It's been a grey and rainy Sunday afternoon, the kind of day that can get you into a downer state of mind. Or make you just want to burrow down into the couch while your husband watches football and your kids run wild around the basement, pretending to be jewel thieves and planning pretend parties.
I may have done the burrowing on the couch thing for a while, working on my bible study and uploading pictures, but I didn't get too far into a downer state of mind.
There are far too many things to be thankful for this weekend.
Namely, that J. and I were able to take a little overnight trip to Louisville to see some college friends of his. We met and went to the horse races at Churchill Downs, and did it up right with tickets into the Turf Club. How fortunate we were to be able to sit for an afternoon and visit while making bets on horses that invariably for J. and I, came in last place. I finally won a tiny bit when I started picking the horses I knew O. and N. would choose. Allie's Event was the big winner, and if I had only trusted Grand Illusion to win, rather than show, we would have done better than break even on that bet.
After the races were over, we headed to dinner downtown, and drinks afterward. It was so fun to be out with other grownups, laughing and posting dumb pictures on Facebook, eight adults in one Honda Odyssey, singing along to Red Solo Cup. So nice to be able to share a night away with my dear husband, so I'm thankful to him for making the arrangements so long ago that there was no question that we would be going.
And of course, thankful to my parents, for watching all three kids and our geriatric dog so that we could get away. It's a process to get all four of them packed up and out of the house, but worth it in the end. (I know, I was questioning it, J. But yes. Worth it.)
While we were gone, they took the kids to the local holiday season kickoff festival, and the parade that goes with it. It was a first for the kids, and they couldn't stop talking about the groups of Cub Scouts, dancing girls, fancy cars with girls in pretty dresses, dogs dressed up, and floats with balloons and other decorations.
They fed them pizza and breadsticks, let them watch a movie, My dad bathed all three, and my mom got up with L. at 3AM so I wouldn't have to, at least for one night.
And if that isn't enought, they devote at least one day a week to me and to all five grandchildren while they are at my house. Because while I love taking care of my nieces, I certainly could not do it alone with my own in the house.
While they are here, by the end of the day, the laundry is folded, the kids' rooms are straightened, (O. always goes in his room on those days and says "Grandpa must have been here!"), the basement is decluttered, and the kids have had more stories read to them and stories listened to than I would be able to stand.
My mom also has been known to wipe out my refrigerator shelves, organize my tupperware, and change sheets on the beds. She knows the preschool songs to sing, teaches the baby new words and tricks, and somehow gets N. to wear socks. My dad hangs pictures and curtain rods, finds homes for bathroom plungers, sweeps off my deck, and manages to walk the dog to the bus stop and back. He teases O. and N., each with their own inside joke/invention. (N.: "I hope Grandpa doesn't try to trick me with a banana again!!")
They are pretty amazing, this pair. I got some of the best in the world with my parents, and for that, I am seriously grateful.