These Girls

We had another epic shopping adventure last week.

It was Martha and I and our girls.

Just like always.

Hitting all our favorite thrift stores in St. Joe.

It’s a tradition now.

Big SaleStarted several years ago on our first extreme thrifting adventure. (Look how young they are!)

It’s been modified to just one city and always includes a trip to Hobby Lobby, lunch at Chick-fil-a and snacks at Big Lots.

Almost every stop has a memory.

“Isn’t this the store that you lost us in and we finally found you sitting on lawn chairs two stores down?”

And every trip has something new to explore.

This trip including one new thrift store and a natural grocery store that both of our girls were excited about.

Yes – a natural grocery store where they bought health food for themselves.

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Yes – these girls!

The same girls who used to eat twizzlers and peanut butter in the backseat all the way home.

Which only shows again how quickly they are growing up and changing.

And how thankful we are for every moment together and every memory made.

May the tradition continue!

Improv Night and Birthday Oscars

My family got together last weekend for our yearly extended family camping trip.

One of our traditions is an Improv Night – when we entertain each other with skits we pull together at the last minute.

Each family brings an unmarked bag of 10 random items that we distribute one evening. Each family is then given about 15 minutes to pull together a skit using those items.

The results are hilarious!

This year – however – was different. But I didn’t learn that fact right away.

You see – my siblings used our annual Improv Night to surprise me for my 50th birthday. (I should have expected this – since I have a history of surprising my siblings on their 50th birthdays!)

I was very active in speech and drama in high school and have always been a bit disappointed that I was never given a lead role in any of the high school plays.

So this year – my family gave me the lead role in each of their skits.

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They just didn’t tell me.

After the kids and I did our skit – which was a true improv – using the special bag full of random geriatric items they gathered for us – I was called on to act in every other skit.

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Skits that were written in advance, with appropriate props and – not surprisingly – were full of family memories and embarrassing moments for yours truly.

There were certain “This is Your Life” kind of moments.

 

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And some wild “I can’t believe they are making me do this” kind of moments.

Each skit was different – I was handed a prop or a costume or both and given a few instructions.

16 06 18-M500- 32-6 (1)And I winged it.

Acting my heart out to tremendous applause and wild laughter!

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And when the final skit was over – they had me walk the red carpet and handed me a plastic imitation Oscar for my performances – before spraying me with silly string.

Because they love me.

I guess.

Hollywood here I come!

Or not.

After a career like mine, it might be time for retirement.

Hashtag Birthday

Birthday’s are made for surprises.

And Angel Girl is the hardest to surprise!

But this year – Pedro pulled it off!

#birthdaysurprise 

It was the Thursday night before her birthday – and she suspecting nothing.

Pedro gathered up four cousins and they drove the two hours to our house stuffed in Pedro’s car.

#roadtrip

They hid the car and planned the epic surprise.

Angel Girl got home from work, wondered why dad was grilling so many hamburgers, put down her water bottle in the kitchen, rounded the corner to the dining room and jumped out of her skin at the sight of Pedro and the cousins waiting for her!

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#nailedit

They had a hilarious supper, followed by crazy dance moves in the driveway and a wild adventure to the abandoned house and low water crossing.

Poison ivy, bug bites, photo shoots, and much laughter.

#perfect.

They spent the night eating popcorn and rice krispie bars while watching old VHS movies that were favorites years ago.

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And were up at first light to be on the road to make it back to the city to work.

A short night and a long drive.

But they had almost fourteen hours of jam-packed, fun-filled wonderfulness.

#worthit

Happy 18th birthday Angel Girl!

 

 

The Force was with Them

What could be more exciting than watching the much anticipated new Star Wars movie over Christmas break?

Unless it was watching it with cousins.

 

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Especially cousins in costumes.

A whole slew of cousins in epic costumes!
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Everything from Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker to R2-D2.

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Chewbacca and some Ewoks.

886368_10205378770646287_509271128307715090_oAnd Porkins and Biggs – two X-wing fighter pilots, just to name a few!

 

This wasn’t just a movie viewing – it was an epic event!

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And yes – the force was with them!

Stolen Time

I still can’t believe we pulled this off!

Somehow – in a miracle of scheduling – we got four of our five children together at the same time.

And somehow – in a miracle of packing – squished all of our luggage and bodies into the mini-van…

That's true!…and traveled 10 hours packed like sardines all the way to Colorado to see our firstborn Matt.

We stole three precious days from our very busy fall schedules and spent them together.

By day we played tourist – taking in the highlights of Matt’s adopted city.
DSC_0197We saw where Matt worked, met his co-workers, admired the awesome mountain view from his desk.

We hiked.

We explored.

We climbed.

We shopped.

But by night – we were just us.

DSC_0193Playing games.

Watching movies.

Eating popcorn.

Sharing inside jokes.

Laughing.

Cherishing every moment.

Knowing that time was short and family was precious.

And that soon we would be heading home and leaving one behind.

it was stolen time.

And it was so, so sweet.