Yes, I know it's 3:13am...and if I were in my right mind, I would be finally lying down in my bed right now.
But I'm not in my right mind. I think I lost my mind several days ago when I began packing. And I need to vent and clear my head if I'm ever gonna be able to go to sleep.
We went on a Church Planters' Retreat this weekend with several other church planters and their families, and with the staff of Mission Alive. It was a great weekend, with the theme of rest and renewal. (More on that in the coming days.) But it required a lot of packing. I hate packing, I hate unpacking. It's time-consuming, tedious, messy, frustrating. Honestly I really think I could quite easily become a hermit.
"But wait," you say. "Don't you guys go to BooBoo & Yogi's, and Gammie and Poppy's houses all the time? I thought you liked getting away for the weekend." This is true -- I do like getting away to grandmas' houses. Grandmas -- especially ours, we've been blessed with fabulous grandmas! -- tend to be infinitely more accomodating for travel with young children than do hotels/retreat centers.
Grandmas have an abundant supply of diapers, pull-ups, and wipes, as well as a convenient place to throw the smelly ones away without stinking up the sleeping quarters. Hotels do not.
Grandmas have safe and appropriate beds for all ages, including CD players and sleepy music and baby moniters. Hotels do not.
Grandmas have free laundry facilities -- and usually a laundry fairy who does it all for us so that the only dirty clothes we come home with are the ones on our backs. Hotels do not.
Grandmas have favorite kid-approved snacks and meals, dishes, and a convenient place to wash them. Hotels do not.
Grandmas have convenient refrigerators and microwaves -- which means we can make Micah's all-important "chocolate milk warm" at any time of day. Hotels do not.
Grandmas have toys. Hotels do not.
Grandmas have TVs and DVD players and video games. Hotels (the one we were at, anyway) do not.
Grandmas have tear-free soap, and toothpaste and toothbrushes for everyone. Hotels do not.
Hotels require a lot of extra packing and preparation...and then unpacking and putting away. And preschoolers are simply not capable of packing their own things. Mom gets to do that.
Sooo...I was up until 3am Thursday morning packing everyone up. (We had decided at some point that Bret should go ahead and go to bed so that one of us would be able to drive safely.) And then the next morning he was sweet to let me sleep in until about 8:15, and then I took a shower, we fed and dressed the boys, loaded the truck, and left at 9:30. We drove three hours, "retreated," drove three hours home, and got here at about 4:30 Saturday afternoon.
Since then, I/we've unloaded the truck, gotten the kids fed and put to bed (they're grumpy and overtired -- it took a total of three hours to get everyone to sleep from the time we started reading), cleaned out the truck from it's first 6 hour roadtrip with the Wellsbrothers, moved the carseats and DVD player back into the van, washed and dried and folded/hung up and put away 5 loads of laundry (Yes, it was all from the retreat. The only dirty laundry we left here was the pjs we slept in Wed night. And yes, I did it tonight -- there's nowhere in my house to put that much laundry and keep Joey out of it unless I want to sleep on it. And honestly, I'd rather stay up this late and get it done than fight him with it tomorrow), I washed the dishes (from tonight's dinner and Thursday morning's now-disgusting breakfast dishes), unpacked the bags, and gotten the Sunday school lessons ready. Bret's been helping with some of this, and then got to work on the things that he needs to have ready for Sunday. (Little things like, well, a sermon!!)
I was going to take a shower, too. But I'm tired now and think I'll wait until the morning -- which means that it's possible that I will not get a shower at all. So if you're reading this and you plan to be at the Christ Journey worship gathering, don't get too close, I may stink!
And I wish I could say that we're not going to be staying in a hotel any time soon. But I can't. There is already another hotel trip on the books, in just a few days. Ugggh.
But now I'm getting sleepy, it's 3:42am, and so I think I'll try to catch a few z's...and look forward to tomorrow morning, when I know I'll be so incredibly glad that I've already done all this stuff!