After a week of sickness and running around, our marriage needed a pick me up. Que MOPS speaker on marriage, Dr. Roxanne Louh. She was amazing! Lots of great thoughts! I scheduled a "wine on the porch" date with Phil that night. Perfect. Abby had a Valentine's tea play date with her pal, Poppy. The weather was chilly and misty the first half of the week, then gorgeous the second half. It feels like April! We wrapped up the high five campaign at the girl's school- me selling hands in the carpool line. Tuesday was Fat Tuesday. I had coffee at Anne's then story time. I had Huck, my Godson for the morning. We had the MOPS pancake dinner for Shrove Tuesday. It was so nice to just work me shift and not be in charge of everything! Phil got me 2 dozen roses that night! Wow! For Valentine's Day we went to the nursing home to deliver Valentine's that we had made. It was the coolest thing ever. It was also Ash Wednesday and I couldn't think of a better thing to do to start out Lent and Valentine's Day. We really did make people smile. Krispy Kreme after was pretty great, too. We went to mass and the fish fry that night. Thursday, Anne came over. It was so nice to have a good ole low key play date. I feel like I used to do that all the time and have really gotten away from it. Also, I feel like I could talk to Anne for days. Friday, we ran/rode bikes to school. I raced home then drove out to the beach for "gymnastics class". We made a quick appearance at the Greek festival before both kids passed out on the way home. Good thing because I got a call from school to pick up Ellie. She had a bad fall in PE and has a nasty scrape on her thigh. It already looks much better. Not before Ellie also wiped out on her scooter this weekend. Poor girl! Marly rode her bike home alone with me following her in the van. She loved it! We took advantage of the married people night out for a bit- and played 3 holes of golf. Then, went to have dinner at my parents. Preben and Chili, Danish cousins and my brother, Matt all came in town. We had an intense conversation about gun control all weekend after another school shooting. I am thinking no one needs any kind of gun ever- that's how far left I'm going. Matt has lots of friends with ARs and seems to think that's why countries don't mess with us. So, we had lots of conversations about it this weekend. He spent the night with us on Friday. The Kuders came over and we did a PH and sat on the porch enjoying the awesome weather. Phil made us breakfast after a quest for bacon the next morning. We all went to play tennis then lunch at CFA. Mom and Dad picked us all up for a boat ride. Phil and I went to his tennis friend's wedding shower oyster roast at FYC. So nice! Matt came out with us after and we met up with the Hershorins. We did a few rooftop bar hops then ended at Mellow Mushroom. In mass on Sunday Fr. Luke talked about the importance of quiet. That was perfect because that's what I'm doing for Lent- taking time each day to just sit in silence. It's actually harder than I thought it was going to be! We did TCC bfast then a bike ride to Mimi and Papa's. The kids and I went to the Suter's for a play date- decorating pots and planting flowers. Great additions to the fairy garden! Matt came over to fish with the kids for a bit. We went to Trents for dinner- then another late night porch chat. This morning we took it easy for President's Day. Matt and Phil went golfing. The kids and I went to the Weatherly's farm to help with chores. Later frosty's and swimming at Mimi and Papa's. Voss is potty trained all of a sudden! A few accidents, but I'd say this week was a success! Family movie night with homemade pizza and the movie Sing. Great ending to a long weekend!
Lots of running- physically and mentally! It's always a juggling game around here! Monday was a bit of a surprise as I realized the half marathon I'd been training for was THIS weekend, not next like I had it marked in my calendar. I did a long run on Monday night and then tapered (I'm so good at that part). We had a MOPS leadership meeting then CFA for lunch and play. I just finished this awesome Podcast then finished this show on Netflix called Dear White People. It's blown my mind as far as race in the US is concerned. Tuesday was the usual story time, Wednesday was Friendship chapel at Abby's school. I snuck out for a girls night that night to see the movie Molly's Game. The flu has struck the town! One day there were only 7 students in Abby's class! Phil's been home sick most of the week with a #mancold. Thursday we went to WEE trade then CFA again. Friday was pick a park Friday to make Valentine's. I picked up my race packet for the Donna. That night we went to the Massey's for Grace's 11th Birthday. The older two stayed for a sleepover. Phil played in a tennis tournament Saturday morning which nearly did him in, I picked up the girls and we all watched him play. While he re-couped, I took the kids to an awesome Mardi Gras party at the Boring-Wagner's then Jessica's Bday party at Engine 15. I cancelled our sitter bc Phil will was still not well and went stag to a couples night out at Town Hall. Don't worry, I came home early to get some rest before the race this morning. Aubree rode with me out to the beach. It was HOT and I was slow- but it still feels good to be finished and inspired by such an amazing race! Rough afternoon with the boat selling it to the Suter's. It was redeemed with quality Valentine making time then dinner at La Nap with the Suter's. All is quiet now!
I spent a lot of time this week pissed at Phil because he vetoed our family ski vacation. I was all set to go, even without him. And it didn't happen. I'm slowly getting over it. It's been pretty chilly this week. Dark, rainy, cold. Totally February weather. DRYanuary is over and I'm destroying my liver again. I did not loose ONE pound from not drinking! I can't believe it. Totally not worth it! We did our usual afternoon routine with dance and parks, golf, religion and basketball. We did story time and library during basketball. Ellie won her first basketball game this Saturday- even scoring a few points! She had a play off game today, which they lost. But, it's been so neat to see how far they've all come this season. I got the van recall checked and oil changed. Voss and I rode the train at the zoo. Abby, Voss and I and the Nixon twins went to gymnastics class then to the train park then to La Nap with MOPS pals. My friend, Andrea had the opening of her art show, which was really neat to see. First Friday at TCC was fun because the kids all did tennis night. Win-win! Ellie, Marly and I did an afternoon of golf yesterday. We walked 9 holes. It was really nice. We celebrated a terrific trio of Birthdays last night: Tiffany, Melanie and Allison on the rooftop of Black Sheep. We had dinner later with the Kuders. Late mass today then lunch at Moes then the McGraths to watch the Super Bowl. It's a rainy Sunday night, typical February!
Wow! Five! She's five! Voss had some trouble transitioning into Abigail's Birthday week! But, here it is! I'm still doing some cleaning and organizing and dryanuary. At the park, Voss got a quick modeling gig. See the pic! I did a play date at Ikea. Voss loved the play area, I enjoyed the free coffee! We had a play date with Mollie Anne and the Stevensons. Lunch with Matt at Mimi and Papa's. He and Phil hung the moon a few nights. Matt and Suzanne surprised Marly for lunch- that was super sweet! Ellie had her awards ceremony. No scholastic awards- but she got some others so that was nice. I went to an awesome girls night at Claire's. I could have stayed all night, except I was sober and had to run the next morning. 5:30 am is early! We had CEE Friday night. Saturday Ellie had a basketball game then we got ready for another Birthday party! About 10 of Abby's gal pals came over in their ballet or princess best. We made bracelets, crowns, wands and Ellie did hair and make-up. Abigail said she had such a great time! Sunday was mass then breakfast. We did a quick boat ride then the girls and I went to a storytime and afternoon tea with Paddington bear. We cleaned out the playroom then did a Latin dinner with the Bentons. Today was Abigail's actual Birthday! We got the car washed and breakfast at Chick Fil A then coffee club at the park to discuss this article. Cake and brownies for the Birthday girl. I got in an 11 mile run, Woaw! Half way through the Birthday train! Woot woot!
Planning and hosting 2 Birthday parties in 2 weeks is pushing me to get that resolution in gear! I have been cleaning, organizing and trashing! I even bought lockers on craigslist and drove out to tetris them into the minivan! Monday was MLK day. The kids and I took the skyway downtown for the parade. It was pretty good this year- lots of marching bands and cheerleaders and candy being thrown! We went to Sweet Pete's for ice cream then rode the skyway back. Super fun morning remembering Dr. King! I headed to the dermatologist that afternoon to have my allergic reaction checked out. I got some cream but am still itchy and it seems to be spreading to my hands. Blah! I went running then to book club to discuss the Nest. It was an interesting convo! Tuesday I spent the morning in the magnet office downtown to submit Abigail's application for school next year. Lots of issues but it's in! Yay! I had a make-up play date with Kathryn on Wednesday and a dinner date with Savannah. Thursday was one of those marathon days- picking up lockers and I went with Ellie on a field trip to Sally Corp. So neat! Friday I ran, brought Ann dinner, picked up lunch for science day at the girl's school then headed to Pickwick park for Pick a Park Friday. It's been super cold all week, but the sun came out as did Emily's cheese tray and it turned into a great afternoon at the park! That night we went to Married People night out at OPS. We did dinner at the Brick then checked out the rooftop at King and Post then game night. Saturday was a busy day. The girls made pancakes. Ellie had a basketball game. Phil and Abby played golf while the girls and I got the house ready for Voss's train Birthday party. He LOVED it! It was awesome to see! Lots of friends! Train cupcakes! And train toys! So happy! My brother came in town again. He and Phil went to Lillians and I went to Ashley's farewell party then met them for a bit. Sunday we did mass and breakfast- Matt came, too. We all took a break then went back to TCC to watch the Jags come so close to beating the Patriots! Agh! I went to sleep super early last night. It was great! Today is Voss's Birthday! I have a 3 year old! He was so excited all day. Lots of calls and singing. Cupcakes and a piece of cake for a snack. We had MOPS this morning. I snuck out and went to Marly's awards ceremony. She cleaned up! I'm so proud of her! Brian was our speaker at MOPS. He did a great job! Voss wanted chicken and rice for his Birthday dinner- so that's what I did! I did a run tonight. I'm enjoying all these podcasts.
It was our first week back getting into the swing of things. School was STILL out on Monday so everyone came with me to MOPS. The big girls were awesome helpers with the babies. Ellie even had Penelope fall asleep in her arms. She loved it. We played at the Holland's afterwards and ran around the backyard. Misty, rainy. I finally got in some long runs. Monday night and Friday morning. Not easy, but done. All the girls went back to school on Tuesday. Voss and I took Huck to story time then the park. We're still listening to Where the Red Fern Grows, (one of my favorite books as a child) in the car (even if it doesn't count for the book charts). Phil and I finished watching the 2nd season of Stranger Things. It's been stressful for him at work- late nights. Thursday was the worst. We miscommunicated and Ellie was late for basketball. I was late for the MOPS Leadership dinner. It was a great night talking about our resolutions and how we're going to stick to them and accomplish our goals. I just sent a check-in picture to keep me accountable for my getting organized goal! I'm still truckin along for dry-anuary! We had a great Indoor playground play date on Friday. Emily even brought a cheese plate! We tried to do a mafia night but couldn't get enough people. So, the Hershorins played poker with us. Matt came back in town for a quick visit after driving across the country! I'm so excited he's back in Florida now! He played a few hands with us. Saturday I got to sleep in until 9! I'm having this allergic reaction to something- I think a shaw I was wearing last weekend. That's no fun and maybe getting worse. Phil coached Ellie's basketball game. They lost but Ellie scored the first goal! The guys went dove hunting. Mom picked me up and took me out for a nice lunch and even paid for the babysitter! That was super nice- what a great break. We met them for 5pm mass at Sacred Heart then went back for burgers and dogs at my parent's house. I'm reading this book "Before We Were Yours". I can't decide if I like it, but I am excited to keep reading. This morning I slept in again then went over to my parent's for omelets. Then we checked out Top Golf. Maybe next time with no kids, or at least just the big kids. But, we had a great time. I'd like to go back. We watched the Jags beat the Steelers! So much fun screaming for them! Glad to see them finally doing well again! Next up is the Patriots next weekend! Chilli dinner and family rosary. I'm happy to be sipping hot chocolate in a cozy house with sleeping children.
I asked for cold weather and it came! Wow! It's cold! It actually almost snowed here last week. Maybe it did and we just didn't see it. Now it's teetering above freezing but the sky is bright, no rain. The day after the Ritz we spent the day inside, doing laundry, unpacking and re-packing. Phil and I went to John Benton's dad's funeral. I had never been to the Jacksonville National Cemetery but it was really nice and incredibly cold. We had lunch after at Kickbacks, his dad's favorite hang out. Wednesday the city pretty much shut down due to the cold and possible snow. We did a green light play date at the Pratts, then hit up the dentist. We switched dentists. Voss had his first appointment! Right from there, I drove to Miami with the kids to visit Phil's family. As I drove down I95, I watched the temperature gauge in my car go up each exit I passed! Using my overdrive app I listened to the Nest, which was awesome for the drive. It was a pretty good trip. We went to the Coral Castle on Thursday. It was actually pretty cold in Miami, too! The castle was not very kid friendly. The tour guide told me to watch my children at some point. Eventually I took Voss and Abby out to a nearby field. After we went to Knausberry Farm to pick strawberries and eat yummy cinnamon rolls and milkshakes. That made the day much better! I took a nap with Voss then later the kids and Phil's sister, Vane and I went to the park down the street with the kids. Michelle and Tati came for dinner. We even did some Latin dancing after dinner. Friday had a rough start with spilled hot chocolate and guys coming early to fix some hurricane damaged doors. It got better with a visit to the train museum. We were bummed some parts were closed and we want to go back for a train ride, but we loved walking in all the trains. I went on an afternoon run by myself. Phil's cousins from Ecuador came in that night on a layover back home. It was so fun catching up with them! Saturday we packed up and said out good-byes and drove back to Jax- watching the temp drop as we drove! We picked up Phil and headed to BINGO night at TCC. We got 2 bottles of wine and Marly won a engineer set. It was fun! Dry-anuary is going well for me- Phil has already given up. This morning we went to mass then TCC for breakfast. The kids and I took down most of our Christmas ornaments. We went back to TCC and had a little party inside to watch the Jags beat the Bills in the playoffs! Yay! The Hershorins came back to our house for a pizza dinner. Sunday Funday!
Happy New Year! The week after Christmas is always so hard. It's sad watching everyone leave to go home. The kids are out of school and out of whack. I was about to loose it this week. After a few days in a row of Phil hunting with my family and playing golf with my brother, I checked out. Just in time. I had coffee club at the park Wednesday morning while Katie took Ellie for a morning together. Friend therapy is always so good! We did a late night at Lillians with my brother and sister. Everyone left on Thursday. Phil was so sweet and took the kids to Jump Street while I went to get a massage. It was one of the nicest things he's ever done for me! I truly needed a day off! He even took them to lunch and the mall afterwards. I watched Netflix and ate ice cream on the couch! That night we went to the Hollands for dinner. It was so nice to catch up with them! I ran Friday morning then took the kids back to the Hollands for a play date. It was chilly and rainy- an awesome coffee date! That night we went to the Livingstons for a front yard snow party. They actually brought a snow blower in to make snow! After a few snowballs in the face, my kids were done with the snow. We headed to the Hershorins for a holiday party. Always an excellent spread! The next morning began our New Years vacation! Phil won 2 nights at the Ritz Carlton a few months ago. We were able to use it for this weekend and that gave us the chance to go to their NYE ball! We headed up to Amelia Island first thing on Saturday for an early check in. The Ritz is surprisingly super kid friendly with face painting, game rooms, balloon animals, pirate parties, the beach and the heated pools! We had such a nice weekend! Phil and I even got a few date nights out- appetizers at Salt and then the ball last night. We even had time to relax with movie nights together, mass in downtown Fernandina in time for the feast of the holy family. Today is cold and rainy. We spent the morning in the hot tub and the afternoon snuggled watching movies. It was an awesome way to kick off 2018!
And all of a sudden, it's the day after Christmas! Poof! Monday was a quiet day with no plans so I decided to offer help to a friend who seemed overwhelmed. Helping makes me feel better. I picked up her girls and had a play date for Voss and Abby that morning. It worked out great. No after school activities so it was so nice to not have places to rush to or even homework to push. Voss and I had a little play date with his friendemey, Parker. Then, we went to MOSH to see the train exhibit. He loved it- even though the museum was crazy busy with field trips. Abigail had her Christmas play at school. She did a great job as a STAR. I picked up McDonalds treats for Voss and I (Mmmm peppermint mocha!) then went to the girl's school for their class parties and watching Polar Express. Afternoon play ground and kids night at TCC. My brother, Erik and his girlfriend Kelley came in town. I had big plans to haze and grill Kelley. Other than not liking shrimp, I really had nothing to make fun of her for unfortunately. I enjoyed talking with her; she fit along quite nicely into the Voss-chaos. Marly adores her! Suzanne and I met them out to watch them perform Improv. We had a few drinks later- a great way to kick off the family fun! Thursday we did a girls run after dropping Abby off at school. We played at the park then did a boat ride to FYC for lunch. We raced Ellie to golf then back to my parent's for a steak dinner and welcome Matt home. Friday morning we all went caroling at the nursing home, one of my favorite traditions! We had a great turn out this year! We did a park play date after. Phil took the girls bowling. Voss and I rode bikes to visit with my parents and ended up on another boat ride. The weather has been really warm, which is great for outdoor play- but kina bums me out at Christmas. That night we went to a neighbor's open house then to an ugly sweater party at the McGraths. Saturday was a lazy morning with a big breakfast then a Target run with the girls and a run to my parents with me and Voss. The guys went hunting. I made a gingerbread. We just sorta hung out. That evening we went to the Napoleon's open house then met my family at the zoo for the Zoo Lights. It was a great idea, but way too crowded as usual. Maybe we'll go back in 10 years when the kids are older and can stay up later. We were saved after bedtime with Peppermint bark ice cream. pizza and a White Christmas! I'm loving this Barenaked Ladies Christmas radio on Pandora. I love the hustle and bustle of the holiday- but my children's fighting and entitled attitude is about to push me over the edge. I must be doing something wrong. I truly thought about giving them goose poop. Has anyone ever done that for real? Did it work? Well instead Christmas magic happened with some blood, sweat and tears! The pictures make it look so golden and happy- but please know there was some nastiness involved- me yelling at my kids and my #5thchild. We did mass 2 times on Christmas Eve. Once in the morning with the Applegates then bfast at TCC. Then, we did the whole Voss family Christmas with all my siblings. Katie and Steve flew in that morning. It turned into a great day. We all went to mass that evening. My dad read. The insense about did me in. We got Chinese food and drove around to see lights. I almost threw out 2 kids from the car. We had dinner and I read The Night Before Christmas- stopped to scream only a few times. They all went to sleep early, including the #5thchild. I wanted to join in (oh my that insense- God really was permeating!) Woooosh- the magic! Nightcap with Miss Katie while watching the beautiful scene of Santa's presence. Christmas morning started at 7, which isn't so bad at all! It was fun and load and chaotic. Having Katie and Steve here was neat. I made the crack potatoes. Phil made eggs and bacon. They were great at playing with the kids. We said good-bye to Erik and Kelley as they headed to the airport to see her family. We made our way to my parent's house. Bloody Mary's and raw oysters! Suzanne got the boys back from Jason after 2 weeks. She welcomed them home with a new puppy, Blizzard! All the kids had a ball with him! We ended the night coming back over for mich ultras and It's a Wonderful Life. I mean it really is: the good and the bad! Today Phil is playing golf. I've thrown all the kids out of the house bc I need a parenting break. I am drinking a diet dr. Pepper and blogging therapy! I did get to go on a quick run this morning, which was nice. In a bit we'll go back over to my parent's house for a cousin visit with Natalie and the Hickses!
Christmas season is in full swing with parties, sweets, gift buying and monogramming (for me). We had a great MOPS meeting on Monday. Here's the recap. That night we had our book club dinner at the new restaurant, Barrique. We did an ornament exchange and dessert at Biscotti's. We decided the best book of 2017 was The Nightingale. It was a good night! Tuesday we did carwash and story time. It was the most calm day of this week! Wednesday was crazy! We had a Favorite Things Gift exchange at Meghan's. I had trouble coming up with a favorite thing. I ended up doing pashminas including monogramming. It was a nice brunch with friends. Voss tore apart the play room. It was early release then dance then the girls went to religion class. Phil and I took the little kids to the Penance service. We all had dinner at TCC after for kids night. I completely forgot to bring dinner to a friend who just had a baby! So I brought it to them a day late. That was a first for me- I felt like a schmuck! Thursday Voss and I played at the train park then picked up race packets for the Ameris Bank half marathon for me, 5K for Phil and marathon for his work friend. That began the week of Ameris! We had a bank dinner that night on the rooftop of Blacksheep. It's always so nice! We ended up progressing to the rooftop of Hoptinger after that, then dancing at Birdies! Friday was the MOPS breakfast with Santa. We switched it up this year and combined it with the art, music and movement class at the Riverside Christian church. I think it worked really well. It warmed up this week and was so nice outside for Santa. There was also the playground. Way better than being crammed in a room that wasn't very kid-friendly! I love this MOPS family- how we all help each other- holding each other's kids. Kim even stitched up Finley's face on the playground after a nasty fall! What a village! That afternoon we had dinner with some more bank friends. The guys played golf then the ladies did happy hour then we all sat down for dinner. I had a great political and religious conversation with one of Phil's bank pals. Saturday morning was the race. Luckily we went to bed early and I hydrated all day Friday so I felt great. It was a chilly, overcast morning. Perfect! We even parked in my friend, April's driveway. I had only peaked at 8 miles, but I think I did pretty well. It was a flat, boring course. I'm so happy it's over! I took a quick shower and took Voss to his friendemy, Parker's dinosaur Birthday party. Emily did a great job with the theme! We got a 2 hour break then we headed out to the Harmon's luau Christmas party. Of course their parties are always super nice! Passed apps, catered by Biscotti's. Signature mai tais, Hawaiian dancers, awesome fire pit. I could have fallen asleep out there! We got a ride with the Thivierges to the MOPS party at the Kasper's- a last hurrah! We met the Bentons at the awful waffle to cap off the night. This morning was mass and TCC breakfast with the Hershorins. My mom, sister, daughters and I went to the symphony's Nutcracker. The symphony was a first for us this time. We did lunch at Juliet's first and caught up. It was nice. Then tonight we started at the Hershorins for the Avondale luminaries. We walked to see the live nativity scene and Santa then joined a progressive dinner with the Wagners for chili and ended at the Cummings for dessert. It was such a fun night, it was a good weekend, heck it was a good week! Hopefully we'll have a bit of down time before Christmas?