Sweet Home Alabama

To be perfectly honest with you, I was dreading this trip.  Not because of the unfamiliarity of J’s grandparents’ house in Opelika.  Not because of boredom that comes with sitting and visiting with random extended relatives.  Not because of the endless hours that I would have to spend entertaining our children.

It was because I was afraid.

I have a picture in my mind of J’s grandparents how they were 15 years ago when we visited them on a college break.  It’s a funny, loving, quirky picture.  A picture of a spry elderly couple quick to give you a hug, ask you how your momma is doing and serve you a huge piece of homemade chocolate cake.

But I knew that those were not the same people that we would be visiting when we made our trip north to Alabama last weekend.

Old age is a bitch.

It scares me.

It robs you of your memories, your mobility, your faculties.  It takes everything away.

I knew that we would see a shadows of the people we once knew.  A man who still patted his wife on the behind and told her that he loved her.  A wife who stilled squealed and swatted him away with a dishtowel and a hearty “Go away, Phil.”  I knew old age had robbed them of their playfulness and quick wit.  And, selfishly, I didn’t want to face it.

But I knew I had to go.  For J, I would go.  For my children, I would go.  And I’m glad I did.

While I was sad to see that Grandpa now sits expressionless, motionless for long periods of time.  There were moments, however brief, where I saw the light come back into his eyes.  He was still in there somewhere.  That warmhearted man I remembered.  I was so glad to see him.

Granny is still as charming as ever even though her mobility has deteriorated to almost nothing and her body has shrunken down to a paltry 96 pounds.  I could hold a conversation with her about my mom, the kids, etc.  It was so nice.

I know in my heart that this was the last time that I will see them.  That fact brings a tear to my eyes.  They are a wonderful couple who welcomed me into their family with open arms.  I have jokingly told J many times that I think his grandparents are way cooler and more fun than his parents.

Between you and me, it really was not a joke.   🙂


Galactic Blast

Wildman participated in Vacation Bible School at the church where he went to preschool.  Can you see him with his mouth wide open in the front row?  He was at the church every morning from 9-noon eating healthy space-themed snacks like Pop Rocks on green sherbet…  I joke about it because the preschool is super concerned with providing the healthiest of snacks to the children.  The VBS staff?  Not so much…  The more sugar the better.  The kids, of course, love it!

The church volunteers go all out to make the VBS experience as amazing as possible.  This year was no exception with the Galactic Blast theme.  The highlight of the finale program was the “lift off” of a huge model rocket.  It didn’t really leave the stage but it was impressive nonetheless with blinking lights and smoke.

I was happy to see that Wildman had such a great time.  He did all of the choreography for all of the songs in the program.  He even insisted on giving me a preview in our living room earlier in the week.  We cranked the Galactic Blast CD up and rocked out 🙂


This is the best part of our summertime Wednesdays as far as my children are concerned.  They get to have a gross motor extravaganza at the Tumbleweeds gym.  I so wish that we parents were allowed in there to bounce around and jump into the foam pit.  Doesn’t that look fun?!

I wasn’t sure if gymnastics was the right sport for the boys when I was looking into summer activities for them.  I didn’t want them to feel that gymnastics were too girly, which they’re not, but it seems like a greater proportion of girls enroll in gymnastics than boys.  We went over to the gym one Saturday to check it out and the boys were fascinated by all the activity going on.  So, I signed them up.  I’m willing to let them try anything (within reason) once.

As it turns out, it was a perfect choice!  Wildman and Cutie Pie want to stay at the gym all day.  They love it!  The best part for me is that they can be in the same class.  In fact, the class is made up of only 4 children.  Half are mine and half are my friend, B’s!  We sit behind the glass watching our kids and chatting about life.

If only I can figure out a way to swing into that foam pit…

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