It rained for pretty much the whole swim meet- with the rain delay it started late. Which means it ran late. Past bedtime. Then we went to dinner at TFs with the team. I'm so proud of the girls, though! They are swimming so well! I did my last training session for my tri this weekend early Wednesday with a run and swim. Abigail's first week of swim team went well. She loves it! We did an expensive and chaotic Costco run for lunch. We did kids night at TCC. It was awesome watching the rain come in! I helped watch a friend's kids on Thursday at the pool. My head was spinning after a few hours for sure! We brought dinner to my pal, Chrissy and got to meet her new baby, Van. Marly especially loved holding him. Voss loved playing with all his big brother's toys. Phil and I went on a date that night in St. Augustine to see the Gypsy Kings. I think it was the best show I've been to! Our seats were awesome, the ambiance was fantastic! Friday we did swim team then picked up my race packet and dropped off my bike then headed to a friend's Sweet Pete's Birthday party. It was the perfect thing for a rainy afternoon! We went to the 50th Anniversary of the West Jax Rotary Club that night. It was a good party with some great conversations. I went to bed early and was up super early for the Jax Sprint Triathalon! I rode with the Hershorins out to Amelia Island. I was pretty nervous waiting for my heat to enter the water, but it was a good race. The swim was a bit harder than I thought it was going to be. The bike was long, but not horrible. Keri's bike was fabulous! Then the run was just as brutal as I remembered. It made me happy to pass Brian! And guess what, I got 4th in my athena category! Isn't that crazy?! I'm so proud of myself! It was a long ride back, but I met my family at the Suter's for a pool party- maybe welcoming Tracy's mom to Jax after her retirement! Today was nice and relaxing for Father's Day. We went to mass then breakfast. Phil took the older girls to play golf. I stayed home while the younger two napped. I started reading the next book club book. We put the kids to bed early and then got Latin House grill take out and are now watching movies. A great R&R day! My dad is out of town so we'll have to celebrate later.
Tracy and I did well with our beach vacation. We worked well together. We had a good routine going with beach, pool, lunch break then back out for more beach and pool. Thanks to Juan, the chair guy- we found a few new neat seafood dinner spots. At night we'd sit on the balcony with our boxed wine. It was fabulous. One night there was an awesome lightning storm! My cousin, Dane and her son Michael came out to visit for an afternoon at the beach. The weather was overcast the first half of the trip. That worked well to keep us cool. The last half was sunny and it got hot. Although, floating in the gulf is a great way to beat the heat! The kids got along so well. It was just nice. Maybe it was a sign that the van died on our way out. Packed up, ready to go with 6 kids is no joke when the car doesn't start! Angel Stephen jumped us and we were on our way. I learned you can fill a car up with gas while it's running! We made it back to Jax, dropped off the Suters and headed to Engaged Encounter for our monthly meeting. That night we dropped the car at the dealer (we had to get jumped again to get out of there). We got up early on Saturday for the first River Rat swim meet. I'm so proud of my super swimmers! Phil left for a tennis tournament and dropped us back to get the car. We finally got out of there at 5:30 with a new battery! I lyfted to meet Phil at his tennis tournament party. Awesome Latin band and food out at Deerwood! Sunday was mass in the gym and then my roommate from college, Julia came over with donuts and her family. It was so great to catch up with them! We went to the Suters and Hershorins for swimming and Sunday Funday. I headed to my parents for wine and photo storage help. On Monday Julia and family came back over for river fun. Marly had the second round of gifted testing- results TBD. I had a meeting to help plan an EPS event- in the rain at the Glass House with all 4 kids. Pretty nuts! After a spaghetti dinner and clean up, I fled to book club. We discussed the Dry. Kat made stuffed shells, lemon pizza and this amazing Heath bar cake! This morning we had double river rats- the big rats practice at FYC then Abigail's first practice at TCC. She loves it! So cute! We went to coffee club at the Kasper's to discuss US prisons, specifically this documentary. It was a great convo! We facetimed Abu to wish her a Happy Birthday! Lots of singing! Now we are having some down time before our 2nd swim meet!
Maybe we had too much fun this week? (Is there really such thing?!) Tuesday Abigail had some pals from school over for a play date. It was like a double date! They played together so well. I got to do laundry and read my book. Yes! That night Phil and I had a hot double date with Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds. We were so lucky to have friends sell us their extra tickets. The new amphitheater is really nice. It was such a good show. I do think I like the band better, though. We went for a drink after with the Cochrans, then Krystal's. Thus the title of this post! Wednesday was a MOPS play date blueberry picking. It was hot but so neat with the younger two. They both ate all that they picked, I'm sure! It was early release that afternoon for the big kids; their last week of school! Thursday I ran the kids to school for the last time as kindergarten and 2nd grader. We had a low key day eating blueberry muffins. That night was the MOPS kick off dinner. Jessica gave such a wonderful talk about bravery and freedom- it gave me chills! I always love hearing everyone's stories. Good times with new friends= fireball at Lillian's, thus the title of this post! Friday was the meet the newbies pool party play date for MOPS. I enjoyed meeting the newbies. Jan made us all visors! It was also the girl's last day of school! So they came to the pool party, too. We had an impromptu play date with the Clements. Swim team was mostly rained out. The older girls went to a Girl Scouts pamper lock in. We took the younger two to a cook out with some high school friends. I graduated from high school 19 years ago, so we celebrated. It was so great to re-connect with everyone! Saturday I practiced on my bike, Phil made breakfast, we picked up the girls. We went to TCC for a friend's pool Birthday party. Then the older girls and I went to JU to drop off their bikes and pick up their race packets for their triathlon! We did an early bedtime for the kids and mafia game night for the adults. Ahem, 2am again! You know I rallied for the kids tri. That event was super cool! I almost cried I was so proud of my strong girls! We took quick showers and made it to mass. Then we packed up and headed over to pick up the Suter girls. My parent's beach condo had a last minute opening. Phil can't get off of work so we invited friends to join us. A week at the beach is a great way to kickoff the summer!
Monday started the week nicely with the last flag raising at Stockton. The little and I went for a run then to Meghan's baby shower- which was really a glorified play date. It was super hot but I had such a nice time catching up with everyone. It finally rained that evening. It was Abigail's ballet recital. We got a babysitter with the Cutlips and Trexlers (for Voss). Abigail was so cute up there! We went for a late burger & shake dinner after. Tuesday was a river run and story time. Abigail came with us since she was out of school. Park after then the last tennis clinic and swim team. It rained pretty much all day on Wednesday. I camped out at my parents house while our house was cleaned. It was nice to spend time with them. We had a week of awards ceremonies. That night was the tennis banquet. We haven't been doing tennis very long, but it was neat that we were still able to attend and all 3 girls got medals! Monday was Abigail's ballet recital. Thursday morning was Marly's awards ceremony at school. She got a citizenship award (like all A's for conduct!) and all E's (which is like all A's) and an outstanding music award. We are so proud of her! That evening was the girl scout awards ceremony- they didn't actually have a ceremony (only for bridging), which was a bummer- but they did receive an envelope of patches they've earned. They had their party, too. Friday was Ellie's awards ceremony. She also received a citizenship award, A&B honor roll award, running club and then a trophy for participating in student council (that was news to me!). We are so proud of these girls and all the hard work they've been doing in school. We did have some attitude issues, though. So much that we skipped swimming on Thursday and went right home on Friday after swim practice. We have to keep working on this. It might be a long summer! Saturday I was like a drill sergeant and made the family do a bike and run practice (the kids tri is next weekend!) We went to the Suters for swimming and ribs. Ellie and Marly left that evening for camping with the girl scouts. It was so odd not having them with us for 2 nights! I think they had a great time, but today was rough- I know they are tired! Sunday we did mass and my parents met us for breakfast. We boated to FYC for a day of fun! Pizza for dinner! This morning we took it easy. The Suters came for breakfast. We picked the girls up and headed to TCC for Memorial Day fun. Summer is officially upon us!
to I am wiped out this week! We've been having some attitude problems with the girls, like maybe even in age order. There's been a lot of walking home, no ipad and no (well less) fun activities planned. I've been laying down in the girl's room with them at bedtime to stop the chatter (thinking maybe they were over-tired). It's been tough to stay awake and get out of there. One night I barely made it to my own bed! Staying at home means lots of time to do dishes and laundry and organize rooms...only to notice that they are right back to where they were before. That's why I like to do things out of the house! The grocery store was a nightmare this week. Voss threw such a temper tantrum that he smacked his lip on the steering wheel of the cart and bled all over the place. After cleaning him up I rushed to the freezer section to give him a popscicle to ice it down (not at all the reward he deserved for his tantrum). But, what can I do? Monday night we had book club to discuss The Woman in Cabin 10. It was a page turner for sure! Unfortunately, the conversation wasn't amazing. The following morning was coffee club and that was a great conversation (with many of the same people, which is cool). We discussed racial segregation which led to heath care and racial tension even back to Trump vs Hillary. I think it was a good meeting. We do need more conservative people in coffee club, though. We are ganging up and that's not good. Swim team has officially begun! So now we have pool time in the afternoons, too. Tuesday was a bit hectic with tennis, too. And Abigail had a big week of ballet with a studio rehearsal and a dress rehearsal downtown today. She is so cute! I got stood up for a zoo play date. That's okay, Voss and I enjoyed time together riding the train around the zoo. He's so cute when he says, "hug me, mama". Which really means he wants me to carry him. Ha! The big girls had a muffins with mom at school, which was pretty sweet. I spent the rest of the morning running long over due errands- delivering a graduation and wedding gift and the post office. Abigail had her last day of pre-K 3. Maybe if I lingered I would have gotten sad. But I hugged her teachers and told them I'd see them again in 2 years (for Voss)! Ellie was in the talent show on Thursday. A bunch of girls in her class did this dance. It was cute and Ellie was thrilled! We went to Lillians for the after party with the Hogans. Too late! Friday the little kids and I went on an awesome MOPS play date to Adventure Landing water park. Abigail was super brave going on all the big slides! Voss was a champ, too on all the slides! This week his swimming has taken off. Maybe the water has finally warmed up. Maybe it's being in the pool every day. He's doing great! After swim team on Friday we came home and had leftovers for dinner- everyone got something different. Early bedtime, yay! Phil and I got sersi's and watched Spotlight. It sure made me sad! Phil made Saturday morning breakfast, we did a girls run, then packed up and headed to the Nocatee Water Park with Coach Jen (our swim teacher) and her husband. That place is amazing! I get why people move out there, now! There was something for everyone at this place! A few different kiddie splash pools, slides, beach entry pools, a lazy river, bars, a zip line, even monkey bars going across the pool! It was such a fun day! We had to come back for the Friends of Stockton picnic. Singers, a fire truck, food trucks and lots of friends. I left from there to go to my first Hearts of a Feather girls night, at DESC. From there I went to Walmart to buy a Birthday gift and a few groceries. Today was mass, breakfast with a bunch of Hoggatts, Phil took the older girls to a sketch Birthday party. I took Abigail to her dress rehearsal then the big girls to their last triathlon practice. I'm so proud of them! Home just in time for a rainy evening. Of course that's not all! Tijuana Flats take out, family rosary, then Phil and I took turns at Zazen. Time for bed now!
It was the last week of the Starry Eyed MOPS 2016-17 year and today is Mother's Day. How fitting that these things fall on the same week. The meeting on Monday was emotionally exhausting. Moms took turns standing up and saying what MOPS means to them. Stephanie gave an awesome speech that brought me to tears. This group is really powerful. We also got to do some pampering facials, nails and body scrubs. The after party was at Kim's parent's house to swim. I had the Nixon twins to spice up the afternoon. That night the Yazdiyas came over for an after dinner drink. It was so fun catching up with them! It's been pretty smokey due to the fires in Georgia. That means no night runs for me or park time for Voss. We played in the library after story time. I did lots of trim painting and getting the house jazzed up to host a party this weekend. It was a good excuse to get items crossed off my "to do" list. The smoke was better by Wednesday so we went to the zoo. The girls had their last religion class and a party that night. Thursday, Phil and I went on a date to the TPC. It was hot but we got hooked up by one of Phil's clients in their chalet on the 17th hole. It was so nice! It was such a fun day. The Cutlips helped with the littles in the morning then the babysitter, Kayla helped in the afternoon. We came home just in time to see Marly's tula presentation for girl scouts. Friday was Abigail's end of the year program and ice cream party. After school we went swimming at the Suter's. The plan was the wear the kids out but that sorta back fired. There was lots of running around as we kicked off the MOPS End of the Year party at our house. Catered by Tijuana Flats, about 40-50 MOPS & POPS! So much fun! We were slow on Saturday. We canceled our plan to go to a water park because of the weather forecast. However, it never rained! What a bummer! We ended up going to the Suter's with the Hershorins for more swimming, parafin pampering and meat on a stick. This morning I got to sleep in, which was so nice! There was a special Mother's Day mass (in the gym as they re-do the church). We met my parents and sister for brunch. That was really nice! Dad took us on an afternoon boat ride. The older girls and I rode bikes to school for the 2nd triathlon practice. They are really doing well! We rode over to the Holland's after for swim and dinner. It was nice catching up with them. Such a great way to close out the week. I know motherhood is hard and weird. But with the support of my awesome MOPS group and my mother as a terrific role model, I have the confidence to rock this phase. I'm actually having fun!
This week was special because it was sprinkled with visits with my brother, Matt. We were pretty close growing up since he is only a year and a half younger than me. I have lots of memories of us playing in the woods near our house, sneaking out and starting fires in the park, driving past the speed limit listening to Metallica and going on night runs in the summertime. Now that we're grown up, I hardly see him and feel like I hardly know him. He works a lot and lives on the other side of the country. So, having him home all week was a real treat. I know he came home for a break so I tried not to bother him too much with my huge, loud, overwhelming family. I went to SSI for a MOPS play date at the beach on Monday. It was a long trip- but nice once we got out there. I caravanned with my pal, Vanessa. Lots of babies running in the wind at the beach! Matt came over that evening to visit with the kids. Tuesday we went to visit before story time. Mom, Dad and Matt picked us up via boat for a late lunch. Matt played bball with Phil that night. I worked on painting more trim. Wednesday morning I ran while pushing the double stroller while the older girls rode their bikes to school. Just as we were crossing the bridge, I got shot! No joke. Someone shot me in the rib cage. Not a bullet, I didn't bleed out or anything. I did file a police report, though. The police think it's some type of air gun that's popular these days. It was a crazy morning, though! I watched Mabel for a little bit. My dad and brother came over to put on the ladder and some bumpers on our dock. There was a parade of police coming by to file the report and take a pic. We went on an afternoon boat ride and picked the girls up from school via boat. They went tubing with their cousins. Owen got up on skis! That night was the MOPS Leadership end of the year dinner AKA MOPStars award ceremony. Tracy and Jessica did an awesome job making these fabulous awards! I rocked my prom dress from 1997! Just what I needed after my crazy morning! Thursday my parents and brother helped watch Voss so I could run errands. It rained hard that afternoon. Marly had a program at school where they sung on the stage. It was pretty cute. Ballet and girl scouts. Friday was cinco de mayo. Tracy and I did our traditional early lunch at La Nap. I met Kassie at the pool and brought Alice with us. I actually got some peace and quiet that afternoon. Matt and Phil played golf. Voss took a nap. All the girls went to visit with the neighbor. I layed on the couch and read my book. Yay! We got a babysitter and went to TCC's Tomahawk. My brother, sister and parents came, too. It was fun having them there! It was a gorgeous night! Of course we stayed out too late, though- PH at Lilians after! Saturday Phil played in a tennis tournament. The kids and I ran up (no shooting this time) and swam in the pool for a bit. It was windy and chilly! Then we watched Phil play. He and Vaughn did awesome! They actually won the tournament! The girls and I ran home. We headed to the McGraths for a double Birthday party. We stayed too late as usual. This morning we got to sleep in and have a lazy breakfast on the porch. The older girls and I went to Alex's First Communion. It was sad to hug Matt- they left for the airport right after communion. Saying good-bye is always tough. The girls and I rode bikes to Stockton for their first triathlon practice! Just a few laps on the field of the school. Then we rode home and played on bikes for a bit. Then we made our own pizzas- that was a huge hit. We said the rosary as a family, our Sunday tradition. Eventually they'll all sit solemnly, right? One Sunday at a time ;-)
Hosting. One of my favorite things. My dad taught me that the best parties are the ones you throw yourself. You get to choose the food, people, music, theme, etc- all your favorites! I hosted book club on Monday. I think it was fantastic! The book was eh. Quiet by Susan Cain. I think it was a bit extrovert bashing, which stung. But, it did lead to an excellent discussion. Boxed wine, bon bons and curry chicken salad (what quiet people eat), my beautiful china and a gorgeous night with thought-provoking conversation. I'm not sure it gets better than that! I need to do a recap of our MOPS meeting on Monday, but it was about travel. Basically it made me want to travel, like for real, like to Europe. I'm pretty sure that's not in my near future. We continued the fun to the Thivierges back yard- an awesome way to spend a Monday afternoon! We had a pretty good conversation about ISIS at coffee club on Tuesday in the park. Not that we solved anything. It turned into a clean living conversation, thanks to my friend Leah. After tennis Tuesday I raced home and got ready for the babysitters arrival. We had a boy scout dinner. My dad invited us to sit at his table. It was refreshing to see some good being done in the world. On Wednesday I watched my friend, Laurie's kids, took a neighbor to school, helped with a school fundraiser and fed my neighbors cats. It was a day of giving and felt good. Turns out my friend had to check into the hospital so I watched her children all day on Thursday. My friend, Tracy helped me for a few hours so I could take my parents to lunch for their anniversary. That village! Then, the babysitter was amazing and watched 7 children and took my girls to girl scouts! Phil and I went to the One Jax Humanitarian Awards dinner, which was super neat (and liberal). We met up with Phil's tennis friends and I crashed guys night. My parents came by with my brother and the shots kept coming. I'm waving the white flag on guys night! Friday I picked up Laurie's kids again and headed to the FYC pool. Vanessa hosted a MOPS play date. We were there all day! The girls were off of school so it really felt like summer! That night we had another babysitter. This time we met the Thoresens and Mitchells for a night out. It was really nice to catch up and try out some rooftop bars. Saturday I got to head out to the Ritz Carlton to celebrate my sister's Birthday in the spa. Oh, it's the best! That massage was fantastic! I'm not sure Phil's temper tantrum after was worth it, though. Luckily it was masked by a busy afternoon. Marly had a friend's water slide Birthday party. The girls went on a girl scout trip to the Cattyshack ranch. We went to a school fun dinner at Mojos then an after party at the Hershorins. So fun! This morning was mass, breakfast then Sunday Funday signing up for river rats at the pool. We went to dinner with the Bentons and Clements at the Latin House Grill- super fun! I just got back from a night run with my brother, Matt. Just like old times! I'm ready for a snooze!
In the midst of picking up leftover plastic egg pieces, candy wrappers and painting trim- I just want to take a moment and revel in how proud I am of my family. This was a special week. In case you didn't know, Phil was chosen as the Jacksonville Business Journal's Top 40 Under 40. Although not at all surprising (long over-due if you ask me), this is a well-deserved honor for my husband. I'm so proud of him! The news hit the press this week and I got to attend a special luncheon in his honor on Thursday. It was so neat to sit at a table of bank execs, who took time out of their days to be with him. That was cool. (And I got to wear dry clean only clothes for an afternoon- woop!) Also, Miss Elizabeth received her First Holy Communion today! She's been preparing all year for today. I am so proud of her! If you aren't Catholic, or didn't pay attention in YEARS of religion class, the Holy Eucharist is a big deal. We believe it's the real thing, not a symbol. That's why you have to be a practicing Catholic in good standing to accept the body and blood during mass. It's so awesome that Ellie can receive communion with us now! The mass this morning was really sweet, with a great homily by Deacon George. There was a nice reception afterwards. We didn't do a party or anything. But we did have the traditional ice cream cake (from my family) then did a Sunday Funday with the Suters in the river- Ellie's favorite thing. So, that's what really matters. Other exciting things for the week- a rebounderz play date (that place is awesome!), story time, lots of parks, a pool date with the Clements, spinning class, pool date with the Stevensons, a PH with the guys, a quick date night at TCC, Emily's Birthday party, Ellie earned a Brownie badge at the fire station and time with Phil's parents this weekend. Just drinking a glass of wine in a quiet house, listening to some jazz with a big smile on my face.
Each night this week- I asked for extra prayers this Holy Week- for us to really remember what it's about. Did it work? Oh geeze, I don't know? It didn't look like it by our behavior this weekend! Sometimes, I just throw my hands up and say, "What am I doing?!" Why do they act so entitled and bratty?! How did they get this way? Who am I raising?! Lots of screaming! Not that I meant it to go down this way...I made some wonderful, healthy meals! I planned fun things! I read stories and played tickle monster! Not good enough. Sometimes, it just goes down hill....fast. Like, Monday afternoon at Walmart. It was just nasty. That morning was MOPS. I'll have to write up that blog soon. Plants- blah! We had another swim lesson that evening. Voss started crying when we hit the circle! Oh dear! Tuesday was so fun with a Birthday lunch for Meghan at Biscotti's. An extra fun thing for the week! Tennis Tuesday and more swim! As soon as I left, he was fine! Abby had an Easter party at school on Wednesday, It was a crazy day because Steve stained our stairs so we had to be out. I sold hands in the carpool line, another swim lesson and kids night at TCC. We spent the night at my parent's house. No one slept well. But, awesome shower! I had the Kerkezi boys on Thursday for their spring break. We did water sports then afternoon driving with ballet pics and Owen's swimming, Too much traffic for me- I was totally tapped out. And then we had Girl Scouts! of course I messed up and forgot to pick up early to hear Marly's presentation. Friday we did Stations of the Cross then to the Hollands for the after-party. I left for a bit to deliver a meal, talk to the irrigation guy and deliver Marly to a Birthday party at the ballpark. Busy day! What a Good Friday! Saturday was the TCC Easter Egg Hunt, a bit of a break and tennis for Phil then the Cochran kids Birthday party! Early bedtime again, which is good because the Easter Bunny arrived! This morning began early with excitement! Mermaid tails, dance ribbons, toy boats and a stolen Cadbury egg! We did mass (Voss was AWFUL!) then lunch with my parents and Fr. James. We ended with a pool party at the Suters. Early bedtime again, oh my! Happy Easter to you and your family!