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!
Another week- flown by! It was a chilly week- which was a nice reminder of spring. We had a MOPS leadership meeting that got heated- planning for next year. We did an after-play date at Jessica's parents house. My kids ended up in the pool. We had an amazing girls night that night at Emergency Pregnancy Services. We went to dinner after at Southern Kitchen. My head has been spinning all week with thoughts of their clients and what we can do to help them. What an amazing facility! Then, I read this study. We did story time and tennis and taco Tuesday. Ellie had her last communion class! Wednesday we went to Pump it Up. It was early release golf and then a Penance Service at mass. It worked out great that it was my turn to drive- so I just went to the service. Confession always makes me feel so clean! Thursday I just ran errands. I started cleaning out the playroom and the girls bedroom- just getting rid of trash. That night we went to dinner with Phil's boss's boss and his wife. I'm so flattered they spent time with us! It was a great dinner! Friday was supposed to be a play date at Jessica's to discuss our plan of action to help EPS but she had a sick child so I took it over. Lots of excellent conversation! That night was first Friday at TCC- running on the lawn- chasing Voss. We had a nice dinner, somehow. Saturday was a gorgeous spring day. We went on a run, Phil played some tennis. I was hoping for a boat day but it was just too choppy and windy. So, we did a cul-de-sac day instead. Ellie tried out her new kite and made a friend on the next street. We set up the bounce house and put the paddleboat in the water. The Suters came over, I heated up a lasanga. It was a great day. We had wine club across the river- in San Marco. The Raffertrys were wonderful hosts! Today was another gorgeous, spring day. After mass we went to Jordan's 4th Birthday party. Then, Voss had his first swim lesson! I can't wait for this guy to swim! It's cold, but they played for a while before and he did a great job! Then, we went to the Suters for dinner and more swim. Family rosary on the way home. We are ready for Holy Week!
Oh! This week back to normal has been so tough! I think we were all in a bad mood (or maybe just me). MOPS saved me on Monday with a life coach. Eventually I'll do the blog, maybe tomorrow for the recap- but the last few minutes were great. She just spent too much time talking about her credentials. It did seem like MOPS is on the right track- here 3 main points were the last 3 MOPS themes! Monday was also Phil and my 13th wedding anniversary. After a weekend of partying we just sorta took it easy. I skipped book club and the discussion on Sing for your Life. We had Trents take out on our new balcony, with a bottle of champagne from my parents. We did our usual story time then tennis Tuesday. I've started meal planning, which is exciting. Another hot week! We ran to the pool on Wednesday and Abigail's pal, Kayla met us. Voss and I went to the zoo and Phil skipped tennis on Thursday so he was great helping with girl scout pick up. Friday was coffee club then an after party at Jessica's parent's house. Phil and I played in the Wine & 9 with the Hoggatts at TCC. Perfect evening to be out there! After party at Lillians. Saturday was April Fools Day. No joke, Elizabeth turned 8! She made us strawberry pancakes and we ate on the balcony. She and Phil went to her First Communion retreat. I took the kids to the TCC pool. That evening, we headed out for Ellie's Birthday party. Phil took the younger two to another party. I loaded up the older girls and picked up 4 more of Ellie's friends. Then we headed to a hotel with an indoor pool. My mom and sister met us there. It was kina sketch hotel- I could have used another star or two. I don't think the girls minded. They loved the indoor pool! We had pizza by the pool then moved the party inside. Suzanne did face masks for the girls. I did nails. We had cupcakes and opened gifts. Then, we settled down- ate twizzlers and M&Ms in bed while watching the Disney channel. I think the last girls fell asleep around 1! So today has been pretty rough! We got up and had breakfast then took everyone home. I think they all had a great time! We're moving into a new league now! She's so grown up! We did a Sunday funday in the pool with the Suters and Stevensons. The girls and I went to mass. And here we go!
Oh! What a fun spring break! We rented a house, golf cart and boat with the Suters. "New day, new beach" was the motto. Phil was in charge of breakfast, I was in charge of clean up and the Suters did the rest. We packed a lunch and hung out all day in new places. It was a super fun break! We came back on Thursday, just in time to begin the wedding festivities. My parents had a steak dinner for the early arrivers. We had a babysitter and a Birthday party for Alex at our house. Friday was a girls run then the bridesmaids luncheon at TCC. Hanging with lots of family! I love it! The rehearsal was downtown, then we dropped the kids with a babysitter and went to the rehearsal dinner at Blue Fish. I'm not proud of my matron of honor speech. I was thinking it was going to be during the wedding, so I had to throw it together. Ugh. We went to the Hyatt downtown for the after party and lots of cousins! Saturday came early! Phil dropped off the girls and I at the Hyatt so get ready. Hair and make-up all morning! The bus to the church and then boom- my baby sister is married! I took the boat to FYC for the reception. Lots of catching up and dancing! It was so nice to see so many wonderful people. Lots of compliments on my children, which is always nice to hear. Somehow I rallied and ubered back downtown to party more after bedtime. Today we went back to my parents for a farewell Sunday Funday. More hugs and kisses and beers with old friends. What an awesome spring break!
And out of the blue, it got COLD! Go figure! On Monday, my parents were on the marriage panel at MOPS. I was so proud to see them up there giving all this great advice to my best mom pals. That was just so cool! I got to have a night out that evening celebrating Jessica's Birthday at a fancy Taverna dinner followed by drinks at Grape & Grain- and that was just Monday! Tuesday we did story time and then checked out the new park. So nice- yet so cold! The girls had their Tuesday tennis, which is turning into a neat thing for them. Wednesday was super busy. I was planning on it being low key with Abigail's pal Alice over. Well, they all came over- so did the contractor guys starting on the popcorn ceiling in the hallway- which was/is a total mess! I volunteered to help with the MOPS photo fundraiser. Hanging out in Vanessa's back yard was fun. Stockton had a food truck fest so we stopped there for dinner before religion. Thursday was my mom's Birthday. Suzanne and I took her and dad to the Wine Cellar for lunch. It was nice to catch up- although we did discuss quite a bit of the big wedding next week! Yesterday was St. Patty's Day. Ellie and Abby paddleboated, while Marly, Voss and I went by land! We spent all day out there! It was awesome! A great MOPS turn out- guys came after work. The weather even warmed up! Such a Friday Funday. Today, we got up and packed up and now we're headed to Don Pedro Island for spring break! Wooo Whooo!
We had a fun weekend! Phil's best friend, Andrew was in town. They had a great time catching up and playing golf. My Thursday started rough with incompetence at the pediatrician which means Kids Park didn't get a shot record, so I couldn't drop of Voss. It took a while to work it out, I was super late to my consultation at CMA. It all worked out, though. That afternoon was the ballet, dinner, girl scout shuffle. I worked on some monogramming later. I re-posted a friend's status on Facebook on this article. We're having a great convo! Friday, we picked up a pal and spent the morning at the beach. It was chilly at first but warmed up a bit. It was nice to catch up with my pal, Kat. I took the kids to Kids Night at Intuition Friday night. It was awesome! We all had a great time! Saturday morning was a scramble- we had the CEE Discernment. I was so nervous, but it all worked great! We had a relaxing afternoon. I took the littles on a paddleboat ride. We cleaned out Paul's grapefruit tree and did some juicing. That night, Phil had a guys night- I tagged along, drinking my new fav drink, salty dogs. We sprang ahead and lost an hour. This morning, Andrew came by on his way to the airport. We went to a later mass then took some new friends to lunch and a tour of TCC. I actually took a great nap this afternoon. We did Sunday Funday at the Hollands with brats on the grill. What a great way to spice up a chilly, gloomy spring day.
Marlyn Maria is SIX! She's been asking Google Home for weeks, "How many days until March 7?" Wow! And it came and went, just like that! Here's my MOPS recap from our cooking meeting. We also started Lent. I've given up being mean to Phil at night. I just get so tired and turn into a Grizzly Bear. What I should do is just go to bed. But then when would I have time to write this blog, check my email or plan the next day? On Wednesday we ran to TCC and swam in the pool! March 1st must mean summer is here! Ha! It was actually an awesome day. We had the fish fry at mass then Ash Wednesday- front row with friends! Thursday, Katie helped me watch Voss while I shopped at Wee Trade. I got some more super cute things- sandals for the girls, a searsucker suit for Voss! We raced to have lunch with my mom at TCC and showed her the room for my sister's bridemaids luncheon. The big wedding is coming soon! Crazy afternoon with ballet then Girl Scouts. We brought in pudding and cookies for Marly's fun Friday treat at school to kick off her Birthday. We rode bikes, which made it more exciting. Then, I ran to pick up our van from an oil change. We had one of Abigail's friends from school over for a play date. She was SO excited! They were really sweet together. Kayla's mom had to leave to take her brother to the doctor so she stayed with us for even longer. Super fun day! We went to First Friday later. I picked up pizzas for the school movie night so I did a smart mom move and got an extra to feed my kids. So, when we got to TCC they went straight to play on the lawn. Aside from Voss, we had a nice dinner with friends. Saturday, Ellie had a brownie trip to the museum. I spent the morning moving back into my room. I put a bookshelf and a sewing table and patio set together! I am so proud of myself!! It feels SO good to be back in my new, beautiful room! I'm actually writing this from our new balcony! We went to the Suters for pulled pork lunch then came home in time for an early sitter. Phil and I went to the TCC Oyster Roast. It was so much fun! You know oysters are my favorite food- so it didn't take much! But the Thivierges and Hollands came with us and we made some new friends, too! Sunday was late mass then a farewell reception for Fr. Joseph. That afternoon was Marly's Birthday party at Sweet Pete's candy shop. She and 7 friends made lolly pops! She had such a wonderful time. It was super sweet. We went to the Hollands for grilled brats for dinner. They are so hospitable! Monday was a MOPS leadership meeting. I was glad to have something fun planned! We did a bit of the park after but then I got busy working on CEE stuff. We're struggling to get coverage and attendance at discernment. Not sure how this will shake out- Come Holy Spirit, come! Tuesday was Marly's actual Birthday. My brunette princess is now 6! What a fun year! Do you remember being 6? We went to Dunkin Donuts for breakfast. Voss and I did story time after dropping off all his sisters. Then, we went to Publix and got lunch and had lunch with Ellie and the Birthday girl at school. After school the girls had their first day of tennis clinic. I went on a little run during the big girls clinic. All in all, I think it was a success. Such a beautiful day to be out there! We had a quick Birthday dinner at Chick Fil A- then Phil took Ellie to her First Communion prep class. Ellie is so ready for her Birthday party! Today we went to Barnes & Nobel for story time. I ended up carrying a screaming Voss out with Abigail following in tears. The train table. We delivered a meal to a new mom of 2 and then went to the WD. Golf this afternoon with another run and gorgeous day. Nothing to complain about here! Happy Spring!
Maybe because I'm a stay-at-home mom (so most of my day is spent talking to children) I value good conversations. You know, ones that make you keep thinking later. Or ones that make you research. Or ones you want to keep going. I had a lot of good conversations this week. Last week I mentioned book club. I also went out on Tuesday night for a MOPS spin off girls night. Kim's friend just opened a clinic. We went to dinner then checked out CMA and learned about laser treatments for various skin conditions and pelvic conditions, Botox/Dysport and fillers, body sculpting, etc. I'd never done anything like this before. It was pretty neat. I continued a conversation at the park with Anne on this article she posted. We've been tossing around ideas on how to minister to moms truly needing support. A rainy Wednesday morning was the perfect time to discuss Trump's Executive Order on Immigration. April even had her sister-in-law Facetime for the conversation from DC. We even discussed the power of the president, which is pretty interesting. Thursday I did some potty training with Voss. I wouldn't say we made much progress, but at least its a start. Construction in our bedroom is still moving very slowly. Painting was done this week. Hoping to move back into my closet this week. Ugh. Friday we rode the skyway to story time. Chaotic, but fun. We hosted our last CEE community meeting. We jazzed it up with some live music. I made a bunch of spaghetti. I think it was a good meeting. Here's the recap. Check out the video section of the blog. I've been catching up on seasonal videos (finally). Yesterday was one of those marathon days. We got up early and picked up babysitter Becca. Ellie, Marly, Phil and I ran the mile fun run for the Ortega River Run. Then, Phil and I did the 5 mile run. It was hot! Such a fun race, though! We dropped off Becca then headed to World Thinking Day for Girl Scouts. The girls booth was Mexico. Voss and Abby had fun in the bounce house and sampling food from all the countries. We had a bit of a break, then headed to celebrate Wyatt's 1st Birthday. Those are always so fun! Ellie went to Charlotte's Birthday sleepover! She stayed up until 1am and had a ball! Meanwhile, Phil and I went to the MOPS & POPS Valentines Day dinner. Lots of laughs and amazing ribs catered by Tim Thompson at Cool Moose. There was an after party at the Suters. Then, we met up with the TCC crowd for Dan's 40th Birthday party. This morning came fast! I took the kids to mass, Phil took Ellie to sell Girl Scout cookies at Publix. We went to breakfast at TCC with the Hoggats then a visit with my parents. A relaxing afternoon then Sunday Funday at the Bentons. We did drive-thru and put the kids down super early. I'm headed to bed soon, too.
I was knocked on my bottom this week with the flu. No, I did not get a flu shot. Shame on me. Everyone else in the family did. I guess that's what I get for worrying about everyone else. Lesson learned! I was fine on Monday. We had a great MOPS meeting (recap here). Then, around lunch on Tuesday at the park after story time, it sorta hit me. What a Valentine's Day! I spent the afternoon on the couch while letting the kids go to town on their candy bags from school. I lifted my head long enough to call a list of city councilmen to encourage them to vote YES on the HRO (and it passed, 12 to 6, yay!). Somehow, I got the kids fed, bathed and in bed. Phil came home early "to help" and ended up falling asleep in the playroom while Marly red. So, I made myself some soup and went to bed with NyQuil. Wednesday we brought Valentines to residents at an Assisted Living facility then more soup at Panera. Another afternoon on the couch for me. Thursday was still rough. Voss watched a lot of TV. Friday I was finally feeling better. I brought the younger two to Kids Park and went for an annual exam- always fun. Then, Abigail had a Circus performance at school. My parents took her to lunch and shopping for a late Birthday treat. I took the kids out for Friday ice cream after school- just something fun after me being sick all week. We had a fun Friday night at Costco. I was excited for another early bedtime. Saturday we slept in and went to Katie Jo's farm again. Ellie & Marly were excited to go this time. More feeding the cows and horses! We went to the Suters after. That night I went to a Mardi Gras party and surprised Gina for her Birthday. It was fun catching up with old pals. Sunday was mass, breakfast and another afternoon with the Suters. The weather was so perfect! Monday was Presidents Day. We went out to Sawgrass for the morning. Such a perfect day out there! The ocean was still cold, I mean it is February- but that didn't bother Ellie! Voss loves playing with his boat! The pool was heated so we spent time there, too. We hit the town center on the way back to get a few things for Katie's wedding next month. Phil took the girls on a run with a boat ride back. I made dinner then ran to book club! My first run back after the race and being sick all week. It was a little rough, but a good 7 miles. We had a great discussion about The Mothers. I could have kept going, but my ride was leaving! I sure am happy to be on the mend. Being sick makes me grateful for my usual healthy self!