For 9 years I've been going to and hosting play dates, park hopping, going to library story times and going on toddler and baby adventures all around town. Things are a changin' for this mama! Voss had his orientation on Monday for pre-school. We saw his classroom and met some friends. Voss is in the same classroom all of his sisters have been in when they were 3! We love the blue door! We did a mega Costco run then headed home for naptime. Tuesday was his first day of school. I actually cried a little when I got in the car- he said, "You're actually just going to leave me here?" and then Nora Jones was playing in the car and I just lost it. After a bit I got my act together. I went to the gym at TCC, swam some laps then sat on a float in the pool. It was glorious! I took a shower then picked him up. I did that on Thursday, too. He had a great first day! I think he's going to be happy at school. And they are so sweet there! It's still kina surreal that I have 2 mornings off a week. It sure does fly by, though! We did some after school play dates this week before dance starts up. We had our MOPS small group play date at Emily's house. Ellie and Marly had friends over on Wednesday. Ellie went to Cora's on Thursday. Phil went to Orlando on Wednesday for work. I took the kids to dinner at TCC. We were pretty much asked to leave. We had a Friends of Stockton meeting. My parents hung out with Voss one morning while I went to a meet and greet for Karen Nuland. On Friday we went to Tiffany's for a boys play date. That night was the MOPS & POPS kick off party. I got to meet a bunch of new MOPS friends. I slept in on Saturday. Phil made breakfast. We had a lazy morning. We paddled over to the Hollands for Blake and Cody's Birthday bash. We spent the day in the pool/in the river over there. They really know how to throw a good party! We went to wine club last night- sipping summer wines. Today we went to mass then breakfast then back to the pool for Sunday Funday. The mass shooting downtown dampened our spirits some. I went to happy hour with some girl friends, then Phil went to play soccer. Burgers on the grill with some watermelon- the last week of summer!
This was the first week of school for the girls! Ellie is in 4th grade, Marly in 2nd and Abigail started kindergarten! Everyone has good teachers and is excited and seem very happy. I think it's going to be a great year! So far, Ellie is the only one with homework and it's already coming on strong (which, I think is great for her- she's very motivated!) Other than the afternoon over-tired, grumpiness, it's been a good week! The whole family helped with drop off on the first day. Voss and I went to the yahoo/boo hoo breakfast then headed out to do some chores. We turned in paperwork for his first day next week! Tuesday we did story time and then lunch with Phil to see his new office. It's still temporary space, but not a dining room table. Wednesday and Thursday we went to the Adventure Landing water park. Soaking up the last days of summer! I had a meeting with some people to discuss a new marriage ministry at St. Matthews. So, that's underway. I got to have a play date with my gal pals and catch up with them. That's always so good for the soul! I got in a few runs, but my hip is still hurting. I think I need to take it easy another week or so. We went to Atlanta for the Wojeski-Warren wedding. About 2 years ago, my friend, Meghan's sister was dumped by her serious boyfriend. To help get her mind off of things and lift her spirits, we took her out for a night of fun in Jax. Turns out the ex had some FOMO and did some serious thinking that weekend. They got back together the following week. Back to present day- and look who got invited to the wedding! Ha! We stayed downtown at Loews. Fun night meeting wedding friends and checking out the city. The next morning we did breakfast at the amazing Flying Biscuit then run off some energy at Piedmont park. My amazing Aunt Susan took the kids for the evening and spoiled them rotten! We got to have a really nice break. I even finished reading The Immoralists, listened to some jazz and we headed to the wedding. It was gorgeous! The flowers, food, ambience- just amazing! We're so flattered to have been included! We slept in a bit and picked up the kids and drove back to Jax. We were able to do a Sunday Funday at the pool with dinner on the terrace. What a nice week!
We spent the first half of the week in Navarre. Tracy and I had it down to a great routine. We'd try our best to sleep in- Voss and Abby, not so much. I even had a cup of cheerios and the remote on Nick Jr. ready to occupy them as long as I could. I feel like I've been seeing the Navarre sunrise for years! We'd head to the beach for the morning then the pool for a dip then up for lunch. Sandwiches, iced coffee and chips and cherries. Then a nap for Voss, TV for the others and reading time for Tracy and I. Then, back out for an afternoon at the beach. When we almost melted, back to the pool then out for a quick, seafood dinner. Bedtime for the kiddos then wine on the balcony for Tracy and I while star gazing. It was a fabulous momcation! We came back to Jax on Wednesday and even high 5'd by parents on I-10! That night I had a membership committee meeting. Ellie went to Chloe's sleepover. I'm getting caught up on Homeland. Thursday I hosted a river play date to discuss Jen Hatmaker's 7. Last minute piano lesson, a trip to the mall to fix my phone, afternoon thunderstorms and grilled steak from the cow we've been feeding to end the evening. Awesome! Friday was our school orientation for the girls. We got to meet their teachers and drop off school supplies. It was pretty overwhelming. It's going to be hard keeping up with 3 classes! I'm grateful they are in the same school! The older girls went to a sleepover and I hosted a kindergarten meet and greet for Abby's new pals. We had about a dozen parents. Aaron jazzed the party up by arriving via jetski and took kids tubing. I think I had more fun than the kids. Especially since Abby spent most of the party in her room on youtube. After an afternoon trip to Walmart to get last minute supplies, the younger two had an early bedtime. Phil and I got some Papa Johns and watched Homeland. Saturday was so lazy. It was nice! Phil picked up the girls, took Ellie to another Birthday party and Voss for a haircut. Ellie and I went to confession. Then afternoon at the pool. Another early night. Today we went to mass, breakfast then to Sawgrass for a beach day- the last day of summer break for the girls! Kindergarten, 2nd and 4th grade- here we come!
With swim team officially over, we were able to knock out some of our big adventure items for the summer. We had the Butler girls and Nixons over for a river play date on Monday. It was so fun to catch up with friends. The cove alligator showed up that evening about an hour after we cleared out of the river. I guess he was waiting! I had book club that night to discuss, We Were the Lucky Ones. If you could add a theme to our book club, it would totally be WWII. I guess there's just so many great stories to come from such a tragedy. Rachael and I needed a nightcap at Lillians after such a discussion. Tuesday we had a make up piano lesson all morning. That afternoon we went to the Norrises for a pool play date. Quinn has so many fun toys! Wednesday we got up early and the Cutlips picked us up and took us to Ichetucknee for the day. It was such a perfect day out there! We saw a huge alligator, otters, turtles and lots of fish! It was so fun! The only bummer was that my phone got wet and had to sit in a bag of rice for a few days. I realized I'm truly addicted to my phone. But it was good to go without for a while. It came back to life, but it's still not at 100%, which is a total pain. That night was the swim team banquet. It was a nice conclusion to a summer of swim! Thursday my neighbor Linda took the younger 3 to lunch and a movie. She is super nice! Ellie and I had the day to ourselves. We went to lunch then Rebounderz. What a great work out! I finished personalizing the kids backpacks and lunchboxes. Friday, Ellie and I did back to school shopping at Jump n Jax. Then we Birthday party hopped. First Tug's at FYC then Mabel's pool party- with a piano lesson in between. Saturday morning we got up early and picked up the Suter girls and drove over here to Navarre. It so wonderful out here. The weather is perfect! We did dinner nextdoor last night while the kids played in the sand. A nightcap on the balcony watching the planets! We really could see Mercury and Saturn thanks to Tracy's Star Chart app on her phone! Today we did a cousin day with the Mallettes, Andersons and my brother, Matt. A late night at Juana's for Sunday Funday! Fun in the gulf with the frog and celebrating Mabel's actual Birthday. Ah, a breath of that salty gulf air puts a smile on my sunkist face!
I super momed it on Monday and took the kids to the Summer Waves water park in Jkyll Island, about an hour and a half away. It was such an awesome day! Turns out this park isn't as big as I was thinking, which is good. The Bentons joined us along with the Agrestis later. I was still tired and recovering from the weekend. But a good go on the water slide, brought a huge smile! We stayed all day! This was the last week of swim team practice. It was a low key week. We came home after practice each day and made lunch, Voss took a nap. We watched a lot of TV. Ellie and I watched the 2nd Harry Potter movie. The girls and I watched Mama Mia. My neighbor, Linda took Ellie and Voss to lunch and to see the Incredibles in the theater. Marly got an extra long piano lesson that day. I finally got to see Gone with the Wind, the movie. Tracy and I did a movie night. I did an afternoon movie date with my friend, April. We saw Won't You be My Neighbor. Perfect for those afternoon thunderstorms! Friday afternoon kicked off the final swim meet of the season, the river city championships out at the cecil aquatic center. I was so thankful Phil came home early from work to watch the younger two. So, the swim meet without the littles was a breeze. The girls were only in one event, the IM, which they did at the same time. So, that was a little intense. We waited around for a few others then took a carpool home, picked up dinner then came home for an early bedtime. Saturday we had a relaxing morning together then I took the girls back to the swim meet. All there events pretty much happened at the same time, so that was exciting. Marly got 2 heat winner ribbons and Ellie got one in butterfly! I am so proud of them! We met Phil and the littles at the pool for a bit then headed home. Phil and I got an awesome date night lobster dinner back at the club. We met the Smiths at Lillians for a PH then pep rolls on their gorgeous back porch. Today was super low key. I went for a run then spent the majority of the day reading our book club book. Phil took the girls back to the swim meet. When they got home we went to the pool for an after party. Too bad the lightning ruined the pool. The kids and I went to mass. Phil did soccer Sunday. Rosary, capt. Ds and now Phil and I are indulging our obsession with Homeland.
Another week of summer fun! It was the last week of junior river rats. Ellie did Annie Pajcic's Thou Art Exalted (art and attitude) camp. I tried to let Marly pick some fun things to do. She wanted to help the Cochrans so I ran her down. The younger kids and I cleaned out Voss's room. That afternoon the Spencers came over for a play date. It was great to catch up with them! The rest of the week was great with Ellie at camp and the littles worn out from a morning of swim. Emma helped me out by taking Ellie from swim to camp so juggling wasn't so bad. Good thing because I carpooled lots of others this week- Ansley, the Applegates and coach Sam. During Voss's daily nap, one day the middles went to the Suttons, another day Linda took them to lunch and to see a movie. Such great neighbors. This gave me time to work on reunion prep. Remember, I'm on my high school reunion planning committee and the reunion is finally this weekend! Lots of looking through yearbooks and reminiscing. I also got tagged for #tbt for Camp I am Special. The memories! Tuesday night I did a sushi making- fundraising girls night. It needed an after party at Lillians. Wednesday was friend day. Ellie had Charlotte spend the night. Abby had her pal, Abigail and Marly had Addy. I had a full van. We stayed swimming at TCC late for kids eat free. It was a great night. Thursday night I hosted a MOPS girls night at my parent's house. It was quite the rager! Savannah did a FB live video, awesome desserts. and a 3am-er! Much needed! Although it set me behind for the weekend on sleep. Friday was the last mini meet. The kids got their medals. Ellie had her final art show from camp. Phil and I headed out for night 1 of my high school 20th reunion. It was at Intuition downtown. It was sorta like sorority rush with quick convos getting to know someone and deciding if they are worth another bid. Some good convos and some duds. Quite a few nuts-ohs. Phil went home and I kept going. We went to King and Post, a fun rooftop bar. I wanted to show off Jax city sites to my pal, Andrew. After a bit of sleep (again), I got up for crew practice. We actually got an 8 together! It took too long to finally get on the water but once we did, it was awesome! I really enjoyed it! I was so impressed with how well we did. I even got to stroke! I had to leave quick because Phil was very ready for me to come home and reunioned out. He went to play some tennis and golf. I took the kids to Voss's pal, Niko's Birthday party. Sweet and small and perfect for a 4 year old. After we went to a pool party at the Suters with more Stanton friends. That night, I went stag to the Saturday night gig. Well, not really I had lots of dates. The Saturday night gig was sorta bizarre. There was a slideshow that none of the pictures I sent made it into. Not sure what happened there. We did kina an awkward hug circle at the end. I was happy to move along to the after party. Another rooftop bar, Cowford. Awesome night and view. Then off to Volstead. Not a lot of sleeping this weekend! This morning we took it easy and watched Sing as a family, which was sweet. We went to the final part of the reunion- at Stanton. They had water slides, food trucks and tours of the school. We didn't stay long, but it was nice. I'm glad I went, but most of the folks I'm okay with seeing every once in a while. I guess that's how this works. I enjoyed the throw back, though. Afternoon thunderstorms are perfect for cuddling with excited readers. Ellie and I finished the 2nd Harry Potter book. We went to evening mass then brats on the grill.
It was a little hairy at first, figuring out the whole First Baptist Vacation Bible School gig. It's a huge process, dropping off and picking up- but man, the things I will do to get a break in the middle of the summer! Why First Baptist, you may ask? Well, they take 3 year olds and it's free. Bingo! Monday morning after drop off I drove out to the beach for a facial. It was glorious! That afternoon we rode bikes to my parents and went swimming. Tuesday, I met my friend, Ashley Hilley at the San Jose pool. She and her 5 kids are moving to Italy. Her husband is already working there. So, we got to catch up and say good-bye. It was fun visiting with all her friends, too. We went to afternoon swim practice on Tuesday and Wednesday. Voss and Abby did big rats practice, too. I'm so proud of them! Tuesday night, Matt came in town. He brought Phil and I McDs and we caught up. Wednesday morning, Matt and I went water skiing. It was awesome! It was a great morning. Skiing was way harder than I remember! I couldn't go no handed. I was able to drop a ski but, I busted shortly after. Thursday I got a massage, which was much needed after that morning of skiing! That evening was a swim meet. The girls did well. Friday I met a friend for coffee then we went for pedicures. I really enjoyed the week of Lucy! The kids loved this VBS, too. A win-win! We did afternoon swim practice, came home for hotdogs on the grill then back to the pool for Flick & Float, an awesome event at TCC. The movie was Finding Dory. The kids brought all their floats. There were glow in the dark beach balls, float races, popcorn and candy. So fun! Saturday, Abby went to her friends Birthday party. Phil and I played in a Wimbledon round robin. I won every game! Yay! That afternoon we drove out to the Safe Harbor fish market. It was really good, but I'm not sure it was worth the wait. Only a 45min wait! Then, we went to the Yazdiyas for dinner. They were so sweet to have us over! This morning we went to mass then the Hershorins for breakfast and to watch the World Cup. We were rooting for Croatia. Bummer! Later we went to the Suters for hotdogs and dinner. It's been a while since we saw them!
On the first day of July we went to Hanna Park. It was Ellie's request to check out the neat zip line they have (although she never gave it a try once we finally made it to that part). We spent a long time at the beach- longer than usual. It was just the 5 of us, no friends this time. And it was very nice. We saw lots of dolphins and a tortoise digging a hole. The only bummer is that I had to do a trash pick up to clear a spot at first. Even a dirty diaper! It was grose. But, then we were good. The splash park left much to be desired and the park wasn't as glamorous as we remembered. Dreamette on the way home saved the day. Especially for Marly who accidently got a regular cone instead of the kids I had ordered for her! Tuesday was swim team in the morning, a lunch time play date with the Bentons then an evening visit with the Danes. Hanna, her daughter, Maj-Brit and her daughter, Maria and Mathilda came back to visit us again. Three generations of Danish cousins! We had a great visit! We did swimming and dinner with the Freemans at TCC that night. Smack in the middle of the week was the 4th of July. Abigail's favorite holiday! She's truly been talking about it for months. We relaxed that morning, I went running, Phil played golf. We watched old summer videos and braided hair in the shape of a star. We headed up fo festivities at TCC but there weren't any. So, we ate lunch and went to FYC where there was a real party. We went to my parents for dinner with the Danes then back to TCC for a carnival and fireworks. They really made up for the lack of party earlier. It was awesome! Late night but lots of fun! Thursday we went with the Danes up to Amelia Island for a boat tour of Cumberland Island. It was pretty neat. The kids weren't as impressed, though. Seafood lunch was delish- aside from a nasty bump on my eye thanks to wrestling Voss back into his seat. Late nights are no good for my kiddos! Friday was back at the pool for swim team. Then a very relaxing afternoon with a trip to Walmart and catching up on monogramming orders. That night was first Friday. The kids did the tennis party. We celebrated the Poe's Birthdays. Another late night which I payed for today with bad attitudes. Saturday I got up early and took the older two to a swim meet. It was actually a nice break, working the bull pen and watching Ellie and Marly swim so strongly. The meet was over in record time! We went by to say good-bye to the Danes then headed to Jack's Birthday. Another fabulous Freeman party that lasted all day! So fun catching up with that crew! I stayed up and finished this awesome Netflix series, The Five. This morning we went to mass with our church pals. We did a family breakfast at TCC then headed to Nocatee to visit the Barker fam. We remembered running shoes this time and traded clothes around so we could go zip lining. So fun! That water park is awesome. We loved meeting baby Marty, too. Hotdogs on the grill for dinner, family rosary, reading time then early bedtime for the win! Now I'm enjoying a peaceful quiet sunset. Hip Hip Horray!
We're in the thick of summertime. It's nice. The mornings are in the pool, then home for Voss's nap. It rains every afternoon. I've been reading a lot. Ellie and I finished the first Harry Potter book then watched the movie together. Lots of TV and youtube. We're still doing piano twice a week in the afternoons. We're increasing time for the older two. We had a swim meet on Monday afternoon. After the rain delay, the meet ran so slow. The moon was out when the last relay was going. It was a late night! Phil doesn't have an office yet so he's been working from the dining room table. It's nice to have him around. Voss has decided to join the swim team. He's doing so well! He just sorta jumped in there. We watched the Applegate boys on Friday afternoon. River swim then the indoor playground. Phil and I played with the Hollands at the wine and nine. So fun, even if we were 2nd to last place. PH at Lillians later. Saturday was lazy. More reading and a wasted trip to pick up the girls tri packets. We went to Trader Vics last night then up for the girls triathlon this morning. Thanks to all this rain, the fields were too soggy so they canceled the bike portion of the race. Marly was 2nd in her age group! They did well. Muddy morning. We went right to mass on the way home then home for lunch. We did a quick trip to Groveland for a surprise anniversary party for Phil's aunt and uncle. It was so neat re-connecting and meeting new cousins. We're headed home now. What a weekend!
Man! It is hot! One day I started getting a little blurry. dizzy and had to lay down. I think it's the heat for real. Monday we did a MOPS Convention fundraiser with story time at Cool Moose. I think I was the only one who opted for the mimosa. It was a little chaotic, but still a good time. Next, we went to Jolley's for a pool party. It was so hot. I had to get in the pool. But when I get in the pool, my kids just jump and climb on me. So, it was not super fun. It is super nice having Voss swimming. I feel like I can actually take a deep breath. I've been enjoying R&R, which came as a surprise. I finished reading the book club book. I watched a thunderstorm come across the river and even took a little snooze this week. It's really nice. The girls had a gator-ade sale. They even went to the store on their bikes to buy their own gator-ade. Abby provided the capitol. Ha! Lots of river rats pool time. Everyone is looking good and swimming so well. I tried to burn some calories racing and treading water with someone climbing on me. Unfortunately, my FitBit still says I've had quite the sedentary week. We did kids eat free on Wednesday night. Happy to see the Smiths join TCC. Phil did an impromptu guys night. More piano lessons. Making take away crock pot meals for convention. We had a swim meet at Deerwood on Thursday. Rain delay was stressful, but my pal, John bought me a beer once the race began. Phil timed and older swimmers entertained Voss so I was happy. Late night for the kids, though. Friday after practice we went to the St. Mary's water park. It was nice to catch up with the Nixons. We stopped at their house on the way home for playtime and an afternoon cap. Perfectly timed with Phil's golf game. We did thai and Billions later that night for a date night in. Much needed. Saturday, Phil played tennis. I listened to a babysitter's knife presentation then took the older girls to Camp St. John to serve lunch with my book club at Camp I Am Special. I spent my teenage years at this camp. It really impacted my life. It was so cool to show this to Ellie and Marly. I even got to show them my pictures on the walls! Later, we met some of their friends at TCC to swim. It was so hot! I had to fight for the popsicle or unicorn float! That night we hosted wine club. The theme was California. I made notecards with fun facts about California wine production and put them all over the house. It was fun. Lots of tasty wine and catching up with wine pals. Bernie and Anita even came! Bit of a late night and then the clean up (worth it to use my china and cloth napkins!) Mass and breakfast this morning. Phil took the big girls to their friend's house to play in their neighborhood pool. Abby had a school friend, Emily over. Voss took a much needed nap. I've had a relaxing day! Now Phil has the girls at triathlon practice- theirs is next weekend. Sweet & sour meatballs in the crockpot. Happy mama!