I’m back! I haven’t been blogging much lately because I’ve been savoring my real life. I spend my mornings gazing out the window, prayerfully watching the morning sun filter through the clouds as I sip my coffee. In the afternoons, I bake healthful goodies with the kids before we do crafts related to the Scriptures we heard at daily Mass.
Ha, ha. I’m kidding, of course.
The reality is that having my book release and the Edel Gathering so close together made my to-do list snowball. Then I took a 10-day vacation with three of the youngest kids, and the snowball flew off a cliff and into a seething pit of lava. That analogy made no sense. But the point is that I’ve had to cut out every non-essential thing (and a few kind-of-essential things) to get back on top of my life enough so that I can begin the homeschool year with the annual delusions about how everything is going to run like a well-oiled machine this semester.
(Also, I’ve been working on a big new project and will have an announcement sometime in the next few weeks.)
The North Carolina trip was great. When I say “it was great,” I am, of course, glossing over all the moments when I shook my fist at the heavens and solemnly announced that I would never, ever travel with a baby again. What I mean by that statement is that it did not actually kill me, and it was great to see my family.
We started by attending my cousin Melissa’s wedding in Raleigh, then drove four hours with my aunt and uncle to their mountain home in Black Mountain, stayed there for the week, then returned to Raleigh for my cousin Jason’s wedding the next weekend.
During the trip to the mountains, my aunt and I happened to find one of my late grandmother’s dresses from the 1950s. (For those of you who read Something Other than God, this is the grandmother I talk about in the book.) It was absolutely gorgeous, made with a quality that you can rarely find these days. I tried it on on a lark. To my delight (and very much to my surprise), it fit perfectly!
I ended up wearing it to my cousin Jason’s wedding.
When my cousin saw me, we both started crying. It was so meaningful to have our deceased grandmother represented that way for his wedding.
IMPORTANT TRAVEL LESSON #1: Sometimes when you travel, your bank will allow you to make a few charges at your destination before their fraud detectors go off.
IMPORTANT TRAVEL LESSON #2: When their fraud detectors go off, they will freeze all the debit cards that you hold at that institution.
IMPORTANT TRAVEL LESSON #3: If you have a credit card that you keep around “in case of emergency,” and you don’t take it with you when you travel, you might end up standing in a checkout lane at Wal Mart and grinding your teeth in anger is you picture it safely tucked away in your office drawer at home.
IMPORTANT TRAVEL LESSON #4: When you have asked your aunt to take you to Wal Mart, and you pack the cart full of goodies, groceries, and supplies for her house as a way to thank her for letting you stay there, it is awkward when you have to ask her to pay.
IMPORTANT TRAVEL LESSON #5: When you’re at Wal Mart and you try and re-try every card in your wallet and they are all inexplicably declined, a long line will pile up behind you. When you turn to the crowd and announce, “I have no idea what’s going on! It must be because I’m from out of town!” they’ll all give you a look like, Mmmm-hmm. Heard that one before.
Ask me how I know this.
My cousin whose wedding I mentioned in #2 is a hip-hop DJ, and his reception was everything you’d imagine it could be:
The groomsmen wore black suits with Chuck Taylors. There was breakdancing. There were breakdancing dance battles. There were old-school boom boxes filled with flowers. There was an amazing DJ who served up all the great beats. And, in a move that seemed too wonderful to be true, there were forties of Old English served in brown paper bags.
Pouring out a little OE for your fallen homies:
the Communion of Saints in action
The best moment of the reception? When a young man in a wheelchair took the floor in the middle of the dance battle, and showed everyone how it’s done.
Since so many of you had wonderfully kind things to say about my dad’s novel, The Last Mission, which is based on his experience has a Special Forces HALO and demolitions instructor during the Vietnam era, I wanted you to know that he’s put out a sequel! It’s called Critical Mass, and it’s just as fast-paced and full of fascinating, true-to-life details as the last one. If you like Tom Clancy-type books, I think you’ll love these.
Trying to avoid getting overcommitted this Fall? Have an ominous feeling that you’re going to fail (again)? Welcome to my world, kindred spirit. Maybe this advice will help us.
Have a great weekend, everyone!