Weekend: Time Travel, Elves, and Christmas Microbes

by M. Joshua

Christmas goal: getting MacGyver to be okay with cuddling in our laps

I picked up Alex a little early. We pressed-through Pandora’s challenging trials to find out what happened to Sanctuary. It may have been the most fun we’ve had playing Borderlands 2 thus far.

When Jess got off from the rec, we dropped off the Mazda at Brooks-Huff and picked up Safety Not Guaranteed at Redbox. Indie rom-coms aren’t usually about guys who think they can travel through time. I think it subtly brings hope to our fading young adult dreams. Might be my film pick for 2012. We re-watched it early on Saturday because Jess fell asleep halfway through it (to her defense, we did start the movie at about 11:30).

Saturday afternoon, we download-rented Pitch Perfect, the a cappella musical comedy. I’m not a fan of the genre, but there was so much delightfully-awkward humor. The trailers don’t spoil all of the best parts, either.

Saturday night, we joined our closest friends for a Donahue screening of Elf. I had fun chasing Raphie around on the floor as she was trying to go on a crawl-mission to find her mommy in the kitchen. She’s such a cute baby. Her daddy preached on Sunday morning with a lot more confidence about him than usual. I’m excited to see Vince come into his own.

Tina and Wayne came over for lunch. Jess made raspberry habaƱero chicken with wheat mac ‘n cheese. We showed the Inscores around the house and Wayne surveilled the bathroom where we wanted to hang a cabinet off the wall. He planned to have all the necessary tools the following morning.

Jess wouldn't let me get this amazing pink chair. :(

We discovered that Alex and Casse’s grandmother (guardian) was in the hospital because of a heart attack. We prayed. Cassie got off work at six and needed a rid. We poked around at Cassie’s Boscov’s for a little before her shift ended. We wanted to make sure we all got dinner before going to visit her grandma in the hospital, so we stopped at Cheddar’s. Grandma Carter is a tough cookie. She waited until Sunday to go to the hospital for the heart attack she had on Wednesday. It’s a good thing she did. Cassie had a hard time with all of it. We heard about Alex’s visit earlier in the day that wasn’t so dry-eyed either. It looked like grandma was getting better, but that she would need to be there for another day or so. We invited Alex and Cassie to stay with us for the night.

Wayne showed up at 8:30 am. We all still had our PJs on. Jess made pancakes. It was nice to have a big family breakfast. We gave the Carter Kids a ride home, with long faces. The snow started not too long after.

Maybe you should let Jesus carry that, Elephant.

By sunset, the roads were a too tad treacherous for Christmas Eve celebrations. Good thing we invested in a Subaru. We got to the other side of Dover (PA) for our Christmas Eve dinner with Jess’s counsin Emily and her mom, Gwen. The seasoned chicken and roasted beets filled our bellies while we discovered fascinating events and curiosities in each other’s lives. Aunt Gwen showed us her custom-built home that she’s slowly modeled to her liking. Her cat was supposed to be shy, but she couldn’t get enough of us rubbing her chubby belly.

Presents opened themselves on Christmas morning. Jess was very excited to discover that she got a copy of Sims 3. I was surprised to find that I was the proud new owner of a painting by Betony Coons, the other half of the musical Tim Coons. It goes well with the other elephant painting in our house that I’ve named Aaron Strumpel.

Jess also got me the collector’s edition of Journey, which came with tons of bonus content and 5 other games that thatgamecompany has made, including Flower and flOw. flOw reminds me of Osmos, but controls with the PS3’s SixAxis motion controls. I think I’m playing as a microbe. Or lots of different microbes that eat other tinier microbes. It makes for an unsurprisingly-odd experience.

Dolphin Microbes! So cute! And vicious!

Dinner was really nice. I’m really coming to love Jess’ family for who they are – a bunch of funny characters who actually do have some great love languages: like making lots of great food, making you eat it, giving one another presents, and then letting you crash like a ton of bricks on the couch.