Monday, May 29, 2017

What the Hell is the Matter With Me?

Last night, I tossed and turned for hours, waiting for sleep to still my racing thoughts. I finally had to get up, find my iPod, and tune into some soothing music in order to lull myself to sleep.

I've been planning for this vacation for months, now. I need this vacation. So, why, the day before we leave, am I plagued with anxious thoughts? Why do I worry about the hardware store while I am gone? Why do I stress over Day Job and my clients, who, I know, I have left in good hands? Why am I verklempt at the thought of leaving my cat for ten days? He's also in good hands, and, I mean, he's a cat; they fend for themselves pretty well. Why do I envision plane delays, lost luggage, lost time, or...worse?

What the hell, Chelle?

I...guess I need a vacation even worse than I thought?

Sigh.

I think I recall feeling some anxiety prior to my Paris trip a few years ago, and, that turned out just fine. Better than fine; it was a trip of a lifetime.

Actually, I think I've had pre-vacation anxiety before almost every vacation we have taken since Hugh and I were married.

Orlando? Yep. Twice.

Barbados? Yep.

The Florida Keys? You got it.

I think I'm just wired to stress. Maybe that's an indication that I need more vacations? You know, immersion therapy to help eliminate the phobia? Isn't that how that works?

Huh. I wouldn't mind testing that theory. Guess I'll have plenty of time on my hands, what with being an empty nester and all.

New hobby?

Time will tell.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

How To Stuff 10 Pounds of Shit into a 5 Pound Bag

I'm just about done packing for our trip to Hawaii. In an effort to save money, the six of us are all sharing suitcases, which, means that Hugh and I are attempting to cram ten days worth of clothing, shoes, and toiletries into one large suitcase. The effort is akin to that of a clown car but not nearly as funny.

I have managed to fit, on my side of the suitcase, the following items:

- 5 bikinis
- 3 tankinis
- 5 swimsuit covers
- 5 pairs of shorts
- 3 sundresses
- 4 tank tops
- 1 pair of capris
- 1 pair of palazzo pants
- 1 one-shoulder blouse
- 1 off-the-shoulder blouse
- 1 sleeveless blouse
- 3 bras
- 10 pairs of underwear
- 1 large cosmetics bag
- 3 pairs of sandals
- 1 sweater
- 2 nighties
- 1 robe
- 1 small purse
- 1 large beach hat

And, yes, I think Hugh still has room for his stuff. At least, I think he does. Hell, I don't know, it's hard to tell. Although, since there is still plenty of room for stowaways, I would say he's in the clear.



You know, once we heartlessly evict the squatters.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Friday Favorites: Almost Vacation Time Edition

Graduation is in the books!

The final end-of-school-year slip'n'slide is in the rear-view!

It's time to delve into summer!

We leave for our Hawaiian vay-cay in three days. To say that I am ready for a vacation would be a vast understatement; in fact, I don't think that I have ever been more physically, mentally, or emotionally in need of a vacation in my entire life.

It's been a long couple of months, folks.

Anyhoodle, in preparation for our trip, I have been pulling together a wardrobe that includes cute swimming suits, because, duh, Hawaii.




What makes these suits my favorites? Well, they somehow manage to not make me look like a baby hippo. 'Nuf said.


I am taking these adorable cosmetics bags; they say "Hawaii" to me.


Today, mom and I each got pedicures so that our feet would be sandal-worthy for Waikiki Beach. I couldn't decide between these two polishes..


but ultimately ended up choosing the blue, which is This Color's Making Waves, by OPI.  The coral is called Go With the Lava Flow, and both are from the Hawaii collection that came out in the Spring/Summer of 2015. Can you believe I've had them for all this time and now my son is going to school in Hawaii? It's like, kismet or something.

A favorite new discovery is this sparkling Smart Water, it's bubbly and refreshing and just may be the magic bullet that helps me kick the soda habit to the curb permanently (hey, a girl can dream!).


I also recently discovered the latest flavor in the M&M arsenal, and, can I just say; if they don't make this a permanent flavor, I will write many strongly worded letters to the company. They. Are. Amazing.


So amazing, I purchased four of the "sharing size" packages for the plane ride to Oahu.

Although, let's get real; there will be no sharing.

Get your own bag!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

No Ragrets*

Someone at work asked me today if I was relieved to be done with all of the "crap" that I have had to do while raising my children. He didn't mean it in a derogatory way, he was genuinely curious about my level of participation in stuff for my kids (he also said that, if his clients had a mother like me, he would be out of a job, "No one mothers better than you mother", he said. Flatterer! Give that man a cookie!).

Our conversation got me to thinking about just how many things I participated in over the years, and, just for kicks, I tried to make a list. It was...long. In the twenty-one years that I have been a parent, I have:

-Planned and thrown 26 birthday parties, complete with themes, homemade cakes, and some form of entertainment.
-Been in charge of 24 holiday parties at the elementary school.
-Chaperoned 7 field trips, 2 of which were overnighters.
-Volunteered a year of Wednesday afternoons as a lap counter for the elementary school's lunchtime walking program.
-Hosted four Prom/Homecoming dinners.
-Cooked nine team dinners/breakfasts.
-Planned 2 continuation parties, 2 sober grad parties, 2 pre-grad parties, and 7 end-of-school-year slip'n'slide parties.
-Attended more award assemblies, concerts, games, parent/teacher conferences, science fairs, back-to-school nights, fall sports meetings, winter sports meetings, TCAP conferences, and ILP meetings than I can count.
-Had the privilege of photographing parties, proms, homecoming parades, sporting events, car washes, dodgeball tournaments, Jump-Rope-for-Heart jumpathons, Cub Scout awards assemblies, downhill derby races, Pinecar Derbies, and powderpuff football games.

And, those are just the school events.

It seems like a lot, but, it all went by so fast, it's almost a blur. One thing I know for certain: I would not have missed a second of any of it. Being an involved parent was something I aspired to from the moment the little plus sign popped up in the window of that first home pregnancy test; I am fortunate to have had the flexibility in my jobs to be able to reach that aspiration and I will always be grateful for the opportunities that I was given. That's the biggest reason that I have taken so many pictures of other people's kids over the years; I know that not all of their parents were fortunate enough to be present for their activities and I wanted to help them feel included. I've had several people thank me for that effort this week.

So, to my co-worker I have to say, no, I don't feel relieved to be done; I'll miss it like crazy.

I also have not a single regret; I was there for my kids. I was present. I wasn't doing "crap" for them, I was parenting. Thank you, Lord, for the blessing in that.

*Bonus points if you can name the movie featuring a character who had a tattoo of  the mispelled motto in the title of this post.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

It's the End of an Era

When Queen B was a freshman and asked if she could have a slip-n-slide party at the house on the last day of school, we had no idea that it would become an annual tradition. But, become a tradition it did.

Today, the Man-Cub hosted our last end-of-school slip-n-slide at the house, and, this may (or may not) have been the event that finally tipped me into "oh, woe is me, mah babies are all grown up!" territory (ok, it totally was). It's hard to say goodbye to an event that has brought so much joy, not just to my children, but to their friends (and me! Don't forget me!).

I have to say, though, they went out with a bang; two out of three inflatable hamster balls were the casualties, but, they were the only casualties, so, our perfect safety record remains intact (thank you, lord!).

The neighborhood is going to be a lot quieter this time next year.





















Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Last Dance

The seniors gathered together last night for their graduation party, the last "official" event that they would attend as a class. It was bittersweet, as you may imagine.

It was also exhausting for the parents who pulled it all together, from the initial planning way back in the fall, to the final cleanup. I speak as one of those (very tired) parents.

I am tired, y'all (very tired).

But, it was so worth it! Watching the kids ooh and ahh over the S'mores and Candy Bar that I put together made it worth it...







...hearing the peals of laughter echoing off the mountains surrounding the golf course as they competed frantically in the Minute-to-Win-It games that the entertainment committee put together made it worth it...











...spending time with these kids that I have grown to love like my own made it worth it...









...and, the best part is, I got to do it with some of the best parents that I know...







Totally worth the sore feet, aching back, blinding migraine, exhaustion, and dehydration.

Totally.

What a ride this has been, and, what a privilege it has been to catch it all on film. Well, in digital format. What the hell, you know what I mean.