...but for those of you who know us, this is not a post about my mother-in-law, however, Karma, I love you and should write one about you.
This is about my weekend.
This is stuff you cannot make up.
So, here we go...
I was asked, way back in March to speak to 1st Farm Credit Services at their corporate conference. It was a big honor, a big deal, and even a paid, expenses paid, mileage paid thing...which, for me, was an even bigger deal! I was so excited. I bought a new dress (big shock); I worked on what I wanted to say...I even practiced behind closed doors so it would seem as if I was just talking about agriculture advocacy.
This event, however, was in suburban Chicago...wayyyyy Northern Suburban Chicago, so it was going to be a haul, but I was okay because my dearest college friend lives only miles away from the event. Win-win. As the event neared, I realized that with the drought, getting Joe off the farm would be a trick, as the cattle do not have much grass, so he is having to put out hay to supplement. On top of that, Joe has been helping our eldest daughter's softball team all season, and they were playing for the championship in their tournament at exactly the same time I was speaking.
And, like any mom who doesn't work, getting away for any period of time is a trick, so I had my week planned to the minute, and when Friday rolled around, I knew exactly when I could run, vacuum (because, I'm a nut job who wants a clean house before I leave), fold laundry, make dinner for my Mom and Dad (who took care of my kids...and having only had 2 kids, have their hands full with my litter). So, as I sat down at the computer for my allotted blog/respond to email time, I was hustling...I was in a zone...the kids were content, and I was just about finished.
When Josie, my dear, sweet five year old, walked in, announced her tummy hurt, and promptly puked on the hardwood floor.
If you remember, Anna did this the last time I spoke, so I took it in stride, gave her a bath, and went on my day, puke bucket and Lysol always only a few steps away (side note: Josie only threw up one time...we think it was a milk chug puke. Whew.).
So, Joe and I hit the road, the first time, sans any kid for an overnight in a llloooonnnnggg time. We had a lovely lunch in East Peoria (I now sound like I'm 80), and I happily collected my receipt to turn in for reimbursement.
The rest of the trip up was uneventful, except for the occasional call home for a rain report (we didn't get any), and some traffic (we hit a lot), and when we finally arrived at the hotel, it was lovely, and I was ready to get geared up for my talk. So, when I got out my wallet to hand over my credit card for incidentals, I was shocked, horrified and freaked out when I had NO credit card.
As in, none.
Thankfully, we had only stopped in East Peoria, and making one phone call uncovered that my card was about four hours south.
Okay, no big deal.
I readied myself for my event, had a lovely dinner and met up with some of our dear friends, as well as other acquaintances from college (who happened to be one dude I took to a pledge dance thousands of years ago...awkward.), and was introduced with great grandeur by the CEO of the company.
My talk couldn't have gone any better. Seriously. I felt really great about it, and enjoyed the dessert buffet and a glass of wine afterward, as well as a great night's sleep only to be awoken by the rain!! Whoo-hoo!
Joe and I then got ready for our morning, which was going to include meeting up with my sweet friend Lori. I texted her, called her, and called her again, only to have no response.
When I finally got in touch with her, she said she was in communication with her doctor as her 18 month old had swallowed part of a plastic fork, and had a weird rash on his leg...and, by the way, her husband was literally up a tree in the neighbor's yard cutting it down, so she couldn't steal away for awhile.
Joe and I found heaven...I mean a shopping center with a Panera, Starbucks, Pottery Barn (grown up and kids) and a JCrew, and we waited for Lori there.
Only, I had no credit card...one check, and four dollars in cash.
Thank you Karma.
There were linen pants at JCrew dying to be worn by me. Pillows at Pottery Barn that should be in my house, and shoes, glorious shoes that needed a nice home.
However, I had no money, my loving and frugal husband, and hardly any time to think about how I would pair those linen pants with some nude pumps that I also saw.
Thankfully, Lori showed up, rescuing me from my retail meltdown, and as I crossed the street to hug her, I was so excited! As we helped heft her stroller out, she mentioned she had her little guy with her, and closing the trunk, let out a big gasp. She had set her keys in the trunk, and they were now shut in. No biggie, her little man was in the back, and she hadn't locked the doors, right?
She has a rental. Her car is in the shop, and this car is a keyless job. Her son was in the car, doors locked, windows up, and happy as a clam shoveling Goldfish crackers in his sweet face.
So, we ran to Harry and David (Moose Munch....), had them call 911, and in just a few minutes, the Deer Park Deputies were there with their wedges and their long sticks to try to unlock the doors, which they couldn't because the keys were not in the ignition. Thankfully, the door handle worked, baby was extracted, and all was well...
This is what happens when Lori and I get together. She had her purse stolen at the John Hancock building when we were all just first starting out. We have tried to get together a few times since I have had Amelia, and there's always a freak snow or ice storm.
This is what happens when I get out.
The good news is...we're back, safely, and home to an inch (ish) of rain, a mowed and trimmed yard, warm brownies, and happy kids. My parents are exhausted, and I have spent most of the day deprogramming my children (thanks, Mom...the kids now want to use my cell phone at all times), but we are thrilled to have been able to spend time in the suburbs, both as a part of the corporate conference and with my dear friend.
My hope is that I can continue to do fun things like this. I have had a taste of what it's like to be a part of something big, and to speak about something I believe in...
and I have whetted my appetite for JCrew.
So, when's the next gig????