1. Over last Sunday and Monday my friend Rachel and I hiked 23 miles of the AT. It was our most ambitious hike yet ...and we don't plan to repeat it. ;) We put in a solid 9 hours of hiking both days (yes we are old and slow!) and came to realize that, while we do truly enjoy the hiking, we also equally enjoy sitting around our campfire in the evenings, and being lazy in the mornings. We have to do enough "get up and get 'er done" in our real lives that we would rather hike a little less and enjoy the sitting around a little more. We're going to aim for either 12.7 or 18.6 in the fall, depending on how clearly the memories of the blisters are still hanging around. ;) It was overall a fantastic weekend-- perfect weather and besides the mental torture I put myself through with unexpected water rationing on day 2, a perfectly enjoyable time.
2. Dan was gone in Atlanta for training all last week. He is now gone again this week in Pittsburgh for more training (last week was a national conference for his "real" job; this week is training for his "side job" that is the swat team.) It's hard doing back-to-back weeks of parenting alone but it's definitely worth it for him to be well-trained for the incredibly difficult job he has!
3. Hallie turned 11 on Weds! I picked her up from school at 12 and took her out to lunch... the younger kids and I had been working all morning to try to get her Ikea loft bed done in time to surprise her, but alas, my Ikea skills (although impressive) were not quite that good. However, she helped us finish assembling it and is now the very proud owner of a new bed. And Olivia is the very happy recipient of a hand-me-down Ikea desk and mirror. We had Hallie's official family birthday dinner last night (her choice of risotto, roasted sweet potatoes, and loaded carrot cake!) and now the birthday festivities are over until July when we get a teenager in the family. Yep, you read that right.
4. Tristan broke his finger last weekend (rolled a rock on top of it while at a friend's) so I had to take him in to get that checked on Friday. It's definitely broken, but thankfully it's aligned well for healing so he only has to wear a splint for the next several weeks. He also got another haircut and looks spiffier and cooler than ever. Hard to believe he was that crazy long-haired surfer dude just last month!
5. Saturday we drove to Neshaminy State Park by Philly to see a Civil War reenactment. My uncle Bob is (literally, IS ;)) General John Gibbon (of the Union troops). It was an impressive battle... I'd never seen a reenactment and definitely recommend seeing one at least once in your lifetime. It's a whole experience!
6. Spring is definitely here; warmer days and nights are sticking around finally, which is great! We've been hanging out with neighbors down at the lake more often, and it's been refreshing, after being inside for months, to be outside seeing friends again! The kids are playing dodgeball and gaga ball and riding bikes and climbing trees and catching salamanders... all the fun spring things.
7. I finished reading "These Is My Words", the diary of Sarah Agnes Prine this week. It was a fascinating look into the life of a pioneer woman in the 1700's. Their lives were so much harder than mine... I try to remember that on the days when I feel exhausted and overwhelmed. ;)