Happy Friday! How about a round up of everything I’ve done this month besides launch a book and complain? Let’s go!
1. The younger three and I went to Valley Forge…on my 20th wedding anniversary. (Don’t worry romantic stuff later!) I’d been wanting to go for awhile but had waited until the visitor’s center was reopened. There’s a great museum as part of the visitor’s center that I was anxious for Fulton and Teddy to see. It’d been ten years since our last trip there, so none of the kids remembered much, or in Teddy’s case any, of the previous visit. OF COURSE the museum was under construction and off limits, and the ranger had no idea when it would be completed. But don’t worry! The gift shop was open so I could purchase more plastic army men in Revolutionary War apparel.
2. The next day, Tony and I went out to dinner at a great Irish pub we discovered last winter because it offered outdoor dining in plastic igloos. And then we walked on the boards in Ocean City and enjoyed some frozen custard. I was surprised so many businesses were still open, but the boardwalk, while not crowded, definitely had a good amount of people out given that it was a Thursday evening in October.
3. I’m still working behind the scenes at Accepting the Gift. I’ve started doing live streamed prayers on Instagram (vs our private Facebook group), and I’ve discovered a new love of using spreadsheets for project management. I’ve got a great staff of writers contributing regularly, and I’ve got three other projects in the works; a toolkit for parents to teach them how to advocate for their children at their parish, a guide to help parents set up support group meetings at their parish, and I’m hammering out the details on a religious education curriculum that special needs parents can use at home with their children. And I’ve got no shortage of future projects. It’s exciting to watch things come to life, and tough to squeeze them in around everything else, but progress is being made!
4. We’re off school this week which mean costume construction! Byron mentioned to me yesterday that when he got home from the gym the garage smelled like spray paint, “That’s the smell of Halloween!” I’d have to agree. Is it even a Mantoan Halloween if I’m not rummaging in the recycle bin for cardboard and spray painting armor? Costumes will be in next week’s post, but I’ve made great progress this week so hopefully swearing will be at a minimum before trick or treating starts at the way too early time of 4:30 p.m. on Sunday.
Lest you think I’m on my ‘A’ game this Halloween, I should probably let you know we have yet to buy pumpkins. The weather has been very warm, so waiting was smart as carved pumpkins purchased even a week ago would be super gross by now, but we might wind up carving All Souls pumpkins or something…which is probably the more Catholic option anyway.
5. I went out to dinner with a friend I hadn’t seen in forever. We used to take all our kids to Chuck E Cheese during the week. It was always just us and a few moms with toddlers. I used to wonder why some parents hated Chuck E Cheese so much and then I went on a weekend and I was like, yeah this is actually one of the lower levels of hell.
We ate at a fancy upscale restaurant (I believe the kids today call it “bougie”) and talked about how we’ve moved from ball pits and preschool playdates, to college and kids contemplating marriage (her daughter, not mine!). We are the homeschooling veterans, the moms the young ones come to for advice, even though we’re still figuring things out. It was nice to be out and talk to someone who gets life at this stage. She even had me sign her copy of my book, though I don’t think she’d read enough of it to know she’d made an appearance.
6. If you read last week’s post, you know I’ve felt burnt out and over-extended. When I get this way, I usually like to reorganize something. Bringing order to some part of my life makes me feel somewhat better, even as other parts of my life feel out of control. Rather than tackle a room or closet (my usual method), I’ve started organizing the archives of my blog. I’ve got almost ten years of memories on here spread across almost 900 posts. Some of the posts contain family memories, some are useful or silly posts still worth sharing, and others are taking up unnecessary space on the internet (and making it hard for Google to index my site). So working from the first post to the present, I’m ‘no indexing’ most posts, assigning new tags to posts to find them easier, saving others as drafts, and updating the SEO info on posts that are still funny or helpful. It’s not necessary work AT ALL but updating a few posts at a time is scratching the organizing itch and making me feel a bit more together. It’s also been a nice stroll down memory lane. I don’t know what’s more surprising; how much my kids have grown or realizing that for the longest time I blogged three or more times a week.
7. Lastly, I have another adult in the house! Talk about surprising – today Byron is 18! WHAT IS HAPPENING?!?!?!?!
Now it’s you turn. Write down your Takes and link them up below. Be sure 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.
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We went to the Admiral Nimmits museum (dedicated to the Pacific theater in WWII) on my anniversary last year. War history may not be romantic, but it is interesting.
All Souls Day pumpkin…Día de Los Muertos calaveras are All Souls Day appropriate and kinda spooky, so you could go two for one there.
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