Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Fun, Food, and Family... Fast

My parents left for home a over a week ago. I was going to write prose about their stay, but given the shortness of time, and the quantity of things to do this week (new windows! clean the house! get ready for Easter!) I shall descend into bullet points.

  •  Jon and I got away for a whole 24 hour! We stayed at a hotel! We ate fantastic food (including Rioja)! We visited Denver's Art Museum! I had fun, can you tell?! For 24 hours I felt like my pre-mommy self. It was freeing refreshing, and when we got back I had renewed energy for my kids. Result: Will increase frequency of date nights/ afternoons.
  • New favorite cocktail: French 75 
  • Caribbean cooking class with my mom and various female in-laws. Result: Shark and Bake (tilapia, mango chutney, pita), chicken skewers, callaloo (greens, squash, coconut milk), mango and jicima salad, coconut rum cake, rum punch.
  • Chocolate cheesecake versus caramel cheesecake. Jury is out.
  • Total pounds gained: 1.5     Totally worth it.
  • After much thought and discussion, Anna and Isaac were baptized. My parents, Jon's mom, and his aunt were able to attend the service, and it was quite lovely. Jon read a lovely passage of scripture, and it was all quite meaningful. Most importantly, no child cried or had a tantrum or swatted the pastor.
  • Trip to the aquarium was a bust. Isaac came down with a horrid stomach bug. Instead, Anna went on a special outing with her grandparents to the mall. Result: lunch and Cinderella p.j.s.
  • Colored my hair grey & blue. I wanted thick silver stripes, but after talking to the stylist it seemed that a "flash" was the best way to go (i.e., it would be cheaper and faster). The silver turned out light blue, but I think the effect is rather nice. Waiting on dark blue for the fall.
  • My teeth are falling out. Well, ten of the bottom ones according to the periodontist whom I finally had time to visit. It will cost many thousands of dollars to fix them, since my dental insurance runs out after the first three. Maybe I can do three teeth a year, but I have to call the insurance company, and the dentist, and blah blah blah. Result: Loss of money, loss of time, and general impression that dentures may be the way to go.
  • Getting two new windows. A grown up decision, because what I really want is a gas range. Which I suppose is also grown up kind of desire. This means I am boring.
  •  Saying goodbye to grandma and grandpa sucks. Anna cried and Isaac still asks for them. The transition was made harder by Jon's concomitant overnight absence at a church retreat. Everyone was here one minute, and gone the next. And then Jon was gone again this last week, not returning until midnight on Friday. A very last-minute, I-guess-I'm-going-to-D.C.-tomorrow kind of trip.
  • Jon has upcoming tripa to San Francisco and Florida on business. I am not sad than I will not be joining him. Not one little bit. *sniff*
To sum up: We love my parents and we love it when they come. We're all excited about visiting them in Calgary this summer. Goodbyes are hard, but the hellos make it worthwhile.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Palm Sunday and a Minor Easter Conundrum

In my religious experience, Palm Sunday is generally heralded as the beginning of the Happy Happy Easter Season. Churches take the opportunity to give the kiddos palm branches (or some equivalent) and there is much rejoicing and heralding of the King of Kings. Myself, I enjoyed watching the children of our church singing, waving their unidentified vegetation, jumping up and down, and singing about the coming of Jesus.
But what has always struck me, and what our pastor wisely pointed out today, was the superficiality of the original celebration. The people shouting Hosanna as Jesus rode by on a donkey were the same ones that condemned him to death a few (just a few!) days later. How fickle are our hearts; how easily we change alliances.
This is why I greatly appreciated sharing the Lord's Supper after the sermon today. It gave me a chance to tie things together for Anna: the symbolism of communion, importance of Easter, the warning that Palm Sunday provides. We should celebrate the coming of Jesus, we should wave palm branches, we should shout Hosanna. Every single day.

Which brings me to my next thought: what to do about the Easter Bunny? I decided to let Santa Claus in, since he's viewed here as something akin to a fairy. [We fervently believe in fairies.] In contrast, the Easter Bunny is a large mammal in pastels which provides chocolate and hides eggs.
I dunno. When I write it out like that, he/she/it doesn't seem much different than St. Nick. He just feels faker, if that's a word. I think I'm going to skip the bunny. We (okay, I) dislike rabbits, anyway. The local ones eat my tulip bulbs and day lilies.