Now that everyone is in school and things are getting back to normal, I'm having to figure out my new life as a free woman. It's really nice. It feels amazing to drop them all off at school and skid out of the parking lot. It turns out there is a whole lot to do and the school day goes by so quickly. By the time I clean up from breakfast and clear off the counter to prepare for the afternoon chaos, walk the dog and answer my email- it's time to go pick them all up again! I've worked out some carpool systems so I only have to spend 3 afternoons at the park by the dance studio. Dave takes the middle two to school every morning so I can take a breather. I'm thankful! I had planned on reading Whistle Stop cafe all day Monday in preparation for book club that evening. I realized I got the date wrong and was a week off. I've been casually reading. We had the MOPS Meet & Greet on Tuesday. It's finally here! The long awaited kick off week! I sorta threw together the M&G just bc I'm a visual learner and like to know where I'm going before the first day. We had a decent turn out and kina did a run through. It is more work than I was thinking. Since I'm kid-less, I pick up a lot of the slack. It is nice to not have to worry about kids during the meeting, though. I've never had that before. I met Fr. Donal for lunch and a beer in honor of "buy your priest a beer day". Not sure that's an actual thing, but I figured what the heck. He loved it, too! That night I dipped out to have drinks and apps and an evening with Amor Towles, the author of Rules of Civility. He mainly talked about his other book, which I hadn't read. So, that was kinda a bummer. I still enjoyed being there in that packed crowd! April and I went out for wine and cake after which is always a bonus! I finally got back out there to run this week. It felt good and no hip pain. I met friends for Steph and Molly's Birthday lunch. I had to sew Ellie's elastic and ribbons for her first pointe class! Thursday was the first MOPS meeting. I am so impressed with the turn out and how well it went! I went over the basics, we did introductions and talked about upcoming meetings. Then we played my favorite ice breaker, the chair game. It was so fun! The conversation got real and authentic- already! We have a great group! It was a whirlwind of a day! I made dinner for some friends who just had a baby and raced to a PTA meeting. I need to get some sponsors for the fall fest! That night, Phil and I went to the Jags game. The weather was actually chilly! Hello fall! We met up with the Applegates and had lots of fun! Friday, I watched the youngest Applegate boys. Voss and I took them and met up with the Spencers at MOSH. The space exhibit is so good right now! We rode the skyway and had such a nice day together with all the boys! That afternoon we had dinner at the pool and took it easy. Saturday we took Spot for a family walk. Then, Marly and Abby went on a girls retreat with the nuns at Assumption. Ellie had Nutcracker practice. Voss took a nap and Phil and I had a golf date. It was a gorgeous afternoon! Last night I got picked up by boat and went to a Stockton moms night out. It was too much fun. I stayed up late on a swing on the dock with some moms. Today I was so tired! I tried to sleep in. We took the kids to religion class and had a delicious Cool Moose bfast. We got a new smart TV and I'm trying to sync it with all our other google devices. Blah! We put up the lights in our backyard finally. We went to 5:30 mass then McDs for a quick dinner. Rosary, baths and bed! We're all ready!
I was stressed a bit this week getting into a new routine. Voss had his first week of preschool (finally)! That first day was a doozie. I got the start time of school wrong, didn't realize there was a school supplies list for the free state wide preschool and of course he threw a fit when I dropped him off. I went home to detox for a bit. I didn't even do anything amazing. Checked email, walked to dog, I don't even know. Tuesday I did better. Rachael and I went to the gym then sat in the pool. Wednesday I went to brunch with Laurie to brainstorm fundraising ideas to support a charity her mom loved to honor to her mom. Thursday I met Tracy for donuts and coffee. The girls had dance every afternoon. I worked out a carpool with Marly's dance so that's one less day I have to be up there. It was almost like the first week figuring out a new routine- how to figure out dinner, pack bags and get organized. Wednesdays we have to eat dinner in the park due to dance classes. Ellie and Marly did some babysitting for a friend who just moved into a new house so she could do some unpacking. I even got to go home and watch Ellen one afternoon alone! I'm going to like this new routine! Trexler and I went out to poetry night on Wednesday. It got started late but was pretty good. Friday we pulled the kids out of school early and headed over to Panama City for my brother's promotion ceremony. Congratulations to the newest Commander! We picked up Aunt Susan from the airport. My parents and sister met us there, too. Matt had a whole fan club. It was a neat ceremony with my parents pinning him. He gave a great speech, I am so proud of him! After we did a "wetting down" at a bar at the beach. We got to meet his work friends. I had some amazing baked flounder. Later, Matt and I walked on the beach and caught up (barely got in my 10K steps)! We got up super early the next morning and drove back to Jax. The drive was fast but tough. No one but Phil napped so everyone was crabby that afternoon. Phil took Ellie to Nutcracker rehearsal. I unpacked, washed the dog and the car, did some laundry and a Birthday gift for Ellie's friend. MOPS had a playdate at a brewery. There were some authors that did a story time. We checked it out but it was kind of a bust. Just so crowded! Phil played some tennis. I got the kids all to bed early. Phil and I met the Bentons out and sorta did around the world. We started at the German speakeasy then margaritas and queso at a Mexican place, El Jefe then French wine at the Brick. It was nice to catch up with them. This morning we went to mass then stayed for donuts (part of our new routine) and socialized. Then we took the kids to religion class and had breakfast at Cool Moose. My plan is to try everything on the menu! This afternoon we went to a surprise Birthday party for Stephanie. I was so impressed with Carl for pulling it off! They even had an awesome jazz band! Ellie left for a bit for a Sweet Pete's Birthday party for her pal. It was certainly a Funday Sunday! Happy to be back into a routine and lots to be thankful for!
Labor Day was Monday but it didn't really feel like it. Everyone was anxiously watching Hurricane Dorian turtle crawl up the east coast. Time was spent making and changing hotel evacuation plans as the storm kept slowing down. Steph invited us all to the FYC pool and we spent the whole day on a overcast, windy and sunny day. We met some TCC friends at Lillians for dinner. Claire and I snuck out for dance practice. Tuesday we hurricane proofed the house (moved all outdoor and porch items into the garage, put towels and tarps and things against doors and windows facing the water and moved important things up high, gassed up cars, packed bags and filled up on wine and snacks to go). We checked into the Holiday Inn in Orange Park (the same place we stayed for Irma. This time Spot came, too. The best news is that he was allowed to be there (during a mandatory evacuation). We hunkered down, went swimming, had the buffet and watched Americas got Talent. The next day we had the awesome bfast buffet and took turns taking Spot out. We read, watched TV, played games and had some close family time. It wasn't long before cabin fever set in. We decided to check out that evening when light wind and drizzle happened. I think we moved all our stuff back out during the worse time of the storm. I unpacked and re-packed for MomCon. Hell or high water, I was going! My parents saved me by coming back from Pensacola in time to watch all the kids for me (since school was canceled). They helped with Voss all day Friday, too. Lori Ann finally picked me up Thursday morning and we were on our way! We checked into the Swan & Dolphin as VIPs! Pina Coladas at the pool as we waited for the first session to kick off. The first session was a welcome and got us all excited. We went out for sushi and karaoke. On the way back to our room we saw the CEO of MOPS and took some selfies. Facials, wine and chit chat before bed. We had to get up super early the following morning for our dress rehearsal so it was a long day! Coffee in the green room as we did make up, practiced, prayed and took pics with Mickey Mouse! It was surreal. Our moment of fame finally came as we lined up and went on stage. It felt awesome to be up there! I was able to pull off my cartwheel and jump off the front of the stage like some kind of rockstar. Incredible! I'm so proud of our group for pulling it off! The theme for this year in MOPS is TO THE FULL and this is the best example of that! The rest of the day was pretty good. I went to a mentor mom meet up (since that's what I hope to eventually do for St. Matts) and then a session for new groups (which put me in a bad mood because they wouldn't retroactivate the half off discount offer even though I started ours a few months ago and were not very helpful). The purposful parenting was okay and I felt like the life balance had me ask myself some good questions but was meh. I didn't have time for lunch so ate a RX bar in one of the sessions. The main gathering was okay but ran late thanks to a long winded (semi-anoying) lady for Operation Christmas Child. It was feeling a little too salesy and we were late for the dinner reservation in my name. Luckily, dinner was great! We rode the water taxi around Hollywood Studious then had a girls night pool party. I was wiped out and in bed by 10:30. We got to sleep in on Saturday and the sessions blew me away. They did a Ted Talk format and had the 4 best speakers. The first talked about Anger and I was sitting in the front row with the big lights right on me (sitting next to Mandy's sister-in-law) and crying my eyes out. It was just so powerful! Then, there was a talk on promoting peace, JJ Heller (we listen to her CD all the time!) and spiritual yoga! What a way to start the day! Cheese platter thanks to Emily for lunch. Then, I went to a session on Serenity. She was a fantastic speaker. I even subscribed to her Podcast to keep listening. Next a session on marriage that was nothing new but a great reminder. The final session was with Bob Goff who is just amazing (talking about authentic conversations- YES!) and some Christian rock. Crazy! Phil is blowing up my phone to come home, which was lame. But we got back on the road and didn't even stop for dinner! Great processing conversations! This morning we got up for mass and then headed to religion class. Gotta work out the schedule for that with my #5thchild. We met the Freemans and Hershorins at the pool to watch the Jags loose. It was so hot we had to be in the pool! We came home and had quesadillas for dinner, said the rosary and went to bed. Everyone was tired! Me too!
I got in lots of family time this week! Voss and I rode to Mississippi with my parents. We spent the night at my Papa's old condo in Pensacola on the way there and back. My brother, Matt met up with us and rode with us the 2nd leg. We had to get to Covington in time to pick up Uncle Bobby's ashes before the funeral home closed. I also forgot Voss' antibiotic and had to transfer it to a pharmacy in Natchez. Good news is we made it all and got to Aunt Del's and had a BBQ dinner and even got to stop in McComb to see Uncle Bill & Aunt Jean and the Scovilles. Matt and I walked around the neighborhood to get in enough steps and had a great tour of Aunt Del's new neighborhood. The next morning we got up and had bfast. My cousins; Amy, Jenny and Leigh (and her daughter, Avery) all came over. We all went over to the church- the same basilica where most of my cousins were married. It was a nice funeral mass. I read both readings and did the prayers of the faithful. It was nice to see so many aunts, uncles and cousins. There was a nice reception. We took a bunch of family pics. Then, we headed back to Pensacola. Matt had to get back to Panama City from there. I walked a bunch of steps back and forth the halls to get to my 10K. The next morning we got up early and drove back to Jax. What a long car trip- plenty of time to bond with family and tell Uncle Bobby stories. I was home in enough time to do the evening activities. Phil met us at Pizza Hut (need to figure out a better Wednesday dinner plan going forward). Thursday was not back to normal. My sister, Katie and her husband and baby flew in that morning. We had a morning PTA meeting then I was able to meet up with them and snuggle baby Henry. That night we were treated to a Jags suite with the Wojeskis. Too bad the Jags lost- we still had lots of fun! We met my MOPS dance pals out at a German speakeasy. Friday morning, Voss had his orientation at school. More paperwork, met some new friends and saw his classroom. We visited with the Kuklas then met up with Matt for lunch (he came in town, too) to his favorite Larry's Giant Subs. That night my parents hosted us all for a fish dinner. It was nice to see everyone and have all the kids play together. Saturday morning we had breakfast then spent the day at the club. We played tennis, went to the pool then watched FSU loose. Ugh. That night we went to a surprise 40th Birthday party for one of my childhood friends, Garrett. It was a blast from the past to see my neighborhood friends from the 80s! This morning we went to mass then bfast then buzzed around the house. I'm still trying to get settled from being gone the first part of the week and now we are trying to Hurricane-proof our house for this next week. Blah! 'Tis the season!
It was kinda a weird week as I tried to figure out a new normal. On Monday we went to Voss' new school to register him and fill out paperwork. Turns out they don't begin until after Labor Day. So, now we have the never ending summer! I read Where'd You Go Bernadette in about a day; just in time to go see it in the theater for my friend, April's Birthday. My parents watched Voss for me (I had originally though he'd be in school). I took Voss in for his infected bug bite and as it turns out, its now a staff infection! So I was feeling pretty low about that. He's on an antibiotic and after a few days it cleared up pretty well. We layed low for the majority of the week. My uncle passed away after a long battle with Alzheimer's. So we made plans to head to Mississippi. We had a great dance practice on Thursday. We crashed mens night at Lillians for an after party and made some bad choices that made Friday rough. I powered through and went to the water park for another day of fun. That night was April's surprise party. I think I was mainly tired, but there were some good conversations. Saturday morning, Ellie and I got up early and headed downtown to the arts magnet middle school for her Nutcracker audition. I'm so happy we did the Village Dance prep class because she was ready. It was nerve racking waiting there, and then they announced that they wanted them to come back for the advanced auditions later that afternoon! I was nervous and excited. We met up with the fam and headed to the Holland boys pool party. We left early from there and went back to the afternoon auditions. Luckily, Ellie's friend Kennedi was in the same boat so I had a friend. Also, one of my childhood friends, Karen had a daughter auditioning, too. We waited in the school cafeteria all afternoon! Finally at 8pm they came out and announced that they were cherubs! We were elated! It was a neat experience; not sure I'm cut out to be a dance mom! Nutcracker practice here we go! Sunday, Ellie served at mass. The girls had their first day of religion class. We switched to St. Paul's since they do class on Sundays. They even had a waffle breakfast before class! The boys and I went to Cool Moose. Voss and I packed up and got picked up by my parents to head west for the first leg of Uncle Bobby's funeral. My fab friend, Laurie took the girls to the Suter girls Birthday party. Phil took the afternoon off and played 4 hours of tennis. We are all over the place!
The girls had their first week of school this week! Abby is in first grade with Mrs. Moore (an awesome teacher we've been trying to get for years- and one of the sponsors for patrols), Marly is in 3rd grade in Mrs. Cogswell's class (another favorite who was runner up for teacher of the year last year- she even has people praying and writing notes to each one of her students each year). She was super excited this week about a science experiment to do a gender reveal for her baby. It's a girl according to the exploding volcano! Ellie has a new teacher, Mr. Smith who seems to be very nice. He's new to teaching after a navy career. She loves being a patrol! It's going to be a great year! It was an odd week for Voss and I. Still no school for him. He's still rockin' the waitlist. I'm going to have to put him in my 2nd choice, which I'm pretty bummed about. It's just the hours, really- which I know is selfish. I'm going to have to figure out how to be 2 places at once since his school will start the same time as the girls 4 days a week. We had a few bum days, where I just sorta answered emails, cleaned and piddled around the house. It was needed, I think. We hosted a rager, last minute play date on Monday. It rained so hard Sunday night, it knocked the power out around town- including the indoor playground where the play date was supposed to be. I had the first MOPS girls night- a pool party. There were 5 of us there, which was nice. Good conversations. Voss and I had a pool play date with my doula, Sherry. It was nice to catch up with her. We had dance practice then I met the Hershorins out to celebrate Brian's 40th. Friday we went to Adventure Landing for more water park fun. The older girls had friends spend the night Friday night. I got off easy because we went to the dive in movie at TCC. It was fun for all! The following morning, the Bentons picked us up and Ellie was fitted for point shoes! My friend, Emily met us there. Super neat having a ballerina help with the fitting. We celebrated with lunch after. It was a rainy day. Ellie convinced Phil to take them to the daddy daughter dance that night. They had such a nice time! Voss and I went to McDonalds. He has this nasty rash on his leg. I thought it was getting better. I think it was a bug bite that got infected or some chaffing from his bathing suit. But over the weekend I've noticed it spreading so it's time to have the dr take a look. I finished reading 1,000 White Women. It was pretty interesting. I'm excited for the conversation. Today we went to mass then bfast then just took it easy. I walked Spot over and visited with my parents. Marly and I played Trouble. Ellie and I tried to read a chapter of HP but Abby and Voss worked on potions and tried to destroy their room so we didn't get too far. We've been reading a lot this week, though. No activities yet and not much homework. The Hershorins had us over for dinner so we ended up having a Sunday Funday. Gotta get into the routine!
We drove to the Panhandle for a beach vacation. I sat in the back with the kids and watched movies. It was a great drive! We stopped at my brother’s place about a block from the beach in Panama City. It was crazy seeing all the hurricane destruction on the way in. We got settled at Matt’s place then walked to the beach. He was out fishing with his old neighbors so we just made ourselves at home. Afternoon at the beach then pizza for the kids while playing old school Nintendo! Later, we did an adult dinner at a fish house down the street. The Bushwhackers did us in! Matt got up and made us a nice breakfast then headed off to work. We headed west to Navarre where my parents have an awesome condo right on the beach. It was pretty rough out there on the gulf. You could see storms in the distance, but it stayed dry for us. We found some boogie boards and the kids loved the rough water! We drove over the bridge for dinner that night- oyster poboy for me! We went back out to the beach and pool after dinner. Tuesday was a lot of the same thing- beach and pool, lunch then more beach and pool. We found a new dinner spot down the street at a hotel that had a lazy river! Ice cream during an evening thunderstorm! The kids were so excited to watch Descendants 3 in their rooms. Matt met some friends doing training in Pensacola at the condo. We got to meet them and entertain them until he made it through traffic. After they had dinner, we stayed up and chatted with Matt. He spent the night then headed out early to get back to work. I really enjoyed visiting with him. It’s so nice having him in FL. Wednesday was more beach and pool. Ellie convinced us to set up under the pier and it was an excellent decision. That shade is fantastic! My cousins, Dane and Rachael came after lunch. We had such a nice visit with them. We walked over to Juana’s for an early dinner. Back to the beach and pool to watch the sunset. Big hugs good-bye to the cousins! Phil and I enjoyed a late night pizza date watching the Rock (and me reading One Thousand Women). This morning we had one last beach and pool fest then packed up and headed out. We got some fried shrimp for lunch on the way out. We were home in time for Phil to go to tennis and me to go to dance practice. We did line placements and danced for 3 hours! We went for a nightcap, but didn't stay out too late. I was wiped! Friday morning bright and early we had meet and greet at school. We dropped off school supplies and met all the teachers. We picked up Spot on the way home. The rest of the day was kina a bum day. Unpacking, cleaning, Spot was all wound up. I kept the TV remote in my pocket because I felt they watched too much TV. Three of the kids spent a few hours at my neighbors house. It was awesome to have a break! Ellie and I folded clothes and read a few chapters of Harry Potter. The kids had dinner at the pool that night. It started pouring before Phil and I could order. We ended up getting take out Tijuana Flats and watching Stranger Things. Saturday was an easy morning. I slept in. Phil made poached eggs. We did some yardwork then headed to the beach. We apparently hadn't had enough. It was a hot day but the ocean felt great. The Kuders were staying out there so we hung out with them and the Smiths. We ended up staying for dinner inside, which was nice yet very expensive thanks to all the wine! We stayed way too late. Getting up for mass was tough this morning. We hadn't been late in a long time. Breakfast after was full of attitude. The guys napped, Marly wrote out positive things in her life to offset the brewing negativity. Ellie cleaned out the car. I took Spot for a long walk down to my parents house for a visit. We took the boat to the pool for a quick dip. It was like a bath tub- yuck! The airater broke! Fried chicken for dinner, packing lunches then the family rosary. A stormy night to help the girls get a good night sleep for their first day of school!
Another week of checking off bucket list items. I kinda saw it as our last week of summer since we head to the beach next week. We had a little play date with Ainsley then I headed to see Sherry for my last facial in training. She really is that amazing!! Ellie and Marly both went to babysit in the farms while I took an extra to an afternoon pool date. Tuesday we did the tumultuous trip to Walmart for school supplies. Happy to get that out of the way! We went to the Cummer Art museum that afternoon. I think that was the first time we’ve been on a free Tuesday afternoon when it hasn’t rained. So we got to run around and draw in the gardens. Anne and I did a live video in our new MOPS group. We went to my parents that night for a pizza dinner and to meet some of their friends. I went to Claire’s for a late night girls night watching Center Stage then lighting lanterns off their new dock. It took a while, but we got one going successfully. Such a soul lifting night with wonderful women and let’s not forget the foot massages by Sherry! Wednesday we helped the Cochrans in the pool that morning then headed back for more roller skating. We had our last piano lesson of the season and attitude was at an all time low. I cut the lesson short, it was that bad. I was glad Phil took Ellie to water polo for me. I stayed up late watching the Democratic debates! So many candidates! I’ll have to read up on them all. Thursday we rode the skyway with the Spencers to Sweet Pete’s for ice cream then played there during a thunderstorm. We went to MOSH on the way home and hung out with the dinosaur exhibit. Marly went to her pal, Addy’s pottery painting Birthday party. It was an exciting day because the girls found out their teachers. It sounds like everyone got lucky and got the best teachers! Maybe I’ve mentioned that I’m going to MomCon in September. That’s the big MOPS conference that I’ve been to in the past. Well, it’s finally in Orlando! We have a group of 22 moms going! My friend, Jarvis posted a video of us doing that 1 Vibe dance at the last MOPS meeting to one of the leadership FB pages. Well, the CEO of MOPS invited us to dance on the stage! Y’all, 5,000+ moms are at this conference! Let’s not even talk about the live streaming! Of course, Jarvis got her fab friend to choreograph a dance for us! We had our first practice Thursday night. It’s awesome! Friday I went back to Walmart to return some school supplies (now that we know teachers the list has been adjusted) and get paint. Ellie has been begging to paint her room. I helped tape it. She and Marly spent the whole day painting. I tried to not be involved. It was still stressful. But, it turned out great! We went to First Friday. I snuck out for more wine and dance practice after at Rachael’s. Saturday, the kids had their first piano recital. I was not expecting much after that last practice but they did such a great job! I am really proud of them! We did some yard work and packing then went to a friend of a friend’s for a cook out. I’m so flattered to have been included. We were wined and dined for sure! Sunday we got up and went to mass. Ellie served and we were asked to bring up the gifts (Marly’s dream)! We dropped Spot at a neighbor’s and headed West!
Now that swim team is over, we have no real place we need to be. It was time to go back to our summer bucket list and see what needs to be checked off. We had a last minute play date on Monday. Those are always the best. Nothing fancy. Ellie still had water polo. I had book club that night to discuss the #Momspringa book. We drank and discussed til late. My amazing neighbor took Ellie and Voss to see Lion King. I watched some Applegate kids. We ended up keeping Poppy for a while so Abby could have a play date. Marly and I did our own date with nails and facials and scrabble. That night was the swim team banquet. Marly cleaned up with the high point age group award and the coaches award! Voss also got a coaches award. I'm so proud of all my strong swimmers! We stayed and kept the party going until late. Poppy ended up spending the night with us. For rainy day Wednesday we went roller skating. We used our library passes. Piano that afternoon practicing for the recital! Thursday the Cutlips picked us up and we went to Ichetucknee. It was the perfect, overcast day out there. No gator sightings this year. That's totally fine with me since we get enough of that at home. I had a nice, peaceful float even signing Amazing Grace to myself among the beautiful Florida scenery. Coke float on the way home to prep for the late night girls night at Tracy's. More laughing and soul enrichment. You know I was tired on Friday! But we got Sawgrass passes and continued the party out there. That's definitly the way to do the beach! That was on Abby's bucket list. Another overcast day. I took an afternoon snooze then rallied for the Dive in Movie night. It drizzled but wine and Swedish fish makes any pool party fabulous! Saturday morning we went tubing and through a thunderstorm to the pool. We were at TCC almost all day. We were home for a bit then back for a farewell party for the Helms. I've been hiding from Spot in the mornings. I just needed a break from those walks and 5am wake up calls! My sleep didn't improve with a stressful text battle with my sister. Oh family! Sunday Funday was fabulous with mass, breakfast, rough boat ride to the pool (no luck for me on that obstacle course!) and then a lava cake bake off at the Applegates ending with the rosary. Summer fun for sure!
The final week of swimming! Ellie went to Thou Art Exalted camp this week. It's an art camp for rising 4th and 5th graders with a religious twist. I called it attitude adjustment camp because they had different character traits to work on each day. Perfect for this age group! We still had swim team each morning. Lots of fun things prepping for the River City meet this weekend. We went to Summer Waves on Monday as a team. There was a breakfast, poster making and even a visualization drill. I did take over Tuesday for MOPS. We had a new member mixer at TCC. The Hershorins and Foxes joined! We turned it into a date night and even got to see the space station across the sky. It was really neat. I went to the Blessed is She girls night on Wednesday night. We watched a video on female friendships then had wine, dessert and discussion. It was pretty neat. I also did a last minute pool party girls night with Trexler, Shad, Anne and Weiss. It was nice to catch up. Swim champs began on Thursday. We were short on volunteers so Ellie and Marly were put to work. Ellie was a timer and Marly helped with clerk of course. It was a great evening! Friday afternoon/evening was IMs for Ellie and Marly. My friend, Laurie watched Abby and Voss for me. We made it just in time for the reception and art show for Ellie's camp. We had dinner with the Bentons afterwards. We had Saturday morning off. Phil played golf, Abby and Voss went to a Birthday party. The older girls and I pulled weeds and packed up for an afternoon of swim. That was the bulk of the race. Ellie beat a few of her times. Marly seemed to swim slower. Not sure what that was about. I was bummed because she was ranked pretty high, especially for freestyle (top 10!). But she didn't keep that title. She didn't seem to notice. My neighbors helped watch the younger two so they didn't have to come out at all. We stopped at La Nap for a drink on the way home. That's probably what started our Saturday night trouble. We went to our friend, Matt's "Wetting Down" ceremony to celebrate him becoming a commander. There was some flip cup happening at 1am. Lots of bad choices there, but so much fun. You know Sunday morning was tough when we had to be back out for warm ups at 7:30am! Despite my headache, it was a fun day. Lots of team unity! Phil and I even participated in the parents relays! We didn't rank real high, but it was still a good season! We went to TCC for an after party. But the rain pushed us out. I ended up taking the girls to mass. Everyone was over tired after a long swim weekend! Go River Rats!