I can’t believe Spring Break came and went so quickly. It seems like I haven’t even had a chance to take a breath, much less a break, but I survived, and even managed to scrape up a few new stories to tell. The night before Blondie left, she offered to babysit so Daddy and I could go on a date. Let’s just say it was an EPIC FAIL! We managed to grab a burger, but never made it out dancing. It was rainy, and Daddy didn’t want Blondie up too late, so we drove around the block, and then decided to grab an ice cream. We ordered 2 dipped cones at Dairy Queen, but when the speaker said “that’ll be $6.85, Hubby promptly backed out of the drive thru and headed to McDonald’s. Now, I’m not a fan of McDonald’s, but 2 Sundae’s were only $2.35, so they clearly won us over. At that price, we could have grabbed a little something for the kiddos, but this was supposed to be date night.
Date night is something new to us, I don’t think we ever really dated. We went from saying hello in the Wal-Mart parking lot to living together 4 days later, so we’ll have to work on this. Did I mention that the very next day Hubby ventured out on his own and he ends up on the personal guest list of Billy Gibbons, spending YET ANOTHER NIGHT hanging with the rich and famous while I tend to the zoo? He always has this kind of crazy dumb luck, just never when I’m around. If it weren’t for picture mail, I’m not sure I’d even believe it!
Blondie’s maiden voyage had a few hiccups. The metallic gold in her Dance Warm-Up somehow set off the security alarm in the airport, so this child who was petrified of going to California without her passport got to suffer through a head-to-toe search. Apparently this created quite the spectacle for some of the other dancers, so they treated her to some good old fashioned paparazzi style picture snapping and by the time to plane lifted off, tears were threatening to burst through the flood gates.
She landed safely in California only to find that a trip involving 16 teenage girls is an INSTANT HORMONE HELL (just add menstrual cycles)! By day 2 I answered the phone at 1:30 in the morning (which I guess makes it the start of day 3) to a sniffling voice saying “mom, can you come get me?” “What? No I can’t come get you, you’re in California, you’ll have to tough it out one more day and fly home!” Of course, I said it with lots of “it’s going to be ok‘s” and a few “it’s only a couple more days“, and a “tomorrow you’ll be in Hollywood…” She was thinking I could easily switch her flight, or better yet, that I could jump in the car and rush over to get her. Apparently there is no “Mama’s cooking” in California, so I’m not sure how people continue to survive there.
I was surprised to see her FB status said “Headed home today! Woot!” I just didn’t take Blondie to be the homebody type. According to her, we will now take all our vacations as a family, in the big ugly van, even if we are constantly mistaken for a remake of the Partridge Family. Meanwhile, back here in Texas, the rest of the Zoo Crew ventured to Denton for a family reunion! Oh, how I love those!!
To be honest, I was really looking forward to this one. My dad lost both of his parents when he was still pretty young. I guess somehow in all that madness he lost his entire family really. He was left living in his house with his two brothers, and he was the baby of the family. Growing up, it was always kind of an empty spot for me; I didn’t have any grandparents or the slew of aunts, uncles and cousins like I had on my mother’s side. I was so blessed though because my step-mom’s family sort of filled in as “Dad’s side”. I always had plenty of family. It’s hard for me to imagine having none.
Growing up my dad never talked much about his childhood. In fact, I can only think of a two references I ever heard him make. Once, I was 20 years old and I went to live with him. I had a job a Dell Computers and I came in from work one night and was headed to my bedroom and he said to me “I wish my mom could have seen you, just once!” It knocked my socks off, to know he was that proud of how I had turned out at a time in my life when I was still struggling to figure out who I was gonna be. A few years later, when Blondie was little and Dyl Pickles was just a baby, he gave me a book of fairy tales for Christmas. Inside was a note that said: “To the mother of my grandchildren, One of my most precious memories I have is of my mother reading to me every night before bed. I hope you will take this book and make that memory for my grandkids. It’s one of the best things you could ever do for them.” That book has quite a wrinkled spine these days.
A few years ago, the reminder that life is precious really slapped us in the face. My dad had an aneurysm, he was given some Ambien to help him recover from brain surgery, and while taking it, he went on a little drive, in his sleep! (Trust me on this: NEVER take AMBIEN!) He broke his neck, and we really went through a scare. (Blondie wrote him this beautiful song!) When you come that close to losing the people you love, you realize, there are no possessions on earth as precious as our family ties. I’m guessing living through that is what sent him on a search to find the cousins he remembered from his childhood. Enter Facebook, and a few months later we’re all headed to Denton to catch up with the people none of us have seen in my lifetime.
Of course, I almost had a mental meltdown because we had to load our car pretty early to head out on the 4 hour drive. I realized I left my make-up at home, and Hubby just didn’t understand the importance of turning around (when we were only 1 block away). I wasn’t up to meeting new people looking like a zombie fresh out of “Night of the Living Dead”. I can assure you that’s exactly what I feel like without a little mineral powder! By Dallas, I think he realized I was really upset, but his promises to stop at a Walgreens were procrastinated to the point of destination arrival, and so I sat in the car, in panic mode. Then stir in a few restless kids on a long road trip and I just didn’t know where my day was heading until I was rescued by a sister with a make-up bag and a mom who ran me to CVS so that I could put on my very best smile. I know, it sounds completely ridiculous, but show me a girl who doesn’t have a few self-esteem issues and I promise you she is a rare breed!
The reunion was a complete success. I got to meet people I would have never had the opportunity to see if it weren’t for Facebook. I received two of the best compliments I have gotten in quite a while: 1, I was told that “Life With Blondie” is a well-loved blog!! And 2, someone actually said of all the people they were hoping to meet, I had topped the list!! That right there made the drive to Denton without my make-up worth every mile. The kids had so much fun, they keep asking to go back. It was definitely some smart thinking to have this gathering right next to the World’s Greatest Playscape!
After a week without my precious Blondie, we got to sneak in a little shopping trip on Saturday. Of course we spent way too much money at Hobby Lobby, but Blondie had to decorate a binder for her upcoming Dance Team Officer Try-outs. We are embarking on plans for the proverbial “Senior Year”, so I guess I should definitely prepare myself for many more major “loss of cash” moments.
Now the kids are back to school, and I’m headed out to climb Mt. Stinky Clothes and battle Sir Maytag in an effort to conquer the Land of The Laundry pile. Wish me luck, if I’m not back to blog by tomorrow, send reinforcements. Don’t assume I flew to California, because I will have been eaten by the Lint Monster. I’ll save the rest of my Springbreak stories for another day, the dryer’s buzzing and after a week of no school, it’s time for me and my Gain to do a little bonding…