Whew, what a week!
I really didn’t think we would pull it together, but miraculously we did.
This was the final week of school and everyone was pushing to finish strong.
In the midst of final exams, appointments, work, and picnics, we had to prepare for the week ahead.
The result: piles and piles of packing.
We are headed to the ocean for some much-needed beach therapy. When we scheduled this trip, we had no idea it would follow on the heels of such a traumatic week. But now it is all the more appreciated and eagerly anticipated. This Momma needs nothing more than the crash of waves on my feet and the sun on my face to do a little healing.
But as of Tuesday morning, I had no idea if this trip was going to happen. At that point Ozzie was still hospitalized and we weren’t sure when he’d be cleared as safe to come home by Saturday. By the end of the week we received news that he’d be released Friday afternoon, just in time for all the graduation festivities/vacation plans to begin.
In the meantime, I kept making piles, hoping it would all would work out.
The packing for this trip was especially laborious as it is multiple vacations crammed into one.
We had to pack for the beach with all the clothes, towels, sand toys, food for the week, board games, fishing supplies, balls, kites and day to day living gear that would be needed.
We are piggy backing this trip to the shore on top of our real reason for heading east: Gracie’s graduation ceremony…
Which meant another pile with church outfits, dress shoes, jewelry and Gracie’s speech for graduation.
Then we had our pile of school books and supplies for four kids to return to the school since it is the end of the year.
On the Friday prior to graduation Grace will be attending prom, which meant a prom pile of dress, shoes, make-up, hair supplies, and her masquerade mask.
The kids will also be spending a day at their school painting a wall mural with the other mural club students, which meant yet another pile filled with paintbrushes, painting clothes, paints and a gift for their mural club teacher.
Then we had lists and piles of animal supplies to leave for our house sitter, and Olive’s packed bag for her stay at the kennel.
I just kept creating piles as I thought of things, hoping and praying we didn’t forget anything important (i.e.: the boys’ pills!)
Once we were done packing for next week’s excursions then we began packing for Friday night’s adventures.
Friday night was the annual “Father and Sons” campout with the other men at church. This is an event that my boys eagerly anticipate each spring. The girls also look forward to it as it means a girls’ night out with no boys!
By Friday evening all our packing was done, the van was loaded for the next morning. Camping gear was loaded into Toby’s truck. Tyler’s soccer treat bags were packed (Yes, we also had treat duty for Tyler’s last soccer game on Saturday morning) and we were finally ready to relax and enjoy a fun boys’ night/ girls’ night out.
Toby and the little boys headed out around 5:30pm to drive to Camp Agawam, where the campout was being held. All three boys were excited. Toby was, well…a good sport. 😉
Their evening was spent hanging out around the fire. Playing Navy and Pirates at the epic wooden pirate ship at the camp, and sleeping (or not sleeping) in a tent.
In the morning, they woke early (Tyler was up at 5:30 am) and had a pancake breakfast with the other campers before heading home.
The girls and I had an extra special evening planned. For Mother’s Day the girls gifted me with a gift certificate to get a manicure with them. We decided to wait until the “Father and Son” campout to schedule our nail appointment so that we could make it an entire mother/daughter evening. I was so excited. It’s been probably a decade since I had my nails done professionally. I was looking forward to some pampering and spoiling, but most of all I was just excited to get an evening with my two girls.
What a blessing my daughters are to me. I don’t know how I would manage without them. Not only do the constantly and unselfishly try to lighten my burdens through selfless service, but they fill my parenting love tank when it is empty and dry. They see my weariness without me having to express a thing and work tirelessly to make sure I know I am loved and appreciated…particularly during those long stretches when little brother is solely focused on hurting and tearing down.
I desperately needed loving care and my girls provided it in a way only daughters can.
We left for our nail appointment as the boys were leaving for camping. Grace had arranged everything.
We arrived and had fun choosing from the hundreds of nail polish shades. I found myself drawn to the beautiful fall shades of orange and rust, but forced myself to pick something fun and summery. So, I went with a hot pink instead.
We were called back one at a time. The experience was decadent. I would pay for the experience again just for the hand massage. It was lovely!
Grace ended up with beautiful periwinkle blue nails, to coordinate with her prom gown and graduation dress. Molly picked her favorite color of salmon pink, and I did a funky, textured, hot pink polish that felt very fun and sassy…two traits that have been noticeably absent from my life these last few months. 😊
Following our appointments, we went shopping for craft supplies. We were planning on crafting while watching shows in our PJs later, and needed some supplies for the projects we were working on.
Then it was time for a late dinner. As is our annual tradition when the boys go to Father/Son campout, we go out for a sit-down dinner. By the time we were done shopping it was 9:30 pm so we decided to keep it close and easy and go to Applebee’s. Little did we know it was graduation evening for a few local high schools and the place was packed with graduates and their celebrating families. Despite the crowds and slower than normal service, we had a blast. It was so much fun to sit and visit and enjoy a leisurely dinner with my girls.
We were home at 11:00 pm, put on our PJs, got out our craft supplies and put on the new Netflix remake of Anne of Green Gables, “Anne with an ‘E’”.
We crafted, did face masks, talked, and walked with Anne through episode #1`, finally crashing at 1:30 am.
It was a practically perfect evening.
The next morning the boys arrived home by 8:30 am. We ran Olive to the kennel, prepared things for the house sitter, packed last-minute items and filled the cooler, changed Tyler into his soccer uniform and headed to his game.
It was a good final game. Tyler played well and had fun, which is what really matters.
By noon they had won the game, Tyler handed out his snacks, and we were on the road!
Sand, Surf, and Sun…Here we come!