Saturday, July 28, 2007

Summer Doldrums

Wow, 2 weeks goes by fast! When I last updated we were getting ready to go on vacation. Now we are back and the summer doldrums are setting in. We had a great vacation but often when we get back from a trip I feel a little let down...I've got no other trips to look forward to and we face 30 more days of hot summer before school starts. I've got about a million things I should be doing around here, but just don't feel motivated to do any of them. This past week we've been home more than we're used to and when I'm home I tend to eat. I've gained 4 pounds in the past 2 weeks. Gotta put the brakes on that. Hopefully I can snap myself out of this next week but in the meantime. let's relive our beach vacation!

We left Kingwood on Sunday, July 15th at about 5:45 a.m. Crazy early, I know, but we were caravanning with friends and they wanted to get there early. I'm pretty proud of myself that we actually left somewhat on time.

We drove about 9 or 10 hours through a lot of pouring down rain through Louisiana, Mississippi and on to Alabama. We made a stop in Lake Charles, LA at a cajun meat market to pick up some sausage, stuffed pork chops, stuffed chicken, etc. for the grill. Cajun meat markets are the best! We even sampled cracklins (not sure what this is...near as I can tell it's fried pork fat). It was pretty disgusting and I won't be trying that again.

We arrived at our destination--the Beach Club in Fort Morgan, AL--at about 3:00 p.m. Got the car unpacked in the rain then went down to the beach. It was still sprinkling but we didn't really care. It was nice to be on the beach.

The next day the rain had gone and we spent the day on the beach. The only problem we encountered were the jelly fish. That put a little damper on the ocean for the kids since everytime we were down at the beach at least one of the kids got stung. Luckily there were 5 different pools, tennis courts, and a playground to also keep them occupied.

To take a break from the beach we went to a nearby waterpark one day. On another afternoon Jim took the kids to see a movie while the moms went shopping at the outlet mall.

All too soon it was time to pack up and head out. Our drive home was in much better weather and was pretty uneventful...just the way I like it. Even though we had a great time I don't think I'd stay at this particular condo complex again. Fort Morgan seems way too out of the way for me. I prefer to be closer to stores, restaurants, etc. Plus they only had two community grills to use for the entire complex! When we go on vacation we like to grill. Our group ended up going out to buy our own grill to use. All in all, though, it was another fun year at the beach. Now...what are we going to do for the rest of the summer...

Saturday, July 14, 2007

On Our Way

It's been a few days since I've written but I've been busy getting things ready for our vacation. We leave tomorrow for a week at the beach...gulf shores, AL. Believe it or not, the Alabama gulf coast has beautiful beaches and the drive is shorter than going to Florida. I'm all for shorter drives.

Our car is packed and we'll be leaving at about 5:30 a.m. caravaning with our friends, the Enochses.

Last night Jim and I went to see The Fray in concert. We saw them at an outdoor venue called Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavillion (for you Michigan people it's exactly like Pine Knob). It was about 98 degrees here last night and not exactly perfect weather for an outdoor concert. This was the first time I've been to the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavillion and I don't think I'll ever see another concert there in the summer. The music was awesome but i was too hot and sweaty to enjoy it. Except for when they did the cover of Shakira's Hips Don't Lie. It was awesome! I tried to find a clip from our concert on youtube. It wasn't there but this one was. It seemed so spontaneous at our they'd never done it search of youtube and I discovered I was very wrong. Doesn't matter. I enjoyed it all the same.

Talk to you from the beach.

Monday, July 09, 2007

An Unexpected Good Day

When Heather asked me to go to Ikea today with her with all 5 of our kids in tow I thought..."well, that doesn't sound very fun." But I knew she wanted to purchase the same cabinets I have up in our playroom and I have a big car that can haul them home so I said okay. It turned out to be a great day. Another friend of ours, Brandy, met us at Ikea with her son Dylan. Most of the kids went into the play room area they have at the store (how awesome is that?) except for the very small (Dylan and Megan) and the very tall (Jordan). As it turns out. Jordan had a blast with Dylan who really seemed to like her. Now all Jordan can talk about is "babysitting" Dylan even though she's only a "baby" herself.

We got our shopping done...I managed to find a few random items like a wine decanter that one of the sommeliers in a tasting room in Sonoma recommended to bulletin and magnetic boards for Jordan's room...and Heather got her cabinets. We loaded it all in the car and took the troops to Jillians for lunch (aka Dave and Busters) which is a restaurant slash arcade. We ate. We spilled. We played. We went home tired and happy.

Sometimes the "lazy, nothing to do" aspect of the summer gets to me so it's nice to have a day filled with activity with friends.

I hate that I don't have a pic from today so I'll try to do better tomorrow.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Happy 4th and other stuff

It's been a wet July here in Texas so far. I think I read in the paper that it's rained the last 23 days in a row...yuck. This year, the 4th of July was on a Wednesday...weird to have it in the middle of the week. It was overcast in the a.m. but we decided to go to the Kingwood parade anyway. It started drizzling about halfway through but we were sitting under some trees so we didn't get too wet. The kids don't seem to mind the rain.

We had just planned a cookout with some of our neighbors and luckily we have a porte cochere--a covered area over part of our driveway--on our house (never even heard of this until we moved to Texas but now wouldn't want to live without it). We grilled under there and set up tables to eat. The rain actually held out for most of the evening and the guys were able to set off all the fireworks they had purchased (probably $300 or $400 worth combined!).

On Thursday Jordan had a sleepover with her two good friends on the street, Madison and Kristina. She's been dying to have a sleepover since we moved back into the house but with early morning summer swim practices/meets we didn't have one until now. The girls all braided their hair, watched a movie, ate popcorn, listened to music, talked and stayed up late. Typical sleepover stuff. Luckily, Jackson was asked to spend the night at his friend Austin's house the same night so no little brother around to bug them.

On Friday we had the Kellers over for dinner. They have the distinction of being our first dinner guests since we've moved back in. I've hosted girls' night and some of the neighborhood friends have ended up eating over here after grilling out but this was the first time we've cooked for others since we've been back. It was a fun time!

This week (July 2nd) also marked the two year anniversary of our fire. We are so happy to be back in our house but things are far from over. We're still dealing with the arbitration case against our contractor and our Ford lawsuit hasn't even started yet. Currently our trial date is set for November, but our neighbor's insurance company just intervened in the suit so that will probably mean another delay. We have lost so much financially and emotionally that some days it seems like we will never recover.

On a happier note, this week also marked the first time in two years that we've had kids swimming in our pool. That was a good day! The kids have all grown so much in the past 2 years that our pool suddenly seems really small but at least it's ours and it's up and running.