Without All the Drama…

Without All the Drama…

Oh man – eight and a half hours of sleep two nights in a row did me right this weekend! How did I get all this blissful sleep you ask? Well, I ditched the family and headed to Auburn for a sorority reunion. Sleeping in a hotel room by myself – well, what can I say? It was glorious.

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The weather at Samford Hall? Also glorious.

Friday night a group of us went to a swank party at a local alumni’s house. If it wouldn’t have been completely gauche I would have taken pictures. Kids, it was straight up out of a Pinterest dream.

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The party was so nice. Marguerite is in the white. She’s an includer. Whatever Spell Check includer is totally a word. She includes people. Do you have a ride? Want me to pick you up? That’s Marguerite. A  group of us sat outside and enjoyed the nice weather.

On a negative note, I’ll say – those girls that were snotty in college? Yeah, still snotty. The exciting thing is I no longer care. College is pretty fun without the drama…pretty fun with it too.

The next morning we toured the new dorm – yes I said dorm. In Auburn, sororities aren’t allowed to have houses. It’s a thing. A stupid thing but a thing. Don’t get me started.

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Let me tell you the new dorms make our old dorms look like roach motels. Each person has their own room, you only have to share a bathroom with one other person and theres a kitchen and a living room! Sheesh, no wonder college is so expensive these days.

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My class:

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Before the dorm tour I stopped at University Donut to have a salad…or a doughnut I can’t remember which one.

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This adorable couple was there recapping their nights. Clearly they were friends and not dating due to the fact that they were telling each other about their bad dates the night before. What was also clear was that they should be dating. I thought about intervening but managed to hold myself back.

It kinda reminded me of that Driscoll sermon series (yes, I know he’s very much out of fashion now but this was legitimately funny) he did on marriage. He was using the book of Ruth and kept saying ‘look for a guy that loves God and look for a girl that gleans well.’ So, the next week these two people show up and the guy is wearing a t-shirt that says ‘loves God’ and the girl is wearing a t-shirt that said ‘gleans well.’ So, these two best friends had gone and had these custom t-shirts made. It was adorable. He looks at them and says ‘so you guys are dating?’ ‘Nope, we’re just best friends.’  ‘See me after the service. We need to change that.’ He then rags on them about why they aren’t dating.

Well, that’s what I felt like doing to this couple. Hopefully they’ll come around without my intervention.

Speaking of interventions I may need one because you know what else I did Saturday? Saw TWO movies in the theatre! My cousin BayLee and I saw The Great Wall and then I saw LalaLand.

What can I say? The absolute freedom I had this weekend went to my head.

 

Kinda Perfect…

Kinda Perfect…

A couple weeks ago I took James to Perfect North in Lawrenceburg, Indiana. We flew – even though I’m pretty sure once you factor in the layover in the ATL we probably should have just driven. Oh well, what else are frequent flyer miles for.

I’m an introverts worst nightmare on a plane. The more nervous I get the chattier I get and nothing makes me chattier than flying. Oh, and that time I got seated next to my ex-boyfriend and his gorgeous wife at a class reunion…

I was totally bummed though when I got on the plane and saw that there was NO ONE on my row. The one person on the plane that actually wants to talk to people and I’m all alone.

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Perfect North is just west of Cincinnati – super close to the Kentucky border. It’s actually really close to the Creation Museum too but since James and I kind of act like cynical jerks when we get too close to uber evangelicals we thought we should probably steer clear of that. We’re just the worst.

Perfect North was such a pleasant surprise. We went with James’ friend Ryan and his Mom. I was anticipating the skiing being majorly subpar – I’ve only ever skied in the West so I guess I was being a bit of a snob about it. But, I gotta say, skiing down a snow covered mountain is skiing down a snow covered mountain whether you’re in Colorado or Indiana.

Now, at elevation 800, obviously the runs are much shorter than those in the West but they are still really fun.

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And, oh yeah, the snow was…uh…kinda lacking.

James’ friend had never skied before and watching him learn was quite the lesson in parenting. When his Mom was trying to help him he was falling all over the place and getting frustrated. The second she stepped back and let him find his own way he started doing GREAT. Ain’t that just the way parenting goes. Let me tell you, skiing is NOT easy to learn. He handled it like a pro though!

The crazy thing about skiing in Indiana is the lifts stay open crazy late. In fact, they didn’t close until 1:3o in  the morning. Skiing at night is super fun even though there were WAY too many unaccompanied minors around. Er…I guess our boys were unaccompanied minors too because they totally ditched us. Moms are so lame.

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The runs were really good! I promise.

Unfortunately, this was also going down:

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I can say without a doubt that skiing in the RAIN was definitely a first for me. It made for some milkshake like conditions.

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“Alright we took the picture, now we’re outta here.”

Sadly, we could only stay two days and then we had to be out of there too.

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Still…Perfect North was a pretty perfect trip.

Bandaids in Boston

Bandaids in Boston

Before we made it to the Appalachian Trail this summer we went to Boston – just me and Billy and James. It was a crazy few days leading up to it.

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The boys left for Boston a day early. After we saw them off at the airport that afternoon, I tossed five kids into the Black Pearl (our Odyssey), dropped the toddler off at the sitter’s and DROVE the other kids FIVE HUNDRED MILES to Missouri to leave them at summer camp. I made the ‘brilliant’ – and by brilliant I mean ‘asinine’ – decision to stop in Nashville and take the kids to the movies. Afterwards, I drove as long as I could but ended up having to pull into a hotel in the middle of nowhere at two am. Have you tried to carry four sleeping children up to a hotel room at two am with no help? Even the logistics of it…do I leave them in the car while I check in? Should I just wake them up now? Will they have a room big enough for us? Why do we feel the need to send them to camp in Missouri? It was a total mess. The good news is this kind of stupidity is usually when I’m at my best.

The next morning we got back in the car (have I mentioned it was a nine hour drive) so we could make it to camp drop off in time. One child at one camp and three forty five minutes away in the other. Kids are tired and nervous and I’m worried because unless things go perfectly I’ll miss my flight out of Missouri (the last one of the night) to Boston to join the boys. In the end, I BARELY made my flight. But I made it! And they all went to camp. And they all had a great time. And, of course, it was another late night. By the time my Uber got to the hotel in Boston it was one thirty in the morning.

The next morning we went to the park made famous by Make Way for Ducklings. Sheesh…look at me. I look terrible. That was not a happy camper. I mean, I was happy to be with my boys but things were really hard at home with the Waffles  – foster care can be relentlessly isolating and I was feeling…oh, I don’t know…defeated? Which is weird for me because I’m usually a really upbeat person. And I was just tired. TIRED TIRED.

img_0830Oh, well…Mom stays in the picture and all that. 

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Boston was lovely. We took the Revolutionary War Self Guided Walking tour – just used the App – it was great.
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Visited the Boston Tea Party Museum.

And, of course, ate a lot.

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I even went to a baseball game! Even though, we all know, baseball is just the worst.

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Sadly this gigantic milk bottle did not serve creamy dairy treats. Just boring snack food.

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One of the coolest things we did in Boston was go to the flagship Converse store. You could design your own shoe in the store and even get them with the red stripe on the sole. There is a red stripe in Boston on the sidewalks that leads you to all the prominent revolutionary way sights. Just a fun thing to do with a teenager.

After a couple days in Boston we took the train to Maine. Trains are great. Wish we could travel on them more often. Yes, yes, I know what I said about the train to New Orleans. Let’s not talk about that – like, ever again.

Were things easier when I got home? Nope. I mean, they are now but the first year we had the new kids? Wow. I knew it would be hard and it certainly met and, hey, even exceeded my expectations.

But Boston and Maine sure were fun. Travel can be a bit of a bandaid, can’t it – provides a cushion for the blistery parts of life, right? Hmm, in that case, bring on the band-aids!