2019 Summer Week 4

Day 24 Clean Table

Finally. Home.  (For a day at least.)  I’m not ashamed to admit that some of the tubs and coolers from camping were still hanging out in the kitchen at the start of this day.  The best part of today was recovering the kitchen and dining room.  I’m thankful for a husband that still cheers me on when I send him these kinds of pictures while he’s at work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 25 VCTM & Trails

Photo Credit: AllTrails.com

So that home thing didn’t last long.  I headed to Richmond again for a meeting of the Virginia Council of Teachers of Mathematics board.  This was my first official meeting as one of two elementary representatives.  These kinds of situations stir up a bit of my impostor syndrome.  However, I was pleasantly surprised that the folks there were super kind, and I actually had decent ideas to add to the conversation and brainstorming.  As I had promised myself the week before, I ended the day with a ride at Pocahontas State Park on the most perfect trails.  While I was riding, my mom texted and asked if I wanted to catch up with her for dinner before heading back.  We enjoyed dinner at Chuy’s while chatting about her upcoming surgery and how her friends remind me of the movie Wine Country.

Day 26 Middle School

This week Chica has been attending a middle school orientation of sorts.  The bus picks her up at the top of our street, and she spends the morning there having breakfast, going to a few “classes” and eating lunch before she gets dropped off back at home.  While Bubba has certainly missed her company during the day, I think it’s overall been a great experience for her.  She’s talked about making a new friend, taking a tour, visiting the herpetology lab, and decorating a pot in art.  I’m thankful for the teachers who gave up part of their summer to make sure incoming 6th graders feel prepared.  Now we just need to figure out how to help moms and dads feel prepared too.

Day 27 Podcast & Bike Ride

Today was a first for our podcast!  We welcomed a remote guest, Alice Aspinall, who talked about her book, Everyone Can Learn Math.  She wasn’t afraid of our 6AM start time, and we joked about how thankful we are that a podcast is just audio and not video!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since Chica was having something special each day at school, I felt like I should do the same for Bubba.  We chose a morning bike ride on the trail and did almost 7 miles together.  When I go on short adventures like this with him, I can’t help but wonder what’s to come.  When he gets bigger and stronger, will he still want to go with me?  I would love hike the entire VA section of the AT one summer.  As of right now, it’s looking like he’s the only family member that might find that fun.  We’ll see.

Day 28 Girls’ Weekend

 

 

 

 

This spring, Alissa reached out to three of us who have girls the same age about planning a weekend getaway together.  Other people who heard about it assumed we were going to have “the talk,” but I think we’ve all already given it in one way or another.  Really we just wanted to get together to chat, eat, run, swim, hike, and let our big kids have fun hanging out.  We ended up in a little Airbnb on the Shenandoah River with way too much food for just one weekend.

Day 29 Hike

All the moms:  Time to go on a hike!  Yay!

All the girls:  Noooooooooooo…..

All the moms:  We’re going anyway.  Get your shoes on.

Despite their whining, we hiked the Hightop Peak Trail, a 3 mile out-and-back on the AT that you get to from the Shenandoah National Park.  The view at the top ended up making it worth it, even for the kids.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 30 Run Surprise

 

 

 

 

The cabin where we stayed was surrounded by beautiful farm land and an event space.  Both mornings, Alissa and I went out for a five mile run along the corn fields.  This morning as we were rounding the corner of one of the barns, we saw a guy sitting down taking a smoke break.  I tried to act like I didn’t see him because we weren’t sure if we should even be there, but apparently Alissa didn’t look away.  And she got an eye full of nekked lady!  We spent much of the rest of the run trying to figure out why she was there in the first place.  Were they the newlywed couple from the night before?  Limo driver and guest?  Owners?  Who knows.  Whoever they were, they certainly weren’t expecting us to come trotting around that corner in the middle of nowhere.

We were crazy hot when we got back, so jumping in the river in our shorts and sports bras seemed like the right thing to do.  Eventually everyone else joined us…until they saw a snake in the water!  Not being a 6 (look…I’ve learned something about the Enneagram!), I decided I wasn’t worried about it, and I stuck with my plan of swimming across the river and back while Rachel paddled along beside me.  The snakes stayed away.

 

I’m so incredibly thankful for this weekend that we had away.  No spreadsheets, no little people, no drama….it was perfect.  Here’s to conquering all the hard parts of middle school together.

2019 Summer Week 3

Day 18 Fight & Make Up

Today was the reset day.  The plan was to unpack from our camping trip, clean a little, pack again, and head to Grandma’s house for a few days in Richmond.  I knew I needed help, so I did what any desperate mom would do….I hit both kids with a great bribe.  They each had a list of chores to do, all afternoon and evening to do them, and a trip to MayLynn’s for ice cream waiting on the other side.  Well, Chica bit, but Bubba not so much.  Here’s an accurate summary of how it went down:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exasperated, I asked Chica if she had any suggestions.  And she did.  She said I should extend the deadline by 30 minutes and let him know that we were going to Grandma’s tonight, instead of tomorrow.  Whadayaknow?!?  It worked, the chores got done, apologies were said, and they stuffed themselves with ice cream before setting out for two more hours on the road.

 

 

Day 19 Pocahontas State Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

When we were camping last week, Becky encouraged me to check out Pocahontas State Park.  I realized just how close it was to Grandma’s house, so I talked her into taking us there on our first day in RVA.  The kids played by/in the water while I ran a few miles.  (What’s with that muddy trails sign, BTW??)  I made a firm plan to come back with my bike the following week when I would be in town again for a meeting.  They have the most well-maintained and marked bike trails I have ever seen…which I fully realize might not be saying too much because this (early) mid-life crisis hobby of mine is still fairly new.

 

 

 

 

 

Day 20 Kings Dominion

Keeping with our summer tradition, we visited KD today and did all the things.  We were waiting in line for the Avalanche, and Bubba looks over and asks, “Is that my cousin?”  Sure enough, their cousin was in line too!  What a fantastic surprise.

 

I was able to talk Bubba into a few more rides this time.  We rode the Racer 75 (also known as the Rebel Yell to old people), Grizzly, and Flight of Fear.  Right before the FoF took off he asked, “Does this go upside down?”  I honestly replied, “I don’t think so…”, then BOOM!  We flew out of the start and immediately went upside down.  LOL.  As soon as the ride was over, I started apologizing:  “Bubba, I’m so sorry!  I didn’t know it went upside down.”  He replied with a funny “Wait…what?”  That kid had kept his eyes closed the entire time, and he had no idea we had even gone upside down.  We ended up riding it 2 or 3 more times until he could keep his eyes open long enough to see the whole thing.  Fingers crossed for Anaconda and Twisted Timbers with him next year!

Day 21 Dressing Room Selfies

I don’t go shopping often, but losing a few pounds and attending a friend’s wedding definitely call for something new.  Jay and I were not only guests, but Lori asked him to take her photos, and I was planning to help as his second shooter.  I was feeling pretty particular about what I wanted, including nothing that needed a new bra, something other than black, and a high enough neckline and long enough hemline that I could bend and squat without flashing anybody.  After trying on lots of things and admitting just how embarrassingly bad I am at mirror selfies, I finally settled on a navy & white polka-dotted jump suit.  Thanks to Rachel’s suggestions, I followed that up with flip flops from Old Navy and a clearance rack necklace from Kohl’s.  Looking at these pics again now, I still wish I bought that one with the orange top, but the jump suit was definitely the best choice for working a wedding.

 

 

 

 

 

Day 22 Wedding!

Here are just a few of my favorite shots, but you can see many more on Jay’s site.  It was a beautiful and joy-filled day.

Day 23 VT

 

 

 

 

 

Jay and I spent the morning walking around Tech before we met Justine for breakfast at Gillie’s.  I feel sad thinking about this day because it’s probably the last time I’ll see her for a long while.  She and Kyle are moving to Charlotte where she’s taken a new teaching job.  Working as her partner this past year was such a privilege.  She’s smart, funny, caring, organized, and flexible…all the things you could want when working with somebody.  I’m going miss her like crazy, but I’ll attempt to keep up with her life in NC through her dog & cat Insta posts.  Also…why the heck didn’t we take a picture at breakfast?  This picture of them from the night before will have to do!