I am thinking... about the fact that I'm now the mother of a teenager! How did that happen? Elise is 13 today.
I am thankful... for a fun, relaxing vacation with both sets of grandparents.
From the kitchen... Elise's requested birthday breakfast - waffles, bacon, and sausage.
I am creating... beach trip blog posts.
I amgoing... to go buy Gigi's cupcakes for Elise's birthday dinner tonight.
I am reading... nothing right now. I need to go to the library or charge my Kindle. I finished Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple which is was such a funny, clever, charming book. I definitely recommend it. I also finished When in Doubt, Add Butter by Beth Harbison. It was not good.
I am hoping... that Elise has a happy birthday and fun birthday party this weekend.
I am hearing... Four Weddings on TV.
Around the house... vacation laundry waiting to be folded and put away.
One of my favorite things... Addie's excitement and passion for taekwondo. I haven't figured out why she likes it so much, but I love that she loves it.
A few plans for the rest of the week... art camp for Elise, gymnastics camp for Addie and Nina, lots of taekwondo, jump rope, and volleyball commitments, and birthday festivities for Elise.
Here is a picture thought I am sharing... birthday girl
We have been vacationing on Emerald Isle for 10 years. In all those years, we have somehow never stayed on the far Western end of the island. Apparently, the flora and fauna are a bit different over there, and we were taken by surprise to walk out on our balcony to find a big swamp.
With its proximity to the pool, we were fully expecting to see an alligator lounging by our pool at any moment.
We never spotted any alligators, but other swampy wild things were in abundance. We had a cute little muskrat hanging around all week.
Dragonflies, praying mantises (praying manti?), and frogs were everywhere. Addie was terrified of all the frogs (particularly when one jumped on her),
but Nina was in frog heaven! She was scooping up frogs right and left all week long. It was like we sent her to swamp camp!
There were a lot of deer on this end of the island too. The week was a great study in beach biology. Maybe I can call it homeschooling?
At any given time if we looked out in our backyard swamp, we could count at least 5-10 turtles. Our favorite though was this creepy dude who showed up in our driveway. It is an alligator snapping turtle. Appropriate name, huh? As a friend of mine said, "It looks like an alligator crawled into a turtle shell." We kept our distance though as his jaws can easily chop off a finger.
When I booked the beach house, I wasn't expecting a swamp, but it definitely added a little interest, education, and fun to our week!
Outside my window... a funny little swampy marsh outside our beach house. It looks like alligators should live there. So far, we've only seen turtles and a million tiny frogs though.
I am thinking... about vacation stuff, no work stuff.
I am thankful... for my parents being able to spend a couple days with us here at the beach.
From the kitchen... enchiladas, taquitos, salad, refried beans, and chips, and my mom made an apple scrunch.
I am creating... family vacation memories.
I amgoing... to take the kids bowling tomorrow if it rains again.
I am reading... Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple which is hilarious so far. I finished Obitchuary by Stephanie Hayes which is as funny and absurd as the title. I also finished Emily Giffin's The One and Only which I really enjoyed. It has gotten rotten reviews compared to most of her other books, but I quite liked it. I may be biased though. It was set in Texas, mentioned my high school, and she really nailed her descriptions of the Dallas social scene and Texas football obsession. She also named the chapel at the fictional college in the book Wait Chapel which is the name of the chapel at Wake Forest University where Emily and I are both alumns. All those things may have clouded my judgement of the writing or the storyline.
I am hoping... that my dad is OK. He isn't feeling well, so he and my mom are ending their visit with us at the beach a day earlier than planned.
I am hearing... a little rain. We've had some gloomy, rainy weather so far, but we're still having fun and making the most of our time when the sun is out.
Around the house... sand.
One of my favorite things... reading a good book on the beach, watching the girls play in the surf.
A few plans for the rest of the week... beach, lunch, nap, pool, repeat. Every day.
Outside my window... I am loving the fall weather! I'm sure we aren't done with summer heat spells yet, but this glimpse of fall has been fabulous.
I am thinking... that I don't like it when I have two Simple Woman's Daybook posts in a row. It tells me I'm not blogging enough.
I am thankful... for good public schools. I don't have the money for private or the patience for homeschool!
From the kitchen... who knows. That's up to J.C. I'm having chicken fingers at the ball park tonight.
I am creating... not much. I have a long list of things that need to be created, but I'm not actively working on any of them.
I amgoing... to enjoy the cool weather at the ball park tonight. Hopefully I can watch a few minutes of the game while I eat my dinner.
I am reading... nothing. I just finished Delicious!: A Novel by Ruth Reichl. It was a wonderful, charming, "delicious" book - a great first novel by Reichl.
I am hoping... that cutting out caffeine will help with my restless leg syndrome. If it doesn't, I will have endured caffeine-withdrawl headaches for nothing!
I am hearing... the washing machine washing uniforms - mine for working at the ball park, Addie's for TKD, and Nina's for volleyball.
Around the house... Elise's room is crazy-clean. I'm not sure what got into her, but I like it.
One of my favorite things... fall. I don't like that fall is the intro to winter, but I do love fall itself.
A few plans for the rest of the week... taekwondo, swim lessons, volleyball practice, dentist and orthodontist appointments, and book club for me.
Here is a picture thought I am sharing... this is Elise receiving her Phi Sigma Pi shirt at the jump rope end of year party this weekend. This was a big deal for her, and you can see the smile on her face. To earn the T-shirt, a jumper has to jump the following in competition: 5.0 in freestyle (phi), 250 in one minute speed (sigma), and 125 in one minute power (pi). The numbers may not mean anything to you, and that's OK. It just means Elise worked really hard for this and will wear that t-shirt proudly.