Joe took the day off Wednesday and we all got dolled up and headed "to town" to attend the ordination celebration for our new bishop. Big event. Lots of people. We were lucky enough to find some of our friends with preschoolers and sit with them, which helped Olivia (and the other kids) survive the nearly-three-hour liturgy.
It was beautiful. The kids were surprisingly well behaved. We left with our good humor still intact (which cannot often be said after certain behavior issues during a regular Sunday Mass, so this was definitely a win).
Close to the end of the liturgy, Joe whispered to ask me if we should call Samantha and see if she was available for a visit. So I texted her, and she promptly texted back, and an hour later we picked her up for what turned out to be the nicest visit we've probably ever had. We went out to eat (at a place that a bunch of our ordination-attending friends also coincidentally chose). Olivia was a little grumpy at first, having taken a 45-minute nap in Daddy's arms at the end of Mass and still not fully awake, but she perked up after a bit. It was relaxed and enjoyable, just like old friends catching up.
Our relationship with Samantha has not always been easy. She has had a lot of drama going on in her life, and it tends to cloud her ability to be fully present to Olivia when we see her. But Wednesday was great. I am really, really hoping for more visits like this one.