Monday, November 25, 2013

Laughter is the Best Medicine

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All too often I've quipped that I've completely lost my marbles, but today marks a first. My Monday to-do list actually includes "Find marbles." Unfortunately, the marbles on the list are a box of marbles that belonged to my grandmother that I need to take to school today for Grace's class Thanksgiving party; I believe the figurative marbles I've lost over the years are gone for good. But it was still a fun chuckle to begin my week.

Speaking of chuckles, I'm dedicating this post to my bloggy-BFF, Dawn from Olive Plants. She is going through one of life's stormy moments right now as she undergoes chemotherapy for lupus, and she recently wrote that laughter is the best medicine. I totally agree with her, and told her that Pioneer Woman had recently reposted The Doughnut Story, the funniest blog post in the history of blogs. If that didn't get her laughing, nothing would. If you've never read that post, please go do so now, because it's that good, and because it sets the stage for the rest of this post. I think I read elsewhere that PW's doughnut episode occurred at a QuikTrip, so in the spirit of laughter is the best medicine, I thought I'd share my own QT embarrassing moment, to give Dawn an extra dose.

Last spring I had a particularly busy afternoon of carting kids to various different locations. Drop Anna off at school for play practice. Drive Ryne to track practice. Pick up Anna from school and then take her to track practice. You know the drill . . . .

During all that driving back and forth between the school and the track (our school doesn't have it's own track, so we practice at one of the public schools), I pass three different QuikTrip gas stations. They are the best gas stations in the area, and when life is crazy, their coffee and drink station causes me to toss self-control out the window. That pretty much means I'm always tempted to stop at QT. ; )

So on that particularly busy day (which was also quite chilly), I decided I must make a caffeine stop. As PW explained, they have every possible flavor of coffee, but they also have this nifty whipped cream machine to top off your already calorie-laden concoction. It's terribly slow and doesn't give out a ton of whipped cream (nothing like what they do at Starbucks), but it's just enough to cool off those first few sips. I usually try to skip the whipped cream, but this time my willpower was extremely low.

All that was left was to pop a lid on the baby and hit the road again. I'm always very careful to make sure that lid gets snapped on all the way, because I certainly don't want coffee all over my car. We kind of treasure that stale french fry smell in our car, so we can't have competing smells going on.

Here's where it all went horribly wrong. As I began to gently affix the lid, a whole side of the cup just collapsed, causing that whipped cream and half of the coffee to shoot straight up in the air through the hole in the lid! I let out a scream as I held the crumpled cup in my hand and realized I was about to be showered with the mixture. It landed right on my head!

There were about half a dozen people around me, preparing their drinks, and I waited for their laughter or even gasps of horror, but there was no reaction at all. It was like they hadn't even noticed! Everyone was just busily fixing their drinks.

I quickly grabbed some napkins and started wiping off my face before anyone really did notice. But then I felt it dripping down inside the back of my sweatshirt and I realized it was worse than I thought, so I left the crumpled cup on the counter and headed for the bathroom.

It was in the bathroom that I realized the full extent of my coffee mishap. My eyebrows looked like they had been penciled in with whipped cream! My hair was streaked with whipped cream! The tip of my pony tail looked like it had been dipped in the stuff! That tiny little dollop of cream apparently multiplies hundredfold once airborne. Cleaning myself up was almost a lost cause. I was able to wash off some of it, but my hair was already hardening into a sticky mess. It was pretty much impossible to get all the stuff that had dripped down my back.

I finally left the bathroom, fixed myself another cup of coffee (you would too, right?!), minus the whipped cream, and headed back to the car as embarrassed as could be, even though (to my knowledge) no one ever did notice what had happened. It was  a very, very long two hours before I was able to take a shower.

Although my QT story is not quite PW caliber, it was one of the most embarrassing moments of my life. I'm not sure it counts since no one even laughed at me, but I suppose posting it online makes it official. : )

I think the only other time I've been more embarrassed was on a cold, winter day in Michigan as a Kindergartener, I forgot to take my boots off before I removed my snow pants and got so stuck I couldn't move. The other kids laughed, but said they'd get the teacher to help me. Instead, I spent the entire morning in the Kindergarten coat room, because no one told the teacher, and she assumed I was sick that day. Ah, memories!

Hopefully that was a good dose of laughter for you, Dawn. To my other readers, I would appreciate you saying a prayer for Dawn and her family. I would also appreciate prayers for another situation -- my sister lost her very best friend over the weekend. What started out as a common cold turned into a deadly blood infection, and now her best friend is gone, leaving behind a husband and two young children. She was like family to my sister, so the grief she is experiencing is terribly hard.

P.S. I totally justified making a stop at QT this morning so I could take the picture for this post. And, no, I did not get the whipped cream. : )

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Meanwhile . . .

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Writing 31 Days of Hymns I Love was such a wonderful experience, but a lot was going on behind the scenes. Lots of cross country meets. Another trip to Denver to help out my dad. A birthday for Grace. In between all that was all the everyday stuff that keeps us moms oh-so-busy.

I've been longing for November where life would finally, after 3 crazy-busy months, slow down a little. But October stole November 1st and made it the busiest day yet. It was Grace's birthday (11!), and Grandparent's Day for the elementary students at school, and the day Marc, Anna, and Ryne were leaving for the last cross country meet of the year. They would be staying at a hotel, so I had to make sure the kids were all packed. Plus, the coach had requested that any photos for the team banquet be turned in that weekend, which meant I needed to send a CD with Marc to give to the coach, which meant that I needed to sort through about 2,000 photos of the various meets before Marc and the kids left (No, they weren't all of my kids!).

I set the alarm for 3:00 a.m. because I still had to make cookies for Grandparent's Day, but for some reason I woke up at 2:00 and couldn't fall back asleep, so I finally gave up and got out of bed at 2:30. While cookies baked, I sorted photos. At 7:00 I begged Marc to take the girls and the cookies to school, while I took a little nap. Then it was back to sorting photos. Finally, I burned the photos to the CD and ran down to Marc who had just backed the car out of the garage. Whew!

Then I ran back upstairs to quickly get ready so I could go serve as greeter at Grandparent's Day. I then said Welcome! about 100 million times, and I'm still having dreams about directing people to the name tag tables. My awesome sister-in-law, Ruth, filled in for Grandma, but I was able to sneak in and watch the presentation. Fifth grade looks like so much fun!

After school I took another short nap and then took Grace out for a birthday dinner and shopping. We had such a fun time, just the two of us!

Saturday should have been full of errands and to-do list tasks, but after Grace's ballet class and a trip to the library I said ENOUGH! and took Grace and the dog to the state park instead. I was so blessed this year to get an extra long look at the fall colors because Denver peaked while I was there (sadly, I didn't take any photos) and then I came home to our colors. Oh, I just adore fall! It was so worth it to ignore the laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, and cleaning to just enjoy God's creation.

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Jasper looks like he has a double-pierced ear, but it was just a couple of stickers.

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This gold leaf on the green moss made me think of my beloved Baylor Bears, who have a 7-0 record and are ranked 5th in the country. Yes, I would have found anything to give me an opportunity to boast. I spent way too many years cheering for a team that never won, to not take advantage of this. : ) Sic 'em Bears!

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Oh, look! It's my green and gold again! This picture does not do it justice, but it was so neat how the green at the bottom of the hill contrasted with the yellow leaves above. 

By the way, did you know that Baylor's school song has a goofy line that goes We'll fling our green and gold afar, to light the ways of time? Marc and I love to make fun of quote that line.

Go Bears!

Okay, I promise, no more Baylor references.

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Rats! I messed up this picture a little, making Grace's silhouette too fuzzy, but I still think it's pretty neat. : )

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Happy Fall!