Saturday, August 16, 2008

Happy Dance...?

Would it be shameful of me to do the Happy Dance now that my in-laws are gone...? Even though there was a tearful goodbye at 5:45 this morning, I am relieved to be sitting here in my jammies typing this and not worried that we have to cook, clean or entertain a small army of extended family. Am I bad or evil for feeling this way...? Maybe I need to further explain how the past 8 weeks have been so you might just get a better understanding of why, though sad to see my darling mother in-law go (and father in-law, though I don't think I really know him any better than I did 12 years ago when I first met him)..of why I feel I can breathe a huge sigh of relief...

My mother in-law likes to cook...alot...and by alot I mean ALOT of food. To feed an army. She obviously knew there would be a small one coming on a regular basis to eat at our Farmhouse Diner. While I watched as my Mother in-law worked her magic in my kitchen, I (mistakenly) insisted that since she cooked, I would do clean up. Well, the first few weeks wasn't so what if I was still up at 11p.m. scrubbing pots and pans and vacuuming and mopping up the floor? Who cares that we would start all over again in about 8 hours? I diligently cleaned and stacked my pots and pans every night back in their neat little places so my kitchen looked picture perfect each morning.

After about the 3rd or 4th week of this it dawned on me to let my normal, neat freak fanatic slide a bit. Why was I torturing myself..? So I conceded and would only stack the clean pots and pans on top of the stove. Okay, I could give in and just ignore the mound-o-pots and pretend they weren't there. Now to do something about the floor...hmm...okay, well I won't mop every night...just lightly vacuum & spot mop. What about those counters? what if I could barely see them underneath the stacks of foreign ingredients and special herbs she used on a regular basis. She was cooking wonderful meals, right?

When she wasn't cooking, she was sewing at the kitchen table. She sewed alot. While I was also the receiver of most of these sewing projects my fingers were itching to toss the darn machine out the window! My kitchen table looked like an upholstery warehouse. Bits and pieces of fabric & thread that floated and traveled through the rest of the house as you walked by. But most of my anguish over my normally, quite orderly home, would be forgotten as she cranked out yet another wonderful pillow or finished my drapes for me.

My mother in-law is a wonderful, caring, generous person but she only has one pace....S L O W. There is no fast forward with her, there is only slow motion. Times & schedules don't really exist with her. Doesn't sound so bad, right? well, the only teeny problem with that, while her blood pressure maybe on an even keel, everyone around her is on overdrive trying to overcompensate. And I never thought I would say this but I HATED shopping... with her... and 3 kids. To her, the stores we take for granted and visit on a regular basis (Target, Walmart, Homegoods) were like treasure hunts for her. She would finger all the towels, read the backs of all the packages & stare for a good 10 minutes at one item while my 3 bored kids would be screaming & fighting, and with me about to cry and tear my hair out, would wait for her to make up her mind or catch up to us (yes, I would get so frustrated that I would walk away, do my shopping and come back while she was still fingering the towels.) I smartened up and would send my husband out with his Mama to do any shopping and then chuckle when he would return home, red faced & fully frustrated.

Now on to the extended family. My husband is the oldest of 12 kids. Some live here and some still live & attend school in Mexico (the youngest is 15). I was under the impression that my in-laws visit would be divided amongst the family so everyone would have their opportunity to visit. Wellll, that's not how it happened. My father inlaw is a farmer, raises cows & crops on his little ranch in Mexico. He doesn't like cities. Period. He refused to leave our ranch to visit with his other offspring. So guess what that meant..? Word of my in-laws visit spread like wildfire! Yep, everyone of the family came to our home with their families to visit and stay the weekends with us. There were people sleeping on the floor, on the couches, on blow up mattresses that some, I still don't know their names or how they were related but here they were!

...And don't think I didn't have private meltdowns in my room or hushed conversations with my husband that he better do something QUICK! Poor guy, he was more stressed out than I was. I got to fade into the background and secretly "cringe" at all the "darling" toddlers teetering toward my antique lamps/china/& other breakables, while I would try to redecorate my home with all my valuables up as high as I could place them.

Don't get the wrong idea...I love my Mother in-law. Absolutely. I had a lovely time with her. She cooked, she sewed, she prayed for us. I learned many things and got a new perspective on life & family and I think she did as well. My husband laughingly told me that his mother was voicing her opinion quite often with her husband to which the husband replied "I think you are hanging around Loraina (the spanish pronounciation of my name, Laurie)too much!" And I know she loves me too.

So while I am sad that they are gone, I am also relieved to get back to my normal, ordinary, neat freak fanatic self. The self that wants her house back to normal like Better Homes & Gardens might unexpectedly drop by begging for a photo shoot (one can dream, right?) or I might, by chance, win Publishers Clearinghouse Sweepstakes (though I never enter, but you never know -could be a computer malfunction and it randomly picks my name from online shoppers data bases) and how horrible would it be if my house was a mess on live television!? :) (I apologize if this sounds superficial, but having a disorderly house overwhelms, stresses and other wise makes me feel claustrophobic)

I did come away with a new understanding and gratefulness of how wonderful my life is/was before my summer of in-laws. There's no place like being my jammies, typing away on my computer , hiding & locking the front door and perhaps ordering take out...for the next month!
Can I do the Happy Dance..? Nah, I'm too tired! :)

**Once I get said house in order, I will post pics of all the lovely sewing bits courtesy of my Mother -inlaw.**


Twice as Nice said...

I understand. While company is nice, 8 weeks is about 6 or 7 too long. It was most of the summer and it is so hard to have a routine with company. If the visit was spread out over a year it would have been tolerable. Gives you a chance to miss them first! Now it won't be long before you are getting the kids back to school and all the running that involves. God bless you for getting through it and I think you have earned a day of relaxation from the hubby. Take tomorrow off!Twin2

janie said...

Phew!! 8 weeks, you deserve an award. Now take some time for yourself. Janie

Picket said...

Oh girl..I was laughing and nodding my head all thru that post! lol...You are just normal girl! lol I feel your pain and mine come and stay for 2 wks at the most... so 8 wks!!! girl let me bow down to you!!!! lol We all love our families and it is so good to see them and visit with them but yes it is good to see them go and get your house back to yourself ..just to get a bathroom to yourself without somebody banging on the door wanting to know how much longer you gonna be in there! lol Girl you deserve a vacation...but I know you have made your family and inlaws feel so wanted and so special they will always remember you can go around in your jammies all day long and don't even have to turn the stove on! lol Have a great weekend girl!

a day in the life of bella said...

8 weeks??? Oh my....

I would go crazy and my meltdowns would have been public, not private, lol. And then strangers in your house, too? ugh!

You are a saint and you deserve much R&R!!!

Bella :)

Glenda~Many Fond Memories said...

I'm tired from reading all this.

She'll probably get back to her life and miss your life more.

I don't know if I could stand 8 weeks, they would have had to lock me up in my room.


aunties said...

I sure hope all the sewing projects are worth it:)! Family are the best, but 7-8 weeks, whoa! You must be one patient woman or else have a lot of pent up emotions that needs to explode.
( My sis and daughters live with us, but they kind of do their own thing,in their own part of our home, such as cooking etc. We just get to laugh together;) Thats has worked out great.
I have to tell you I was smiling through your post and laughing and just plain glad it wasn't me! Though it would be nice to have some else do the cooking when our gang gets least everyone here does the clean up.
I have been visiting your blog for a while. You are a talented lady and I look forward to seeing the new projects.

KARIN said...

THANK YOU!!!!! Your directions are great! Much easier than I thought. I jkust need to watch for a sale on the foam. I can do this. You are too sweet!!!

Marie said...

Oh you are FUNNY! lol You had a verrrry long visit with your inlaws. I may have lost my mind by end of week 1. I love my inlaws, but...yeah, that's not gonna happen. lol Oh! And my mother in law never shops. If she can't get it at the grocery store or the JC Penny catalog, she doesn't buy it. No kidding.

Anonymous said...

God bless you girl! I think I would have had to draw the line at total strangers being in my house overnight.

Glad it's finally over for you. Look forward to seeing more of your lovely home and projects.


Anonymous said...