It was a country club week with tennis and golf. I went to clinic on Monday and did a reject match on Tuesday (since we didn't get into the match). I played golf with Allison and Christine on Wednesday. We even did a Reels. Ellie had her first swim meet at Lakeshore middle. It was very different from the country club league of the summer. I don't mind the short and sweet part. Her Thursday meet was rained out, which was a blessing because she preferred dance that afternoon since they were learning the rest of their recital dance. We have been praying really hard for my cousin Dane. She's doing better but not out of the clear yet. She's still in the ICU. I zoomed with family members and her church friends to do a rosary this week. That was really neat, but very emotional. We've been listening to a lot of Michael W. Smith. My dad fell and broke a few ribs so I've been checking in on him a bunch this week, too. I brought him lunch one afternoon and visited a few times. I met the Left Gaggle out at Tracy's one night. It was good to catch up. Thursday we had a MOPS meeting with a mental health counselor. There were only 4 of us so it was more of a personal session, which was nice. We even walked and talked so that was cool. I got my 2nd COVID shot that afternoon. Way easier than the first. No line, in and out. My arm was much less sore. I did feel off almost exactly 24 hours after. I stayed hydrated and powered through and was fine. I finished reading Commonwealth and am hoping to finish the book club in time for tomorrow night. Mom and I went to adoration and lunch at FYC together on Friday. Dad was still feeling sore so we brought him lunch to go. When I picked up the kids from school I got the biggest surprise: Marly made patrols! I am still in shock! I thought not making honor roll all year would have cut her but apparently not. She pulled it out. We are so proud of her! I headed out to Amelia Island for a girls weekend with my friend, Kerri and her pals (mostly women from wine club). We got caught up over wine and charcuterie and learned to play Euchre. We did cartwheels on the beach and had a dance party before bed. The next morning we did a rotating tennis match then lunch. We walked to the Ritz for the hot tub then I had to head back to town to pick up Ellie and friends from CISV camp. We were supposed to go to a friend's sip and savor bourbon tasting but rain canceled that. We ended up having dinner with the VanWie's at TCC. We saw the fireworks barge out and got the kids so we could watch the fireworks from a wedding. It was fun to watch the fanfare from afar. Ellie spent the night at Harley's. This morning was lazy. The kids were late for religion class. Lots of reading and saying "I'm bored". It's been raining all day. Phil, Spot and I were able to sneak out for a walk. We went to mass this evening then I grilled burgers for dinner. Here are the pics from the week!
I'm back in the full swing for tennis. I played almost every day this week. Monday was clinic, I got in for the Tuesday match when Jane's boys got sick. Jennifer and I pulled it out with an unnecessary tie breaker at the Yacht Club. Kerri, Ashley, Jennifer and I played a fun match on Wednesday. I gave up my spot for the Thursday match (since I am a part timer and already got to play Tuesday), but I did come out to watch the match then stayed for a team lunch. Friday, Phil and I did the reggae tennis social. So, lots of playing time! It was great. I also got a few fun nights out (which included too many McDonalds runs). Monday, I went to Stephanie's for an after dinner drink, except she hadn't eaten dinner yet so I got a round two of clams. It was nice to catch up with her. Wednesday I watched Phil's match then went to Kate's for a MOPS GNO doing an Escape room. Thursday was a night at VDub's Pub and we ended up there on Friday after the tennis party. Saturday we celebrated Ellie's Birthday party on the river. She invited 4 friends to come with us on the boat to Ft. George Island. The water was cold, but the weather was perfect. It was a great day. It ended a little dramatically with a storm rolling in, but the kids loved it. The stars aligned for the other kids, too. We dropped Marly and Abby off at a dock on the way out. My friend, Angela took them to Sophia's Birthday party. We picked them up from her dock as the storm was coming on the way home. My saintly neighbor, Linda took Voss and her great grandson to lunch and a movie. So, everyone had a great day. Phil and I met the Napoleons for an early dinner then early bed for all. Sunday, Ellie and I were lectors at mass. Ellie and Marly were altar servers. I forgot to turn on the microphone for Ellie. Lesson learned. They had religion class so we got a Panera date. It rained most of the day. We snuggled on the couch, ordered pizza and watched Aladdin. We went on a rosary walk when the rain cleared, this time in honor of my cousin Dane. Please pray hard for her today. She had a heart attack on Saturday night. Thank God her husband, Jeff was there to get her help and start CPR until the paramedics arrived. She's still fighting and not yet in the clear. Prayer warriors unite! We started bedtime early and headed to Biscotti's to celebrate Meghan's 40th. It was a nice dinner. Ilya (my friend the site host and tech guru) told me BravoFam is so slow because of all my photos. So, I'm going to try something different for weekly photos. Click on this link to see photos from the week. Let's see if that helps the site load faster on your phone.
It was a shorter "me time" week since the kids were out of school for Thursday and Friday. But don't worry, you know I made the most of it. I went to tennis clinic on Monday. Lots of laughs and running, just what I needed! I've been catching up on This is Us, listening to Naked Singularity (still) and reading Commonwealth. Mondays are so nice because I get a carpool break. Whomever comes home with me, comes right home, plenty of time to work on homework and make dinner. Ellie gets a ride home from swim team, Marly gets a ride home from dance. It's nice. Tuesday, I did a fasting day. Those are never fun, but it makes me feel like a rockstar when I do it. Our tennis match was rained out. I got caught up on family videos so make sure to check out that page for updates. Swim was rained out but we still walked. Tracy joined us, too and Laurie had cupcakes to celebrate her Abigail's Birthday. Wednesday, I tried to get a tennis game going to no avail. One last day to hang out at home in a quiet house. There was one morning where I didn't change out of my nightgown until noon. I even watched the Today Show. It was nice. Then I picked up lots of kids from school and chaos ensued. Afternoon rain meant more cancellations for swim and tennis (Phil). I went to the Southside for a MOPS girls night clothing swap. I got rid of a few bags of clothes, which was nice. I was the only one who showed up, but got quality time getting to know Khristi. Thursday was Ellie's 12th Birthday! All the rain brought a chill so we had to postpone Ellie's grand plan for a boating Birthday party. After donuts, we left her home alone to watch Vampire Diaries while the other 3 and I headed to St. Matts for a MOPS Easter egg hunt. It was chilly, but a sweet party. It was well attended and I got to catch up with some moms I hadn't seen in a while. After, Ellie and I went to lunch at Firehouse then to WD to shop for the weekend. The girls had dance that afternoon so back to the park. We took Laurie's idea and brought ice cream for a little park party. That night after dance, Phil picked up Chinese food and the 3 of us watched The Hunger Games. Ellie and I stayed up watching her baby videos. It was a sweet day with her. Friday was a lazy day. I ran with Spot and then we did the Stations of the Cross on our street. Tug and one of his friends made stations this year to add to our eggs from last year. The Applegates set them up. It was chilly, but a gorgeous day. We had some attitude issues, but got through it. Abby spent the night at the Cutlip's for Abigail's Birthday. Charlotte spent the night with us (since she can't do the boat day next weekend). We were having major tude problems by 5pm. I dropped #s 2 and 4 off at the VanWie's and did an adult dinner at TCC. It was a great way to brighten the day. Too late and too much wine, but sleeping in was fabulous, especially with 3/4 kids out! We went to TCC for breakfast with the Easter bunny. As usual, they did such a nice job! I love how the parties are split up in smaller group these days. The egg hunt was a bummer for the older kids but they didn't seem to notice. The Easter Bunny came last night with help from a youth group who likes to egg houses. This morning started very early with an egg hunt in the yard in the dark. Making it to 8:30 mass was no problem. It was squishy, with a few mishaps, but still very nice. We had lunch at my parents with my sister, nephews and Fr. James. It was really a perfect day. We all have so much to be grateful for. Happy Easter!
When I left off last week, it was a low key day that picked up pace. I took the younger two bowling for a MOPS play date. They both liked it. It was a great turn out for MOPS. I picked up Ellie from Cora's and took the kids to the park. It's been a while since we had an afternoon park date. Ellie and I walked laps while the other kids played. We took Marly to dance. After bowling, I rode my bike to book club and did a quick change at the Hollands into a Mexican Gothic dress (SQ's bridemaids dress was perfect). Too bad I ripped the back trying to get into it. BC was nice. It was a perfect night with a great discussion. I didn't like a racial tone it went into at one point. We all have work to do on that conversation. Tuesday I booked it out to Queens Harbor for a tennis match with Julie on line 2. And we killed it! We made some mistakes and will do better next time, but we beat them 6-3, 6-0. From there I headed to CVS (in line behind Kerri) to get a COVID shot! At BC, they helped me figure out how to get in with an online appointment. I said I was a self employed child care worker. They didn't ask for any verification at CVS, just my ID and insurance card. I waited an hour and BOOM. I'm half way vaccinated! My arm was a little sore the following day but it wasn't bad at all. On Wednesday, I went to SSI with April to look at a possible new summit location. It was a delightful day trip. I think this new location will meet the needs of the group better. We had oysters and a yummy cocktail for lunch and got back in time to pick up kids. That night was the Penance Service. Phil played in a tennis tournament so we were a little late because I had to wait on Ellie to get out of dance. She made the JWJ swim team so now we are juggling those practices with dance. I'm very grateful to be included in a carpool! The service was nice but went late. Phil Bravo snoring meant I was grumpy on Thursday. It was a home day for me. I didn't get into the tennis match and no MOPS. I did laundry, cleaned lots of pollen (it just keeps coming!), listened to A Naked Singularity (rocky start but I think it's very good) and worked on the Spring Break video. Phil is now home on Thursday nights so it's nice to have help. I also got 2 dozen roses, which was nice. The weather got hot again. So chilli for dinner wasn't great when it's 90 outside. Typical North FL spring! Friday I went to adoration with my parents and then to lunch at High Tide for Aubree's Birthday. Voss had a play date with his friend, Grant. Ellie went to youth group. We did pool and dinner at the Grove. Now we are planning a wine tasting trip in Chile with the Napoleons! Saturday was Phil and my 17th wedding anniversary. Phil made breakfast. We went on a family run/walk. Lots of screen time. Phil and I went to a quick lunch at Chipotle and then massages by Sherry. She is so amazing. I went first then took a walk listening to my book during Phil's turn. It was hot! I took the younger three to the pool. It was cold but felt great. We got the kids situated with Mandalorean and pizza then headed to Enzas for our anniversary dinner. The piano bar was nice then we ate and drank. We got a text saying Jason had won PowWow, the big golf tournament at TCC (again). So we crashed that party on the way home...dancing and drinking until the wee hours. We got up early for mass since the girls were serving. We brought up the gifts with the littles. The Freemans sat with us and then came to breakfast after. Our neighbors threw a sweet party for their great grandson. We spent the afternoon with them. We took the boat out that evening and headed back to TCC. We made the mistake of not covering it from last weekend so we had to run it to get all the pollen out. It's covered now. We did a rosary walk and sent the kids to bed. Then, we crashed my parent's steak dinner. I'll tell you what, my dad makes the BEST steaks on the grill. It was a nice night catching up with them.
It was a good week to get back into the swing of things. It was so nice having a quiet house with kids back in school and Phil back in the office. I went running (dragged by) with the dog and to tennis clinic. Tuesday was my mom's Birthday. We played golf then met my dad for lunch. The Freemans finally decided to join TCC so we did a quick member mixer with them that night which turned into a late night of dinner and copious amounts of wine...on a Tuesday. Wednesday was St. Patty's Day. The kids made a cute leprechaun trap. They didn't catch anything but someone left a few ones and a box of Lucky Charms for breakfast. I hosted coffee club at Kickbacks to discuss slander in the media, particularly women (inspired by the Brittney Spears documentary). It was a depressing conversation but I did enjoy a lukewarm Guinness and catching up with some gal pals. It makes me sad when women don't support women. Thursday we had a financial advisor talk to us at MOPS. I was thankful she wasn't too salesy and we ended up having a great conversation afterwards about college savings plans and life insurance. It was another gorgeous day to sit outside. The wind picked up a bit but it wasn't until Thursday when the rain and cold came. Stephanie, Jessica and I had lunch together to celebrate Jess' Birthday. It was nice getting together the 3 of us. A boozy afternoon lunch with the gals at River & Post. We rode bikes to school on Friday and the rain had stopped but it was chilly. My parent's were out of town visiting my sister so I went to adoration alone, which was nice, too. I started back up watching This is Us. Always good for a good cry. I finished listening to Mexican Gothic this week. It was maybe the scariest book I've ever read (listened to). I could only listen during the day! I'm excited to discuss it at book club tonight. Trying to figure out how to ride my bike there in costume. I also finished reading Maid this weekend. I really want to discuss it. I feel like a horrible person for not liking it. I feel better after reading the reviews but just ugh. We had the youth group gang over after school. I just love that we are helping to make it cool. I loved my time in youth group and I want Ellie (and all my kids) to like it, too. Charlotte ended up spending the night after. Phil and I went up to TCC for a nightcap. Saturday morning was slow. Phil made breakfast. Charlotte got picked up by her sister, Blythe learning to drive! I was supposed to talk to the confirmation kids about my Peace Corps experience but I got the location wrong so we will have to reschedule. Our friends the Howards came over and we went on the boat to the Tiny Dock series. It was a last minute call. The weather was iffy. It turned out to be nice, although not many boats attended. We stopped by the VanWie's for the fire pit, drinks and to meet Paul's sister and brother-in-law. We brought Ava Mae back with us for a surprise Bravo sleepover. We went to TCC for dinner, which of course ended up with us watching a band and doing shots at Lillians. What. We were late on a rainy Sunday for mass and had to sit in the way back. The kids did a cute egg hunt in religion class. Phil made us brunch when we got home. Marly and Abby went back to play at the VanWie's that afternoon. Regan and I went to a nail party at Kim's house to try Colorstreet. Pizza and a rosary walk then we watched Yes Day as a family movie night. Today is a planning day so no school. We are moving onto the 4th quarter! It's been a lazy day. Ellie is playing at Cora's. Spot dragged me on another run. We are going to maybe go to a park and bowling before I sneak off to book club in Suzanne's bridesmaids dress.
We got up on Sunday and headed to North Carolina. We caravanned with the VanWies and had Ava Mae ride with us, a little Birthday fun for Marly. I listened to Shoe Dog and was very happy to make it up there. Phil drove most of the way and I got the fun high country part. We checked into our hotel and found a place to rent skis, right across from the entrance to Sugar mountain. Many places charged for that day but this guy went to FSU and wanted to close early so he hooked us up. We went to a Mexican restaurant down the street for dinner. We sang to Marly and she got her face smacked with whipped cream. All the calls and sweet texts made her a happy ten year old! Yay, Marly! Monday morning we were up and ready to go. The grab and go breakfast at the hotel was perfect. We actually made it to App Ski so early we had time to do a Reels dance before the lifts opened! We were ready! Aside from achy legs in ski boots when we walked, it was an awesome day on the slopes. I like the idea of starting with App Ski because it's easy and small. Ellie had conquered the place by lunch. Everyone felt comfortable and remembered how to ski. It was a beautiful day. We shed our coats in the afternoon. The VanWies did ski school. Phil and Marly were done by 4. I begrudgingly convinced the rest of the kids to pack up, although we could ski until 6pm. I was good with that choice when we found a fun dinner spot and inhaled my fried chicken sandwich and flight of beer. We were wiped out! Marly spent the night with the VanWies in their condo that night. Phil and I took a dip in their swanky hot tub before heading back to our hotel. A hot tub is key for this experience going forward! Tuesday was a breather day. We found a pseudo hiking trail before hitting up some snow tubing at Sugar Mountain. Of course everyone loved the tubing! We went to a BBQ lunch in downtown Banner Elk. Then, we hit up Banner Elk winery after for a relaxing afternoon of sipping and swirling and splitting a case of cab. We picked up a pizza on the way home then back to the VanWies hot tub! Wednesday was another ski day, this time at Beech Mountain. My shins were so sore and almost felt bruised when we began. Wow, is this normal?! I powered through and got used to it. The kids did so awesome. They all ended up doing a black diamond together! That was just so cool! Ava Mae flew off the starter green slope and ended up in the ER for x-rays. She's okay but freaked us out. No more skiing on this trip for them. I'm proud of Phil for making it to the top of Beech Mountain (highest slope in eastern America) for a beer before heading down. That sky bar is so cool up there! That night we did a parent's night out at a nice steak house. Ellie spent the night at the VanWies. We were all wiped out. By this point, the one hotel room for the fam was getting old. We had an air mattress but it was a lot. Thursday was another day off. We slept in and finally found the Linville Falls hiking trail (the road was closed so that took a while). We played on the trail and did a waterfall Reels then found a country diner for lunch. Next stop, Linville Falls winery. It was another gorgeous, spring day with a beautiful farm. We did another parent's dinner out with a kids popcorn party in the hotel. We tried this Cuban place and then a fun bar. It ended in turmoil with too much booze. Friday was our final ski day at Sugar mountain. It was misty and rainy and almost looked like snow (according to Abby). The kids loved it. Sugar is the largest resort in the area with so many lifts. We skied until close and we were all wiped out! We went to the Hennings for dinner- they had a cabin not far away. We played poker and grilled out with yummy southern veggies. It was a nice ending to the vacation! Saturday morning we got up, packed up and headed out. Phil and I finished listening to Shoe Dog on the way home, it was such a great book! It was a long drive home but we made it. We picked up Spot and I walked him home. Lots of laundry and washing the car. Phil and I went out for a sushi dinner to recap the week. This morning we sprang ahead an hour and barely made it to mass on time. Ellie and I did the readings and Marly altar served. It was so neat to have half the family participate (Phil said that was his high at dinner tonight). The kids went to confession at religion class. Phil and I went to Panera. I walked Spot down to visit my parents but they were out boating with friends. We went to the TCC pool for a bit but it was too cold. I made BLTs for dinner. We went on a walk and said the rosary. Reading and bedtime and ready for school tomorrow! I'm thinking of this time last year which began the longest spring break ever. I'm so grateful to have them back in school!
It's been a quiet, rainy week. Clinic was canceled on Monday because of the rain. I was lucky to get a group to play together that afternoon when the rain cleared up and the sun came out. That was the only tennis I got to play all week. Phil took Ellie to her play off game at Mandarin. They lost but they still got another play off game. Monday was March 1st and the 60th Anniversary of the Peace Corps. I went through my scrapbook and posted some pictures of my time and did some reminiscing. It was fun to have people ask me about my experience all week, especially on the heels of reading Poisonwood Bible. I had a Dynamic Catholic zoom meeting. Prepping for another book club (mine hasn't exactly taken off. I've liked it a lot, but I think I'm the only one benefitting. It's pretty quiet). Tuesdays fun match was rained out but I went to lunch with Abby, Christian, Agnes and Julie. Laurie and I walked on her porch in the rain that afternoon during dance. Wednesday I did a Walmart run and followed the One Blood bus to no avail. Anne Marie and I tried to donate blood but both of us had a low hemoglobin count. Lots of people are getting the COVID vaccination, which is cool to see. I'm on the cancellation list at Winn Dixie and Walmart. No call yet. I drove out to Wolfson for Ellie's final play off soccer game. They beat Oceanway 8-0 and are 3rd in the city. That was neat. I think making the soccer team was a great experience for her. Next up is swimming! For our MOPS meeting on Thursday, Kate brought a bunch of board games. We played one like Cranium with dares, trivia and random challenges. It made us all laugh, which was good for the soul. We're getting packed and ready to go to NC for spring break. Abby and Marly have been packed all week. We've been watching the weather, hoping for some snow...but not too much since we don't have 4 wheel drive. Phil and I went to VDub's Pub for a night cap on Thursday to trip plan. They are going, too and staying in a condo close by. Friday was finally sunny...chilly but sunny. I had a quick park play date with Caitlyn, an ole MOPS friend who was in town. I also hugged a friend, Robin who is headed to Japan...all these navy wives. I went to adoration with M&D then out for a seafood lunch. It's nice spending Fridays with the rents. I got all the kids from school then everyone zoned out, happy to be out of school for a week. I picked up fish from St. Paul's fish fry then the kids and I watched the first few episodes of Mandalorian. Phil's afternoon tennis match turned into a guys night out, which I was less than thrilled about. It allowed me to sneak away guilt free for a coffee date this morning with Tracy and Rachael (in the rain). I finished listening to Matthew McConaughey's Greenlights. It was a fun listen and added to the Page Turners challenge. Today is a lazy day. My mom took Marly shopping and to lunch for her Birthday. It's crazy to think that she'll be double digits tomorrow! I told her she doesn't get a party until she brings up her grades. That C in ELA is still sticking. She's got one more week after spring break. It's raining again. Lots of TV and Minecraft and I started another audio book, Shoe Dog. We are headed to mass in a bit then the girls and I (along with my nephew and parents) are going to see the Orange Park Community Theater, Tuck Everlasting. It's a great kick off for Marly's 10th Birthday and Spring Break!
Que the excellent spring weather! Its been a gorgeous week! I went to clinic on Monday and they were interviewing a new pro so the pros rotated around to each court. It was neat, but quick. Ellie had a game at Jeb Stuart that afternoon, nice and close to the house. We had enough time to pick up Marly for dance and then I scooted off to book club to discuss Poisonwood Bible at Regan's. We stayed up discussing until late. I love that! Tuesday I got to play last minute with Julie vs. Amanda and Marleigh and we won! Walking and talking with Laurie was nice with the perfect weather in the afternoons for dance. The girls all got their costumes for the recital. I'm hoping it all happens! Wednesday morning I had my annual. I am healthy and good to go. Julie and I played 9 holes of golf. We had to wait a bit but finally got on. It was a perfect day out there.Thursday I got to play with Rebekah and we won against the YMCA. It was a good match, they made us run...still 6-3, 6-0. We met back for lunch at TCC. I restocked at the library that afternoon.We are working our way through this cute book a friend from the book summit gave me. It has all these kids books you should read while you're still a kid. All the kids are busy with a stack of books. I finished reading Black Buck. I can't believe the modern day racism but maybe that was the point? I finished listening to How Could She, which was pretty terrible. Busy evening of dance driving. Friday the kids and I rode bikes to school then I walked with Spot and went to adoration and lunch with my parents. We ended up sitting with Michael Corrigan and catching up with their family. Charlotte came over to visit with Ellie after school. Youth group was canceled due to possible COVID and then religion class was canceled today so I hope everyone is staying healthy at St. Matthews! Phil and I went to Melanie's 40th Birthday Mardi Gras party that night. So fun dancing the night away with hurricanes! Yes, Saturday was rough. I was most impressed Phil was up and out early to set up. His bank sponsored the Ortega River Run. Ellie got out of it by sleeping over at Charlotte's. We ran the one mile with the kids. Then, Phil and I did the 5 mile run. It felt great for me. I listened to Greenlights the whole way. I think running with Spot has been great training. I took the kids to the pool for the afternoon. Wow! We are already there, like a summer day! It was a perfect way to spend the afternoon. I even tuned out and listened to my book for a little while. Phil and I rallied and went to the oyster roast. TCC knows how to do it right. I ate so many oysters! There was live music and a gorgeous moon. I got into a most interesting conversation with a Cuban-Costa Rican anesthesiologist and found out quickly how much I do not know about current events or politics in Latin and South America. Not that that stopped me from talking politics. Oh dear. This morning we went to mass then breakfast then back to the pool via the boat. Definitely a Sunday Funday! Hello spring!
Another week of cold and rain. Squashed in the middle was a gorgeous Thursday that felt like late spring. We should be so grateful considering we are the only state without snow. Texas is having power issues and my cousins are boiling their water. It's crazy out there! I finished Poisonwood Bible and loved it, lots of reminiscing of my peace corps days. I also finished the Matthew Kelly book, I Heard God Laugh. I've been leading a very quiet group text book club. It's been good for me, but I'm not sure about the others. I played in a tennis match in Atlantic Beach on a windy morning with Christie. We won on the last line. Then, I met Zoe for lunch and caught up and enjoyed Fat Tuesday. Phil and I got Chinese Food late as a last hurrah. I did a 36 hour fast for Ash Wednesday. I spent the morning waiting on trains. Phil went to his mens group while I drove everyone to school. Ugh. We played a fun match in the morning with Christian, Jennifer and Julie. Phil and I watched Ellie's soccer game in the drizzle against Lake Shore (she played a forward) then took her to dance then got the kids ready, picked her up and we went to Ash Wednesday mass. It was a busy evening. Thursday, April and I hiked the trails in Tillie Fowler Park. We turned a corner and actually saw two men hooking up right in the middle of the path. It was an interesting adventure! Tracy and Rachael joined Laurie and I on our afternoon walk. Lots of walking with friends! Friday was chilly and rainy again. I got in a run with Spot just in time. Phil and I had a lunch date at Costco then watched the Britney Spears documentary. The girls and I did a Reels to her Crazy song after school. That night Phil and I went to a nightcap at VDub's Pub. Saturday was a lazy day, DEAR time, family run and bumming around. Half the family is obsessed with Minecraft. Ellie says she has to do it for a school project but I don't buy that. We went to the Tiny Dock series concert. It was sunny but cold. We all went to bed early. This morning I was so flattered to be Nikola's Godmother at his Baptism. His older brother has been in class with Voss the last few years so we've had lots of play dates with them. Both of his parents are tennis pros so we had good conversations when they took us out to lunch at Biscotti's to celebrate. Abby played at Sammy's all afternoon. We took the boat for a late lunch at Wicked Barley. It was a great Sunday Funday! We did a family walk to do the rosary (great idea taken from the Applegates- we actually saw them out walking doing the same thing). The Weisses gave us a bunch of oysters that Phil and I are going to steam for a nightcap once all these kids are in bed. So much to be grateful for as we kick off the first week of Lent!
To me, February is always so dark and cold. It's been raining a lot and feels gloomy. I took Spot for his annual check up. Is this something people do with dogs? I don't know. A hundred dollars later, he is happy and healthy. A friend I met at last years book summit sent me this cute book of books kids should read before they become adults. I got a whole bunch of them from the library this week so we worked on D.E.A.R. time a lot. Progress Reports came out and Marly still has a C to pull up. Abby made it to the next round for gifted testing. Voss is off the charts and has all E's. Tuesday was a special day for Abby, she had her First Reconciliation. It was a nice ceremony. We continued our tradition of just Phil and I having some one on one time with the child receiving the sacrament. I got to go to confession, too. We did a cute little gift of erasers (reminder that sins can be forgiven), colored lights for her room (to let her light shine), an angel statue (her Guardian angel is with her) and a chocolate heart (we love you!) We took her to Biscotti's for dinner after. We saw the Bentons celebrating Birthday girl, Blythe and the McKinneys. I got to play tennis with Catherine, Patti and Robin on Wednesday. Robin shared her story of fighting cancer. It's amazing what your body can do! I saw Ellie play in a quick game and caught up with an old Stanton friend, Kim. Her daughter is on Ellie's soccer team. Ellie got in some playing time. That night was the hot tub moms night out at Meghan's. I found out a few days later that she's pregnant with her 6th! Thursday, Catherine and I played in a match against Marsh Landing and killed them. We played against Anne Marie's friend whom I'd met at the beach last summer. Phil and I had a lunch date at Larry's. I watched him play tennis against FYC that night. He lost but looked great. It was a busy night with dance carpool and then girls night with the Liberal Ladies. It was nice to catch up. Friday I went to adoration with mom and dad. I'm enjoying the I Heard God Laugh book. I've been using the time in adoration to keep that book club going. Instead of lunch with M&D as usual, Melanie had a triples tennis party for her 40th. It was a nice idea, even the rain was perfectly timed. I picked up a van full of middle schoolers to be the cool mom before youth group that night. Phil and I went to dinner at the Howards and were wined and dined. We even listened to records! We played tennis with the Hershorins on Saturday, tried to get in fun between all the rain! That night was the MOPS & POPS Progressive Dinner Valentine party. It was supposed to be by boat, but the weather didn't cooperate. We stayed out WAY too late and made some new friendships. I took the kids to mass then met the Hershorins for bfast at TCC (Mmmmm biscuits and gravy). Valentines Day was mainly spent side by side in bed (me: Poisonwood Bible, Phil: Cecil Hotel). The Hershorins had us and the Kuders over for steak. It was a nice night. This morning I rushed the kids to their dentist appointment only to find out half of them were left off the schedule. Bummer I have to take them back this week. For morale we went to Dunkin Donuts. I went to a good tennis clinic. Jen had us laughing! Voss and I rode bikes to my parents so he could take is remote control boat in the pool and we could visit. I worked on some onesies for Camille. Ellie went to Charlotte's Birthday party at the movie theater. We did a family dinner at Bodrum and discussed our favorite presidents.