Friday, March 1, 2013

Love and Marriage:The Greatest Show on Earth

After not one, but two day trips to Atlanta, I faced the thought of riding back and forth to Atlanta for the third time in the week a bit like a child getting ready to swallow a dose of bad tasting medicine. Okay, if the truth be known, I whined like a toddler...repeatedly, until Patrick finally gave in and said, "Okay, if you don't want to go, let's just stay home."

While that thought was tempting, I knew I needed to act my age and fulfill the commitment Patrick had made for us months ago.  Oddly, I think Patrick was looking more forward to the weekend marriage conference than I was, so I couldn't bring myself to be the one to call a halt to the plans.

I had arrived home from TeenPact about 10:30 p.m. Thursday evening, threw some clothes in a suitcase, and went to bed with a messy house and an even messier laundry room (think 2 girls just back from camp where they had to wear dress clothes during the day and casual clothing at night).  I woke bright and early to face not only a long drive in a church van, but a 7am dentist appointment.  Yes, I're thinking, "Who in their right mind goes to the dentist at 7am?"  Well, that would be Patrick and I.  Really, normally it's nice not to interrupt your day to get your teeth cleaned (and they're never running late since you are their first appointment).  But not this time.  It was as if fate was conspiring to make my weekend miserable - the good doctor even had to numb me up to take care of a little problem I'd been having.   

At 9am twelve adults and their luggage, riding in a 15 passenger van, pulled out of the church parking lot.  Let's just say riding three adults to a bench seat did nothing to improve my attitude.  Stopping at a cafeteria for lunch did even less for my attitude.  Ultimately, I survived the ride, we checked into the hotel, and I thought "if I can just get a nap before the evening session, I'll be as good as new."  My head had barely hit the pillow when Victoria called and reminded me that we had double booked Alyssa for Saturday night.  She was supposed to be babysitting for Caitlyn and Matthew as well as taking Patrick's parents to Jacksonville. got it...I spent the rest of my nap time on the phone with Chrissy and Alyssa trying to come up with plan B.  Thankfully Kevin's girlfriend Lauren came to my rescue and agreed to help Hannah babysit on Saturday while Alyssa and Victoria taxied Grammy and Grampy to their concert in Jax.
Yes, one child was horrified that we kissed in the photo booth.
Despite me wanting to just stay in the hotel room and sleep (and I'm pretty sure Patrick could have been persuaded), we joined the rest of the group to ride to the first session.  We walked into the lobby of the church and found a circus - a lady on stilts juggling, a circus elephant (not a real one - but life size none-the-less) and bags of kettle corn.  Shockingly, I found it hard to maintain a stinky attitude.  I mean, really, how could I keep a sour demeanor when lights were strung in the sanctuary to make you feel like like you are under the big top!

So after I shaped up, we had a good time...learning and laughing together.  While none of the teaching seemed new - after all, we've been to enough marriage conferences that not knowing what to do is not our problem - but it was a good reminder of what I should be doing to make our marriage better.  And, though it pains me to admit it, once I got past acting like a toddler who wasn't getting my way and embraced the circus atmosphere like a eager child, it was good to get out of town for the weekend and enjoy "Love and Marriage: The Greatest Show on Earth." 

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