Friday, July 14, 2017


How has it been a week? I thought last week was the longest week ever but I don't know what happened to this one. I know that I planned our next 3 vacations, got back on my exercise track, put myself on a no margaritas/no nachos diet, and pet Winston a lot.

As James noted mournfully from the couch last night, "do you remember when you used to sit and cuddle with me?"

"Do you remember that?"

"It was nice."

And I was almost like aw, do you miss me? But then Winston spotted the pack of incredibly handsome bulldogs living in the reflection on our skylights and he was so excited yet also maybe scared that I had to turn all my focus to him again. Poor James.

So, in short, and to no one's greater surprise than my own, I remain utterly besotted with this animal. Apparently I really did need that fourth baby.

The kids are just as bad. Earlier this week Landon randomly asked, "Mom, is Winston any other types of dog?"

"No," I replied, "he's all bulldog."

"So he's a purebred?! We can enter him in dog shows!! He'll win SO MUCH money!!!"

"Um, I'm not sure he's a show level specimen."

"Mom. He's amazing." [goes back to researching dog shows on his kindle]

But speaking of babies, my three human ones are doing fine, as is the neglected husband.

does not understand doors

The big kids had a new camp this week - Camp Thurman, which is like the be all end all of day camps. We'd never done it because it's expensive and far away and we didn't know anyone to carpool and no freaking way was I getting the kids to a location 30-minutes away 2x a day during working hours for a whole week, so no, sorry kids, please have fun at this awesome $99/week camp I found for you and am 92% sure is not a child labor camp in disguise.

But now they're home with James/Tara for most of the summer which is 75% cheaper than camp, so they got to pick three camps and the sky/DFW area was their limit. They picked Golf Camp, BRIT, and Camp Thurman. And now we have friends to carpool with!

And they have LOVED IT.

Zip lines- FOUR zip lines - tarzan swings, three pools, a lazy river, archery, water guns, sand pits, counselor skits, and I don't even know what else. After day 1 the big kids agreed it was the most fun thing they'd ever done except "maybe Utah and Jamaica and Mexico. Maybe." I mean, look at this. I want to go.

It's all outdoors with no inside space at all and it's been 100 degrees all week, so I thought I'd come home to exhausted children, but no, each day I've come home to children yelling and splashing in the pool because my kids' batteries go on FOREVER and nothing makes them tired.

Luckily they have Winston to be tired for them.

Speaking of tired- we hosted a swim meet last weekend at our local pool! It went on forever because there were too many times and we're not super good at hosting swim meets, but the kids had fun.

Cora continues to LOVE her 25 free and delights in getting her event number written on her arm just like the rest of the swimmers. And by "delights" I mean "takes very very seriously."

Landon and Claire did great and I did well once I remembered the pool was 25 meters and not 25 yards. I was fairly horrified by my 100 free time until someone told me that. (You'd think I'd know this about our home pool, but that was actually the first time I'd ever swum in it... I do not go to practice.).

After the meet we were all dying of heat stroke so we stopped at our taco place for margaritas and queso. It made sense at the time, but when I got home and fell into a semi-sleep semi-comatose state for an hour I realized that maybe tequila is not best for near heat stroke? Luckily James was around to parent our bizarrely NOT TIRED children. Then our friends came over to swim and then two of our kids went to their house to spend the night, so we just had Cora!

We capitalized on our cheaper potential food bill by going out for pizza, looking like rookies rolling up to the restaurant with just one 3-year-old in tow. "Table for 3" was weird, but also fast and cheaper. And when your +1 is a toddler who has perfect table manners and is VERY SERIOUS about her children's placemat coloring activities, you can talk about grown-up things like you're on a date! I love big kids, but it was crazy to chat about something without hearing "wait, what was that? what did you say? who are you talking about?" Cora's just like, don't talk to me, I'm coloring in all the tic tac toe boxes with a complex pattern of colors. I will speak to you when I'm through.

On Thursday, Landon had a 7:30 a.m. orthodontic appointment - I can't imagine James or I scheduling one for that time, but it did work out with the camp carpool though I had to shake Landon awake at 6:30 that morning. He got to pick new colors which was VERY exciting, but he also got a wire put in to connect to his back teeth, which was less so.

His birthday is tomorrow. He's turning 10. This time 10 years ago I was in triage at Northwestern Hospital in Chicago with my friend Jenny while James and her husband drove to our apartment to throw my camera and a few other random things in a bag for me. This is what happens when your water breaks 6 weeks early in a downtown restaurant. I can't believe that was a decade ago.

Tomorrow is our all day city championship swim meet. The boys swim in the morning, so James and Landon will be leaving at 6 a.m., making most of our birthday traditions impossible. The girls swim in the afternoon, so we won't all be home until early evening when we're heading to a friend's house for their backyard games party. A bunch of Landon's best friends will be there, so he's excited, but it means we really won't be home for a minute of his birthday.

So we made his birthday today instead. It started with surprise donuts spelling out his name (he was thrilled) to share with our camp carpool crew.

Then we inflated the ridiculous and regal castle pool float we bought for him to surprise him when he got home with all carpool buds in the afternoon.

Landon fell in love with this float when he saw it in a magazine THREE years ago. And though James and I literally laughed out loud at the idea of ever spending that much on a pool float, he continued to enthusiastically and optimistically describe it to everyone for years afterward. Never with any sense of expectation, just endless hope.

And so, since he didn't need or want anything else, he is now the 10-year-old king of his own castle.

I must admit, now that we own it, it's the float our pool always needed to have.

We pulled the kids out of the pool after only an hour, knowing they were exhausted from camp and we needed to quit while everything was still fun and no one was crying. Landon opened presents, we ate spaghetti, and all Lag Liv children were in bed by 8:10. James is asleep, I'm reminiscing about this time 10 years ago, and Winston is snoring loudly enough to keep me giggling through my nostalgia-fueled tears. Goodnight to all.


  1. Where are the next vacations? You always have such great ideas! We are going to the Outer Banks in August, then LA/Disneyland for Thanksgiving week.

    1. I've never been to the Outer Banks! They're on the list!

      We're doing Colorado in a few weeks, then a south/east National Park tour in March (Hot Springs, Mammoth Cave, Great Smoky Mountains, Congaree), and a MUCH anticipated trip back to Chicago with the kids in May for my 10 year law school reunion! (And our surprise Disney trip is in November - can't wait!)

  2. Can't wait to hear about the next three vacations!! Love your ideas.

  3. Happy Birthday Landon, that's a totally spiffy pool float!

  4. Ah! I'm the biggest lurker ever (something like 3 comments 8 years?) but I have loved and followed your blog since my husband was a 1L and I was googling "Should we have a baby in law school?" (The answer for us was no, and here we are 8 years later with our first baby.) Anyway I had to chime in today because CAMP THURMAN!! Loved that place SO much as a kid. I was so so so sad when I aged out and then never fulfilled my dreams of becoming a counselor. I went to PCA in the 90s and all of my classmates were also obsessed (Camp Thurman was originally affiliated with Pantego Bible Church, not sure if still?). I am so weirdly excited and happy to read that your kids went and loved it. Yay!