Oh, here we are, with another week just flying by. I finished listening to The Map Thief, which I enjoyed. Now I'm reading Mistress of the Game and loving it. Another drastic change in the weather and we had winter for a few days. Then today felt more like spring. I finally started planning spring break. I've got all these texts with summer plans in the works, and I'm just trying to get through February! Voss was Student of the Week this week. We made a poster and he was honored at chapel. Wednesday night we went to see Bandstand at the performing arts center. I really liked it. We went to this Ramen Noddle place for dinner before. Then to Tracy's after to watch the Debates. I really liked the group viewing party. I'm still a Bernie fan, but Elizabeth was on fire. It was a good time. Thursday was slow. I totally missed my friend, Trexler's Birthday and feel like a schmuck. I threw together a last minute MOPS meeting and I think it went well. We talked marriage with Barbara, a marriage consultant. It was good group therapy, I think. I even figured out playground access and planted a seed for church sponsored date nights. Friday night Phil worked from home. Voss had Gideon over to play. He's obsessed with this Styrofoam plane the Kuklas gave him for Christmas. I finally nailed down a vendor for a PTA school supply fundrasier. Ellie had FC spend the night. Marly went to get basketball party. We walked up to Fast Wok for dinner. Phil and I tried to watch the Pharmacist on Netflix. Saturday morning was bfast and sleeping in (with ear plugs). I played in a tennis match at Jax Golf & Country Club. We won! The girls altar served for a funeral and got some cash. We all met for lunch at Firehouse. That evening we hosted Corked Crew with wines from Willamette Valley. No one wanted to brave the cold for the fire pit. Still a fun night. This morning was slow. We did our usual mass, CCD and bfast. I worked on some embroidery. Ellie went to Charlotte's sushi making Birthday party. We did a Sunday Funday tennis 8-some. Spot ran the neighborhood. We got him a new shock collar; gotta get this guy in order! We ended the night at my parent's house with a neighborhood Mardi Gras dinner. Delicious gumbo!
A fun week of love! Spot and I went to Ponte Vedra for his first check up. After we did a walk on the beach, which made me think- what the heck am I doing? We went to a Valentine cookie decorating play date. I hosted book club that night and it was kina a bust. I made a carrot soup and s'mores for the fire pit, but it was like 70+ degrees out there. So it was hot and wet so it was smoky and just not a good vibe. I didn't like the book, but the conversation was at least good. Ellie and I went on our last middle school tour, Darnell Cookman. So cool that my old pal, Luis was a teacher on our tour! Now, we just need to do the magnet app! I went to my friend, Rachael, brother's funeral. I don't even know what to say there. My friend, Rachael is so strong. I'm truly impressed by her and proud to be her friend. That night, I went to the One Vibe dance class. It was tough, but I'm so glad I did it! All on high heels! I was sore for pretty much the rest of the week! Wednesday, I got a passport! It was a belated Birthday gift from my sister, Katie! Then, my mom and I went to lunch at FYC. Phil and I went on a much needed date. We tried a new Willamette Valley wine at TCC. It was a really, nice night. Pre-Valentine's celebration. I spent another morning at the dentist, the last time until May, I hope. We were supposed to have dance practice on Thursday but no one showed so Anne and I had a drink at Lillians. Friday was Valentine's Day. Voss and I went to the nursing home to deliver Valentine's. It was all fine until one of the kids got their foot run over by a wheel chair. It turned bad. Luckily, she's okay- but the nursing home didn't handle it well. Voss had a play date at a buddy's house. I went to help with art day at school and then Marly's class Valentine party. Lots of crafts and sugar! Phil took the girls to the Valentines dance at school. Voss and I went on another date to McDonalds. I took Ellie and Leo to Marywood for CISV camp. It was neat to see her at Camp St. John (where I did Camp Risk and I Am Special). I went by my sister's house on the way home to catch up. Saturday morning, I drove out to the beach again (lots of listening time for my book) for a tennis match. We won after a tie breaker! Costco pizza for lunch. That night we went to the Hershorins for dinner. They do such a nice job hosting! Quite the spread, fire pit. It was nice! Sunday was a bit rough. We went to mass, religion class/bfast then back to church for the Dream Event. It was kina neat, but just long. It started pouring, we went to dinner at Panera. Soup was perfect! Early night for all! Today is President's Day. Marly, Abby and Voss went to gymnastics camp. Phil and I played some tennis, I lost every game. We had a bloody mary on the river after. Ellie came back from camp. The 3 of us went to Fire House for lunch. Ansley came over to interview Phil and I for her class project on marriage. Now he's playing tennis. The kids are at the neighbors. I'm watching more Shameless. So much love!
Another fun winter week in the FL; where it's 40 in the am and 75 in the pm! I worked the carpool line selling hands for the Friends of Stockton capital campaign. Marly called her Godfather and got some cash then went door to door and doubled it. Raising money for the school! We also did another middle school tour, this time to Kirby Smith. It was nice but she still likes JWJ better. The first part of the week was taken over with Marly's basketball playoff games. They won Monday but lost on Tuesday. I'm still addicted to Shameless but managed to finish the Library Book and The Couple Next Door. I spent more time at the dentist; 2 more fillings. For MOPS on Thursday we did a meal prep. It was awesome! A crazy wind storm appeared that night. I watched Phil win a tennis match. Jess hosted coffee club on Friday. We discussed the Super Bowl halftime show. A lot of comments about Shakiera and JLo being too risqué. It was a good conversation. Our weekend was pretty low key. Phil had a man cold so he was out of commission for the weekend. Ellie went to a CISV sleepover. I played in a tennis match on Saturday but we lost. Phil took the girls to a daddy daughter dance. Voss and I went to the driving range and then McDonalds. This morning we went to mass. Marly served. I did a pulpit talk for the Dream event next weekend. Ellie went to a Birthday party. We played tennis with the Van Wies then played kickball with the Applegates. We ended up at Sonic, which was a bad choice!
More magnet school tours, more Birthday fun, more Shameless for me. Dryanuary is officially over! I'm sitting here on the balcony with Spot and a Salty Dog, enjoying a cool, sunny super bowl Sunday. It was Literacy Week at elementary school so there were lots of fun activities. After Ellie and I toured LaVilla (the arts magnet) on Monday, I stopped in for a bit to read with the girls at lunch. I liked LaVilla but Ellie doesn't even want to audition. So, that one is out. Tuesday we toured Landon. Ellie liked that one second best so far (JWJ is still #1). We have 2 more middle school tours to go! It's tough because I don't want to get our hearts set on anywhere. We may like a school a lot but we are still at the mercy of the magnet lottery gods. The good news is that there are lots of options, assuming we don't get waitlisted everywhere. We brought Marly's teacher dinner and met her new baby. I had an Implementation meeting for Dynamic Parish. Still trying to figure out my roll. We kicked off Abby's Birthday on Wednesday at Krispy Kreme. She dressed as a Dalmation for the 101st day of school. She was so excited! And it was a half day. She had her buddy, Poppy come over after school. Then they went to WOW and CFA for a Birthday dinner. Thursday, my pal Tracy helped me get Voss to school so I could be there for the vocabulary parade. I think that's a cute idea. There was a PTA meeting afterwards. Friday morning, Abby and Voss had an early morning annual check up. They are both healthy, seeing well and growing well. Voss is 41lbs and 47 inches. Abby is 47lbs and 47 inches. Crazy that they are 2 years a part! They still are so sweet together. We took Abby to school then Voss and I went to a MOPS play date at the fire station. He was not impressed with the firetruck or station tour, but he loved the after party at the park. We had treats to celebrate a little friend, Thomas' Birthday. Phil picked up the kids from school; that was a nice treat. I finally finished How to Be a Muslim. I only gave it 2 stars but I'm still glad to have read it. I'm now onto a much more exciting book and also listening to a very boring book, blah. Abby and I picked up pizza for dinner. Phil took Marly to her last b-ball practice. We all watched Aladdin on Disney+. I still sang along! Saturday morning we tried to sleep in, had duck eggs for bfast then headed over to Marly's last basketball game (which they won so now they are in the play offs). Suzanne and the boys came to cheer her on. They took the older girls to lunch afterwards. Phil, the littles and I headed to Abby's Birthday party. We had it at Gyminators. Abby and 10 friends (and Voss) had a gymnastics class. It was so cute! Then, we had cake and ice cream. I think she liked it a whole lot! That night we were invited to dinner at a new friend's house, the Van Wies. They were super nice and had us all over. They grilled steaks and had 3 firepits going! One for s'mores! We stayed way too late and I lived up Feb first by drinking too much wine. So fun nonetheless! Voss made sure we were all up in time for 8:30 mass. I didn't realize that the girls were supposed to serve so we totally missed that! Religion class and breakfast. Phil and I crashed the Hershorins and Van Wie's tennis match. We all went to the Thivierege's new house. They hosted a lemonade stand for Abby's class as a fundraiser for the capital campaign. I heard they raised over $200! Now the kids are playing in the cul de sac. I'm hoping for an early bedtime and then some commercial watching for the Super Bowl!
Oh my, I am obsessed with the show, Shameless. I'm not getting much done in the meantime. It's not even a good show, I'm just hooked! I've got all this reading I need to do. The week kicked off with our first middle school tour. Super cold morning, Ellie and I headed to James Weldon. I really liked it; reminded me of the high school I went to. We had another MOPS reunion planning meeting. My plate it full! Voss turned FIVE on Wednesday! A whole handful! We had donuts in the morning and CFA in the evening. I think he had a good day. With school cupcakes, a visit from the zoo and WOW in between. Abby racked up at her awards ceremony. I'm so proud of her! I got my first mammogram, which was actually not bad at all. Thursday morning I spent with the dentist, another round of fillings. Rough afternoon once the numbness wore off. Walking in the park was good. Friday my parents came with me to 2 more awards ceremonies; Ellie and Marly. It actually bummed me out a bit because I know they could be doing better. So, we had some hard convos over the weekend. I'm working with Marly on her organizational skills. My parents took Voss to lunch for his Birthday. Phil and I brought lunch to the girls at school, along with a friend looking at the school. We gave them an inside tour. We went to a dinner to benefit Sulzbacher that night. It was a Casino night. It was pretty fun; even ended with pepperoni rolls! Saturday morning we headed to Marly's basketball game (which she won!). I dropped Ellie off at a CISV party, an international exchange group. Abby went to lunch with my parents for her Birthday. I played in a tennis match in Fleming Island (and won!) The girls and I went to a tea party. Phil and Voss played golf. It was a nice afternoon. The kids played at the neighbors, I watched TV. Phil and I had Chineese food. This morning was the usual mass, religion class and bfast. We had an afternoon Sunday Funday with a firepit. I made a veggie soup (Only Aubree and I ate it) and s'mores. Jordy burnt his foot pretty bad but we ended with a rosary by the fire. Great way to start the week!
It was like springtime all week then this weekend it turned back to winter. Whew! I'm obsessed with this show on Netflix, Shamless. It's horribly good. I can't stop. So that's what I've been doing all week. I should be reading more, probably some cleaning and organizing and exercising. But no, I've been binging. I had lunch at the Cummer with Steph, read to Voss' class, brought dinner to some moms with babies, ran a MOPS meeting about school choice. Oh man, a week of magnet! I attempted to fill out Voss' magnet application for kingergarden and somehow edited Abby's instead. I sat on hold for over EIGHT hours on Friday! Finally I gave up at 6pm. It was awful. We had a low key weekend after that. My bother came in town for the long weekend. It was nice to see him one more time before he heads for the west coast. He joined us for Marly's basketball game and then Voss' Birthday party afterwards. He had 3 buddies from his class join us on base at the playground. We saw Uncle Matt and Papa's old airplanes then went to the P-8 Poseidon hangar and got a tour! It was really neat! I think he had a great time! Marly even said it was the coolest party ever! That night we went out with our financial adviser then met the Hershorins, Matt and Paige for dessert and coffee (dryanuary). Sunday we did mass, tried to do CCD before we realized it was canceled due to the holiday then bfast with the Hershorins. Phil played tennis, Voss went on a play date. The girls worked on a writing contest. I hid and read. Another low key night. Monday we began MLK day with a nice bfast. Abby and Voss went to gymnastics camp (their Birthday gift). Ellie went to a friend's house. Marly played with friends. Phil and I played tennis with the Hershorins. I rode bikes with Meghan and Meredith to book club. We discussed Namesake. Lots of laughs!
It was a beautiful morning when I screeched out of the parking lot after dropping Voss off at school. I've never been so happy to head to the dentist office to get a bunch of cavities filled. You guys, my mouth is a wreck. I have 2 more appointments to get all these cavities filled. It's awful. All the kids are back in school. It's great! I hosted coffee club to discuss the killing of Qassem Soleimani, the Iranian leader. It was a pretty depressing conversation. Thursday, I subbed for the C team and played with Beth (and won) against the Woods. It was a great morning! Friday, Voss and I ran errands, met in Springfield for a play date and then visited Mimi and Papa. I finished listening to The Namesake and picked up a book from the library. We did family game night on Friday and played charades. It's awesome how everyone is old enough now for a game night! Life is back to normal. Dance is in full session. Spot is doing great with his new shock collar. I'm getting in my steps and getting time with friends. I even went over to Tracy's for hot chocolate on Thursday. Dryanuary is tough this year. I'm not doing well with no desserts. Phil and I played in the mixed doubles tennis tournament at TCC. Phil played with an elite woman in addition to me. So he was pretty exhausted by the time our afternoon matches rolled around. We lost one yesterday and won one today and one yesterday. It was fun. Marly had a game on Saturday. My parents and Suzanne came to see her. After tennis today we went on the boat for a bit then mass. A nice Sunday Funday!
Oh, the 12 days of Christmas. The Christmas music stopped on the radio, but things kept going around here. I had just settled down to enjoy a cup of coffee on Monday when I got a call from the kids dentist asking if we were still coming. Whoops- totally forgot what day it was! So we flew there and made it okay. All the kids got the candy cleaned out of their teeth and we celebrated the miracle of no cavities! We kept the party going and met the Spencers at MOSH to see the train display, had heavy snacks in the parking lot then met the Suters and new MOPS friends to ride the skyway to the library. The librarians in the kids department were much less than thrilled to have us there. We read and checked out books then attempted a trip to Sweet Petes to find out they were closed. Temper tantrums back to the the train. Phil and I snuck out for a happy hour date night to Orsay. We chatted with the Eisemanns and made them late to their show downtown. It was a much needed break. We watched a bunch of Christmas movies on Netflix and Disney+. I binged a cute new show on Netlfix called Virgin River. Major attitudes and fighting kids. Too much screen time and candy. You've probably seen them in the cul de sac when I've kicked them out (then sat on the couch watching TV and eating gummy bears myself). I see all my friends in Europe and traveling this week. I'm honestly perfectly content just sitting here. It's been a nice break. We went to the Nixons on Christmas Eve. They threw a fun, kid-friendly party roasting oysters and s'mores with sparklers and fireworks. It was perfect! I tried to get in my last drinks starting with a Salty Dog (grapefruit fresh from the tree) earlier prepping for Dryanuary. We put the kids to bed and barely made it to the TCC NYE party. They did a low key party at the Grove. It was perfect! There was a DJ and champagne toast. It was so neat seeing the fireworks go off at midnight all across the skyline of Jacksonville. Truly the perfect spot to be! I wanted to sip my last glass of red wine by the firepit, but a girl was puking right there so I came home and we had McDonalds and Netflix. Happy 2020! And Merry 7th Day of Christmas! On New Years Day the girls served at 10:30 mass. Fr. Luke did a great homily about saying the rosary more. We're trying to do at least a decade a night. We rode bikes over to the Cochran's for a party. They had delicious BBQ. Lots of great convos with friends in their gorgeous, new house. On the 9th Day of Christmas I tried to schedule play dates for all the kids but it didn't work out for half the kids. Marly went to Addy's for a sleepover. Abby had Sammy over. We went to visit Phil at his new office and have lunch. The next day I picked up friends for Ellie and Voss and we met more friends at the park and did the trails at Tillie Fowler. The weather was warm, it was the perfect thing to do. We went to the Hershorins that night for pizza and to play with their Christmas toys. Phil and I have been sneaking away for tennis matches a lot this week. Getting ready for a doubles tournament next weekend. We've beaten the Hershorins twice, tied with Ryals, lost to the Steifels and Rachels. On the 11th Day of Christmas, we went out with Matt and Paige for their last night in Jax. He left for PC and her to NC yesterday. Sad because Matt moves to the west coast in a few weeks so we won't be seeing him as often. We did a progressive dinner starting with drinks on the rooftop of Cowford Chophouse (mine was a hot tea). We met up with my parents for dinner at the Brick. Paige had never been to Mojos so we did wings there. Then ended with hot chocolate and cake at Biscotti's. It was a nice night. (Lots of Old Fashions for the guys- no Dryanuary there). The girls and Tug served at mass on Sunday morning. All the friends sat together, which was nice: Applegates, Hershorins, Freemans and the Glynns in the front row. The girls were back in religion class (they made cute wise men dolls) and we had bfast at TCC with the Hershorins and Smiths. I took Voss to his friend's Birthday party at the park. He was so excited! It's cold again. I'm listening to the Jan book club book, Namesake. Gotta gear up for the 2020 reading challenge of reading 20 books! I finished the Fall video. Working on a few others today. We played kickball in the Applegates cul-de-sac last night then met the Bentons for dinner at La Nap. It's really been a great Christmas. Now I've got to take down all these decorations!
It was a good Christmas. No family drama this year. Everyone got along. Phil was pissy on Christmas Eve because I took in my sister's dog for the day. Luckily, we worked through it and all was fine again after a stressful morning with Comcast. I did the bulk of my shopping the Monday before. Two hours alone in Walmart and I was back in the groove. I had been feeling so behind after my Birthday week and Nutcracker week. I stumbled to feel the Christmas spirit. It's amazing how giving can put you right back there. I didn't do too much but the kids didn't seem to notice. The next two days our neighbors came in full force with cakes, cookies, candy, popcorn, toys including a drone for each kid! (The same drone I ordered on Black Friday for Voss- the one bit of shopping I did early- and it never came!) Or the watch I sent Phil to Verizon for and I spent 30 minutes in Walmart looking for; and couldn't find- my brother gave to Marly for Christmas! I love it when it all works out like that! We spent an afternoon with the Hickses, watched a bunch of Christmas movies- Polar Express with Papa, Christmas safari or something with Ellie on Christmas Eve, It's a Wonderful Life while working on puzzle, Noelle and Mickey's Christmas Carol (while still working on that puzzle). The girls served and we brought up the gifts for Christmas mass. All in all, I think it was a nice time. And it's still going...because there are 12 days of Christmas and I think we're only half way there! School is out for another week! We are over tired and over sugared and crabby and full of 'tude. I think this is pretty normal for this time of year though, right? We stayed up late with the Quarities family (Matt's girlfriend), watching movies at Mom and Dad's. I finished reading Goldfinch and we saw that movie (very confusing and depressing if you didn't read the book!) then a Star is Born last night (more drugs and depression). We ended the week/began this week with a family trip to the zoo. On the way out, we saw the lights! That's the way to do it! Merry Christmas!
It was the week of parties for sure! Book club ornament exchange, I hosted a "my favorite things" brunch. Late night wine and cake at Rachael's. Wine club, which turned into a 90's dance and karaoke party. Phil's tennis friends Christmas party and the Harmons roarin 20s party! Today we made gingerbread houses at Suzanne's and we did the street progressive dinner party (maybe even the most fun yet!) The kids all had their class parties. I showed up at them all (had to peek in on some mean girl drama). Marly and Abby had a holiday sing along on Wednesday night. Voss had breakfast with Santa then a Christmas program at his school. School is officially out for the year. We are getting into the spirit. I have a little more shopping to do and lots of wrapping and programming to do. I was able to finally finish our video Christmas card by midnight tonight. Now, on to the blog! Marly had a basketball game this weekend. I got a bunch of cavities filled on Monday. I don't know what is going on with me but this has to change. I went to lunch with my dad. I took the kids caroling at the nursing home with all the big kids this time. We played at the indoor playground after. We got word last night that Phil's Godmother passed away. It made us all stop for a minute and think about this big, beautiful world and the small role we play. Tonight Angel, the elf is reading the Christmas story in the bible to some stuffed animals and manger scene friends. Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree!