Days 9, 10 & 11…

“Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family….in another city.” -George Burns

Kidding…sort of. No, I’m kidding…I think.

This weekend I probably bit off more than I could handle in my state of pure exhaustion, both mentally and physically. I spent a lot of time raising my voice (to the point of it being hoarse) saying things like, “leave your sister alone”, “stop being hateful to your sister”, “no drinks in the family room” (after two cokes spilled within 3 minutes of each other), “for the love…”, “are you kidding me?!”, etc. You get the idea. But really, it was a great time! I got a taste of what it’s like to have 4 kids…and I thought, how in the world did my mom have 5 of us?!?!

Friday night I brought the girls out to my house. We had a movie night with pizza and Coke – that’s right, I let them have Coke. Amateur. After two spills I had to ban drinks from the family room. No one argued. We watched Cars 2, which was really cute!


Movie night!


Graham loved it!


There’s the normal way to eat pizza…and there’s the Nora way (pick off all of the toppings).

On Saturday we started the morning by heading out to the cousins’ to see them compete in their first triathlon! It was so exciting! They all did a great job 🙂 It was fun to watch the three of them compete – and their different strategies.

Josh had a constant look of determination on his face. He sprinted to each transition and never stopped until he crossed the finish line! He reminded me of Jake 🙂



Susie had a constant look of exhaustion on her face. I wouldn’t say that she necessarily “sprinted” between transitions, and with every lap on her bike I thought she was close to tears. Her goal was to finish, and she did! I think I was reminded of myself while watching her 🙂



And then there was Sarah. She was a girl on a mission. There was a girl she wanted to beat, and so she did. She went hard the entire time. She was constantly looking at the person in front of her, pushing herself to pass them. To say she’s competitive might be an understatement haha. I’d say she’s a great mix of Jake and Kristen – but if I had to choose one, I’m going to say she’s got Kristen’s competitive spirit 🙂



The cousins loved watching the cousins. (for the longest time, these 6 have been the only cousins – but now that more kids are being born, I think they’re going to need to get more specific about which family they’re talking about). Emma, who was behind the camera, has decided that she could maybe have a future as a sports photographer. Ava would like to start training for next year’s triathlon. And Nora learned that you should never go to a race on an empty stomach – she may have snuck some of the finishers’ finish-line snacks.



 After the race and leaving Ava to play with Sarah, the rest of us were off on another adventure. Emma, Nora, Graham and I decided that we would go for a hike! It was a beautiful day with great weather. We decided to head towards Sugarloaf Mountain via White’s Ferry. Little historic fact: it is the only ferry operating on the Potomac!


Getting ready to board the ferry.


Made it to the mountain – now enjoying lunch with the great view!


Hello Maryland!


And we’re off!


Graham loved his first hike 🙂

So, it had gone to feeling great outside to being a little muggy…which makes for a complaining 6 year old and 12 year old. I started in on a lecture saying things like, “Life is what you make it, you can choose to be miserable and hot, or you can have fun with it – you control you’re mood. (pause to breath as I’m hiking up a steep climb to an opening) Girls, this IS fun and there’s a great breeze! (spread arms wide and look to the sky….see black clouds and gasp)” Needless to say, we all decided that being at the summit during a thunderstorm would not bode well. We ended up having a lot of fun and laughs as we ran back down the mountain, making it to safety before the storm hit. The girls and Graham were such troopers!


Cutest little hiker e-v-e-r. He really liked the backpack!


Country store at White’s Ferry. (please note dark clouds ahead – the storm was chasing us)


Emma enjoying the ferry ride back to VA.


And then Nora got out of the car….

Weekend wrap-up:

-Emma and I laughed over all of the Nora-isms from the weekend, such as: “Skittle me, Emma!” (referencing the bag of skittles used as bait on the hike), “Quick! I need to give Graham his handsome back!” (as she comes after him with a hairbrush), “I’m lucky because I have my future ahead of me!” (yes…we all do.)

-Big Sue and Gar picked the girls up Saturday night on their way to Anna’s and I PASSED OUT! It was the first night alone in my house in a week!

-Sunday Graham and I tried to make it to church, but we were stopped too many times on our run, thanks to Scout! So many Sunday morning walkers and their dogs that wanted to play and talk.

-Peter came over and cut the grass! He’s the best.

-Met the Hickman’s at Anna’s and we had a little family get together. After dinner and everyone had headed home, I helped Anna get the girls in bed and then headed home myself. And again, passed out.

-I’m sorry this took me so long to post. It was a busy weekend.

-Graham, a newly groomed Scout and I missed you terribly!


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