Home sweet home

Home at last!

We’ve been gone since last Sunday morning and it’s been a Christmas and family whirlwind. A wonderful whirlwind.

There were lots of highlights over the past week. We celebrated with six different groups of our sweet family. We were spoiled rotten with lots of presents 🙂 We had precious baby time with our adorable nephew. We had lots of road-talk-time, which for us means conversations from theological to nonsensical. We saw ‘Les Miserables’ on screen and can’t stop singing the songs. I won the song lyric game with Brian’s family. Brian set up my Gran’s new computer and customized the settings for her. Watching him love her so well makes me love him even more– as if that were possible. I was way more normal with Brian’s family than last Christmas– yay! And, we had snow! 

And, as with everything in life, there were some tough parts of the last week, too. Sometimes family can be tough– our own or the other’s. And it’s difficult to be away from your home and your bed. It is challenging to be with people 24/7 for days on end, especially when you want some time to yourself. Lola was a pain– her UTI caused several indoor accidents, and her aggression toward other dogs made it tricky to house her or let her run around. Neither of us slept well all week. Suffice it to say, there were hard moments. That’s life.

But… we’re home now. Home sweet home.

We’ve been home a couple of hours and haven’t done much. I folded laundry and watched a few episodes of Friday Night Lights Season 4. Brian cleaned his new gun. We ordered a pizza. Now, we’re in bed at 9:30. We’re either really lame or pooped. Maybe both.

We had a great first married Christmas. Now, we’re going to have a great first night’s sleep back in our own bed on our brand new sheets (thanks, Karen!).

Family

Christmas with my family has been different this year. Different, but good. We have a nephew we did not have last year. We’re married now and it’s old hat for everyone.

We’ve had a really good time seeing everyone. Seeing a baby’s first Christmas is awesome, and so was shopping for him. My parents are enjoying being grandparents. All around its been a good time.

But it just feels different because we’re married and I can’t quite explain it. The closest I can get is to say that this year Lindsey and I are our own family. It’s weird, I used to be closest to my parents and my sisters, but now I’m closest to my wife. Marriage really does change things. And that’s good.

First married Christmas

We’re spending Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with Brian’s family.

We did this last year, too, and while Brian’s family is wonderful, it was tough for me. There were lots of tears, as the 27 Christmases prior to that one had been spent with my own family.

But this year is different. There are no tears. I’m actually having an incredible time.

It’s not that I don’t miss my family (I do, Mom!!!). It’s just that, this year, I’m here with my husband– this wonderful man who has taken me as his forever. I could go anywhere with this man. I feel like, with him by my side, I can do anything.

So, first married Christmas is here. No tears. Only laughter and love (and gagging sounds from everyone watching us). Oh– and maybe a white Christmas… I’ll keep you posted 😉

Grandparents’ Day

Today was Grandparents’ Day. It was my first one. I didn’t know this was a thing. Still learning all this elementary stuff, I guess. It was my first recital-type program, too. Risers and everything. I had no idea what to expect of today… other than exhaustion at the end. I was right about that.

Everything went well. My kids were nutty as heck, but other than that, it was good. After the program, grandparents came to the classrooms and looked around. Our PTF set out muffins and fruit, so my students who were without grandparents stuffed their faces and made messes while I met the grandparents who were able to make it today. The best part was that, somehow, I ended up meeting people from all over the world.

When I met the grandfather from England, I stood up very straight and tried to use my very best grammar. I think I told him I was “delighted” to meet him and even snuck in the fact that I studied abroad at Oxford. He was not impressed. Drat. Must’ve been a Cambridge man…

The grandmother from Puerto Rico told me that I had the most impressive classroom she’s ever seen. She’s right, of course… my classroom kinda rocks. But my favorite foreign encounter of the day was the French grandmother who informed me that I was far too young to be a teacher. I responded politely, and thinking that she couldn’t tell my age, I told her that I would be 29 in a couple of weeks. The look on her face told me that I had quite proved her point. How old are teachers in France?

I met plenty of American grandparents as well. Some were obviously very close to their grandchildren and others seemed like strangers to one another. This got me thinking.

I’m blessed to have six grandparents still living and to have relationships with all of them 🙂 (In fact, one set is in town and I’ll get to see them tonight– woohoo!) Brian also has two amazing grandmothers whom I love dearly. But, the grandparent I am closest to in all the world is my Gran.

My Gran is one of my dearest friends. She is one of the toughest ladies I know. I can talk to her about anything– and I better, because she’ll be upset if she has to hear it from someone else!

Some of my first memories are with my Gran on the weekends. I think about her every time I’m in a department store– I remember that she could shop all day with stopping and I would hide under the racks of clothing just to get a chance to sit down. Then, we would sit in the food court with a soda and watch the people. I love watching the people.

She taught me to iron on Poppy’s shirts while we watched a Dr Quinn: Medicine Woman marathon in her bedroom. I still love to iron. And we used to go to Luby’s to get the Luann platter, and Gran loves to go to the movies.

When I was a freshman in college, we ran up the phone bill so high we get to get on the same cell phone plan. I lay in at least three hospital beds with my Gran and sat by her side on several more occassions– she pulls through every time. She survived breast cancer and now lives with cancer she fights every day. When she got her pace-maker, I told her it was because her heart was working so hard loving all of us that it just needed some extra help.

In South Africa, we needed an espresso machine for the coffee house we started– Gran sent the money. Gran helped buy my car, supported me in missions, and sent me care packages in college. She has always done everything she could to take care of me and to love me well. She loves me really well.

She tells the best stories. I love to hear them, over and over. She gives the best hugs. She has the second best laugh (Poppy has the very best). And she never gets annoyed when we make fun of the way she says “wash.”

I met a lot of grandparents today. They were neat people, but none can compare to mine. So today, I celebrate my Gran– the “grandest” of grandparents.

A full day

Today was a typically full Saturday for us, but it was a good one too.

The first part of the day was not great though. I woke up several times during the night to deal with the allergic reaction Lola had to one of her meds. To put it politely, let’s say that her digestive system was just 100% broken, and leave it at that. To deal with this, I spent almost two hours at the vet’s office getting her taken care of. An effective anti-nausea injection and a new prescription and we were out the door. She immediately felt better, and was even able to hold down dinner tonight. Very pleased about that outcome.

Lindsey spent sometime getting house stuff done and I ran to the grocery store to get the stuff for Lindsey’s great queso recipe. We made the queso, Lindsey’s sister came over and then we all went to a watch party for the OSU vs. TCU game at our friends Carlton and Lesley’s home. We had a great time watching OSU win after a slow start, and got to see some of our dearest friends.

After that I made fajitas while Lindsey and Mallory watched a movie. We had a good dinner and some sibling time. Mallory left and Lindsey went almost straight to sleep, and I’m not too far behind her.

All in all, great Saturday.

Takeout Chinese

Tonight, Lindsey and I hosted her Gran and mom at the house for takeout Chinese. A very old-fashioned family dinner, right? 😉

Lindsey’s Mom has not seen her new school, and with her Gran in town they thought it was a good time to make the trek up north from Dripping Springs to do so. So they met Lindsey after work, took a short tour and headed over to the house.

Honestly, it was perfect. There is a really good Chinese place right next to her house, and her Gran loves it. So, we tossed out our ‘cook for guests’ default setting and went with the takeout. Brilliant move, actually.

It was really good to see her family tonight. We are short on time these days, so any way we can fit time in to see family is great. Just to sit around the table, talk, catch up and laugh was a real blessing in the middle of the week.

So now, Lindsey is already asleep and I am about to be. We have almost a full day at ACL, and then two more after that. Something tells me we are not catching up on sleep anytime soon.

Market Days

I got up much earlier than someone who went to a show last night should, and drove out to Wimberley to join my parents at Market Days. My parents have a booth where they sell “vintage and collectibles,” which also includes odds, ends, and anything that someone may want to buy. My mom’s resale passion is the vintage kitchen stuff, my dad’s is tools/outdoor equipment.

It was a great day. I hadn’t seen my mom since last month’s Market Days. In fact, I haven’t done much other that school and church activities since then. We shouldn’t go that long without seeing each other.

My mom is one of my most favorite people. I love talking to her and laughing with her. We did a lot of both today. I didn’t sell very many items of my own, but that’s not why I go out there. I go out there to sit next to my mom and spend a day by her side. I’m blessed to have a mom I’m proud to claim and love to be around.

One of the best parts of the booth is filling it. Mom and I love a trip to Goodwill. She’s also a garage sale pro– it’s kind of amazing. Last summer we even went on a “trash tour” where we went all over Texas and Oklahoma looking for treasure. We think of it that way– our findings are our treasures. I haven’t been treasure hunting since school started and I miss it.

I found a treasure to bring home today– it’s the blue tin in the picture where I appear excited. I am, in fact, excited about it. It’s a Blue Magic Krispy Kan– it has a special top that keeps contents crispy. I really just wanted it for its color– a personal favorite. My husband was not as excited when I brought it home. “What is that for?” he asked. It’s for awesomeness. Duh.

I talked about Brian a ton today. Turns out I’m a fan, or something. It causes me to ramble and brag. Moms like to hear those things, though. She’s got a happy daughter who is well take care of– turns out moms like that sort of thing. And Scripture tells us that our speech is an overflow of our hearts– looks like I’ve got a lot of Brian in mine 🙂

I’ve included some photos from around the booth so readers can have an idea of what we do out there. These are only a couple of items out of hundreds. There’s also a pic of me and Mom– fellow treasure hunter and best friend.

Becoming family

I was talking to my mom today and telling her about our weekend in Oklahoma. The purpose of the weekend was to see family– lots of family. And we did.

Brian’s brother-in-law made a comment this weekend about getting to know your spouse’s family. He’s a wise sage in this area– he’s been getting to know Brian’s family for three years. He told me that “you just gotta put in the time.”

Now, I love Brian’s family. No issues there. They are incredible people and I had a wonderful weekend. But he’s right– in order to really understand their dynamics and quirks, traditions and methods, you have to be with them for a while.

When I told my mom about lunch on Saturday, I went on and on about talking to Brian’s high school (and soon to be collegiate) cousins. They are fun, intelligent young men who are a blast to talk to. I told her about how his family knew my favorite color and gave thoughtful gifts. I went on about aunts and uncles and extended family, and then conversations that took place back with his immediate family.

I guess what I realized talking to Mom was that I had a really great weekend. I’m getting to know his family and they’re getting to know me. And if this is just part of the process of “putting in the time,” I’ve got high hopes for these family weekends in the future.

They’re in love

Brian met his nephew today. I think they’re in love already. There were coos and baby voices. He doesn’t want to set the baby down. It’s really adorable.

It’s no secret we’ve talked about babies and plans and all that. Heck, we’ve even talked about in it front of some of you. But all of that has been in abstract form. Seeing Brian hold his beautiful nephew and look down at him the way he did was pretty special.

It makes me wonder if we have something to talk about when we get home…