August 31, 2009
What Happened At Church

I don't know exactly where to start. So many parts of the whole experience rendered me stunned speechless. I find myself struggling even now to get my thoughts together.

Lets start with the facts. My husband took the children to visit this particular church a few times. The kids really like the Summer program, so we were kinda thinking this might be the church for us. I hadn't personally been because of a mild cold, pulled back-muscle, ect.

Yesterday we ALL went. The kids went to their classes (which they didn't love as much as the big Summer group programs) and my husband and I went to service followed by Sunday School. Wait. This post is just going to be about MY personal experience at the church. Lets start with the arrival.

We parked. It was paved. So far, so good. The greeter at the door handed me a bulletin and "low-fived" one of the children. So far, not bad. Then the SECOND wave of greeters just inside the door intercepted me as I tried to follow my husband and children to check in Katherine at the nursery. They hugged me. Like I was a long lost friend. I'm not adverse to hugging in any way, but this was a LOT of hugging. I felt a little ... mugged. I broke free and realized my husband had dropped off Katherine and was gone. Great. (That was sarcasm).

The super-friendly greeters showed me where he had probably gone to drop off the other children and I waited at the top of the stairs for him. Eventually he came back. I was staring blankly out the window of the stairwell. He held my hand on the way to our seats in the service.

The seats were not comfy. Not bad, but not comfy. I was too short. But they were cushioned. They sang three short hymns (without hymnals) ("sing along if you know the words") and then the minister preached. For a long time. On varied and assorted themes. I tried to look interested and pleasant because it dawned on me that everyone else looked ... grim. I did not feel uplifted. I didn't even feel convicted. I hope someone got something out of it. I did learn a few new derogatory "wife" jokes. I don't think he meant them badly, and they WERE funny, but still ... I felt a little yucky. We went to Sunday School ...

The Sunday School Teachers wife had called me the previous week. We chatted. She's very nice, absolutely charming. She's from Texas. Her husband is retired military. He's nice too. He looked sharp in a navy blazer, white shirt and navy/burgendy tie. At first I couldn't figure out what was nagging at the corner of my mind. Then I realized that his tie and his wife's dress matched. She also looked great. But still.

Now, to address the pink elephant in the corner of the room. I'll just spit it out. My husband told me they were super-friendly. My husband MIGHT have told me they were slightly older. He just didn't use the right degree of emphasis, because I was NOT prepared to be in a room of SENIOR CITIZENS (all the way up to age 93) because there is only one adult class! Out of about 40 people, there was one 17 yr old, us, and then everyone else was OLD. I mean OLD. Walkers and Oxygen. It was NOT what I was expecting.

But I went with it. Until I heard a shrill cry from the nursery down the hall. Then another one. Then, another one. I whispered to my husband that I was going to the nursery. He nodded and let me out. I slipped out of the room, and down the hall. I didn't really think it was Katherine, but I DID think they might need another set of hands if they had a fussy baby in the nursery.

They had four people in the nursery, and about eight baby-toddlers. But it was just the one crazy-for-crackers baby that was making the noise (when she didn't get the crackers fast enough). They were pleasant and vaguely chatty. Then, I felt a hand on my elbow. It was the Sunday School Teachers wife. She informed me softly that they had enough hands, gently that my child was fine, and then somehow I was lead back to class! She's so charming that I just went along with it.

Thats right. I was captured and returned to class. Like a three year old that has wandered away from the group! My husband was ... surprised ... to see me return to class. I was surprised too. And not in a good way.

Looking back on the experience, I'm still a little stunned. Like ... like ... like ... I still don't know. No part of the whole experience was horrible. Nothing I can point to and say "See? Thats wrong and crazy!". And yet? It still felt wrong and crazy.

We laughed a lot about it afterwards. I'm not sure if my husband was laughing at the situation, or the fact I was stunned speechless.

"My" Computer Is Ok

Blogging will be more frequent in the near future because I have a LOT of words to use up about the move, and because my husband set up "my" computer in my new cute little office which is near the kitchen. It is SO over-the-top-fabulous! And here is how that happened ...

August 23, 2009
Really? You REALLY think that?

Sometimes I forget that some of my friends don't have boys. Sometimes it smacks me in the face so suddenly that I almost fall over.

(There was the time a friend of mine said that we should save money on the house by not putting a tub in the boys' bathroom because "boys don't like bubble baths, just showers". Just so you know, its impossible to sink a Lego submarine in a shower. ) (Note to readers: My husband does draw the line at letting the boys have scented-bubblebaths and candles. I compensate with epsom-salts and glow-sticks, both very macho. I have skills.)

On the last day in Missouri, friends came over to see us off and help load the last little bit of stuff. They brought lots of donuts and even MILK because she is wildly-fabulous and outrageously-thoughtful.

They only have girls, and brought two of them. I have two girls. The total was four girls and two boys. Two boys who are definitely "all boy" as they race bicyles and catch ... wildlife ... and slam through the house like two twisters.

My friend confided later that she had sent her husband to the store at the crack-of-dawn to fetch the donuts with VERY specific instructions. He was simply NOT to come home without sprinkles on four of the donuts. (And he deserves an extra-sparklely-gold-star for convincing the donut-person to go in the back and dip four donuts in sprinkles since they were sold-out!) Get it? Four girls, four sprinkled donuts?

She confided this with a laugh after she set out the donuts, which were immediately swarmed by the two boys who happened to be in the kitchen. Sure enough, Lee pounced on a donut with sprinkles ... "Oooooo! Sprinkles!" Not that I would know where he gets it :)

August 17, 2009
This Is Funny

Really. It made me laugh. A lot. Just focus on the "funny" and not the "horror". Because if we're going to laugh about it years later, we may as well start laughing now.

My in-laws are coming to visit. They're perfectly lovely people. Which is not the same as saying "low-maintenance" people. Let me reinforce THEY ARE LOVELY PEOPLE, just not low-maintenance. Got it? Ready for it? Cause you think you are, but you're probably not ...

I called my mother-in-law to pin down the date of arrival for my calendar. When I started planning things, I realized I had neglected to get the date of departure. Sitting at the desk across from mine was my husband, a fount of information (if I ask the right questions :)

I innocently and almost absent-mindedly asked him if he knew how long his parents were going to be here. (By now the shark music should be reaching a cresendo in your head, dear reader) ...

My fist clue (percieved in that slow motion reserved for dramatic situations) was his head movement. Its hard to describe, but if he has to tell me something when he's not sure of the reaction there's this tiny way his head moves back-sideways-right. By the time I recognize it, the words are already leaving his mouth. (Its like someone yelling "Tsunami" and the big wave is right behind them. Just focuses your attention on the wave about to crash on you.)

Even as I was processing "Head-movement! Head-movement!" the words were coming out. As if in a fog, I realized that his head was poking around the edge of his monitor to get a good look at me when the words hit. I could see the words drifting across the room, but I was helpless to dodge them. On and on they came. Landing on my ears like blobs of green slime. "Nooooooooooooooooooo" echoed in my head, dying away to silence.

Finally, I blinked. I must have. I blinked again. I distinctly remember thinking that I didn't know enough expletives for this situation. I blinked some more. I did not explode. My husband settled back, looking ... better. Confident that this was going to go well. (Sometimes, not all the time but sometimes, there are advantages to being married to me)

I narrowed my eyes. Ok, maybe I narrowed my minds-eye because my regular eyes were still blinking erratically. I did not WANT this to go "well". I wanted to curse like a really proficient sailor. I wanted to have a tantrum. I wanted to explode in a glorious fit of passion, like when I see a mouse.

But is was too late. My internal sensor had rocketed past "mouse" to "emergency". And in my world, that means I'm calm and non-shrill and focused. (Apparently, I have a bell-curve of panic. Flat for non-panic, top of the curve for mice, flat again for emergencies. I find that interesting in a totally abstract way) I was already making lists and charts and plans and alternate plans and alternate alternate plans. My mind was processing them so fast the room almost started spinning. Or ...

... maybe the room got shaky when my husband told me his parents will probably be here for about six weeks.

This is the part where we laugh a lot. Trust me. This is funny, or it will be when I'm eighty. Lets just laugh now! Besides, there are perks to this! I am definitely REALLY motivated to get the new house fully operational practically immediately. My children are a little nervous. My husband is a little nervous. Bwahahahaha!