Soccer Weekend

Sarah, Miles and kids came over Friday night and stayed till Sunday evening. Sarah said, “See, Mom, you’re still getting to see us!” She and Miles went to see Dwight Yoakum with some friends on Friday night and Elle went to a sleepover with one of her Dallas friends so the boys hung out with us. We had a fun night of pizza and games.

Saturday Elle had two games, the first she has played with her new team from Tyler. We all went to the first game, then Rich stayed home with Jack for the evening game while I went with the rest of the family.

Sunday we stayed home with the boys in the morning, went to the park and hung out at the house, then all of us went to the afternoon game.  Elle’s team did well in all of their games except the last one, which was coincidentally played against one of her former coach’s teams. It was a bit of a rout and I think she was disappointed that her new team doesn’t quite play at the same level as she is accustomed to. On the other hand, it’s less pressure than the highly competitive league she was playing in in Dallas, so hopefully it will all even out and she will be happy with it.

They headed home after packing up their stuff but it sounds like they will be here more often than I thought!  That’s fine with me!

Surprise Trip to NJ

My mother turned 89 on January 18. A few months ago my brother Joe texted my sister, brother and me to say he thought we should surprise Mom for her birthday. My brother Bill lives in NJ but Joe is in WY and my sister Kathi and I are both in Texas.  To be honest, I hadn’t really thought about going for my Mom’s 89th, figuring we’d plan something major for her 90th next year. I felt a little conflicted about it because we have a lot going on this year but I also felt somewhat obligated to go. I mean, how bad is it if you say you don’t want to go see your mother for her birthday??  So Rich and I found some decent plane tickets and made plans to go. Meanwhile my sister couldn’t make it after all and my brother had to change his dates! Oh, good grief!

Joe and his wife Denise flew in on the 10th and spent a few nights in Philadelphia, then Bill and  his wife Patty told my mom they were taking her to dinner in Philly one night to celebrate her birthday early. She was totally surprised when she walked into the restaurant and Joe and Denise were there.  She loved it and was very happy to see them! They then moved over to her house for the duration of their visit.

Meanwhile, we flew in on the 15th and my sister in law Patty and niece Abby picked us up from the airport. Abby texted Mom and said they were “in the neighborhood” and wanted to stop by. Thankfully Mom was home and told them to come on. They walked in first and we waited a couple of minutes before walking through the back door, through the kitchen and into the living room where they were all sitting. Mom looked up and seemed very confused, like “what is happening here?!”  We said “surprise!” and she was flabbergasted that we were there as well. It was all pretty cute and we were glad we did it.

We had a great time visiting as always, lots of talking, laughing, and game playing as is the usual at my mom’s. We celebrated Mom’s birthday all week long; had a lunch out with several family members and friends one day, then a nice dinner with Bill and three of his kids (Patty and Abby both got sick and couldn’t make it), Joe and Denise and us. It was also our 15th anniversary so happy anniversary to us!

I had lunch with my cousin Patty another day and we stopped by to see her mom, my Aunt Jeannette.  Went grocery shopping and had to have a Philly pretzel while browsing the store. Had hoagies and cheese steaks, though my cheese steak was a major disappointment with loads of raw onions on top after I special ordered it with NO ONIONS. Our last night we went out for real Jersey pizza which tastes so much better than pizza anywhere else, don’t ask me why.

I went with Mom to her trainer’s where she works out several days a week. She’s been going to James’ gym since she was 82! I’ve heard lots about him but had never met him so I tagged along. I didn’t have any workout clothes with me so I told him I was just there to watch. He laughed and said “what do you think this is–a theater??!” His mom, Joyce, is a former ballerina and dance teacher and now helps him at his gym so he said “Mama Joyce, take her to the back and do some stretches!” So we went to the barre and she had me do some ballet positions and stretches. Reminded me of all those years my girls were in ballet! She said I was pretty good and I should look for a class. LOL James and Joyce were both so nice and are really great to my mom. I was glad to finally meet them.

We had snow one day and it was chilly the whole time we were there. In fact, Mom’s bday dinner was supposed to be at a nice restaurant about 45 minutes away but it started sleeting and we decided not to risk it. My cousin Patsy came by to visit at Mom’s and then offered to take us to the airport when we left, so that was super nice of her. Come to find out her daughter is in NYC so we might see her when we go up for our cruise in April.

Soon it was time to head back home! Another great visit and I’m really glad we got to go. The Philly airport has been remodeled or at least the terminal we were in. Fancy lights in the boarding area and iPads at every charging station. Wowie! We heard an announcement that the flight was overbooked and they were looking for volunteers to wait about two hours for the next flight. Rich went up to ask what we would get for volunteering and they told him a $500 voucher each! So he said we would do it and we were super pumped, planning how we were going to use those vouchers! Alas, as the boarding commenced they announced “Mr and Ms Bye, we don’t need your seats after all. You are free to board!” Dang it!  🙂

Happy New Year, a Little Late

I started this weeks ago but never finished.  That’s my life lately!

We had a quiet New Year’s Eve.  Plans fell through to have granddaughter Ally join us for the rest of her holiday break so I was in a little bit of a funk. We almost always have Aidan and Ally in December/January but now he is working and she couldn’t get here so it felt strange to be on our own. Especially now with the Dallas kids gone as well! We were invited to a NY Eve party with friends and contemplated going but decided to stay home. I am sure it would have been a lot of fun but I couldn’t quite get motivated.

Later in the week, we met Sarah half way and brought Jack to spend the weekend. We have really missed this kid!! We had a lot of fun doing all the usual activities: lots of board games, playing on Grandpa’s ipad, walking to the park, reading books, watching movies, playing with toys, making a Target run to get a few little things plus “happy first day at your new school” gifts for Elle and Beck, going out for Mexican food, having Grandpa’s special pancakes and quesadillas (not at the same time), chatting and laughing and hanging out. Rich has a new ipad so he is letting the grandkids use his old one and download games on it, etc. Jack was convinced that it’s now “HIS” ipad and he wanted to take it home. We told him we needed it here for other visits with his family and his cousins and he was not impressed. 🙂  Before we knew it, it was Sunday and we drove part way back to meet Miles and have a snack at the Dairy Queen in Canton.  We enjoyed catching up with Miles on the latest doings at Lake Tyler and it sounds like everyone is adjusting well. Beck and Elle started their new school the following Tuesday and preliminary reports are that it was good. Elle texted me that it was “better than I expected,” and that she liked it so I am happy about that. She has been a little anxious about starting over in the middle of the school year, plus she went from being top dog in elementary school in Dallas to the new kid in middle school.

Happy 2020 and here’s hoping we will all have a year of “clearer vision” as my friend Susan says. We are certainly mired in a difficult time and I hope we can come out of it with more purpose and understanding.