Big Balls in Cow Town

This will shock you, but I loaded up my kids and drove across the state. Oh, no shock? Yeah, me neither. I think the shocker would be if I were ever to stay home!

The occasion this time was the wedding of my sorority sister M (SSM). SSM lives in Houston along with a large group of our friends from college who work in the aerospace industry. (Can you say NASA? Yeah, my buds are mission control. How cool is that?) The wedding fell on one of T's rare weekends off, but I was not foolish enough to think he would be making the trip with me. No, he would be off looking for the mean deers.

Originally, he was headed out to the ranch, and Grandma was going to watch the kids for me so I could make a weekend event of the wedding and really catch up with my college friends. But plans change, and T decided to go to the lease. There is talk of letting the lease go after this year, so he wanted to get in one last hunt. Now the problem with the lease is that it is not kid friendly. No plumbing. No insulation. Open flame gas heaters. It's the deer lease of death! So I was stuck with responsible for the kids. Not that I was bitter, or anything.

I was struggling for ideas for who I could pawn them off on trust them with. I was coming up with nothing. I thought maybe Z could stay with lovely neighbor S - with four kids already, what's one more? - and I could lug Q down with me and get a sitter. Finally, inspiration struck. I was headed down to see my dad for Thanksgiving anyway, so why not drop the kids off there, then zip over to Houston for SSM's wedding? Genius! Lucky for me, my dad was agreeable to this plan. Yippee!

After the goat rope that was Z's party, all went smoothly on the trip down. Well, except for that little stop in the thriving speed trap metropolis that is Jewett, Texas. Thank you Mr. Nice Officer, sir for only giving me a warning. Honest! I missed the reduced speed sign. Z finally fell asleep right when it was time for dinner, so we drove on through to my dad's, arriving at 8:30 or so. Man, that drive is a beating. But at least I get to drive for two and a half more hours the next day!

Stellar parent that I am, I stuffed my sleepy/cranky children with McD's and hustled them off to bed. I actually fell asleep while playing 'possum to get them to sleep. I probably would have slept through the night right there on the floor if my dad hadn't accidentally set off the fire alarm when he got home from the theater. (It is a weird alarm sensitive to the light a fire makes, so it goes off if you turn on the hall light at night. Charming, huh?) Daddy and I stayed up until midnight chatting, which is unheard of for a former farm boy such as he.

I wasn't in any particular hurry to hit the road in the morning, but even so, I had a really hard time getting out the door. First I forgot my keys. Then I forgot the Librivox book Daddy had burned for me to listen to on the trip. I made it all the way to the gas station before I realized that I had left my purse at the house. When I came back to get it, my dad asked if I had separation anxiety!

Finally, I was on the road! By early afternoon, I had arrived at Casa D, my sorority sister S's (SSS) house. We sat in the living room and got all caught up, having figured out that it had been over four years since I had been down for a visit. (The last time was when I was pregnant with Z! Man, kids sure put a crimp in your social life!)

Finally, I declared myself to be starving and we headed out for soup, salad and bread sticks. Unfortunately, the wait there was half an hour. At 2:45! In a recession! Right before Thanksgiving! We had no time to wait because the shoes that matched my wedding ensemble fit my pre-babies feet, and were so old that both of the heel caps shattered when I tried them on. Also, I needed pantyhose. Not like I have a lot of call for those staying home with the kids! Thank god!

So rather than soup, salad, and bread sticks, we grabbed snack bar nachos at Target. The good news? The shoes I found matched my skirt perfectly and were SO pretty. Black and tan spectator pumps? with ankle straps? and black patent leather that matched my purse? Totally worth the agony of the unaccustomed 3+ inch heel. The pantyhose? Were made for female basketball players. I am not height/weight proportionate, so those suckers were so long that I could tuck the control top under the band of my bra. And I did. Who needs Spanx?

Wow, I am taking a long time to tell a relatively short story. I am officially too tired to finish this epic tale tonight. Tomorrow I will bore thrill you with wedding details: the dress; the food; the strange girl with no social graces. Stay tuned.

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