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 So, my last post was on Alix's last day at Valley Forge, and now it's one of her last days of being a real civilian.  She reports in at West Point on Monday, June 28th.  That's 3 days from today . . . 

This month has been insane.  I've had two book tours in June -- Seattle area (June 1-5) and then Chicago area (June 14-18).  In between and before those two trips, I've been getting Alix ready to head off to West Point with boot and shoe shopping expeditions, wisdom teeth pulling and various other doc appointments (we are now in NY, staying at the Residence Inn in Fishkill (about 23 miles from West Point), dealing w/ my house constructions (we literally ran out of money, so construction had to stop temporarily while we try to scrounge funds -- embarrassing, but that's what happens; it always costs more and takes longer than ever anticipated!), and the usual soccer mom stuff.  I'm pretty exhausted.  No writing occurred w/ the new book.  Not a surprise, but a disappointment nonetheless.  Hopefully, July will be a more productive month where I can concentrate better on my writing.

My Seattle trip went fabulously.  I made new author and librarian friends!  And Andy was able to be out there at the same time.  Just one of those lucky ducky things -- he had a couple of courts-martial out in Ft. Lewis the exact week that I was scheduled for my book tour.  So, we got to spend some time together.  Anastasia came out, too, and hung out w/ us.  Alix was home watching the rest of the kids, and we wanted Anastasia out of the picture -- too much for Alix to handle w/ Sass thrown into the mix!  So, she had some quality time w/ Mommy and Daddy which I think she really loved.

And speaking of really loving, I LOVED LOVED LOVED running in the NW!  I felt like a super-hero running at sea level.  The steep hills weren't all that fun, but it was so beautiful running around my old running routes.  And it did that misty drizzle stuff that is perfect for running.  I miss it soooo much.

My trip to Illinois went well, too.  My hometown library really was responsible for bringing me to the area -- thanks so much, Sarah! -- and I was able to do some workshops with nearby libraries, too.  Again, met some really great librarians.  One even took me to Chicago, and we had some really great cocktails, some classic ones -- thanks, Megan!  And two of my fav teachers came to hear me speak!  What a surprise to see them!  Mr. Stanko (my cross country and track coach!) and Ms. Ward (my music teacher in elementary school and also my band teachers in middle school and high school).  So weird to see people after so many years (like 25 plus) -- you can recognize them for sure, but we're all just older.  Mr. Stanko gave me a thorough tour of my high school, too.  It's so very different (bigger) after 25 years.

After I got back, I had only a few days to get ready for our NY trip.  We flew all the kids, plus Andy and me, out here.  Thanks to all the frequent flyer miles and Marriott reward points that Andy has racked up over the years, the trip was pretty much covered!  

We arrived yesterday, got settled in the hotel, and then drove down to West Point to go . . . running!  Insane, huh?  I decided to run up past the Cadet Chapel to Lusk Reservoir.  Wow, what a hill!  My lungs were handling things fine (thanks to all my altitude training!  Ha!), but my legs were quite jelly-like after that butt kicking hill!  And the humidity -- now, that's not something I am used to at all anymore.  My shirt was completely soaked after my near 4 mile run.  The temps aren't too bad, but it's just so muggy and, well, WET, here.

Today we got up bright and early and headed back down to West Point again to do Mock R-Day.  Alix stayed at some friends in Highland Falls (she couldn't do the mock R-day as West Point really doesn't want the new cadets to get a dress rehearsal!) and Kat had to stay w/ her because she was too young, but Ari, Anastasia, Andrew, Andy, and I got to pretend we were new cadets for a few hours.  Andy of course was a very naughty new cadet and made the cadets laugh at some of the stuff he said and did.  I think my kids had a good time, and now they will be that much more prepared if they should choose to attend West Point one day.

We decided to go see Toy Story 3 this evening -- such a good movie! -- and then I spent the rest of the night walking around for about an hour and a half wearing Alix's low quarters, trying to break them in for her.  I had ordered them through the Army/Air Force exchange weeks ago, but they never arrived at our house before we left, so I had to order them and had them overnighted to the Residence Inn in Fishkill directly from Bates, the shoe company.  Alix's feet are really badly blistered for some reason (mostly from her trying to break in her boots over the past weeks), so I decided to put on her shoes and try to get them a little soft for her.  What moms will do for their kids, huh?

Okay, we head down to NYC tomorrow morning so the kids can get a taste of the city and see the touristy sites, so I better end this post and get some sleep.  I will try to write more often . . . now that June is almost over and (hopefully) things will start to settle down. 

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