5 apr 2018

Last night was the girls’ little recital where they show off what they learned. They asked a parent to come up and do a dance with them. Part of the dance includes tap and now I’m desperate to find a class for adults. But of course MY recital had to happen on the same day I texted a friend that I needed a personal shopper. So I was feeling a little…. masculine… amongst all these tutus.

Annie, not kidding, talked the whole time, making comments about everyone. I wanted to get her attention and give her the shhhh sign, but Ryan whispered that he liked how into it she was and if the teacher wanted her to stop she’s say something. Ruthie sat next to her, never making a peep, almost to the point of me wanting to get her attention too. They’re at both extremes.

But can you hear Annie in the video when the teacher says, “Point your toes!” Annie: “I am!!” ūüėā let’s just say, we’ve been having our own power struggle in the house too. But that’s for another post… maybe once I survive.

When The Cat’s Away

I’m luckily in a position where I can run up to KC and visit family while Ryan goes on business trips. Holding Ruth in my six-month pregnant arms while squatting over a gas station toilet because gawd forbid I take the time to put down toilet paper and then lifting my six month pregnant leg to flush the toilet even though in two seconds I’ll be washing my hands at the sink sometimes makes me question if it had been a good decision or not.

We normally make a couple stops to various Walmarts to walk around and have a change of scenery. But in general, she’s a good road tripper. On the way home, she slept for two hours and then sang nursery rhymes with me (and the cd) for the last two. No stops, no not much crying, and content for the most part.

I normally try to start the trip right before her afternoon nap, but Ryan’s flight was in the morning and I was just itching to go. So after playing with her next door neighbor on the sidewalk for a few minutes, we took off. And am I glad we did. Because not three hours after we arrived, she got sick. Like, unidentifiable chunks down my shirt, in her hair, everywhere sick. I had to strip down to my birthday suit in front of my mom and jump in the bathtub with Ruth.

I told myself it was just a practice run for when she (hopefully) arrives at this next one’s birth. I think back on Ruth’s birth (click here to read it) and am amazed that I literally walked around buck naked with no care in the world. It makes me cringe. And now you’ll cringe with that image in your head… and my work on this earth has officially been completed, goodbye.

After our bath, Ruth slept on my chest the rest of the night. It was nice to snuggle her normally busy body.

The next day we started to see a glimpse of the old Ruthie, but her eyes still looked tired. Or maybe she was just sick and tired of me pointing out circles everywhere, including on grandma’s sock.
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Ryan’s trip lasted 5 days and by the third day, Ruth was officially back to her old self again.

And by old self, it meant that she would have nothing to do with me or grandma but only wanted grandpa (“papa”). We tried everything. Grandma put on some cds to try and dance our way into her heart. We thought we had her too, watching her stand in grandma’s shadow. But really I think she just wanted to stand as close to the kid-unfriendly fireplace as possible.
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Again we thought we had her when she started playing with the little people. On her knees she started rocking to the music. It made grandma laugh, but no dice from her end.
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So we each got up and tried enticing her with our dance moves.
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I even put my pregnancy at risk by jumping around with her on my shoulders. What I won’t do for acceptance.

Nada.

But then she went to papa and all was well.

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He even got kisses. Whatever, Ruth.

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And he was followed while trying to go to the bathroom. Double whatever.

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I have a suspicion it’s because they have the same sleeping face. Evidence A:

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In other news, literally, Ruth got her first dose of O’Reilly’s talking points. We rolled out the little TV into the living room because I’m lazy and demanded it be done from the cocoon I created in the love seat. Ruth was quickly taught how to turn it on and off. Her hair acted as the antenna.

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At first she was excited but it quickly went sour when she actually started listening. That’s what the news will do to ya, Ruth. Don’t become cynical just yet. At least wait until you’re two.

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I tried to take her mind off of it by building a mini village for the little people. I’m tempted to get on ebay and just order a large lot of these, I love them so.

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The toilet and vanity are my favorite. Hope he lit a match.

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But Ruthie preferred to press the applause button on this little remote thing. She is officially her mother’s daughter.

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When we first arrived, before she vomited all over my chest, I did my little joke for the grandparents.

Ruth, what does a cow say? Moooo

What does a sheep say? Baaaa

What does mommy say? NO!!

Later, I expanded and asked: What does Daddy say? NO!!! What does Grandma say? NO!!!

Then, What does Grandpa say? Papapapa

Yep, Papa was spared the Mommy Dearest interpretation. Mom suggested I get it on video before it becomes too rehearsed. So here it is… but little did I know that Ruth had already discovered the secret world of making people laugh. Watch her look at grandma when we ask her the question.

What does Grandma Say?

As I told a friend the other day, I’m really starting to feel like Ruth’s my little friend now. She makes me laugh out loud, makes me pull out my hair, makes my heart hurt, and makes me want to give her kisses all day long. Her dad feels the same way, with less pulling out his hair, but just as many kisses.

Mary Margaret’s Dress

Ruth’s middle name is Margaret if you didn’t know already. Named after this fine lady right here:

I was piddling around on Ancestry and found this info about her wedding. I love reading details like this. “Her only jewelry was a string of pearls, a gift of the groom.” Ah yes, Mary Margaret, we have simple jewelry tastes in common.

One of the loveliest of early spring weddings occurred this morning at 9:30 o’clock at Sacred Heart church when Miss Mary Margaret XXX,daughter of Mrs. Mayme XXX, and Mr. Walter XXX, son of Mr. and Mrs. James XXX, exchanged their marriage vows. The Rev. Isador Smith.O.S.B., sang the nuptial high mass and officiated at the single ring ceremony. The altar was decorated with hydrangea and other Easter flowers and wedding music was sung by the children of Sacred Heart school. Miss XXX was lovely in her wedding gown of white satin fashioned with a sweetheart neckline and aisle width train. The yoke was outlined in seed pearls and the long sleeves were pointed over the wrist. Her fingertips veil edged with lace, fell from a coronet of seed pearls and she carried an arm bouquet of white roses and white sweet peas. Her only jewelry was a string of pearls, a gift of the groom. Miss Irene XXX, Huron, cousin of the bride, was bridesmaid. She wore a dress of pale pink chiffon styled with a sweetheart neckline and short puff sleeves which were trimmed with lace. She wore a halo of pink flowers and veiling in her hair and her arm bouquet was pink roses and pink sweet peas. Aloysius XXX of Nortonville, was the best man. Following the ceremony a wedding breakfast was held at the home of the bride’s mother for the wedding party and immediate families. The beautifully appointed bridal table was centered with a three tiered wedding cake topped with a miniature bride and groom. Pink candles in crystal holders were placed on either side of the cake. A wedding dance will be held this evening at 9 o’clock at Sacred Heart parish hall for the friends of the couple. After a short wedding trip Mr. and Mrs. XXX will be at home with his parents, route 4. For going away Mrs. XXX will wear a rose colored dress with a blue coat, small black hat, and black accessories. The bride of today is a graduate of the Everest high school and was formerly employed at Dilgert’s. Recently she has been employed at Woolworth’s where she resigned her position. The groom attended Nortonville high school and for the past number of years has been farming with his father.¬†

I like to wonder what the wedding dance was like too. Did my grandpa (infamously a non-dancer) waltz around with her on this special day? Did they do the Chicken Dance? Or form two lines and dance down the middle a la Soul Train? Wish I could have been a fly on the wall.

But we were able to connect with her in one small, special way, thanks to my Aunt M. A gown made for Mary Margaret when she was just a babe was delivered via my parents for Ruth to try on.

This was for her to attend a wedding and I can’t believe it’s almost 100 years old now. I love how Ruth is pulling up the dress to show off her ankle. What a rebel. I’ll have to keep my eye on this one.

I miss my grandparents and envy those that still have them. One time, when I was about 15, I asked my dad’s dad a whole bunch of questions on how they ended up in Kansas City from Arkansas. I remember thinking, you have to remember all of these details, Carrie! But of course, never wrote anything down.

And that’s what I love the most. The details. Was this person loud? Quiet? Obnoxious? Sweet? Sit on people’s heads and fart on them? Hide behind corners to scare their sisters? How did they make it through the Depression? What did they eat? What was dinner-time like?

All of these things. And more. I so wish I knew.

Who let the freak out? (aka, my first night out since Ruth)

Last Friday we went to a masquerade ball. It was our first night out by ourselves since D-Day, or I guess it should be called R-Day.

And actually, it probably really was like D-day for everyone else. No one saw the Carrie-bomb that was about to be dropped on them. It was like I was 16 all over again, attending a senior’s party. Only this time with cleavage. And a boyfriend. And no braces. And a girdle on. And no job. And – okay, I better stop while I’m ahead.

But I’m probably a good 1% cooler now than I was in high school. Thank you milk production. Man, if I had only known then that all I needed was a baby. I could’ve had better fitting tops¬†and my own MTV show.

Ruth was terrified of us. Or she can see into the future.

I literally acted as if I had never been let out of the house before. Letting my mouth, feet, and hands (I’m a gesticulator) run wild.

Couldn’t help it, though. First off the place was fantastic. Above one of our little downtown shops, in a space that was about to be renovated into apartments. The walls were cracked and crumbling, antique-y chairs were used as a lounge, mason jars with lights were used to illuminate. Ah, loved it. The juxtaposition of velvet chairs, wood floors, and crumbling walls? Candy for the eyes.

courtesy of someone on facebook

I forced people to dance with me (The band was awesome. Is there anything better than acoustic versions of Snoop Dog & Violent Femmes?), I about karate chopped a guy’s head off with my excited hand gestures, and completely put my foot in my mouth several times. The scariest moment came when I saw D, my midwife’s assistant, at the party. We hugged and another girl asked how we knew each other.

“How do we know each other? Well, she looked down there for 4 straight hours.”

And I may or may not have used the word hoo-haw.

Just keeping it classy, folks. Keeping. It. Classy. High school Carrie had edged me out at that point.

courtesy of someone on facebook

But, can I raise a glass of vino in my honor for one thing, though? When the time came for the crowd to get into the inevitable large circle, so we can break out in the middle with our favorite early 90s moves, I did not, I repeat, did not do The Carlton. Talk about self-control. Because that had been haunting me since J’s last shindig.

You know The Carlton, don’t you? Everyone knows The Carlton.

It was pretty much my first time meeting everyone, and much to R’s horror, I whipped out The Carlton. In an 80s prom dress. And high freaking heels.

Do you see what’s coming? Literally two arm swings in I landed wrong and had to stumble out of the circle in shame. We quickly left afterwards.

courtesy of someone on facebook

Not this time, though. I held back in spite of the possible redemption and R was proud. So I immediately said or did something to make him shake his head. Can’t let him wonder if I’ve changed for the better for too long.

And wouldn’t you know it, I ended up hobbling my way out to the car anyway.

Girl hasn’t worn heels (let alone dance in them) in what seems like ages. But the blisters were well worth it, my friends. Well worth it.

Apparently being hip is not a requirement.

I don’t know how I snaked by. Unless it means that only mamas with hips can join. In that case, I was a shoe-in. In fact, I’m sure there’s an email in my inbox right now requesting that I be the spokesperson for that group of mamas with hips. If that were true, though, I don’t think the current clipart is appropriate.

Either which way, I’ve joined this local group.

It’s confirmed, people, I’m hip. So you can stop sending me emails on how to up my cool factor. It’s already been achieved. ¬†After I read the acceptance, I strutted around The Shack pointing and winking at everything.

Then I looked at Ruthie and she gave me her ‘I can see through you and you’re not as cool as you think’ look. Oh yeah, Ruth? Well, for your information I’m now a hip mama. Eat it. So she did. And after 15 minutes gave me the look again.

Whatever. I’ll show you.

But before I walk through this nerdy wardrobe into the Chronicles of Hipness, let’s take a look at my past life. My past awkward life.

Like how I forced R to participate in Thrill The World with me and another couple. It was a bid to try and have the most number of people dance the Thriller at the same time. People all over the world did it. See? I’m not alone. We showed up for the practice and were swarmed by 14 year olds.

If you want to watch the video, here it is. Don’t hate. We spent the day leading up to this at an Oktoberfest festival. It took me nano seconds into the first lager to forget the steps. My friend, J, and I are on the left side (I’m in the black dress and she is in front of me in pants and small jacket.) T & R are on the right, (T wearing a tuxedo shirt and R right behind him.) R’s favorite part is the high-five they did at the very end.

Or what about the time I slipped on stairs in college, landed on my back, and laid there as a high school tour walked by? That will never happen again. Because I’m hip now, ya’all. (maybe I should quit saying ya’all, then.)

If you’re interested in getting a glimpse into my disturbing psyche, in which I obsess over a graceful girl all through class and then try to emulate her, click on the photo. It will take you to the post.

And talk about disturbing. Me, in the woods, with a Jane Austen book. What would Jane think? And why would she be walking around with a copy of her own book? I don’t know, but she was cool… why couldn’t me reenacting mesmerizing looks not be? Well, that’s in the past now. I’ll only be throwing around hip looks from now on, which means I may or may not acknowledge you now that I’m several notches higher.

Click on the photo if you’re into the neuroses of a jane-aholic and would like to be hypnotized by my captivating stares. You’re getting very sleepy….

Upon being accepted into this group, I started looking around at the various meet-ups and found one that would fit Ruthie’s age. I remembered R’s word of advice: “don’t just throw all your cards out there at once, Carrie. Let people know you’re nice and then drop the weird jokes on them.” ¬†So I RSVP’d for an event, and told myself to write something short and sweet. Don’t always try to go for the laugh, Carolyn. They’ll get to know you soon enough.

I’m screwed.

My Weekend, in Bullet Points

To sum up:

  • Packing up the car for a couple nights at Beaver Lake with my siblings and sister’s friend
  • Making a pit-stop at Tontitown winery to listen to music with R’s friends
  • Within 2 minutes of meeting, asking one of the girls in the group if she’d take photos of my homebirth. (I couldn’t help it, she made the fatal mistake of showing me photos of her work: Aus10)
  • Accepting her polite refusal
  • Spending the next 20 minutes assuring her I’m not a weirdo.
  • When trying to make a great first impression, telling the group that because of my feminist/ women’s studies days in college, R doesn’t think a boy would survive in my womb. Therefore, he’s almost positive we’re having a girl.
  • Spending the next 20 minutes assuring everyone I’m not a weirdo nor a man-hater.
  • When introduced to the singer, who happens to be R’s boss’ brother, squealing like a groupie.
  • Spending the next 20 minutes assuring everyone I’m not a weirdo, man-hater, nor a groupie.
  • Leaving the winery and heading to Beaver Lake, singing Weezer songs at the top of our lungs.

  • Seeing our sweet cabin in the woods.
  • Thanking my brother and sister-in-law for saving the beds for us, instead of asking us to sleep on the couch.
  • Sharing the baby drama that no longer is, PTL!
  • Only getting up once in the middle of the night to use the restroom.
  • Stumbling over everything in my path on the way to said restroom, and waking up everyone ¬†in the living room.
  • Hanging out in the lake on baby inner tubes because that was the only pool item available at Walmart. Wait. I take that back, we did find a small swimming pool that we debated on buying. We were pretty sure a hole in the middle of it would be perfect for this belly.
  • Getting a red forehead.
  • Laughing.
  • Talking.
  • Listening.
  • Grazing on all the food in the kitchen.
  • Getting described as “petite” by my sister, and realizing that it has taken me being almost 9 mos pregnant before anyone on the face of this planet has ever called me petite.
  • Playing spoons and getting out in the first round every time.
  • Dancing and singing to “I want you to want me”
  • Getting out of breath within 3 seconds of dancing.
  • Putting head between my legs so as not to faint.
  • Repeating this sequence for the duration of the song.
  • Crashing at 11:30 with sunburnt bodies and more wrinkles.
  • Using the bathroom only once again during the night.
  • Waking up the house again due to stumbles.
  • Early morning & quiet ride to church.
  • Talking pregnancy with the 3 billion other girls my age that are also due within the year. Do not drink the water, N & A.
  • Taking a two hour nap in between movies once we got home.
  • Not even looking at the laundry hamper until today.
  • Just looked at it, and deciding to forget about it.

All in all, a good time.

Just in case you were wondering..

Here are some dos and don’ts of ¬†deciding to camp while attending a dance workshop on a blistery cold & windy weekend.

Yeah, go ahead and pack a really yummy healthy lunch. Some no-knead bread, a jar of carrot juice, maybe even some avocados.

And, sure, why not make a cozy fire to sit around.

Yes, of course use your new cast iron skillet skills for supper that night. You know, the ones you learned at this class. Only, try not to get a flat tire.

But do not.

I repeat, Do Not….

only pack skirts to wear, because you want to “look cute”. You will freeze your ass off and you’ll also get such a bad cold that it will threaten your Food Network getaway with a girlfriend the following weekend.

Just in case you were wondering, that is.

The Battle of Caaahrthage

We fought the battle and won, my friends.

You know, the “weekend spent with 3 sisters, a sister-in-law, and a mother all in the attic of a bed & breakfast during their wine festival without killing each other” battle.

Any time a night hasn’t ended with a drink thrown in your face and the silent treatment, consider it a victory.

But it really wasn’t hard. And we were tested. Oh yes, we were tested.

Try going to the bathroom in front of four people in a space with no partitions.

No amount of magazines will help that situation.

But, to be true, we won probably because I paced myself….

..or because of the $20 lipstick complete with a built in lighted mirror. You know, in case you go spelunking in a cave with some girlfriends and need to freshen up.

This little gem just might have been the saving grace.

After our freshening up, we stepped out onto the front lawn to have a lunch while sampling the local vendors.

I’ve often wondered if I couldn’t sell at one of these events. With all the grapes left in the back of the fridge, some of them are bound to ferment, right?

After several moves around the lawn and a couple more samples, we hit the town.

Dancing? Why yes, but not us this time.

The Kansas City Marching Cobras happened to be in Carthage this particular weekend! My sister L looked on like a proud mother as she was the only one of us who had seen them before. She continually asked us if we were sure we wanted to go see them, and then afterwards thanked us all for coming as if she hosted the group in her living room.

The Marching Cobras was started up in KC as a way for inner city kids to have a positive outlet, while also having to maintain a certain gpa, etc. They were a nice addition to our weekend!

When we arrived back at the B&B, we convinced the owners to turn on the twinkle lights on the front porch. Oh, to have a spacious, stone front porch like this one.

I would invest in only white linen dresses, cinched at the waist and insist that my hair be pulled up in a loose bun. Sigh.

We sat around sampling more wines, shoving chinese food down our gullets,

while L put on more lipstick.

We talked around the table for a good couple hours before heading up to the attic where it felt like a scene from Little Women.

Why do I always have to play the role of Beth?

Unlike Beth, my heart did survive the night and the next morning we woke up to breakfast downstairs. This is the first time I’ve had to sit with the hosts and other guests at one table. It was awkward at first, since it felt a little intimate.

Luckily they were the talkative sort and kept up both their and my end of the conversation. Functional Introvert saved once again!

Mom had to wear her sunglasses because of the sun and I laughed inappropriately loud for so early in the morning. The host quickly served our first course after that loud guffaw.

A couple poems were read and some well-rehearsed stories were told by the hosts, then we parted ways from cute Carthage, MO.

Writing this post has made me realize that as soon as I do something, I need to write about it. I’m sure there were a ton of little nuances throughout the stay that made me come away with this feeling of having had such a good time, but for the life of me, I cannot recall them. But maybe that isn’t true. Maybe it was just the feeling of being together that left a good mark on my memory. Kind of like reading a book on a crisp sunny afternoon that resulted in a more refreshed version of yourself than when you first sat down. Nothing in particular, but just the whole of the experience.

Thank you girlies!

Jane Austen Festival, Part One

We’ve only just arrived home from our trip to Regency England (aka, Louisville KY) and am enjoying reliving memories from it….

…Like my senior portraits from the graduating class of 1798. I was voted Least Likely To Die During Childbirth.

Thank you, birthing hips.


And then there was the Regency Ball…

I think I may have set my expectations a wee bit high that I’d be dancing until my slippers hurt and I blame it on the Contra dancing group from a couple weeks ago. They had explained to me that it is considered rude to dance with the same person the entire night, even if he/she is your date…. Especially if there are more females than males, or vice-versa.

This was not the case Saturday night for little Miss Carolyn. Sigh.

When we arrived, a nice lady did ask me to dance for one of the first songs and I had to endure feeling like Sasquatch next to her petit little thing. ¬†She was exceedingly sweet, though, and I was grateful for helping me segway into a dancing mentality. I’m new to this whole dancing without caring thing. And since mom was out of commission due to a back injury, I was on my own.

Afterwards, I sat down and we eagerly waited to be asked for the next song. We waited. And waited. Ogled at pretty dresses… and waited.

Song number two came on, so I used this as an opportunity to get a snapshot because there would be like absolutely no time to do so when I dance the rest of the night away. Poor mom will be just so lonely having no one to talk to.

Song numbers three through six: Mom started to get worried. I was becoming convinced that the wallpaper behind me was also green with pink roses and therefore no one could find me even if they wanted to. So I stood up and paced for awhile until the song ended.

Song number seven: Mom is now despondent and almost irreconcilable.

I’d have given my right leg for someone to ask me. And I probably would’ve danced better without it, too. Maybe not as happily, but definitely with more rhythm. Instead, I sat gloomily feeling more like Mary Bennett than Elizabeth.

You know who Mary is.

Take a guess.

Looking back, why didn’t I ask anyone? If I’d had a glass of champagne in my hand, then game on.

But (in case you’ve forgotten) I’m a functioning INTROVERT, people. No way am I going over to strangers under flourescent lighting and lead them to the dance floor. If I had been with someone more shy, then I would’ve mustered up the guts to do something.

Have you met my mom, though? She is decidedly unshy and tried to get every living creature in breeches and dresses that passed our way to dance with me. My god, you would’ve thought our family was on the brink of financial disaster and she needed me to throw myself at anyone in a cravat. Yet, still no luck.

So instead of acting as my dance pimp, she suggested I improve my countenance. “You know, people are more likely to ask you if you’re smiling, Carolyn.”

Okay, so like this?

“No,” she said… “Try to add a touch of desperation to your smile. Dance partners love that.”

And what d’ya know. Within two seconds of my face exploding from sheer force of countenance, a guy came over and lamented that I wasn’t dancing.

Huzzah!!

He really acted the part too, which I appreciated. All gracefulness and toe-pointing.; I was taken aback by his unabashedness on the regency dance floor.

The night quickly ended, though, before I could come out of  my shell. But I was happy with the dances that I was able to experience.

One note of worthy, however. A lady came up and asked my age. She thought I was 19. Let me repeat that, Nuh-ineteen. That’s for all my fellow gray-haired friends, you know which nursing home you are.

As for the dancing, this Saturday night is another contra night and I’m looking forward to sweating dancing in the rounds I missed out on at the Ball.

However, this time I won’t wear white. Okay, yes I will. Maybe it will ensure me a dance partner.

Wanna read Part 2 of our adventure? Click here!

The Fourth, in Fast Forward

I don’t have nearly enough time. We have been busy moving, packing, playing cards, moving some more, packing some more, more cards and eating. In the middle of it all, we trekked down to Wichita to celebrate the fourth.

When I get back from a Regency-era adventure with my mom, I will sit down and write a proper blog post about the weekend.

Until then, here’s a snippet of our weekend:

Bus Tour

Barn Dance

Lake Swim

Car Stuck

And, yes, the car is still stuck in Wichita as of today. Didn’t even get to see a sparkler in action. Oh well, I got my barn dance in, so the weekend was still a success in my book.

I hear my parents on their way. A week in an RV with just the three of us.

Pray…. Hard.

Contra Twirling Fix

R¬†really does have an adventurous spirit and game to try most anything. Thank goodness too, otherwise being bossy wouldn’t be as much fun.

A co-worker had mentioned that she attends a contra dance once a month in Fayetteville and suggested I go. Well, it only took a few months to find the time to attend one, but last night R and I finally did.

My face positively hurts today from smiling so much. It was like my Jared Haase smile times a hundred. You remember the smile. It still haunts me.

I was pondering what to tell you to¬†not do if attending a contra dance. Oh, how about wear an all white outfit with no second layering and then sweat like you’re in a sauna. Everytime someone put their hand on my back, I felt them pull away like it’d just been burned.

So while learning the actual dance routine, a conversational routine started to emerge…

  • [hand jerks away from my back]
  • “I’m so sorry. I never sweat like this. I don’t even have sweat glands.”
  • [he smiles apologetically for so obviously showing his repulsion, but then realizes that my sweat caused a¬†one person wet t-shirt contest (which I¬†STILL lost, damn genes) and returns hand to my lower back.]
  • “it’s okay, I know I’m disgusting. Please don’t shut me up in an dungeon somewhere a la Buffalo Bill”
  • [his eyes widen and then immediately¬†twirls me over to the next victim whether it was time to or not]

And then it just repeats. Embarrasingly so.

I finally figured out how to stop that line of conversation.

And then the tale of the father-son duo.

They. were. awesome.

I first turned to dance with the son (in the photo below) who is half my age and literally half my size. I smiled sweetly at him, thinking that the more mammoth of the two of us would have to lead.

Um no.

He grabbed my hand, took hold of my back and twirled me like he was trying to start a fire on the floor. I have never. I repeat, never been spun so fast in my life. The first time I kind of just stared at the blurry faces going by and when he let go so I could dance to the middle of the circle with the rest of the girls, I literally stumbled over my left foot and skidded to the center.

No one made eye contact with me, which as everyone knows is much more embarrasing than if they had only laughed at me.

The next time I was more prepared and stared at his face the whole time. I noticed that he never quite looked back at me, but instead was watching the rest of the group and I finally realized it was so he knew when to spin me out to the next move. Professional. I was impressed.

Then the dad asked me to dance. Here we fricken go again. It doesn’t look like we were going fast in the above photo, but I was hanging on for dear life. It was so much fun.

Notice the Jared Hasse grin. And sweaty face.

I managed to catch R in action too. He really improved by the end of the night. I think I just might make a dancer out of him after all.

We both agreed that we are going to insist that our sons know how to lead on the dance floor. Shouldn’t that just be a basic skill learned by all men?

After three straight hours of dancing, we were exhausted. As we were putting the chairs away, the duo who were playing (a fiddle and a banjo — loved it), played a nice waltz. I was asked to dance and, really, what better way to end the evening than with a slow waltz.

This is definitely going to happen again… because I’m already coming down off my twirling high.

Dancing Wedding

Dancing Weddiiiiing – Young and Sweet only seventeeeen. You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your li-i-ife.

Wow, this was a fun one. I’ve been to some where I stay for the meal and slip out the door; others where I sit at the table all night talking with friends without even so much as a glance to the dance floor; and still others where I play whiffle ball and serve guests bbq from a gas station.

Okay that last one  was my own wedding. Yikes.

But this one. This one will be the dancing wedding.

We all knew K & D loved to dance, for them to see this all night:

It must’ve just made their day.

It made mine too, because I’m re-entering the world of dancing without caring.

R thinks he’s been duped. You see, in college our circle of friends would go to a place with a dinky dance floor. And while everyone else was bumping to the music, R and I would stand flat against a wall getting to know each other all the while avoiding drinks getting sloshed into our face by someone’s bad dance move. It was fun. Kind of like dodgeball meets dating. So, he thought I didn’t like to dance, which meant that there was no pressure on his end. And there wasn’t. Truly!

Until recently. If there is a packed floor and good music on, then I’m psyching myself up to get out there if I’m in the mood.

And I don’t care if I dance a little Elaine Benes-esque with my one-handed train conductor move, because if you can’t hear… Journey’s playing and it’s time to move.

So when R went MIA after seeing a good dance crowd, I turned around to find my good ole standby. Mom.

Whaaaaat? What is she doing all. by. herSELF?

Something drastic needed to be done.

So I ran to the DJ and requested Backstreet Boys, stat. HURRY. This is an emergency, my mom is sitting all by herself because she’s not really into House of Pain.

He gave me a sidelong glance and hesitated in the B section. “Are you sure it will go over well with this crowd?” I didn’t care, we had to pump some dancing blood back into Momma Pat and this was the ticket.

As the song started, I ran away from him so no one would know who requested the song. No offense, mom. But could you believe that people gave a loud whoop and clapped?

I grabbed mom and drug her out with me.

She was only a little excited.

By the way, nice bra, Carolyn. Jeez. I’m the classy cousin at the wedding with my unmentionables hanging out in every photo. Sigh.

We slow danced… Still couldn’t seem to find R, so had to make-do with taking photos of my sister and her husband.

And then there were dance-offs:

My nephew, W, partook in one and apparently won?

But grandma was cheering a bit too hard for little W, because the dance-off moved onto her:

And she was booty-ed off the dance floor. No one is safe during a dance off, my friends.

But not to be outdone, my brother-in-law (aka “roommate”) had one out with a groomsmen.

I don’t think anyone can compete with suspenders. Sorry N.

Oh, K & D. What a great wedding! I don’t know who this girl is nor why I took the photo, but I think it had to do with the drawing. Does it seem familiar to this old blog post? Click here.

Discuss.

And Dance. Discuss and dance. That’s pretty much how life goes anyway.

J and T’s 30th Birthday Party

I don’t know where the nickname Juice came from, nor did I invent it for her. But I was introduced to her in college with that name and it’s still stuck in my head. She and I ran around in the same group our last year at KSU and she was also living with a group of R’s friends. The first night¬†I met her, I stayed up all night dancing watching people from the wallflower section of the dancefloor. The next morning I woke up next to people I only vaguely knew and she immediately made plans with me to eat breakfast where R was waiting tables.

Just like that. She’s just a tad friendly.

But little did I know how creative she was until we slowly became better friends.

She’s quirky and in my world, quirky = cool.

You know, people who aren’t concerned with what others think of them. I’m still trying to get there, but I have come long strides since my early 20s. This blog has helped.

So, she and her husband T (who both also did the Adventure Race with us back in November – click link here), both turned 30 recently and wanted to celebrate. They invited their friends and paid their way for a night of 80s Roller Rink Fun-o-rama.

And we made it just in time for the Limbo. whew!

Each of us took our turns getting reaccustomed to roller skating. I don’t think any of us had skated within the past 10 years, so the whole “balance” thing was a foreign idea.

Well, except for Juice.

She’s been practicing to join the local Roller Derby Team.

Anyway, some of us pushed off the wall and hoped to slow down at the Limbo line.

While others had to be helped by an outstretched hand. Eventually we all made it. It took an hour.

Now, this first experience on wheels really tested you. The length from the line to the actual limbo pole is, oh, about 20 miles. No, seriously.

I wanted to cry, it was so scary.

It was like your first jump off the high-dive. Once you started, there was no turning back.

So instead of actually skating, I did one little push and then bent over. I don’t think my head even cleared it.

The failure was promptly blamed on my high ponytail.

Then it was R’s turn.

Oh, R.

He started off with feet parallel to each other and then somehow one foot started to split off and he couldn’t pull them back together. So the only option was to go with it.

Hopefully he can still sire children after that. It was painful to watch.

After our first run on the rink we were already sore.

R and N stretched it out for a bit….

While I chomped on Pop Rocks, provided by the hostess, and watched the show on the rink.

Every two seconds you heard someone scream and then bones breaking.

Like these three. I hope the horizontal guy is okay.

R stayed near anyone with a helmet thinking he could just fall on them and avoid the cement. Good thing this guy had one too. Man, he wiped out hard several times, causing the ‘referee’ (what are those guys called – bouncer? chaperone?) to blow his whistle and check on him.

It was awesome.

Others just breezed on by without a care in the world. Juice called ahead to ask if she could wear those fast special skates. They said yes.

What a show off.

We were jealous of her skills.

But I bet you’re jealous of my mad braking skills. That’s right ya’all. I could eat your brake for brakefest.

…and with that pun I bid you good night.

Later on, we skated the birthday girl into the bathroom (appropriately decked out in daisies) for a birthday toast. There’s something so liberating about having skates on while going pee. I’m not going to delve into that thought process, but I felt liberated.

We hung out for awhile until we were busted by the rink patrol. They were cool, thank goodness, and tsk-tsked us back to the rest of the group.

It was no use explaining to them that the bathroom break was necessary to..

do this.

Yikes. This should’ve been a recipe for disaster, but we both held on strong and whirled around. That was the thing I was most looking forward doing…. Spinning in the middle of the floor.

This had to be on of the most fun parties I’ve been to. We even broke out our Thriller dance when the song came on.

On SKATES, people.

And now I also want to take up skating as exercise… Forget running, people, skating will kill your thighs.

But it won’t kill your fond childhood memories. It only enhances them.

We used to do the Hokey Pokey, the coin toss, races and a bunch of other things. But I bet you all have some memories of your own.

Share if you’d like, I’m all ears.

Feetsies

What is my obsession with feet in photos? There’s no logical thought process since I don’t even take care of them, so why should I photograph them?

But I do.

And now you have to suffer.

Some of these I’ve blogged about (and have linked back to those posts) and others I haven’t, but wish I had.

Hot summer weekend trip in Iowa. Cool, sweet water.

Just prior to having a semi-heart attack on the Brew to Brew: 50 mile relay race from Boulevard Brewery in KC to FreeState brewery in Lawrence. The worst part was knowing that after your team drove past cheering you on, they immediately rolled up the window to say how sorry you looked. I know this, because we did it to every other person on our team. But I’m sure they didn’t do it to me. Right. RIGHT?

Hiking the Grand Canyon. What a glorious day, despite R almost dying.

Garage sale shopping with my mom.¬†This was a terrifying flash forward of our lives when she literally parked in someone’s front lawn. Not on purpose.

What you don’t see above these feet is a girl dry heaving on Little Corn Island, Nicaragua. Apparently I don’t like heights?

After wearing heels for too long, asking R if I could borrow his shoes for a few minutes. No I wasn’t wearing socks either.

[collective groan / shrieks of horror]

Dancing the Thriller…in sneakers. If I saw a zombie coming towards me in white tennies, I’d either poke him in the eyes (and hope he doesn’t block me with the finger shark fin) or run my butt off. He might’ve died running, you know.

Do you see the steep stairs in this Irish castle ruin? And the rain water? You do the math.

Visiting our cousins in the Sunshine State. This is also a good reminder: Kids, always remember to put sunblock on your feet. Do not, I repeat, do not stop at your ankles.

Costume / Dance Parties. Oh, penny loafers.

Camping / Hiking – and facing my fear of the granddaddy spider of 2001.

And last but certainly not least… running through fields. I was apparently really excited to get to something…. probably food.

As I was looking around, I found even more feetsies photos. Oh yes, there will be a part two. Who sighed? I heard that.

Christmas – Snippits of My Side

{Watching my mom’s expression as she tries to organize a group photo. It’s hard work herding us in from the eggnog.}
{Waiting for someone to step up and be Santa. We were all too comfy with our coffees. I think my 3 year old niece ended up having to be him…which explains what happened later.}
 
{Congratulating my mom on giving us clothing that will not be returned. Her secret, she said, was not caring what we thought.}
 
{Seething with jealousy over my nieces’ new tu-tus.}
 
{When finding out that they are very, and I mean very, expandable, snatching it from E and forcing her to wear another skirt during our recital. Aren’t I nice? Don’t try to get in between me and a tutu.}
{More on the recital later}
 
{After getting fed up with being Santa, K grabbed her new luggage and tried to flee the scene. We sat there not knowing how to proceed with the presents}
 
{Nephew W becoming less and less impressed with his uncles’ ability to put together literally three pieces of plastic. It was unbearable to watch.}

{Getting a fresh ‘do, cut lovingly by my cousin Katie. If you want a hairdresser that hands you a glass of wine along with the expectation that you don’t have to talk, go to her. And isn’t that what we all want out of a hairdresser? She could’ve given me a bee-hive and I would’ve been happy that no silly chat-chat was needed. She works at Rio Salon in Parkville and is classy classy classy. Tell her that Carrie sent ya. It won’t get you any discounts, but you can still tell her — you know, right before you down that glass of wine and close your eyes.}

{On a side note, if you click on the photo, you can start to see my gray coming through. When my sister saw the cut, she said, “You look ten years younger. So you finally look 29.”}

 

Turkey Giblets

We had a nice time over the Thanksgiving holidays. We slept in a half hour later each day, it was delightful.

On actual Turkey Day, the whole family (minus two lovlies in L.A.) came together. Here are some snippits.

:: coloring with my niece before the feast ::

:: my uncle bringing over some of mee-maw’s oyster dressing, brought directly from her spirit apparently ::

:: setting out the glassware. Yes, the blue one was mine ::

:: catching my husband in awkward photo positions ::

:: hanging out with my sisters and posting a good-looking photo in hopes that one of them will forgive me for what is soon to come ::

:: holding hands and saying a couple prayers before committing gluttony ::

:: holding back on portion size ::

:: giving thanks to our hosts ::

:: also giving thanks that I don’t have to look at this carnivorous activity straight on. A side view is plenty, thank you ::

:: going for a post stomach-suicide walk ::

:: watching home movies, including one in which my sister, L, asks a question on the Leeza Gibbons Show while in college. This one made our stomachs hurt we laughed so hard ::

:: watching a late night dance production ::

:: while Aunt Carrie played the piano ::
But I have to say there was one thing that most contributed to this being a great weekend. Not the family time, not the sleeping-in….

:: prunes, baby. that’s all I need to say ::

Walking a Tight Rope

Or logs in this case.

Yesterday was yet another beautiful day in the neighborhood. We stepped outside and immediately decided to go for a hike. Nearby, even closer then our favorite state park, is a sliver of national forest. One that we had yet to explore.

So we packed up some snacks and headed out.

I like charting unfamiliar territory. That is, until we get to a spring that must be navigated by wobbly tree limbs.

Okay, so the fall down was not far. But it was too close to the beginning of our trek to justify continuing on with wet shoes & socks if I did fall.

R went first. He put his arms out and one. two. was across.

Hmph.

I can do that, I thought competitively.

But I didn’t realize I’d have to dance my way across in order to do so. Those limbs were out to get me.

(un)Luckily, R managed to catch the pas de deux with me & nature.

It quickly evolved into a dance off and thank goodness, too, because I always end up having to dance the boy part. Like when I was 8 and my mom & aunt made my cousin and me reenact the last dance scene from Dirty Dancing.

um, awkward. especially the hand down the armpit part.

I’m gonna win, you darn logs.
But first I need to stretch.
Lean, two, three, four..
and the other leg, two, three, four.

You want somma this?
How about some line dancing!
Even with one arm behind my back, I gotchew.

What did you say down there?
Speak up my man, because you ain’t seen nothing yet.

That’s right. I’m Michael Flately..
about to Riverdance yo ass!

I’ve had about enough of your lip.
This calls for some third position plie action.

Oh, no you di’int
just call your friend over to block my way.
(Lots of pushing and huffing
ensues for about 25 minutes)

But in the end, I won.
I also wore the same smile
as when I graduated Kindergarten.

And now I’m sore.

From Dirndl to Zombie…

in less than 6 hours. Ah, I love days like these. Although, if I’m completely honest with myself, that’s pretty much how every day ends up: pale faced and half dead.
We piled onto the bus that would take us to the much touted “second largest oktoberfest in the nation”. Hmmm… Not sure about that one. But it did have the second largest number of people chewing tobacco and wearing beer slogan t-shirts.

Can I describe how nice the day was? R and I had just come off of almost two straight weeks of rain and to walk outside into that sunshine? Divine. It was like heaven opened up to my cute dirndl dress and said, “Go on, my little bavarian child and bask in the fruits (or hops?) of the german microbreweries.”
Okay. I will, I said.

But our first stop was food: brauts, potato cakes, and onion blossoms. Life was good… my cinched waist was not.

We wandered aorund the grounds, until our exhausted feet found some tables in the open air. I mean, yes we were tired. We had just spent the entire morning eating breakfast burritos, drinking blackberry fermented “juice” and watching a marathon of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Wouldn’t you be tired too?


This is me midway through a lager and conversation. If you’ve spent any amount of time with me on a beautiful day sipping some spirits, you know my thought process. Unfortunately, this thought process usually turns into a vocal adaptation. Here it is in a nutshell:
  1. I really like hanging out with you guys
  2. Isn’t it beautiful out?
  3. Yes, pour me a little.
  4. Okay, a bit more.
  5. Shouldn’t we go on a trip together?
  6. My parents are going to pass away someday. (This sounds like a horrible statement. But it’s not intended to be. I’m only consoled when someone reminds me that 63 is the new 53.)
  7. Wait, I’m going to pass away some day.
  8. Are you guys going to miss me?
  9. What would you say about me at the funeral?
  10. Is anyone listening?
  11. So back to that trip…
  12. What. You don’t want to go on one now? It’s okay, I’m over our mortality. I promise.
  13. So what have you been up– wait. Back to me. What have I been up to? Well … [insert 30 minutes of non-stop talking*]
  14. Cackling laughter
  15. Did I tell you how much I like hanging out with you?

*This is actually a false statement. Ever since starting this blog, I now have nothing to talk about in person (re: myself)

 


After a few hours, I started to notice a decline in our host T. To the point where he grabbed hold of a turkey leg and pounded his phone with one digit. Next he would be dragging a woman along the ground by her hair.

Luckily we had to leave for our Thriller debut before seeing that caveman spectacle.

But I did get to see (and experience) a Big Lebowski scene with R while getting ready for Thriller. Except this time it was baby powder and not ashes.


Friends, there is absolutely one vital thing to bring along to a 12-yr old’s Thriller competition. Good sports of husbands. Man, they didn’t complain once. They made fun of it all (and us), but never complained. Even when we asked them to do their best zombie stance.

Awesome.

This isn’t the last you’ll see of J & T. They’re coming down for the Adventure Race next weekend. I’ll probably look like a zombie in those photos as well. Need to start exercising. Stat.

No, please sit down. Standing ovations embarrass us.

My friend J signed me and our husbands up to take part in a world record breaking event. With satellite locations around the world, everyone had to start the The Thriller dance at exactly the same time. http://www.thrilltheworld.com

Okay.

Why did the four of us bring the mean age of the Claremore, OK group up by 20 years? Oh right. Because the rest of the group was in 6th grade.

R got checked out a few times by the middle schoolers, thinking that maybe he went to the school in the next town over. Back off girls. This Ralph Macchio is mine. So what if I look like I could be his mother, lay off.

The good news of the night: I didn’t have to add much powder to my hair to make it gray.

So, I’ll leave you with the final product. J & I are on the left in the first and second rows. R & T are on the right in the third and fourth rows. I must warn you however that, at this point in the night, I had forgotten most of the steps… thanks to spending the previous 4 hours at the Tulsa Oktoberfest in a dirndl.
R’s favorite part? The jumping high-five at the end with T.

Krumping & Humping

In between forcing the in-laws to watch my new favorite dance style (Krumping), thanks to Russell Ferguson and So You Think You Can Dance…
Popping into the local library for a good half hour of reading…

Going out to eat, playing a game of scrabble, and watching the movie “The Scarlet Pimpernel”…..

Watching Shady hump my husband’s leg….

Hearing the crackle of a fire being stoked…

And confronting “the other woman” during a football game…

All in all, a thumbs up.

1987 – A remake

R’s co-workers threw an 80s prom party this weekend. So I tried my darndest to bring out my inner Kelly LeBrock from Weird Science and ended up feeling more like Bill Paxton as the blob. R doned his real prescription Ray-Ban sunglasses that I did not help him pick out. That is a whole ‘nother story.

It was a fun night.

We chatted with people while I tried to divert their attention from R’s insistance on wearing both his regular glasses and sunglasses all night.

We slow-danced. And don’t worry, mom..

I made sure there was room for the Holy Spirit.

We stood in a circle and danced. After R did his thang, I threw off my shoes and broke out the Carlton dance from Fresh Prince. This was my debut in front of his co-workers. Here is a video if you haven’t ever seen it: watch this move!

Except I didn’t even make it two swings before twisting my ankle and stumbling out of the circle. I definitely broke under pressure.
Nice to meet everyone, my name is Carolyn.

But then! Then, we watched a video tutorial on how to perform the thriller dance.

And we all broke it out. I was a little ahead of the rest of the group, I think.

Great night!

P.S. We are still having some internet troubles, thus the infrequent posts this week. More coming soon!

Tonight is Jammed Packed Full of Excitement! Coffee’s in the back!*

**Warning: Many words and photos ahead. Read & Look at your own risk.**

*The title was actually said via mic by my sister A. She was trying to get these baby boomers pumped up.

So after many a secret email, decorations bought, and lies told directly to my parents, the night had finally arrived! We had told B&P that R and I were driving into town to take them out to dinner with the rest of the family. My sister, A, was the head planner and quickly sent L & me an email listing the top ten things NOT to do when planning a surprise. The first rule that topped the list said to not avoid talking about the day and the “plans”. So we took turns calling them, asking if they were exciiiiiiiited, since that’s what we’d ask every two hours anyway.

Then we turned paranoid.

Everything my parents said sounded like they may already know of the party and are playing along. My dad laughed and said “yeah right” when I mentioned how we were (exciiiiiiited) to take them out for dinner.

Yeah right? He knew.

We had to sneak into their home to steal some photos and other paraphernalia while they were visiting my brother in California. (ps: M & D – we wish you had been here!! We missed you.) I had the excuse off dropping of my table, but still, when they said “oh we were wondering who was in the house. No one ‘fessed up.”

‘Fessed up? They knew.

Then it got bad. My mom answers the phone “Hello?” Hello? They knew. “How are you, Carrie?” How are you? They knew. They knew, they knew, they knew.

But they didn’t. Oh, not by a long shot.

When they first walked in. I love L’s shoes.
So a few things happened through the process that made my heart hurt. First, I had messed up royally by suggesting to B&P that R and I would be arriving at their home before taking them out on Saturday. If that were so, how was I going to help decorate and cook my roll-ups?

I had to think of something. And fast. A would beat me up if I didn’t.

On Saturday morning, I called B&P and told them R had to go into work last minute and we didn’t know when we’d leave. In fact, we had arrived the night before and slept in our nephew’s bedroom. He has a full bed and we thought we were in heaven…not even bumping into each other all night like in our glorified twin bed.

But I had to call my parents again as soon as I “got on the road” and it had to be timed so that “we’d have to meet you at the restaurant. Wish is were different, guys! Muah!” I even dropped a few “I’m so annoyed right now” to mom so that it sounded believable. Carolyn annoyed? Very believable.

So relaxing.
But as I walked around the grocery store saturday morning with my sister L, my stomach (and heart) began to hurt. I really did want to hang out with them and L’s conversation with mom the night before didn’t help any.

First, she had called mom, P, while she was out grocery shopping for lasagna. A lunch for me and R. Ouch.

Then, L told me mom had mentioned about 5 times that she’s looking forward to such a relaxing evening. Relaxing. hmmm….

Father B. 40 years later.
I made my dreaded call, lied to my parents for the second time within 3 hours, made my 2000 pinwheel roll ups, and got dressed. We met up a couple hours prior to the party to put up lights, lay out table decorations, and set up the buffet. When R was asked to lay out the napkins, he put them on each table as if we were having a sit-down dinner. You know, instead of piling them at the beginning of the buffet. He almost got beat up. We were all nerves.

L left early to meet my parents at her home. Thank goodness too because they showed up 15 minutes early and she had to stall by trying on several different dresses and asking for everyone’s opinion. Nice save.

She was also in charge of driving them to the location. Our schtick was to scout out possible locations for my brother and (new) sister-in-law’s reception hall. L was supposed to just “swing by real quick”. Well, she did manage to get them to the parking lot and my mom out of the car.

My dad? Different story. I mean, the Chiefs game was on the radio and why would he need to give input on the space? So he didn’t. Well, he tried to stay put, anyway.

My mom watched as L insisted strongly that he should get out of the car. That’s when she thought something seemed strange. Dad and L went back and forth and finally he (probably) sighed loudly and got out. Then he saw the lights. And a party.

Heck no, he wasn’t going to crash a party just to check out a space. But he was outnumbered and was shoveled through the door.

SURPRISE!!!!!

The first thing he said: “I’ve got to go apologize to L.”
A surprise party just isn’t the same without a struggle. Love it.

{You can click on the photos to make them larger}
So my parents mingled with old friends and family. Some they’ve seen recently, others… years.

We managed to find the actual priest that married them 40 years ago. Father B. My mom used to think he was cute. I think he looks the same.

As the night went on, each of us girls had our microphone duty. (If a mic isn’t in our hands, we feel naked.)
  • Amy: Introduce Father B. Prayer. Toast.
  • Lisa: Roast.
  • Carolyn: Bouquet and Garter Belt toss.
In that order.

I’ll give you one chance to guess if it was raining that night or not.
A introduced B as planned and he said a really nice prayer for us. I videotaped it all and felt really disrespectful, but at the time didn’t care. I had a job to do.
Then we dug into cake… cake framed by photos of my parents sharing cake on their wedding day. Oh, and nametags.
Thus begins the replicating of their reception:

Look at dad’s face. Oh, how 40 years changes things!


Soon afterwards, the mic duties went south. As soon as the little ones were taken home for bed, L went up to start “the roast”.

Okay.

You need to know my parent’s friends. They are loud, ballsy, funny, and sarcastic.

Well, I guess that’s how they always are in our memories of them hanging out with my parents. You forget how time can change energy level. Because tonight? They were quiet. Maybe the lighting was too bright. Yeah, that was probably it.

A few got up to speak, which we appreciated. Some were poignant and some were, well, confusingly funny.

One person brought up a basketball game in which the guys were playing. The speaker got side-lined with an injury and so the girls (mom) were asked to get ice. Well, they must have spent the majority of the time shopping or something because they didn’t get back until much later. And all the guys yelled at them. But he ended it with…. “and B chewed her out. [pause] They’re just a great couple.”

The segway made me laugh.

I think it made L nervous though because after he sat down, she asked for any more stories. Any one? Any one? (Ferris Bueller).

Nope, no one.

She then had the gall to cut into my mic time and immediately said “Okay!! All the girls get up for the Bridal Toss!” How dare she. But it was okay because we got some audience participation. Everyone stood up! And how appropriate that my mom’s good friend from high school caught it.

Next up? My dad. I couldn’t find a garter belt in time so we had to make do with a ribbon. He seemed to enjoy it.

My cousin’s fiance caught it. Then promptly put it around his head like rambo. Perfect.

Lastly, the first dance (for the second time.) Dad was okay with slow dancing (he always has a good strong arm). But then a fast song came on….

And that’s when his eyes turned red. Well, it could just be red-eye from my camera. But it might not be.

We were so happy to throw this party for B&P. They’ve been such a strong example for us growing up… and now, even more so, now that we know how difficult it is to maintain focus as a couple.

Through hard times, they leaned on each other. Through fun times, they laughed with each other.

Leaning and laughing. That must be the secret.

I’ll have my cake and eat it too, thank you very much.

What does a scottish laird, hurricanes, and wanna-be groupies have in common? Well, normally nothing, except if you’re headed to a Cake concert with my sister and me.
 
It’d been pouring all day by the time my sister arrived in Arkansas and¬†our original plan to go see Cake was in jeopardy. I could easily have snuggled into the couch and finished re-reading my 20th/18th century time travel romance novel, so we went back and forth, debating if we should go or not. There was no word that it had been cancelled by 6:30, so we bundled up and headed out.

I told myself that it was probably raining in 18th century Scotland too, so I wasn’t really missing out on my¬†other written life. We showed up and saw people standing in line for tickets. This show better be good. But has Cake ever put on a bad one?
We huddled and let others stand under our umbrella as long as their backsides faced the wind. Suddenly, a young couple started asking around if anyone would buy their tickets. We bargained them down and they asked for cash. Neither A nor I had any, so I suggested I write a check. They groaned but said okay. As I was writing it out, it occurred to me that I couldn’t remember the last time I wrote a check for anything. How very historical of me. If only I had been using a quill.
 
Finally, we were in! We ran around to find a spot. Our tickets were for the ‘lawn’ area, but managed to get a quick reprieve from the hurricane-like conditions by cutting through the tent area. I felt like a poor child in a Charles Dickens story.. begging for a seat and then getting spat on when they figured out we were lawn trash. We sucked it up and crossed over to the other side, finding a spot near the stage and aaaalmost under the tent. We couldn’t believe our luck. Why was no one standing here? It was perfect!
 
And then we turned around.
Oh, no biggie. Just major electrical equipment running right by our feet. But man, do we have a great view.
 
Halfway through the show, we were hooked up with non-lawn tickets by a guy eyeing my sister and pushed our way through. We¬†are cold, thank you very much now let us through. No time for niceties. No time for getting-to-know-yous, so after A politely brushed off our ticket-bearer’s advances, we walked straight to the front of the stage like we owned the place and started dancing.

Out of the corner of my eye I noticed something red be-bopping around. I turned slowly during Bucket Seats and saw, oh my gosh, the scottish highlander from my novel! Full red beard and pulled-back hair, could it be true?? Did he find the cracked rock and travel 200 years to the future?
So I asked him.
He wasn’t from 1745. He was from 2009 and really loved pot, dropping off demos to record labels, and guessing tree names. The only thing I cared about was the last one, because when the audience was asked what type of tree was on stage, I turned to him for the answer. He said “Japanese Maple”.
 
¬†I turned and raised my hand. Little did I know that my red-headed protagonist was pointing his hand up and down over my head so that I would be called upon. How gallant! So Cake (I’m sure he has a name?) looked down and said “How about you, oh quiet one, in the midst of a loud crowd.”
 
I mean, come ON. Look for that line in a new song.¬†He even used the word ‘oh’ which is the first ingredient for writing poetry.¬†Everyone knows that.
 
 Well, the answer was wrong. It was a peach tree. Whatever. One of my favorite bands just shared with the world the first verse of his next song when he called on me. I think I won in the end.

So, of course we had to time-travel back to when we were twelve and conspire with our new tree-hugging (and incorrectly naming) friends how to get backstage. They had motives too. Remember the demo? My sister found an opening and we (okay, only I had to) squeezed through.
 
 
On the other side, A saw him (Mr. Cake?) walking to his bus. She went up to him and started talking about random things. It was pretty much a great night. And who would’ve thought… the genesis to it all was a historical romance novel?
 

NYE

Some friends came down to our new place and hung out with us on NYE. We had a fantastic time….

We laughed…

We danced…

We sang…

We got defensive…
(I thought this guy was referring to how much I reveal on my blog — yes, everything still revolves around me)

But who knew that New Years Day would be so interesting and frightening. I looked into the eyes of the devil that day, my friends, and survived. More to come.

Prelude to a Friendship.. Part One


The Friendship Face-Off
Okay, so my closest friend, K. (see Iowa post) and I are approaching our ten year anniversary. I decided to dedicate a series of posts to our commemorative meeting sophmore year in Spanish class.. It’s eerie how people can be so close to meeting each other, but never do. Luckily, we talked about ourselves incessantly, and so quickly put together the many pieces leading up to that earth shattering moment. I demanded that K. add her side of the story as well, and have been very bossy in my new role as Editor-in-Chief.

Year: 1997, two years prior to Manolo’s Spanish IV class
Location: TPAC, Topeka KS
Show: Grease

K: My first ‘real’ experience with live theatre was going to a performance of Grease. I loved the movie when I was young —

Carrie: And hasn’t stopped doing the gun-at-the-hips dance move since. Sorry, keep going.
K: So I loved the movie and couldn’t wait to see the musical. My mom, sister, and I drove all the way to Topeka for the big show. We even got to eat at the Red Lobster.. which was a treat since Pinky’s was the only restaurant [a term used very loosely] in Courtland, KS. Nevermind that I ate my weight in shrimp scampi, threw up, and have never eaten there since. But I digress.

We arrived at the theatre, and oh my gosh how exciting it was! The lights, the performers, the music. I was in sensory overload. …And then, they announced that there would be —

Carrie: Wait!! I have to lead up to my experience. My mom won two tickets through her work to go see Grease and I was the lucky child who got to go. I didn’t know if it was because she knew I’d like it or because she felt guilty for forcing me to try out for ‘The Wizard of Oz” a few years prior. [Side note: The role of Dorothy had already been taken and so I was auditioning with 18 ‘little people’. Horrifying.]

K: Isn’t that when you sang “It’s a Grand Ole Flag”? You know… to show off your range?

Carrie: [Carrie rolls her eyes in an attempt to look like she’s annoyed that the detail was brought up, but is secretly glad that the focus is still on her.] Yeah, I didn’t have music. So I took my pre-fetus level piano book and pounded away at the keys while recording myself on a cassette tape. When I got to the audition, the lady did a slightly fancier version and I had no idea it was even the same song. Now I digress.

So we’re in the audience, whey they announce “There will be a Grease Dance-Off starting in a few minutes. Please come up to the stage if you’d like to participate.” A dance off?? Is this a dream?? So I turn to my mom and begin the list of reasons why she needs to do this with me, starting with “Remember when you never let me…” and ending with “..So you owe me this.” —

K:I so wanted to do it… but couldn’t convince anyone to go with me on stage, so I had to settle with watching all the contestants take the stage. That’s when I noticed them. A mother-daughter team…

Carrie: Me!

K: …dancing like they’ve never danced before. I kept my eyes on them, rooting for them all the way.

Carrie: Are you kidding, K? This has never been added to the story before. Don’t feel like you have to embellish for the blog’s sake. I know you were routing for the two 7 year olds. They were so quick on their feet.

K: The contestants slowly began dwindling as team by team were asked to leave the stage.

Carrie: Wait, wait. Now I know you’re either being sarcastic or can’t remember. My mom and I got 5th place. Out of five. It just wasn’t our night, guys. Our arms never really locked into place during the pretzel, and I stepped on her toe during the Cha-Cha.

K: Well, I do remember that you guys danced as if your lives depended on it. Maybe it did, for all I knew.

Carrie: What, like there was a bomb attached to one of us and we couldn’t dance below 55 mph?

K: Well, you do look like Sandra Bullock from the balcony.
… Stay tuned for part two of “Prelude to a Friendship”