Day #1 (Sunday) How to… blow a couple hundred dollars in five hours.
*Go out to eat for Natalie’s birthday. (Double-Take Deals can actually make this part relatively cheap.)
*Proceed to the mall for wardrobe shopping for two individuals.
*Declare a clothes shopping moratorium four years before you plan the mall trip. (If you must buy any clothing before the big mall trip, do so at second-hand stores so that by the time of the mall trip, you’re tired of being out-of-date and of feeling like you’re wearing someone else’s clothes. This makes you desperate as well as unaware of the amazing selection of clothing that actually exists. This new awareness and over-stimulation of the senses will produce a drunken spending stupor. You’ll have no idea how much you spent until the fourth store when it hits you like a ton of bricks, which brings me to my next point.)
*Shop without a strict budget because you’re in “need” of such a serious wardrobe overhaul that you know working on a shoestring budget isn’t going to cut it.
*Return the most expensive item to make yourself feel slightly better.
*Go home and purge your closet of the 10 year old shirts you will no longer be wearing.
Day #2 (Monday) How to…. waste a school-vacation day by not spending any time with your daughter.
*Begin by starting a painting project on Saturday morning.
*The project should be small at first i.e. finish painting 2 walls effected by the bathroom project which still need paint. Decide before you’ve even started that said project will balloon to encompass a much larger area than planned (i.e. Alice’s wall and the entire hallway instead of just one hallway wall).
*Then spend 1.5hrs at your local hardware store so that the painting doesn’t begin until 3pm, putting you way behind schedule, meaning you need to work on the project on the next available day in order to get some order back to your life.
*Spend the entire school-vacation day working on this project.
*Feel terrible when your daughter asks you to play “Sorry,” and you have to say “Sorry, not today.” UGH!
Day #3 (Tuesday) How to …make a five minute eye-doctor appointment take three hours of your time.
*Pick a (very good!!) doctor who doesn’t like siblings to be present for the appointment.
*Spend 1 hour driving the sibling to the babysitter’s, picking up your child at school and driving to the doctor’s office.
*Sit in the waiting room for 15minutes (partially because you actually got there 5 minutes early – pat yourself on the back!)
*Spend 10minutes (maximum!) with the doctor’s assistant.
*Spend the next 50 minutes trying not to fall asleep in the waiting room while your child reads Winnie the Pooh books and begs you for food. (Thank goodness for grabbing a granola bar at the last minute and for smarties from Halloween in the bottom of your purse!)
*Talk to the doctor for 5 minutes (get a good report – yeah!).
*Pay the bill and “gleefully” schedule the next 3 hour appointment – 5 minutes.
*Spend the remaining 45 minutes driving to the sitter’s to get the sibling and back home.
*Be sure to schedule this appointment for the coldest day of the year – this makes everything extra fun.
Day #4 & 5 (Wednesday and Thursday) How to… prepare a meal to feed 80 people.
*Remove the 10lbs of hamburger which you browned last week from the freezer to thaw
*Send a couple more emails to confirm and thank volunteers for food contributions. (Forgetting to respond to a couple emails is a nice touch too – it lets people know you actually don’t have it all together.)
*Go to the grocery store to finish buying items for the entree (Again, try to pick one of the coldest days of the year for added adventure).
*Make 3 pans of brownies
*Begin collecting/counting/organizing all the food donations in your kitchen so you don’t have enough space to do your own cooking.
*Final inventory of the food.
*Open approximately 37 cans of beans and tomatoes in order to make 6 gallons of chili.
*Pack the car and say prayer #2,417 that everything goes as planned.
*Realize that you have no idea how you are going to get the HEAVY 18 quart roaster full of chili down the steps and into the garage by yourself without spilling it.
*Forget to put the carrots and cheese back into the car after you moved them out to get the roaster into the car. Once you realize this at the church, drive like Gehu back to your house to retrieve the forgotten carrots and cheese from the garage floor.
*Be eternally grateful for the volunteers who help serve the meal and cleanup. Also be thankful that the guests must have liked the meal since there is no food leftover except for some bread.
*Collapse in a heap and try to think about packing for the weekend.
Day #5 & 6 (Thursday & Friday) How to… pack for a weekend scrap booking retreat.
*Sort and order pictures to scrap book– try ordering them what you think is one day too late to get them in the mail to have them for the retreat, just to get the adrenaline going. (They’ll arrive Friday – 1 hour before you’re supposed to leave… Whew!)
*Agonize about the upcoming snow forecasted on your departure day and your small Honda accord which can’t make it up your driveway in the smallest amounts of snow, let alone the entire way to the retreat center. Check the weather channel approximately every hour. Come up with alternative plans of getting to the retreat, such as arriving 4 hours earlier than you’re allowed to and sitting in said car until you can go inside in order to beat the snow.
*Write detailed food instructions for your husband who doesn’t cook but is feeding your children for the next 48 hours.
*Begin packing your scrap booking supplies at the last possible moment. Agonize about what to leave at home and what to take. Know that in the end, you’ll end up taking it all anyway.
*Pack your clothes and toiletries if you happen to have time.
*Crank up the tunes that you listened to in high school as you drive through the first snowflakes at the bottom of Peter’s mountain, approximately 5 miles from the retreat center.
*Breathe a sigh of relief and have an AWESOME weekend, carefree and independent!