Today is finally here. When we started the countdown, it was over 150 days away. Now, it is a few hours. Lots of planning took place to get here.
You see, today, the girls get to visit their best little friend who moved this summer. We are headed to Kansas City. Oh, and I get to see one of the best mom friends I've ever had! (Yay, me!)
Details that it is around 40 degrees there. Grateful that our friends up there have plenty of scarves, gloves, hats and coats to go around.
So, we decided to take this trip way back in the summer. Flights are really cheap when you buy way ahead of time (hmmm, that's a concept). I knew eventually I would have to think through the packing situation. Since I'm going solo with the girls, I also knew I only would want to take one suitcase. G pulled down the big one and everything fit (including four American Girl dolls). I think it is under 50 pounds -- praying, crossing my fingers, hoping, really praying. There is no way I could have two suitcases, two backpacks, a carry on for me, my purse and two seven-year-old girls all in tow. Again, praying, crossing my fingers, hoping, really praying that this suitcase weighs less than 50 pounds.
Kudos to me for booking a flight that leaves mid-afternoon. Typically, the non-stop flights are either at 6 a.m. or 9 p.m. This go-round, we got a 2:30 p.m. No rushing around. No waking up in the middle of the night to get ready to leave. No making sure every single thing is absolutely packed the night before.
Now, let's get to the fourth part planning.
I have lists for packing. I have, by day and potential activity, a list for me and for the girls. I started this ages ago when G, Chris and I traveled. OK, I didn't do a list for G. Chris now does packing lists for himself. Rest in that for a minute. I'm so proud.
Another important component in our packing, readying for trips approach is the suitcase review. This requires allocation of time. After fully packing, based on the aforementioned packing lists, I pull everything out for a review. This is when I whittle down, add to or refold. As a result, we rarely forget things (boy, I hope this doesn't jinx me) and we only pack what we need.
In preparation for today, I did every bit of laundry I could last night. I waited until last night because I wanted to make sure every stitch of everything was clean and I needed to match back to the packing lists.
And, viola, we've packed and reviewed with time to spare because fourth part today is not only getting to go on this trip, but also catching a bit of the Baylor football game which begins at 11 a.m. Please dear Jesus, find favor on this team and grant us a win. I mean three losses in a row. And, it's senior day. And, poor Seth is hurt and out for the season (and he's a senior). Please, let us be winning when I get on the plane (and off).
Thanks for sharing in that prayer with me.
All this planning, organizing, packing, reviewing, laundry-ing, has resulted in a bit of an imbalance in my gastrointestinal system. I promise I won't go into detail, but will simply share my solution. Delicious kombucha. Those lovely probiotics and live cultures are working magic. The flavor I prefer is sparkling ginger. It is refreshing to the palate and truly refreshes the gut. Here's hoping kombucha does the trick to put me back on track.
This trip is a true fourth part. We won't have many scheduled activities except play and catch up. I think we're visiting a museum and a park or two, plus trying Kansas City BBQ. Other than that, my packed laptop will provide me opportunity to work on photo books. Yeah, that's relaxing and something I like to do in the fourth part.
Along with catching up with a friend, drinking cocktails (or beer!) and watching three little friends reunite -- those are some great fourth part activities for which I am grateful for this Thanksgiving season.