>We’re in the second semester of middle school and on our second “boyfriend.”

Yes, Gracie is “going out with” (her words – not mine) a 6th grade boy. They aren’t actually “going” anywhere you see . . . which my dad finds utterly hysterical. . . he’s been laughing about this choice of words since I was “going with” Charlie Warren in te 7th grade.

Well, you know how the media has referred to Brad and Angelina as Brangelina?? Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner as Bennifer?? . . . . Gracie and Max have been nicknamed “Maxie.” I’m sure she will want to curl up and dye in a few years when she realizes the other meaning of Maxi!

So – we haven’t had a chance to meet Max yet – but I’m liking this kid’s spirit and spunk. His text messages (kids don’t actually TALK on the phone anymore) are funny and he seems confident without being cocky. Plus – he obviously has great parents. Or at least PERSISTENT parents. You see, Max lost his RETAINER at lunch on Friday. And he has been going through bags of school garbage ALL DAY LONG. Seriously- he was looking through bags at noon when we went to Gracie’s basketball game, and he is STILL looking now – at 7:30 p.m.

And I don’t think his parents are just plain sadistic. . . this is the THIRD time he’s lost his retainer. Sure hope for Max’s sake that it is the LAST!

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