This weekend was an embarrassment of fun.
It started on Thursday when I got home with a van 'o kids to find all the neighbor ladies gathered in lawn chairs in my neighbor's driveway. The kids scattered in all different directions on their bikes and scooters and what-have-you and I sat down and joined them with a crisp Austin Amber. I had thought the plan was to hang out until dinnertime-ish, then go our separate ways, for homework and piano practice and being a responsible grown up thirty-something suburb dweller, but then around 5:00 my neighbor started making sliders and tater tots for all the kids and we moved the party inside. Eventually, the husbands started coming home and cautiously peering through the garage door into the den of estrogen.
Ryan made it all the way inside where he said hello to everyone and then offered to go home and bake the flourless chocolate cake I needed for the girls' night I was hosting. After the kids ate we headed home to do a hasty downstairs cleanup and get everyone into bed. Then my friends came over and we ate lots of cheese and chocolate cake and a couple bottles of wine. We were so loud James didn't fall asleep until nearly 10:00. That was Thursday.
Friday afternoon I had to go to a professional development retreat AT A VINEYARD. In between all the curriculum talk we ate amazing food, drank wine, and went for long walks in the country. The best part was the enormous fluffy bed I had ALL TO MYSELF in the beautiful room I had ALL TO MYSELF and the chocolate on my pillow that was MINE ALL MINE and the way I woke up in the morning to ACTUAL SUNSHINE COMING THROUGH THE WINDOWS.
I got home Saturday afternoon ready to rejoin the family. We spent a relaxing afternoon hanging out on the porch and enjoying the weather, riding bikes, doing nothing in preparation for dropping the kids off at Kids Night Out at our church. Since we had FIVE HOURS and warm weather and sunshine Ryan and I decided to go for a little bike ride and get some dinner as our date. There is a wonderful bike trail downtown beside the lake and it is one of our favorite places to go. It was so exciting to be back on my bike. I have spent a good portion of the last ten years pregnant or caring for a tiny baby. NO MORE.
Date nights with helmets are the best kind.
We rode about four miles and got to this neat bridge we've wanted to check out.
There were many moments of proclaiming our love for our city and vowing never to move even if it means we both have to take jobs at the grocery store and/or Starbucks. I mean. Biking in February.
We crossed the river and found ourselves just a block away from a restaurant we went to a couple of years ago and always wanted to come back to.
They had a thirty minute wait and a hundred and forty beers on tap and a sunny outdoor seating area. This was not a problem.
We ordered THREE BRATWURST because HOW DO YOU DECIDE? HOW?
You'll notice it was sort of dark in this picture. This only became apparent to us when we left the restaurant and started unlocking our bikes.
But it didn't stop us from heading deeper into the city ON OUR BIKES to get donuts "on the way" back to the car. Let me tell you, I started to feel slightly irresponsible as we wove our way through the club-goers on our two-wheelers IN THE DARK. But it was worth it, man. Just glad we didn't wind up on the evening news.
We bought extras for the kids because we are not heartless monsters.
The next morning.
Finally we made our way back to the bike trail by the lake and HAULED ASS back to the car. It was convenient that no one was on the trail BECAUSE IT WAS DARK which allowed us to go really really fast. Hurtling through the darkness ON A BIKE is REALLY FUN AND SCARY (except for the time when I hit a storm grate I wasn't expecting and was nearly thrown off my bike). I was relieved every time we mentally ticked off another landmark bringing us closer to the car and the moment when we could go back to get the kids and pretend we went to a quiet dinner at a nice restaurant like a normal couple.
Obviously we made it without accidents or police intervention (that niggling fear of unseen authority is as strong as ever!) and drove back north to pick up the kiddos forty minutes early. They thought it was HILARIOUS that their PARENTS went on a BIKE RIDE. Funniest thing they'd ever heard.
They were tired the next morning, but I felt strangely energized.