Saturday, June 27, 2009

Going home

We've had three wonderful weeks of visiting with family and friends throughout the Southeast, and early tomorrow morning we will head back to Texas. It's a fifteen hour drive with just me and the kids, and there will be lots of junk food, DVD's, and probably a stop at a Cracker Barrel somewhere along the way.

It really has been a wonderful vacation. I am so richly blessed with such lovely people in my life. I feel loved, valued, sunburned, and homesick; all the hallmarks of a good vacation.

I also have about 450 photographs, but I won't subject you to all of those. I will, however, describe a few moments not captured by the camera.

Driving home late from a girls' night out in my mother's convertible with my friend Becky, and we came upon a deer standing in the road who appeared to have no intention of moving. As we slowly approached the animal, Becky said, with perfect comedic timing, "Ohhhh, dear." Y'all, there is something to be said for friends that can make me laugh as hard as I laughed that night. That is a gift straight from God, and I treasure it.

Watching my husband swim way WAY too far out in the ocean with three kids clinging to him and squealing with delight, all the while I was standing on the shore saying, "Okay, that's far enough, honey." Then he brought them all back to shore, smiling and laughing, and they crowed all week about his bravery and strength in the waves.

Sitting at Waffle House late at night with my sisters (after also having ridden in the convertible) and having the waitress come by and say in a deep Southern twang, "Oh, y'all must be sisters!"

Watching my dad teach Tommy how to bait his own hook.

Watching my mother and my aunt giggling like schoolgirls while they tried to row a canoe for the first time.

Celebrating my birthday by eating homemade ice cream and playing cards with my in-laws while the kids played with their cousins.

Sitting at Waffle House late at night (again) with my childhood girlfriends, looking across the table at faces I have loved for 20 years, and sharing our struggles, our dreams, our mistakes, and huge pieces of pie.

Eating gumbo and jambalaya with a house full of kinfolk, literally.

Hearing the kids squeal with glee as they caught fish after fish after fish. I am proud to say that although I strongly object to pulling the hooks out of the fishes' mouths, I have successfully impaled about 89 worms for my girls' hooks this week. Go me.

And last but not least, here are all of my precious nieces and nephews, in photo form.


Friday, June 19, 2009

Hey Y'all

We're in Georgia for the next week or so, lazing around by the lake and eating spicy food. We had a good visit with Greg's family last weekend and then we spent a few lovely days in Charleston.
We watched dolphins. We ate seafoood. We loved it.
This is Cousin Emily. She reads my blog. Hi Emily.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

On the Road Again

We decided about 36 hours ago to put our house on the market, and after about 34 hours of cleaning, fixing, and painting, so it is. Meanwhile we leave in the morning for the Big Road Trip and I have not packed one thing. I don't even have a list yet, y'all.

So for now, I'll leave you with the Boy and His Mud, a scene which was laughed at and photographed by his mother, who was trying to be a good sport even though she JUST CLEANED THE HOUSE.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Craziness Cont'd

Well not much has changed since summer vacation started, things are still crazy busy and hectic. We head to the doctor early Monday morning for Cast Removal and then straight to the pool (the kids want to bring their bathing suits to the doctor's office and change there) to make up for lost time.

We are still in limbo over possible new job/possible move/possibly no job/possibly precarious future, but either that will resolve soon or that will continue, either way it will get boring to blog about until something is known. So enough of that.

In other news, we decided to leave for our annual Tour of the South/family vacation two weeks early, which means that I now have three days to get ready, and full plans for activities all three of those days.

I'm a little bit nuts.

This year's trip will include a family reunion in South Carolina, a few days in my favorite Charleston, a day at the beach, and lots of lazy days at my parents' lake house in Georgia where I will wait on a floatie for my relatives and friends to come out and visit me. I can't wait. Perhaps I will wait on a hammock for some of the time. I'm open.

Meanwhile, here is a story. I took my car in to get some work done the other day. Actually, Greg had promised to take it in for me, but I had an epiphany: if I take the car in, I get several hours of uninterrupted reading time while he plays with the kids. So of course I took the car in. As I was sitting on the L-shaped couch reading a magazine and listening to Spanish lessons on MP3, a lady came in with her 4 year old daughter.

P.S. I seem to be unable to learn Spanish on an MP3 player. Apparently without visually seeing a word's spelling, I am unable to comprehend and retain it. I was really good at French in high school and college, so I thought I could pick up Spanish easily, but every time I try to think of a word in Spanish, the French word pops into my brain and will not leave. Knowing Spanish is a valuable job skill for anyone working in the social services field in Texas. I rue the day I chose to take French in high school. Rue it.

Anyway, this lady comes in and sits next to me with her little girl, and then takes out a pair of nail clippers and starts clipping the child's nails. Then she removes the child's shoes and socks and trims her toenails. Then she pulls out nail polish and starts polishing the girl's toenails.

I found it very strange.

I also had to move my purse to ensure no stray nail clippings were flying into it.

To make matters worse, she was one of these people who constantly narrates everything she is doing, ostensibly to her child, but is actually using this narration to indirectly explain her actions to the people around her. For instance: "I'm going to cut your toenails now, sweetie, since we're having such a rushed day and I needed something to do while we were waiting and we won't have time to do it after we get home from here."

I find the Mommy Narrations of Explanation even more annoying than the toenail clipping. Here is what I think: if you're going to do something and you're not certain how the strangers who are sharing a space with you are going to react, either don't do it (probably for the best), or just own it. Walk into a room full of strangers and shower them with fingernail clippings and make no apologies. Then walk out ten minutes later with your head held high.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Jet Lagged

Well this week has been a crazy one. I could write a handful of blog posts about it if I had more than a few moments to sit still, so I'm just going to make a list.

1. My cousin Tracee came into town last week to visit with her husband and daughter. We crammed about five days' worth of sightseeing into 24 hours. We got rained on at the Rangers' ballpark. We saw the Southfork Ranch where they filmed Dallas. We walked on the grassy knoll. We ate some good food. We laughed quite a bit. It was a lovely visit.

2. Right after that, Greg and I left town for three days and flew to an undisclosed location to interview for a job. It was good and it went well, but it was very bizarre. There were five people flown in to compete for the same job...for the entire weekend. It was strange. Let's just say most churches don't do that. I kept asking Greg if he thought we should be making alliances in case we were asked to vote someone off.

3. I've been reading Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv. I am loving it! I need to find someone else who has read it so I can discuss it with them. VERY thought-provoking.

4. To top all of that off, this week is the last week of school (FINALLY), so of course there is all the mayhem and crazy that goes along with that, but freedom, sweet luscious yummy freedom is on the horizon, and in just days it will be mine.

5. I found a dead baby snake in a drawer in the kids' bathroom right before we left this weekend, and I forgot to tell Greg about it, and he is leaving town tomorrow morning at the buttcrack of dawn for yet another interview. My dilemma: do I just leave it there for a few more days or do I dispose of it myself? Discuss.

The kiddos

The kiddos

Kidney Peril Updates

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