narrated by: Hazel
Back in 2018, Jude got let go from his recording studio, he did a stint being a birthday party entertainer, and then got a new record deal in 2019. He struggled if he should continue chasing his dream, or hang it up, and we are both glad that he kept working towards it.
This new studio has been fantastic to work with, he’s wanted to spend more time on the west coast, and they’ve hooked him up with concerts and festivals. He’s been feeling like the kids are growing too quickly, and with Bea starting junior high next fall, I agree with him. Neither of us can believe our Bea will be a tween soon.
Monroe dreams of being a musician when he grows up; he loves going to the studio, even though he isn’t allowed to touch anything. He gets to play music at home; Jude enjoys sharing his love for music with him, but the studio isn’t as sharing of their pricey equipment.
Bea really enjoys being in the spotlight, much like her Dad, and was the lead speaker of Longfellow’s Halloween program. She took initiative with the decorations, and her teachers declare that she has a knack for it. But she isn’t passionate about music, she’s more interested in theatrics and animals, if she could combine them both then she’d be in heaven. She is also a tad bossy, but I think that is because she is the oldest, and gets to boss her brothers around all day.
None of the kids are particularly eager about school work, I’m usually at the diner, so it’s Jude who has to wrangle the boys inside. It’s more old hat for Bea these days, though she doesn’t enjoy it more, she’d rather get it over with. I personally wish that teachers didn’t feel the need to send homework home daily, especially for my kids, they all have high energy and need the time to expel it.
As much as Bea doesn’t like schoolwork, she is a perfectionist. She has an A- and was very upset with herself over it. We are trying to teach her that it’s okay to not be perfect, but strive to be better; it is a hard lesson to teach.
We try to take one morning off each week to just spend time together after the kids are off to school. I think it has helped keep the passion alive in our relationship, because the kids and all their activities can be draining, especially adding my business, and Jude’s tour schedule.
Bea is usually on the computer researching tricks to teach the dogs, or local plays, that Jude likes to sneak on while I have my morning coffee. He keeps up with fan mail, and usually posts a few pictures online to keep fans interested in him. We realize we could use more computers in the house, and maybe when all the kids are teens we will be forced reconsider, but for now we just don’t want that much technology in the house.
We usually spend the rest of the time spoiling the dogs. We got both Juno and Jedi before we started dating, they are getting up there in years, and have been patient with us as we fill our schedules for the kids. We have a good time romping around with them outdoors, sometimes we take them to Lincoln Park, but they aren’t picky about the location.
At the diner, things have been going well again. I had to train a new crew a couple years ago, and thankfully most have stayed on. I try to pay well that my employees can live off the wages and not need to move on to something bigger. Rebecca is due soon, and I’m always afraid she’s going to quit on me. When she scheduled a meeting with me during the mid-morning lull, I really felt a panic. She’s been working for me since she graduated community college, and we’ve become friends after all these years.
Thankfully she did not ask to quit, but for a longer maternity leave. I have been getting the vibe that she’d like to be a stay at home Mom, but that Quint isn’t happy with that idea. I try to stay out of personal lives, even if I think of Rebecca as a friend, I try to keep a professional line between us when we are at work.
Of course I didn’t mind her taking a six month maternity leave, it is their last baby and she wants to enjoy it. I even kept her pay for her, because I do want her to come back, and enjoy this time off without Quint worrying over finances.
The diner has been renovated several times over the years, but it seems a few of the items are starting to go awry. I had to replace my stove, and now my sink keeps acting up. With the layout, I can’t have things in disrepair as all the customers can see it as soon as they walk in the door.
I hired Adam a few years back, and he’s one that doesn’t intend to stay working here forever, though I try to persuade him to nonetheless. He’s been seeing Paloma, which I didn’t know until she started stopping in.
She doesn’t really like it when I try to talk with her, I think she feels awkward since she dated my nephew Oliver, so I just give her a smile, and leave her to it. They are pretty adorable together though, he’s into cooking and she’s into baking, and I think that alone makes them a perfect couple personally.
I have to work the after-hours-drunk shift a few times a month, especially now with Rebecca on leave, and it is just about the worst. They tend to have no social inhibitions, many have gotten it on in the photobooth, and they usually make messes and are lousy tippers. It makes me want to hire a second assistant manager so I can skip the drunk crowd permanently.
The kids got a few days off for Thanksgiving break, and Jude just finished recording his latest album, that he was able to be home with them, instead of sending them to my parents house. He made them a big breakfast that they actually got to enjoy outdoors, it has been a warm fall without much rain this year.
Bea is always busy tricking her gullible brothers, and telling tall-tales. One day the boys will learn that she’s just pulling their leg, and that we don’t mean it figuratively.
Roman is the easiest for her to trick, and he’s constantly falling for the stories. As long as she isn’t scaring them, we let their imaginations run wild.
They renovated some historical buildings behind us, and one portion is an old-fashioned cinema. None of the kids have ever gone to the theaters before, so Jude decided to take them to pass some time.
They even have old pinball games like when we were kids, just missing pac-man. The kids only play these types of games when we head up to the Cascade Mountains, which has been too long regrettably.
They were thrilled to get giant buckets of popcorn and candy, something that is rarely allowed in our household.
Jude had to lay down all the rules about no talking during the movie, and no leaving the seats. Monroe kept asking absurd questions like if a robber came into the theater, could he tell his Dad, or if a dragon attacked, could he get out of his seat?
Jude was a little worried that he had made a mistake taking them, but when the lights went out the kids were really into it. He said that Bea was entranced with the big screen, and swore that one day she would be on the silver screen.
Afterwards though the kids were wired from all the processed food and sugars, that Jude could barely keep up with them. He forgot to tell them that they don’t run out of the theater, and they’d already taken off before he could shout it after them.
Since there hasn’t been any rain, we were able to rake the leaves and then enjoy ourselves with them. The past few years the leaves have all been wet and muddied, much to the disappointment of the kids.
They had a blast, Roman couldn’t remember playing in leaves that was how long it had been.
Monroe really got a kick out of throwing them in the air and getting tiny bits of leaves stuck in his hair. Jude was good-natured about all the raking and re-raking that he had to do that day.
At bedtime I take on the boys, I can tell that Roman is my baby, because he really enjoys the story, whereas Monroe gets bored and climbs into bed. He does it quietly though that it’s not disrupting, and I let it go.
Jude insists on reading to Bea, she likes to listen to chapter books instead of picture ones, and Jude is dreading the day that she no longer wants to be read to.
We both know it is coming, and we are not prepared for her to be interested in boys. I’m mostly glad that all the kids are two years apart, but as we face Bea’s next birthday, I sort of wish we’d spaced them farther, it seems like it is going by too quickly. Neither of us feel nostalgic enough to start over with a fourth though, three is the perfect number.
Notes: I can’t believe that Bea will be a teen next fall! I am really excited to see her as a teen, but a bit sad that Hazel’s kids are all growing up so quickly. They have no wants for kids, and they haven’t tried ether, so I think it is safe to say they are done with babies. I think it fits them perfectly, but I am a bit sad!
I wish that the diner uniform came with a pregnancy morph, if anyone happens to see it, I’d love ya if you passed it on to me. I really wanted Rebecca to be working with that giant belly of hers, but alas it wasn’t meant to be.
How cute is Adam and Paloma? He worked so hard to get her interested in him, and his wants panel is 100% filled with her pretty face. She seems pretty smitten with him too.
Goodness do I love this family, they have such cute, boisterous kids. They always seem like they are all having a good time, even Hazel was having a go with the leaves. When the kids were at school, Jude was raking away and Hazel was busy in the house, and she came high-tailing it out there to jump right in.
Love that photo, Jude is like, “Seriously, I’m raking these for the kids…”
Thanks for reading!