What do busy people like us do on the weekend? Rest. Oh, and brunches and birthday parties and movie nights and church meetings.
Technically, the first brunch was on Thursday morning. A friend of mine wanted to do something for the new people in our ward, so I said, “Hey, let’s do breakfast at my house.” It was more selfish than it sounds; I wanted it to be early so I could plan fun around Ben’s nap schedule. We started at 9:30 and the stragglers stayed until about noon. We had waffles and fruit and 14 women and 9 toddlers. I realized that I am much happier and more functional when I surround myself with people. I had been grumpy earlier in the week and after a few hours with gabbing women, I felt like myself again.
Friday after school, we headed to Dunwoody for Levi’s birthday party. Gavin had a blast with his 5-year-old friends, and since the party was in the backyard, and only an hour, most everyone (including older and younger siblings) had stayed to play in the sandbox or on the trampoline. The only problem was Megan’s insistence on joining the party. I was too busy chasing Benny to notice her commandeering the scavenger hunt or the pinata. Until it was too late. Hopefully, Levi’s parents still like us. Because we sure like them.
Friday night a couple from the ward were showing a movie. We sat in the driveway and Avatar was projected on their garage door. I think the evening would have been more fun if we could have just stood around and chatted, like we did before the movie started. As is was, there wasn’t a lot of social interaction going on, and as the movie progressed, the young couples (with babysitters on the clock) left, one by one.
Saturday morning we were exhausted and relaxed and did chores around the house. Our apartment building hosted their monthly catered brunch, which Megan says is the “best food in all of Atlanta.” In the afternoon, we watched some football and Christopher had a short meeting to go to. I sent Megan to a birthday party for a girl in our building, down at the pool. I noticed quickly that all the moms had stayed and were having just as much fun as the little girls. When Christopher got home I joined the party and let finish cooking the dinner and feed the boys. To add insult to injury, the party ended at 6:30, and I had to leave at 6:45 for our bi-annual Relief Society General Meeting. I walked in the door, threw a skirt on, and blew a kiss as I locked the door behind me. Don’t I have such a good husband?
At the church, we had a small dinner with soups and homemade bread, then watched the meeting, broadcast from Salt Lake City. I thought the meeting started kind of slow, with a talk about the history of Relief Society, but it ended with a really stellar talk by President Monson about not judging others and having charity. I sat next to Anne, who grew up half a mile from me. We went to the same schools and had the same piano teacher, and a few months ago she moved to Atlanta, married for two years and pregnant with her first baby (a boy!), and decided she’s going to become a Mormon and raise her kids in the church. Her husband is on board (he went to church on and off again as a teenager) and it’s been really fun watching their spiritual journey. Talk about a missionary opportunity falling in your lap. Anyway, it was fun to watch the meeting through Anne’s eyes. I take for granted all the gospel knowledge I’ve accumulated, being born and raised as a Latter-day Saint. It’s interesting to think, “What would I think if I had never heard this before?” and it helps me to ponder my relationship with the Savior, with the scriptures, with my family, and with everyone around me in a new light. Anne is getting baptized soon, so that will be a special occasion.
Anne and Gerald came over for dinner tonight, and the missionaries joined us as well. I made a Southern dinner — barbecue pork, mac & cheese, field peas. It tasted okay, not even close to Grandma’s. I made the mac & cheese with skim milk and the field peas with no bacon, so that was the fail. Anne brought a homemade apple pie and it was delicious. The kids were loud, as usual. Benjamin was exhausting but hilarious. That kid was putting on a show.
After dessert, we kicked the missionaries out (they seem so young now!) and put the kids to bed so we could have a little bit of quiet time to chat, and that was nice. It didn’t last too long, since Anne had to get to bed. She teaches elementary school special ed.
As Anne and Gerald were leaving, Christopher checked on Gavin and we all laughed when we saw him sound asleep, still clutching a large book.
Gavin is my favorite kid to take sleeping pictures of