Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Memorial Day Weekend Wrapup

When we last left off, it was Friday morning on the cusp of some big events.  Phil and I took half days from work (our *actual* accounting and teacher jobs) and we brought an ice cream party to Declan's 3rd grade class, as a surprise for a reward the class had earned.  The kids were so thankful and cute.  Then we went downstairs to the gym and attended First Grade's Book Share.  This year's book was a book of jokes, and each student drew a picture to go with the joke.

Brendan's joke says "Why did the house go to the doctor?  It had a window pane!" and you can see his awesome illustration of the house, complete with a pain (bruise) in the window.  Brendan has always loved art and wants to be an artist and a dermatologist but maybe an architect.  The options are limitless when you're six!

Brendan and his First Grade Teacher, who is so wonderful.

After the students read the book to the audience, we were allowed to meet the authors.

My mom and I showed up in matching jean jackets :)

Friday, May 26, 2023

Week in Review: Stress Eating, Cone Making and Awards Receiving

What a week.  So very May.  

Maggie came into my bedroom midweek and said "Mom?  What are you doing?  You're just sitting on your bed staring at the wall eating chips and dip." 

Yes, Maggie, it's called stress eating.

 Between the physical busyness of this week and all of the emotional busyness that goes along with these big events, I am barely hanging onto more than my bag of chips.  But let's review, shall we?

Last Friday was Andrew's prom and then a weekend spent working at the shop.  We are training new employees but as of right now we are running with a skeleton crew consisting of family members plus one girlfriend.  It's a good problem to have, but we are busier than we thought we would be in May and opened in such a hurry that we couldn't hire and train enough people fast enough.  But being busy and having happy customers are exactly what we want!  We got over 1000 followers on Facebook in 2 weeks, and I'm very active over there, which is why it's been a bit quiet here.

Andrew (age 18) had Senior Awards Night on Tuesday.  He won a Theology Award (making his Theology-teaching dad proud) and an English award.  He was also recognized for his role of Senior Class Treasurer (making his accounting mom proud).

Alexander (age 11) was inducted into the National Junior Honor Society on Wednesday night.

After the ceremony, we went to The Ice Cream Cottage to get ice cream and they were running out of waffle cones, so I stayed and made a big batch.  Waffle cone scent is my perfume now.

Monday, May 22, 2023

Andrew's Prom

How did the last four years go by so fast, even during a worldwide pandemic?  Our second baby, Andrew, is already wrapping up his high school career.  I will have much more to say and many more photos once we get through this week, but for now...Prom!  

Our graduation gift for our boys is a suit.  They wear it to the prom and then have it for any big events after...as long as they can stay the same size...which can be a challenge going from an athletic high schooler to a more sedentary college student...but Andrew says that's not going to happen to him.

Phil sent me this on the day of the prom, and man is it true!

Fashion is fickle!

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Cheers to 21 Years

Here's to 21 years and many, many more.  I would choose you all over again.  I love you Philip.


2003 - No photo but we had JP with us for our First Anniversary!





















Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Being a Mom is My Favorite Hat

This Mother's Day was unlike any other as it was also the opening weekend of our new shop, The Ice Cream Cottage.  There was no breakfast in bed, there was no lazing around eating bonbons, there was no dinner at a restaurant by the water.  But there were homemade cards and lots of hugs and hardworking big kids and littles who visited me at the shop, and I'm just the luckiest.  

Of all the hats I wear, being a mom is by far my favorite and my lifelong dream come true.  You can bet I cried the biggest tears of joy when I read Declan's poem ("All of my friends just wrote stuff but I made mine rhyme because I know you love rhyming poems").  So without further ado, here is my sweet tender-hearted nine year old Declan's Ode to Mom:

Your smile is as bright as the sun,

When you play with me I have a lot of fun.

You are like an angel floating in the sky,

When you are with me time really does pass by.

You help everybody in the best way,

This happens every day.

I love how you like lemon cake,

I love how you love to bake.

You are so smart and funny,

That it tickles my tummy.

You are beautiful 100 percent,

There is no way you can pretend.

I love how when we are hungry you give us food,

And when you help us when we are in a bad mood.

I love you so much,

That you always give us a great touch.

Your smile is so bright,

That I am happy day and night.

You have a great smile,

That makes me very mild.

You are so kind,

That I can't make up my mind.

I love how you help me when I am sick,

Or help me take off a tick.

Have a wonderful Mother's Day,

You are a great mother in every way.

P.S. Declan told me that he was talking with his friends on Monday, discussing how the moms liked their poems.  The consensus was that almost all of the moms cried because they loved them so much. One mom didn't cry but she still liked it. One mom laughed because her child wrote that she was sweat instead of sweet, but otherwise they were a big hit :)

Thursday, May 11, 2023

We Always Said We Would Like an Even Number of Children

Do you know that feeling you get when you have a new baby, and you are sitting in the hospital with them, just staring at their perfect little face and then it hits you that THE WORLD IS STILL GOING ON OUTSIDE OF THIS ROOM?

I can remember that feeling after each one of my baby's births.  Like this totally amazing, life-changing, wonderful event just happened...and yet people are just acting absolutely normal outside of this window?  Getting their coffees and going to work?  Don't they realize that there's a whole new person living their first moments up here?  Can't time just stand still for a minute?

On a much smaller scale, I am having the same feeling about the opening of our ice cream shop.  

It's not as awesome as a new baby, but there was a lot of dreaming, planning, praying, patiently and impatiently waiting, suffering, learning, and blood sweat and tears poured into this shop.  And it feels like a really, really big deal to us and yet, like the coffee-buyers and work-goers outside of that hospital window, I know that life goes on.  Time does not stand still.  I wish it would!  We still have other jobs to go to, school and church events to attend, prom and graduation coming up, dinners to cook each night, groceries to buy, laundry to do, a dog to walk and I find myself questioning why we thought this was a good idea in the first place?

But is there ever a perfect time to have a baby open a shop? 

Nope, and we all know what God does to the best laid plans:

So it feels apropos, after months of hard labor, to deliver open The Ice Cream Cottage on this Mother's Day weekend.  Our eighth baby.  We even had the shop baptized enthroned last night.  I think that's what you call hedging your bets ;)

The Cottage Crew is as ready as we can be:

Please pray for our sanity and success.  And a very Happy Mother's Day to all of you!!

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Ups and Downs Lately

We're running on empty over here at the Martin casa.  

It's been all hands on deck trying to get the shop open later this week.  There have been a lot of headaches, including failing the plumbing inspection this morning because we need a bigger water heater since we installed a bigger sink.  We installed the bigger sink because we were required to have a three bay sink per the board of health.  So now we are trying to get a plumber and electrician (because bigger water heater = different electrical outlet) in there ASAP.  My parents have been helping us so much by meeting people at the shop for us, building counters and cleaning and even delivering a soft serve sample to a testing company an hour away to get the green light to serve it.  There's so many last minute things that we still need to do, like learn how to use the credit card machine and cook the chowder and pickup the quahogs and get the ice cream delivered.  We would have done some of these things earlier, but were dealing with fridges and freezers not working properly because nothing can ever be easy.

Rant over.

Let's think about the good things, because a thankful heart is a happy heart.

I am so very thankful for my sweet and hard-working husband who is doing 80% of the work on this family business and still makes my heart go pitter patter by sending back texts like this:

Eamon passed his driving test!  I don't think I've ever prayed as many Memorare's as I did while he was taking his exam.

Of course, he came back and tried to pretend that he failed...but couldn't stop smiling :)

Friday, May 5, 2023

Week in Review: Camping Yay and Nay, Countdown to Opening Day, and Create Your Own Sundae

Gotta love when your 20 year old sends you a text like this:

And then follows it up with a ton of pictures a couple of days later.  
Firstborns, amiright?  Such goodies.