Last weekend, Chad and I went to walk as a part of Team Brenda in the Walk to Defeat ALS in Greenville. I taught with Ms. Brenda at North Lenoir and I adore her. She's the reason I got my teaching job when we moved to North Carolina. Without her putting in a kind word for me with the principal, I never would have gotten an interview. My application was sitting in a drawer at the county office. (I know, because I had to redo it after he decided to hire me. They couldn't find it anywhere!) Ms. Brenda is the kind of woman who says just what she thinks, and she can get away with it, because everyone loves her. She can tell a high school girl she's dressed like a street walker and the girl will still walk away loving her. She was a phenomenal teacher and she is an inspiring person. I hope that as they continue to research this terrible disease, they can find a cure.
Kaden came with us, too. We drove to Kinston on Friday night, so we wouldn't have to drive as far on Saturday morning. He woke up at 4 a.m., and he was in a killer good mood. He did surprisingly well. He made it through the entire walk, but he started to get pretty whiny while we were waiting for the closing ceremony to start. We had to leave early, but I am so glad we went. I hope Ms. Brenda knows how many people love her!
We were going to drive back to Raleigh on Saturday afternoon, but we decided to make a weekend out of it and stay instead. Chad's parents were on vacation (in LONDON and PARIS! My heart was bleeding with envy!). We had the best time! It seriously felt like we were on a mini-vacation. On Saturday we lazed about and watched HGTV pretty much all day long. Home improvement and house hunting shows were on a continuous circuit. We were inspired with so many project ideas for our future house, so we felt justified in our constant lounging. We all went outside and Kaden played shoot ball and splashed in puddles, while Chad and I washed and vacuumed the car. It had long been needing a cleansing from the layer of cheerios and goldfish embedded in the upholstery. Then, Chad and I had a date night after Kaden went to bed. Chad built a fire in the fire pit, we roasted marshmallows, and made s'mores. There was a huge rainstorm that night, so it made it even more fun being cozy by the fire on the back porch, listening to the rain fall. On Sunday, I raided my sister-in-law's closet for church clothes (something I wish I could do EVERY day of my life. Have you seen her wardrobe? Gorgeous. And her jewelry armoire? Be still my heart). Luckily, she is loving enough to really mean it when she says, "My closet is your closet." I went through the attic and found one of Chad's/Chad's brother's outfits from when they were little for Kaden to wear, and we were golden for sacrament meeting. Then, we came home and relaxed. I experimented with Pinterest recipes, and then we all welcomed Joy and Bruce back from Europe around six in the evening. It was fun to have a visit with them, and then we zipped back to Cary, NC, Lady and the Tramp entertaining Kaden on the portable DVD player all the way home.
Here's the only bad thing about this trip: we slept on my in-law's mattress. Joycious and Brucious recently got a new mattress, and it has been getting rave reviews. Well, let me tell you something: On Saturday morning, I was awakened at an hour of death by a crying toddler. We tried to bring him in bed with us, which was an absolute joke. Friday night's sleep could have been great, had it not been so rudely interrupted. On Sunday, Kaden slept in until after eight, and oh, my. As I told Chad, previous to this, I thought the best sleep of my life had been in the hospital when they gave me Ambien. I was wrong. I spoke too soon. I had no yet experienced a truly blissful sleep. AMAZING. I should be a part of the ad campaign for the mattress company. Why was this lovely night's sleep a bad thing? My sleep upon returning to our own mattress has been somewhat torturous. Tossing. Turning. Dreaming of the king-sized phenomenon I experienced days before. I am, in a word, ruined.
I realized I am thankful for a lot of things this weekend. Watching all of those home improvement shows with Chad made me realize that I am thankful we can see potential in things. If we couldn't, we'd be in a serious fix while house hunting. Spending so much quality time with Chad and Kaden made me realize I am so thankful we are a happy family. We are not a perfect family, by any means, but we are happy, and I love that. I am so thankful I married such a patient, kind man. I am so thankful he is still my best friend, that we still have as much fun talking and laughing together as we did when we were dating. Staying in my in-laws house made me realize I am thankful for them. How many people would feel comfortable crashing at their in-law's house while they are away? Some of you are probably reading this post and thinking it's a little strange that we slept in their bed. (We did change the sheets, and tell them, by the way, lest you think we are completely inconsiderate.) The thing is they are so incredibly hospitable. It's amazing. I am so thankful that I feel so at home with them.
We are going to Kinston this weekend, too, to spend Mother's Day with the family. Sadly, the bed of my dreams will be taken.