No roadtrip would be complete without touching base with those Invisible Friends who just can't remain invisible for long. This last trip was no exception. Going through Texas put us in line to see Meredith and her amazing clan of wee ones again. (Some of whom are not so wee anymore, and just about blew my mind with how big and tall and ginormous they've gotten! I know *mine* aren't growing like that... they can't be. *gasp*) But it's all good because she's had another one since the last time we all got together, so Zorak and I alternately hyperventilated over the growing young men and then oohh'd and ahhh'd over the gorgeous, impish little one.
Look at those feet! And those cheeks! Oh, and he is just as sweet as her older ones are. (I have a good one of Meredith and me, too, but that baby is so much cuter than I am. *gush*) And Meredith is really that lovely in person. Inside and out.
We also got to meet with another dear friend who has since moved into the same area. (*squeee!*) She bravely, er... graciously (well, both) hosted the big get-together at her place. And then -- AND THEN (as if I weren't already just wallowing in the total awesomeness of it all) -- another friend trekked down to spend the day, as well.
That's Jami, the hostess of the year, in the red, and Deb - the O'mazing! gypsy traveler (who drives four hours and still looks that good?) in the fantastic swirly grey.
So there we were, the four of us, kibitzing in the kitchen, trying vaguely not to lose anybody in the greenbelt (the children just intermingled, split up, and took off, as kids are wont to do - thankfully, all four families live by the Buddy System, so nobody got lost alone), noshing on some spectacularly delicious food. Just... just... It was just... I don't have words. I just. don't. have. words. It was awesome. The kids are awesome - ALL OF THEM - I could not do them justice in less than 1,000 pages each. Great kids. And these women are awesome. The whole stop was just full of warmth and wit and humor and wisdom. And Zorak totally owned the occasion -- he remembered to get pictures of all the children before they dispersed too randomly!
There were 18 children between the four families, from 13 years old, down to one. Oh, it was beautiful! And not nearly as loud as one might think. But twice as much fun as you could ever hope.
Deb allowed us to follow her home Monday night. We hoped she'd let us stay forever, but those pesky job requirements and mortgage payments called us back. We left bits of our hearts in Texas, though. And a t-shirt, and a pair of boxers...
I guess we'll have to go back!
Kiss those babies!
Sunday, March 27
Saturday, March 26
Friday, March 25
It's the end of March! Sheesh. Well, here we are. Or, here we were...
Z's Granny celebrated her 97th birthday this month. She went out dancing for the actual event, but her daughters put together a family get-together in Texas so that everyone could come. This is the first time since we've left New Mexico that we have been able to make it out for something like this. In the past, there's always been something - too broke, no vacation time, vehicle transmission died, children got sick... Needless to say, we held our collective breaths until we actually arrived at our destination! It was a great time. The kids had cousins galore to run and play with, and they did. All the children got loved on by their Grannies and other people's Grannies, and total strangers who they were assured were relations of some sort or other. It was pretty awesome.
Upon our return, we found that Spring had arrived! And so, we got to work on projects. First up, the dishwasher. We got word some months ago that our dishwasher had been recalled due to spontaneous combustion. Never a great thing. So we hammered out the details and got a new one, using the rebate offered by Maytag, supplemented by our willingness to pay a little extra not to have to either put out kitchen fires or have to do dishes by hand. (Maytag did offer to replace the faulty component at no cost, but considering ours leaked heavily enough to soak a beach towel each load, we chipped in for the full replacement machine.) It's in, now, and seems happy. Hard little worker, that one. I have pictures, but they're on my phone and I can't get them off.
Zorak's shoulder is healing beautifully. It aggravates him no end, because he wants it to be all healed rightnow. Of course. I can't say I blame him. Thankfully, it's a self-limiting thing - if he tries to push it, it pushes back and makes him stop. I think, in general, he's doing splendidly, and handling both the healing process and the frustration very well and with a great attitude, which we all appreciate.
The washing machine is our next project to tackle. I was going to wait for Z's arm to be back in the game, but the washer leaks and now the dryer makes a horrible racket (sounds like someone kicking dogs in there, it's awful!) With the amount of laundry we need to do, and how small the washer is to begin with, the non-stop squealing, spraying, wailing (that last bit is me) really needs to stop. We can avoid the squawking dryer by hanging clothes when it's not raining. But we've got to do something about the leak before we're all driven mad by a return of the mold! James agreed to help me with that.
Actually, the boys have all been fantastic about helping out around here. John built a rose garden bed for EmBaby. (Pics are held hostage on the phone.) Jacob helped Jase put in strawberries around the tea garden. (Yep. This danged phone is killing me!) EmBaby decorated every flat surface in honor of Jase' birthday.
Yes! Our Easter Baby is three, now. THREE! He was so un-ruffled over it, too. We've had two who refused to turn three, and two who kind of hoped they could maybe be four, or three-and-four, or just skip straight to five. Jase just nodded and said, "Yeah. I'm three now." It's all good.
Oh, have mercy! It's all going too quickly!
Kiss those babies!