We had a wonderful weekend. Wonderful. Amazing, really. My husband and I had two nights in a row of dinner with friends with NO KIDS! I love my kids dearly. Really and truly. But I can count on one hand the number of nights we've had out without them since Trystan was born. And I think we just doubled that number (still counting on one hand).
One of our good friends from college and our church got married this weekend, and he and his wife were kind enough to schedule their wedding a mere 20-minute drive from my hometown. Actually, the drive would probably be shorter if I didn't keep taking the "scenic route" so I could drive through a part of Indy that I haven't visited in a while. I'm certain that they planned the entire weekend around my personal needs, and invited a large number of our friends from both college and our church to attend. In the process, they gave my mother an excuse to have both of my kids to herself (well, to herself and my two youngest sisters) for large stretches of time. I am certain that it was merely coincidence that the ceremony was celebrated in the bride's home parish, and concelebrated by her uncle, the parish priest.
Friday, mom had the kids from 6 until we arrived home at around 9:30 (to find Trystan sleeping peacefully, and Charlotte just waiting for a goodnight kiss). Saturday I dropped my husband at the church at noon, then ate lunch with my mom & sisters at Don Pablos, a mexican chain restaurant that I've missed. Mom took the kids to the Children's Museum, and I dashed through the church to the bathroom to change into my dress before sitting in the congregation. I caught a few funny looks as I hurried through in jeans and a t-shirt, though no more than I had the day before at the rehearsal when I was in grubby sweats and everyone else wore khakis and sundresses. We drove into town and straight to the church, late. I did change at my mom's before dinner.
The mass was awesome. It was touching, beautiful, funny, and a completely original Father Gary mass. I have seen several of his canned wedding ceremony homilys and I think he left all of those in St. Louis for the weekend. He actually made the bride and groom wash each other's feet--it tied into their readings (which were not the typical "My love is a gazelle" and "Love is Patient" choices). The groom had interned at the CSC, and asked Gary to drive to Indy to perform the wedding, so I knew it would be different. More. The best part for me, aside from getting to witness the sacrament, was that I could listen and experience the entire mass. I had thoughts and emotions to myself, and none of them included worrying about little people getting into trouble, needing to be held, needing a potty break, getting their toes smashed by the kneeler, or any of the other things I worry about through every church service at home.
My husband sang and played the guitar during the ceremony--he has always been a regular at the choir, until the past year or so when I've requested (demanded) assistance with the kids at church. He positively glowed throughout the rehearsals and the ceremony, and I know he needs time to get back to that. We shall have to find some sort of compromise whereby I get to actually hear and participate in a church service, and he gets to sing. Maybe we alternate weeks or start taking turns going to mass or something. I digress.
No trip out of town is complete without shopping at a local Walmart, and we went there directly after the ceremony. I had brought a brand new pair of sandals to wear, forgetting that brand new shoes have a way of chafing the first day you wear them. The tops of my feet were practically bleeding from the straps by the time I snipped the tags off of the clear plastic (with rhinestones, LOL) $5 flip-flops I bougth at Wally World. The flip flops were much kinder the rest of the evening (though they were a little slippery for dancing).
I drank far too much wine at the rehearsal dinner Friday night--a glass and a half. That extra half really put me over the edge, I think. 4+ years of nearly constant pregnancy/nursing really does a number on your alcohol tolerance, you know? It had a bad enough headache the next day that I only finished a half glass of wine at the wedding reception before I had to take a couple of advil. On the upside, with my head clear of alcohol, I was able to spend quite a while on the dancefloor without being over heated, overly sweaty, or overly tired. We danced so hard my husband was dripping with sweat, and actually split the seam in his suit pants. Seriously--from zipper nearly up to the waistline in the back. To be fair, the suit belonged to his late grandfather (his namesake, to whom my hubby bears a striking resemblance) , and that seam is likely to be as old as my husband. It was amusing. It's reparable. And my husband kept on dancing anyway.
Sunday morning, I was reminded, again, just how much I love my mother. Our kids were up, as usual, by 7am and were snuggled in our bed (a full size, which is a squeeze when we're used to a king size bed--they did sleep in other beds over night at least). Once Trystan was done nursing and Char was wanting to play, my mom poked her head into the guest room and offered to take kids downstairs and feed them breakfast so we could sleep in a little longer. Heaven!
Our house looks like a tornado hit it. Our fridge is bare. Our wallets empty. It's going to be a long week of catching up at home. But boy, was that a great weekend. It was also a great reminder of things we need to work on: balancing family and church so that everyone is able to participate and enjoy it, and balancing family vs couple time. We rarely hire babysitters because they're expensive and I always feel so pressured because we're "on the clock", making it hard to relax. But we need time together without the kids, preferably more often than once every six months. And, we need to find a new housekeeper, but that's a different (and far less interesting) story.