7 Quick Takes Friday! + The Inappropriate Comment of the (Ash Wednes)Day!

7 Quick Takes Friday! + The Inappropriate Comment of the (Ash Wednes)Day! March 18, 2011

Usually Fridays are full of a sense of freedom, lightness and anticipation. We try to do a few small family things on the weekends, like go ride the Carousel or at least take a nice family walk, but due to our mini-family-vacation this week, I’ll be spending the weekend trying valiantly to tame the laundry monster and conquer the messy house. The kids will likely be watching movies, reading books, and generally making up for lost rest, and the Ogre will be either locked in the study or the library, making up for lost study time.

But man, was it worth it.

So let me tell you what we did this week!

On Tuesday
Our apartment complex’s maintenance men came to fix some creaky floors. We have new people moving in downstairs, and they noticed (FINALLY!) that the floors sound like they’re about to break every time we step on them. So they came to fix it. 
In doing so, they rolled back the carpets. They must have noticed that our carpets were….ahem…revolting, because they said nonchalantly, as if it were nothing at all, “By the way, when we have the carpet men re-seam the carpets, we’ll go ahead and have them shampooed as well.” 
For Free!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This Was
Seriously. I don’t think I’ve ever been so thrilled. 
The downside to this, though, is that the furniture had to be hastily piled on top of beds and kept there until the carpets dried, and I didn’t want three children rolling around on freshly-chemically-cleaned carpets, so we had to figure out a way to be out of the house all day and night on Tuesday. 
Enter my parents, who are simply wonderful. They had been visiting and were both leaving Tuesday afternoon, so my dad went to the front desk of the gorgeous, amazing hotel in which they like to stay  and extended their visit one more night so that we could stay in their room (huge, with two queen-sized beds) that night. 
Given that this summer the kids and I will be in Texas while the Ogre locks himself into our apartment to prepare for his qualifying exams, this was as close as we’re going to get to a family vacation for at least a year. Obviously, we jumped at the opportunity and had a fantastic time.
The Weather
was exceptionally gorgeous on Tuesday. In the morning, my mom, Sienna and I swam at the hotel pool, ate delicious nearly-summer-ripe fruit, and I drank a pina colada at 11 a.m., because that’s the way I roll. 
Sienna and I got sunburned, which I guess I should really be bummed about since skin cancer is so pesky and all, but actually I was pretty happy because I’ve barely been a shade darker than dead all winter. After my parents flew out
the kids and I got cleaned up and dressed and we all walked down to the District, got dinner to go, and ate outside. It was a gorgeous night and we had a great time, and afterward, as a special treat, we rented The Voyage of the Dawn Treader in our hotel room and the girls and Liam fell asleep watching it. 
The Next Morning
my wonderful Ogre surprised me with the news that he had booked the hotel for one more night, so that we could have another day of swimming and family fun! 
We went home briefly to get some clothes, and it ended up being a good thing that we stayed on at the hotel since the carpets still weren’t dry. (They were beautiful, though.)
We had an amazing time. It was a great little impromptu staycation (yeah, I feel like an idiot for typing that word), and we came home yesterday exhausted but happy. 
Poor Sienna was so tired that, in spite of an 8 o’clock bedtime last night, she still slept through most of her school day today. The Ogre took her to ride the Carousel and get a smoothie to make up for it.
Here Are Some Pictures!
Charlotte, who in the last year has gone from being terrified of sand and water to only being terrified of sand if it’s on her hands when she’s finished playing, and only being terrified of water if it goes above her knees. I’m grateful for small improvements.
Liam couldn’t quite keep his eyes open while looking toward the sun
Sienna and the Ogre worked on her rather impressive swimming skills
There she goes!
One more of Charlotte, just because. And in case you’re wondering, yes, the hotel pool does have a sand beach. How cool is that?
On Our Second Hotel Night
we watched Tangled.
After the scathing review First Things gave this movie, I was prepared to hate it. Only my deep, abiding, and not at all inappropriate love for Zachary Levi prompted me to watch it. 
So imagine my surprise when I loved it! Massively underwhelming musical score aside, I haven’t enjoyed a movie this much since Ratatouille. There are movies that are better, sure. Up and Wall-E come immediately to mind, and yet…Tangled falls into that category of movies that are just plain enjoyable. I’d rather watch it than Up any day, even though I recognize that Up is frankly a better movie. 
This week I plan to re-visit that First Things article and write my own review of Tangled and rebuttal of First Things criticisms. Although it may just end up being a slightly incoherent ode to Zachary Levi. 
Finally, I’d like to ask for some prayers for my friend Kassie, who has had a rough week. You can check out her blog post for details if you’d like to pray for specifics, but if not, please just say a quick prayer for her and her friends who have been been struck by misfortune on all sides. They could really use it.
Oh yes! I promised you an inappropriate comment, didn’t I? 
So this little gem was said directly to me during Ash Wednesday Mass. The Ogre and Liam weren’t feeling very well, so the girls and I braved the teeming masses to kick off Lent. Sitting beside us was a very nice-looking young man (I say young, but he was probably about two years older than me) who looked like he spent 16 out of every 24 hours in the gym. He was very polite, moving down a chair so that there was room for us and smiling kindly at Sienna when she repeatedly elbowed him in her fidgety five-year-old-ness. 
But then…right before the distribution of the ashes…
he leaned across Sienna and said, “Excuse me, ma’am?”
(I’m going to leave aside the fact that I am clearly younger than him and still get carded for R-rated movies and yet he called me ma’am.)
“Excuse me, ma’am? Is he just going to give us the ashes and let us go, or is he going to do the whole thing?”
I bit my lip to keep from giggling as I explained to him that yes, the priest was “going to do the whole thing,” meaning that this was a full Mass which would include communion. 
To his credit, he stayed for the whole Mass (which I can’t say for 50% of the rest of the church), kneeled at appropriate times, remained kneeling after the horrific *thunk* of kneelers slamming up as soon as the first person in the first pew got up to receive, and even let the priest get 75% of the way down the aisle before bolting. 
Also, since he stayed the whole time he got to hear the priest admonish everyone who came just for ashes. It was the most awesome homily EVER.
Happy weekend, everyone! Go see Jen for more quick takes!
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