Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Pinterest has nothing on my mom

In the last post, I explained how my dad is cooler than your dad. Today, it’s all about my mom.

My mom is crafty. Not the sneaky, felonious kind of crafty. She’s the “give me a pipe cleaner, some cloth
scraps, three feathers and about 30 minutes; that costume for the school play will be fabulous” kind of crafty. She’s the MacGyver of moms.

More than once, I’ve thought how mom was totally cheated by the fact that Pinterest didn’t exist in the late 1970s-early 80s. She would win Pinterest EVERY DAY with all the cool stuff she whipped up for me back then. I wish I had pictures of all the cool stuff, but back then she was the one with the camera and was way too humble to take pictures of her brilliant creations.

I do, however, have a few pictures and an excellent memory. And my excellent memory tends to categorize Mom’s craftiness into three categories.

Category #1: Awesome Ideas

Mom just always seemed to see better, more kid-point-of-view ways of doing things. Last day of third grade party? Yeah, whatever. Last day of third grade party planned by MY mom? Oh yeah! We actually had the party at our house. She (with manual labor from Dad) had multicolored banners and flags hung up in the back yard along with a couple of mini-trampolines for us to jump away all that excess energy. And for games? Nothing boring like Duck, Duck, Goose. Oh no. We all got a loaded water gun and got to run around soaking each other and yelling like loons.

School lunches were never boring. I had a Donnie and Marie lunchbox. (That’s not really part of the “Mom is awesome” thing, I just wanted to share.) In that Donnie and Marie lunchbox, Mom made sure my napkin always had a joke for me to share with my friends or some funny picture drawn on it.

When my friend Rachel and I wanted to play dress up? She didn’t just pull clothes out of her closet. Oh no. She found a garage sale where a tiny (less than five feet tall) little old lady put some of her old Sunday clothes from the 1950s and 60s up for sale. We had dresses and gloves and proper hats and they were our size (more or less)!

And if you’re my age, you remember records. For you kids born in the last two decades, records were big round flat things that would play music. Sort of like a really delicate mp3. Anyway, did any one of you old folks ever get a record for your birthday or Christmas? You could just look at it and know what it was before you ever unwrapped it…unless it was wrapped by my mom. One Christmas there was a tiny little box under the Christmas tree with my name on it. It weighed almost nothing. I couldn’t imagine what was in it. I had been staring at that tiny little box for WEEKS trying to figure out what it could possibly be by the time Christmas Eve rolled around! It was the first box I went for when we started opening gifts. I ripped into it and found a little piece of paper that said “look under the couch.” Mom had slid Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” LP under the couch. I never had a clue.

Category #2: Costumes

Mom was a pro at making costumes on the fly. She might still be, but I haven’t had to ask her for one for myself in years and quite frankly, if she and Dad do anything that involves costumes, I just really don’t want to know.

Cherokee princess circa 1977-ish

Wonder Woman posing by her plane - circa 1975

And finally, Category #3: My bedroom

I had to save the best for last. In the late 1970s-early 80s, I (like pretty much every other little girl) LOVED rainbows. Actually, I didn’t just love them; I was obsessed with them. They were kinda my thing. If I saw anything with a rainbow on it, I insisted on having it. Despite MY obsession with rainbows, it was Mom’s brilliant idea to give me a rainbow room.  And it was GLORIOUS. And the angels sang.

Mom did her high school geometry teacher proud. She constructed her own compass using a nail, string and a pencil to create perfect arches for the rainbow. And, with wonderful skill that I didn’t inherit, she painted in those perfect arches with perfect accuracy using the brightest, glossiest paints science could create. There wasn’t a wavy line or a smudge to be seen. And it was GLORIOUS. And the angels sang. (p.s., back then, the angels' singing sounded alot like Jessie's Girl by Rick Springfield.)

The rest of my room had pale blue walls. I had a box bed (made by Dad) that was painted pale blue and I even had pale blue carpet. Walking into my room was like walking into Heaven itself. It really was GLORIOUS.

This picture doesn't do justice to the Rainbow Room, but the nostalgia of a Kodak picture makes me happy

Mom and Dad moved away from Andrews in 1998. I don’t really miss my hometown that much, but I really miss that rainbow room.

So, take that, Pinterest. Your minions might be able to turn ketchup bottles into squeeze paint dispensers or show people how to organize their closets ad nauseum, but you will never be able to turn a little girl into Wonder Woman with aluminum foil and an Honor’s graduation cord. And you will never, EVER beat my Rainbow Room. Thanks, Mom.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

My Dad is cooler than your dad

So, yeah. Last week I might have reminisced about college dorm move in and shared with the world (or at least my tens of readers) that my parents snore. LOUDLY. BOTH OF THEM. And yeah, I might be feeling just a smidgeon of guilt for it. So, to assuage (thank you, three years of middle school spelling bees) my guilt, I feel the need to share parent stories that highlight my parents’ complete awesomeness rather than their ear, nose and throat issues. We’ll start with a Dad story.

Flashback to Christmas of 1994: I was a senior in college. (Or at least I was in my fourth year. It took me forever to actually graduate. But that’s a blog for another day.)  I was working for the devil himself at Walmart for minimum wage (which was $4.50/hour back then, FYI). 
Anyhoo, working at Walmart during Christmas time means that you work until about 6:45pm on Christmas Eve, you get one freaking day off on Christmas day and then you go back in to work at 6:45am on December 26th. Thirty-six hours was not enough time to drive home and back, so my parents packed their bags and drove to me. My roommates in the duplex had cleared out for the holidays because they didn’t have soul-sucking retail jobs, so Mom and Dad set up the air mattress in the living room and we had our little family Christmas there.

On the day after Christmas, I got up at a ridiculously early hour to make it to work by 6:45am. Mom and Dad (who were already up and functioning because they’re just weird that way) wished me a good day at work and hung around the duplex or something.

I forgot to mention that I didn’t just work in ANY department at Walmart. Oh no. I worked at the Service Desk. Working at the Service Desk the day after Christmas is brutal. It involves lots of lifting and listening to excuses, and whining. It is the first place people go on December 26th to return and exchange all the crappy gifts their loved ones gave them the day before. Just for the record, NO ONE wants a bread maker, bicycle pump or Mary-Kate and Ashley DVD box set for Christmas.

I finally got to leave work at 6:45pm that day. Twelve hours in a Walmart is enough to make anyone insane. On the way home from work, I was thinking “My mental health could REALLY use a beer right now. Aww, crap. Mom and Dad are here. That’s not going to happen.”

As often happens, I was wrong. I got to the duplex door and was fumbling with my keys when the door magically opened in front of me. And there was my dad. And do you know what he said? He said, “You’ve been gone a long time. I figured you could use this,” and he handed me a beer as I crossed the threshold. And the angels sang. It was one of those cool father-daughter moments. You know…the kind that they should make greeting cards about, but no one at Hallmark is progressive enough to pitch. (Note to self: look into the start up cost of a greeting card company that makes cards for weird people.)

So, in conclusion, Dad (as he had many times before) totally saved the day. To borrow from the kids these days and their complete overuse of punctuation: COOLEST. DAD. EVER.

Dad and me circa August 1976

(On the next episode, I'll share a marvelous Mom memoir....)

Sunday, August 25, 2013

My love/hate relationship with back to school

Tomorrow is the first day of school for the University and all the public schools in the area. I have mixed emotions about this time of year. I don't have kids, so it's not like I'm tearing up at the idea of sending them to school. I have, like with almost everything else I ever talk about, memories that surface with back-to-school each year.

Mostly, I miss the excitement. I was (and still am) a nerd. I loved going back to school. I actually liked the idea of learning something new. And, since I'm being completely honest, I liked showing off what I already knew. "Mrs. Jones, 7+7 is 14. AND, even though you didn't ask, 7x7 is 49." Yes, I was THAT know-it-all kid that ruined the curve and everybody wanted to punch in the neck. Thank you, class of 1991, for NOT ever punching me, even though I realize now I TOTALLY deserved it.

There's so much more to back-to-school than just learning. There's back-to-school SHOPPING. Yes, that annual day long argument with my mom over how many notebooks and pens I actually needed. "But, Mom. I NEED the pens that write in pink AND the ones that write in purple. I know it says 'black or blue' on the supply list, but that's really just a guideline. A starting point, if you will."  Thank you, Mom, for not ever punching me, even though I realize now I TOTALLY deserved it.

Anyway, to this day, I try to stay away from places that sell school supplies because I JUST CAN'T SAY NO. (See Crazy little things that make me happy.) Today, without thinking, I went to Dollar General to buy stuff to unclog the bathtub and left with this:

Who needs anti-depressants when you have pretty comp books? Well, me. But you knew what I was getting at.

The shopping wasn't just limited to school supplies....there was school clothes shopping, too. Mom and I would drive to Odessa, or sometimes get crazy and go all the way to Lubbock, to go school shopping. "All the way to Lubbock" meant a two-hour drive to get to a mall, but it was totally worth it to not show up on the first day of school dressed like anyone else. I learned this lesson early in high school. On the first day of my freshman year, I had on the EXACT SAME shirt as Jodi Rice. I kinda thought it was cool, that I picked the same shirt as an upperclassman. Jodi was less impressed to be dressed like a freshman. Every time we crossed paths, which seemed to be alot, she gave me the evil eye and her body language said "I will hurt you, little fish." I didn't wear that shirt again for two months for fear of being hexed or hazed or socially shunned. Thank you Jodi, for not punching me, because even though I didn't deserve it, I get the feeling you really, really wanted to.

These are the happy memories of back-to-school. New teachers and new stuff are always good things. But there are not-so-happy memories of going back-to-school as well. Not-so-happy memories like how going back to school meant getting back into a routine, which meant getting up TOO FREAKING EARLY because for three of my four high school years I was in the band. And being in band meant being on campus and ready to march by 7:30am. Brutal. Harsh. And when it was marching band season I didn't just play some piddly little instrument that weighed nothing like a trumpet, flute or piccolo. Oh no. I played the xylophone. The second heaviest and bulkiest instrument after the tuba. What the hell had I been thinking?

These days, I don't have to get to campus early for band practice (THANK GOD), but I do have to get up early enough to beat the traffic. In Andrews, you could be anywhere in 7-8 minutes. It doesn't work that way now that I live in a city with more that 220,000 people. Ugh. All these years later and I'm still not a morning person. One of my aunts recently told me that changes as you get older, but I'm 40 now (almost 41), and I figure that if I was going to turn into a morning person, it probably would have happened by now. I'll keep hoping it happens, but I won't hold my breath and I'll keep stocking the fridge with iced tea and Diet Coke.

That's pretty much the only downside for me when it comes to school being back in session. I have to fight not only my natural tendency to sleep late, but also the regular morning traffic AND now the University traffic from all the students who are suddenly back in town. The traffic is really the worst part. Work wise, once classes start, our office gets to take a breath and actually do crazy things like take lunch breaks again.

So, knowing what I know about the first day of school from both sides of the coin, I wish you luck. I hope you have more pretty school supplies than you can ever possibly need, or at least a pen and paper when the professor tells you to "write this down." I hope you have the coolest new clothes of anyone on campus without being dressed like anyone else. And I wish all you band students luck, lots of caffeine and a wonderfully light woodwind instrument.

Oh, and one last thing...I wish all you TTU students have schedules that start with 10am classes so I don't have to share 19th street with you tomorrow morning.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The math of college dorm move in weekend. aka PTSD and cookies

When you work at a university, the weekend that the Housing office opens up the dorms for student move-in is a big deal. It’s one part social event and three parts work, work, work. For us, it means no real weekend because we work Saturday and Sunday.  We put out cookies and lemonade and we put on our best smiles. (For an office like the tuition billing office, cookies=big time party. We kinda have a reputation for being boring. A well-earned reputation for being boring.) Anyhoo, the office is crazy busy, but somehow it’s still fun.

Across the rest of the University, local radio stations do remote broadcasts from campus, the cheerleaders and mascot greet folks as they drive onto campus, there’s food and drinks everywhere (non-alcoholic drinks unfortunately) and the University president makes a few appearances and shakes alot of hands. (I’ve always wondered how much he spends on hand sanitizer each semester.)

For the students (and their parents) it’s the same mix of social event and work. They’re greeted like royalty by cheerleaders and blaring music and given the aforementioned punch and cookies when they check in. And then they carry everything they own in the Texas and August heat and try to cram it into a tiny dorm room.

It’s a stressful time for students and parents that is a perfect formula for family meltdown. Mathematically/scientifically, I would imagine it goes something like this:

(A + B  + C) x D = X


A= Number of parents trying to hide emotion of letting child move away and have some independence

B = Number  of 18/19-year-old kids dying to have some independence while secretly terrified about going to college (can I make the grades/will I find some friends/Dear God don’t let me be a social outcast) while also trying to look cool carrying their stuff that includes a pillow in a Star Wars/Little Mermaid pillowcase  

C = Number of bored siblings along for the ride who constantly cry/complain

D = The temperature outside (which has been around 100 every day this week)

X = Potential for casualties when tempers finally erupt. increases exponentially as X increases

You may think I’m exaggerating on how bad things can get, but I’m not. My own personal college dorm move in weekend was 22 years ago (Dear God, I’m getting old) and I still have flashbacks to it every year when I work dorm move in weekend as a University staff member. Think of it as Back-to-School PTSD.

Anyway, I had chosen a college 8 hours away from home. We packed everything up in my car and my parents’ car and hit the road. Since it was so far, we got there in time to have some dinner, check into a hotel and get to bed. We were excited but tired, and already a little stressed. (Or at least I know I was.)

Our  hotel room was the kind with two queen beds: Mom and Dad in one and me in the other. As previously mentioned was a little nervous about the next day...which means I was terrified. We were going to quickly move my stuff in, not even unpack it,  because I was heading out the same day for freshman camp...aka 3-4 days of skits and “ice breakers” and crafts and school traditions and all manner of wonderful ridiculousness. Anyway, since I was kinda stressed about the next day, I couldn’t go to sleep right away. Mom and Dad, however, had no issues sleeping. They passed out as soon as their heads hit the pillows...and then they started snoring. LOUDLY. BOTH OF THEM.

There was no hope of going to sleep once the snoring started, but I tried. I really tried. At first I covered my head with the pillow. But then breathing became an issue.

I went into the bathroom and attempted laying in the tub, but it was too small and the spigot dripped.

Around 3am I remembered that my boom box (this was long before iPods and smartphones) and headphones were in my car and snuck out to the parking lot for them. Even that didn’t help. I considered sleeping in my car in the hotel parking lot, but I’d seen enough Lifetime movies to know that that was a bad idea.

By the time it was time to get up, I hadn’t slept at all. I was (more) stressed, in tears and ridiculously pissed off at my parents when it was time to start moving in. I know they couldn’t help that they snored, and they wouldn’t have ever stressed me out on purpose, but I had to direct my anger somewhere and they were the target. Add to that high heat and humidity that none of us were used to, and I was not a pleasant person to be around. I’m sure every time Mom or Dad said a word to me that day I bit their heads off. To my parents’ credit, they were alot more chilled out than I was and didn’t strangle me the way they totally should have.

Eventually, we got everything into my tiny little room and we said our goodbyes so I could go on to catch the camp bus. I stood in my dorm room by myself for just a bit. I confess I cried for a couple of minutes. And I confess that I cried for the fact I that was glad they had gone and I was finally “on my own”. And I cried for the fact that I was terrified and sad they were gone and I was finally “on my own”. (I use “on my own” in quotes because that’s what I thought back then, but clearly living in a dorm room that was paid for by my parents doesn’t actually constitute being “on my own.”)

And that crazy mix of fear/stress/excitement is what’s going on in the minds of most students when they move into the dorms for the first time, or it’s at least in the minds of the students smart enough to be worried. And probably something similar is in the minds of the parents, but with the added stress of paying for the whole thing.

And that’s why we make move in weekend a party. We know it’s stressful on so many levels. We know there’s more to it than just moving stuff. And we want everyone to survive looking better than this:

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Happy Left-Handers Day! Now listen to me rant a little.

Today is International Lefthanders Day! Every year I announce this to my friends and co-workers with glee. And every year the lefties give me a left-handed high five of solidarity. And the righties look at us like we’re nuts. (In all fairness, I sorta am nuts.) And then I feel like I have to explain to the righties that they have NO IDEA how much we lefties have to deal with that righties don’t notice and take for granted. Things like…
Scissors. I am so grateful that today’s scissors are ambidextrous-friendly. I remember being in art class in elementary school when we still used clunky metal scissors. There always seemed to be 3 or 4 lefties and only one pair of lefty scissors. Things tended to get ugly.  I still have handmade-Valentine-related PTSD. As an adult, when I see a pair of scissors labeled “cuts left or right”, I have to stop myself from buying them. I don’t always succeed though…I have 6 pairs of scissors at home. 

The Rock and I cutting up.

Pencil sharpeners. In first grade we had a desk-mounted, hand-crank pencil sharpener. Righties would put the pencil in with their left hand and turn the crank with the right. But little 1st-grade me wasn’t strong or coordinated enough to turn the crank with my right hand. I had to go to the other side of the desk, lean across the desk, put the pencil in with my right hand and turn the crank backwards with my right. It’s good I was only 6, or it would have looked like I was intentionally bending over the desk to show off my girly parts.

Mice. (The computer kind. Not the rodent kind.) They are always defaulted to righty. Even if you change the computer’s settings to make your mouse lefty-friendly, there are issues. One – that some mice are specifically shaped to fit a right hand, and your office supply clerk will not see getting you a lefty-friendly mouse as a "legitimate business expense."  Two -  that while the computer is booting up, the mouse will only work righty. You have to get booted up and logged in before the mouse works lefty. It’s just rude.

Decorative mugs. Have a coffee mug with your fraternity logo or that cute picture of your kids? If you’re a righty, you likely see your smiling offspring every time you take a sip. If you’re a lefty, you see the blank boring side of the mug. I’m thinking of buying a Ke$ha coffee mug  that I can use to mess with my co-worker Mary. Mary ABSOLUTELY hates Ke$ha and since I would use my left hand to lift said mug, she would be  the one who had to see the glitter-coated pop star.

Can openers. Seriously annoying. I’ve decided to stop cooking altogether to avoid this problem.

Trigger-style ice cream scoops. I just can’t use them. I have to scoop with my left hand, but that puts the trigger at my pinky. My pinky is not strong enough to squeeze the trigger. And it’s ridiculous to switch hands just to squeeze the trigger. The solution: just eat the ice cream directly from the carton.

Spiral notebooks and 3-ring binders. By the time I get my fist far enough to the left that my fist is not laying on the spiral or rings, I’m writing on the middle of the paper. 

And finally, inky/pencil lead hand. Messy, messy, messy.

But, despite all the things that we lefties have to overcome, we still manage to be awesome. Or at least, I still manage to be awesome. And exceptionally modest and humble. 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

When the funny stops, I give away all my kisses.

If you didn't know any better, you might think my co-worker Olivia just called me a slut.

Working in the tuition and fee office two weeks before classes start at a major university has it's moments. Sometimes those moments are funny, like when we saw a guy running around outside wearing nothing but basketball shorts and a Michael Meyers Halloween-style hockey mask.

Or when we saw another kid wearing Sponge Bob Squarepants pajama bottoms smoking a Sherlock Holmes-style pipe.

Or when I met Sponge Bob himself at the football stadium.

He didn't really have on pants at all. Square or otherwise.

Or when I found THIS outside of one of the guys' dormitories.

This made my heart happy.

Or when I came across this fast food crime scene by one of the academic buildings:

CSI: TX, Whataburger Edition

But sometimes the times here are not funny. I don't take pictures of the not-funny moments. Because those moments usually aren't pretty. And I don't want to be the paparazzo that some student goes all Kanye on.

Anyway, when those not-so-funny moments come around, sometimes we just a need a hug. And sometimes we need a kiss. I give out kisses on the rough days. And after this week, I'm almost out.

Less than a dozen kisses left. And The Rock.

Shame on you. I know what you were thinking. And no, I don't give THOSE kisses away. Unless The Rock was involved....

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Crazy little things that make me happy

A while back, I posted a list of things that make me irrationally pissed off. Today, I'm in a much more "glass half full" frame of mind and I'm thinking of the little things that make me happy. They include, but are in no way limited to, the following:

  • Fancy school supplies - matching composition books and mechanical pencils make my heart skip a beat
  •  Chuck Taylors by Converse
  • The movie "A Knight's Tale" - Funny and entertaining with a very cute young Heath Ledger. I bet I've seen it a hundred times, but I still stop flipping channels if I come across it on TV. (watching it now)
  • Molly Harper's books - especially the Jane Jameson series. Laugh out loud fun
  • Live music - not much to explain about this
  • Snow days -sitting on a couch, wrapped in a blanket, reading 
  • Going to the movies - popcorn is a MUST
  • Spending time with family and friends
  • The song "Jessie's Girl" b Rick Springfield
  • Sonic Happy Hour
  • Brand new episodes of The Walking Dead
  • Birthday cake
  • My cousins' and friends' kids - as long as I'm not expected to babysit
  • People who have nodded their heads and thought "me too" to a least one thing on this list

I know I've missed so many things. But sometimes, I don't realize something is going to make me happy until I see it, or it happens.

What are the crazy little things that make you happy?

Saturday, August 3, 2013

My 29-hour weekend

I managed to cram a weekend into 29 hours with four of my favorite people on the planet.

Yesterday (I can't believe it was just yesterday), I took off work at noon. I got home, got girlied-up (or as girlied-up as I get) and packed a bag. My friend Shawna (fave person #1 for the weekend) picked me up, we stopped at Sonic for Route 44 caffeine boosters and hit the road for my parents' house (fave persons #2 & #3 for the weekend). Our friend Lori (fave person #4) met us at my folks' place and then all five of us loaded up in Dad's pickup and headed to Roscoe, Texas (population 1,328).

There's a place in Roscoe called the Lumberyard (it used to be a lumberyard - imagine that) that is a beer and burger joint with a big outside area where they bring in bands to play. For a town that small, they manage to get some good bands. Last night's headliner was PAT GREEN. I love me some PAT GREEN.

His picture is on the ticket! So adorable.

We got to the Lumberyard plenty early to have some burgers (yummy carbolicious hamburger buns and tiny little cups of tea) and to make sure to get a good spot so we could park our lawn chairs in the shade. It was about 6:30 at that point and about as hot as the entrance to hell, because this is Texas in August. The Weather Service said it was only 98 degrees, but I think they just said that to mock me. And yes, in Texas in August we say "only 98 degrees" because typically we're in the triple digits by the first of August. It's one of those weird Texas things. When we're talking to other Texans about triple-degree heat, we complain, but when we talk about it to non-Texans (bless their hearts), it's almost a point of pride, like "You call that three days of 94 degrees in Boston a heat wave? We were at 107 for twelve days in a row last summer." Things aren't just bigger in Texas, they're hotter, because we're badasses and just so damn Texan. Even I brag about being able to survive the Texas heat (I just happen to leave out the part that I survive in an air-conditioned office from 8-5 and a very-well-air-conditioned apartment once I'm home.)

But I digress...The show didn't even start until about 8:30 when the opening band came on, so we pretty much just sat there and sweat and drank beer and critiqued everyone's outfits as they walked past (we were right by the entrance, so it was like being at a redneck fashion show. I've never seen so many short shorts and boots in one place. On girls who should NOT have been wearing short shorts. But that's a post for another day).

Dad and Mom looking pretty cool in the heat.

Shawna, me and Lori enjoying our beverages.

Anyhoo, back to my story. Finally, the opening act was done and PAT GREEN came on. Shawna, Lori and I went right up front and sang along at the top of our lungs to the first two songs. It was awesome. And even hotter because of all the people (and probably the proximity to Pat Green). 

Shawna, me, Lori and Pat Green in the background. Wish my photo editing skills included removing guys with red Polo caps on their big ol' melons.

When the concert was over we were happy, sweaty, a little hungry and still up for fun, so we went back to where my parents live and hit the local place that does karaoke and sells snacks. We had ice cream and Shawna and I did a rocking, if not entirely tuneful, version of Blondie's "One Way or Another." And then it was time to head to Mom and Dad's house for some shut eye.

This morning began with Mom making the BEST BREAKFAST IN THE WORLD - her famous sausage balls. In case you're wondering what Heaven tastes like, it tastes like breakfast sausage, cheese, Bisquick and Mom's love baked into bite-sized wonderfulness.

After breakfast, we watched a cute-but-lame Hallmark movie and did some visiting. Mom, Shawna and Lori talked about cooking...alot. I think Mom enjoyed having someone around that was interested in talking about recipes. Suddenly, it was lunchtime and Dad grilled up some yummy chicken fajitas. They were so good and had Dad and Lori talking about recipes. I didn't think to get a picture of the fajitas because we all just kinda dived in. 

Not long after lunch, Shawna, Lori and I all headed for home. I was back on my couch and ready for a nap by 5pm. It was the best 29 hours I've had in quite awhile. 

Now I just need about 29 hours to recover.