New Challenges

Once again, it seems forever since I’ve checked in. I think about this blog and how much of our lives are documented on it. I also think of all I have missed by not keeping up with it. I have a lot to say. A lot about being the mother of boys, the mother of a high schooler and middle schooler, the mother of three dogs, a wife, a sports mom, a working mom, a friend, a sister, a daughter and the keeper and manager of everything that goes on in our lives both inside and outside of our home.  When the boys were little things could get a little dicey. I had no idea how much harder it would get. Why didn’t anyone warn me? Was there anyone to warn me? I really wish I had been warned.
First off, parenting only gets harder. I know hard to believe right? Seriously though, there are so many more things to deal with as the boys get older. Friends, sports,  grades that actually matter and so many other complex things. Also this fleeting sense that I have three years to make sure Ethan can successfully navigate either college, an academy, or  job, where ever his journey takes him. The other day I made sure he could use a can opener. I see these  jokes on how young adults can’t do anything and then I think to myself that I am not sure I’ve taught my kids how to do basic things either. Thank goodness, he can successfully use a can opener.  Now make the sandwich with the can of tuna he just opened, that was too much.
There is also, so much more love and joy. When the boys are successful and you see the smile on their faces and the pride in their accomplishments, my heart just grows to love them even more, which I never thought was possible. I have also learned so much from them and their interests. They both love to show me things and while it may not be anything I am interested in, I sure have learned a lot and been exposed to so much I would have never discovered without them. I have new interests that never in a million years I thought I would ever have. I love Marvel Movies, there I said it. I was begrudgingly forced to watch them and somewhere along the way I realized I loved them!  That is just one example there are many.
I am challenging myself to continue documenting our lives. As a way of remembering it, and sharing it. Everyone knows I have a terrible memory and I just don’t want to forget. I don’t want to forget the special times we are going though now. Yes, babies and toddlers are cute and there are so many fun things to do and take picture of and share. I don’t have that any more, but I do have two amazing boys that I am doing my best to mother though adolescences and there are other fun things to document and share.
The other night Jax had me hook the Nintendo switch up to the big TV. The three of us (Mike was out of town) had the best time playing 1-2 switch. Its just a bunch of silly competitive games you play with each other. As they get older they have different interests and it was nice to see them doing something they both enjoyed.
So here’s to sharing the challenging, but awesome journey that is our family with older boys.

Looking Back

I was looking for a picture and ended up going though a ton of pictures and reading the blog and was so happy I took the time to document all the little things that went on in our lives when the boys were little. The boys are not so little anymore, but there is still so much going on. I need a hobby as I have more free time since the boys are so independent, and I think this might be it.  I decided I really would like to remember this time with the boys in more detail then my brain will hold years from now.  Looking forward I will be blogging our sometimes boring, sometimes crazy life again. IMG_1639 (002)


I had a bit of a quiet morning this morning and was going back though the blog. I am sad that I stopped blogging and have missed documenting so much of our lives. I am going to set a goal to get my good camera back out, instead of only using my iPhone, and capturing life again. I think I lost track of some important things and I am on a mission to get them back.
IMG_8498Quick updates on everyone:
Mike just finished coaching a winning season for Jax’s coach pitch baseball team. He has found his passion for golf and enjoys unwinding on the golf course.
I bounce around from one thing to the next, but I just got back from a  business trip in New  Orleans and am looking forward to summer. I have gained quite a few pounds and my goal is to get them off by July 1st. I have some buckling down to do.
Ethan is finishing up 5th grade and has his promotion ceremony next week. I can’t believe he is going to be in middle school! He had an amazing school year and despite having mono this spring stayed active in many different ways. He is obsessed with Steph Curry and we have suddenly become Golden State Warrior Fans. I laughed and thought of my brother when he begged us for the expensive Steph Curry shoes, and yes shamelessly we caved. Its been cool to watch him develop such a love of something without our influence.
Jax had a great coach pitch season and was selected as an all star for his team and played a great all star game. He never seems to stop, but when he does, he crashes hard and that bit of baby that’s still in there comes out.
Arthur and Florence continue to make us laugh, annoy, and destroy the house on a daily basis.


Mike’s Happy Birthday

I have decided that Birthday’s on a Monday are stinky! They are hard to celebrate. But we figured out a way to make it a great birthday weekend filled with family, fun, and celebration!

The festivities began on Saturday night as we headed out to a new restaurant with my parents. It was a beautiful evening and the restaurant is on the water, so the long wait for a table was greatly enjoyed a the bar with drinks and apps.

My parents, who were kind enough to join us for the evening. We always have the best time going out with them!

When we did get a table, we were not disappointed, the food was fantastic!! I really can’t wait to go back. Funny enough though they didn’t have cake on the menu so we stopped at one of our other favorite restaurants for some delicious Smith Island cake! What’s a birthday celebration without cake? We gobbled it up before I could take a picture, sorry.
The next morning Mike, his brother Levi, my brother Jeremy, and my Dad all went and enjoyed Mikes new obsession…Golf
The guys played a round of golf and enjoyed a nice lunch.

Later that afternoon we went to celebrate another special little guy’s birthday, our nephew Vince, who was turning two!

Here he is playing with Aunt Susie, and the new fire truck he had just received. What a cutie he is!

After a great weekend of mini celebrations Monday came and so did Mike’s birthday. Sadly it was a work, school, and sport night for us, but I still decorated the house and made Mike his birthday Apple Pie!

Mike was able to come home early and enjoyed using his birthday gifts, new golf clubs, and a pass to the local driving range.
My brother Patrick was sweet enough to swing by, and just in time for singing and pie!

While it was a bit disjointed, I think Mike enjoyed a great birthday….despite the fact that it fell on a Monday!

We were fortunate it enough to attend the Redskins vs. Jacksonville game. What a great family day!! We could not have asked for better weather or a better game!….Well maybe Jax could have, but he came around!

In the truck on our way….wait, what did we forget…the grill…crap…we will have no time to tailgate if we turn around…Target to the rescue!…thank goodness I know every Target location within a huge radius of our house…and it was on clearance… and the guy gave us an extra discount on top of the clearance….score!…Problem solved YEA!!!!!
The parking lot was mobbed! Probably because it was the season home opener, but we found a spot and set up camp!

Let the fun begin! We happen to love Corn Hole so let the game begin!
It was the “red heads” vs. the “blondes” as Ethan always says…The Redheads won…Just sayin

And Jax makes the pass..
Oh no, it’s low…But… SCORE…. the amazing receiver catches it…one handed…just before it hits the ground!!!

Silly selfie with Mommy
Jax photo bombing Ethan and Mike
How Cute are my Boys?!?!?
Ok, Mommy wants in on the picture taking.
SCORE! A family picture!
Daddy had grilled us up some yummy food and after we were full it was time to pack up and head to the seats.
I just love how much they love and look out for each other!
The race though security is on…its an untalked about game we play…who can get though security first… we usually divide by personalities rather then hair color on this one…I wonder which team will win…which team wins every time….
DUH…as if there was any doubt…waiting for Mike and Ethan… on the other side…. Mommy hates lines and crowds!
We made it to the seats!

Our little Jacksonville Jaguars fan was pretty discouraged from the get go. Now if you are wondering where this random love of the Jaguars comes from, its because when you watch football on tv, the ticker always says Jax! And hence the random fan.
Thank goodness he decided he could still cheer for the Jaguars and be a fan…just not when they were playing the Redskins… all was good by the end of the first quarter!
Notice Ethan’s undershirt now covering the Jaguars jersey…he claims he was cold
All is going great…it’s a blow out…which is an exciting game for kids…especially when you are in the stadium…and what happens…
Jax gets stung by a bee…his first bee sting…I got some ice and prayed he didn’t swell up…. he didn’t…and to his credit bounced back very quickly
Now lets hope they can win another one this season!

Fall Sports!

With the kids back in school, the cooler nights and our sports schedule you can really feel that Fall is upon us. Now I know technically the first full day of autumn isn’t until Sept. 23rd, but in our house it’s here!

Jax has two football games under his belt now.

Jax plays many different positions, but his favorite is center, which he plays quite a bit.  It’s been a ton of fun and we have made many new friends.
Mike is an official assistant coach doing special teams and is enjoying being with the kids so much.

My #60 running of the field after warm ups!

Water break!

And while the team has an adorable team baby, Florence is the Team Dog. She loves coming to practices and games and has learned to just relax.

And while football has been super time consuming and oh so fun, lets not forget about Ethan. Ethan is picking up golf! As is Daddy, Pop-Pop, and Uncle Jer. So he’s joining the big boys and so far is really enjoying it!
The other day he begged me to go let him hit a small bucket of balls!

First golf lesson! It was such a beautiful day!

And when they aren’t running around playing sports they are doing other fun boys stuff.
Like Climbing Trees…..in the drizzling rain

And well just being boys!

“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.” – Mr. Rogers

In the past we have gone to the beach with our friends at the beginning of the summer, but due to family schedules we ended our summer at the beach this year. While the trip was far too short, it was just what we needed before school started!

The Fabulous Five!

Five of the greatest kids you will ever meet! Each with their own special talents and quality’s but all wonderful!

Hard to believe these two are now in 4th grade and almost 10 years old!

The cutest trouble makers of the bunch

Everyone in for an evening swim

Fun on the lifeguard chair!

I love Kaitlyn in this one! She cracks me up!

Future Surfers!

Rachael striking a pose!

Look Ma we dug a hole! And are going blind while you take the picture.

More sand creations.

The girls hard at work!

Mark my words, these two will rule the world together one day! We call them the Dynamic Duo!

Who needs a beach chair? Just dig a hole!

Enjoying some downtime

Silly boys!


I love those 5 little munckins in the front more then anyone could imagine.

Me with the peeps- goodness I need some eye cream STAT!

Sure sand throwing, why not!

Jax’s perfect sand ball!

Body ,or as it looks in the picture, knee surfing

The three amigos!

As I look at these 5 kids, I can only hope that no matter what friends they make, what paths they choose, and the 5 different directions that their lives will take them, they know they have this little group that will always support them though the good times and the bad. And when life gets hard they can always cherish that simple time at the beach together, away from everything, and everyone, except each other.

Sadly all good things must come to an end, but this really was just another beginning.
Morning breakfast on our way home.

Last Saturday Little Arthur was 3wks old and his immune system was up and running enough to where we could go and meet him in person! We were all so very excited as we have been spending more time then I would care to admit watching him on the puppy cam! Sadly Mike was out of town, so my Mom came with us. He was cuter and better then I could have ever imagined!

He’s a pudgy little thing and so soft and cuddly!

We couldn’t get enough the boys were practically fighting over him.

Ethan is most looking forward to teaching him cool tricks and likes to watch training videos on YouTube.

Jax is just Jax and is just thrilled to be getting a puppy! He did say he’s going to brush him, but for money of course. LOL!

Awe… Look how cute!
I wonder how many things that cute little mouth will eat?!?!

However, I am sure that much like Jax’s dimples serve him, that cute little face will be quickly forgiven.

And me, well I am over the moon about having a new baby in the house. With the boys getting so big and  independent I am looking forward to have a new little love to take care of.
Remind me to read this post when he’s destroying my house or driving me batty!

We have had so much loss in the past few months and he is going to bring us all so much joy!

And despite all that joy, I  know he will also bring, destruction, messes, hair, vet and grooming bills too.

But he will be worth it for the laughter, responsibility and fun that he will bring to us and our entire family! Especially the boys who for them, Arthur will be their boyhood puppy that they raise and remember for a lifetime. The boys love Florence, but Jax doesn’t remember her as a puppy and really she is more of an “adult” dog. She likes to cuddle with the boys, but doesn’t really play with the boys.
A month from today he comes homes and we get to go visit again in two more weeks. Until then you can find me watching the puppy cam!

He took his fist real steps two days ago!!!

Oh stop laughing its the little things in life that sometimes bring the most joy!
Here are a few cute pics snapped from the puppy cam.

Milk coma!

OMG I can’t move, I ate too much!

Mama just giving up! Arthur is sleeping under her tail!

Little sister Jill was still available on Saturday. Shes smaller than Arthur, and oh sooo sweet!

I cannot believe summer is over and that the boys started back at school yesterday! I also don’t know how I ended up with a 4th and 1st grader! WOW time really does fly by!!

My big 4th Grader!!

Hard to believe he only has this year and next before middle school!

And of our course my baby who is in 1st grade! Sniff sniff!

He’s so cute and was so very excited to be in an actual “grade” this year!

And of course we had to get in there with our boys!

Since we still had all of their supplies to drop off and they line up at separate entrances to the school, I went with Jax and Mike went with Ethan.

It was probably good that Mike went with Ethan as I cry every year! By the time time I peeked in on him, he was somewhat settled and in great hands so I didn’t cry! GO ME!!!

The boys loved their teachers and aside from sitting still all day, they both had great days and were excited about going back today!
Here’s to another great school year!!!

After such a fun hike on Sunday the boys and I decided to head back to Patapsco State Park, but with our Bikes! So we loaded them into the van and off we went. It was a beautiful bike ride down a paved path that ended at a bridge with a huge waterfall along the way.

The ride went along the river and was just beautiful!

It was a perfect day for a bike ride and the boys did great! It was 2.5 miles to the bridge, and 2.5 miles back. The path was pretty flat and I believe it was the furthest both boys had ridden on any one given ride. I can’t imagine a nicer way to spend the morning then riding with my boys along the scenic river!

And after such a great morning ride, we decided to hop on our bikes later that afternoon and ride the 2 miles each way to the local frozen yogurt place.

I love that the we all have bikes and love to ride together. Its a great way to spend quality family time and do something healthy at the same time!