I can finally fill you in on something major that’s been going on lately.

As you read this, I will be picking up Jim and both boys from the train station, as they’ve been gone for fifteen days.

FIFTEEN DAYS.

In case you’re wondering why I couldn’t blog about that–really???–it’s because it would have been a really stupid breach of family security, get it?

Do you understand what that means? Let me translate. I only had to take care of MYSELF for FIFTEEN DAYS.

As a busy mom person, I’ve been looking forward to this for a year, since our Boy Scout Troop got selected for this trip. (They went to Philmont Scout Ranch for some high altitude hiking; it’s such a popular high adventure trip that troops are chosen by lottery for the opportunity!)

At some point, I found out that the BlogHer conference was going to land in Chicago at the halfway point of their trip; it couldn’t have BEEN more perfect, so thanks to those BlogHer ladies for fixing that up for me!

As the date of their trip loomed closer, I–of course–became more and more excited about the break. Now let me throw the disclaimer out there that OF COURSE I was going to miss them (and I did) but for me, two weeks at home alone was just a heavenly prospect. When it got super-close to their departure date, I had to dial my excitement down a notch because I imagine I was probably making them feel like I wasn’t going to miss them at all. It might have had something to do with the giddy manner in which I said to all of my friends, “YESSSSSSSS! FIF-TEEN DAYS! FIFTEEN DAYS! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? NO? ME NEITHER! IT’S GONNA BE AWESOME!!!” Nonetheless, I didn’t want my kids to think I was suggesting it was a “Good riddance” sort of thing, so I tried not to go over the top like that towards the end. But okay, not much success on that. They know I love them.

It’s kind of funny, when I think about the two weeks I’ve had compared with theirs. While they’ve been looking at stuff like this,


I’ve been looking at stuff like this:


Funny. A-N-Y-W-A-Y…

Here’s the deal. I had this HUGE to-do list going, for when they were gone. Here’s some of it:

1. Dust, vacuum, general cleaning.
2. Cut the grass (2x).
3. Make swag to hand out at BlogHer.
4. Change sheets on all the beds and the fold-out couch before Mrs4444, Sue, Michelle, and Weaselmomma arrive to spend the night here on the Thursday before BlogHer.
5. Pack for BlogHer.
6. Go to BlogHer.
7. Fill out school registrations for both boys.
8. Walk Roxie regularly.
9. Work on and complete Nailpro article, due Monday 8/3.
10. Blog on the Scrawl regularly.
11. Write new post for Teen Angst column at Dad Blogs.
12. Meet friends for lunch/dinner/whatever at my convenience.
13. Work on current book project.
14. Clean basement work area.
15. Keep up with laundry and ironing.
16. Clean up kitchen desk.
17. Go through front entryway closet.
18. Go through upstairs hall closets.
19. Watch current movie from Netflix, “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”.
20. Take Jim’s car in for state-ordered emission testing.
21. Work normal shifts, teach normal group fitness classes.
22. Read the magazine pile that is growing by the day.
23. Search through family photos to find scout pics for the older boy’s Eagle Scout scrapbook.
24. Catch up on writing letters to people I have owed for months and months (and in two cases, more than a year).
25. Attempt to get enough rest, knowing full well that when I’m alone I stay up really super late, working on stuff, and then still get up early.

Yeah, that’s part of the list. Go Big or Go Home, remember?

So, let’s see how I did. *hanging head in shame*

1. Dust, vacuum, general cleaning. ✔ Yes! Success! To be honest though, I did this in the two days before they left. I go into something like a late-term pregnant woman’s nesting mode a couple of days before I am left home alone. I want the house clean BEFORE everyone leaves, so that I don’t have to worry about it while I’m doing the stuff that I want to do.
2. Cut the grass (2x). ✖ FAIL. Was going to do it for the second time this morning, but storms rolled in…
3. Make swag to hand out at BlogHer. ✔ YES! Took me for-freakin-ever, but my notecards came out really cute.
4. Change sheets on all the beds and the fold-out couch before Mrs4444, Sue, Michelle, and Weaselmomma arrive to spend the night here on the Thursday before BlogHer. ✔ Sure did. Go me!
5. Pack for BlogHer. ✔ Yes. Totally left it to the last minute, but I did it.
6. Go to BlogHer. ✔ Duh.
7. Fill out school registrations for both boys. ✔ Last minute, but it still counts.
8. Walk Roxie regularly. ✔ Yes! Go us! Even walked her TWO TIMES yesterday.
9. Work on and complete Nailpro article, due Monday 8/3. ✔ YES! Hallelujah! Last minute, but got it done. (See a pattern?)
10. Blog on the Scrawl regularly. ✔ But of course.
11. Write new post for Teen Angst column at Dad Blogs. ✔ Yup. Wrote it on Friday-ish; it’s not posted yet because that’s under Joeprah’s control, not mine.
12. Meet friends for lunch/dinner/whatever at my convenience. ✔ I did! Dawn popped into town on Wednesday with a friend of hers, unexpectedly. She called me from a restaurant five minutes away from my house, and I zipped over there to have lunch with them. Also, went to dinner that same night with one of the other moms from Boy Scouts. Argentinian Skirt Steak. YUM. And of course, you remember how Julesie came over on Saturday.
13. Work on current book project. ✖ FAIL, big time. The article was higher on the list; I had a deadline and actually get paid, for sure, from that. But now that the article is out of the way, I’m off to the races on the book this week.
14. Clean basement work area. ✖ FAIL. Bah.
15. Keep up with laundry and ironing. ✔ Ding ding ding! Sure did!
16. Clean up kitchen desk. ✔ Yes! Well, mostly. It’s good enough…
17. Go through front entryway closet. ✖ FAIL.
18. Go through upstairs hall closets. ✖ FAIL. I suck.
19. Watch current movie from Netflix, “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”. ✖ FAIL. I can’t even believe it. THAT’S how busy I was for two weeks. Didn’t even have time to watch a stinkin movie. Okay, okay…I didn’t MAKE time.
20. Take Jim’s car in for state-ordered emission testing. ✖ FAIL. But we have a month, so if I do it next week it’s no biggie.
21. Work normal shifts, teach normal group fitness classes. ✔ Success.
22. Brush teeth at least 2X per day. ✔ Shut up. I like to put “brush teeth” on my list so that I have at least one thing that I know will get done. Don’t be hatin’.
23. Read the magazine pile that is growing by the day. ✖ FAIL. Read? What’s that?
24. Search through family photos to find scout pics for the older boy’s Eagle Scout scrapbook. ✔ Boo-yah! Found some doozies. Can’t wait to work on the scrapbook.
25. Scan those photos and order prints so I’m all ready for assembling scrapbook. ✖ FAIL. So working on the book gets postponed. Ugh.
26. Catch up on writing letters to people I have owed for months and months (and in two cases, more than a year). ✖ FAIL. Again, I suck.
27. Attempt to get enough rest, knowing full well that when I’m alone I stay up really super late, working on stuff, and then still get up early. ✖ TOTAL COLOSSAL FAIL. I’m totally going to need a vacation from this vacation.

Now, as soon I can just get myself re-acclimated to family life, it’ll be all good in the hood, and my work on the to-do list will continue in earnest…