8th grade graduation, blueberry picking, camp update

Thursday, July 2, 2015

I already posted about the 8th grade dance but I don't think I posted about Harry's middle school promotion.  Dave and I don't make a big deal out of this milestone as they only went to middle school for 3 years.  If it was a 1-8th grade school (like Catholic school) I think it is a bigger deal.

Anyway, we had some MAJOR flooding in Houston in May.  Our neighborhood flooded (not our house) and many of our neighbors and some of my friends had serious flood damage.  A few people I know lost everything. It was horrific. You simply would not believe the devastation unless you saw it. As president of my Mom's group at church, I organized help for these families in looking for places for them to stay, collecting gift cards for them, delivering meals, doing laundry and lots of other stuff.  I never posted about the floods here because I was really busy at the time trying to coordinate help for the families in our church group who lost so much.  But I did mention it on FB and IG and people from all over sent me gift cards to help these families.  It was so generous and kind.  Thank you.  The families were SO grateful.

So, Harry's graduation was actually the week of the flood. The award ceremony was cancelled the day before due to flooding. Harry did get the History award which surprised us all because he is not a History buff (Will is) but apparently he knows his History.  Good job Harry! He also graduated with all A's  for the year.  I think he actually had all A's all three years.  He is a good student.

It was raining the morning of the ceremony and the graduation was very delayed.




Kate was in school and Will had final exams so just the 3 of us went to the graduation ceremony.

Without getting too specific, these types of transitions are a struggle for Harry.  We could barely get him in the car for his 5th grade graduation.  He was a little better this time but afterwards I saw it coming out.  

We wanted to take him out to lunch but he was not in a good mood.  We did end up convincing him to go for seafood  (his favorite) at Pappadeux.  We had a nice lunch.  It is hard for me to watch him go though these times. And I feel so helpless. Adjusting to middle school was extremely tough and I am praying every single day that his adjustment to high school is better.

He has attended three camps this summer (basketball, lacrosse and study skills) at his new high school.  So, hopefully he is feeling comfortable there already.

The weekend before the flood, we went blueberry picking. Let me just say that Harry is 14 y'all.  he DOES NOT want me taking his photo.  So, most of these are not of him.  I love him dearly.  He is a great kid.  But he is a teenage boy and I have to respect that.  I was just glad he came with us!


So someone on IG commented how I dressed her to match the blueberries. Ironically, we drove to the farm to go STRAWBERRY picking but we got there too late so they diverted us to the blueberries.  So, it was not planned at all (I am 99% sure she picked this out) but it worked beautifully.






There were beautiful wild flowers in the blueberry patches.








Blueberry picking was fun but (for me and Harry) the hilight of the day was on the drive home. We saw a farmer's market and this was in the parking lot....


We LOVE lobster rolls.  And they are not super common here in Texas.  So, Harry and I had to have one.  Kate opted for an all natural local made popsicle.

IMG_7284 These were so good.

The following week, we got together with our friends to bake a berry tart...




And at the risk of this post being the LONGEST ever, I wanted to give a quick camp update too.

Kate and Harry are only at camp for one week this year because we are taking a longer vacation this summer.  It is quiet without them for sure but I am enjoying the quiet.  I have taken a few naps, done some deep cleaning and enjoyed the time with Dave.  It's been good.

I do check the camp website a few times a day to see what they are up to.

At first I though Kate was spending all her time in the gym...



But then luckily I saw these photos...


Cheering on her teammates in morning competitions.


Making a cross in the craft center at free time.


Cooking oatmeal cookies.
I am surprised she is in the cooking class again this year.
 She loved it last year but I did not think she picked it this year.


All the girls were eating milk and cookies (the ones they made).  And they tried to make milk mustaches.  I think we need to work on this:)


At the Christmas is July party.


And this last one is from this morning's competition.

Ever time I see one of these photos, I want to tell her to brush her hair and put it in a pony tail!

I was not seeing any pictures of Harry at all.  That bummed me out. But then I finally saw two.


This is one of Harry's favorite things to do at camp.  It's called gaga ball or smash ball.


This is a giant funnel that dumps into a lake.

So clearly Harry avoids the camera at camp too-- not just at home:)

it's camp time again

Sunday, June 28, 2015
We dropped Kate and Harry off at the bus for camp this morning.  Will had his last year in 2014 so he is finished with camp (which is kinda sad).  This place is so special to my kids.  They absolutely LOVE it there.  Neither of them knew a soul going this session this year.  Kate confidently got on that bus by herself and sat alone with all smiles.  And that is one of the reasons I love camp. My kids gain this independence and confidence that I could not teach them alone.

You know I always love to take photos at the drop off.  My boys HATE it but last night we sat here and looked at all the past years on my computer and had some good laughs (under the label camp).  So in reality they are very happy they have the photos.  However, you will notice fewer photos of Harry.  He is definitely in that teen phase where he hates me taking pictures.

Will got up to say goodbye to them...



It was dark and early!!

But I was not allowed to photograph him and Harry saying goodbye.  I did burn it in my memory though.



Kate's confidence amazes me.  She was not this confident 2 years ago but between having an extra year at school, gymnastics, maturity and this camp, she has grown up so much. She doesn't know anyone going to camp this year.  Harry will be there but he is in a completely different section of camp and they will barely see one another.  They do plan to meet up at the camp store one day for ice cream;)



Gotta make sure they don't have a fever.


Love this one of Dave and Harry.  Go look at how much Harry has changed in one year.

Kate has so much camp spirit.  We painted her nails blue for her team.



She always meets a dog waiting for the bus. She loves dogs.

The goodbyes...






Katie Ru getting on the bus...




She just looked so happy and so comfortable.  She was sitting alone but she was happy.  She started reading her book but would glance up to see if we were still there.

I got a message that the busses arrived at camp safely. Thank you Lord.  So, they are likely eating dinner and having the first party.  They have parties every night at camp!  I will be stalking the website for photos as I always do:)

I actually am enjoying the quiet and the freedom though.  Dave, Will and I went out for a nice brunch and then I napped and lazed around.  I have some cleaning/purging plans but I also plan to enjoy my time this week not driving carpools to lacrosse camp or gymnastics.  It feels weird but kind of good.

* I am catching up on posts this week, so if you did not see my last one, it was on Will's 18th b-day.

Will turned 18!

Saturday, June 27, 2015
I feel like the worst blogger.  It has been over a month since I posted.  Kate had a birthday.  Will had a birthday.  Harry "graduated" from 8th grade.  Father's Day happened.  This is the stuff I usually blog about.

I have no real excuse for my lack of blogging.  Yes life is full but it always is.  Every time I sit down to finish  a post (I have several half finished posts), I find something better to do!  It's true.  I am beginning to wonder if my blogging days are coming to an end.

I started writing this post on Will's birthday (a week ago) but am just finishing it now.


Today is Will's 18th Birthday!  When I started this blog, he was just nine years old. I really cannot believe how quickly it has gone by.   Last Saturday night, we took some of his friends out to dinner to celebrate.  Of course, I had to get some photos before we left.






And just so you can see what I have to deal with when trying to get photos....




Will and his girlfriend, Elizabeth.  

Will and his friends sat at one table (two or three of his good guy friends were out of town:(

Kate, Harry, Dave and I sat at a separate table.







Will does NOT like to be the center of attention. He was trying to be a good sport.


Elizabeth, Will, Caroline

After dinner, the kids came over to have cake and hang out.

Kate and I made the cake.  It was dark chocolate with strawberry cream cheese frosting.  It was delicious BUT the frosting was not as thick as I would have liked.  I followed the recipe to the t and refrigerated it for hours.






Elizabeth, Will and Tori



Will has an awesome group of friends.  They have a lot of fun together and they stay out of trouble.

On the actual day of Will's birthday (june 22), I got his birthday morning doughnuts and we went out to Pappasito's for fajitas.  Then we gave him presents.

Although I loved seeing Will with his friends, this birthday was like a sucker punch to my gut.  I have never been one of those parents to wish my kids would stay little forever.  Generally, I have really enjoyed watching them grow up and watching our relationship evolve over time.  Truth be told, I am a better Mom to kids once they are out of the baby/toddler stage.  I have made a conscious effort to try to enjoy each stage but as I looked over at Will at dinner with his friends, it hit me like a ton of bricks.  His childhood is over.  This overwhelming feeling of sadness came over me and it was completely out of nowhere.  I was not anticipating it and it is even hard for me to articulate.

When Will was an infant, he was REALLY colicky.  He was the cutest baby but he was a challenge.  Dave would come home from work and I would say, "Guess what Will did today?"  He would ALWAYS say "Has he filled out his college applications yet?"  Every single day for probably 3 years Dave would ask that.  It was our little private joke about how slow and long the baby days were.  Well, guess what?  He is filling out those college applications now.  And guess what? I feel like it happened overnight.  I really do.

I sat in that restaurant looking at him and I saw all those baby/toddler/kindergarten/littleleague/middleschool moments flash before my eyes.

I  feel like a book I loved reading ended way too soon.  I know I still have many more memories with Will but I feel like I want to hit the rewind button but I can't.  It won't work.  Dave and I have worked really hard to instill values into Will and raise him to be a compassionate human being and he is.  We are SO proud of who he is.  He is honest, intelligent, a volunteer, a good friend and brother, generous, thoughtful and funny.  He has amazing faith and is a leader at his school.  He ALWAYS ask how my day was. ALWAYS!

One more little anecdote... On Will's first birthday, Dave gave me a gorgeous chunky gold charm bracelet from Tiffany's.  It was a thoughtful and extravagant gift and it was completely unexpected.  When Dave gave me the bracelet, he said, "We made it through the first year."  It was a celebration as the first year of Will's life was very difficult on our family. I left my career.  Dave and Will had serious surgeries.  Dave's Mom passed away.  Looking back, I probably had some post part depression (but I did not recognize it at the time). It was HARD.  I looked at that charm bracelet the other day full of charms and memories of the last 18 years.  It almost made me cry.  That was such an awesome gift from Dave.

Happy Birthday Will.   We made it.  I know you will do amazing things with your life. I look forward to the next chapters.

P.S. Kate and Harry leave for Camp Utopia tomorrow.  So, it is my goal to post every day this week to catch up.  Be sure to check back all week.

And I have to share these two fabulous dresses that are 50% right now (use code WEEKEND50).  I LOVE them both so much and I have a hard time finding dresses to fit me well.


This dress runs a little big.  You can size down if between sizes.  


You cannot tell from the photo but the stripes are pink:)