First Cousins

These three have been thick as thieves since the get go.

The tag along big cousin, Finn, has finally become “big” enough to hang this summer with the teenagers- at least until 8pm anyway. Then Finn still turns into the little one and has to go to bed early while the rest of them giggle and watch Mean Girls and build the same Minecraft world they have been making for ten years.

But for the most part this is the summer of four big kids and a few spare friends here and there. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

I love them all. I hate how fast it all goes.

15

My precious girl is 15. I’ve been parenting for 15 years. It has been painfully simple to do because I want to do it so very much. That doesn’t mean I’m good at it. I just hope that my successes outweigh the parenting fails by at least one and tip the scale in my favor every day. A for effort sort of thing because I try so hard. I really do.

She was born with her eyes wide open, straining to see what was happening, literally on her way into the world. Then she crashed. Weeks of beeping and poking and praying for God’s mercy in the NICU. Then months of watching her breath. Willing her chest to rise and fall every single minute, night and day until I was so sleep deprived I had to learn to trust again.

Then all of the wonderful years of getting to be her mom. I’ve gotten to watch her grow into a resilient young woman, tough as nails, brilliant and compassionate, scientifically minded and so creative all at once. She’s my best daughter ever😍

I don’t know what the future holds for her. I just know I have three more years where I can go in and check on her when she’s asleep. I can still make her put on sunscreen and eat her spinach. I will do my best to do it right ever day. So help me God, the library and the internet. Amen.

The road home

The day started at the Alligator Farm. No one believes you when you tell them that you grew up with a gator farm in your back yard but it’s really true. See this tree line

The back side of those trees was my yard growing up. Now look down in the water, we had a marsh and a creek and lots of

reptile friends.

But really gators want to be fat and happy and snuggle just like the rest of us. Not eat you.

But sadly our Florida time ended and Finn and I headed for home

To be reunited with LieLie and joined by Daniel and Ruby!!!! They flew in today! More cousin time❤️❤️

Da Beach

My oldest and my dearest friends rolled up today. Ice cream party, beach party, pool party, pizza party. We just kept moving the party as people got hungry and it got dark. Our kids like each other as much as we like each other.

It was pretty much the perfect day.

Day 3

More sweet, sweet cousins to see today. The world would be a better place if we lived near all of our cousins. We need a family compound on the beach and a corral for my miniature pony and a parking pad for the fish taco truck. If I’m dreaming I’m going all the way.

St. Augustine, Florida- home

Cumberland Island

Cumberland Island, Georgia, day 2 of our trip. Prehistoric, antebellum and gilded age history all returned to nature. Sand dunes and wild horses for the win. ❤️ We also saw manatees and dolphins in the warm waters but didn’t take their photos. We walked seven miles and loved every minute of it.

Road trip

Finn and I are on a mother son adventure. Day 1 we drove to old Grandma’s house on the Florida/Georgia line and went to the Longhorn Steakhouse with the cousins.

Grandma has offered to set me up with some bachelor friends of hers. She’s 93. I said aren’t all of your friends dead by now and she said “these are some younger ones, like 75 year olds.” She’s also doing a little light reading and has diagnosed me with a potassium deficiency. I will be eating all the bananas while I’m here.

Meanwhile Momo is with Gimmie, Appie is with Annie and LieLie is at the beach with friends. I’ve received these electronic updates from them today