Monday we had a MOPS meeting- a marriage wisdom panel. Bunny and Wyndam are always so good. My old employer, Mrs. Trammel gave some words of wisdom for the single-ish moms. The 3rd couple had only been married 8 years, but I could agree with much of what they said. Nonetheless, it was all so good to absorb. Busy afternoon shuttling children around town and playing at parks. Tuesday I met my friend, Renee for lunch and saw another friend, Lindsay there. It's a whole other world without children in tow! The rain and the wind came as Hurricane Michael approached the panhandle. My brother, Matt evacuated here. It was nice to spend some time with him, although he was worried. Other than a tree on his garage, I think his place is okay. He got lucky. But we are still waiting to hear for sure. I went to a friend's divorce party. Complete with a cake and temp tats. It's a good thing, don't worry. I went to Kate's to watch her do some vinyl cutting, had lunch with Phil and worked on some monogramming. I got to go to a fun girls night decorating for Halloween at the new Sulzbacher Village, then drinks at a fun brewery. Friday was more of a lazy day. I dropped the ball on planning something fun to do. So we walked around at a pumpkin patch, got my oil changed and new breaks then met Phil for lunch again. That afternoon Phil and I headed to Marywood for another Engaged Encounter weekend. We had 13 couples complete the weekend. It's so inspirational watching them with their young love, work on their relationships. It just makes me feel good about the world. It also allows us to tune up our marriage. We did some writing as well. Lots of laughs, feel good moments and relaxation. The weather was perfect, too. We carved and baked some pumpkin yesterday. The Smiths came over for chili and to watch the Jags loose. If only the temp would go back down those few degrees so we can keep playing "fall"!
The weather may have dipped about 5 degrees, but we are calling it fall and rolling with it! Voss and I went to the zoo and pretty much saw the whole place. I finally wisely started with the Tigers. We even saw the Thomas the Train 4D movie. Busy ballet Monday with park play in-between. I did an impromptu girls night on Monday night and it was maybe even a little chilly to swim. The conversation felt good and the wine was delish. I got in a great run (my hip has finally stopped hurting), quick meeting at church and then picked up the older two for a dentist appointment. Cavities for Ellie and sealants for Marly mean we need to make another visit, which I'm really not looking forward to. Voss and I checked out a new story time near the train park. I was bummed we never saw a train. But Voss loved playing outside. Wednesday was my Godson, Owen's Birthday. We met the cousins for ice cream after school and even got to visit a Halloween store after. It was a dash to dance then religion after. Phil and I got in a sushi date (with Voss). I went running with my pal, April- then a coffee chat. Painter, Luis finally showed up after a 6 month disappearance. So, the house is finally done. Thursday night I went to a happy hour to learn about See the Girl. It made me feel good to know great things are happening right around us- but still a good gut check outside my bubble. And intelligent conversation with wine always fills my cup! Maybe I stayed out too late, though. My friend Anne saved me with some 'hair of the dog' on Friday morning. A chilly morning at the pool! I had a home room parent meeting that afternoon. That evening was the Wine and 9 at TCC. We played with the Smiths. Gorgeous evening, even if we did come in DFL. I played some good golf, though. The others must be cheating! Fun night at the club- ending with the kids running around the lawn way past bedtime with glow sticks! Saturday was relaxing in the morning. We headed out to Amazing Grace Crop Maze. It was typical FL fall, but not as bad as it's been. Pumpkin patch, hayride, cow train, petting zoo, BBQ, jump zone and snow cones in the crop maze! We all took a much needed break that afternoon. We met friends up at TCC for dinner. We watched FSU loose then crashed a wedding. The coolest was watching them leave via helicopter! Sunday was mass and breakfast while Phil played golf. We went to the Kuders to watch the Jags loose. Ellie and I snuck out to see Harry Potter at the Symphony. It was such a neat experience, her first time at the symphony! She now wants a wizard cape! Phil and I watched the season premier of the Walking Dead- meh...But it did make me feel in the season!
I finally got to go to my first MOPS meeting of my last year in MOPS. I missed the official first meeting because I was in LA. So, this was really the 2nd meeting. Cindy Trainer was the speaker and gave a great talk on women's health. It was very informative and inspirational- as MOPS tends to do. One thing I loved was just remembering that we're all going through pretty much the same sort of things; that's comforting. That evening we had book club, an awesome discussion for Rupi Kaur's The Sun and her Flowers. We even had an after party! I'm trying to convince Phil to go to one of her poetry readings with me! We had such an awesome discussion about women. Tuesday was my Dad's 71st Birthday. After a run and a grocery store trip, I got to have lunch with my parents and my brother. Matt was in town this week for eye surgery. So, we got to visit with him a bunch. I had a brunch and bubbly gathering with some mom friends using my china and crystal. It was so nice. Sherry even came to do some massages. We watched the Kavanaugh & Ford debacle. Lots of great conversations! You know I love that kina stuff! But, the sad thing has been some nasty knock-down drag outs I've seen on Facebook. It's been rough. I wish we could all just come together and support each other. Friday, Voss and I helped pull weeds at school, got a haircut, hit the park then had lunch at school with the girls. That evening we did a family tennis party at TCC. It was really neat! Saturday morning we took it easy. Phil made breakfast. We did a girls run. My wonderful neighbors took the older girls to lunch and a movie. Phil took the younger two to Ikea. I went to a baby shower for my pal, Katie Hoggatt. I even got in an afternoon nap! That afternoon we went back to TCC for the low country boil. The kids got to go a spy camp thing. That was cool. I was picturing newspaper with the low country boil dumped on it. Oh no, they went all out! There was even a raw bar! You know how I love those raw oysters! Live music, gorgeous (even if it was hot!) night, cold beer, fab food, awesome conversation (another smart table of women)- it was a great night! I came home, put the kids in bed and wasted some time watching The Walking Dead (season 8)- when did it become so horrible?! This morning we did mass and breakfast then headed out for a family day at the beach. It was total bliss! I love swimming in the ocean when it's rough and being reminded of how small I am compared to the Atlantic ocean. What an amazing feeling! We took showers, had dinner, said the rosary on the way home and put the kids in bed. So much to smile about!
This week was full of some momming so hard moments. Yes, there are times when I slack. Phil caught me eating chips and watching TV one afternoon- looking all lazy. But then there are times when I am killing it at mom-ing. On Monday, Voss and I went to the zoo on a boys play date. It's always a great place to be. The new ape exhibit was awesome! I got out of making dinner that night thanks to spirit night at Metro diner. I got to go to lunch with a bunch of fun women to celebrate Stephanie and Molly's Birthdays. Tracy and Tabby came over for a play date on Wednesday. It was so fun to catch up! I've been doing great getting 10K steps every day. A few times I had to walk around the house before bed to knock it out. You should have seen me reading my book on my phone while doing laps in the St. Matt's parking lot during the girls religion class. But, I got the steps in! Thursday was the day I was killing in. I ran, weeded and re-mulched the flower beds in the front of the house and put together the new couch we got! I even made a pot roast for dinner (but it took 9 solid hours in the crock pot since it was extra-frozen). It was still a win for the day. The bonus is that the kids love playing in the boxes that the couch came in. They have been entertained all weekend with those things! Wait til you see the new living room in the pictures below. I just love it! I know having a white couch is nuts (and it already needs to be cleaned), but I can just unzip and throw in the washing machine. Let's hope it's that easy! And we won't talk about how disgusting those old couches were! Friday I hosted a boy play date. That night was a Married People night out. Phil and I got an awesome date of golf and dinner at TCC. Saturday was a lazy morning. The girls had friends over and played in the boxes. We did demo day at TCC and Phil got some new clubs. That afternoon we did a progressive dinner party with some TCC friends. We got picked up and started at the Creels with fried gator. Then we came here for shrimp and grits and some of Matt's fish I traded. We ended at the Kuders to watch their football game and celebrate Marlen's Birthday. It was a fun night! A late night waiting for Claire to get back from MomCon and pick up her husband and Wayne. I think his truck is still parked at our house! My brother Matt is in town for eye surgery. He came with us to mass on Sunday morning. We headed over to the Smiths for a bit of tailgating then headed to the stadium for the Jags game. I was so excited to sit in the terrace suites- I'd never been in there before! It was so hot- Definitely a great place to watch the game! Just a bummer that we lost. Last night we helped prepare a dinner to celebrate my Dad's 71st Birthday. I fried okra. Matt did the surf and turf. Suzanne got pralines from Savannah. It was nice to have a family dinner. We did a night cap on the dock after, which was so neat. So much to celebrate!
Just when I was trying to get back into the swing of things...
Jet lag is a thing- I pretended like I was still vacationing drinking wine at night, staying up too late, forgetting to parent, binge watching Homeland- oh man what a week! I lucked out with a Tuesday to ease into everything. After dropping off all the kids at school I went on a run and came back to find Phil had come home from work with a stomach bug. Voss was sick on Monday, but I totally missed it since my fabulous pal, Laurie took care of him. So, Phil was out for a few days. I tried to nurse him but mostly I was mean and unsupportive. Voss and I went to Sherry's splash park for a play date on Wednesday. I was snoozing on the couch when the school called- I totally forgot about early release day #momfail. That night was the first religion class. Trying to work on the scheduling for that. Voss and I ended up playing in the parking lot. I finished reading Girl, Wash Your Face. There wasn't much I didn't already know- but it was nice hearing it all again in a funny, uplifting read. That night Abby was up throwing up, but seemed to puke and rally and was fine after that. My parents have some friends in town evacuating Hurricane Florence. Glad we dodged a bullet this time, but my heart goes out to all of them. It was just a year ago that Irma flipped us upside down! On Friday I went to Anne's for a play date. It was so nice catching up with her. We even got in a little walk. I've been trying for the 10K steps a day. I've gotta get back into that! After I picked up the girls from school, we headed out to Kassie's farm. Two cows just had babies so we went to visit, help with chores and look for "dinosaur" bones. It's always so neat going out there! I started feeling a little queezy on my way back. We met some friends for dinner at Lillians- perfect since we came right from the farm! Half-way through dinner, I realized the stomach bug hit me, too. No fun. The next 24 hours was total payback for me not being more supportive when Phil was sick. It was miserable. I'm not sure I'm back to 100% tonight, but I'm on the way. And it really gives me an appreciation for feeling good again! I canceled our sitter for Saturday night and Phil headed out with fun friends for a Birthday dinner. They were sweet sending texts and pictures missing me, but man did I have some FOMO! We went to mass on Sunday then headed out for a day at the beach. It was a gorgeous day. We saw the Bentons and Dearings out there, too. So right when our kids were about the loose it, they started having fun all over again. It was nice. A rain storm got us out of the pool and we showered off and came home. We watched the end of the Jags game (beat the Patriots!) and said the rosary together. Not my most fun weekend, but like I said it made me appreciate the good times even more.
Tuesday and Wednesday flew right by. i had a meeting with Fr. Jose and some other church friends to work on details for our new Date Night ministry at St. Matts. We park hopped during Ellie's acro class. It's so hot still! Wednesday was a MOPS open house- nice to feel like MOPS is back even if I missed a fab girls night and the first meeting of the year. I packed up and organized life and on Thursday morning, Matt picked up me (a little late thanks to me missing my alarm) and Suzanne and we drove to Orlando to take a direct flight to LAX. A Fab Five trip in the books! We Lyfted with my pal, Meghan to an AirB&B house Katie and Steve hooked us up with. It was fabulous! I somehow got to sleep in the master suite- my own king sized bed. There was a pool and jacoozie for night caps. I mean this was amazing! They even did the grocery shopping! Meanwhile, on the home front there were a few snafus- Abby left at school, two people picking up Marly and Ellie maybe getting left at a grandmother's house. But the village rallied and all my people were taken care of lovingly! The first night, Erik's pal hooked us up with entrance into the Magic Castle, this mansion of mystery. I am not into that stuff, but I was really impressed. I even adopted the "make your own confetti" gig. The next day, thanks to EST I was ready for a trail run bright and early. SQ and Matt came with. Matt made his eggs ranchero after for breakfast. Soon after, Erik and Kelley arrived and we went out for our first adventure. We hiked the Solstice canyon then went to El Matador Beach in Malibu then drove along the Pacific Coast Highway to Venice Beach for an awesome lunch at ChaCha Chicken. We rented bikes and headed to Venice beach. It reminded me of South Beach, not my jam but super cool to see. I got a flight at a local bar and loved some of those local beers (especially Cali Creamin'). After a long drive in traffic back to the house "Uncle" Steve cooked us an awesome chicken piccata for dinner. We weren't able to rally for a night out. The next morning we went out to breakfast and then saw Erik's studio. We found the secret stairs and got a great view of the Hollywood sign. We went to the Griffith Observatory for some awesome views. I would love to go back there at night and check out that telescope! We did tacos and ice cream for lunch. Katie and Steve went back for a breather, the rest of us (minus SQ on her phone) checked out Echo park and then this cool 70's bar that we had to enter via a refrigerator. The weather was perfect! Nice and sunny, but no humidity! We headed back for some pool time before a night out. Matt's friend came to join the party. We saw Erik's improv show at 2nd City. I may be biased, but I think he's the best. I was happy to sit front and center to see him. After the show we had Mexican for dinner then did some bar hopping- a tiki bar, a keg bar and then my fav, the Firefly. I even got some clubbing in! We had a fabulous walk back to the house and I was the last one in the hot tub. Sunday we went to mass. Wow, the music was like a show I would pay for! Amazing! Total LA style with a lecture in yoga pants and altar servers in skate shoes. But, I loved it. This guy nailed the homily, too. I loved sitting with my bloody mary by the pool after mass just chatting with my siblings- that might be one of my snap shot favs. We did an escape room that afternoon. We were so close to escaping! It was harder than I thought it was going to be. But totally inspired me to work on a scavenger hunt for Christmas! We went to Angel brewery after that. I loved it! Live music gets me every time, but this chick is really fabulous. We did korean BBQ for dinner. It was different, yet tasty! Monday morning consisted of flying back across the country. Matt hooked us up with his VIP treatment while we waited for our flight. A little bumpy then some rain on the drive home. All in all it was a wonderful trip. I feel so much closer to my siblings and loved getting to see some of the west coast. I'm thankful for Phil for being so supportive and an amazing dad so I could dip out. And all the friends helping move children from place to place and even my pal, Laurie for cleaning up some Voss throw-up! What a team! I really am a lucky gal!
Here we are again; another Labor Day weekend. Looking back at another fun summer. It doesn't feel like it- but fall is approaching. This was the first week of dance. We're working on a new routine. It's still too hot to park hop but we did it anyway. I need to figure out a new after school system as there were many hiccups. Lots of temper tantrums, ballet shoes don't fit, sweating in the heat, forgotten snacks and dinner not ready. Take 2! Voss and I had a play date with his pal, Niko. For book club we had an awesome discussion for the Immoralist. I had a few mornings off with the gym, working on baby books, voting and cocktails in the pool with some gal pals. We went to a splash park one morning, too. Another morning I had coffee with my pal, Aubree while Voss got all the toys to himself. I'm still obsessed with Homeland and blowing through episodes. I got a flu shot and felt flu-ish for a solid day after. At least it forced me into an early bedtime. The girls had their open house at school. It was stressful dashing from class to class and keeping up with the 3 of them! We packed up on Friday afternoon and came over to Panama City to visit my brother, Matt. The kids loved playing in the river in his backyard- fishing and on the paddleboard. We drove to Port St. Joe yesterday and tried to go scalloping but we got skunked. So, we're saying we went snorkeling. Matt has a friend with a house on the bay so we parked there and dragged all our floats and gears out. It was so rough so we ended up just walking it all out. We saw lots of scallop pieces, but none ready to grab. We did see lots of other cool things, though. A bit of barnacle carnage and we were ready for lunch. After some fish tacos in our belly we were ready to try again. We hit up 2 more locations with no luck. Matt grilled some awesome fish he had caught instead. It was neat to see him in his element and catch up. A nice, low-key weekend! Packing up the car to head home, I dropped my phone and cracked it. So, it sat in a repair shop for a few days. Blah! I was so frustrated! We did a nice, family bike ride on Sunday evening. Monday we spent the day at the pool. It was the last day. It's been demolished this week. They are re-doing it! But this was the last time to play in the baby pool and jump off the diving board. So, we did a lot of that and swimming in the rain. We did dinner on the terrace then watched FSU loose against VT for our opening game. So sad, but still a nice day celebrating Labor Day.
For 9 years I've been going to and hosting play dates, park hopping, going to library story times and going on toddler and baby adventures all around town. Things are a changin' for this mama! Voss had his orientation on Monday for pre-school. We saw his classroom and met some friends. Voss is in the same classroom all of his sisters have been in when they were 3! We love the blue door! We did a mega Costco run then headed home for naptime. Tuesday was his first day of school. I actually cried a little when I got in the car- he said, "You're actually just going to leave me here?" and then Nora Jones was playing in the car and I just lost it. After a bit I got my act together. I went to the gym at TCC, swam some laps then sat on a float in the pool. It was glorious! I took a shower then picked him up. I did that on Thursday, too. He had a great first day! I think he's going to be happy at school. And they are so sweet there! It's still kina surreal that I have 2 mornings off a week. It sure does fly by, though! We did some after school play dates this week before dance starts up. We had our MOPS small group play date at Emily's house. Ellie and Marly had friends over on Wednesday. Ellie went to Cora's on Thursday. Phil went to Orlando on Wednesday for work. I took the kids to dinner at TCC. We were pretty much asked to leave. We had a Friends of Stockton meeting. My parents hung out with Voss one morning while I went to a meet and greet for Karen Nuland. On Friday we went to Tiffany's for a boys play date. That night was the MOPS & POPS kick off party. I got to meet a bunch of new MOPS friends. I slept in on Saturday. Phil made breakfast. We had a lazy morning. We paddled over to the Hollands for Blake and Cody's Birthday bash. We spent the day in the pool/in the river over there. They really know how to throw a good party! We went to wine club last night- sipping summer wines. Today we went to mass then breakfast then back to the pool for Sunday Funday. The mass shooting downtown dampened our spirits some. I went to happy hour with some girl friends, then Phil went to play soccer. Burgers on the grill with some watermelon- the last week of summer!
This was the first week of school for the girls! Ellie is in 4th grade, Marly in 2nd and Abigail started kindergarten! Everyone has good teachers and is excited and seem very happy. I think it's going to be a great year! So far, Ellie is the only one with homework and it's already coming on strong (which, I think is great for her- she's very motivated!) Other than the afternoon over-tired, grumpiness, it's been a good week! The whole family helped with drop off on the first day. Voss and I went to the yahoo/boo hoo breakfast then headed out to do some chores. We turned in paperwork for his first day next week! Tuesday we did story time and then lunch with Phil to see his new office. It's still temporary space, but not a dining room table. Wednesday and Thursday we went to the Adventure Landing water park. Soaking up the last days of summer! I had a meeting with some people to discuss a new marriage ministry at St. Matthews. So, that's underway. I got to have a play date with my gal pals and catch up with them. That's always so good for the soul! I got in a few runs, but my hip is still hurting. I think I need to take it easy another week or so. We went to Atlanta for the Wojeski-Warren wedding. About 2 years ago, my friend, Meghan's sister was dumped by her serious boyfriend. To help get her mind off of things and lift her spirits, we took her out for a night of fun in Jax. Turns out the ex had some FOMO and did some serious thinking that weekend. They got back together the following week. Back to present day- and look who got invited to the wedding! Ha! We stayed downtown at Loews. Fun night meeting wedding friends and checking out the city. The next morning we did breakfast at the amazing Flying Biscuit then run off some energy at Piedmont park. My amazing Aunt Susan took the kids for the evening and spoiled them rotten! We got to have a really nice break. I even finished reading The Immoralists, listened to some jazz and we headed to the wedding. It was gorgeous! The flowers, food, ambience- just amazing! We're so flattered to have been included! We slept in a bit and picked up the kids and drove back to Jax. We were able to do a Sunday Funday at the pool with dinner on the terrace. What a nice week!
We spent the first half of the week in Navarre. Tracy and I had it down to a great routine. We'd try our best to sleep in- Voss and Abby, not so much. I even had a cup of cheerios and the remote on Nick Jr. ready to occupy them as long as I could. I feel like I've been seeing the Navarre sunrise for years! We'd head to the beach for the morning then the pool for a dip then up for lunch. Sandwiches, iced coffee and chips and cherries. Then a nap for Voss, TV for the others and reading time for Tracy and I. Then, back out for an afternoon at the beach. When we almost melted, back to the pool then out for a quick, seafood dinner. Bedtime for the kiddos then wine on the balcony for Tracy and I while star gazing. It was a fabulous momcation! We came back to Jax on Wednesday and even high 5'd by parents on I-10! That night I had a membership committee meeting. Ellie went to Chloe's sleepover. I'm getting caught up on Homeland. Thursday I hosted a river play date to discuss Jen Hatmaker's 7. Last minute piano lesson, a trip to the mall to fix my phone, afternoon thunderstorms and grilled steak from the cow we've been feeding to end the evening. Awesome! Friday was our school orientation for the girls. We got to meet their teachers and drop off school supplies. It was pretty overwhelming. It's going to be hard keeping up with 3 classes! I'm grateful they are in the same school! The older girls went to a sleepover and I hosted a kindergarten meet and greet for Abby's new pals. We had about a dozen parents. Aaron jazzed the party up by arriving via jetski and took kids tubing. I think I had more fun than the kids. Especially since Abby spent most of the party in her room on youtube. After an afternoon trip to Walmart to get last minute supplies, the younger two had an early bedtime. Phil and I got some Papa Johns and watched Homeland. Saturday was so lazy. It was nice! Phil picked up the girls, took Ellie to another Birthday party and Voss for a haircut. Ellie and I went to confession. Then afternoon at the pool. Another early night. Today we went to mass, breakfast then to Sawgrass for a beach day- the last day of summer break for the girls! Kindergarten, 2nd and 4th grade- here we come!