It was like springtime all week then this weekend it turned back to winter. Whew! I'm obsessed with this show on Netflix, Shamless. It's horribly good. I can't stop. So that's what I've been doing all week. I should be reading more, probably some cleaning and organizing and exercising. But no, I've been binging. I had lunch at the Cummer with Steph, read to Voss' class, brought dinner to some moms with babies, ran a MOPS meeting about school choice. Oh man, a week of magnet! I attempted to fill out Voss' magnet application for kingergarden and somehow edited Abby's instead. I sat on hold for over EIGHT hours on Friday! Finally I gave up at 6pm. It was awful. We had a low key weekend after that. My bother came in town for the long weekend. It was nice to see him one more time before he heads for the west coast. He joined us for Marly's basketball game and then Voss' Birthday party afterwards. He had 3 buddies from his class join us on base at the playground. We saw Uncle Matt and Papa's old airplanes then went to the P-8 Poseidon hangar and got a tour! It was really neat! I think he had a great time! Marly even said it was the coolest party ever! That night we went out with our financial adviser then met the Hershorins, Matt and Paige for dessert and coffee (dryanuary). Sunday we did mass, tried to do CCD before we realized it was canceled due to the holiday then bfast with the Hershorins. Phil played tennis, Voss went on a play date. The girls worked on a writing contest. I hid and read. Another low key night. Monday we began MLK day with a nice bfast. Abby and Voss went to gymnastics camp (their Birthday gift). Ellie went to a friend's house. Marly played with friends. Phil and I played tennis with the Hershorins. I rode bikes with Meghan and Meredith to book club. We discussed Namesake. Lots of laughs!
It was a beautiful morning when I screeched out of the parking lot after dropping Voss off at school. I've never been so happy to head to the dentist office to get a bunch of cavities filled. You guys, my mouth is a wreck. I have 2 more appointments to get all these cavities filled. It's awful. All the kids are back in school. It's great! I hosted coffee club to discuss the killing of Qassem Soleimani, the Iranian leader. It was a pretty depressing conversation. Thursday, I subbed for the C team and played with Beth (and won) against the Woods. It was a great morning! Friday, Voss and I ran errands, met in Springfield for a play date and then visited Mimi and Papa. I finished listening to The Namesake and picked up a book from the library. We did family game night on Friday and played charades. It's awesome how everyone is old enough now for a game night! Life is back to normal. Dance is in full session. Spot is doing great with his new shock collar. I'm getting in my steps and getting time with friends. I even went over to Tracy's for hot chocolate on Thursday. Dryanuary is tough this year. I'm not doing well with no desserts. Phil and I played in the mixed doubles tennis tournament at TCC. Phil played with an elite woman in addition to me. So he was pretty exhausted by the time our afternoon matches rolled around. We lost one yesterday and won one today and one yesterday. It was fun. Marly had a game on Saturday. My parents and Suzanne came to see her. After tennis today we went on the boat for a bit then mass. A nice Sunday Funday!
Oh, the 12 days of Christmas. The Christmas music stopped on the radio, but things kept going around here. I had just settled down to enjoy a cup of coffee on Monday when I got a call from the kids dentist asking if we were still coming. Whoops- totally forgot what day it was! So we flew there and made it okay. All the kids got the candy cleaned out of their teeth and we celebrated the miracle of no cavities! We kept the party going and met the Spencers at MOSH to see the train display, had heavy snacks in the parking lot then met the Suters and new MOPS friends to ride the skyway to the library. The librarians in the kids department were much less than thrilled to have us there. We read and checked out books then attempted a trip to Sweet Petes to find out they were closed. Temper tantrums back to the the train. Phil and I snuck out for a happy hour date night to Orsay. We chatted with the Eisemanns and made them late to their show downtown. It was a much needed break. We watched a bunch of Christmas movies on Netflix and Disney+. I binged a cute new show on Netlfix called Virgin River. Major attitudes and fighting kids. Too much screen time and candy. You've probably seen them in the cul de sac when I've kicked them out (then sat on the couch watching TV and eating gummy bears myself). I see all my friends in Europe and traveling this week. I'm honestly perfectly content just sitting here. It's been a nice break. We went to the Nixons on Christmas Eve. They threw a fun, kid-friendly party roasting oysters and s'mores with sparklers and fireworks. It was perfect! I tried to get in my last drinks starting with a Salty Dog (grapefruit fresh from the tree) earlier prepping for Dryanuary. We put the kids to bed and barely made it to the TCC NYE party. They did a low key party at the Grove. It was perfect! There was a DJ and champagne toast. It was so neat seeing the fireworks go off at midnight all across the skyline of Jacksonville. Truly the perfect spot to be! I wanted to sip my last glass of red wine by the firepit, but a girl was puking right there so I came home and we had McDonalds and Netflix. Happy 2020! And Merry 7th Day of Christmas! On New Years Day the girls served at 10:30 mass. Fr. Luke did a great homily about saying the rosary more. We're trying to do at least a decade a night. We rode bikes over to the Cochran's for a party. They had delicious BBQ. Lots of great convos with friends in their gorgeous, new house. On the 9th Day of Christmas I tried to schedule play dates for all the kids but it didn't work out for half the kids. Marly went to Addy's for a sleepover. Abby had Sammy over. We went to visit Phil at his new office and have lunch. The next day I picked up friends for Ellie and Voss and we met more friends at the park and did the trails at Tillie Fowler. The weather was warm, it was the perfect thing to do. We went to the Hershorins that night for pizza and to play with their Christmas toys. Phil and I have been sneaking away for tennis matches a lot this week. Getting ready for a doubles tournament next weekend. We've beaten the Hershorins twice, tied with Ryals, lost to the Steifels and Rachels. On the 11th Day of Christmas, we went out with Matt and Paige for their last night in Jax. He left for PC and her to NC yesterday. Sad because Matt moves to the west coast in a few weeks so we won't be seeing him as often. We did a progressive dinner starting with drinks on the rooftop of Cowford Chophouse (mine was a hot tea). We met up with my parents for dinner at the Brick. Paige had never been to Mojos so we did wings there. Then ended with hot chocolate and cake at Biscotti's. It was a nice night. (Lots of Old Fashions for the guys- no Dryanuary there). The girls and Tug served at mass on Sunday morning. All the friends sat together, which was nice: Applegates, Hershorins, Freemans and the Glynns in the front row. The girls were back in religion class (they made cute wise men dolls) and we had bfast at TCC with the Hershorins and Smiths. I took Voss to his friend's Birthday party at the park. He was so excited! It's cold again. I'm listening to the Jan book club book, Namesake. Gotta gear up for the 2020 reading challenge of reading 20 books! I finished the Fall video. Working on a few others today. We played kickball in the Applegates cul-de-sac last night then met the Bentons for dinner at La Nap. It's really been a great Christmas. Now I've got to take down all these decorations!
It was a good Christmas. No family drama this year. Everyone got along. Phil was pissy on Christmas Eve because I took in my sister's dog for the day. Luckily, we worked through it and all was fine again after a stressful morning with Comcast. I did the bulk of my shopping the Monday before. Two hours alone in Walmart and I was back in the groove. I had been feeling so behind after my Birthday week and Nutcracker week. I stumbled to feel the Christmas spirit. It's amazing how giving can put you right back there. I didn't do too much but the kids didn't seem to notice. The next two days our neighbors came in full force with cakes, cookies, candy, popcorn, toys including a drone for each kid! (The same drone I ordered on Black Friday for Voss- the one bit of shopping I did early- and it never came!) Or the watch I sent Phil to Verizon for and I spent 30 minutes in Walmart looking for; and couldn't find- my brother gave to Marly for Christmas! I love it when it all works out like that! We spent an afternoon with the Hickses, watched a bunch of Christmas movies- Polar Express with Papa, Christmas safari or something with Ellie on Christmas Eve, It's a Wonderful Life while working on puzzle, Noelle and Mickey's Christmas Carol (while still working on that puzzle). The girls served and we brought up the gifts for Christmas mass. All in all, I think it was a nice time. And it's still going...because there are 12 days of Christmas and I think we're only half way there! School is out for another week! We are over tired and over sugared and crabby and full of 'tude. I think this is pretty normal for this time of year though, right? We stayed up late with the Quarities family (Matt's girlfriend), watching movies at Mom and Dad's. I finished reading Goldfinch and we saw that movie (very confusing and depressing if you didn't read the book!) then a Star is Born last night (more drugs and depression). We ended the week/began this week with a family trip to the zoo. On the way out, we saw the lights! That's the way to do it! Merry Christmas!
It was the week of parties for sure! Book club ornament exchange, I hosted a "my favorite things" brunch. Late night wine and cake at Rachael's. Wine club, which turned into a 90's dance and karaoke party. Phil's tennis friends Christmas party and the Harmons roarin 20s party! Today we made gingerbread houses at Suzanne's and we did the street progressive dinner party (maybe even the most fun yet!) The kids all had their class parties. I showed up at them all (had to peek in on some mean girl drama). Marly and Abby had a holiday sing along on Wednesday night. Voss had breakfast with Santa then a Christmas program at his school. School is officially out for the year. We are getting into the spirit. I have a little more shopping to do and lots of wrapping and programming to do. I was able to finally finish our video Christmas card by midnight tonight. Now, on to the blog! Marly had a basketball game this weekend. I got a bunch of cavities filled on Monday. I don't know what is going on with me but this has to change. I went to lunch with my dad. I took the kids caroling at the nursing home with all the big kids this time. We played at the indoor playground after. We got word last night that Phil's Godmother passed away. It made us all stop for a minute and think about this big, beautiful world and the small role we play. Tonight Angel, the elf is reading the Christmas story in the bible to some stuffed animals and manger scene friends. Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree!
It took a few nights of taking nighttime cold medicine to get back to my ole self. But don't worry; I'm back- and the endorphins are still with me. Good thing because this week was a whopper. I surprise myself with how much gets done in a day sometimes. I did take a few breathers and started watching this Netflix series called Home for Christmas and drank soup from a mug. It was good. I needed it. Tuesday I helped assemble luminary kits for a fundraiser and on Wednesday I helped stuff race packets for the fun run. Wednesday was early release, which was a doozie. I brought home so many kids I almost had to make two trips. I fed them all my leftover Birthday cake for a snack. That night kicked off the Nutcracker extravaganza with Ellie's dress rehearsal. We were at the theater from 5-9pm! I got some great video, though. Thursday, I picked up some extra kids and went to see Ellie's school show performance. That was really neat to see her opening show. It was a chilly, rainy day. My in-laws arrived as we were headed out to drop Ellie off for her next performance and go to Phil's Cogent Christmas party. Friday was a slow morning. Poor Ellie was so tired but still made it to school. I'm so proud of her and how well she balanced this whole thing. It was so amazing seeing her on stage! Vane came with Voss and I caroling at the nursing home. She really took charge! Awesome! We saw Phil's new office and went to lunch. It was low key that night with me working on lots of Birthday and Christmas gifts for the weekend. We all ran in the Grinch Fun Run Saturday morning. Then we saw Marly score 2 baskets in her basketball game! I took Abby and Voss to Parker's princess Birthday. That night was Ellie's final performance. She had quite the fan club! My parents and sister and Phil's parents and sister all came to see her. It was so neat! Such a great show! We went to Biscotti's afterwards for a treat. Late night! So today was a little hairy. We powered through. Mass then religion class. Then we decorated a gingerbread house. Phil played tennis while I took the kids to the Marquez kids Birthday party. We went to riverside for the luminaries tonight. We saw the Suter girls in the live nativity then walked to the Hershorins. Lot of holiday fun! We're definitly feeling the spirit now!
I made it through the week! Whew! It was such an amazing week. I'm thoroughly exhausted but my heart is happy! It started off normal enough with Marly being awarded student of month with the character trait of kindness. I went on a quick run then picked up my neighbor for Mr. Kelley's funeral. It was a sweet celebration of life with the neighborhood. That night I met friends out to celebrate Katherine's Birthday. The thai was delicious and I loved catching up with friends I don't see as often. Tuesday I went with Abby on a field trip to Sweet Petes, the candy store. Neat doing science experiments with candy! I picked up Abu from the train station (that was a first, long ride but easy pick up and fairly cheap). Phil and I went to the open house holiday party at TCC. Amazing food and fun with friends as always! The next morning, we left at 6am via Lyft for the airport. I hadn't been sleeping well worrying about the stress of planning and orchestrating this trip. There were so many details and factors going into it all; the kids, my high maintenance husband not wanting to go at all, weather, clothes, luggage restrictions, money, logistics, etc. Whew! So we were finally on our way and got lucky that both flights were totally fine and on time! We checked into the hotel and the service was amazing! The concierge even bought us a beer! Our friends in Portland and my sister and brother had gotten us wine and treats that were waiting in our room. We put our name in at a restaurant then walked across the street to this super cool Whiskey library. We walked back to dinner at Tasty n' Alder. It was all so good but we were exhausted. We went back to the hotel for a quick nap then went to the theater to see Rupi Kaur, my favorite poet! Phil slept through the whole thing. I had to fight to keep my eyes open but she was amazing! The next morning, we met friends for breakfast at Mother's. Tracy and Rachael had flown in late Wednesday night. We were picked up by Phil (the tour guide and driver) and headed to Willamette valley for a wine tour. It was so nice! The weather was beautiful. Phil gave us a great tour of Portland as we left and then of the wine valley as we arrived. We first stopped at Domaine Serene. It was huge, new and gorgeous! We were able to compare some of their local wine with their sister company in France. That was pretty neat. Next, we went to Durant vineyards and sat outside by the fire while trying their wines. Wow! Last, we went to Roco and even bought some bottles to take home. All in all, it really was the perfect day, my actual Birthday! We went to dinner at the great place across the street from the hotel. We're still talking about the steak tar tar and amazing food! We walked to a few bars then my brother, Erik and his girlfriend, Kelley met us out! It was so flattering that they flew out to join us, too! I never did get used to the time zone. That was the only problem. Phil and I were up at 5am, ready to go! We got some donuts at Blue Star. The girl there even gave me a free one because she wanted me to try her favorite. Everyone was just so nice! We snoozed and hung out in Rachael and Tracy's room then walked to Cheryl's for breakfast. Again, wonderful service! After stuffing ourselves we walked to Powell's book store. I could have spent all day in there! Then, we started our brewery hopping. It was cold and overcast and fun to see the city. We hopped all the way across town to meet up with the Kampfe's for dinner at Farmhouse Kitchen. It was fun catching up with them! A bit more sleep but still up early for me! Rachael and I went and got donuts to take back. Then we rented a van, picked up Erik and Kelley and drove to Amboy, Washington. It was about an hour drive in the light rain. Gorgeous sights as we made our way to the Pacific Northwest bungee bridge! After about an hour of bungee school and waiting our turn, Kelley, Rachael and I jumped off the bridge! It was surreal! I can't stop watching the video (which makes my heart jump every time!) I still can't believe I did this. I've been thinking about and planning this trip for months! And it feels just so amazing! We had burgers and beer at a local restaurant after to celebrate our jump! We checked out a little hike spot after and saw a water fall. Then we drove back and returned the car. We sat in the hotel lobby just sharing our stories and basking in the endorphins. We enjoyed their happy hour and hot chocolate bar. Erik and Kelly went back to their AirB&B bc they flew out early the next day. Rachael, Tracy and I went to one of the Pods (street food) for a middle eastern dinner. Phil took a nap. Phil and I Lyfted back to the airport and took a red eye back to Chicago for an early morning layover. It was rough. Massages helped! We flew back to Jax. Matt picked us up at the airport- glad that worked out! My MIL got a ride back to Miami and will be back next weekend for Ellie's performance. I unpacked and tried to get back in order, but was running on fumes. We went to the Hershorins for dinner where they surprised me with a Birthday party! I wish I hadn't been so tired! They were super sweet and invited other friends to join us including my sister and my brother (was still in town!). That was really neat! I went to bed right after the kids and slept for almost 11 hours! This really was the perfect Birthday trip! I'm so thankful for all the people to helped me so I could leave town and for Phil for going with me! It was incredible!
Thanksgiving week! Lots of fun, family time! No dance this week so Monday we tried to put together an afternoon play date but it was kinda a bust. Charlie still came with us to the park. I tried to work on my sleep but it was an epic fail. One night I went to sleep too earl then woke up and read my book. I finished Spinning Silver. I loved it! It was like a whimsical fairy tale; Game of Thrones meets Frozen. I spent all morning Tuesday reading while the van was being worked on. It needed a new belt and oil change. That evening the fun began. So, my brother Matt has had this mysterious girlfriend for months. He wouldn't give us any details and only fleeting hints. He came in town early to hang out one night with Phil and I. Phil had a random client thing and met us at TCC. Turns out, they planned a trick on me and Phil was at the bar with Paige, a girl I used to babysit for- turns out to be Matt's girlfriend! I was so surprised! We ended up having dinner then coming back to our house for more drinks. Late night for sure! So, Wednesday was rough. My nephews, Owen and Alex spent the morning with us. It was crazy with Spot on the loose. He's been pretty bad about coming back lately. We went paddle boating and just hung out. Then we rode bikes to Mimi and Papa's for the first family Turkey Triathlon! I loved the concept and would like to make it a tradition. It was just a mile bike ride, mile run then 10 laps in the pool. OMG! That pool was SO COLD! I could hardly breath when I jumped in! After the first lap I was numb and was able to finish but I was not feeling good. I still had to bike the kids home and pick up the pie I ordered! The good news is the weather was nice so once I was out, I was fine. I took a hot shower, too. That night we had a fish fry with all the fish Matt caught. It was awesome! Paige came back over to "meet" the family. Early bedtime was great that night. On Thanksgiving we slept in. Phil made breakfast. We watched the parade. I put together a fruit salad and we headed to my parent's house for a relaxing day. Lots of eating and talking about being thankful. We were home by 5. Phil had to go to work the following morning. I went and picked up my nephew and returned bowls to a friend. We went back over for turkey sandwiches and hanging out. Phil and I had a date night at TCC for dinner that night. Matt went with Paige's family and we met up with them after. Got to have a nightcap and get to know her a little more. Saturday was relaxing. I'm getting prepped for my Birthday trip. I think that may be part of my sleep issues, too. I'm so stressed about everything working out; logistics while I'm gone, the dog, weather, Phil- whew! I am so excited, though! It's getting close! We met my childhood friend, Kelly for lunch at CFA with her daughters, husband and in-laws, the Shannon crew. It was so nice catching up with them even if my kids were being jerks. I took them to one of those indoor jump places after. I got tickets from the silent auction at the St. Matts carnival. It was awesome! Trampolines, climbing, jumping- they were wiped out afterwards! We went to the Smiths for David's Birthday and to watch UF kill FSU. It was a nice night. I was bummed we couldn't really see the boat parade but the fireworks were nice. This morning was mass, bfast with the Hershorins then we put up all our Christmas decorations.I took Aunt Susan and Uncle Bill to the MegaBus station. I went to my parents for a nightcap. Yes, so much to be thankful for!
A week of school fun. It started with me volunteering in the library on Monday for the book fair. I technically went on 3 field trips this week. Friday was two in one day. I thought Abby and Marly's was the same trip- same location and leaving school at the same time. But, Marly's grade went to the park for an early lunch and then downtown. So, I got to see the mediocre play, The Magic School Bus twice; the 10am and then the noon show. Ellie and I did the Riverkeeper boat tour for her trip. We are so spoiled living on the river! The cove via paddleboat is a much cooler tour! Voss, Spot and I went out this week and saw some huge manatees super close! My sorority sister, Sam came to visit Monday afternoon. It was nice to catch up with her and meet her son. I did take over Tuesday for MOPS and wore myself out. It's a lot to post everything all day. Book club was fun discussing the American Marriage. Elizabeth made a southern feast! I helped host a Blessing Way for one of my new MOPS friends, Lynn. I had never been to one before but it was a religious baby shower. Kina neat. Rachael, Tracy, Katie and I saw the opening night of the musical, Wicked. It was such a great show. I think the 2nd half was better than the first. The weekend was low key. We did Yappy Hour on Friday night. Phil and I got take out thai after. Saturday morning was nice and slow. Marly had her first basketball game and scored a basket! She did so well! Too bad they lost by one point! We challenged the Hershorins to a tennis match then stayed for a beer after. Ellie got a ride to Nutcracker so that was nice. We went out with Phil's bank friends last night. Everyone's excited about the grand opening of Cogent this week so lots to celebrate. He's got a good group of bankers. This morning we got to mass early so the girls could serve. Bfast with the Hershorins at TCC again; makes Phil happy. I paid the girls to wash the van and they did an awesome job! The Nixons had us over for an oyster roast to celebrate Mark's Birthday. Fun catching up with them- and you know I'm a sucker for oysters! Early bedtimes tonight for all!
Oh wow; and now it's cold! Lots of hot chocolate was consumed this week! I made a squash soup with my farm box produce. I ate it all week long- yeah I was the only one. I made a chicken soup this week, too. Winter coats are out! Tuesday I had an interview with Visiting Angels. I'm moving forward slowly with that. I have to complete 40 hours of online training first and that is happening very slowly. I might have completed 30min so far. I plan to work about 9 hours a week visiting older, homebound people and helping with regular chores and tasks and keeping them company. I think that will be good for me and bring in a little cash to take some pressure off of my banker. The interview was quick and easy. Wednesday I went walking in the mall (out of the cold) with my friend, Sherry. It was nice to catch up. It was early release day and I went home with a minivan full of children. I soon regretted it. It wasn't the sort of bunch that entertained themselves. There was a lot of chaos- mostly with my own children. I tried to kick them all out to play but it was cold. The good news is that half of the children had excellent manners and gave me hope for humanity. What doesn't give me hope for humanity is listening to the Trump impeachment trials. It's a circus! That night Trexler and I went to Silver Cow for open mic poetry night. She presented two poems so that was super cool. I brought my own chair and wore yoga pants which was a definite game changer! Thursday morning I went to Rachael's stepdad's funeral. It was a nice service. I was glad to be there to support her; she even gave a little speech. Tracy and I enjoyed a Mojos lunch date at the reception. It turned out to be a delightful morning. The service was actually at Voss' preschool so I walked over to pick him up after. Friday I went to the town center for a MOPS coordinator coffee. It was nice to meet another coordinator and share ideas. After I hit up Costco, met Phil for lunch and saw the new bank. It's actually happening! That night we did a family movie night watching the new Lady and the Tramp with the Disney Plus deal. Saturday morning was lazy. Then I took Ellie and Kennedi with me. I played in a tennis match out near their Nutcracker practice. We lost, but it was still fun. I walked to the library during their practice. I swapped kids and cars and went back over the Buckman to my friend from high school's Birthday party. Missy was one of the valedictorians so there were lots of super smart people at her party. Fun to see some high school friends! Phil took Ellie to a sleepover then played tennis. Later we went to the Napoleons for a wine dinner. This morning we got up and went to mass. We picked Ellie up on the way. They served and we saw a Baptism. My nephew, Henry was baptized this weekend, too! Ellie got her 3rd compliment this morning so we spent all day moving rooms, going through toys and clothes (again). It's a terrible process but feels good once it's done! Now Ellie has her own room back. Marly and Voss share a room now and Abigail has her own. We went to the Hershorins for a vegetarian chili dinner and caught up with the Smiths. Nice ending for a wintery night!