Generally, Mike Baby and I spend Friday evenings in the company of the Ball (formerly AB) peeps, chatting and sharing a few pitchers of beer over some tasty and oh-so-bad-for-us appetizers. I love our Happy Hour family, and have so many great memories of our simple Friday evenings passing with lots of laughter and fun.
I have made it out to one Happy Hour and one midweek get-together since Sprout jumped on board, and drank my O'douls and Shirley Temples like a champ- I even braved the Bleeker Wine and White Elephant, which turned out to be so much fun to be among friends who are already parents and have a chance to talk to them about all the new experiences on my horizon. But each of these 3 experiences has resulted in a different home dynamic- I stagger in, light-headed from exhaustion and the sugar high that comes with all my nonalcoholic drinks- Mike Baby staggers in, light-headed from... Drunken stupors. (Sorry, baby.) And as much as I love him, and as much as I know he's just having a safe, harmless good time- he kinda gets on my nerves. Oh, who am I kidding- Mike is friggin' annoying as hell when he's wasted!! Of course, I probably am really annoying when I've been drinking too- that's why we generally enjoy drinking together. So needless to say, evenings out have just lost a bit of their former luster.
*note that I am the luckiest wifey alive in that, Mike, when wasted, tends to tell me how awesome I am and how much he loves me. He's pretty awesome himself with all the flattery! I don't mean to discount that by complaining about his drunken tendency to be annoying. Bless him.
I guess I just didn't anticipate how it would feel to be the sober one in a group. I don't miss the drinks themselves- well, maybe I miss margaritas. But for the most part I'm not pining away for drinks- I just miss the camaraderie I suppose.... So readers, if you're out there, I'm currently accepting invitations to ice cream, smoothie, shopping, and chick flick dates! There's lots of sober fun to be had! :)
In the meantime, though, I spent my first Friday night at home (willingly, I promise) with assorted fresh fruit (Del Monte makes the best citrus salad in the fresh produce section, yumm) and a movie downloaded lovingly by Mike Baby himself- Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day. Selected because I'm just such an Amy Adams fan, this is such a little darling of a movie! Amy Adams plays an actress in 1930's ish England. She's gorgeous, her clothes are gorgeous- and her life is an absolute mess, but Francis McDormand comes along and cleans it up for her. It's so precious how Miss Pettigrew tries to save Amy Adams from her poor "professional" decisions and guide her toward her true love- she talks to her about the love of her life and says, "he smiled when he looked at me, and you could build a life on something like that," (I'm paraphrasing.) The point is, though, Amy Adams needed to stop chasing dreams long enough to see the simple goodness of her true love and appreciate it! That Francis McDormand is one smart cookie.
I sometimes have panic attacks based on my fear of not living my life to my absolute fullest- should I have taken a different job, moved to a different city, should I take bigger risks, should I encourage Mike to do the same, what can we do to ensure that we're not missing out on something. It's even more important to me now, not because I feel like having a baby haults our lives in favor of theirs, but because I want us to set a good example of seizing opportunities and having big dreams and pursuing personal growth. I get so caught up, I forget about all the shining examples of success I already have around me- Mike and I are building a fun, loving home with our 2 bad dogs, we have lots of great friends, we laugh a lot and we don't argue over chores (now how many married and co-habitating couples can say that?!?) Even as I type this, Stel and Yel are attacking me with kisses, saying Hey Mama get off the stinkin' computer and play with us! And honestly, getting to spend my Fridays getting kisses from my mutts is a pretty successful way to start my weekend. :)
What I'm slowly realizing is that if I want to find a way to work through my fears, I've got to first appreciate all I've done- and all the love and positive resources I have in my life- I've got to stop looking for what's missing and seeing what's already here. And who knows, maybe the dogs will lead me to those big dreams of mine- they might just be hiding under the deck!
Someday we will have our big house in a historic district, we'll bike to farmer's markets and I'll finally be able to garden (well, that may be pushing it, seeing as I kill herbs. But hey, these are dreams.) And some day I may find myself writing, or owning a little sammie shop/bakery combo. In the meantime I just want to enjoy these Fridays- they may be the last peaceful Fridays I ever have! After all, once Sprout comes along, we'll just be toting him/her along with us to Happy Hour. And here's to hoping that I can stay peaceful, positive, and healthy the next 32 weeks- now that's something the rest of you can all drink to on my behalf. :)