Well it’s been a long couple of weeks. Life isn’t always easy, but that’s how it goes. I made a decision when I started this blog not to talk about work, because that’s a great way to not have a job anymore. Just ask dooce. But today has been one of the most emotionally draining days I’ve had in a very, very long time. The good news is I honestly think I can pull through and come out on top. After I push through just a couple more anxiety attacks I’m sure I’ll be able to prove my worth in my usual rockstar fashion. Until then, well, I’ll be keeping Papa T. on his toes.

Anyway, professional life aside, over the last couple of weeks we’ve had family after family over. Don’t get me wrong; I truly think I’m among the luckiest to end up with such an amazing family, and that I was able to marry into a family that I find (almost! sorry guys!) as amazing as my own. I don’t have enough digits to count the near-and-dear to me that I would be thrilled to spend a Friday night with whether or not they were related. But it makes for a difficult time keeping up a blog about family. I’m here (these days) to learn to write about life whether or not it’s crazy-busy, because from what I understand life with kids is never not crazy. So I want to get used to it now so I can blog my way through it.

My own parents have been on a campaign over the last few years to eliminate the small annoyances in life. This is probably due to the fact that their major annoyances have all gone off to seek out their own minor annoyances. My parents kicked off our Month Of Family with a too-short visit that included fixing our busted dishwasher (probably one of the most ingenious uses of Gorilla Glue I’ve ever witnessed). I’m still mad at myself that I forgot to document that one, since I’m sure I’ll need that handy fix again. As a brief recap, if your dishwasher rocks forward every time you pull out the bottom shelf, you may be a good candidate for a carefully placed and glued piece of wood into which you can secure the built-in mounting hardware. My dad also replaced a number of lightbulbs that Papa T. and I couldn’t reach, as well as replacing the light bulb that burns out after about 3 uses with a garage bulb (which is still going strong). Grandpa T. also helped replace the flapper in our leaky toilet and hang some curtains which have been bothering me since we bought this house. In case you’re curious, Grandpa T. is pretty much always right. I went through a phase as a teenager where I didn’t quite buy this idea (although I don’t remember ever rejecting it outright), but I have been proven wrong repeatedly since. Here he is about 4/5ths of the way through this long and slightly agonizing process:

We ran out of time for more handyman stuff to do, but he blew my mind when he told me as he was leaving that all the dust in my laundry/cat-litter-box room was from a ripped dryer hose and not from the excessive litter dust produced by four well-fed cats. I replaced it a few days ago and have seen no more laundry dust! I can once again hang clean clothes to drip-dry in my laundry room!

The day after my parents left, my sister-in-law and her awesome husband (my brother-out-law) and kids came to visit for a couple days. We fed dolphins and watched killer whales dance at Seaworld, then got drenched by aforementioned killer whales and got stuck in some killer traffic on the way back from San Antonio. I probably shouldn’t joke about that traffic. We spent 4 hours stuck on I-35 most likely due to what (appeared to be) a multiple-fatality accident. Those happen way WAY too much on the stretch of I-35 from San Antonio to Austin.

We then had about three days, during which we cleaned furiously in preparation for the carpet steaming that we had done the day before the parents-in-law arrived. Which they did on Sunday (it’s now Tuesday), bearing fantastical gifts and my mother-in-law’s stunning cooking. We had some pretty awesome pork chops and some truly awesome dessert bars (for which I have been promised the recipe, and if you’re nice might even share with you). Possibly the most unexpected thing they brought along was a cuckoo clock that Papa T.’s grandfather gave to his grandmother on their 10th anniversary in 1944:

I’m too tired to correct for the yellow shift my iphone imparts. But it’s a real honest-to-god cuckoo clock complete with needing a regular winding!  I’m not sure if that’s the right word, but I do know that at least once a day I need to pull the weights back near to the top of the clock, as they slowly pull down as the clock winds its way around the day. I’m in love with it! The cats are only mildly interested: a state I hope to keep them in forever.

And suddenly I am too sleepy to write more. It’s 11pm here, which is way past my regular bedtime. Soon I will get you the muffin recipe, even those of ye who have little faith.