Saturday, July 15, 2006

So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, adieu

In the driving/flying/overnight-staying/family-and-friend-seeing extravaganza that is our move to the great state of Utah, this is part one, In Which The Familymatic Leaves State College, Drives to Washington DC and Treks Onward to Fayetteville, NC to See the Matics-in-law.
Mom? Any room for this shoe in that box? Kinda full-up here.

We bid a sad farewell to our friends and family (no blood relatives, it’s true, but family nonetheless) in State College. D’s fab godparents Connie and Chuck and the rest of my church threw us a party that was so good and sweet and moving that it scored a solid 3 on the How Many Times Will Mommymatic cry scale, which may be a new record. They gave us sweet gifts and enough money to fund a revolution in a third-world country and left us thinking that the fact that they’d give us so much to LEAVE a place either means they really like us or are really relieved we’re finally going. Connie also took us out to lunch on a day when we badly, badly needed a break and it is for this reason among many that she will have a king's ransom of jewels in her crown when she gets You Know Where (hint: it's a place where I probably won’t be allowed in.)

D’s Unky Jon and Auntay Emily also threw us a totally excellent going-away party complete with a party mix Emily burned onto a CD for us. There was fried chicken, sweet tea and this totally adorable cake (in case you're wondering, that's a map of PA and a map of UT, with me and D in a plane above the road, and a red moving truck and blue car with Daddymatic in it, trekking across the country). Said cake was both tasty and a great “exhibit A” for those who doubt Jon has too much time on his hands.

Thus it was with heavy hearts that we departed SC for good on July 3rd. Well, my heart would have been heavy if I hadn’t been so freaked by the move itself and then sneezing my fool head off after sweeping out 6 years’ worth of cat hair, dust and other Matic Family Detritus as we closed the joint down. D loved the moving boxes but wasn’t so jazzed about all the changes going on in His House nor was he particularly stoked about the 4-hour drive to DC. We decided not to mention the fact that the trip to Fayetteville would be almost twice as long.

The trip was mostly Hell with a side of Finally Sleeping for the last half-hour, but we got there and our hosts with the most, the lovely Nancy and David and their tres adorable offspring Donovan (3) and Harper (11 weeks) had a totally smokin’ veggie lasagna waiting for us. D covered himself in it, we hosed it off and he promptly collapsed into bed and slept until 7:30 the next morning, a feat he had not been able to achieve for a number of sad weeks in the Matic household.

Let me say at this point how much I LOVE staying with other parents of young children. For one thing, we didn’t have to schlep the high chair, pack-n-play, or any toys because Donovan had evidently been exploiting his copious personal charm in order to amass Anything One Would Ever Need for a Boychild. And no having to apologize for not wanting to do X or Y because of your child’s nap/eating/nighttime schedule. Bliss, I tell you. Also? Built-in entertainment for D in the form of an older child: I finally got a glimpse of how a-freaking-mazing it would be to have a child who watched just a little TV—D observed Donovan like he would have to write down field notes later, and I had time to drink a cup of coffee!

I got to see two dear friends in addition to our amazing hosts whilst in DC: Shera, my best friend from about the 5th grade whom I hadn’t seen in about 7 years. She has a fancy job at a very cool and educational cable channel and she came for lunch and we talked about how much our lives have changed since we saw each other last. It was great to see her, if for no other reason than to find out where to get beauty products which, by the looks of her, allow one literally to stop aging.

I also had the chance to meet up with Nancy—if you haven’t read her blog, you are missing out. Seriously. Go read this and this and tell me if I’m lying. Go ahead. I’ll wait. Anyway, she’s as funny and adorable and witty in person as she is on the blog but her bod is waaaay more smokin’ than she admits online. In this picture of us, you see, I'm not even worried that I look like something someone scraped up off of I-95, because Nancy just draws the eye towards the Happy Place that is her face.
When Nancy admitted to having angst over what to wear to our meeting, I thought I might kiss her on the mouth, but then I thought her husband J might not be too keen on my way of showing appreciation. You know how you feel like you’ve known someone forever and can totally tell them anything and then you find out some cool new fact about them that just makes them that much cooler? I pretty much had a whole afternoon of that. Meeting Nancy made me think that going to BlogHer would be way more fun and way less scary a propostition if all the blog-girl meetings would be like that. She’s that cool.

And her kids? Don’t even get me started. Rosie totally wowed D with her prowess in balloon-snatching by leaving a trail of teary, surprised-looking kids in her wake, and Mimi could not have been more the consummate Big Sister, herding, entertaining, and looking out for the little ones. I thought seriously of asking if I could swab some of her DNA but thought Nancy might think that was weird.

And J? Well, just when you thought Nancy was so perfect no guy could ever live up to that, you meet J. I think I might actually have swooned at his wit a little when, in desperate search for a pacifier, I pulled a tiny binky out of my pocket that D had swiped from our hosts’ 11-week old daughter, and J just grinned and said “Dude, any bink in a storm, right?” So when you’re done reading this, go tell Nancy it’s OK if J does posts for her every now and again. I'm sad Daddymatic didn't get to meet Nancy and her fam, but he was whiling away the afternoon at a Nationals game with David--nothing's more 4th-of-July than baseball, a 9th-inning win and a big foam finger, right?

And then we went to Fayetteville, NC, home of the Matics-in-law, which is continued in the next segment of our program. So stay tuned for Part 2, In Which D Plays an Organ, Learns Why Overalls Have Bib pockets, and Offers His Pacifier to a Vietnam War General.