Our Quick Trip

We went to Walmart today, because we were out of everything.

Seriously.  The only things left in our refrigerator were the light bulb and some plastic shelving.  And yet, interestingly enough, I still found myself opening the refrigerator door umpteen and six more times this morning, looking for something for breakfast that wasn’t creamless coffee.

Open the door.

It’s empty.

Close the door.

Ten minutes later, open the door.

It’s still empty.

Close the door.

Apparently I believed that one of the times I’d open that door and find every manner of already-made, strawberries-and-pecans-and-spinach-oh-my!!-salad, and chicken salad for sandwiches, and real half-and-half for my coffee, and a roast that only needed to be thrown into a crockpot to produce a meal worthy enough for the Pioneer Woman.  It didn’t work out that way.  Sadly, it worked out exactly the way where I have to go to Walmart, fight the crazy crowds, and buy my own ingredients to make real meals around here, because no one is ever fully satisfied with Orville Redenbacher’s microwavable goodness for supper.

Our entire family went.

We filled up an entire cart.

And then we had the slowest checker known to mankind.  At one point, she was picking a One-Dollar-Off-Right-Now coupon off of my bottle of shampoo, while she kept mumbling, “I’ve trimmed my nails too short, and can’t get this.”  And yet PERSISTENCE is her middle name, so she continued.

Scratch with the fingernail.

Nothing.

Scratch with the fingernail.

Nothing.

Pick at the corner.

Nothing.

Pick at the corner.

Nothing.

Finally, Hubs announced, “It’s okay!  Leave it!  We don’t want to use that coupon!”

She smiled at Hubs so sweetly and said, “But this is genuinely a fantastic coupon!  It’s an ENTIRE DOLLAR OFF!  I’ll keep trying.”

Pick.

Nothing.

Pick.

Nothing.

And then, when I had completely given up hope of being back home with our groceries before our milk turned chunky and sour, the shampoo bottle gave up its hold on the coupon.  It was scanned.  Our bill was reduced by an entire buck.

And it only took twelve extra minutes.

That’s the kind of fun we had today, but it’s all because we’ve just returned from a whirlwind trip to Major Thriving Metropolis, where we visited friends and shopped at outlet malls and played games and sipped coffee in the early morning while we talked and laughed…

… and then we came home to an empty fridge.

Since Major Thriving Metropolis is more than six hours away from us, some of our passengers looked like THIS on the way down:

IMG_7049This was actually a blessing, because DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY QUESTIONS A FOUR-YEAR-OLD CAN ASK WHEN HE’S STRAPPED INTO A CARSEAT FOR HOURS AND HOURS?

The answer is MORE THAN INFINITY QUESTIONS.

More than INFINITY, people!!!

We spent some time with our friends, John and Peggy, at their new house.  Peggy made a cabbage salad that has forever changed my life, because OH, MY WORD!  It was so good, I heaped my plate full again, and regretted it instantly.  I thought my stomach might explode, but I couldn’t get enough of it.

And then we went outside to Peg’s beautifully landscaped backyard to play corn hole with Peggy and John, and Greg and Jenna.  This is a photograph of Hubs and I playing:

670px-Keep-Score-for-a-Cornhole-Game-Step-6My ponytail was completely ON POINT, as I celebrated a mane of great beauty this weekend.

I was a corn hole beginner… as in, I had never, ever, not-even-once played it before.  The object is to throw beanbags at a sloped board, with some great hopes of dropping a bag straight into the hole.

Apparently, that’s how you earn the most points, but listen:  It was summer vacation, so I couldn’t be troubled with doing all the math necessary to calculate who was winning and who wasn’t.  All  you need to know is that I THOUGHT my Olympic-level softball skills would come in quite handy, launching me straight to the gold medal podium, but Jenna and I managed to lose to Hubs and Greg, by a score of 4 to 21.

Who knew that being a trained, softball professional is not the same as being a corn hole winner?

It’s our opinion that Hubs and Greg deflated their beanbags, in a New England Patriots sort of way, which caused the bags to land quite accurately in the holes.  A full investigation is scheduled, which may eliminate them from Professional Corn Hole tournaments for the next season.

Peggy is also a Corn Hole Champion.  We suspect that she’s been secretly practicing the game in her basement, when the Corn Hole Civilians aren’t looking.

In other words, everyone could slide those beanbags straight to Big Points Glory…

… except me…

… and also Jenna.

I suspect that neither one of us is going to be a first-pick in the Corn Hole Draft.

Anyway.

What you really need to know is that I adore Peggy, and her spiritual gift is making folks feel welcome at her house.  The sheets on the bed smelled like sunshine and fresh bleach; the bath towels were so fluffy, spas that cater to the rich and famous had nothing on them.  Add to this the fact that John kept taking Thing 2 by the hand to head out to watch airplanes land at a nearby military base, leaving me some downtime with Peg, and you have the perfect little getaway.

After that, we got to spend some time with my friend, Carrie.  Carrie’s spiritual gift is also making people feel loved and welcome in her presence.  She’s bubbly and fun; she tells the best stories and glows with happiness.  She hugged us tight and showed us what fantastic hamburgers in Major Thriving Metropolis look like.

It also doesn’t hurt that Keith and Carrie’s boys are… well… THE CUTEST things (next to my own children).

They also have similar methods involved with dressing themselves.  I’d like to present the next snapshot as Exhibit A.

IMG_7050Thing 2 wears cowboy boots with his gym shorts, while Kellan wears one orange sock and one black sock.

We believe them to be two of the most eligible bachelors this side of the Mississippi River, but their future wives may have to stage a fashion intervention for them.

IMG_7055 IMG_7057The honest truth is that these are THE ONLY snapshots I took on our quick trip.

I know!!

It’s like I don’t even know myself!!  Who was that girl that took NO PICTURES this weekend?!

Our trip was ENTIRELY too short and quick.  Carrie and Peggy are two girls I thoroughly enjoy.  I’m forever finding myself wishing I could buy a house on Peg’s street or in Carrie’s cul de sac, so that we wouldn’t have to hug goodbye at the end of the weekend.

But, the hugs happened.

And then Carrie filled the back of our vehicle with boxes of hand-me-down clothes for Thing 2, which was exactly like Christmas in July.  Carrie dresses her boys so adorably, that I always count my blessings that… SO FAR… Thing 2 has remained one full size behind Kellan.  Sadly, I think the Incredible Hulk is about to surpass Kellan soon.  Five-year-old Kellan is lean and built for winning long distance races.  Four-year-old Thing 2 is built for throwing someone’s sofa onto his back while he helps them move, as he asks, “This goes up to your new apartment?  On the seventh floor?  I’ll take the stairs with it.”

We headed for home yesterday evening, while it was only 103 degrees outside.  We had hours of driving in front of us.  Carrie made sure to text THESE pictures to me:

IMG_7064 IMG_7069They JUST KEPT SWIMMING, JUST KEPT SWIMMING, while we JUST KEPT DRIVING, JUST KEPT DRIVING.

The return pictures I sent to her looked exactly like this one:

IMG_7063SOMEONE was a touch worn out last night.

We had one incredibly fun, long weekend, but I won’t lie.  There’s just something very dear to my heart when we finally pulled into our driveway, when we were HOME.

Home is a very good place to be…

… but it’s precious when you have friends who make you feel like you’re at home when you’re with them, too.

I think it’s how Hubs felt, when he realized that I was buying groceries today.  Apparently, making someone feel at home goes hand-in-hand with having something other than air in the house for them to eat.

Happy Monday, people.

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