It was great to have Emily here, but the visit, as always, was too short! I picked her up on Friday afternoon at the train station (after spending the morning at the DMV with Toby so he could finally get his learner's permit!) and presented her with the baby shower book I'd put together over the previous few weeks. Rather than throw her an actual shower (soooo not her thing, and also all her friends are spread out all over the world), I sent questionairres to her friends to fill out and then I put their answers in a book. There were two parts: one was a survey of wishes for the baby, where friends finish sentences like "I hope you have your mother's ____," and "I hope your first word is ___." Sentimental stuff, mostly :) Then the other one was mostly silly -- it was a survey of baby name suggestions. Pick names from books, songs, movies, etc. Anyway I had a ton of fun putting it together, and Emily loved reading through it. Time will tell if she takes any of those name suggestions. I do have to say that everyone who suggested she name her kid "Meg" went up in my esteem.
Friday afternoon was pretty laid back. We went for a walk, then took the train into the city for food cart dinner and froyo. We spent a few hours at the Barrel Room for dueling pianos that night, then came home and did the sleep thing. We woke up early Saturday to go kayaking. Ben and Toby joined us, and we rented one tandem, one single, and one SUP. I took the SUP for most of the morning, and the weather was perfect. Toby and Emily each took turns trying it out, and both were so proficient at it that I no longer felt awesome about how quickly I took to it. Emily was even doing yoga on it. As we were getting our things out of the river, a piece of the kayak that wasn't very well secured fell into the water. Feeling bold, I volunteered to dive in and fetch it -- the water is about neck-deep at the dock where it fell, so it was not just wading in up to my knees or something. I'm surprised that in this group of adventurers, I was the one that chose to do this. The weather was nice, but not hot -- only about 75ish, and the water was fucking cold. But I went for it, retrieved the kayak piece, and we returned our rentals and headed out. Ben and Toby each went on to other engagements afterward, but Em and I hit up Abhiruchi for lunch. That's still my favorite meal in all of Portland, but they've been making their buffet dishes way spicier lately, and it didn't take long for lunch to make its presence known in my system. We came home and napped for a while, then got to work on some household projects. I'd asked for Em's help with some t-shirt modifications I wanted to do, and we did a few of those. Then Emily suggested that we should do some tidying and organizing around the house. She went to work and told me what I needed to work on, and we got moving. I swear I didn't invite her down to clean my house, but I'm grateful that she wanted to! I mentioned to her some of the projects that Toby and I have been cooking up, and we decided a trip to Ikea was in order. We did some rearranging downstairs, she put together a new shelving unit for me, and together we did a lot more organizing that evening. I was so excited to surprise Toby with it the next day. (He was impressed!) Emily commented that every time she comes to visit, she can see that whatever we've worked on the last time (because she always helps me around the house, whether I ask or not) has regressed a bit, but it's regressed less. So basically my adulting process is two steps forward, one step back. But that's still forward progress! I have big goals for this house over the next few months. I hope I can maintain the drive...
On Sunday, we got her things together and headed downtown to check out the Saturday Market and get some more cart food before her train came. Toby met us there and the three of us hung out together in the train station doing a crossword while we waited for the train. By then, my shingles had gotten really painful, and I'd made a doc appointment for right after that, so we went from saying our goodbyes straight to the doctor's office.
I was horrified when the doc said it was shingles, partly because I know shingles sucks, but also because I know it's contagious and didn't want Emily (or Toby, but especially Emily) to get it. The doc said the risk was low, though, so hopefully this outbreak ends with me. I've been taking prescriptions since Sunday afternoon now, and the pain isn't really any better, but the rash has changed a bit. It's not spreading at all, but it's gotten more blistery. The doctor said it should take about a week to clear up now that I'm on the medicine. TOO LONG. But I'll live. I've canceled all but my most essential plans for the week and I plan to make the most of the doctor's orders to take it easy. I'm hopeful that a couple more days of rest will be all I need, and then I'll feel ready to hit the ground running again.
In the meantime, I've been trying to do little things, but not pushing myself too much. Yesterday, Toby and I did some more organizing around the house. I made a good dent in my craft area before my arm started screaming at me, and Toby worked really hard on the overgrowth in the back yard. It looks great! He let me nap for a bit while he did some work stuff, and then we went over to Chris & Bethany's house to play games and eat. Josh, Mary, and Gwen were there, and the four adults had already started a game, so Toby and I played a different one for a bit, then we all ate together. Their game was still going, so Toby and I hung out with Gwen after dinner. She was very cuddly and sweet on me yesterday, and I loved every minute of it. When it was time for them to go, she apparently missed me very much. I was touched :)
Toby and I stayed to play a game of Thurn and Taxis with Chris and Bethany, which I lost horribly. I still love that game, and I've always felt that a lot comes down to luck of the draw, but that said, I almost never do very well, so maybe I'm just bad at it. Whatever, though. Love it anyway.
Toby and I got some driving practice in over the weekend, too. He's never really driven at all before, so he's nowhere near ready for primetime (or actual roads), but he managed to navigate a few parking lots and neighborhoods without too much trouble. I've never taught someone to drive before, so we'll see how it goes. Wish us luck!