Well, I survived the party in Texas. It was a great party – but I mean it when I say I survived. It was a “jumping party,” which was a first for me. We went to this huge gym-like building, where several inflatable slides, bounce houses, and other impossibly huge playground equipment lined the walls. My three year old niece, Kendall, told me right as we entered the play area that, “Gram and Gramps are too old to climb on the slide.” Perhaps this was my opportunity to tell her that Aunt Jenn was also too old… but I let the moment slip by and paid dearly for it. I climbed this twenty foot slide thing again and again and again and again at Kendall’s request. We would hardly even stop sliding before she’d shout, “Again, Jenn! Again!” After an hour of this, my jeans were actually fitting looser than they’d been fitting when I arrived. And while I am certainly not opposed to exercise that literally works your butt right off of you, I think I could have been better prepared for this. You know, some IcyHot in the car, a sports bra, a cross-country training regimen beforehand… these things would have been helpful. I’ll know next time!

Ana and Emma enjoyed the entire outing, up until the attempt at a bluebonnet picture. If you’re from Texas, you’ve no doubt seen a large number of cars pull over on the roads so that parents can put their tots in a good patch of bluebonnets for an adorable springtime picture. Wes took pictures in bluebonnets when he was little, I took pictures in bluebonnets when I was little – as did most of the people who grew up in Texas.

Adorable girls, of course… but what a sorry little patch of bluebonnets! I kept seeing them on the freeway, but I wasn’t about to stop and attempt a picture ON A FREEWAY with toddlers. Especially not while I was by myself. (Can you even imagine the insanity?!) The patches got more and more sparse the farther north I drove. I finally gave up two miles south of the Red River, knowing that I just wasn’t going to find ANY bluebonnets in Oklahoma. And I didn’t. And thus, this is the best I could do. I’m hereby giving up on bluebonnet pictures. Since our girls don’t currently live in Texas and have never really lived in Texas (except for Ana’s first few weeks of life), I guess this is one tradition that just doesn’t apply to them. Eh.

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to set everything up for an informational meeting at the church. I’m fairly clueless when it comes to “cooking for who knows how many,” so Wes graciously offered to go the pizza route. I was surprised, though, that even this route took a whole lot of prep work in the fellowship hall, even before I picked the pizzas up. The pizza lady knew who I was as soon as I walked in (I like pizza – so sue me), and after I signed for everything, she pointed to a stack of TWENTY pizzas and asked me if I needed help. After some initial shock, I managed to get them all out to the car and into the passenger seat without expecting anyone to get out in the thirty degree weather with me, but I spent the whole drive back to the church just imagining what the paramedics would say if I got in an accident and died in a car full of pizza. These are things I think about. (I also can’t leave the house if there are dirty dishes in the sink. Because if the unthinkable happened and I never made it back home – what would people think about the dried up spaghetti-Os in the bowl? And the warm milk in the sippy cups? And – heaven forbid – the leftover greasy remnants of tacos? Just better to take the time to wash it all rather than spend twice as much time wrestling with these “what ifs” while I’m out and about!)

Ana started doing something new today. We were in a relatively crowded store, talking in normal speaking voices about how she’s a big girl because of something nice she had done for Emma, and she literally shouted, “I go poo poo in the potty like a big girl!” I would tell you that this embarrassed me, but it really didn’t. She’s said so many other humiliating things recently that I just have no shame left. What tickled me so much about this declaration, though, is that it’s so totally not true. At least she’s figured out that this is something to be proud of… now, if she’ll just do it, right? And when that day comes, I’ll be shouting right alongside her. “She goes poo poo in the potty like a big girl! Hallelujah!”

I left the ironing board up this afternoon with the intention of getting the iron back out during naptime and finishing up some of Wes’s shirts. I didn’t realize that the board was so unstable, though, until I heard a loud crash from the living room. I rushed in to find Ana, grabbing the hand of a startled Emma and leading her patiently away from the ironing board. I’m not sure who accidentally knocked it over, but it warmed my heart to see how Ana was leading Emma away from what she clearly perceived was a dangerous situation. In this strange season of viewfinder-throwing and wrestling matches, I love seeing them take care of each other. I just want them to be best friends for the rest of their lives – is that too much to ask!?! (Ana did get a bit grumpy during the party this weekend when Kendall was playing with Emma. She came up to me, pointed to them, and said, exasperated, “That’s MY Emmy!” Maybe this is because she’s remembering how Kendall, when told that she was getting a baby brother/sister at her house, told my sister that she would just rather have Emma. Ha! I don’t think Ana’s going to agree to the trade.)

Wes is at a work night for the church. They’re just about to finish up even the finer details on the children’s wing. Yay! He just sent me a picture of the letters for the walls and called to ask me if I like how they look before he permanently attaches them to the wall. What a guy! He told me today, after I expressed some disbelief over the ridiculous lengths he was offering to go to in order to procure a Hershey’s bar for me (long story), “I want to take care of you!” Then, of course, he added, “Your parents pay me good money to do these things, you know.” He’s just a swell guy, y’all. And well paid, obviously!

And on that note, I should probably get back to that ironing. You know, lest MY checks from HIS parents start running out due to my negligence in the laundry department…

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