Friday (I count Friday as part of the weekend because my brain is already in that mode):
Beach (I posted about that already), then J's dress rehearsal for her dance recital -- 3 long hours! -- where I was a rebel and snuck some photos of the girls practicing on stage (without flash). Other moms were totally doing it, too, so I caved to peer pressure. Plus, you know, I had my camera right there... so...
C had taken S to her teen support group and brought Z with him since I would be gone so long (we know better not to leave all three boys home together for more than like 30 seconds). After rehearsal, J and I swung by the house and picked up H and O. I took the three kids for dinner at Applebee's.
C came home looking ... not good, let's say. His stomach was bothering him and he hadn't eaten much. He pretty much collapsed into bed.
The next day, he was supposed to bake the cupcakes for S and L's birthday party (they both have June birthdays and many shared friends through youth group, so we decided one big bash was the better way to go). S and L were going to help him. But he didn't feel better (and neither of us got any sleep the night before because of it). So he just supervised and let the girls do all the work, making cupcakes on their own.
Midday was J's recital. My sister and nieces joined the rest of us in the audience and we all sat through the 90-minute presentation, to see J's minute-and-a-half onstage. Some of the routines were fun, others not as much. Others just gave us fuel for making our own fun (so mean).
Later in the day, I took S and L to the store to get the rest of the stuff they needed for cupcakes. C was still feeling awful. H went to a middle school boys time with the middle school leader from church.
Sunday morning, after another night of practically no sleep for C and I, he opted to rest up while I took kids to church. But first, I picked up L bright and early, so she and S could finish up cupcake making. They were planning to frost them right after church.
Church went well and Pastor Paul did a sermon on the importance of repetition, among other things. I love his dry sense of humor. He is our regular pastor's father, a "retired" pastor of his own church for many years before coming here. So we are blessed to have him speak every few months. He and his wife are like the most adorable couple ever. Both sassy -- but they raised four boys together, so they had to build up some kind of attitude.
Back at home, while girls were frosting, H went to a youth group car wash fundraiser and Z went and rode bikes with a friend in the Bosque with the friend's dad (they said they went 30 miles, but the dad said they only went a few miles -- anyway, Z slept well so that's nice). I could see C was still not improving and I offered to take over the food portion of the party scheduled for later in the evening. He told me I was a "good woman."
So while he had a wonderful menu planned that included fresh baked bread, among other things, I did "cooking" my way, which if you know me by now, includes literally no cooking. I made a deli tray with meat and cheeses, a fruit tray, a vegetable tray, I got some awesome Pretzel rolls from Costco so people could make sandwiches, and a bunch of soda and water. Voila! Meal prepared. I mean, I did make my own fruit and veggie trays, by the way -- I did actual work, I just didn't cook.
When I got back from making the youth group wash our enormous van that carries them to and from their retreats (mwahaha) and Costco, C was lying on the couch. I tried to tell him what I'd gotten at the store and he looked at me, completely glazed over and said, "I'm sure whatever you got is fine."
Friends, my husband of 20 years, looked closer to death than I've ever seen him. He was grayish in color. He looked about 60 years older than he normally does and I suddenly started feeling really worried. I asked him to go to urgent care. He said he didn't want to spend all day down there or he'd miss the party. I said I just wanted him well!
After some talking, we decided he would go to the emergency room instead. Not only was something majorly wrong with him, but they have the radiology department on site and usually a shorter wait compared with Urgent Care (of course, it's a higher copay). He drove himself so the party could continue as planned -- except, without him.
Meanwhile, I finished preparing for the party and started getting really stressed out about my ability to get things done in time. But I did. As we loaded into the car to go to the party, I got a call from my sister.
Her car had broken down outside the Dollar Tree where she was picking up balloons for the party. She had her peanut butter bars in the car (it was high 90s outside yesterday) and her four girls, plus one of L's friends.
My truck was full -- of kids and party stuff. I only had 15 minutes till the party was going to start at the indoor pool and they didn't allow me any setup time because the party before ours went right up to 6pm. I called another friend (the one who always seems to be available when I have an emergency) to help my sister and the girls. She was right on top of that, Rose. (That's a Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead/Christina Applegate reference, if you don't know.)
Anyway, I arrived at the pool and the first guests arrived. It was actually a family we invited sort of last minute -- not friends of S or L, but a friend of mine and her daughter, who is friends with J (they were in dance together). She had a teen son and he brought a friend, too. I said, "Thank God you're here!"
She thought I was being sarcastic, till I started handing them stuff out of the trunk of the car and asking them to carry it in. Thanks to this friend of mine, practically the whole party was set up. The buffet table was done thanks to her.
Meanwhile, the mom of one of S's friends arrived and offered help and so I put her to work slicing rolls (thanks M). Then Pastor Dan arrived with his kids and he asked if I needed anything. I told him about C and about my sister and I nearly lost it. He asked, "What can I do?"
I said, "Can you pray?"
So he said, "Sure, let's pray right now." And we did.
Then I continued to go about getting things put together. More guests arrived. My buffet-table setting friend kept reminding me things were going fine and that I just needed to relax. (Thank you, Friend K, for that!) I kept reminding myself to keep breathing.
Finally my sister and nieces arrived and the first words out of L's mouth were, "Mama needs your help because her peanut butter bars are melted and they fell in the parking lot."
I was already pretty overwhelmed, so my pastor's wife went to go help with that (Thank you, T). My sister wanted to throw them away because she was embarrassed by their appearance, but T convinced her they would still taste great. And surprisingly, most of the tray was devoured! People didn't care how they looked -- they just thought, ooey-gooey-yum and gobbled them up.
When another friend (P) arrived, she offered to host the party for me while I went to be with C at the hospital, but I didn't think that would be fair to S to have both parents missing (plus, C told me he was fine with me not there). But still, God was overwhelming me with my amazing group of friends who all jumped in without question to help.
My emergency-ready friend (SSW) and family arrived and went right to work helping out. Pretty much every adult guest -- and many of the teen guests -- were right there, every moment, offering help. I was astounded by how richly blessed I am. I was still pretty stressed out, too, but thanks to K who kept telling me to relax, I finally was able to do that.
An hour into the party, C walked in. Like he'd come back from the dead! After about four hours in the ER and numerous tests and medications, he'd passed a kidney stone. He was feeling better, though extremely tired. He said, "I thought you might need help cleaning up after the party." Oh. My. Word. This man!!
After hugging him tight, I ran into our pastor and said, "C is here! Your prayer worked!" And everyone was as shocked as I was that he managed to come to the party from the hospital. What?!
So everyone had a great time at the party and my sister and I had as much help tearing down the place as we did setting up. Then I got home and I cried.
C asked, "What's wrong, now?!"
It was just the relief of stress at that point. This whole weekend had been adrenaline and stress-filled and finally, we were done. Instead of a sigh of relief, I had a cry of relief. I felt foolish, but I needed those tears. They were the cleansing type.
And now, it's Monday, and we're on a whole new roller coaster ride...
But first, a few more photos (and happy birthday, S and L):
|We had the whole pool to ourselves for the party. Probably 50 guests, but not everyone swam.|
|Yes, I did offer food to the staff who stayed after hours to work during our party. They were all really nice.|
|The sweet thing about this pool are the slides! We never had these in my old community pool days.|
|The room was more crowded, though it doesn't look it, but I couldn't fit everyone in the photo because they were spread across a wide room. This is when we embarrassed the girls by singing to them (but you know they really loved the attention).|