Homemade Takeout

 Sometimes its fun to shake the routine up a bit, do something different. The weather has been beautiful for the last couple of days, but my kids have heard the response, "Not this time, we've got too much to do before I leave." Monday we had dinner as an entire family which seems sparse these days and last night I was busy getting last minute things done instead of taking the kids to the park as requested. The older boys had football practice so we would be eating in shifts. While they were busy playing outside and I was making dinner, I decided to put a little twist on my plans of sloppy joes. We still had sloppy joes, but the plates were put back in the cupboard and replaced by paper baskets. The real potatoes made way for chips and watermelon replaced the steamed veggies. Chocolate shakes filled the cups instead of milk or water. When I called them in to eat, you would have thought that there was an elegant 5 course meal laid out. "COOOOL...look what mom did! Awesome! We get to eat like we're at a restaraunt!" (Oh, how sad that they think the drive thru is comparable to a restaraunt!) LOL! I love making them feel extra special, and hey, when paper and potato chips can do the trick, then I'm going to jump on it!

These are a mess Joe said...well, why wouldn't they be??  They are SLOPPY JOES!

I'm getting ready to get on a plane and travel to spend several days with my sister.  I've been looking forward to it for quite some time, but now that the time is here, I'm finding that even though I'm really excited about going, I'm not that thrilled about leaving.  It's always a chore to get our family ready for a trip or vacation of any sort, from camping to cross-state to cross-country travel.  The packing is a week-long process and the 48 hours pre-departure are non-stop, but in the end, we're all in the car and we're traveling together. 

Preparing for a little getaway for me is entirely different.  It took me all of 10 minutes to pack everything I THINK I might need into one little suitcase.  When I leave this afternoon, I'll only need to make sure I have my purse.  I'm sure I'll feel very empty handed, not needing to count heads and hold hands and situate anyone.  I'm sure I'll relax eventually, maybe even sleep when I'm on the plane, but it isn't easy to let go of all that happens in my normal realm of parenthood.  Oh, I have a detailed daily schedule typed up for Tim of who has what, needs what and needs to be where at which times, and I'm positive that he'll do just fine.  I've tried to plan ahead on as much as I could to make sure that things are prepared...oil changed in the Suburban, gas tank full, pantry and fridge stocked, plenty of toilet paper, dish soap, paper towels...you know, the inconvenient emergency things taken care of.  It's the little things that I didn't write down, like "don't forget to ask each of the kids if they have their backpack, homework, piano books...remember to send this back to school and did they brush their teeth and are their socks clean, and check on....whatever!"  I think it is probably a cross between my nature of being in control (or controling...depending on who you ask), and just being a mom. 

I know I'll enjoy a morning run followed by a nice long cup of coffee, and probably a few extra hours of sleep and a meal out that I don't have to clean up.  I'll enjoy leisurely shopping and browsing through unique stores and boutiques without the rush of needing to get back to make dinner, and I'll very likely enjoy a cup of quiet tea or a glass of wine and wonderful conversation as a bed-time routine rather than the usual 2-3 hour bedtime routine that I'm used to at home, but I know I'll miss the early morning bed-heads and the kiss good-bye as they're out the door to school and story time in the afternoon and the kiss and a hug and a kiss from Millie at bedtime.  I'll wonder and probably worry a bit about how everyone is managing without me...how they're possibly getting all their homework and chores done and how they're getting up and out the door on time WITH breakfast, and if they made it to piano with the right books and if they're eating from the drive through or something nutritious at home. 

It all makes me recognize (not like I didn't already know) that I do love my job...even the laundry and the cooking and the cleaning.  I wouldn't want my family to do it without me, and while sometimes I'm not joyful about one more load of dirty dishes, I'm grateful that I have a reason for dishes to get dirty and I'm happy to wash them because I love those who made them dirty and who will appreciate them being clean.  I also know that time away and time for me is a good thing, and time with my sister is always wonderful.  As a bonus, I get to see my brother and his wife due to a long layover on my return trip!  Now...mom and dad...are you flying through DIA on Monday too???  Wouldn't that be fun??