There and Back…

I’m fairly certain that when I went to get the dirty laundry this morning, there was just as much stacked on top of the hamper as there was crammed inside every available inch of the hamper. How can four people wear enough clothing for twenty people? And how does it get so stinky so quickly? These are questions that keep me awake at night, y’all.

And with that, you’ve rightly concluded that today is laundry day. You might have also rightly concluded that the girls and I went on a little trip this week, which multiplied our laundry. We left on Thursday morning and headed to Dallas to spend a couple of days with my sister and her family. My parents met us for lunch at the mid-way point of our journey… which was not at all midway to anything for them. (In fact, I think they drove an hour and a half towards the middle of nowhere to make this happen. Just to see the girls!) We said good-bye to them at Burger King and got into Dallas during the early afternoon, after I had successfully located a route which kept me off of any and all toll roads. The turnpike that leads right to my sister’s house closed down all of its cash toll booths last year, making payment impossible unless you have a toll tag or are content with being sent a bill in the mail for who knows how much. We didn’t know this when it was changed last year and ended up driving through, then later expecting to get a bill for some outrageous fine. We still haven’t gotten a bill, and I’ve heard rumors that Texas isn’t able to charge for out of state drivers. Interesting. (No, really, this is interesting and will play into my long and complicated tale.) I now feel immensely guilty about driving on a toll road for free, though, so although my detour added about thirty minutes to the journey, I took it and was content.

Anyway, the girls were thrilled to be at “Cousin Kendall’s House.” (I told Ana, “Look, there’s Aunt Kerry’s house!” And she just shook her head at me like I was an idiot and said, “No, Mommy. That’s Cousin Kendall’s house.” Whatever.) Kendall whisked them off to play in the neighborhood park as soon as we got there, where Emmy struggled to keep up with the big girls. This continued on at the house where Emmy, in her eagerness to not be left behind, ended up falling down the stairs. Not good, especially since she scraped up her nose, just in time for the big portrait session Gram had planned for the next day. Oh, well. It’ll make for a good story, looking back at the pictures and recalling exactly why my youngest has carpet burn on her face.

We took all four kids to the picture studio the next day, where my six month old nephew put all the other babies to shame (our three girls included) with his uncanny ability to smile and giggle for every picture taken. Connor apparently can’t take a bad picture, and my mother came away from the whole event with a huge stack of pictures of all four kids as a result. It was a good day for Gram.

On our way to lunch, my mother mentioned that Oklahoma was going to be getting snow (!!!) over the weekend. Yes, it was seventy degrees in Texas, and back in Oklahoma, they were preparing for “blizzard-like conditions.” I called Wes to confirm that this was indeed the case, and he told me that it was going to come in overnight on Friday but that I shouldn’t worry since driving on snow and ice wasn’t really that big of a deal. Maybe not to him after all the driving he’s done on it this winter, but I’m a different story altogether. I decided to come back a day early to avoid the bad roads and made the mistake of leaving Dallas at 4pm on a Friday afternoon. (Living in rural Oklahoma has all but deleted all meaning behind the phrases “rush hour” and “traffic jam” in my mind.) Remember how I was avoiding all of those toll roads? All fine and dandy any other time, but not such a great plan at that particular time. The GPS lady made things worse by giving me bad directions, telling me to “Stay left. Stay left. Stay left.” when my exit was clearly passing me on the right. Grr! Had it not been for the sleeping toddlers in the backseat (who had nodded off before we got to the end of my sister’s street — they were exhausted!), I would have given in to my urge to scream at the stupid thing and fling it into oncoming traffic once I finally got on the right freeway. Wes would have been none too pleased that I sacrificed the GPS lady like that, so it’s a good thing that the girls were sleeping, I guess.

Two hours later I was finally out of Dallas and thanking my lucky stars that I live in Oklahoma, where a traffic jam is four cars driving 20 mph behind a John Deere tractor. After a quick stop for dinner in Denton (where Ana told me, “I don’t wanna get out of the car! Let me sleep here forever!”), we drove up into the state that is great… where a thunderstorm of biblical proportions had blown in. Well, so much for being thankful for living in Oklahoma. It was dark by then, so I could only really see when the lightning lit up the entire sky… and I used those moments to check and see if there were funnel clouds coming out of the sky for me. The girls, meanwhile, were oblivious to the end of the world happening all around our car and continued arguing the finer points of the movie “Monsters, Inc.” (“His name is Scurry Monster!” “No, Sister, it’s Silly Monster!” Actually, it’s SULLY, and I should know since I’ve listened to that movie playing in the backseat about eight million times.)

We got into Duncan, where the girls went straight to bed, and we woke up to snow. In March. Snow in March! I have no words. We had actually gone and bought a whole bunch of plants for the yard, thinking that Wes would have the time to do some gardening while I was gone. Not so much. The blowing, blizzard-like winds came in around lunchtime, which is when I would have been driving back home. The snow started melting yesterday, and I’m hopeful that at some point this week we’ll actually have spring weather. Wouldn’t that be nice? Spring weather during the spring? One can only dream…

Church was crazy busy yesterday with a potluck after the morning service, plus all of our normal Sunday activities. Wes was exhausted enough by the end of it all that I think (if I heard him correctly) that he told everyone that he loves me 90% less when he’s had fajitas and has indigestion. Hmm. (I know what he meant, though I’m not sure anyone else did, and it wasn’t what it sounded like. At least I think it wasn’t.) He loved me 110% more this weekend when he put aside all manly pride and bought a copy of New Moon for me, so that makes up for those fajita/indigestion moments by far. Aww

Well, I better get back to the ton o’ laundry waiting on me. The girls are going back to Texas this weekend to see Disney on Ice (and are super excited about it), so I need to make sure they have a full array of clothing for all possible weather conditions they may encounter while passing between the two states. Snow suits and swimsuits — that should cover it, right?

Hope your week is off to a great start…

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