Around Here Week 33: 08/13-19

Monday, August 28, 2023

 A glimpse into what it is like to be in our family just this moment. 

Intentional Outdoor Hours: 510+ hours (of 1000)
We snagged plenty of time outside this week at practices/scrimmages. We are also loving our back porch and the blacktop. Grey got his hand-me-down bow from Chum (thank you) and was eager to get it sighted in and shoot the target 8 million times. My birthday walks are adding to outdoor time too and I have enjoyed them so much I made time to squeeze in some non-birthday, but just for me walks too! Hoping this is a habit that sticks!

Reading Wool by Hugh Howey and The Luminaries by Susan Dennard...but truthfully we are in the lowest interest of reading time period for me of the whole year. It will pick back up as soon as kids are in session at school and we get back into a routine - but this lead in where I'm not exactly sure how this is all going to play out has me completely distracted and scatterbrained. So getting in a few pages here and there but I'm mostly planning or disassociating (hah, but for real). 

Birthday Miles: Mile 31 with Mimi (.22 m), Mile 32 with Krista (3.41 m), Mile 33 with Juice (1.06 m), Mile 34 with Kev (1.42 m), Mile 35 with JP (4.57 m!) , Mile 36 with Becky C (1.21 m), and Mile 37 with Shelly C (1.34 m via phone PA to WA)

Visiting Mimi for lunch. Our whole family headed out to Brandon's grandma's house and she whipped us up the most delicious brunch (like she always does at the last minute - how do grandmas do it?!) and we spent the afternoon sipping coffee, chatting, and even got in my birthday walk with her - at 85 years old with a replacement hip, knee, and shoulder - Mimi killed that .22 miles! love you Mimi). 

Book Club finally! Our book club meetings happen about every six months due to scheduling madness (hah!) but every time is just so worth it and renews our hopes and dreams about being more timely with reading and discussing. We met at Pappy's pizza this time which was kid-friendly - so I loaded up 4 of the kids and while we all ate - they played in the arcade and the grownups talked books and teacher (the whole group is teachers from various local schools!) Next on our book club reading list: The Glass Hotel by Emily St John Mandel 

Loving our back porch! Mr. Darren is doing incredible work. He got the electric meter and the radon pipe all boxed in under the porch. It finally looks finished, tidy, and beautiful! He also finished the shake siding and all the roof pieces and moved onto the upper siding of the back of the house. We chose a sage green horizontal siding and it turned out so nice with the brown/red shake, the light tongue&groove on the inside, the dark brown tin roof, and the brown/red brick accents. Gah - I am just so happy to see it all coming together! Thank you Mr. Darren! 

Getting sucked into a tv series like the dissociative distraction that I need to survive right now. (Laughing about that FOREVER). I started watching The 100 because it seemed like the perfect poorly acted, giving all the Passions soap opera vibes that my wretched, overstimulated, anxious heart needs in this time of back-to-school-all-the-sports moment needs. Hahhaha, so ridiculous but also an amazing new addition to my life at 4a everyday. 

Visiting the middle school for orientation with Gemma. She was so excited to practice her locker combo and thankful to visit her classroom/teachers to see where she will be going each day. She is going to do so great in the 'big' school and I can't wait to see all the ways she will blossom even more. Love you, Roie girl. 

Paying our respects to a local family who tragically lost their momma. One of the family's sons is Rusty's classmate and former teammate when I coached them both in U6 soccer. Even though it is sad and scary to go, we believe it's important that our kids get practice in being there in grief with their friends and family. Rust did a great job and played Legos with his friend for a long while and we talked together about how we can help carry sad for the people we care about - but we also get to help celebrate happy too and that is the whole point of life; to be there for each other.

Happy for my parents who sold their house in under a week! They officially signed the papers this week and then had Gem and Vi over for a sleepover and had all the kids visit on Friday while I went for a birthday walk (thank you!) It's wild to think that the kids' visits there to play are numbered now, both sad and thrilling. So excited to see what their journey has in store next! 

Summertime playdates. Vi had a day at Giada's house, Gem went to decorate her locker with Evelyn, we did our annual last picnic of summer with the Conns, Valentines, and Huffmans at the Que on Thursday. Gem and Vi had a sleepover with my parents at their house too! And we had a Morgan Wallen dance party in the parking lot of the football stadium after the ice cream social with the Valentines too while we waited for some players to get picked up! (love you guys)

Basketball court debut party with Grey's friends at our house on Saturday night. We hosted some friends at our house to share our new basketball court. They played bball, but also football, and cops & robbers, and werewolf. Hah, it was a great night just hanging out and laughing and being chill before the school year gets started. 

Sporting and it's GO TIME baby! All fall sports are in session! Rusty had a flag football practice and a scrimmage (he did great at running back, linebacker, and QB2), Violet and Gemma each had 2 cheer practices. Grey had Heat Acc week followed by two days of full pads practice for football. Grey, Gem, and B all had fall sports pictures this week too. B had a coaches meeting heading into Camp week then he had football camp every day from 8a-5p including a community service day on Friday where the team worked around the school district weeding, painting the Path of the Pride, spreading mulch on the playgrounds, and painting. On Friday night, we all attended the annual ice cream social hosted by the football boosters. B handed out 'awards' to the players for their hard work at camp all week (complete with sashes and custom walk up music!) and Grey & Bryce came in at second place for the cornhole tournament. Then Varsity football had their first scrimmage at Purchase Line on Saturday morning. Gemma assisted the trainer on the sidelines and the rest of us were there to cheer on Coach Daddy and the boys.

Special shout out to Red and Olive who are practice/scrimmage/game CHAMPIONS. Man, these kids just find friends, eat their weight in snackies, and learn all the terminology and skills right along their older siblings and teammates. God bless the little brothers and sisters who have been attending practices and games since utero. Thank the good Lord for their adaptability, it will serve them well in life. 

Making crockpot beef au jus sammies, Korean ground turkey with rice and green beans, BBQ chicken sammies, sheet pan kielbasa and pierogies. For the basketball court debut party we had a hot dog bar (with lots of different topping options) and buffalo chicken dip. For breakfast this week - I made chocolate croissants, french toast, strawberry granola breakfast cake, and chocolate pumpkin muffins for the trip out to the scrimmage.

Around Here Week 32: 08/06-12

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

 A glimpse into what our life is like just this moment. 

Intentional Outdoor Hours: 475 hours (of 1000)
Now that the school year is closing in, I find myself in the house cleaning, organizing, and planning during the day -but thankfully fall sports practices and activities make sure I am grabbing outdoor time each evening. We had a great nearly full day outside at the family reunion and an afternoon/evening at the Que with friends that was just about perfect. Plus, my birthday miles! 

Reading Wool by Hugh Howey and being surprised how much I'm liking the in depth description about the silo. I don't normally like overly descriptive books, but I am not hating this style. Such an interesting concept for the plot - can't wait to see where this goes! 

Birthday Miles; counting 'em up! Thank you to everyone who has found away to make time to help me get this wish fulfilled. I have the best people (love you all! xxo). Mile 25 with Aunt Pam (1.16 miles in the absolute pouring rain!), Mile 26 with Mallie (1.04 miles), Mile 27 with Ang P (2.52 miles), Mile 28 with Jo (4.59 miles), Mile 29 with Elena (1.72 miles via phone PA to NY), Mile 30 with Miss Hannah (2.30 miles)

MOTH sighting! We got another gorgeous one this week, a Regal Moth. This one also only lives for about a week because they have no mouth.

Feeling all the teacher love - You guys!! thank you for supporting my teacher wishlist, seriously crying while smiling when we open a package from you all. I got surprises in the mail this week from Ang K and Alyson Q & her family, 

Celebrating Abba's birthday with a trip to the movie theater to see Barbie. We got all dolled up (ha, punny) and Rusty is always thrilled to have an opportunity to wear one of his several blazers (he picked the searsucker one for his most Ken vibe). We all loved the movie (don't mind me crying like 10 times), but most all loved being all together to celebrate my mumma. 

Obsessed with the progress on our back porch. Mr. Darren was here everyday this week working on finishing the siding/flashing/weatherproofing. It looks so gorgeous and I am so grateful he is on the job! Reddy was his helper this week - handing him strips of shake and nails - he loved being one of the dudes! 

Knock-knock-knocking on crazy's door. This is the last week before all levels of football/cheer (youth, jr.high, and varsity) go full ham on the season, but I can already feel the rumblings of mayhem. I need to take care of myself (Please remind me if you see me because I am freaking TERRIBLE at doing it). I did get a sinus infection this week with swollen red under-eyes and a dull headache (my body breaking down to force me to slow down, LOL, but seriously) It is about to be nuts but it will never be this nuts again. We have a lot of big firsts: we have a participant in every single level of football/cheer (flag, minors, majors, jr. high, & varsity). B's first year coaching Varsity AND his first year at a new school, the first time I'm the only one at my school (neighboring district). These next three months are going to be absolute chaos, but most of our life is chaos anyway (lol) and knowing that up front and trying to be intentional and organized about our time and effort is going to be what saves us. Also snuggles and hugs and early mornings and late nights. But nothing is permanent. So how we will get through it is together and we will always be able to laugh and say, "omigoshhhh- remember that?!"

Back-to-school prep! We got the kids' schedules and homeroom teacher letters this week! (G: Rising HR/Berzonski Pd1, G: Sanderson HR/DeBarto Pd1, V: Callihan, R: Magistro) I ordered mini magnets for Grey & Gem's locker plus other locker essentials for Gem's first locker (shelf, magnet pencil holder, & mirror). I spoke to my principal to see about dates to get organized physically and digitally (hah) and finalized my curriculum map for each class for the school year. I reached out to Miss Emma to confirm her first start date back as our nanny (yay! we LOVE you!) and Pappy took Grey & Rust for their annual school shopping trip (thank you!!)

Summer playdates: Grey had a sleepover and fishing day with the Conns, Gem separated aloe plants and replanted with Chum for her dreams of selling them at  the farmer's market (thank you cousin Hannah who hooked us up with planter pots!). Gem and Vi spent an afternoon at the Mock sisters' house and Grey got in some golfing with Chum. Vi got to spend some time with Giada while Mr. Darren worked on the back porch too! Mallie and his girls visited and all the kids had the longest, most fun game of tag ever in recorded history. 

Thankful for neighbors when we were rushing out of the house to get to practice one night this week and Lucille would not start. Oh man, it was so defeating and hot out and we were all just exhausted anyway from all the running. Thankfully, our neighbor Mr. Mike came to our rescue and got us over to the school only slightly late to practice. 

A day at camp with the Fiores. Kate and I took all the kids to the Que for the afternoon. We had lunch, lots of snacks, and the kids did some paddle boarding, fishing, hammock swinging, and swimming. We all had such a lowkey summer day of relaxing in nature - Gem honestly came saying how nice it was to have a campsite - but just for the day. Easy to make it comfortable and then so easy to pack up in the evening. 

Basketball hoop assembled! It's up! It's up! After all summer of anxiously awaiting our basketball hoop/court; it's finally all put together and ready for play....well, we still need to paint lines - but we can shoot hoops and ride bikes and hooray!! Pappy and Mr. Darren came by to help us get the glass and hoop up and then we and the Altimore family stayed out shooting hoops, playing outside, and listening to pump up music until dark. The hoop looks so great and we are so happy with how everything turned out. Now that we are moving into teenage/big kid years; we needed something for them to do on their own or with friends. 

Uzelac family reunion on Saturday. B and five of the kids went to the annual softball tournament in the morning while Olive and I stayed home to finish up our potluck meals (Pioneer woman bowtie lasagna and cowboy cookies). Then we all met up at lunchtime at the reunion with our extended family (my mom's mom's side; she was 1 of 14!) Grey sold 50/50 and got in on the horseshoe tournament (partners with Kev). Gemma led the Bingo games and helped all the kids in the parade. Rusty and Violet had a blast playing with cousins on the slack lines and playground. Reddy took a long nap and Olive did her "cheer dance" for just about anyone who would watch. We ended the night (as is tradition) with karaoke and Gem, Vi, and Rust were all happy to get up there and belt it out. It was a great day and went off without a hitch (good job Abba who is in charge of planning it!) As always, I am so grateful for our family reunions that keeps our kids connected to our roots. 

Sporting the first dip-our-toes-in-wild of fall sports. Jr. High football only had a 7v7 this week in Somerset. Grey loved it and all the boys did awesome. They will start Heat Acc next week. Gem (and me as the coach) had two cheer practices, Violet had two cheer practices, Rusty had three flag football practices, and Coach daddy had a full week of Heat Acc with the Varsity 3-6p or 3-8p. Plus he had the coaches' rules meeting and got all his coaches/volunteer spirit gear sorted and handed out. I picked up my drink donation for football boosters but then missed the meeting bc of cheer practice (ugh). B and I attended the Youth league board/coaches meeting too (reminder to thank your VOLUNTEER youth league board members and coaches!)

Making meat sauce spaghetti & garlic bread, pork chops with apples & cinnamon in the crockpot, copycat chik-fi-la sandwiches, homemade pizza, and Pioneer Woman bowtie lasagna (reunion). For breakfast we had egg sausage casserole and pumpkin/chocolate muffins. I also made a batch of cowboy cookies for the reunion. We had lunch at the school with Brandon one day this week with subs from the Thomahawk so that we could help sort coaches' gear and see Coach Daddy (hah).