I had a fantastic weekend. It was incredibly busy, gave us virtually no time to relax and left me with giant bruises on both of my arms, but this past weekend definitely deserves two very enthusiastic thumbs up.

Friday after work, Clay and I met up with our favorite new couple at Malibu Grill for a nice dinner before we drove down to the Harrodsburg Haunted House (I had the Mediterranean salad and perhaps the most delicious Long Island Iced Tea ever). All of last week I had been dreading going to Harrodsburg because the first and only other time I went to that haunted house, I was scarred for life. Apparently the ghouls and goblins at haunted houses loooooove to prey on the most easily scared person in a group and what do you know, that person was me. I couldn’t help it. I was trying my hardest not to act like I was terrified, but how do you not scream when a girl who’s head is stuck in cage chases you for 20 yards? I was in tears by the time we made it the grand finale and almost punched the guy wheedling the chain saw in the face.  But I decided to suck it up and go this weekend because while I do hate being scared, I love my friends even more and wanted to do something that they wanted to do. 

So Friday night, as we pulled into the parking lot and I saw the haunted house looming in the distance, my panic began to set in. I kept chattering a million miles a minute and laughing a little too loudly at what everyone was saying to try and give off the vibe that I was a cool, down-to-earth, way-to-awesome-to-be-scared-of-something-so-ridiculous chick. And I think it was actually working because my friend’s wife was the one the creepy straight-jacket guy (see above— that's him!) started harassing while we were waiting in line. However, once we were standing at the giant door to enter the haunted house, I started shaking so hard that it felt like the earth underneath me was vibrating. Clay kept squeezing my hand and reassuring me that no one was going to touch me and I could just close my eyes and look down if I needed to. It sounded like a plan.

When our little group make its way into the first room of the house, we were greeted by a “doctor” with a hacksaw slicing up one of his "patients". (I demand to see a copy of his medical license.) When he heard us come in, he looked up from his “work” and stared at all of us, unblinking, for an uncomfortable length of time. Then, in true haunted house fashion, he lunged at us with his saw, never taking his creepy eyes off of us. But I didn’t scream. Rather, the first thing I did was blurt out, “You’re really good at this! Have you had formal training?” The “doctor” just looked at me blankly, and let us move on.

The next room was fashioned to be a meat locker and we had to make our way through by moving giant slabs of hanging meat out of our path. Of course, there was some equally crazy-looking dude wearing spikes in his head hiding in the shadows and waiting to jump out at passerby who walked a little too close. As I moved a giant rack of meat out of my way, the ghoul jumped in my face and screamed. I recoiled briefly, but then remembered my method for making it through this haunted house without having a stroke:

“Your costume is great! Super scary. I almost believe you actually have spikes in your head! Hey, do you know how to get of this room?”

The confused actor pointed me in the right direction and let me be, opting not to follow me into the next room like so many of the ghouls the first time I was there.

I started to relax.

In fact, my “kill them with kindness” act worked wonders and I walked through the rest of the haunted house complimenting all of the scary things on their realistic costumes and acting abilities. None of them made it a point to keep bothering me because I was doing a marvelous job of acting myself and successfully convinced the skeleton man running around in the cornfield that he didn’t bother me.

After the haunted house, my entire body shivered with relief that it was over. We went back to our friends house and enjoyed drinks and s’mores that ultimately led to Mario Kart racing and lots of trash talk. I’m blaming the fact that I didn’t win a single race on not being able to be Yoshi. I’m always Yoshi. But he’s slow. So I opted for baby Luigi instead (not like it made a difference).

Saturday morning I woke up bright and early to go out for a training run of 11 miles since I knew I wouldn’t have an opportunity to do it later in the day. My car is currently being worked on (again) and Clay was using his vehicle, so I ended up having to run a mile down to the trail. The run felt amazing during the first 8 or so miles, but by mile 9 I was painfully aware of how tired my body was. I think I’ve been overdoing the running a bit lately and it really hindered me as I tried to run up the monstrous hill on the final mile back to my house.

Feeling nauseous and sore, I crawled back to our apartment and was greeted by Clayton standing at the top of the stairwell … with half of our couch.

“Oh great, honey! You’re right on time! Care to help me get this couch down to the truck?”

I wasn’t going to get a chance to run later in the afternoon because Clay and I promised the woman who bought our couch that we would deliver it to her house—her house over an hour away in Paoli, Indiana.  When I left the apartment to go run, Clay left the apartment to drive to another city to swap cars with a friend so we’d have a truck to cart the couch in.

Legs shaking with exhaustion, I looked up my darling hubby who was waiting expectantly at the top of the stairs.

“Fine,” I agreed tartly, “But if I throw up or crap my pants, you’re cleaning up the mess.”

Needless to say, moving two sections of a bulky, heavy couch immediately after running a tiresome 11 miles did not go smoothly at all. Carting the sofa down the steps halted several times due my frequent exclamations of “Stop! I think I’m going to barf!” or “I REALLY need to use the bathroom”.

It was not pretty.  Some words were said. Some feelings were hurt. But I’d like to think that Clayton and I came out through the couch-moving experience a stronger, closer couple that is much more in tune with each other’s personal plumbing systems.

At least I have now proven to Clayton once and for all that runners' diarrhea is not a myth.

Moving the couch down to Paoli and back took the better part of our Saturday afternoon because hauling a giant piece of furniture held on the back of your truck with nothing but a bungee cord is a very delicate process. But along the way we enjoyed the time we had to talk and admire the insanely breathtaking hills of Southern Indiana that were perfectly dotted with colorful, autumn trees. After a little debate, Clay and I comfortably decided on the term “fallgasmic” to describe what we were looking at.

After dropping off the couch to the sweetest old woman on the planet (who happened to live in BFE), we made the trek back to town so we could stop by a furniture store, pick up our new couch, and drag it up the stairs to our apartment. Aside from losing one of the new couch's cushion in the street and having a kind soul chase our car down to tell us, we were finally able to grunt and strain our new piece of furniture into the apartment … and then weep with the reality that in just two weeks, he will have to lug the thing back out again.

We ended up sore, grouchy, and tired, but also incredibly thankful that we were able to sell our beloved sectional couch and purchase a new one in the same weekend without losing any money on the deal. The new couch is nice. It’s brown. It’s a couch. It will work. We both decided we were over the entire thing and didn’t care anymore.

Saturday night we stopped by the in-laws for Grandma’s 88th birthday. Since my birthday is this Friday, some of the festivities were for me as well and that included a wonderful gift of two Yankee Candles. A little birdie told my mother-in-law that Macintosh Apple was one of my favorite all-year-round scents and she also surprised me with that and a Mango Peach Salsa. I think my sister-in-law summed it up best when she said, “Yankee Candles are like crack for women.” True ‘dat.

Sunday we joined our good friends at my hubby’s childhood church to celebrate the baptism of little Nicholas. He’s grown like a weed and his hair is still redder than ever. After the service we went back to their house to eat lots of homemade tamales (yum!) and much to my delight, cake.

So you know that I had a good time.

Clay also finally let me go to the store and buy a new running watch.  Running with a watch is a luxury that I will never take for granted again.  Sunday evening I went out on a 3-mile recovery run and almost fell over with surprise when I realized that my sore thighs managed to carry me at a 7:50 minute per mile.

So that was my weekend. A little hetic, a little tiring, but also incredibly fun and exciting. I saw old friends, hung out with new friends, and had cake. What’s NOT to love about that?