23 March 2009
The best gift EVER...
...is when your children and grandchildren, who live in Keller and Pflugerville (Fort Worth and Austin for you non-Texans) mysteriously show up on your doorstep in honor of your birthday!
Last Tuesday, Mike had invited me to lunch. Originally he'd asked to "do lunch" on Monday but called on his way to work to say he really "didn't have that flexibility today - can we do it Tuesday instead?" (Yup, that's how Mike speaks - of "flexibility", "changing your processes" and "focus". We are nothing if not professional in THIS household!) Fine with me - Mondays are busy around here anyway - I have to do important things like catch up on my Sunday night shows on TiVo, check my Nespresso coffee pod levels and refill the espresso machine water reservoirs. No bon-bons and soap operas in THIS house!
I'd hosted a shower the previous Sunday so the house was still spotlessly clean. And I'd ordered new quilts and pillows for a trundle bed up in the grandchildren's bedroom upstairs which I was happy to have received on Saturday so I could get that all fixed up before the shower on Sunday. Laundry had been done the previous Saturday. All that would prove to be very fortuitous.
Tuesday. Mike comes home and we head out - anywhere I want to go for lunch because he has a LOT of the aforementioned "flexibility" in his schedule. We decided to try a new place (Baker St. Pub). Mike warned me that he was expecting a phone call from one of his overseas managers. Sure enough, before we'd even ordered, the phone rings and he says, "Just a minute - I'm going to have to head outside. It's very noisy in here" (and it was, truthfully). After a bit he comes back and I ask him if everything's okay. He gives me a story about how the "important rig" is now functional and blah, blah blah as my eyes glaze over with the "supportive and interested but not as invested as I should be probably" look. Lunch is served. Lunch is delicious. Lunch is...leisurely. THAT should have been my FIRST clue!
Then we drive home. "What are your plans for the afternoon?" says he. Shopping - returns, laundry, that sort of thing - I reply. Phone rings again and he starts talking. I'm used to this during the day and sometimes in the evening if he knows it's coming. Rigs are all over the world. In different time zones. It's kinda like being married to a doctor - you never know when one of them is going to get "sick" and he has to be called from Kazakhstan at an ungodly hour. He finishes and I ask, "Was that Jennifer?" as I could hear a voice even with his bluetooth but didn't understand what was said. "Oh no! That's (name of manager) and he has a very deep voice! Must be the bluetooth." Hmmm, I could of sworn it was Jennifer and that the word "Chick-fila" was mentioned but that's not the sort of thing she'd be calling her dad in the middle of the day about so I let it go.
We get home and he says he's going to come in for a bit to get something. Probably I should let the dogs out before I head out. I'm a bit annoyed at this point. Is he trying to micro-manage my afternoon? I'd even set the car up with the laundry to take in, my items for return and even a tumbler of ice water so I WOULDN'T have to go in an let the dogs out for crying out loud! But he's still there so I decide to stay at least until he heads back to work. He finally says he has to get back to the office, kisses me goodbye and wishes me a good shopping afternoon. Now THAT should have stopped me right there. He WANTS me to (a) go shopping and (b) be happy shopping? That's like me saying, "Watch 24/7 of baseball, dear - it'll be FUN!" Mike never used the words "happy" and "shopping" in the same sentence because for ME, happy and shopping means $$$$$$$$$$$$$$. Not what guys like at all. Still, nothing was really screaming "UNUSUAL" yet.
He leaves. I'm getting the dogs put up so I can go. Decide to refresh tumbler of ice water and write out my list so I can be efficient.
Doorbell rings multiple times. I'm thinking, "Okay, Mike, what did you forget and why didn't you just pull into the garage and come in?" I answer the door and my brain just froze.
I saw four of my five grands but my brain couldn't wrap itself around the fact that they were HERE! Then I saw Megan and Jennifer hiding (literally) in the bushes, one with a camera and the other with the video. "Surprise!" they all said - and boy, was I ever! My first thought was, "They can't be here! They're in Plugerville and Keller!" and the SECOND thought I had was, "Boy, I'm glad the house is clean..."
They came for the week leaving Friday after lunch and we packed a lot of playing, visiting, eating and Disney planning into the week. We went to the park, TWICE, to play. We had a picnic. We ate outdoors at two restaurants. We went to Bible class Wednesday night. We sat by the pool and drank tea and even put a fire in the fireplace outside when it was chilly. We went to Story Time at the local library. We went to Mike's office (and you can see the photos here). And we had a blast! It was fun. It was unexpected. It was marvelous!
So thank you, Jen and Megan, for cooking up this delicious scheme. And thank you, Jason and Tim, for giving up your families for a week so they could spend it at our house. And thank you, Benjamin, Kennedy, Lleyton and Luke for all the stories, kisses, hugs and story-times.
As Candice Olson always says, "How DIVINE!"