(You guys will probably have to read this in segments it turned out so long!) Thanks for all of the encouragement.
It is now official. The weekend is over! And, as I'm looking back, on the whole, it wasn't too bad which is a huge improvement over how my inlaw weekends usually go.
Starting on Thursday, here was the plan for the weekend. Friday - dinner at sis in laws. Saturday - Chris, FIL, BIL, SIL golfing in the afternoon. SIL to be and me having coffee in the afternoon. Sunday - family pics at noon, dinner at MIL house. Monday - coffee with ex-friend. Also, let me preface that no one else in Chris' family has children. That should explain a lot of my anxiety over our visits.
Beginning Friday plans were changing in my favor. Chris decides that he will be working too late and so he will go out to SIL after work. The kids and I can stay home. My sister came over and we grilled oysters while the kids ran around in their pull ups and dug in the dirt. It was a perfect evening, keeping the kids on thier schedule, being able to visit and Chris able to have a night on his own with his family. A+
Saturday morning we took the kids to McD for breakfast and they had the place to themselves. Before we left, Chris tells me that his dad wants to BBQ at our house that night. I hate it, but I"m supportive, saying, "What do you need me to do", etc. After he goes through it all in his head, I take his hand and say, "Hon, promise me to not make this too stressful" He then goes outside and starts straightening up the yard and then comes back in. He says, "I just can't do it. I would want to do the yard and finish up some stuff before having people over and with golfing I can't do it. I'm going to call my dad. It was kind of unfair to lay this on me anyway." What?! I was amazed!! I was so proud of Chris for realizing his needs and standing up to his dad. This was a huge step for him!
Saturday afternoon was very pleasant with SIL to be. We really enjoy each other and have found solace in each other's company even outside of family issues. We all had BBQ at FIL's house and had fun until talk started about breakfast(?) the next day with MIL. And not only breakfast. Turns out, Chris and I hadn't heard any of this, that MIL wanted to have breakfast with only her kids, no spouses. This was because she wanted to do an "intervention" on one of his brothers. For all of us to split up his fines to give him one last chance. To the tune of 1200 dollars each. What?? Again, I was so proud of Chris. We all talked about it, spouses too, saying that we didn't agree with that for many reasons and decided to call MIL and tell her. She freaked out and hung up on Chris, who made the call. We then called her back and said that if she wanted to meet at a restaurant to enjoy breakfast as a family we would enjoy that. But no "intervention", only food and family. She agreed.
Sunday breakfast went well, probably one of the nicest visits I've had with MIL. Bec was fiesty of course, so I chased him around the park across the street from the restaurant for the most part. I had made an appt for all of the siblings to get a group photo done for FIL for Father's day. After that, Chris and his brother S came home, moved some sod and planted it along the side of our house. S also trimmed and mowed our lawn. During this time SIL to be and BIL came over and said that there must be a misunderstanding because FIL says that we are having dinner at our house that night. Well, Chris puts it into high gear, I head to the butcher and the store and we pull it together.
Everything goes fine until Chris says that he has to take his brother to the bank to pay him for all of the yard work. I tell him that I'm uncomfortable being hostess while he is gone. He takes off anyway. I'm in the room with Bec who is watching a movie and starting to fall asleep. I hear Ivy out playing with the rest of Chris' family. I hear her begin to get a little frustrated at something and start to cry. BIL and FIl start to tease her and laugh at her. She then has a melt down. I go out and get her to put her in her room until she wants to come out. She gets hysterical. Bec gets hysterical. They are both loud as can be. Chris is gone. The rest of the inlaws are dead quiet and uncomfortable. I get Ivy calmed down and lead her out to the living room, but then she loses it again. this goes on. Chris had told me that FIL thinks that we are too lenient with Ivy and she just needs to be disciplined. So, I've got that running through my head. I'm sad for Ivy, yet embarassed that all of this is going on for so long without Chris and so loud, but I keep going. FIL tries to calm her down, but she is inconsolable. He comes out, throws up his hands, and says, "I tried." then gets his wife and leaves. Everyone else just sits there. I'm walking out FIL and notice Chris talking to his brother in the driveway. I throw eye daggers his way and he gets into the house. He then takes over exactly what I was doing, which I was so proud of for our consistency with our discipline. I told him what was going on, how Ivy got embarassed and how she is overwhelmed. He gets pissed at his dad and brother, saying to me, that they used to do the exact same thing to him when he was little. Finally the rest of them leave. I think that was when I emailed my frustrated post here. I was at my wit's end!
Monday we went for a walk with the kids and I told Chris that I felt really nervous about coffee with exfriend, like a blind date with someone who knows your past. I kind of fretted over what to wear, then decided to wear what I would wear on any other day. I got there early to avoid any awkwardness with paying for coffee, etc. and then sat down to read a catalog. She came up behind me and we just hugged. Then we talked for about an hour, laughing and remembering. No negativity at all. I went grocery shopping with her and we continued to talk. As we were leaving, I told her that the visit had been nice. She said, "Yeah, but I still feel guilty." I told her that I did too, but we should just let it go. And that was that. She left and I left. We didn't exchange #s or make other plans. I was so happy.
I got an email from her last night that made me a bit uncomfortable. She said that she had such a great time, etc. and thinks we could spend the next 6 months catching up. She then said that "I'll just invite myself over next weekend with a bottle of wine." Red flag!!
You guys will be sooo proud. I emailed her right away and told her that I don't often have company and I don't get away from the house, it has to be planned and times are few and far between. I also told her that next weekend wouldn't work. I totally defended my boundaries and I didn't put it off. I haven't heard back yet. I won't give her my #. I'm keeping myself safe, although I really do want to see her again.
There are tons more details about our visit, but I'll do those later, this is already so long. I had a flash of intuition last week and made myself an appt. for a massage today to get rid of any weekend residue. I'm also PMSing so this is perfect timing. I can't wait!