Monday, July 8, 2013

The Fourth of July

I hope you all had a fantastic Fourth.  Last week could not have come at a better time in our house.  Sam worked so hard, finishing assignments, studying for, and taking, a test and a final.  He was spent.  I was spent. I don’t know how many emotional breakdowns we had that week. You know it’s bad when you can’t even count the breakdowns.  But we survived.  He took his final on Thursday... and passed.  We celebrated by renting out the pool and inviting our friends and family to swim and eat homemade ice cream with us. It was the perfect celebration for a very impressive accomplishment: survival.  

The Community College where Sam and I work was closed all last week, so when we left work Thursday, we started on our 10-day weekend.  It was absolutely perfect timing--coming off of the most stressful week either of us could remember and straight into 10 days of paid vacation.  We had plenty to do that week, since the Fourth of July is a major holiday here.  And life threw a few curve balls into the mix also.  Here are the highlights from the last 10 days:

Friday: I went on a nice, hot, 7 mile bike ride in the afternoon.  And then we went to the pool for the party!  We swam and talked and laughed and ate ice cream!  We brought vanilla and coconut (vegan) ice cream and Phil and Julie (Sam’s parents) make a chocolate ice cream that tastes like a Wendy’s Frosty. It was tasty.  Everyone who came brought a topping. We had some tasty sundaes!

Saturday: We left in the afternoon to drive to Joplin for our friends’ wedding and to do a little shopping and have dinner before the wedding started.  We made it about 10 miles outside of town and then our car broke down (*again*).  No tow trucks were around the area, so we had to call our very, very kind friends to come pick us up with their car trailer.  They brought us ice cold bottles of water since we’d been sitting on the side of the road in the sun. They’re so nice!  After a new fuel pump purchased and installed on Monday, the car is back to running again!

Tuesday: Sam was playing games at a friend’s house and I was getting some things done around the house.  I weeded the front flower bed, watered it and had just started to mulch it when I leaned on the one of the rails at the front of the house and felt a sharp stabbing pain on the tip of my first finger.  I pulled my hand back quickly and saw a black spider crawling on my hand.  I shook it off and ran inside. It hurt *so* badly.  I washed it under cold water and it just kept burning.  I put some ice on it and then called Sam to see what I should do (since he took the computer with him).  He came and got me and we tried to find a non-ER doctor to look at it, but no one could.  So I went with Sam to the friend’s house in case I started feeling sick or having an allergic reaction.  But nothing happened other than stabbing, burning pain every time I took my finger off of ice.  So, it must not have been too serious.  The pain calmed down (still hurt, but not so bad I couldn’t think) in the afternoon, so I did some more work around the house. There is still a red dot where I was bitten and it still has that same burning pain if I push on it (which has only happened on accident), so I leave it alone and all is fine. But it was definitely exciting!

Wednesday: Bridesmaid dress shopping with my Aunt, Cousin, and Cousin-In-Law for my other Cousin’s wedding.  We went to the mall afterward and bought $5 Old Navy t-shirts.  My Aunt bought us frozen custard on the way home for my birthday (1.5 months late, but it’s the thought that counts, right?)  Then... Altamont Fireworks!  We went back to the pool for a pool party with our friends.  After the party we had some snacks and watched the city fireworks.  The water was cold that night so I’m pretty sure no one watched from the water, but it was still fun.

Thursday: We woke up to a puddle of water in our laundry room.  The fun part is that in the laundry room we have several possible water sources, so we had to spend quite a while pulling things out, drying the floor, watching where new water appeared, etc.  We finally decided it was our semi-scary water heater (possibly about 15 years old).  We then tried to figure out how to drain it, which we did, but happened really slowly.  We left it to drain in the afternoon and went to my Aunt and Uncle’s for dinner before the Parson’s fireworks.  The nieces and nephews were all super crazy in the evening, so my cousin and I took them to the park to run around.  Sam and I priced hot water heaters using the internet on our phones while we waited for the fireworks to start.  They finally started and the show was great!

Friday: I decided to ride my bike down to Phil and Julie’s house for their fireworks party.  I got everything ready for Sam so he could just load it all and leave.  I left at around 4:20pm and rode into a headwind the entire way down.  It took me over 2 hours and I made it within 3 miles of their house (I rode 22 miles!) before I called Sam to come pick me up.  It was fun, but I was exhausted!  We ate food and played around until the sun went down. Then Phil and Uncle Steve lit off fireworks while we Ooo-ed and Ahhh-ed.  I laid on a blanket with my nieces for most of the show. It was lovely to play and cuddle with those fun girls. We also did our laundry through the evening, since our laundry room is still torn up.

Saturday: We relaxed for most of the day, but by the evening I was feeling restless.  So I texted some friends to see who was free to hang out and then went for a walk with the dogs.  Some Joplin friends drove down and we had Taco Mayo with them.  It was delicious and good fun.  We also got to play Munchkin with them. If you haven’t played it, you probably’s fun.

Sunday: Some friends who couldn’t come on Saturday (or who didn’t get the message until late) invited us to a cheap Matinee showing of “Man of Steel” so we drove over for that. It was a decent movie...entertaining enough.  And then we had chinese food afterward since Sam had been craving sushi all week.  

And today we’re back to work.  The other highlights of the week are: I learned that I actually can run!  I decided to take some friends’ advice and slow it down to where I could talk while running.  On my first run since maybe March or April, I ran 1 mile with only a 1-block walk break....and this was after a nearly 4-mile walk with some running in there too (the dogs couldn’t keep up with me!).  I was pretty happy with myself.  The next time I tried it, I went a little farther (1.5 miles) and just took Huckleberry with me. He’s more in shape than Ralph.  Then I went back and got Ralph for another 1.5-2 miles of walking with a little running.  It felt great!

Anyway, I hope your week was exciting too (but maybe less expensive, and with fewer insect bites).  I hope you got to see lots of friends and family, I hope you felt like you accomplished something impressive, and I hope you had some time to relax and rest.