Saturday, February 27, 2016


Craig's travel schedule in January and February is typically pretty busy and he often misses all those significant events that happen around this time of year.  (Whose dumb idea was it to get married right in between Valentine's Day and my birthday, anyway?)  This year his schedule is even busier because on the weeks he normally would have worked from home, he's now commuting to Birmingham.  So early last month, he decided to take off this last full week of February to be available to celebrate all those special occasions he usually misses.  

Because belated is better than not at all, right?  

Except that sometimes life gets in the way of the plans you have in your head...

We're putting the house back on the market soon, so we spent all of Monday shopping for stainless steel appliances to upgrade our kitchen.  A normal person would have been more excited about that, but I'm not super enthusiastic about heading into another potentially long season of the house being ready to show on a moment's notice.  And surprisingly, shopping isn't on my list of enjoyable things to do lately.  I walked into that first store and realized it's been months since I've shopped for anything other than groceries.  Weird...

Monday afternoon, Megan came home sick from school.  

Because it was cold and snowy in Utah a few weeks ago, and because his parents can hop on a plane anytime they want and fly to Dallas (where it's not snowy and cold,) and because he knew he was going to be on vacation this week, Craig invited the Grs to come for a visit. So after shopping and taking care of a throwing up Megan, the rest of Monday was spent shopping for groceries, displacing people to different bedrooms and cleaning the house.  I snuck off to my 15th Street rehearsal at 9:00 and made it back just before Craig and the Grs walked in the door at 10:30 that night.

The queen bed now lives upstairs in Savannah's old room because of our past home showing/staging efforts, and the Grs don't climb stairs very well these days, so Craig and I moved up there for the week and gave them our bedroom, which meant sharing a bathroom with the other upstairs residents.  I tried to tell myself that it wasn't a whole lot different than staying in a hotel...except hotel bathrooms are cleaned more frequently, I'm pretty that didn't work.    

Sometime during my cleaning tornado, some sneaky red towel jumped into my white load of laundry and now everything that was formerly white is now pink.  Craig is less than thrilled about that.

The beautiful weather we had last week was replaced with rain the first two days of this week.  (Doesn't that always happen when you invite people to fly in from out of town?)
We opted to stay in jammies all day after taking the kids to school and just play games and hang out with the Grs.  It was great!

The rain finally stopped and it was a gorgeous spring day, so we took the Grs to lunch in McKinney.  Yum!  And then they wanted to go shopping at the outlet malls.  I currently need nothing and have zero desire to shop, so while they browsed leisurely in and out of a handful of places, I walked around the whole outdoor mall.  3500 unexpected steps in a day is always a great thing!

All the kids have Mutual on Wednesday nights, so as usual there is a whirlwind of activity for a couple of hours right after school followed by a couple of hours of total nighttime quiet (which is weird for me when I'm home alone, but pretty enjoyable with a house full of adults.)  While the kids were gone, I made everyone watch that YouTube video of Lehi's Journey to the Promised Land.  I know, I've seriously become such a Book of Mormon nerd...  I didn't even care that Craig was completely bored and that the Grs fell asleep through half of it and then pretended they liked it when it was over.  I love the heck out of that thing, and even after watching it for the 5th time, I was still totally engrossed.

Thursday was my birthday.  I really do try hard not to be a spoiled brat on my birthday and to remember that for the rest of the world it's just a day, but I really kind of like a fuss on my birthday.  I don't mind if anniversaries and holidays get a little bit lost in the busy-ness of life, but something about my birthday makes me turn back into a 5-year-old for some reason.  

Thursday also happened to be the best day for Craig and his dad to fit in their customary game of golf.  It is a priority and an expectation that when two or more Thunell men are gathered together, at least 9 holes of golf must be played.  Thursday was a beautiful day so they decided to play the full 18.  That's at least a five hour activity.  Craig asked about four billion times if I was okay with their plans, and I said yes...because what was I going to do, ask them to stay home and sing Happy Birthday to me all day?  My reasonable mind tried to tell me that it wasn't a big deal to have an ordinary Thursday and we could just bump the birthday festivities to Friday or Saturday or some other day.  But my inner 5-year-old was pretty loud.  I moped around after an ordinary breakfast and an ordinary morning routine, and then finally thought, "Well, if it were actually an ordinary Thursday I would go to the temple."  So that's what I did.  

The temple is still a mess on the outside.  The landscaping plans are taking their sweet time getting done and it looks like a construction zone when you pull into the parking lot.  But on the inside, it is the same beautiful, peaceful place that always calms and sustains me.  It was a good idea to go there Thursday morning.  

"The blessings of the temple are priceless."  - Thomas S Monson

On an ordinary Thursday night, I would go to DMCO, and I love DMCO, so birthday or not, that's where I wanted to be.  They voiced us this week.  The good news is that I'm core again (core = the handful of singers within each section that the other singers listen to and voice to...they're supposed to sound like us.  Honestly, I do nothing to deserve that position except that I happen to have a darker quality to my voice that the director happens to like.)  The bad news is that I had to leave all my new tall friends in the back row and move up to the front.  Thursday was the only day in my whole life that I've ever wished to be tall.  

The high from DMCO and the peacefulness from the temple wore off sometime during the 15 extra minutes of rehearsal that I wasn't expecting, and my head started counting all the fuss that hadn't been made over me on this not so ordinary day, and the people I hadn't heard from, and the presents I didn't think I was even getting, and the week that hadn't gone my way.  Some mindless song came on that lent itself to being played way too loud, so I put it on repeat and listened to it for the entire 25 minute drive home.  My head ached when I pulled into the garage.  Everyone was asleep inside.  I threw myself into bed and tossed and turned the rest of the night feeling forgotten.  

It's a good thing sad and frustrating nights turn into sunny mornings.  Appliances were delivered early on Friday.  And installed.  It took all morning and most of the afternoon with different people in and out of our house, but the new kitchen is seriously beautiful!  I thought I liked it just fine before with the original appliances from 1999, but holy cow! the stainless makes it look amazing.  We converted the old stove top from electric to gas and that might be my favorite thing about the changes.  Who knows how long I'll get to enjoy cooking in there before it sells, but beautiful, brand new appliances even for a little while are pretty exciting.  

We went to an early bird birthday dinner Friday night with the Grs because that's when they like to eat and also it's less crowded at 4:45.  I requested Cheesecake Factory because  I love that place!  And I especially love salted caramel cheesecake!  Holy YUM!

There were unexpected presents waiting for me at home after dinner.  The kids made me cards.  There are a couple of cases of Diet DP floating around in my new fridge now, and tons of healthy road trip snacks for our upcoming Spring Break trip (more on that later...)  My mother-in-law bought me a beautiful pitcher that I've wanted for awhile.  And Craig totally surprised me with tickets to fly to Hawaii for a whole week in April!  
Once again, a normal person would be super excited about her sweet husband sending her to Hawaii by herself in the middle of April for no special reason except to hang out and play with her sister and her mom.  I think by the time I opened presents, Craig was pretty much done with the 24 hours he had endured of my 46-year-old bratty-ness, and probably just wished for a normal wife.  He was totally disappointed that I didn't jump around more, especially with his parents sitting right there also expecting some jumping around.  

I tried.  

But I'm not very convincing when I pretend to feel something I don't actually feel.  

As much as Craig likes to go and do stuff, I kind of prefer staying home.  And as good as he is at hopping on and off planes and packing efficiently in less than five minutes, it gives me tremendous anxiety to think about having to do that stuff...alone.  And with a house to sell, and an upcoming DMCO concert, and a choir to direct, and Gospel Doctrine, and 25 pictures a week to be submitted to the church, and kids to drive around, and two Utah weddings this spring, and that relocation always lurking in the background, I can't even figure out how a trip to Hawaii is going to fit in the middle of all that.  

Once I'm there I know I will completely love this trip, and fortunately for me, Craig knows that too, but until then, my poor, thoughtful husband will have to endure weeks of my agonizing over it before I get to the loving it part.  Isn't he so nice to put himself through that even though he knows I'm going to be insufferable to live with for awhile?  It's probably a good thing he doesn't have to live with me as much as he used to.  

So...the moral of this story is that it wasn't at all the week I expected to have, but I should know by now that expectations are never a good thing to count on.

Instead of what I expected, we had a lovely weeklong visit with the Grs.  They are super easy to host and so agreeable, and they love listening to the kids play all their musical instruments and talk about their lives.  Grandma even loved having the girls drive her all over town.  

Instead of what I expected, we have a new kitchen that I may not get to keep forever, but good heck! even a month with it will totally be a luxury.

Instead of what I expected, I have a crapton of upcoming things on my calendar to look forward to including a week in Hawaii with my mom.  Even I can't muster up much sympathy for all my complaining about how that unexpected birthday gift is going to impact my life.  

If I stop being a spoiled brat for a minute and think of it as a birthday week instead of just a day that was slightly disappointing, there really is so much to be grateful for.  There were plenty of acknowledgements and presents and fuss, even for the 5-year-old in me.  

And since he doesn't actually ever wander here to read the contents of my head that I dump out all over this blog, I probably should say all this to my husband, who is still mad at me, and thank him for everything he did for me and for his parents and for the kids during his week off of work.

Because belated and unexpected is way better than not at all.  


  1. Happy Belated Birthday! Sounds like things are a little crazy at your house - wow lots going on. I love the honesty of this post - because believe me, I have sure felt like this sometimes too and you know what - it's OK, because that is part of being human! Thank goodness for the temple. That is my "go-to" place when life gets crazy. I love your new appliances. Hope your home sells quickly and that you can get on with life. Sounds like you have been in limbo for a while - yep I understand that too...we are waiting for our son to come home from his mission to finalize plans for a move back to Utah. Have a good week. I am going to try and check out that youtube video about Lehi's journey.

    1. Thanks so much for the encouragement and belated birthday wishes, Deb! I attached a link to the YouTube video because I keep calling it the wrong thing. It's actually called Journey of Faith. I hope you get to watch it!

  2. Happy belated birthday from me too! Our anniversary is the week before Christmas, didn't think that would be bad, but it is always the busiest time at the airport for Jim so I totally know what you mean!

    1. Thanks Renae! Missing your family. Hope you're all doing well. :)