zoom in for Katie's surprise baby shower in CA. We did another Sunday Funday tennis round robin with 4 courts full of friends! It ended with a martini at the Pow Wow after. The younger two were melting after their weekend but I think they both had a great time. Here are the pics of the week.
Monday was Valentine's Day, which means sugar overload times 4. We didn't do anything special since PB considered this a Hallmark Holiday. I went to tennis clinic on Monday, rode with Catherine to Amelia Island on Tuesday. Julie and I won on line 1. We all went to Chowder Teds for lunch after. That afternoon the Benton family moved in. They are building a house that is taking forever to be finished. They are house hopping in the meantime. It was wild and crazy and so much fun. Ellie and Charlotte were thrilled to be roomies. Voss was also happy to have a brother roomie in the mix. Abby was bummed she didn't get an extra. Not sure how Blythe felt about bunking with Ellie and Charlotte. We made it work. We got in a few parents nights out with Taco Tuesday at LaNap and prosting at the Bierhall. Emma, April and I did a mural tour of Avondale and Murray Hill. The sun came out again, we brought the dogs, it was a great day! At MOPS we had Noelle Pomeroy, a sex therapist. That one is always a good meeting...although I forgot to remind the group to let the expert talk...there were too many suggestions rolling around. Erik and Kelley flew into town for the weekend Thursday evening. I went over to greet them that night. I had a PTA nominating coffee meeting Friday morning to get things going for next year at Stockton. I went to lunch with M&D, Erik and Kelley at Trents and then they came with me to pick up kids from school. Erik was taking selfies with fans once the middle school bus arrived. Marly spent the night at Addy's. Phil and I went over for lobster and to meet Kelley's parents, who flew in from Chicago. They are super cool. Phil had us all laughing to tears. It was a lazy Saturday morning. Phil had kids doing yard work. We walked over to have the kids meet Kelley's parents. Suzanne and the boys joined us for lunch outside at Tijuana Flats. Perhaps our winter is over? The weather has been gorgeous. We helped tap the keg at the Cochrans on Saturday afternoon while the kids ran wild in the backyard. Voss loved all that boy time. That evening, Phil and I went back to my parents for Erik and Kelley's engagement party. It was a small group of my parent's friends (and Fr. James) catered by Christine. We stayed up to westcoast time zones. Sunday morning was rough....we made it to Sacred Heart's later mass. We did a tennis round robin with the Hollands, Williams and Howards then got the kids for a TCC Sunday Funday for dinner. Monday was Presidents Day. We rode bikes to the Forest and went back and forth between the Hollands and Nixons. Kids are already swimming in the pool...we had a bathing suit crisis to prepare. I rode back to the forest for book club at Kathleen's that night. We discussed Don't Tell Me You're Afraid. It's too sad to give too many stars. Kathleen did a great job with the Somalian cuisine and the conversation is always good with these ladies. Here are the pics of the week.
Another week of cold and rain. I am snuggled in doing puzzles and listening to The Lincoln Highway, Black Cake and Holes. Tennis was rained out on Tuesday so we did a group fitness class. Julie Rice and I played together on Thursday and won in the third set against Deerwood. Ellie had her first tennis clinic (she and Marly are getting back into it). Tracy and I met at Maple Street for breakfast to celebrate her closing. I met my parents at La Nap and then went to a podiatrist. I've been having pain in my foot for months thinking it was due to some old tennis shoes. Turns out my bones in my feet are too long so I was fitted for a support pad to help. Voss and Abby had their annual check ups. They are healthy and doing well. I got some library books for Voss to work on controlling his anger. Voss went to a Grant's Birthday party that evening. Phil and I stayed late talking around the fire with his parents when we went to pick him up. Saturday we did a tennis round robin with a bunch of couples. Then we went to a dinner at the Rice's to say farewell to Fr. Jose who moved to Gainesville. After the dinner, we headed to the MOPS & POPS Valentines social at the Spencer's. We were able to enjoy their new back yard while the rain took a break. We stayed too late with the Marquez' at Mellow Mushroom. Sunday we went to mass and religion class then breakfast at TCC. Emma helped us out and drove Ellie to the dress rehearsal of her winter concert. We picked up my parents and went to watch her. She was amazing! Such stage presence and that smile! I hope to post the video soon. We watched the first half of the Super Bowl at XTreme Wings. I loved the halftime show with my friends from the 90s! Here are the pics of the week