Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Weekending with Parents and Unicorns

I took testimony all day today and have two more witnesses to take over the next two days and the country feels like it's falling apart and I'm very constrained in how I can talk about it so I keep sending money to every charity my immigration attorneys recommend and I switched to another new medication last night when I finally reached a breaking point after waking up at THREE-TWENTY-FOUR-AM every morning for the last seven days unable to fall back asleep again (always 3-f'ing-24, always!) and I slept in a solid block from 11:08 p.m. last night to 6:35 a.m. this morning and I woke up feeling nearly high I felt so not nearly dead, so we're ending this sentence on a positive note. But mostly, I want to address that it feels weird to write about the wonderfulness of the weekend when I am also reading accounts of what fellow attorney friends are seeing at the border. It breaks my heart and at times overwhelms me. Because of my job, what I can do is read about it, support my friends who are helping, and donate to the first responders- legal and otherwise- and so that is what I'm doing. I hope that those readers who feel called to do something have found a way to do what they can; if not, this article has good ideas.

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And now, before I go to bed and get what is hopefully another beautiful block of uninterrupted sleep (despite the fact that the latest Ilona Andrews book Iron Magic downloaded to my kindle early this morning and I desperately want to read it but am trying to be an adult person who makes responsible decisions like not reading until 5 a.m. when I have testimony the next day), we go back to the weekend.

That is what my master bedroom looked like the day before my parents were to come and the weekend was set to begin. Our original master bedroom was old, awful carpet we meant to replace for 6 years. We finally replaced it three weeks ago and it was great. Until three weeks minus 1 day ago when the first plank buckled up. Then more, then more, until we had 12 little mountains popping up in random places all over our room for you to trip over. Then something went wrong with the re-install so we ended up sleeping in Landon's room and hoping VERY MUCH that the project was finished Friday morning because my parents were coming that night.

(It was finished, but I had to take off the afternoon to clean and organize things because obviously I did.)

Also on Friday Cora wore this outfit to school and took Claire's lunchbox because it matched her dress and her friend Scarlett's thank-you note she had carried to school every day that week because "wasn't it so nice of Scarlett mommy? wasn't it SO NICE?". Scarlett's dad, who happens to own and run Cora's school, said that Cora somehow turned a thank you note that all her classmates received into a sacred object and would allow each friend to hold it for a few minutes a day before giving it back. She is on Night 10 of sleeping with it as I type.

A giant box came in the mail for Landon. It was his birthday present from my parents and I told him it was a unicorn. His face froze and you could tell he was not to be rude and show excitement while also still a little skeptical. "Like, really a unicorn? Like a stuffed one? ... That could be cool I guess."

I took the kids to their first summer league swim practice (we're terrible team members, but James already coaches them 3x a week and with all day athletic camps they really don't need more swimming than that) Friday after work and melted on the pool deck. I forgot how hot outdoor concrete surrounded pools can be. My backyard with its shade and constant breezes and proximity to a beer fridge and margarita section of our pantry is really SO MUCH better. I sweated MUCH, the kids swam, and Cora was delighted to have accidentally matched her bestie.

Claire had been at half-day running camp all week and capped off her Friday with a trip to Top Golf with friends before swimming while Landon had been at all-day TCU basketball Monday through Thursday (plus three evening swim practices) and ended his week watching Black Panther with a friend. I think we maybe finally made him almost tired. Until he went to swim practice and swam 128 lengths of the pool for the swim a thon to beat his old record.


Post-swim-practice I took my sweaty self and my tired children to our local taco place with friends for a frozen margarita and queso to restore my life force and give my children a snack before my parents arrived and we ate a late pasta dinner. It was delicious (the taco place and my pasta dinner) and we were delighted to have my parents in town. On Saturday morning we left bright and early for our swim meet, where I took 0 pictures but my parents relived our summer league childhood memories and cheered for all of Team Lag Liv. Landon read Unbroken for the 6th time, Claire packed WAY too many mismatched toys she didn't play with (and failed to pack a towel), and Cora and her bestie also did makeovers. Your usual summer league shenanigans.

After the meet we headed back to our house where everyone obviously swam again. And by "everyone" I mean my dad and all the kids.

My mom and I "swam" in the shallow end.

And my dad showed he's still the guy who always threw kids around in the pool. Even 82 lb. grandchildren.

After swimming Landon got to open his birthday present early because he was still somewhat concerned about the unicorn situation and also it was from my parents and they were present and I wasn't sure what I'd do with the giant box for three weeks until his actual birthday. To Cora's dismay and Landon's delight his present was NOT a unicorn, but was instead a much desired bean bag chair so he can read in a new location. It has already been put to much use.

(pic from last night, reading The Diary of Anne Frank, an important and heartbreaking story not quite as purely historical as one would wish.)

We played a bunch of games and generally hung out until it was time for dinner! A dinner my parents were treating us to to celebrate James's new patent! He got to choose the location which you think would be easy for someone who loves food so much but you would be WRONG because he loves food SO much it is absolute AGONY to decide on a location to eat it. Agony. Every time. It drives me bonkers. But finally, after hours of mental deliberations, he chose HG Sply Co and it was delicious and perfect.

My parents loved it.

And the kids did too.

I ordered a new thing that is now my new FAVORITE thing (it involved poblano-cauliflower “grits,” sautéed rainbow chard with mushrooms, caramelized onion & herb salad, an over easy egg, and sliced akaushi beef, holy crap it was so good) and a frozen margarita with purple beet-infused tequila and the whole evening was excellent. Even if we stopped at a popsicle shop next door to get a dessert for the kids and the high winds and 103-degree temperature meant they immediately melted all over them.

You'd think we would have seen that coming? (To be fair, my mom totally did.) I had to hold Claire's hair back like she was in college. Ah, memories.

After dinner we settled in to watch The Greatest Showman which my girls were horrified to discover their Papa and Gigi had never seen. They loved it, OF COURSE, and James and Landon didn't mind their millionth rewatching too much (Claire, Cora, and I were obviously delighted by it. Speaking of delighted, my mom had brought some little gifts my grandmother had given her when she visited San Antonio earlier in the week. Among the items was a grass hula skirt, something Cora had never seen, but fell in love with immediately and has worn nearly every day since. I left for work super early on Monday - because you do that when you wake up at 3:24 a.m. and never go back to sleep - so I didn't see her get dressed, but I got this picture from her teacher later and it made me smile so big. It's Cora's new summer style.)

On Sunday morning Landon was showing off his tiny baby vegetable plants he got from the nutritionist in running camp that he'd planted in the totally wrong location because James and I don't know anything about planting things or keeping anything alive that isn't a small human, and my dad- a man in constant need of a project and who also knows MUCH about planting things- immediately determined that Landon needed a raised garden and the two of them set off for Home Depot fairly early in the morning. They worked nearly until my parents left, but in the end Landon had a beautiful raised garden and many plants as part of his birthday present and he is SUCH a proud papa over them.

We had friends over to swim that evening and he showed his garden off to every single one and has faithfully watered it every morning and evening since. He sends picture updates to my parents and checks on them first thing every morning. Maybe gardening skipped a generation? I sure hope so, I would love someone to plant me things and bring me the results.

Also that morning the girls + James went on a walk, we picked up breakfast tacos and donuts for breakfast, and I played many rounds of Uno with Claire. It was a really nice day to cap off a really nice weekend. The kids were so thrilled to have my parents around in between their summer Colorado stays and it was really special to celebrate James's new patent with such a fun and delicious dinner.

Monday the big kids headed off to all-day golf camp while Cora headed to preschool in her hula skirt and I was already at work buried in exhibits and testimony outlines. Last night while sitting on the couch with my 3" exhibit binder Cora came over to say goodnight in her usual casual nightwear.

She is such a joyful spirit.

I try to channel her frequently throughout the day. And now, on to tomorrow!


  1. Can you please tell me where you got Cora's pink nightgown? My LO has had the same one for three years and it's starting to disintegrate but I haven't been able to find a replacement anywhere. And clearly, fashion trends like that need to be fostered!

  2. Hi Jean! Unfortunately I won't be much help because I got her nightgown off our neighborhood buy/sell page! It was lightly used and I knew she would love it and she does. It's Disney brand, but I think it's from Target. I agree fashion trends like that need to be fostered but unfortunately I can't help with the fostering! If you do find a replacement of some kind, let me know- she'll definitely need the next biggest size at some point :)

  3. You parents look very relaxed and happy enjoying the grandkids. I hope JP's invention is a great success and it's wonderful to see him succeed. The floors...ugh...it's always something! You look good LL! --Desimom