I do like hyphens.
I figure I’d better hurry up and write this before I forget everything that happened… And just to clear the air, I’m done with my thoughts on “Christian fiction.” My motto being–let it go and love. I tend to get irritated with people who–surprise!–are most like me. Like Tarah mentioned (in a different context), the ol’ plank-in-eye thing. (more hyphens!) Life’s too short to spend it being annoyed.
The fun began on Monday morning at 6:50 when I jumped cheerily out of bed. (see, I’m already forgetting details…) Devos, cappuccino. Wrote a little song in my journal (stolen from Little Blessings book), “Morning, Lord! It’s finally here! Waited just about a year! Praying, singing, give a cheer! Thanks for xangapalooza!”
Made a list of things to do before Jamie arrived at 11:00. Clean bathrooms, make beds, change shower liner, vaccuum, take shower, sweep kitchen floor, dustbust stairs, hang pictures, straighten my desk, wash windows. Gabe helped a ton. He’s much better at noticing things that need cleaned than I am. 🙂
I prayed for each potential attendee by name. Made some banana bread. Forgot about banana bread. (Did you know that you can bake it an extra 30 minutes and it won’t burn? Fabulous.)
Jamie and her boys arrived a little after 11:00. We went out in the front yard to wait for Krista, Beki and Gail. Drew welcome messages with chalk. Krista and her kiddos arrived. So great to see her beautiful face! The little ones were a wee bit shy at first.
Gail and Beki came next. So nice to meet Beki. Love those 2 sisters! And Beki was all I hoped she’d be and more. (and she’s such a cute pregnant lady!) The girlies were as darling and sweet as ever. And Gail looked fab-and-a-half.
Gabe ran to McDonald’s for 12 Happy Meals and some adult food. The kids ate on the deck. Thank you, Lord, for nice weather. Then they played outside while we chatted around the kitchen table.
My friend Courtney came next with her daughter. Then Bethy, I think. Then Michelle, Nichole, and little K. Of course, we all hugged ferociously when we met. (it was my first time meeting Michelle, Nichole, Lil’ K, Beki, and Lil’ L) Gail made name tags out of masking tape. Perfect.
We caravaned to the church at 2:30ish. Krista and Jamie got lost. 🙂 Not their fault. They left after we did, and we gave them the wrong street name. Gabe got ice, carried stuff in, then I sent him home to move Jamie’s van that he had parked in front of our neighbor’s mailbox, thinking she was driving it to church but she came with Krista. (run-on sentence…)
He came back at 5ish with 12 pizzas and 4 cheesy breads from Little Caesar’s. (waaaaaay too much pizza. my fault.) Then left for a concert. Sorry to disappoint everyone who didn’t get to use the secret code word!
I’m a little fuzzy on when everyone showed up. Cami and her 3. Sara and her oldest daughter. Jess and her two. Shannah (who is much taller than I thought she’d be, as you can clearly see from the group pic.).Holly and her daughter. Kimberly. Erin, her daughter, and Lia came late and just got to hang out a little bit.
–Gail’s girls modeling their adorable Bethy aprons.
–one-on-one chats with several gals
–Bethy announcing she’s pregnant
–being afraid people might get bored, but they didn’t
–the kids having an absolute blast and hardly fighting at all
–the set-up at the church being perfect
–walking Jess out to her car and talking to the bambina
–lots and lots of laughing
We chatted, ate, chatted, ate. It was wonderful.
Cleaned up at 7something. (it was spotless!) Most of the gals headed home or to family members’ houses. Krista, Jamie, Cami, Courtney, Bethy, and Kimberly came back to our house. We ate and talked. Cami, Courtney, and Kimmie went home. EDIT: OH! And we Skyped (video-chatted) with Nicki in Australia!! It was so much fun! She is absolutely adorable and brilliant and hilarious. Love you, Nixie-poo! The others spent the night. Livi, Ava, and Addy started the night in the top bunk. Addy decided (after the other 2 were asleep) that she’d rather be with Mama. Nina in her big dirl bed. Kain in Nina’s crib. Bethy in the bottom bunk. Jamie, Krista, Erik, Eden, Addy, and K3rry in a day bed/trundle bed. Somehow. Jamie was curled in a ball under a blanket on the couch when I got up Tues. morning. ??
Chatted over breakfast. Livi off to school. (crying because she had to miss the fun) Blokus. More chatting. Bethy went home. Gabe went to a meeting. Lunch. 10 of us walked down to the bus stop, Ava went to school, the rest of us walked around the block. It was gorgeous outside. Packed up mini-vans. Everyone headed out. Nina down for a nap.
Breathe. Smile. Breathe. Birds chirping. (real ones. Gabe still wasn’t home.)
I’ll post more details as I think of them. Overall, it was wonderful. Memorable. Worth it all. I loved meeting everyone. Your kids are beautiful. You’re beautiful. And I love you.
Can’t wait to meet the rest of you next time!