A Bleg
Where the boys are

Camilla! And some other people too.

Hey, my little blogging break totally worked. I am practically BURSTING with stuff to tell you. So what do you want to hear about first? The plane ride? The wedding? The three hour time difference and how that, combined with the inability of Phillip and the other groomsmen to go to bed at a reasonable hour, conspired to completely kick my butt and I'm still feeling the effects? No? None of that?

Oh, I know what.

Guess who got to hang out with Camilla the WonderBaby?

That would be me. Jealous?

Let's all pretend my arm is not twice the size of Camilla's head.

By the way, my real life friends were SO IMPRESSED that I was meeting an internet friend. Like, enough to somehow legitimize this whole website thing. "She's coming all the way out here to meet YOU?" they asked incredulously. "For REAL? YOU?" And I had to say, "I KNOW. I am THAT AWESOME."

But not really. For reasons beyond all understanding, Arwen, Bryan and Camilla braved the frillions of trucks driving through the great state of Michigan to meet up with me. They decided to do this even after I told Arwen I'm an even bigger dork in person. Obviously there is something wrong with them.

Michigan, by the way, looks like this:

This is a great party trick.

"How to make a map of Michigan with your hand" was one of the many things I learned from Arwen this weekend. Another was how to effectively squish your baby into her sling and bounce up and down to get her to sleep so you can eat your lunch in peace.

I also learned that she is tall and thin and beautiful and that no one would ever guess she had a baby in OCTOBER, so of course I was inclined to hate her. I mean, look:

Camilla says, "Mooom, get me away from this dumpy chick and her poor choice of maternity attire!"

It's hard, however, to hate someone who is the oldest of a bunch of kids, who is married to a guy who never had to share his toys, who likes all the same websites you do and eeeee!wehavesomuchincommon! Except for, you know, the tall thin beautiful thing. But I can get over that. Eventually.

(And, I am totally wondering if I flat out lied when my doctor asked me if I had any swelling in my face and I happily said, "No, I don't think so!" Because GOOD LORD my chins have QUADRUPLED.)

We went to Mass at the church in the background (another piece of Arwen wisdom: www.masstimes.org)
where Phillip and I discovered that people dress a lot nicer for church in the Midwest than they do in Seattle. (They also still say "man" in the Creed instead of the West Coast politically correct "human", and they kneel before and after Communion, which we stopped doing for some reason, and kneeling is rather difficult when you're already short of breath and in danger of toppling over from a very disturbed center of balance. ALSO, I will just say that the Catholic children of Michigan are leaps and bounds above their Seattle counterparts when it comes to sitting quietly and thumbing through their Bible story board books.)

Anyway, meeting the girl behind the brilliant website was a total blast, Mr. Arwen was the nicest guy EVER and cheerfully participated in geektalk with Mr. Mighty Maggie (although that, apparently, does not mean he rates a photo because dude! I have no pictures of Bryan!), but of course who cares about those people when you get to play with Camilla?

As for Michigan... At least the fog lifted enough for me to see the lake as we were driving back to Chicago. (And my, that is quite a lake.) Turns out there was a very cute Main Street in town where I could have whiled away some time and money in boutique stores and ice cream shops and I think it'd be a fun place to sun yourself in the summer. But driving in and out of Chicago was insane and our hotel was a pink concrete version of my freshman year dorm and did I mention the no sleep? I still feel hungover and it's TUESDAY.

(Except not really hungover, because in case you forgot, I am pregnant and therefore not allowed to partake of the OPEN BAR, where there were COSMOS and RED WINE and BOMBAY SAPPHIRE. WOE.)

Anyway, I'll have to write about the wedding later, which is a post and a half by itself, to be entitled: Too Bad They Don't Make Maternity Tuxedoes. Are you intrigued?

In the meantime, don't forget about my bleg! Thanks for all your stories so far. You guys are so cute and mushy. I guess I thought they'd be more along the lines of "The best thing about having kids is that if you don't feel like doing the dishes, you can yell at your kid and make her do them." But I might have assumed that because I have a dad who says, with a gleaming winning smile, that the only reason he had kids was to make sure there'd be someone to clean up after him in his old age.



So glad you had a good time (except for the sleep part) It really is so much fun meeting an oline friend...maybe sometime if I am in Seattle I will meet up with you..then I will be complaining about how I look next to you!


Oh, we totally didn't brave the trucks. It is Michigan. It is Truck-and-Road-Construction Central. We are so used to it. We barely noticed the trucks.

Bryan's watch looks majorly bling-y in that first photo. Hee.

Imagine me giggling in a self-deprecatory manner at the idea that I am tall and *thin*. Tall, yes, but the only reason I look thin next to you is that you are 7.5 months pregnant. Sort of an unfair comparison. And Tall is totally a mixed bag. Sure, I can eat a few more Doritos without showing it, but on the other hand it is impossible for me to wear cute heels without towering over my husband. Eh.

Love the hand-map. It could only be a party trick in states that are not Michigan, though, since everyone who is from here totally does it all the time.

You forgot to mention that I am a way bigger dork in person, too.

Camilla loved you. I think the reason that she's been a little bit of a pain the past couple days is that she's wondering where you went. She's all, "Mom, where are Maggie and Phillip? I want to see Maggie and Phillip again!"

I think the differences you noticed at Mass are a function of that parish compared to yours rather than a Midwest vs. West Coast thing. I've been to parishes in our area that had nary a hint of a kneeler or a gender-specific pronoun. The one we attended on Sunday just happened to be very traditional-orthodox (did you hear the bells at the consecration?) which, if your parish isn't, would seem a little strange to you.

I never kneeled at Mass after about my twentieth week of pregnancy. I am impressed that you gave it a shot.

So glad you got to see the lake!

And, eeeeee! If we lived closer I would totally want to be BFF with you. I guess we'll just have to settle for BIFF.

Christina/Mrs Broccoli Guy

Oh wow, it's like you met a real live celebrity!! :-) It sounds like you guys had a really good time. I admit it, I'm jealous. :-}

kelli lu

i know i haven't commented in a very long time, but dear-person-i've-never-met-but-whose-writing-i-really-enjoy-and-with-whom-i-think-i-would-be-buddies-if-we-lived-on-the-same-coast:
you are a lovely pregnant lady. you look adorable in your cute maternity blouse in that photo. and this is from a completely objective source three time zones away. which somehow makes it more trustworthy, i think?? (c:

re: the bleg. i don't yet have kids (still waiting for the hubby! (c;), but i also have a dad who claims that the reason he had kids was to have someone to rake leaves and shovel snow. to prove his point, after we grew up and moved out, he bought a snowblower. (c:


You look great!

It's good to have you back.


How exciting! Love the photos!


I'm jealous. Sounds like you had a great time.

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