I suppose I should apologize ahead of time for the length of this blog. I haven't started writing it, and I know it will be long winded, and for that I apologize. But I have so much to cover, so bear with me.
I left last Wednesday for Michigan, doing the 12 hour drive in one fell swoop. I jammed to the radio, drank a whole lot of Starbucks, and despite crazy gas prices and even crazier construction, made it to Michigan before dark. Ericka and I decided to go out to Applebee's because we were starving.
I realized something very important this trip: breastfeeding moms are my heroes. First off, these women are the champions of convenience and thriftiness. Just pop the kid on and you feed him for free. How many kids menus out there offer food that good for no cost? Now, I'm not saying I'm totally sold on the idea when I have children, as I still maintain that my goodies belong to me and my husband alone, but after a week I have a whole new respect and awe for motherhood, and for my friends as mothers. Though I could have done without the dreams about breastfeeding in Iceland, seriously.
Thursday, Ericka and I went shopping before my hair appointment and bought the cutest green top at Maurices (which Little Man promptly drooled on with pineapple spit, but he was so darn cute chewing on my shirt that I was more than happy to let him, I mean, hey, it washes and it brought him joy). I went to get my hair cut and blown out, since I don't bother styling it myself anymore, then my sister, mom, aunt, grandma and I went to Walmart to have a quick family photo taken. Of course, after the first shot, the camera broke. While the photographer was on the phone with tech support, my aunt dragged out her own camera and commandeered the studio. We ended up with some adorable shots we didn't have to pay a penny for, which was good because the camera was permanently broke. I think my grandma's scary Dixie Stampede smile pushed it over the edge (see http://viewmorepics.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=viewImage&friendID=20907923&albumID=1386677&imageID=25408232).
Ericka and I walked with Little Man up to graduation, which was outside on the football field. I've never seen a better behaved baby in my life. He was content and happy for the entire thing, especially when Mr. Roland turned around and swiped him up, bouncing him around for the better part of the ceremony. It was surreal sitting behind the staff section, seeing people we went to school with sitting there as teachers, and being old enough to see our teachers play with Ericka's son.
My sister was beautiful. Which says very little, because she's always gorgeous, seeing that she stole all the tall, pretty genes. Twit. I think she'll be happy in college, because she will get to meet all kinds of new people, while still being at a school where some of her family and friends attend. I know she will succeed and go far. One of us has to graduate college, and it won't be me LOL. I also know she's so lucky to have made good decisions about which school to attend and to live at home. I know going to school would have been easier for me if I wasn't working full-time on top of my classes, trying to maintain and pay for a house. I will pop open a bottle of champagne the day my student loans are paid off. Which should be in a couple of months. :)
Friday I went out to dinner with Kelli. We'd talked about doing a bitching dinner, but found we didn't have too much to bitch about. Wow, times have changed, even if we haven't. It's nice to see that she and I have gotten to points in our lives where the drama, while still present, is at a minimum. Never though we'd see the day. Over crab legs we talked about her wedding plans, her house, my husband, my travel, and just plain normal things. And my favorite part about Kelli? We will probably go a couple of months before we talk again, and will pick up right where we left off. Love ya, my bitch.
Friday night I went out to the movies with Zack, Jess, and Ericka. We went to see Prince Caspian, and I got to see just how much of a wuss Jess is. *grin* Definitely not a kid's movie. But I have one inside joke type comment to throw out there: just like back in high school, right? Pump, pump, pump.
Saturday was breakfast with the whole family, which, by the way Jerry, you paid for, as I know you wouldn't have had it any other way. I then drove out to Howell with my sister, mom, grandma, aunt, and Jared to pick up Karalyn's new puppy. Of course, going out to Howell meant doing some shopping, and I found the world's greatest shirts at Guess. On the way home, new puppy Marlo decided to throw up all over my sister. She had to wear my tank top as a skirt until we got home. And I hate her because she pulled it off and looked cute doing it.
Saturday night was bonfire night. I saw so many people I hadn't seen in a long time all in the space of an evening. I loved Tory and Lee's little home on wheels, and met Kasey's husband. Then out to Joana's, and seriously, the kitchen is amazing. Fantastic. Holy cow. Lucky duck. Next time I go up, I plan to heist her bright green kitchen to bake something just for the heck of it.
Sunday was the only unpleasant day I really had, and it wasn't so terrible because I had lots of help. After we took care of some things, my family and I went to the movies, and made up for a tiring day.
I was supposed to leave on Monday morning, but after a chat with my husband, I decided to stay an extra day, then take my time to get home. I booked a hotel in Columbus for Tuesday night, and spent Memorial Day visiting gravesites. Karalyn and I went out to find our grandparent's planters were such a mess that we ran back to Meijer, picked up some perennials and potting soil, and replanted the two pots. We found a full nest of ants in one of the pots, which led to a lot of squealing and completely grossed us out. It still only took us about half an hour, and was a good Memorial Day project for us to do together.
I left Tuesday morning, with the rest of my storage boxes and a care package of no bakes from Ericka, and headed for Ohio. I spent the day touring the Ohio Caverns and the Air Force Museum, then drove to Columbus for the night. My room got upgraded (thank goodness for gold member status!) and I spent the evening on a giant bed in a giant room overlooking Germantown. Of course, I slept in and took my time with the rest of the drive home.
Ginger's happy I'm home, and I even got her a little present: a camo collar with dogtags. She looks adorable. I swore I'd start my diet once I got home, and the first step with that is to get rid of all the junk food in the apartment. Waste not, want not, so I'm slowly eating it, having two very healthy meals a day and one not so healthy one. And today, after the nice UPS man comes, I'm going to go for a walk. I think. And clean the apartment, since tomorrow they're coming by to do my quarterly inspection.
And now for today's lessons, and there are a few.
1. I am so happy I am not a mom right now. In fact, I'm happy not to even have a dog. I love my friends' kids, and I still desperately want children, but at the moment I am perfectly content with spoiling all of their kids. And dogs.
2. As adults, my friends grew up to be exactly who they should be. Moms, wives, artists, visionaries, soldiers, travelers, hostesses. Though we may have changed and become adults, we're still friends.
3. A woman who cannot bake can still make the most amazing no bake cookies.
4. My family is forever. Despite divorce and remarriage, we can still sit the whole lot of us down for breakfast and have a really amazing time.
5. Driving through the mountains in West Virginia is not good for carpal tunnel, especially when you have a death grip on the steering wheel.
6. There really is such a thing as a happy accident. Especially when it means that what could have been a pretty normal experience turns into a treasured memory.