bennett was up and out the door at 4:45am.  morning football practice before a game. driving at 4:45 on a school day? needless to say i didn't go back to sleep.  it dawned on me in these early hours,  the slim possibility of our entire family sitting down to dinner - together - until november. {gulp} the thought made me nervous and mopey all day. while i do not mind being busy or rushing or driving a thousand miles a day... i do mind not being together. especially at dinnertime. 

so when i heard all of my kids pile in the door at 3:15, i wanted to celebrate. for one solid hour my kids would be home in the afternoon. eating, spilling details of their days, making lots of noise, creating a big mess...  joy-joy!

what better way to celebrate than with a picture.
 {said none of my children ever.}

not much going on the week except my entire family is battling sinusitis. a nasty thing in the south that zaps all of your energy and makes your head feel like it weighs a million pounds. we said goodbye to our house guest of almost two weeks. my son's girlfriend's dog emmie. sweet, sweet. this dog has the potential to turn me into a dog person. emmie made us realize how arrogant our charlie really is. he's developing a cat personality ;)
 emmie loves to terrorize our cats. 
they hate her with every strand of their fur. 
one more day and kitty prozac would be in order. 
from ruling the roost to living life on the edge.
they were more than happy to see her go.
we had open house. the last one for awhile that will require jeff touring one schedule and me the other. i always leave high school open house with my mind spinning. school has changed since i was there 20+ years ago. it was nice to end the night in a fourth grade room and seeing a sweet little cubbie hole.

last weekend was another swim meet. 
there was a chill in the air which was perfection for spectators. not so much for the swimmers. 
jeff and i returned to our post as bus drivers.

our girls relay team took FIRST!
a much bigger deal when among schools this talented and competitive.

such a sweet group of kids!!

anna katherine swimming the butterfly.
the most unflattering, yet difficult stroke ;)

we have a rare weekend off from swim meets.
but we are still counting down days...
the first big football game is friday!

first week

my goodness gracious, how quickly i forgot what a tremendous help my teenage driver was. back to school went great. i awoke that morning a little weepy. then the senior i weepy over, reverts to his old morning self. i had to peel him out of bed,  threaten privileges, all that good stuff... on the very first day of school. {sigh}

then i grabbed my 'good camera' to snap the traditional back to school picture. first shot i realized the shutter on my camera was dragging... it was broken. so the morning i planned to cry, i got distracted and it was all good. 

one of the first 'lasts'
 the very last 'first day' picture with all my kiddos 
(that's my son's 'swagger smile' mixed with a little 'my mom just fussed at me' fake smile... in case you are wondering)

the week has felt like a tornado. just a coincidence we are dog sitting toto from the wizard of oz? anyway, there has been a lot of driving. 

my son's football practice is opposite anna katherine's swim practice and will coincide with mary claire's tennis practice and we live 30 miles away, and the half days leave medium sized gaps in the day and my car drinks gas. by tomorrow evening my gas bill for five days will be $200.  {sigh} but this too shall pass and i keep reminding myself to enjoy.  (except the morning stuff, that will always drive me crazy!)

 bennett had a scrimmage. it was the first time that we got to see the team play. when i scanned the field, big NFL sized boys (on the other teams) caught my attention. the majority (98% ish) of our team is skinny white boys.  yikes? tonight our boys could possibly be snapped in half.

but no! oh heck no. remember when i said our school was crazy competitive in sports.  well those skinny white boys were something to behold! if this were a real game...

 i hope everyone has had a fabulous back to school week!
i am glad this first week is behind me :)

here we go

for years i have been emotionally preparing myself for this.  when raising children, we live our life in phases ~ one ends, another begins. i knew that this phase would most likely be the hardest. {empty nest}  praise God we have several years before our nest is completely empty. but i know that the first empty chair at our dinner table will be the hardest.

for a mom that photographs almost everything, we have scrapbooks full of firsts. this year will come with a handful of lasts. the last year we will all live an entire calendar year under the same roof. the last 'back to school' picture of all three children together.

i predicted the emotional avalanche would hit on the first day of school.  i scheduled the morning off to cry for pete’s sake. i was not prepared for the landslide during a senior parent meeting.

the weekend had been a whirlwind of back to school preparations. quite a bit of it was spent harping on the son i plan to miss; wash your clothes, organize your closet, shave, and number on on the list, find “that smell” in your room! if i am type a, he is type z.

on sunday, bennett had a senior dinner. the parents would join them an hour later for a pep talk and check writing.  the moment our headmaster said “class of 2014”  it got real! just hearing this out load means it is happening.

my face went warm, a lump formed in my throat, the tears were welling.... not now! we were on the front row. 

 email is a sure fire way for me to switch gears. so i checked my email. think work. not my life in 180 days will no longer be the same.  i made it all the way home without crying. or talking. because talking would have made me start crying. 
after dinner,  i needed to find the picture of bennett on his first day of the first grade. perfect for a back to school post.

tonight of all nights, i knew better than to look through old photographs. just the sight of picture boxes was all it took. memories flooded my mind and the tears started to roll... for a good hour.  i never found the picture, i knew finding it would be like a needle in a haystack. but i closed the last box more convinced than ever how brief life is. 

years blur. 
time speeds by.

arms in the air!
senior year ~ here we go.

berry focaccia

i am far from a food blogger. i enjoy sharing my favorites and sadly they are usually sugar related ;)  while thumbing through a magazine at the doctor's office, the photography on this page caught my eye. then the recipe. i love a simple recipe!  i snapped a picture with my phone ~ this will be on the dinner table tonight! for dessert of course, even though it could pass for their fruit. right? when my kids leave the nest, this will be a main course ;)

fresh berries, pizza dough, sugar... 
{hello} this sounds like fair food!
one tweak ~bisquick gluten free ~ my sweet tooth and delicate stomach were in love!
 my family devoured it, never suspecting it was gluten free!
bisquick and parents magazine ~ i heart you!

all year

this being bennett's senior year of high school, i plan to take full advantage the whole 'senior picture' thing. someone asked me when i planned on taking his pictures.... 

uh, all year! ;) 

a glimpse into a family photo courtesy of my self timer. the moments that happen when when i'm not looking... or looking where i'm supposed to. 

i will admit, running back to the camera, checking it on the screen and finding this was mighty funny. so much i snapped a couple more.

wiener dog jokes are never ending!
and my husband is hilarious... if only there were audio.
here's what we finally got.
{raw from the camera}
beggars can't be choosy.

there and back

playing catch up on summer pictures.
  before scrolling, rushing out of the door, i grabbed my broken zoom lens. i have two identical lens i use for play, not for work, and this isn't the first time.  the photo quality in some shots is (really) lacking. but i assure you, this day wasn't lacking in fun and excitement. 

we failed to mention to our friends that the destination (round trip) was approximately 10 hours. she coined it, "the boat ride that never ends."

we traveled through the lakes of santee, through the locks and down the ashley cooper.

and back ;)

we enjoyed the water...
before we hit the gator infested ashley cooper.

i was brave crazy enough to ride with the speed demon.

FULL speed ahead!

i highly recommend a one piece bathing suit while tubing.
that would be the reason i let go!

for sarah cambell's sake, i am so thankful we spotted an alligator.
on the way back, my husband drove the boat like never before!
jumping waves at top speeds, causing me to start passing out life vests to the grown ups.

it was fast, furious and WET!
it was a glorious day!
that lasted forever ;)

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