Sorry - I know I totally promised to post the other day, but I was pressed for time with the packing and the traveling and the leaving for Kansas that there was simply not enough hours in that day. So here is the story, taking it back to Wednesday.
Cheese had come in Tuesday night, and Wednesday morning the marathon of "Getting Things Done" ensued. The big event that day was my sister Devin's 4th grade class Christmas pageant. I took a video, but she told me I can't post it because apparently there 's some kid in the class whose dad wants to kidnap him so they can't even hang his pictures in the hall with the other kids and...uh...yeah...whatever.
In any case, it was hysterical. My sister built this sled thing that was about 10 feet long, and the kids held it up in the front and back, and walked around the assembly room singing "Come on it's lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you!" as groups of kids jumped in the sleigh. It was great.
And right before the assembly, when my sister brought her kids down into the room, my mom and me put these gift bags on the kids' desk that my mom made. See, the school my sister works for is really low income, and mostly immigrants. So my mom does all these things for them, like at the beginning of the year, she made all 32 kids the pencil cases filled with school supplies. So for Christmas, she made gift bags with scarves, and hot cocoa, and pencils, and festive sippy cups and all kinds of stuff. So after the assembly, the kids got back into the room and literally went berserk. It was pandemonium. Did you ever see that Saturday Night Live skit where they make fun of Oprah's Favorite Things and the women are throwing chairs at each other and one's head explodes?
Yeah, it was kind of like that. Only with 4th graders.
One girl literally threw herself on the ground and wailed.
So yeah, it was good stuff.
So then we had dinenr Wednesday night with our friends (as posted) and on Thursday, it was time to start packing the bags, making the Mrs. Field's cookies (to bring as hostess gifts - and yes, I did in fact make them and did not bribe my mom to, like originally planned - and they are DELICIOUS, just ask Cheese's belly), and preparing myself mentally to take a 9-hour car ride to Kansas for Christmas. And though it took a while, all the stuff got done, and we landed here in Kansas at about 6PM.
Last night I got to meet the sister and brother in law, attend his niece's basketball game, and go out for dinner. Today, we traveled to his hometown, and I met the parents.
Apparently they told him I was "a keeper."
And he wasn't kidding about being from a small town. It really is like a movie - complete with the tiny downtown, little video store, local grocer and of course the Dairy Queen, which we probably would have attacked in our post-workout hunger frenzy, but the weather is so atrocious that just about everything was closed down.
This is the type of place I have fantasized about moving to - away from the crunch and rush of the big city - and sliding into the slow pace and easiness of country life. Funny how he wants to run from it, and I want to embrace it.
And though I don't want to speak too soon, I think I have even managed to make nice with his MASSIVE bulldog, who not only charged and knocked me off my feet, but clamped down and humped the dear life out of my leg upon my arrival. Now that's what I call a warm welcome.
Side note - wouldn't it be funny if that were a socially aceptable way for humans to say "Hi?"
I think I won him over with both the softness of my pants (the better to hump upon...so I've heard) and the Mike n Ikes I fed him during movie time (including the one that fell out of my lap when I got up to go to the bathroom - hey, where'd that come from?)
So I am now two nights down with my Kansas stay and I think all things are going well. Cheese seems to still enjoy having me around, my family hasn't collapsed without me, and I have managed to get away from work for a few hours and take a nap today. And in all of the madness of the last five days, I have managed to get in every single workout. Although my bad if effing killing me. Should be a fun 3.5 hour ride tomorrow.
Oh, and my sincere apologies for leaving ya all hanging about the Christmas present. I really wanted to post a picture of it, but the camera thing is still not working - so I will just tell you what it was and then post the picture later (because believe me, the picture is way better than how I can describe it).
I got a Blackberry 8830 World Edition.
Yes friends, I am now completely accessible. I get my emails immediately (which is why I had to change my email address - see my profile for the new one!) and it has a full keypad while still being really slim and light (hence, my text messages are pounded out at the speed of light). It's crazy cool, even though I don't know half the functions yet.
So thank you Santa (AKA the 60-year white woman from Bridgeport I call Mom) and Merry Christmas to me!