Last Thursday I realized that we only had 3 days to pack for a two week vacation! Yep, I thought we had 8 days and luckily a good friend pointed out that July 12 was only 3 days away! It’s summer, who keeps up with what day it is? Apparently not me!

Once I had my big realization, I couldn’t move. Talk about being overwhelmed… The house needed to be cleaned, errands needed to be run, Daisy needed a bath, and there were no clean clothes or towels. I honestly didn’t know where to begin! Then it happened…

“Mom, there’s a snake in the house”!

I was on the phone (procrastinating further) and Mason came in and made the big announcement.

Granted the 4th child did put me over the edge a bit as far as housekeeping goes. Doug’s uncle Bob came over not long ago and he was like, “Wow, you now live like “normal” people now, maybe even a bit messier”! I’m not sure but hoping he meant it as a compliment. My days of obsessive housekeeping are officially over, but I do still TRY! So for a snake to think that he could just move in… well… it was going to be either us or the snake!

So I screamed, then Mason screamed, we placed Daisy in the closet and began searching the house for… yes… a snake! I was hoping there was some mistake, did the snake have legs by any chance? How long was it? What color was it? None of the answers where what I was looking for! Except that he thought it was a black snake. I guess if you have to share your house with a snake, a black snake is the way to go! I went on to explain that if he ever saw another snake in the house, not to leave the room to come and tell me, but keep his eye on it an yell!! (After I said it, I couldn’t believe the strange words that left my mouth). Was I quoting some important words to live by? Hope not!

So, what does the snake have to do with us getting ready for this trip? Well, I got out the vacuum cleaner in search for the snake on the loose. I decided that I would clean as I searched for him. I vacuumed behind the entertainment center, under the sofa, behind the fridge, absolutely no nook or cranny was left unturned. By the end of the search, I had spring cleaned the entire house as was beginning to realize that we may never find this snake – how creepy. Have I come far enough with my O.C.D. and obsessive cleaning to share our living quarters with a snake? I DON”T THINK SO!

My friend, Barb, that I was on the phone with overheard Mason’s big announcement and our screams and insisted that I not hang up. Not because she was so worried about us, but because she thinks my life is so amusing, and she didn’t want to miss anything! Living it vicariously through the phone proved not to be entertaining enough so she decided to come on over. Was I planning to vacuum the snake? No. I had a giant bucket to put over him until Doug got home. Anyway, Barb’s the one who found the snake. She and I slammed it in the sliding glass door and Doug finished the job when he got home.

Thanks snake, who turned out to not be black!!! If it weren’t for you I would probably still be too overwhelmed to start cleaning and packing!!!

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Well, here’s my excuse for not cleaning and washing clothes up until then. I’ve been training for a 5-K run. My first ever! Did I like to run? No. Did I want to have a runner’s body? YES!!! I’d tried over the years to start running, but could never get into it. Then my friend Barb and I decided to start training together. Now I am ADDICTED! Right after we started running, my mom told me about a race here in Georgia. So basically I had 2 ½ weeks to train for it! I was running every night while Doug graciously put the children to bed. So yesterday was the big day. I prayed that I would come in 5th place, Bowen prayed that I would come in 3rd place, and Mason (realistically) prayed that I would be able to finish the race. Really, my goal was to finish the race in 35 minutes AND I DID IT! Next year I hope to finish in 28 minutes or less.

Anyway, the children and I have been at my parent’s house for a week enjoying swimming, horse back riding, and just being spoiled. On Monday we celebrated my grandmother’s birthday and the entire family got together for the first time in 5 long years. Now that Adelaine is well again we are all planning to get together at least once a year. After meeting all of them, Anika said with a big smile, “Wow, I didn’t know I had so many cousins!” Together my cousins and I have 10 children on my dad’s side. They all just loved being together.

Tomorrow we leave for the Lighthouse Retreat in the Florida Panhandle. It is a camp for children who have had cancer, and their families. We went last year and had a blast. This year the Evers’ will be joining us again. We will be sharing a beautiful home on the water. It will be an amazing opportunity for Anika and baby Mary to sleep under the same roof together as sisters! After that we will come home for a week and then leave for Maine. So far it’s been a crazy summer and I wouldn’t trade it for anything!


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