apple picking season has begun

I pick all the fruit in all the land. Even what is typically thought of as a fall fruit before it is even said fall. I wanted the big kids to get the chance to pick apples because as you well know, once school starts those weekends just get so darn chock full of activities and so... apple picking cannot be missed!

packing it all in

Our final two weeks of summer involved a whole lot of me trying to cross everything off our summer bucket list. With a vengeance. I was frantic to not miss a thing and just make sure that every last summer day was full of tons of fun things! And we almost made it. Sure the weather put a bit of a hindrance on a few of the plans but I feel pretty good about it all.... And so in our final two weeks of summer we...

/had a night swim/made s'mores/got back to school haircuts/visited hersheypark at night/went to the new playground at long's park/got ice cream at pineview dairy/had a swim with our fitzgerald's/discovered alcoholic slushees/had our final birthday celebration/covered uncle mark in hair chalk/had a sleepover/got ice cream at son's/got ice cream at fox meadows/david learned how to ride his bike with no training wheels/went to the bike trail/swam/went to amos herr park/got slushees/snorkeled with friends/added a slide to the pool/went to tj rockwells/letty had a few birthday parties, one that was a sleepover/
All that to say.... last few weeks of August? You exhausted me. But I sure wouldn't change a thing!


to my big kids...

This morning, after what feels like the shortest summer vacation on record, the big kids will don their new backpacks and bound out of the van and walk into their school... and it’s all too soon. August is really the Sunday of the Summer I think. The whole month I’ve been eyeing (more like side-eyeing) today’s date on the calendar and dreading it’s inevitable arrival. I know all the rational things... David needs to be challenged... Letty needs the help of her superhero team... Routine is good for them... This is real life and unavoidable... The kids are healthy and growing and if my biggest problem is that school starts well, aren’t I just so lucky and blessed? And yes. All of that. But I still pout. I still throw myself a pity party. And I’m sure I’ll be crying big huge silly tears as I drive away from their school this morning. It’s my thing. I love my kids. And I want them with me. All the time. Even if they drive me crazy, they are mine. 

cruising: grand cayman

I can't even tell you how many times we have been to Grand Cayman. Lots, to say the least. And just like all our other stops it sure has changed. We were here last shortly after Katrina and well, things needed a bit of work. But now! Wow! The place is gorgeous. Of course we had an excursion booked but that didn't leave till a bit later in the day, so we spent the morning walking around the ship and checking out all the towel animals they had on display. We also took the kids into the Frankenstein Bar, a bar we all danced at the last time we were on this ship.... Ah memories....

cruising: cozumel

Cozumel. Another port from the past. We Trovato's were here on what turned out to be our last ever cruise as a family of six, back in 2003/2004 on a New Year's Eve cruise. Which makes me sort of melancholy to think about, as none of us knew it was the last time as just us six. But anyways we got off the boat and Colton saw this step/fountain thing that he recognized from a photo of us way back then and he came up with the idea that we should recreate it. Always one with the good ideas, that brother-in-law of mine. And so that is just what we did and I love it. 

cruising: formal night with AUrate

The cruise offers us all a rare opportunity to get all dressed up in our finest for two nights a week on their formal nights. I don't know why I still like it, as I'm a purely leggings kind of gal the majority of the time, but I do. We all clean up real nice I think! Just look at the lot of us! Seriously, how lucky are we! I love my big family!

cruising: a day at sea

Days at Sea are the best, I think. You really get to enjoy all that the cruise ship has to offer. And enjoy we did. I started the morning with a quick run around their lap deck, practically getting dizzy because well, one lap is like... a tenth of a mile or some such thing. We had breakfast and then the kids got a quick swim in before they hightailed it off to Camp Ocean. Hand in hand. They just love that place so much and all five of the kids couldn't wait to get away from us all. Which, okay. Sure I guess it is their vacation too. But then! The most miraculous thing happened! Matt and I were able to lay around on the deck and have a drink and gasp, even read! It was quite nice and hasn't happened since 2009! What does one even do with oneself!!? We hung out with John and Sadie while those other family members of mine with kids too young for the camp did other things, like have coffee and attempt to get their baby to nap. That stuff. 

cruising: flying and boarding and more

Okay. I am now sufficiently rested and sort of calmed down about our surprise road trip returning home from this vacation... I am officially ready to start tackling sharing all about our cruise! Consider it an experiment in denial that one, the cruise is already over and b, that school starts in less than two weeks. Consider away.

The family opted to fly as I may have mentioned yesterday. I'm a big fan of road trips and personally we love to drive to Florida but this time we flew. First time in nine years for me. We had to meet at my parent's house at the ripe hour of 2 a.m. I believe. The mind is a sieve. Just mine? We loaded up two party buses and headed to get my brother and his family as they were on the way to the airport. And then off! To BWI! Baltimore! And! Me!

The timing was really quite great, we checked in (only had to rearrange one dress shoe of Matt's in order to meet weight requirements), went through security, ate breakfast, used the bathroom (never pass a potty) and then it was boarding time! So I consider that a win. I had a good happy buzz going to take away my nerves and on we went! Don't forget to rub the outside of the plane kids! My Grandma always insisted it brought good luck! Say hi to the pilot! Oh wow look at all those buttons okay yes let's sit down and just let mama white knuckle the arm rests mmmm k?


If you weren't aware, we spent last week on a Caribbean cruise. The entire family, totaling in at 17 humans from the ages of six months and well, up. You know the drill: Mexico, Belize, Honduras, Grand Cayman. Et cetera... We flew down there (which for the record, I loathe to fly) and had no problems but upon departure well... We had problems. A delayed flight turned into a cancelled flight turned into panic mode turned into brainstorming mode turned into a few hours later we all piled into two twelve person passenger vans and headed north for the long drive home.

the way we do 35

For some reason this birthday sort of hit me the wrong way. Not the actual day just the significance of the age, I guess. Something like that. It left me sort of like, meh. How did I want to celebrate? Matt asked. I had nothing. No ideas. He was off work (the saint) so I felt like we should do something. Maybe it was the weather which has just been so weird lately? Let's blame a lot on the weather. 

I woke up in the morning to the laundry already folded and basically every other little mundane morning chore of mine done. That Matt, I mean. I scored big. Huuuuuge. I had an appointment to get my nails done and then decided to go to Target where I found a new dress on clearance, just in time for the cruise! Yay! Walking around Target solo is really like a little mini vacation. I don't have to head count. I can take my time.... Always good for you, solo Target runs. When I got home Matt already had the kids dressed and ready to go to the Bullshead for lunch. Because that is always a good idea as well.

letty's official birthday

Letty's actual eighth birthday was last week and we pretty much let her call the shots as to what she wanted to do, even going so far as to letting her cancel on her tutor (I gave the birthday girl many side eyes about that). She requested Hersheypark, not the water park, and she wanted to play the same game that David had played on his birthday. She woke to presents of course beforehand and her favorite was the hair chalk. She gets to have crazy colored hair and I get to know that the second she jumps in the pool it's gone. Poof! She thinks she looks like Mal from The Descendants.

picking those peaches

Traditions people! Traditions. I am one for them. So as you can imagine, come August when the peaches ripen and off I go! To pick the peaches! Now as we were leaving shortly for the cruise I couldn't go too crazy, but we got ourselves a few pounds of these early birds, which will then be frozen for our winter white wine, naturally. My sister and her kids and my mom joined us as well! And there was sunflowers!! We went to a different place this year than we normally do for our peaches, Masonic Villages, which just has the prettiest views! And wagons! And of course a bake shop which Nonna utilized and treated the kids with some fresh baked cookies after all their hard work picking!

35 things.

Today I am 35. Hitting a milestone, I feel like, right? So I sort of thought hey I should do a thing, 35 things on my 35th birthday. It is actually surprisingly difficult and once I got started I was invested so... I had to keep going! I am not sure what today will hold for me other than I will definitely be getting my nails cruise ready... probably some packing. I don't know. Big things! But I'm 35 (haven't aged a day as I like to say) and here's to many many (many) more! Thank you mama for giving me the gift of life and love these past 35 years! I always think the real heroes should be the moms on the birthday's of their children. Amiright?

who letteria is at eight

I have a child that is eight. Eight. That's two away from ten (math was always my forte in school). Every year when she breaks through a milestone it takes the breath out of me in a way. It is like a little punch to the gut. And then when her siblings do the same I'm more like, meh, that's great. But I mean, eight!  

so what's new with you? a day early.

These months be moving at an incredible rate people! July was, I'm fairly certain, only a week long. How was it that March was about four months long and July, a fantastic month to be long if I may say so, seemed so short? Deep thoughts... Also, why do you park in a driveway and drive on a parkway? Discuss.

I love me some Linda Richman!