I cannot believe it’s the LAST DAY OF SCHOOL for both kids!!! This week has been exceptionally busy with daily themes at school, year end gifts, lots of cards to write (especially for all of the teachers we wanted to say goodbye to at Thomas’s daycare) and work is busy too. Phew! But we made it to Friday and at the end of the school day we’ll officially be on summer break!! And done with daycare foreverrrrrrr!
I am so proud of the kids for all the hard work they put in to the school year and for navigating so many challenges (especially Caroline). It was so tough being remote most of the year, making new friends behind masks and the constant schooling adjustments (being at school, then remote, then hybrid, then remote, then hybrid again, then back to school). So to celebrate, I’m planning an ice cream bar surprise for the kids when they get home from school. They already know something is up after noticing all the cartons of ice cream in the freezer but have no idea how many toppings are coming their way.
OK, on to my 5…
1. TK Graduation
Thomas graduated TK (transitional kindergarten) earlier this week and today is his very last day of daycare! His school year technically runs through summer but we decided to pull him out early to let him join Caroline for all the fun camps we have lined up before he starts kindergarten. I am so very proud of how much Thomas has grown this past year! He is so ready and excited to be at the same school as his sister again (and ride the bus!!!).
2. Charcuterie Board Workshop
Earlier this week at work I had a fun client event where we learned how to make charcuterie boards. We used Alice’s Table for the virtual workshop and it was SO well done. I was impressed by the quality of the gourmet meats, cheeses and accouterments (supplied by their partner, Harry & David). I was excited to learn new ways to slice and display the ingredients and loved how my board turned out.
After the workshop, I added in some veggies and served the delicious smorgasbord for dinner which was a hit!
3. Book Review: The Nightingale
Rating 3/5: Phew — I finally finished The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah! It was such a loooong book, and while I thought it was good enough to finish, it was just so slow and heartbreaking. Unpopular opinion, but I liked The Four Winds so much better and would recommend that book before this one!
Book Summary: In the quiet village of Carriveau, Vianne Mauriac says good-bye to her husband, Antoine, as he heads for the Front. She doesn’t believe that the Nazis will invade France…but invade they do, in droves of marching soldiers, in caravans of trucks and tanks, in planes that fill the skies and drop bombs upon the innocent. When a German captain requisitions Vianne’s home, she and her daughter must live with the enemy or lose everything. Without food or money or hope, as danger escalates all around them, she is forced to make one impossible choice after another to keep her family alive.
Vianne’s sister, Isabelle, is a rebellious eighteen-year-old, searching for purpose with all the reckless passion of youth. While thousands of Parisians march into the unknown terrors of war, she meets Gaëtan, a partisan who believes the French can fight the Nazis from within France, and she falls in love as only the young can…completely. But when he betrays her, Isabelle joins the Resistance and never looks back, risking her life time and again to save others.
With courage, grace and powerful insight, bestselling author Kristin Hannah captures the epic panorama of World War II and illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the women’s war. The Nightingale tells the stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France—a heartbreakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the durability of women. It is a novel for everyone, a novel for a lifetime.
4. Meyer Lemon Tree Update
We have been so excited about the ONE lemon that has been growing on our lemon tree for almost a year now and I am absolutely terrified one of my kids is going to pick it before it’s ripe. I never should have pointed it out to them but did so in my excitement when it first sprouted and now we are all on lemon watch!
Also, our hydrangeas have been exploding all over our backyard this week and it makes me happy, happy, happy!
5. Memorial Day Weekend in Florida!
Tomorrow we are heading home to FLORIDA!! We originally had a beach vacation planned with Matt’s family but sadly it fell through. The kids had been looking forward to an end of the school year vacation and I didn’t have any camps lined up for them next week so we pivoted and decided to head to Florida since we had already taken Secured Leave/PTO.
Even though I grew up and lived in Orlando for 18 years I completely drew a blank on what to do with our kids while we are there this time. So I polled y’all for recommendations on a theme park or activity and received a ton of good suggestions, as well as lots of requests to round them up, so here they are (well, about half of the responses…after awhile there was a pretty clear pattern so I think this is a good summary of the suggestions):
The asterisks were our final contenders but we ended up going with Lego Land since the kids meet all the height requirements and a few of you told me they’ll age out of that park the soonest. We decided not to spend the night there since it’s not a far drive and instead are going to try and squeeze in Gatorland another day too (which we went to several times as kids and loved)! I can hardly wait to kick off our summer with family time and lots of fun!