A Mom's Life - Just taking it one day at a time...
My name is Beth. I am a wife and stay-at-home mom. I used this blog to document my pregnancy and the all too short time we had with her and it does my soul good to know that through my blog posts, Rebecca touched so many people. It was also through these posts that hundreds of people prayed for her and for our family.
They did a ropes course at Sky Trek in Castle Rock.
Then they found some snow (well, a little bit anyway) and had a picnic lunch!
Their view during lunch.
Then they headed to the Phoenix Gold Mine where they learned some of the history of gold mining and how to pan for gold.
There were a bunch of chipmunks and ground squirrels outside the mine that loved to be fed. Sarah would have come home with one of these if she could have.
Then they finished their day with dinner at Casa Bonita. It's a Mexican restaurant that looks pretty cool on the inside and apparently they do live shows and cliff diving??. However, Sarah said the food was horrible and she "was grossed out" the whole time they were there. I can't wait until she gets home to hear more about why she hated it. Even the leaders said it wasn't great but that the girls made the most out of a bad situation! HA!
Sarah said this was part of the inside of the restaurant.
This photo was taken after they left the restaurant. Their leader asked them how it was an please note Sarah (on the end)
Day 4 apparently started off with a visit to Starbucks which made all the girls happy. This was going to be a leisurely restful day without as much activity. They headed to Red Rocks Amphitheater. It's an outdoor amphitheater built into a rock structure in Morrison, CO. They climbed all the way to the top to go into it but the couldn't go all the way in. It was closed as they were preparing for a show there that night.
They did more sightseeing and some shopping and then ended their day at Bob's Atomic Burger in Golden.
Dan 5 was a bit rainy but the girls headed to Estes Park to do some hiking at Rocky Mountain National Park.
After another picnic lunch they headed in to town to do some shopping.
Sarah found a beautiful ring and spent a lot of her souvenir money on it. She was so excited about it she called to tell us about it.
Sarah's Girl Scout Troop made it to Denver on Wednesday morning.
My girl asleep on the plane.
In the airport all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed!
On the airport shuttle.
Sarah texted me this picture. She chose overnight oats, almond butter and an English muffin for her breakfast. She was trying to be healthy and I think she succeeded!
The girls headed to their AirBnB, got unpacked and then went to get some groceries and other necessities from Wal-Mart after their late breakfast. Then I think they all just crashed. Sarah texted me that she took a nap in the evening and didn't wake up until 8:00PM. She said she thought it was morning. But they had ordered in Chinese food and after she ate that, she showered and then went back to bed and got a good night's sleep.
And it's a good thing because day two was full of adventures!
They started with a horseback ride at Bear creek Stables.
Sarah said her horse just wanted to eat! Isn't it beautiful there though!?
Then because they were under budget from the day before thanks to only eating two meals (the girls have a budget and review it nightly to make sure they are ontrack) and since they had free time before their next activity, they went paddle boarding!
Then they went zip lining in Idaho Springs!
It's hard to tell from this grainy picture but that's the girls up at the top of that hill.
You can see the hill a little better.
My girl conquering her fear of heights. Although some of the other girls also did a bungee jump at this place to which Sarah said, "Nope!"
With all the birthday excitement over the weekend, it didn't dawn on Sarah that she might need to study for her driver's test until Sunday night. Then panic set in after she did a practice test online and she had a conversation with her brother.
Sarah: I did great. I got 6 out of 10!
Peter: Um, that's horrible. That's a 60! You have to get 20 out of 25 correct at the DMV which is an 80.
Sarah: I'm going to fail!!!
And then Sarah started to really study and I started to really pray. (St. Joseph of Cupertino is a great intercessor so next time one of your kids is struggling with an upcoming test, ask him to pray for them as well!)
Thankfully by Monday afternoon she was ready and....
Now she has a year to practice her driving skills before she can officially test for her real license. She drove over to her friend Gracie's house last night where she spent the night because at 1:45 AM they got up and headed to Charlotte to catch a plane to Denver.
Her Girl Scout troop is going to be gone for a whole week! They have so many fun things planned that I must admit, I'm a little jealous not to be going.
She has been looking forward to this trip for a long time and the girls have been working hard to raise funds to help cover the cost.
Here are the girls and their leaders in the airport at 3:45 this morning. Look how wide awake and happy they all look!
Their flight took off at 6:00 AM eastern and will land in Denver at 7:30 mountain. Have fun ladies!!
Our weekend of celebrating the end of school year and Sarah's 15th birthday was pretty awesome!
On Friday night we headed to Tokyo Japanese Steakhouse for our traditional end-of-school dinner. We started going there after the kids completed their first year at Our Lady of Mercy (3rd and 2nd grade). We chose that restaurant because it was near the school so it seemed fitting and because going to a Japanese steakhouse is like a little party in itself.
My mom and my brother joined us. Part of our tradition is not making a reservation and waiting in the bar. Lots of shenanigans ensue (anytime my brother is around there are shenanigans) and we made use of our wait time by trying to get some decent photos. I won't tell you how many pictures we took trying to get these but trust me when I say that everyone else waiting in the bar area probably thought we were crazy.
Because between my brother's eyes and my eyes being closed for at least 50% of the pictures taken of us and the fact that my mom hates 95% of the pictures taken of her, we have to take a lot of pictures just to get a couple of decent ones. And you know who hates that? Peter, Sarah, and Dan.
Here are a couple of pictures from dinner:
On Saturday morning, Dan's sister arrived from D.C. for Sarah's birthday. We were planning on going to Hanging Rock for a hike but the weather was horrible. There were a lot of storms and flooding so we decided to skip the hike and we headed to Reynolda House Museum.
We had never been there before. It was the country home (even though it was literally only three miles from downtown Winston and the city home) of R.J. and Katherine Reynolds. In case you aren't from around here, R.J. Reynolds was a tobacco magnate and founder of Reynolds Tobacco Company.
The house was built in 1917 and looks like it did then. It also serves as an art museum with paintings and other works from American artists. We had never been there before and we really enjoyed it. Plus they are participating in the Blue Star program right now so because Dan was in the miliatry, we all got in free!
We weren't allowed to take pictures inside the house but we did get a few around the grounds and indoor pool.
On Saturday evening we cooked out burgers and just enjoyed each other's company. On Sunday morning, we headed to Mass and then met my mom, brother, uncle and family friend at a local restaurant to celebrate Sarah's birthday:
After lunch we came back to mom's house where we enjoyed punch and birthday cake and presents:
And then after lunch, I took Sarah to the nail salon to get a fresh pedicure. She is headed with her Girl Scout troop to Colorado. They leave tonight and I already miss her!!
The kids had final exams this week and finished up yesterday. I spent the majority of the week double checking the exam schedule to make sure the kids were at school at the right times. There was only one day out of the four when they were both there together for both exams so that meant I was mildly panicked the rest of the time that one was going to be late or that I was going to forget to pick Sarah up when her schedule didn't match Peter's.
Thankfully they both got to where they needed to be when they needed to be there! Now I'm just praying that they did well on their exams. It's one thing when your kid is in 4th grade and has a test that they may or may not do well on. It's another thing when your kid is going to be applying to colleges soon and it feels like every point on every test matters because someone is actually going to be looking at their GPA. (Or maybe it's just me and none of it really matters.)
Needless to say, I've been praying extra hard for my kids during this last month of school and have been asking for the intercession of St. Joseph of Cupertino.
In news that's only exciting to the parent of said child, Peter received the 10th grade religion award at awards day a couple of weeks ago. Parents don't go to this awards day so no pictures.
* Sarah's 15th birthday was Tuesday but she celebrated with friends on Saturday. She invited 15 of her besties (yes, you can have 15 besties) from school to join her for lunch and 10 of them were able to come. They had lunch, gave her presents and posed for pictures. The picture posing is apparently the most important part. (Dan and I sat in the bar, ate lunch and enjoyed a day-date while the girls did their thing.)
Before we left for this lunch I made Sarah pose for a picture on the front porch. But then I made Dan take one of both of us which will be posted here for posterity:
Several people commented after I posted this picture to social media that I looked young. So I thought I would give you some tips and tricks to looking young in photos.
1. Have your husband get at least 6-8 feet away from you to take the picture. The further he gets, the younger you look. 2. Put your hand on your hip to make your arm look thinner. 3. Turn one knee out and hold your foot jsut so to make your legs look smaller. 4. Purchase giant glasses (that are actually probably too large for the size of your face but you've dropped so much money on them that you have to wear them until next year when your insurance kicks in again) and wear them to hide all of your around-the-eye wrinkles. 5. Suck in your stomach. 6. Smile. 7. Apply a filter to make your legs look cellulite free. 8. Stand beside the cutest 15-year-old you can find to distract from yourself.
And voila - a good picture that you can post on social media and make people think you are cheating time!
One month ago , I mentioned feeling and looking old - especially with my old lady crepe-y skin. A kind reader name Suz suggested I start using this lotion which she swears by.
So, I hopped right onto Amazon and it was here in two days and I've been using it ever since. In fact, I just ordered a second bottle. It has almost virtually erased the crepe skin on the back of my calves and is starting to work it's magic on the leathery looking skin on the top of my thighs. That's going to take awhile though thanks to all the years in the sun and tanning beds. Thanks for the rec, Suz!
* This weekend, we are celebrating Sarah's birthday with family. Dan's sister will be in from D.C. tomorrow morning and we will have lunch with my side of the family, have cake, and open presents.
Tonight we will be celebrating the end of the school year with our traditional dinner at the Japanese steak house.
Soon I need to go pick up Sarah from a sleepover (in Greensboro so that's going to eat up a good chunk of my morning. Seriously the only problem with our Catholic high school is that most of Sarah's friends are at least 30 minutes from here or more!)
Then I will be doing some cooking prep, some cleaning, some laundry, and some errands because moms never truly get a summer break. I'm not complaining though. I'm just going to try to enjoy my kids while they are still here because as Dan somberly stated last night, "Peter's halfway through with high school. He'll be gone in two years." ...sigh...
I went to Adoration yesterday morning at church. I felt I needed to go and sit with God for a bit to see what he had to say to me on some things I've been struggling with. I was pretty excited to go. I hadn't been in a while and the timing yesterday worked out perfectly with some errands I needed to run.
Other Catholics that I follow on social media go to Adoration and come back "refreshed", "invigorated", "full of the Spirit" and excited because "they heard God speak to them" and "give them direction" or they just felt so "full of peace" that they just knew everything was going to be okay.
I wanted (needed!) some of that so off to Adoration I went!
And I sat there. And I prayed. And I sat there some more. And I prayed some more. And I tried to quiet all the voices in my mind. And I waited for God to speak. And I prayed more. And I waited. I waited for direction, for peace, for refreshment, for answers.
And none of that came.
So I left Adoration feeling as if perhaps I didn't "do it right". I tried not to feel dejected but I wanted to come out of Adoration the way all the other people on Instagram do - so full of Jesus that they want to shout it from the mountain tops or at least from their Insta-stories.
I felt discouraged for the rest of the day.
I completed my errands, the kids came home from school, there was swim practice, dinner, and then it was time for bed.
I had just fallen asleep when one of the kids (who shall remain nameless) woke me up to tell me that a project they had been working on and that was due this morning had been deleted while they were trying to convert the file to .PDF. The file with hours worth of work was on the computer but was empty. Blank.
I was annoyed and frustrated but remained calm. I didn't lecture about waiting until the last minute but I started silently praying that the file could be recovered.
Dan and I got to work trying to help but after about 40 minutes of doing everything we could think of, we gave up. The file couldn't be recovered. I advised the kid to start over.
Coffee was made, more silent prayers were prayed, and Dan and I went to bed while the kid in question got to work.
The project got finished.
This morning as I was reflecting on yesterday, I realized the following: I was able to react calmly to an annoying and stressful situation, I was able to give an undeserving child some measure of grace, and I was able to get a decent night's sleep without too much worry about the outcome of the project after having left it in God's hands.
I like to think that this was in part (or all) because I went to Adoration yesterday. I didn't get what I thought I was going to get but perhaps I got exactly what I needed.
Maybe I was doing it right after all. And maybe I need to go back next Thursday. ;)
Thanks to Monday being a holiday, I will spend the rest of this week wondering what day it is.
The kids were out of school on Friday and Dan returned home from Ireland Friday night. The boys did yard work on Saturday while I did house work and made a blueberry pie. And Sarah started her in-car driving! Here's a picture I took of her driving out of our driveway:
She had a two hour session on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday and is now officially done with Driver's Ed. Her birthday is June 4th and she can go anytime on that day or after to test for her permit!
On Monday we had a cookout with my brother and mom and Jennifer's family. I took zero pictures but we had a great time!
Dan grilled burgers, my mom made twice baked potatoes, and I made a creamy cucumber salad, a fresh corn and tomato salad and Paula Deen's banana pudding recipe. (If you like banana pudding then you will love her recipe! I always make it in a trifle bowl so it looks mo' fancy.) I also made a baked pimento cheese dip that was delicious. I will be making that one again.
And yesterday was Monday/Tuesday which meant grocery shopping and swim team practice has started. And today is Tuesday/Wednesday and I had a doctor's appointment and Sarah has an orthodontist appointment and more swim practice and I guess tomorrow will be Wednesday/Thursday and where is this week going??
I finally abandoned my old neurologist, Dr. Jeffrey. A couple of years ago he moved from the Winston-Salem area to Lake Norman to semi-retire and I had been faithfully driving over an hour each way twice a year for my appointment. I finally got tired of that and asked him for a recommendation here and today was my appointment with the MS specialist he recommended. I really like her and I'm wondering why I didn't do this sooner.
And now you are all caught up with my life. Maybe one of these days I will write a post with some substance and not bore you all with my "what we did this weekend" dumps.
Or maybe not. I used to write about the kids all the time and now every time I even take a picture they scream "you're not putting that on your blog are you?" If I wrote about them in detail on here and they found out they would kill me. Have a great Tuesday/Wednesday!
We are just cruising right along here. May is usually very crazy for everyone with school-aged kids but this year, our May has been manageable. Dare I say almost calm? I guess it's because no one is receiving first communion or being confirmed or graduating to a different school.. It's pretty much been business as usual around here this May and I'm okay with that!
On Friday evening we attended Fine Arts Day at school. It's a day long event but parents come in the evening to listen to see what all of the art and music students have been up to all year.
There was a food truck so we grabbed dinner and brought our chairs and watched the performances in the courtyard. The weather was perfect and we had a lovely evening.
Peter's intermediate guitar ensemble performed several Queen songs and I managed to get this one recorded!
Under Pressure - YouTube
Saturday was yard mowing and house cleaning and cake making for Sunday dessert. On Saturday evening we went shopping for football cleats for Peter and then went out to dinner.
Sunday was Mass and lunch at mom's where we celebrated my Uncle's 84th birthday. I made a chocolate chip cookie cake that had cream cheese frosting between the layers and was covered in a chocolate ganache. It was so good!
It looks like a hot mess on the inside but it was sooooooo good! This is the recipe I used. (The only this I did differently from the recipe was to double the ganache and pour it over the entire cake so it looked like it was frosted. )
And now we are already at Tuesday. Dan is currently in Ireland. The kids are out of school this Friday and next Monday. It is always at this point in the year that I wish Christmas and Easter breaks were a little shorter and that we started a little earlier in August so that we could be done this week and not have to go back after Memorial Day. Now you are caught up!