Saturday, January 31, 2015

Ninth Wedding Anniversary: Two Versions

Wedding Anniversary, Actual

Our actual nine-year anniversary was on Wednesday. Chris was heading out of town on a business trip to slay dragons, so we didn't celebrate. However, one of us--him--did make an effort to start the day off in a special way, giving me a thoughtful gift, then sending me to Eucharistic Adoration while he mopped the kitchen floors beautifully in my absence.

And then he was off and our homeschooling day was frustrating for the third day in a row. In fact, it was the first day of schooling I was punched in the eye--albeit unintentionally by a very wiggly child--but I was set further on edge. We missed the mailman with our important piece to mail, so in the afternoon I loaded up the kids and drove us to the Post Office. Then I outright bribed the kids by buying them ice creams at McDonald's so I could hold them captive while I read our History books to them.

We got home and I was pondering what to cook for dinner when Chris called from his business trip.

"Hi, how are you?"

"I'm good . . . I mean, I'm terrible."

Turns out he had left behind the materials for his client presentation the next morning as well as his laptop charging cord: two critical items!

It was 4:55 p.m.--when we normally eat dinner at five--and he asked me to load up the children and take them inside the FedEx office to ship the materials for early morning delivery.

I asked, "Can I take the kids out to dinner afterward?"

"You can do anything you want!"

So, we loaded up and were at the office by 5:15 with me giving as strict instructions as I could about being quiet, touching nothing, and not fighting. While in the office, the worker was trying to weigh (on a scale on the counter) a huge box in which one could hide a baby elephant and apparently the children's mere vibrations from walking and tumbling about on the carpet made him obtain repeated wrong weights. With a sigh, the worker took the elephant-containing box off the scale to work on it later, "after she leaves."

And then he had to reboot the computer before he could help me. The kids were getting restless and hungry by now. I assigned them each to one carpet square, "No, you may not do headstands in here!"

A line of customers was forming behind me and my brood by now. Joseph was getting so heavy on my hip and he kept asking to get down, but no way was I letting him loose.

Finally we were out of there and I somehow still thought going out to dinner would be easier than going home (where I could have simply served cold cereal!). I chose one restaurant that is normally about 15 minutes away: a bit far, but we could do it. I got onto the freeway and then remembered that it was rush hour when I saw the slowly snaking line of red brake lights. Fifteen minutes later we had traveled one mile to the next exit, where I got off and pulled into the first restaurant.

It was now an hour past our normal dinner hour and the kids were pretty good--for their ages, the time of day, and being a group of four with only one supervising parent--but I could tell they were straining with frenetic energy. Then, as soon as we'd placed our order, the three-year-old had to go potty. I wasn't comfortable leaving the 6- and 8-year-olds, so all of us had to go together. I scrawled a note on a paper menu in red crayon explaining to the waiter that we hadn't left, that I had to take all the kids to the restroom.

We survived and they all had a fun time. But I sure had to chuckle at my silly dinner predicament on my ninth wedding anniversary!

Oh . . . and the punch line? Our normally appreciated and dependable Fed-Ex missed the needed early morning delivery, thus negating all my effort (and, yes, they are refunding the cost).

Fifteen weeks along: that time when none of my non-maternity clothing fit
but my maternity tops all hang like circus tents.

Wedding Anniversary, Observed

The story of our celebration is short, pleasant, and without hilarity. On Friday we went to a late afternoon showing of "American Sniper." 

These days, it is simply so hard to find a decent movie to watch! I mourn ever getting to watch "chick flicks" because they're all fraught with immoral, vulgar scenes. That leaves us picking between what are essentially documentaries and violent man movies. We had intended to go see "Spare Parts," the real life story about the high-school team from an impoverished neighborhood that wins a national underwater robotics contest against all the best schools. Clean, great plot, classic underdog story. Unfortunately, as of our date night, the only showing left was across town at 10:00 p.m.

Quick scrambling resulted in a few interesting movies that were nearly three hours long (and no way was insomniac Katherine going to stay awake for that), so we picked a violent man movie: "American Sniper." We both appreciated the pro-soldier movie. The violence was more tolerable than some because, despite being continuous, there was plenty of warning when one can see the sniper preparing to shoot, so the viewer can glance away if she wants. There were at least two vulgar scenes and some innuendos, and the F-word made up every tenth word in the movie. It is really too bad that good movies usually aren't made without these elements nowadays.

Afterward, we enjoyed dinner together and catching up on conversation from the week.

Little Joseph (24 months) did not appreciate our anniversary and cried for an hour and a half at bedtime with the babysitter. She didn't even have to put him to bed, but the poor baby was utterly exhausted from missing his nap as he does on Friday co-op days. When he gets left behind, the next morning he tells me all about it: "Josey sad. Crying. Mama gone. Vroom-vroom. Sad."

It was a calm, quiet anniversary celebration but calm and quiet is pretty wonderful during this time in the trenches when life is usually loud, very loud, and chaotic too.


  1. I'm so sorry that your anniversary was so difficult! And, in the future, if you're looking for a decent "chick-flick", try "Mom's Night out". It's made by Protestants, clean, and it'll make you laugh until you cry. It was our choice for family movie night a few weeks ago (: -Emiliann W.

  2. Oh my...what Joseph sweet...I always love reading about your family!