Monday, October 19, 2015

Ten Things I Learned (or Remembered) This Weekend

It was a tiring weekend, to say the least.  Friday ended up being less busy than we thought because the cold, rainy weather canceled Jacob's lacrosse practice (yes, the one that prevented me from going to my boss's performance in Cabaret or my first high school reunion event as we head toward the big event next summer--sigh), but the whole weekend was busy or just plain tiring.  And I learned a lot about life.

1) My family is crazy, but it is THE best - Saturday was a family wedding.  My dad's cousin's son got married.  We went to the groom's sister's wedding last summer.  While all of my dad's generation got invited, only two of my first cousins and I were invited, pretty much because we're closest in age to the groom and the ones who have been around the most for family get-togethers with that part of the family.  We had more than two hours to kill in between the ceremony and reception, which were both at a hotel in downtown Buffalo.  A good chunk of our entourage decided to hop on the Buffalo Metro Rail and take the free ride down to Harborcenter, the same place where we went to that charity hockey game a few weeks back.  We were going to have a drink at 716, the bar/restaurant there.  Some of our group had never seen it, so it seemed like a good spot.  We had a blast, laughing pretty much non-stop the whole time.  From the random bums asking for money, to making fun of each other, to countless funny stories, we were loud and boisterous and silly.  I mused on Facebook that 20 years ago I probably would have been embarrassed to be hanging out with that crew (because teenagers are embarrassed by the mere existence of adult relatives, no odd behavior needed), but now I realize that all of the quirkiness and the loudness and the random absurd comments are a) all a part of who I am today; and b) hilarious.  Growing older with my aunts and uncles has been such a fun, strange journey.  Pretty much no topic is off-limits anymore, and it's funny to realize how many things probably went way over our heads as kids.  The whole night was a fantastic time, and even though Craig wasn't able to be there, I had a blast.

2) I need to take more walks around Downtown Buffalo - Remember a few weeks ago when I took the late-night walk with the kids around Rochester during the Fringe Festival?  That walk reminded me how many cool things there are to see in the heart of a city.  Saturday's family journey through downtown did the same for me, though this time it reminded me how many cool things there are to see in Buffalo.  Of course, I don't need a ton of help on that front because Craig's cousin is @buffalony on Instagram and sends out amazing pictures from all around the city to his 18,000 followers.  Even still, getting to see some of it myself is cool.  Neat old buildings, interesting monuments, and random art are so much fun to see.  If it wouldn't have been in the low 40s and if I wasn't in high heels and missing my coat (I left it in the car since there was a valet--oops), I probably would have been a little more adventurous seeking out things to see.  But I did catch this fun shot outside the hotel...
3) I need to be less ashamed of pulling out my actual camera and taking random pictures - Related to the point above, when there are so many cool things to see, I really need to just take the shot when I have the chance.  Even if it looks stupid in the end, at least I captured it for posterity.  For example, I did snap this shot in the ballroom where the ceremony was held, because I loved the detail...
But there were shots outside when we were walking that I just should have taken, like up Court St. toward City Hall, with Niagara Square and a monument in the foreground.  It would have been a great shot, and I just didn't bother.  I always kick myself for moments where I'm too lazy or too embarrassed to pull out my real, non-phone camera and take a shot.
4) Those marquee letters that are so popular now make for great wedding décor - Over the past year or so I've seen those light up marquee letters everywhere.  I've always thought they looked fun, and I guess I could see the novelty of having one with your last initial on a shelf or something, but I always wondered how practical it was to have the lighted version.  I mean, how often are you really going to bother turning it on?  Turns out there's a reason craft stores sell those things.  There was this lovely stage in the ballroom where the reception was, and on it was a single table with the wedding's "official" hashtag (for social media purposes).  It's a combo of their last names, and it was such a cool touch.  Seriously, how fun is this?

They also had their first initials with an ampersand on the head table.  But really, it made me feel a little better that there is a fun use for them out in the world...

5) Seeing a perfect couple get married is so much fun - The happy couple just seems so perfect for each other.  I'll admit I've become a little jaded as I get older and see so many happy couples become not so happy, or at the very least see how easy it is to let married life get a little ho-hum, but whenever you go to a wedding where the couple just seems like such a perfect match, it's gotta make you smile.  This couple did the "Carlton" dance when they got introduced at the reception, for pete's sake!  Their humor just seems spot on with each other, and their sense of adventure seems well matched.  You can't help but feel the warm fuzzies when you see that.

6) Just because I don't feel the drinks when I'm drinking them doesn't mean I won't feel them tomorrow - I had four alcoholic beverages during the course of the day on Saturday.  I had a hard cider around 3:30, a couple amaretto sours around 6:30, and one beer around 10pm.  I had a lot of food in and around most of that and never felt even the least bit tipsy.  And yet, yesterday I woke up feeling pretty sub-par.  Perhaps it was just straight-up dehydration from too little water the day before, because I didn't have a headache.  I also wasn't horribly tired or nauseated, but my stomach seemed a bit off (too many desserts?) and I was just low-energy all day.  I have no idea if it was the drinks--particularly because I woke up sneezing and sniffling this morning--but lately it seems like even one or two leaves me a little off the next day.  Getting old is no fun.

7) Having a gimpy spouse sort of sucks - So, Craig is definitely doing better.  He didn't go to the wedding because he was still sore and he was concerned about his ability to elevate and ice his leg over the course of the evening.  I'd been trying to convince him all week to go because I felt bad (particularly given the recent news story about the person who got billed for missing a wedding--though I know that would never happen in this case), but I finally relented, in part because I knew he wouldn't be able to drink and that would dampen his fun even more.  In the end I would have missed out on the pre-reception adventures and I would have probably felt guilty all night anyway, so it's probably best he didn't go.  As far as the rest of the time post-surgery, I'll say that I've been doing pretty well at staying positive about having to be on call all the time.  I've fetched ice and water and snacks, I've corralled the kids, and I've packed and unpacked the car twice.  It's not fun sometimes, obviously, but I'm happy to do it.  I will say, though, that it does stink to know you have to do everything and that there's no option for backup.  On Saturday when we were rushing around to make it into town on time, it was hard to know I couldn't save time by having Craig do anything, like pack up the car or load the kids in.  As we stopped to pick up lunch and take it with us, Carter decided he had to pee.  I had to take him into the restaurant to go, and then do the ordering as well, with him in tow.  Multitasking as a team just wasn't happening, and that was hard mentally when we were already in a rush.  But he's definitely doing better in the last couple days.  He even drove to work this morning, mostly because he had a therapy appointment today and wanted the ability to go home early if needed.  It's been hard to watch him in pain, but all things considered we've managed pretty well.  Still, I miss having a partner to rely on for some of those little things.

8) Carter has a nasty side and I'm afraid it's finally arriving - Wow, Carter was such a handful yesterday.  I don't know what got into him.  He had his mini-hockey stick taken away twice for whacking people, and he was a steady stream of "no" and mischievous looks and squirminess all day.  It was driving me nuts, in part because I was on the hook for chasing him every time.  Lately he's been sleeping a lot later than usual.  Saturday he woke up at 9:30!  Most days I'm going in his room at 8am to wake him up, rather than him waking up on his own around 7:30 or earlier.  It may just be a growth spurt, though he's not eating like he's having one, but the usual parental radar goes up when weird stuff like that goes on.  I know he could just be tired, or getting sick like me (he did have a runny nose yesterday), but boy, we did not like that side of him at all.  Let's hope it's just a brief phase and the sweeter side takes back over soon.  The terrible twos have not been that terrible this time around and I'd like to keep it that way.

9) Gray skies, sun, and fall foliage may be one of my favorite views in nature - We've had a lot of changeable weather lately, and while I no longer have my amazing bird's-eye view, I still take it in as much as I can.  We've had some interesting cloud formations, sun-to-clouds-to-sun transformations, and spotty precipitation.  I absolutely love the contrast of fall colors against a stormy gray sky, and I've seen a lot of it over the past week.  Friday as I was picking Jacob up from school, this gorgeous rainbow appeared in the sky.  It was sunny in one direction and stormy in the other, and I was definitely keeping my eyes peeled for one...and sure enough, there it was!
And of course it disappeared by the time we came back out.  But what a beautiful fleeting moment it was as it stretched across the whole sky.

10) October snow is never okay - It snowed yesterday.  Not a lot, not enough to stick, but it snowed.  We actually saw some snow on the ground in the shady ditches next to the Thruway, and I drove into a wall of snow on our way home (with another gorgeous view of a dark sky against the fall colors!), but luckily the bursts were short lived and none of it stuck.  But seeing it is never fun.  It's a reminder of what's coming, and I'm just not ready for that.  It was in the 70s a week ago, after all!  I'm a little cranky that we had cold enough weather for it to snow at all, and this morning we had a rather significant frost outside, but I'm happy it's smart enough not to stick, and I hope the real stuff holds off for a bit.  It's not even Halloween yet, after all, and any good Western New Yorker knows that no Halloween is complete without having to consider how your costume will fare in 70 degree weather AND 30 degree weather.  I've experienced both, many times over.  There will be plenty of time for snow in November, December, January, and February.  But for now, Mother Nature needs to leave us alone with our pretty leaves.

So, it was a good weekend.  I'm still exhausted and this cold is not doing me any favors.  I need to get healthy for a weekend trip from my brother's family, though, so I should be in bed already...more soon!

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