Sunday, July 30, 2017

My Happy Place

Lauren and Taylor arrived at 11 Friday night with their fur babies in tow. On Saturday we had brunch with all our kids and their significant others.

With the exception of a security breach at Mimi's Pup Park where a wild pack of dogs greeted a neighbor walking their dog, the day was perfect. Having all the kids together at the same time is rare. I treasure this.

We had a bonfire and spent time with the telescope Saturday night. Sunday morning we reluctantly sent Lauren back to Georgia before tackling the walking bridge with friends.

Ice cream completed our outing and then we joined Greg at home for ribs. Have I mentioned how much I love him and his hobby? He feeds us oh so well every weekend.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Back-to-school Week

This week we celebrated Makenna's birthday, finalized a car purchase for her and started a new school year. It was a busy week which is apparently the only kind of week we know how to have. But I once again have sole custody of my van and know exactly where the tanks of gas are going.

Greg and I, not wanting to lose momentum on the closet project decided to tackle the top shelf one evening this week. We were both shocked to locate Brutus' medical records from Ohio in our stacks of paperwork. Greg was quietly processing while I fell apart. This shouldn't still hurt this much I tell myself, willing it to be true.

But that same project produced gems like this and the images bring back so many sweet memories.

The kids returned to school. We have a senior, a sixth grader in a new school and a second grader too. Kate and Ty ended up sleeping with me the days leading to their first day, both very unsettled about change. Every new school year leaves me a little anxious too. Trusting strangers with my babies isn't easy for me and I always watch the clock those first days waiting to hear all about their new teachers and friends.
Kate started the 6th grade at Lanesville Elementary in Mrs. Cole's class. Her new school is small and feels like a family. Elementary through sixth grade is a serious bonus too. She even gets recess unlike her friends in our local middle school.

Ty is a second grader at Georgetown Elementary in Mrs. Shiner's class. He hoped to return from the first day able to read comic books. His best buddy Kellen is in his class for the third year in a row.

And this is Makenna on the first day of her Senior year holding a photo of her kindergarten self. I shed all my tears the night before when I pulled that photo out of the album. Time is precious and fleeting.

And mid afternoon I received the following text from Makenna, "Senioritis is so real and it is really bad. The only class I haven't wanted to fall over and die in is tech". I shall stock the wine and chocolate accordingly. It just might be a long year!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017


Seventeen years ago, our slightly sassy, usually bossy and highly entertaining third child was born. She has added a lot of humor, a little drama and a fair amount of wisdom to our family.

She knew she was the middle child long before we did and she fills the role well. She will roll with the punches until she won't and then she demands being noticed. She has served as the balance between her polar opposite older sisters and then navigated being a big sister well too.

Makenna is seventeen today, starting her Senior year this week and has ambitious goals for the future. Not only does she hold a part time job, but she carries an ongoing leadership role in her technical theater program. She balances her workload well with a healthy side of silly fun with great friends.

Happy birthday to you Makenna Grace! I hope you are celebrated and feel special today because you deserve nothing less. I love you!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Vacation Week

We started off strong, Greg and I. This past weekend we went to dinner with friends and then walked the Big Four Bridge over the Ohio River. We spent hours together and it was glorious. This was the kick off to Greg's vacation of "let's not plan anything". And so we didn't.

On Monday, Kate returned from her Florida vacation with my parents with an ear that was raging with infection. I worked with my friend who happens to be an infectious disease pediatrician to get Kate proper treatment because the urgent care they visited two days before clearly didn't know what they were doing. I had five extra children and several school related phone calls to make in preparation for a new school year starting next week. Kate was feeling miserable and her mother was pretty unhappy swimmer's ear reached this point.
It isn't often he snuggles with me anymore so I tolerated Sunday morning cartoons and sipped tea with my favorite 8 year old. 

On Tuesday Erin called me crying. She hurt from head to toe and was so tired she couldn't keep her head up. Her doctor's office ran into an insurance glitch Greg worked on from our end until all the proper channels were informed she was in fact covered. That process took thirty minutes and according to the doctor's office, policy states she had to reschedule her appointment at that time. She fell apart so I gathered her up and took her to Urgent Care with hopes we would meet someone smarter than the moron who treated Kate's ear in London, Kentucky. Fortunately we did. They immediately dosed Erin with meds for nausea, a sprite to boost her bottomed out blood sugar, drew blood and did an xray of her back to eliminate an injury since it was her primary source of pain when we arrived. She was diagnosed with a UTI she never had symptoms for and believe she is suffering from a tick born illness. A culture was grown and her urine later came back positive for strep as well. The kid was sick. She is still recovering and likely will for some time. We kept Erin with us until we felt she was strong enough to drive herself home Wednesday afternoon.

On Thursday night, Kate and I attended orientation for her new school and came home to my antsy husband looking for something to do. He used his truck to pull the neighbor's rose bushes because she was having a difficult time getting them out herself. When he is restless, he gets in touch with his inner redneck and is entertaining, to say the least.

On Friday we ran to Home Depot with three kids for a doorknob.........and the floors in the master bedroom closet were finished today. We had to pull everything out to make that happen and I tackled that mess with brutality. The result looks like a hoarder intervention for the trash men. We will be out helping them load it up in the morning when five extra kids arrive to start our "not a vacation" week.
This was our 2:15 a.m wake up call this morning. Maybe we should have made plans for Greg's vacation week after all?

Saturday, July 22, 2017

A New Doorknob?

Greg and I have been in debate for quite some time about our bedroom floor. I have been in favor of laminate since I love it in the main living area and know how hard our family is on carpet. Greg really wanted the comfort of carpet. At one point during our on-going conversation, Oliver threw up on the floor and I had a significant amount of work getting that out of the carpet and then Greg spilled coffee on it. At that moment, he looked at me and said one of my favorite word combinations, "you win."

We put the project on our "in the future" list last weekend. On Friday, the last day of Greg's vacation week where he literally had nothing planned, we went to the Home Depot with three kids so it was definitely NOT a date. We went for a doorknob because one of ours was broken. (I have mentioned we are hard on things, haven't I?) We once again saw a floor we liked and convinced ourselves we liked it more than the one we had previously selected. We took home a sample and quickly discovered it was the same floor we had already decided would be perfect and it was discounted to 79 cents a square foot.

Greg started taking measurments and calculated our total cost before heading back to Home Depot. He most likely needs another vacation to recover but my bedroom and master bath look amazing. Even the guy who wanted carpet agrees. However, after we had everything put away, I flopped dramatically onto the bed and it moved across the floor. I was shocked and my handsome husband smirked, "I told you I like carpet".

Fingers crossed......

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Thankful Thursday

Makenna has a good friend named Kennedy who is a frequent visitor around here. She is a unique friend, to say the least. She loves my mini van. Seriously. The girl begs to drive it whenever an opportunity presents itself. In fact, the first time I met Kennedy, I handed her my keys and allowed her to drive Makenna to Target. We've been friends since.

Kennedy dreams of the future and her life as a mom. She has her Honda Odyssey picked out and is planning a career that will allow her to be a mom first. She is 17 years old and makes me smile with her planning.

But those dreams and skills have come in handy. She once took Kate bathing suit shopping for me so I wouldn't have to drag three little boys along on an already taxing chore. Not only did she locate an appropriate suit that fit properly which is miraculous on both counts, but she also washed my van. As I said, we are friends.

Kennedy reads my blog and one day called me out on my failure to feature her in this space. She selected the title and offered to send me photos. I countered that if she allowed me to play with the camera to gain additional practice, she had a deal. These are some of the results.

Thank you for playing along Kennedy. As it turns out, I am thankful for you.