Ok, here's the news from Wednesday to Friday.
Wednesday I had my class then got nails done with Kristin. It was fun to relax and get pampered and catch up. I decided not to get the shellac polish again, because it was so expensive (40JOD compared to 15JOD for a normal mani/pedi) and it took so long with having to do the UV light between coats. So back to normal polish for me. And my nails had gotten so long that I "clicked" them a lot, which drove Thomas crazy. So I clipped them back a little, and now they look and feel good. I'm hoping by the end of our time here I'll have completely kicked the nail biting/picking habit and have naturally pretty nails. A girl can dream.
I also picked up some chocolate ice cream (Breyer's) from the co-op at the embassy. That is my current indulgence. I also loaded up on sausage, since that's the only place in Amman to get it (that I know of). We hosted church Friday morning, and I was planning to make these sausage bites, which are delicious. I was so grateful for Emy, since she cleaned everything I didn't feel the need to crazy-clean before people came over this morning for church. It's amazing having your house be company-ready at basically all times. Magical.
Thursday I took Benjamin to the embassy for lunch with Thomas (and chicken ceasar salad for me!), and a flu shot too. He's such a big boy now, I don't bring him in the stroller anymore. Usually he doesn't want to walk into the embassy, I carry him, but we meet up with Thomas and he'll walk a little bit. It's very sweet. Thomas drove us home so he could have the car to drive home after work, and on the way home we stopped at the fruit guy to get stuff for fruit salad. I planned to make brownies, the sausage bites, and have cut-up veggies and ranch. But I thought, after getting all the responses back from church people, that maybe we needed something light, so I decided to make a quick fruit salad too. Thursday evening I made the sausage bites (so I could reheat them easily the next day) and cut up a ton of fruit (apples, melon, pears and plums) and the veggies (green pepper, cucumber and carrots). Baking the brownies was quick and easy, and Thomas helped me wash the dishes before bed. I was a little nervous about having 20-30 people over, but it turned out really great.
I also set the table, using a sheet as a tablecloth. Somehow my table linens got put into storage, so it's all random over here. I had a ton of cute matching paper plates and napkins from a binge I went on at Target literally 5 or 6 years ago, and I just bought some extra plastic silverware from Spinney's. Since a lot of people are coffee drinkers, we set up the coffee maker (using a transformer, since they took away the local loaner coffee pot). And I tried to arrange the chairs to give the maximum amount of seating. I was grateful that the embassy provides a big dining table and 10 chairs, they helped fill out the couches. It was nice to have the day before church to have time to set up and think things through.
Friday morning (today) we woke up about 7:30, when Benjamin did. It was awesome to have him sleep in slightly. I hope hope hope he will do it again! We got everything set up and the coffee started (had to toss the first pot, it was waaaay too strong) and the first people showed up at 9am. It was so fun to see everyone, I love our little church family. And by about 9:45 they started singing which starts the service. Kristin took over the kids lesson, and I stayed in the kitchen to work on food and be close by in case Benjamin needed me. He usually freaks out if Thomas or I aren't with him part of the time, but he did pretty well. There were a ton of kids, probably 10ish (I'm awful at estimating) and they were everywhere. But no injuries or major meltdowns, so I think it went pretty smoothly.
Everyone brought food and we had sooo much. Danielle brought curry, which was awesome. She is in Amman because her husband is doing the Fulbright, and she's super cute and nice. Carly made pikelets, which is Australian for little pancakes, which she brushed with butter and put sprinkles on. But she called them "hundreds of thousands," which is the brand name I think. Very interesting. We also had bread pudding, falafel and pita and hummus, some jalapeno poppers, and probably some other stuff I can't even remember. We were totally set. After the service ended people ate and visited for around an hour, then everyone trickled away. Kristin and Karl and their two boys stayed and helped us clean up, which was incredibly kind and helpful. But despite the chaos there wasn't too much in the way of wreckage. Danielle was a dear and left us some curry and rice, and we also snagged some bread pudding. Not having to think about making dinner tonight was such a blessing.
All in all, it's been a good week. Of course, once a day is over I can barely remember anything. I'm having a hard time thinking of what happened Wednesday besides me getting nails done, and I'm completely drawing a blank. I'll try to be better about posting, if only so I can have a record of our goings-on. After such a big morning, we've been laying low all afternoon and evening. I've done a couple rounds of washing dishes, giving them time to air dry, then putting them away so I have space to wash more. But I'm not stressed about it, since we have tomorrow to relax and do whatever. I'd like to get out of the house a little, which might just mean a trip to the mall for some fried chicken and froyo. Apologies for the boringest expat blog ever.
Enjoy your weekend!