It’s Monday evening. I’m about to walk into my piano lesson, when I check my phone.
4 missed calls from Jesse, 1 missed call from Courtney. All in the last 20 minutes.
I listen to my voicemail. I hear Courtney’s panicked voice.
“Kelly, call me as SOON as you possibly can!”
Of COURSE I called her back immediately. I mean, who died??
All she had to say though was that they had meant for it to be a surprise, but she, Michael and Christine were coming for a visit on the weekend! To make a long story short, Jesse had been scheming with Christine for HER to drive up from Houston to surprise me for the weekend.
When I got sick last week, however, and started talking about scheduling makeup lessons for all day Saturday, Jesse had to spoil the surprise and tell me what they had been planning. I asked Jesse if there was any way that he could make work it for the next weekend, mainly since I didn’t want any of my piano students to yell at me!
Little did I know that Christine was trying to surprise BOTH of us and had been plotting with the Unruhs! So, of course, when Jesse called Christine to ask if another weekend would work, she freaked out and called Courtney. Then they both called Jesse and told HIM the whole truth. And then they all called me panicked.
Needless to say, I happily moved all my makeups to another weekend. And voila! On Friday night, there we were, sitting in our living room happily but tiredly conversing with all 3 of them. We pulled out our hideaway couch bed for Michael and Courtney (they refused to let me pull out the trundle to make our guest bed into a king) and let down our privacy curtains for Christine to stay in our guest alcove.
On Saturday, I woke up early and went to give one 1/2 hr. piano lesson down the road. When I came back, the girls had made a eggs/bacon/toast/coffee breakfast. After we all ate, we did our group prayers before our family altar. It felt great to be one big happy godfamily (Christine, you were our surrogate godsister for the day!). We said our normal family prayers, the troparians to all of our different saints, and then listened while Courtney read aloud the Scripture chapter reading for the day.
After that, Michael and Jesse went off to buy cigars and beer while Courtney, Christine and I went to do a little sightseeing in the “RICH CASTLE-LIKE homes” town of Southlake. It was a very beautiful sunny day, even for Texas! We ended at the wonderful mall and visited my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE store, Anthropologie!!!!! Christine had never been there, but she was quickly won over by all the cute clothes. She and I tried on stuff for a while as Courtney gave fashion critique. From there we headed to Corner Bakery where we split 3 different desserts and drank more coffee.
From there, we sped on home to pick up the boys for Vespers at St. Seraphim. We made it at 5pm, just in time! Even if our Vespers services are only 45 min., they are still so refreshing, and such a great way to prepare for Liturgy on Sunday morning.
Once we were done, we gave them a small tour of inner Dallas, including SMU, then headed to our favorite Mexican restaurant, El Chico! Courtney and Michael already had very fond memories of this place, as it was where we all GORGED ourselves after a hard day of moving our stuff back in August. After much eating and talking (yummy sopapilla and fresh guacamole!) we went back home where there was more talking. Courtney and I even squeezed in a quick workout in our apartment’s fitness center. It definitely reminded me of the old days!!!
Sunday morning, we actually made it to church only 5 minutes late! Anyone who knows Michael and I, and can also picture 5 people sharing one bathroom realizes that this is a grand accomplishment. And, of course, the best part about church was getting to stand in line once more with our wonderful Peter and Elizabeth to take the Eucharist 🙂 After the divine liturgy we went to the fellowship hall for the weekly potluck (seriously- Orthodox people LOVE their potlucks…). We introduced them to our friends, Rod Dreher, Katy and Christiana, Jenny and Heather. They would have met Heather’s husband Josh too, only he was across the room chatting with Archbiship Dmitri. They also got to meet lovable Father John, who, in an effort to get Michael to stay in Dallas, offered him a job that he knew of…. teaching 1st and 2nd graders. Well, it was a nice thought, but thanks anyways!
After church, we went straight to La Madeleines with Katy, Noel, Christiana, Curtis, and the rest of the gang. We stayed talking for a long time, mostly because the boys got in a debate about something religious. I dunno, it was probably important 🙂
Alas, all good things must come to an end- we came home and Christine packed up her stuff for her long drive home. Since Michael and Courtney’s standby flight didn’t leave for a few more hours, the boys fit in one last smoke while Courtney and I went shoe and MacBook-cord shopping. At around 8 we said goodbye and dropped them off at the airport, promising that it was only a “temporary goodbye” so we really shouldn’t be so sad. That didn’t really help much though, at least for me 🙁
All in all, the weekend was fantastic, and showed me many things- mainly, just how hard it is to live without those who are near and dear!
Please, anyone else wanna come visit??
Buddy and Jason Meet Dallas
Christmas in July Part 2
The Bad Godmother