{SQT} Atlantic City, Camp, And My Favorite People

What does a couple with five children do when all the kids are out-of-town?


Okay, maybe just me literally, but inside Tony is also doing the mashed potato and rocking a sweet beehive.

1. The big kids went to my parents on Saturday after we all attended the vigil Mass. Sunday, Tony and I dropped the younger two at MDA camp. Teddy wasn’t quite as upset when we left, so I was hopeful he wouldn’t cry “a lot and all the time” like he claimed he did last year.

Amount we won in Atlantic City: -$1 Amount Fulton and Teddy won at casino night: 109,851,095,098 cheap plastic prizes (this is my guess based on past experience)

2. Monday, Tony needed to head into the office so I had a whole day home alone. Even the dog is staying with my parents so I had nothing imposing it’s needs upon me. Determined not to waste a single moment, I spent time savoring my coffee and writing up a detailed schedule of how I’d spend each hour of my day. I was a productive BEAST. I spent the morning rewriting the first couple chapters of my book (so that tells you how well that’s all going), then I ran errands, tackled some long overdue home projects and finally cooked a dinner that Tony and I love but the kids hate.

3. Tuesday afternoon, after an equally productive morning (although after so much BEAST mode, I did spend a ton of time of social media shortly before we left), we departed for Atlantic City. We ate dinner overlooking the beach, watched episodes of ‘Boardwalk Empire’ in our huge, comfy hotel bed, and drank mango mojitos at a beach bar to the music of the best cover band in the world. They seamlessly went from Soft Cell’s ‘Tainted Love’, to BBD’s ‘Poison’, to Notorious B.I.G.’s ‘Hypnotize’, with some Guns and Roses and Sean Paul thrown in.

Look how cute we are! We don’t even look old enough to appreciate Soft Cell or G&R!

4. Wednesday we spent the morning on the beach and the afternoon and evening on the boardwalk, interspersing our activities with napping, more episodes of ‘Boardwalk Empire’, and long moments of uninterrupted silence.

Walking under the Steel Pier.

5. Thursday we came back home amidst grey skies that seemed to indicate that Atlantic City was sad we were leaving too. A quick visit to Lucy the Elephant in Margate satisfied my need to see something weird and historic.

This is the view of the ocean through Lucy’s eye.

6. Today I’ll be picking up the big kids from my parents and Saturday, we get Fulton and Teddy from camp. I’m anxious to see everyone. While I feel no guilt enjoying time alone with Tony this week, there were several times I saw things I wanted to share with one, or all the kids. Certain signs, foods, shows, reminded me of someone and I missed not being able to yell loudly across the house and tell them to “COME HERE NOW! I have something funny to tell you! Seriously!! YES YOU WILL LAUGH!”

7. Tony is my favorite person to spend time with, period, but I realized this week how much I enjoy spending time with my children. And I feel like, in this day and age, it’s considered weird for parents to say that out loud. Even stranger is for kids, especially teenagers, to admit to enjoying time with their siblings and parents, but I know that my kids all enjoy doing things with each other, together as a family, or one on one with Tony or I.

I don’t want kids who never strike out on their own, and who are attached to my apron strings, but I love having a family that all seems to enjoy one another’s company. There is a balance between giving each person in a family the space to be alone and pursue his or her own thing with love and support, while also regularly bringing everyone together to figure out not only how to get along, but enjoy one another despite different personalities. It seems like it should be a difficult, if not impossible task, especially the more kids you add into a family. So I don’t know how we managed to reach this point but I hope it continues. I will also check back in with you after a few weeks of summer break.

How was your week? Filled with fancy cocktails and casinos? Write it down and link it up below! Don’t forget to include a link back to this post so your readers can find the rest of the Quick Takes. I look forward to reading your posts!





  1. I love that you were a productive beast on Monday! On the rare time I have a few hours like that, I get so flustered about needing to use the time well I end up using it poorly. It’s hard to be me.

    You’re right, you definitely look young and happy. It looks like the vacation agreed with you.

    And about your final thoughts: I don’t think it’s more difficult the more children you add, I think it’s easier! I’ve thought about how with 6 kids we’ve all HAD to depend on each other, watch out for each other, play together, and work together more than we would have if there were fewer people in our family.

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