Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Our Week - The One with Summer, Week 4 (Summer Camp, Girls Night, Music Lessons, a Pool Party, and Father’s Day)

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I cannot believe we’re nearing the halfway point of summer break.  We’ve done so many fun things, but it seems like there’s still so much more to check off the summer bucket list!  Today I’m recapping week four and it was a good one because the kids had their first week at summer camp!

Monday, June 13

Monday morning, we were up early to get the kids to summer camp.  Let me tell ya, it was a rude awakening after sleeping in for nine days while we were on vacation.  Well, for me, at least.  When I went in to wake Olivia, she flew out of the bed so fast… she was THRILLED to be going to see her friends.

Summer camp is at the kids’ school so some of their friends go off and on during the summer, but the camp is also open to kids that don’t go to their school, so they have the opportunity to make new friends as well. 

Each week has a different theme, and we let each of the kids choose one of the themes that they’d both go to.  Olivia chose “Disco Days” which was the one this week, and Jacob chose “Bless this Mess” which will be later in the summer.  The two weeks they chose actually turned out to be perfect timing-wise, too – it was so nice to have them at camp last week because it gave me time to get everything unpacked, put away, do the laundry, grocery shop, and get the house back in order (and our lives, too!) after being at the beach for a week.

When we arrived at the school for camp, Olivia was greeted by several of her friends including her two besties, so we knew it was going to be a great week for her.  Jacob, on the other hand, didn’t even see anyone he knew from school, so he was a little tentative about getting settled in.  He’s painfully shy, so I was a little worried about how his day and week were going to go.

I left them in good hands – several of the teachers from the school run the camp and they also have high schoolers that help out – and then I headed straight to Publix to load up on groceries because we were out of pretty much everything after being gone the previous week.  Give us aaaallll the fruits and veggies the week after vacation!

When I got home, I got the groceries put away and did my morning chores (unloading the dishwasher, tidying the kitchen, watering the plants, etc.) and then I started some laundry before heading to my office for the morning.  While pulling the sheets off of Olivia's bed, I saw that she had swaddled every single one of her tiny babies in her fuzzy socks.  Hahahaha.

I spent the whole morning catching up on emails and blog reading and getting caught up on other various blog stuff including drafting a post for Wednesday and sorting pictures from our trip.

Before I knew it, it was time to pick up the kids, and I was eagerly awaiting pickup as I had been thinking of Jacob all day and hoping he had made some friends.  Camp runs from 8 AM – 6 PM to accommodate working parents, but we can pick them up anytime.  The kids had asked to be picked up around 3:30 which is just slightly later than school pickup, but I got there at 3 because I was missing them so much.  Haha. 

Turns out, one of Jacob’s best friends ended up being at camp last week, too.  Last we’d heard, he was only attending the last week at the end of the summer, but plans had changed, and he was there.  Woo hoooo!  Jacob said they’d had a blast together, and he scowled at me when I got there 30 minutes early because he wasn’t ready to go.  They were in the middle of playing basketball in the gym and he didn’t want to leave.  Haha.

Olivia also had a wonderful day, and she was just bursting with stories of everything they did, primarily a dance competition that she and the other girls had created.  She told me she’d been at an advantage because she already knew several dance routines due to taking dance lessons and being fresh off of her recital.  Haha.

When we got home, I let the kids play Minecraft for a bit to wind down, and then I started cooking dinner.  By the time they were done, it was time to eat dinner.  After dinner, B headed outside to mow the lawn, but the kids and I stayed inside.  The temps last week were just insane, and the heat index was 107 degrees Monday evening, so I didn’t want the kids out in that crazy heat.  I was also worried about B mowing.  It was miserable. 

The kids were soooo cranky Monday evening, and they drove me bonkers with their bickering for the hour that B was outside.  We’d had a very full ten days at that point, so I’m sure they were just exhausted from traveling and camp.

When B came in, we sent them to take showers and get ready for bed, and while they did that, I laced up my tennis shoes and headed out to brave the heat.  After being at the beach all week and eating and drinking a ton of junk, I wanted nothing more than to run, but oh my WORD, it was still so hot at 7:30 when I headed out – the heat index was still 105 degrees.

I headed straight for the west side of our neighborhood because it’s the side of the neighborhood that’s in the shade first due to all of the trees behind it, and thankfully, I was able to walk up and down that street in the shade until the rest of the neighborhood was shaded, too.  I made it 2.47 miles before giving it up, and I was drenched with sweat when I got home, but it felt great to have it done.

When I got inside, we started catching up on a bit of America’s Got Talent with the kids, and then we sent them to bed.  After that, B and I watched an episode of Shark Tank, and then he watched Stranger Things while I planned my to-do list for Tuesday and tuned it out.  Haha.

Tuesday, June 14

Tuesday, I got the kids off to camp and then I headed to Target to do a couple of returns.  I also had to grab a few things, and I found the cutest red, white, and blue paper plates while I was there.  Perfect for July 4th since we always host now.

When I got home, I worked on blog stuff for the rest of the morning, and then after lunch, I started deep cleaning the house.  I got the countertops scrubbed down, I got the whole house dusted, and I got the toilets deep cleaned.  While I worked, it started getting dark outside, and just as I was finishing up, a huge storm blew through and knocked our power out.  Waaaahhhh!

The storm lasted forever, and I wasn’t about to drive in it, so I ended up reading by the window to get what little light I could.  It was so dark in our house from the storm!  One of our smoke alarms started screeching every two minutes and Maui was terrified of it, so she proceeded to slink around and around my neck like a cat.  She could not get close enough to me.  Haha. 

The storm finally tapered off around 3:45, so I ended up getting the kids from camp later than I wanted to, but it was better to be safe than to be driving in that mess.  Since Maui was terrified, I brought her along for the ride, so she didn’t have to listen to the screeching the whole time… it still hadn’t stopped at that point.  Sigh.

When we got home, the power was still out – sigh – so the kids played while I read a bit more.  B left work at 5, and the power was still out with an estimated time of restoration at 11 PM – ARGH – so he swung by and picked up pizza on the way home since I couldn’t cook. 

After a week of eating out, I wanted nothing more than to cook the heatlhy dinner that I had originally planned to cook, but what can ya do?

Just as B was walking in the door with the pizza, the power came back on – go figure – but it had been out just long enough that a bunch of stuff had to be thrown out in the refrigerator… and I’d just gone grocery shopping.  Sigh.

The one good thing about the storm was that it had cooled everything off outside by 24 degrees!!  It was still super cloudy out and only 75 degrees, so we ate dinner outside and then we all went for a walk together.  I walked about 1 mile with the fam, and then after they went in to shower, I walked 3 more miles by myself for a total of 4 miles.

When I got back, we watched a few minutes of America’s Got Talent, and then the kiddos went to bed.  After they were tucked in, B and I watched some more Shark Tank and Stranger Things before heading to bed.

Wednesday, June 15

Wednesday morning, I dropped the kids off for their third day of camp and then I went straight to Publix to buy all of the groceries that needed replacing in the fridge.  When I got back home, I cleaned out the fridge, tossing any risky items into the trash.  It absolutely breaks my heart every time we have to do that because of a power outage.  I hate when food goes to waste. 

Once that was done, I got to work on my morning chores, and then I retreated to my office with my hot tea to do some work.  I spent the rest of the day doing a couple of loads of laundry and deep cleaning the floors, and then I ran a couple of errands before picking up the kids from camp – Hobby Lobby to look for a bulletin board for Olivia’s desk and Kohl’s to grab a gift.  No luck at Hobby Lobby either… I just can’t find a good board anywhere!!

After I grabbed the kids from camp, we headed home and they had some screen time for a few minutes to wind down after their day at camp.  It was so SO hot here on Wednesday… the actual temp reached 100 degrees and the heat index was 110, so it was miserable outside, and I wasn’t about to send them out in that.

I had a girls’ dinner Wednesday evening, so when B got home from work, I headed downtown.  We ate at my favorite restaurant in the whole world – they have THE BEST filet I’ve ever had in my entire life anywhere – and it was the best night hanging with dear friends.  As much as I wanted that delicious filet, I opted for the spaghetti to try something different, and it didn’t disappoint either!

My friend, Heather, had recommended the Lady Grey cocktail, so I went with that one and, oh my word, it was delicious.  I can’t remember everything that was in it, but it was made with simple syrup made from Earl Grey tea and vodka and a couple of other things.  It was served cold, martini style, and it was perfection.  I’ll definitely be getting another one of those in the future!

While at dinner, the girls and I were discussing how much we love our group.  Everyone is so laid-back… there’s no drama, no jealousy, and everyone genuinely enjoys lifting each other up.  We’re able to be vulnerable and real with each other so there’s no fakeness (is that even a word?) or exhausting gameplaying, and we have really great conversations, and I’m just so very grateful for that.  That is rare to find these days it seems, and I’m just so thankful to have such a great group.

On the way home, it looked like it was going to storm, but I made it home with some time to spare.  I hopped on the stairstepper and we watched some AGT as the storm blew in.  Thankfully, this time the power stayed on, so we didn’t have to worry about the fridge spoiling again.

After the kiddos went to bed, it was more Shark Tank and Stranger Things for B and me, and then we went to bed.

Thursday, June 16

Thursday was another day of camp for the kiddos, and I made a stop at Walmart after I dropped them off.  Olivia has been begging for a hoola hoop and I hadn’t been able to find one anywhere (Target was sold out), but Walmart had them.

The rest of the day was spent working on blog stuff and getting some things done around the house, and then on the way to pick up the kids from camp, I swung by Hobby Lobby and At Home to return some things.

The kids had another great day at camp!  The theme for the week was Disco Daze, so each grade practiced learning a song and they put on a concert for the whole camp.  Jacob’s class sang Surface Pressure from Encanto, and Olivia’s class sang We Will Rock You by Queen, and they both said that they’d enjoyed singing and watching all of the other classes sing.

Thursday was also a big day for the kids because they had their first music lessons!!!!  Jacob has been asking to take piano lessons for a long time and Olivia has been begging to take voice lessons, so we got them signed up this summer at a local school of music and dance.  We thought it would be a good idea for them to try out their new activities during summer, and that way, if they love them, we can figure out how to incorporate them into our schoolyear routine with their other activities.  If they don’t love them, then at least we won’t have wasted precious time during the school year. 

The school was able to arrange for their lessons to be back-to-back every Thursday afternoon, so that way we don’t have to go there multiple times per week.  Olivia’s lesson is at 4 and Jacob’s is at 4:30, and each lesson is a private one-on-one 30-minute session so it should be easy breezy and something fun for them to do.

While each kid was at their lesson, the other kid spent their time reading, so this will be a great way for them to catch up on their summer reading each week.  The school has a super comfy lobby with tons of different seating options, so that’s nice because we don’t have to wait in the car like we do for Olivia’s dance lessons. 

When Olivia came out, she was beaming, and her teacher had nothing but good things to say about her voice.  She said that Olivia’s upper register is really strong which is rare for someone so young.  She said, of course, she has a lot to learn about voice control and singing from her diaphragm, but she said that she’s excited to work with her each week.  Her teachers seems like a gem, too.  I think we’re going to love her.

When Jacob came out, he was excited too, and he’d had a great lesson.  His teacher seems great, too, and he was very complimentary of Jacob and his skills thus far.  Jacob has never played an instrument or read music, but his teacher said he thinks he’s going to pick it up really quickly.

Jacob talked about everything he’d learned all the way home and he remembered every single technical thing he’d been taught.  I swear, he has the best memory.  He remembers everything he sees and everything someone tells him, so I think that’ll make his journey to learn piano much easier as well.

When we got home, I cooked dinner and then afterward, B went out to finish mowing while the kids and I hung out together inside for a bit… it was sweltering again on Thursday, so it was far too hot to do anything outside except for swim and we don’t have a pool.  Haha.

Around 7:30 I sent the kids up to get showered and ready for bed, and I went out in the blaze to walk/run.  I ran on the shaded side of the neighborhood so it wasn’t as bad as it would have been if the sun had been beating down, but my gosh, was it still miserable.  I got in a little over 2.5 miles and then I headed inside so I didn’t get dehydrated.  When I got inside, we watched some AGT and I did another 20 minutes of exercise on the stair stepper to burn a few more calories… gotta work off all of those vacation cocktails!  Haha.

After the kids went to bed, B and I watched yet another episode of Shark Tank, and then we headed up to bed.

Friday, June 17

Friday was the last day of summer camp for the kiddos, so I worked on getting as much stuff done as I could.  I worked on several blog posts, I got some gifts wrapped, I finished putting together Olivia’s desk chair, I got several other random things checked off of my to do list, and I ran to the liquor store to pick up some goodies for Father’s Day.

I also finally started cleaning the closet out in Brian's office... I started with the wrapping paper since it was an easy 30 minute job, and it feels so good to have started it.  Here is the before, the after, and all the junk I got rid of...

By the time all that was done, it was time to pick up the kids from camp.  B had to work long hours on Friday because he had a project that was coming to a culmination, so the kids and I were on our own for most of the evening.  We hung out together for the rest of the afternoon, the kids squeezed in a few minutes of Minecraft, I got in a stairstepper workout, and I made mac n cheese and hot dogs for dinner per their request.

The kids had been pretty grumpy all week, so the three of us ended up having a movie night with popcorn in our PJs watching one of the How to Train Your Dragon movies (again).  Then B got home in time to tuck them in to bed.  He and I finally finished the current season of Shark Tank and then B watched a few minutes of Stranger Things before we called it a night.

Saturday, June 18

Saturday morning, B had to be at work at 8 AM to work another long day to finish up with his project, so the kids and I hung around the house together all morning.  We had a light breakfast, watched some cartoons, and played outside for a while before it got too hot, and I also got in a cardio workout and the kids did their laundry. 

Olivia has been asking for a hoola hoop for weeks, and I finally found one at Walmart, so we hoola hooped outside for a long time.  It’s one of her favorite things to do on the playground at school, so she’s become quite an expert, and she was showing Jacob and me all of her tricks.  I was a hoola hoop queen when I was little, too, so I joined her, and she thought it was awesome that I could still do it.  Time to challenge her to a friendly competition, maybe?  ;o)

By the time we came in, it was time to eat lunch, and then I got showered and ready.  The three of us headed over to my parents’ house after that to water their plants and get their mail since they were out of town for the weekend, and then we headed to Olivia’s best friend’s house to celebrate her birthday. 

They have, quite possibly, the best back yard ever – it’s seriously GORGEOUS – and their pool has little splash pad streams that come out of the sidewalk and shoot into the pool making it basically every third grader’s dream come true.

Brian ended up getting off of work right after we arrived, so he came to pick Jacob up from the party.  Jacob was invited to stay, but he wasn’t interested because it was just a bunch of third grade girls.  Lol. 

Olivia swam and played with all of her friends for 2.5 hours straight, and it was so fun to watch her having such a good time.  Lots of our school fam was there, and it was great to catch up with everyone after not seeing them much the last few weeks.  Parents were invited to swim, but I was hoping to make it to 5:30 Mass so I opted out so I wouldn’t have to shower again… I knew we wouldn’t make it to Mass on time if I did have to.

Instead, I hung out in the shade with a few of the other parents and we chatted all afternoon.  A little after 4, everyone went inside for cake, and it was just the best afternoon celebrating Olivia’s sweet friend.  These girls have been together since daycare (at a different school) when they were three years old.  We were so excited that her friend moved over to our school as well!  Their friendship is just the sweetest.

We ended up leaving their house at 4:30, but they live just down the way from us, so we were home with enough time to change clothes and freshen up before church.  B was still working (from home) when we arrived, so he wasn’t able to come to church with us, but Olivia and I grabbed Jacob, and the three of us made it to 5:30 Mass as planned.  I’d debated skipping since the party had run so long, but I’m glad I didn’t because it ended up being our favorite friar’s last 5:30 Mass as their time is coming to a close with us.  Makes me so very sad!

After Mass, the kids and I headed straight to Five Guys to grab dinner to bring home, and then we ate together.  B wrapped up with work a little after 8, and then we watched one episode of Floor is Lava before sending them to bed.

Once they were in bed, B and I started a new miniseries on HBOMax – The Staircase.  Have y’all heard of it?  I love a good HBOMax miniseries – theirs are always the best!  So hopefully we’ll enjoy this one.  Episode one had me hooked, and also, I will always love Colin Firth.

Sunday, June 19

Sunday was Father’s Day, so we got up and had cinnamon rolls for breakfast.  Our favorite Flaky Grands cinnamon rolls are finally back in stock after months and months (maybe more than a year?!) of being gone, and it was soooo nice to have them back!

After breakfast, we watched another episode of Floor is Lava, and then I went out for a run.  The humidity was crazily low Sunday morning, so I thought that might make my run easier, but it turns out, I hate running in the sun.  Lol.  Even though the temp was only 81 and the humidity was low it was still miserable because of that sun beating down.  I’d much rather run when it’s cloudy/shaded and 99 degrees than when it’s sunny and 80 degrees.

When I got home, we all got showered and ready for the day, and then we all went out to lunch per B’s request since his mom didn’t cook lunch.  We met my father-in-law at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants that’s right down the street from our house, and we had a yummy lunch with him for Father’s Day.

After that was done, it was back home to bake a cake for Sunday dinner, and I let the kids do all the work.  They love helping me bake and they especially love cracking the eggs.  They always fight over that part if there’s only one, but this cake requires four, so they were in luck.  ;o)

While we were doing that, B got the kids’ bike tires inflated, and then while the cake was in the oven, we took them outside to practice bike-riding.  Per usual, it did not go well, and it ended up with a very frustrated Olivia.  And Brian.  And Jacob.  And me.  Hahahaha.  These kids are literally never going to learn to ride bikes, y’all.  Sigh.

It was waaaay too hot to be trying anyway, so I’m sure that added to the frustration.  We ended up staying out there for less than 30 minutes and then everyone headed inside because it was just miserable out (even with the low humidity). 

When we got in, the kids tidied up the whole house because it was out of control, and then Olivia painted her own nails for the first time ever.  I usually do it for her, but she’s been wanting to try it on her own, and she did a pretty good job.  Most importantly, she didn’t get nail polish all over the bathroom or her clothes or the carpet, so we’re calling it a win!

Jacob played Minecraft for a few minutes, and then B joined the kids to play the new video game that I’d gotten him for Father’s Day.  He loves playing video games with the kids, but we only stick to family-friendly stuff, and we never ever let the kids connect to the internet while they play, so I’m always looking for things that they’ll all enjoy playing together.  The one I bought this time was Kirby and the Forgotten Land for Nintendo Switch.  It has thousands of reviews, and it has 4.9 out of 5 stars, so I figured they’d probably like it.  AND THEY DO!

While they played video games, I got a few things done in my office, and then when I finished up there, it was time to get ready for Sunday dinner!  For the main course, I went with my Momma’s famous “Meaty Ziti” that we hadn’t had in forever, and then I threw together one of those Caesar salad kits and put some Cheesecake Factory bread in the oven.  It was easy peasy and it was all so delicious. 

My Momma and Daddy joined us along with my Mama Cass and Uncle Billy, and I was able to celebrate my two favorite dads together.  For Father’s Day, the kids and I also gave B a basket with all of the ingredients to make an Old Fashioned, and Sunday evening, I put my new skills to the test.  I made my own simple syrup and followed the instructions that one of B’s friends had sent to us, and they turned out pretty good.  I was, however, trying to replicate the one that we’d had at the beach, and it was nothing like that.  Back to the drawing board, I suppose!

We ate dinner indoors Sunday evening because it was hotter than mess outside, but after dinner, drinks, and dessert were devoured, we all made our way to the back porch since the sun was going down.  We ended up staying out there until after nine, and then after everyone left, we got the kiddos in the bed.

B and I watched another episode of The Staircase, and I’m riveted, y’all.  HBO Max sure knows how to do a murder mystery! 

And that was our week!  I hope y’all had a great one, too!

Happy Wednesday, y’all!


  1. We're only on day 3 of summer vacation here.. but it's been pretty cool these last few weeks and doesn't feel all that much like summer yet. The pool party looks fantastic and it sounds like your family had a wonderful Father's day as well.

    1. Oh wow, I always forget how early we get out compared to some people! Y'all still have a lot of time left!

  2. What a great week! So glad you got time with your girlfriends and I'd like to have Olivia's friend's backyard as my own :) LOL!

  3. I hope I get as much done as you during the week Simon goes to camp! That pool looks amazing!

  4. Let me see if I can start on "The Staircase"

  5. You know the Staircase is a true story, right? I haven't watched the HBO series because I'm not a huge fan of recreations but I might try it on your advice. :)

  6. We've been watching The Staircase, too! We definitely are going to have to talk about it, I have such conflicting thoughts, haha!

  7. Ugh! I'm so sorry about all of your food with that power outage! We've lost power here so many times now that we finally purchased a full house generator. We were without power for almost a week with a storm last summer and it was the final straw. How fun about the kids' piano lessons! You must be so proud of them! Also, great job getting outside in those temps - WHOA! So hot!

    1. Daaaang, a full house generator?! I didn't even know those exist! I totally need to look into that. It seems like our power goes out way too often and it's just awful throwing all that food away each time. And yes, we are soooo proud of the kiddos! They are enjoying their lessons so much!

  8. I need to give the Staircase a try. It's crazy how hot it has been!!

  9. That stinks about the power. It's been so hot here too!!

  10. I really love Earl Grey tea, so I bet I'd love that Lady Grey cocktail! I have never heard of it before! Ohh, I miss the days my kids would have camp and I'd get so much done. Now they have sports, but it is just a couple hours a day. Your kids school has a really neat camp program... heck, I can see why they're so excited to go! Your walk/runs later in the day must be so nice. It has been so hot here and I miss taking a walk later in the day (sometimes Nathan likes to walk with me). You are a champ for powering through the heat!


  11. There is no way you guys are already half way through summer break - kids just got out of school here! The rainbow arch is so awesome - love their backyard for sure - great for hosting!

  12. WOW! You guys are already halfway through summer break?! My cousin just posted a photo of his son's last day of school this morning. Enjoy every last second with the kiddos! And now I officially need a closet dedicated to gift wrapping <3


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