Monday, March 18, 2013

I Almost Need Two Posts for All This Goodness

What an outrageous weekend. It was packed with things, but all the best kinds of things. Here is our weekend in word and photograph.

Friday. I have been volunteering at the Pittsburgh Toy Lending Library and had a shift first thing this morning. I have been struggling with Purslane at the TLL because it is just big enough that she can run away from me, but just small enough that everyone there knows what is going on with everyone else's kid. Which, if you have a group of laid-back, helpful adults around can actually be very nice. If I am occupied doing something with Knox, I have often seen a kind Mama or Daddy helping Pursy off the big horse on springs (is there a name for those? I call it a rocking horse, but that isn't quite right) or steering her away from the huge jugs of finger paints on the floor of the craft room. But it is hard to know what to do when you are watching a Mama struggle with two toddlers running away from her in the opposite direction. Do you step in and help a stranger with her babes? Do you just watch and try to ignore the shenanigans so as not to embarrass the frazzled Mama? Fortunately most days we go with our friends Allie and Ian and I can chuck Knox at Allie while I go grab Pursy who has run out of the bathroom with her pants around her ankles yelling "I don't want to wipe!!".

The only picture from naked dancing hour that is appropriate to share
All that to say that when I take the babes there by myself AND have to do some actual work, it can be a stressful two hours. But this Friday, Pursy and Knox spent most of the time playing together in one area of the play space and after two hours we left happily and peacefully. I got my volunteer hours in, the babes got out and ran off some energy and our weekend was underway.

After our morning, we met my friend Jen for lunch at People's Indian Restaurant for lunch buffet. As I told Grant that morning our plans, he said "You two are crazy for taking our two kids to a divey Indian restaurant for lunch". I hadn't considered the actual logistics and started worrying for a minute, but then started thinking about paneer and na'an and samosas and my confidence returned. And it was fantastic. The food was outrageous, Pursy and Knox munched happily on na'an, cucumbers and saffron rice, inhaled half a mango lassi, and were really fun to chat with. Jen has two boys a little older than mine and so tends to talk with Pursy as a young adult. I am always amazed at Pursy's ability to process and respond when another adult interacts with her.
Drum Circle

After lunch I got a call from a husband who was trying to fight through a day at work feeling sick and finally gave it up. We picked him up and brought him home where he slept pretty much until Saturday morning. To give him some peace and quiet I invited myself and the babes to Allie and Phil's house for dinner. It was a cinch- Allie is pregnant and I offered to bring pizza and root beer. It was like shooting fish in a barrel. An expression that I really don't like but can't think of any other expressions that mean "it was crazy easy". Maybe I should just say that.

After dinner it was home and bed for Pursy and Knox. Grant was still sleeping, so I put on my painting clothes and spent my first quiet hours of the day painting the upstairs bathroom. It was our project for the weekend and I was ready to get started. Painting is cathartic for me. I get real nerdy real fast when I pull out the painters tape (sigh..) and my special tools, like an edging handle (dreamboat) and miniature red handled roller (seriously heart beating faster).

Pursy helps stab the eggs for breakfast
On Saturday I got up early to make breakfast before heading out for my appointment with Father Sam for an hour of Spiritual Direction. Will explain this more at some point, but basically we sit across a small table from each other listening to water spilling over a small tabletop fountain and discuss what God is talking to me about. I leave feeling challenged and hopeful.

At home, Grant's parents are there ready to take Purslane and Knox for the afternoon while Grant (who has recovered from his brush with death) and I finish the bathroom. I made BLT's for lunch and declared them my new favorite food. I make them with avocado, bacon purchased from a local pig farmer, and herb mayonnaise. Outrageous.

Then we closed the bathroom door and spent 3 hours in a tiny room together. We drank Yuengling, made fun of people we know (one of our favorite things to do- our apologies to all our friends) and painted the walls of our children's bathroom. We had a fantastic time. It took me back to the hours we spent painting our house in Bellefonte. Before babies, before a PhD, before buying our "forever" home. We LOVED that old house but knew that we would be moving when Grant finished his degree, so we tried not to fall in love too hard. But we did paint every surface of that house and it was one of my favorite projects. Just working alongside Grant and listening to music. He is a really good friend and after 10 years together we still like just hanging out. Our best bit of marriage advice to young singles is to find someone that you just love being around- doing things like painting bathroom walls. If you can see yourself wanting to do that with your boyfriend, you might have found the one.

Babes back home and grandparents on the road. We made a quick dinner and then sat in front of the TV to have movie night. Both babes were exhausted from playing all day with no naps and after the movie we basically tossed them in bed from the doorway.

There's MORE goodness??

At 730 Allie picked me up and we went to a local coffee shop to have gimungous rice krispie treats and talk about a Tim Keller book we are reading together. After 1.5 hours with my sweet friend, we cover such a breadth of topics that when Grant asks me what we talked about, I literally can't remember all of them. I do recall there was talk about circumcision, family camping trips and bridesmaid dresses. I love this gorgeous broad. We might have also discussed the book...

Home again and Grant has made me a Manhattan and queued up Amazon movie choices. We scrolled for a bit and landed on Jackass 3. I asked if I would understand the movie as I had not seen Jackass 1 or 2, and was pleasantly surprised that the plot line was easy to follow without prior knowledge. Those of you who were offended that we make fun of our friends behind closed doors now have something else to shake your heads at us about.

Sunday morning we have a smooth getting ready time and are (gasp!) on time for church. Our tiny church is full of outrageous people who care about one another and have made disciplined choices to live life in transparency. I truly love them. And the Canadian hockey player named Brianna who watches our children during the service is so fantastic. Pursy loves her and Knox calls her "Na". Oh, my heart.

This is what we do...

...with our Trader Joe's stickers
Sunday afternoon we go grocery shopping together as a family and go home to snuggle on the couch. Dinner is fresh spinach pasta with local goat cheese and grape tomatoes. Two episodes of YoGabbaGabba and both babes are ready for bed. Grant and I have a drink together on the couch and talk about a research study we are going to participate in to mentor teenage mothers.

Oh, my life. This weekend was just a microcosm of the goodness of my life and the beautiful people in it. And if you noticed the sprinkling of "outrageous" in this post, like I just did as I read it over again, it is the result of an NPR story I listened to on the way to my Spiritual Direction appointment on Saturday where Bob Dylan was quoted as saying "All these good people in one room is just outrageous" and I realized that word is severely underused. Not any more.

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