Catching My Breath and Catching Up

So, I guess you can see by my absence from the online Hill Hangout, that life at the in-real-life Hill Hangout has been a little hectic. We are back in full swing with school and all of our fall activities are kicking off as well. We started school a couple of weeks ago. So far, this year has started off as our best year yet! Mary Anneliese is super-duper focused and taking the initiative to get her work done. I hardly have to motivate her at all.

Soccer practice is in full swing. We LOVE our new competitive team. The other girls are really sweet. The parents are fun and Jonathan and I have really had fun hanging out with them on the sidelines. Our coach is really laid-back and, while he definitely drills soccer technique, he also wants to teach the girls to love the game. We really couldn’t have asked or a better soccer experience. And that’s a VERY good thing. With three hour-and-a-half practices each week and games on Saturdays, we really needed to love everybody involved.

Patterson has started back to gymnastics. She has a new teacher this year, since her teacher from last year is now preggo with a sweet baby girl after trying for years to have a baby and finally adopting a little boy two years ago. Precious little Cooper is going to have a sweet baby sister, and we are so thrilled for Mrs. Jessa and her family.

Ballet starts next week, with MA going twice each week and Patti going once. I was thrilled that Patti was able to get into a class at Briarwood Ballet because we adore their ballet ministry. Mary Anneliese will have the privilege of being in Mrs. Barbara Barker’s class this year. Mrs. Barker (wife of Dr. Frank Barker, long-time pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church) founded the Briarwood Ballet many years ago, and it has been her “baby” for a long time. We are honored that she sees the importance of her ballet ministry to the younger classes, as well as the “big girl” travelling troupe.

Pitter Patter starts “church” next week. She has an aversion to “school” and does not want to go, but she loves church, so starting next week, she’ll be in “church” two days. She is excited and has told everyone that she gets to take a lunchbox and walk in by herself (from the carpool line). She feels like a big girl. Of course, she thinks MA and I will be at church, too, but we haven’t gotten around to letting her in on that little secret yet. Actually, we will be spending that time being very focused on schoolwork. I think it’s going to be a good fit for us all.

In other news, my parents were here last weekend. We had a great time with them. We celebrated our niece Lexi’s birthday with a fun little party at my brother’s house. Sunday morning, Mom and Dad packed up and left while we were at church. When we got home, my mother-in-law’s car was parked in front of our house. Since she lives in Mississippi and wasn’t supposed to be in town, I was totally confused. Jonathan sent me into the house while he switched around car seats for my girls to go to lunch with her. After they were on the road, he came in the house and told me to pack an overnight bag and load up. I had no idea what he was talking about because we didn’t have plans to go anywhere. Of course, he had to help me pack, because he wouldn’t tell me where we were going. He’s a sneaky one.

So after much ado, we ended up in Chattanooga at a Selah concert. Have I ever mentioned that they are my absolute favorite Christian group EVER? So yes, my husband and I spent the night in Chattanooga with the fine folks at Red Banks Baptist Church worshipping with Selah. We had an unbelievable time, and I was mucho impressed with his ability to pull off a surprise this big.

We ate at Fuji Sushi and The Acropolis, which were both excellent. Fuji is a hibachi/sushi place that was fun and really, really good. The Acropolis is a restaurant owned by a Greek family. Y’all, it was one of the best meals I’ve ever eaten. No kidding! And I’ve eaten a lot of good food. The spanakopita was homemade. It was papery flaky, and the spinach filling was to-die-for. The kalamata olives were fabulous, and the fresh feta on the salad was the best feta I’ve ever had, hands down. It was a fantastic ending to a really fun surprise trip.

And now I want to move to Greece and eat real kalamata olives and fresh feta with every meal.



  1. I studied in Athens, Greece for a summer. I was absolutely dying for a salad with LETTUCE! 🙂

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