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Just As We Are

This holiday weekend was just what we needed. Usually we go on a big vacation for Memorial Day weekend, but this year things have just been wild around our house, dealing with our daughter's mental illness, etc. so we opted to save the money and have a nice, relaxing "staycation." No mounds of laundry just to do mounds of packing just to come home and do mounds of laundry again. No expensive hotels with questionable comforters. No realizing we forgot the sunblock, bug spray or chapstick and then paying a fortune for a replacement in the hotel gift shop. Instead, I planned just one inexpensive, fun "out-of-the-house" thing to do each day. It. Was. Amazing.



Friday night: OK, this was MY fun night. Hubs & the kids stayed home and ordered pizza. I went out to see Sex & the City 2 with some girlfriends and then afterward we went to a hole-in-the-wall bar for a couple drinks and LOTS of laughs. The movie? Mediocre. The girl-time? Faaaaabulous and much-needed.




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Saturday: We all slept in late and I made us a family breakfast (more like brunch). Then I took both kids swimming for opening day of the pool at Stovall Park in Arlington ($6 per person), while Hubs got some alone-time in. When we got back and all took our showers, we were sun-zapped of energy, so I grabbed a library book and parked in the recliner to read. The kids thought that looked like a good idea, I guess, because one by one, they came out to the couch with a book in hand and started quietly reading. This went on for about two hours. Color me excited! We headed out to Potager in Arlington for a healthy dinner and then made our way up to Whole Foods for our weekly grocery shopping. Rainier cherries are now in season, folks. The day just kept getting better.



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Sunday: Woke up and made breakfast for the family and we headed out to church. At the end of the service, we all stood up in front of the congregation to pledge our membership — we were elated. We headed home for sandwiches and pretzels for lunch and then off to see Alice in Wonderland in the theater one more time with our free movie passes that have been camping in my wallet for weeks. Free movies are the best kind. Too hot to do much else, Hubs and I harvested green beans, jalapenos, eggplant and tomatoes from our garden in the afternoon and then got started on the great media clean-out. Have you ever just gone through all of your DVDs, video games and CDs all at once? It's hilarious. From Deep Blue Something ("And I said, what about... Breakfast at Tiffany's..." - you know you loved that song) to Hubs' old techno, we had a blast going through all of our old music and laughing. We pulled some of it into iTunes before tossing it into the Goodwill box and there were some things we just couldn't part with (Billy Joel box set... hello?!) but we got rid of a LOT. We grilled at home for dinner and the great media clean-out of 2010 lasted into the wee hours.



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Monday: Slept in; late breakfast at home. Finished cleaning – more CD transferring, cleaned out the linen closet, dusted the house, kids did their chores... then in the evening we headed out to the perch pond at Joe Pool Lake/Cedar Hill State Park and our son caught his first fish! First fish ever - so exciting! And he actually caught three before the night was done (Hubs accidentally caught a turtle, but we were able to unhook him, thankfully, and set him free). I'd packed us a little dinner bite - nothing complicated - Rainier cherries, smoked gouda, olives, black grapes, carrot sticks and fresh sourdough. We meant to have a little picnic during or after fishing, but we fished until it was pitch dark outside and the frogs were all talking, so we had our picnic inside the cab of the truck... and it was just as nice.



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Tuesday: Family photoshoot with my friend Amber (an amazing photographer) and her two sweet daughters, then we all headed to Pinkberry in the Arlington Highlands for a mid-day frozen treat. Yum! We somehow ended up at Gloria’s for a late lunch (NO idea how that happened... *wink, wink*) and after that we were too full to go bowling, which we'd planned on. So we headed home for nap/TV/reading time and to finish up laundry — just took it easy. Nice. At dinnertime, we were still too stuffed from Gloria's (imagine that), so the kids ate cereal and headed to bed. 



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Wednesday: Well, it had to end sometime. We all went back to our usual daily routines. But we had the BEST dinner ever — mostly from our garden! We sat on the floor and ate around the coffee table. It was greatness. Sometimes a little change in scenery within your own home is all you need. (PS: No one even touched the salad dressing - unheard of!)



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With as much as Hubs and I work, and with the amount of time we've devoted to our daughter's mental health lately (oftentimes ignoring our own) I think we've been shooting for quality time (read: expensive, flamboyant "family fun" events) since we don't have the quantity of down-time we'd like to have together. This inevitably turns into rushing, then "Hurry up and have fun!" time, then us feeling resentful if the kids don't have fun because "We spent a fortune on all this fun!" It's like, "Here's the world, kids! Enjoy it or I'm gonna be pissed!" Ridiculous. I think think the inexpensive and close-knit time was far more preferable — this week we've had more quality time than I think we've had in a long... well, maybe ever. And we got to actually enjoy each other, just as we are.
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