Returning to a legal drinking age of 21, plus an accepted cocktail hour that was not only, literally an hour, but 10 hours into the day, rather than two, was quite a shock to five of our systems.
Personally, I spent the rest of January in detox, while trying to keep track of all the user names, passwords, email addresses, and screen names I’ve acquired since launching MidChix. My aliases include 475Gretch, Ginger27, gretchen27, Javamama27, gretchen174, ChiefChick, ChiefChick27, Georgie27, and Macaroni. Plus, occasionally, Sam.
For a short month, February sure packed in its share of miles. I flew to Philly to help Kris celebrate legitimate legalness, and Nicki flew to Hawaii to lose her driver’s permit (more on this later). Then Kris flew home for Villanova’s winter break, which began a week after Cam’s winter break ended.
On the last day of March, I finally found the strength to endure an afternoon at the Denver Department of Motor Vehicles in order to replace Nicki’s lost permit. Unfortunately for Phil, there is nothing to do while waiting at the DMV... except surf the internet on your iPhone. So, after spending the requisite 10 minutes playing Your Team (see Christmas 2007), Nic and I began checking out dogs at the Denver Dumb Friends League. (In case any of you don’t actually know us well enough to know that Phil long ago said “absolutely not” to a dog...as well as a fifth child, moving from Elm Street, buying a bay house, and getting a trampoline*, well let’s just say you better go back and start from the beginning).
Driving cross-country was a breeze, given the destination was a two and a half week long sleep-away camp where I dumped the kids in the rain before high-tailing it down to the bayhouse for five, count 'em, five days of complete freedom... except for Augie, the doggie. Then Phil arrived for a second honeymoon of sorts, (though he still insists I didn't live up to the contract he'd drafted, and I'd signed, during the dog negotiations).
Kris threatened to forego her own future labor after working the delivery unit at Jefferson Hospital. To add insult to injury, after seeing where babies actually come from, as a summer nanny, she also saw what happens when they get old enough to talk back! She's considering requesting a tubal ligation in lieu of a graduation gift!
California dreamin' took on new meaning in August, when we dropped Kev at his new school. Phil was racked by feelings of insane jealousy as he stared longingly at the perfectly manicured fields, the signs announcing upcoming keg parties, and the slew of cute co-eds, moving in down the hall of the dorm. I spent the rest of the trip trying to console him by bringing up memories of our own college years in frigid Williamstown... to no avail.
In keeping with the year's frequent flier theme, the day after we arrived home, I headed back East to see Will perform at Radio City. It was a memorable trip in more ways than one. Although it's nearly 4 months since my wallet was stolen, Phil still won't let me head over to the DMV to replace my license for fear I'll come back with another dog!
In September, he did make an exception for 16 year-old Nicki...praise the lord. She is now the designated driver to Denver School of the Arts. With Cam finally at the same school, I now spend mornings at home in my jammies! Tho' I must admit to missing some of those early morning car rides with Nic. She taught me plenty, including how to cut back on word waste... no kid. she is into abbrevs . having a convo with her is worse than coit interrupt. soon i may be texting my blog...except if i do it via my iphone it'll just b garble. i knew i had to stick with typing on a real keyboard after it changed "forgive me" to "f$ck me".
October was marked by an eventful fall break with Kris home, and Phils' brother and wife here for their first visit in years. We decided to fly Kev in as a surprise, and soon found ourselves hosting a family beer pong tournament on the patio. When I suggested that he may have had one too many and Kev good-naturedly protested, I gently reminded him that he'd had his arm around me for nearly half an hour.
November found us back in NY to see Will perform again; I won't be including a link to this one...as it was our first exposure to... well, full exposure as one scene of Take Me Out is performed in a locker room, and in the nude! In typical fashion, Phil gave Will a pretty powerful pep talk before the show "Now don't forget, this is a reflection on me too!" To which Will replied " No worries, Dad...I'll do you proud."
December descended with travel vengeance! Kris headed to El Paso for a week of midwifery training, Nicki wowed them at State Thespian Convention, scoring her the dubious honor of a June trip to Lincoln, NE for Nationals, and Cam and I flew back East to be with Mom, as we marked a year since saying goodbye to my Dad.
Then, December 16th, Kris and her long-time beau, Jeff, starred in their very own romantic comedy in Cancun. Down on one knee, Jeff glanced over to see why Kris was laughing, and realized that the rose petals he'd paid the Mexican concierge to arrange on the beach, spelled out Married Me?
Phil tried to top Kris' engagement news by turning 50 last week. He was a good sport, and has set a high bar for me to follow three months from today. Being the competitive types that we are, we've decided to best all of our friends having 50th birthday celebrations this year and are planning a 100 years party sometime soon. (all of my blog followers will be invited, so do us all a favor and subscribe via email by clicking here!...no pressure, no sirree...)
*Santa pulled off The Miracle on Franklin Street when (s)he scored a Craig's List trampoline purchase, disassembly, move, and reassembly surprise on Christmas Eve, with the help of two pretty-handy-considering-being-right-brained elves.
Cameron's face made it all worth it, not to mention Phil's...
We want to wish you all a healthy, happy, and humor-filled 2011...and remind you: don't hide weapons in your underwear next time you fly...
P.S. Reminder for all you gals that are "mid" chix ... please humor me and sign up here! With @1700 members