The joys of road trips

I have five children. Five. Four of which still live at home. So when we take road trips it’s like preparing for the end of the world. I’m not one of those moms that does a lot of night before prep. I should be more proactive and at times, I feel really guilty that I can’t be more prepared for planned outings. I mean really, how hard is it to prep the night before so my morning isn’t so crazy? Why can’t I do that?? So… I did. I thought… why not? I will give it a try so I will stop beating myself up about it. I made sure little miss had her outfit picked out and ready to go. Made sure my middle son had his clothes laid out. And I packed a second pair of clothes for each little in my “momma backpack” just in case they needed to change. I failed to mention we were going to my family reunion. We spend ALL day outside in the heat at the lake, eating lots of yummy food, playing in the water, fishing, and laughing. It’s a blast. So this is me the night before:

Texting my sisters at 10:30 pm: So… does anyone have directions or a landmark I can gps to get to this location? And what do I bring?

Sisters: Long branch lake, first shelter house. Gma says to bring a side dish.

So I google: “long branch lake.” It’s 2 and a half hours away. Not too bad…

Husband: What time do we need to leave in the morning?

Me: I have no clue. I don’t even know what time we are supposed to be there.

Texting my sisters: What time should we be there?

Sisters: lunch at noon

Okay… so we need to leave by 930 to get there by noon. We can do that. Right?

So wrong. No matter how much I plan… we are never on time. I call it, “Jessie Time.” I still don’t have a side dish, nor do I have a clue what to bring. Everyone in my family were posting in our family facebook page homemade dishes. It’s 10:30 pm. I have no time to make something homemade. Nor do I really want to. I decide to just grab something at the grocery store on our way out of town. You’re probably thinking… why didn’t you think of this earlier in the day? Good question… like I said before… I’m not really good at the whole prep the night before thing.

8:30 am. I’m rushing.

9:45 am. I’m running through the grocery store. Four bags of chips, some dip, and a baked apple pie later, we are loading the cooler.

Texting my sisters: So I realize that everyone is making something homemade for today. I literally just bought an apple pie from the grocery store. Should I just leave it in the van?

Sisters: I made ants on a log… you’re fine.

Okay. Pie is a go. But I still feel guilty about it being store bought. But I mean, come on! Who has time to BAKE?!

By the way… the four of my children in the van, on a road trip, includes me laughing at the things they say…. the teens getting annoyed with the littles… husband making us cringe with 80’s country… and all is well until about 20 minutes until we get there. Then it’s me saying… leave your sister alone… dude just ignore them… hunny, turn here. No here. Babe you missed the turn.

While I was having a blast visiting with old relatives that I only see once a year… my kids and husband enjoyed the lake, fishing, and splashing around. Then my teen daughter calls me.

Teen: I’m bored.

Me: Well that’s your own fault. You are outdoors in the middle of nowhere, enjoy the lake.

Teen: Well my phone is dead.

Me: Seriously? That’s why you’re bored?

Teen: Well, I didn’t bring any clothes but I want to swim.

Me: Stick your feet in and walk around. You’ll be fine. Love you.

Millennials. I swear. They need electronics to not be bored?! Seriously?! Ugh.

Four hours later, we pack up to leave. I left with all four bags of chips, dips, and my apple pie that no one touched. Nope, not a single person ate my pie. No problem. I love store bought apple pie. I think I will eat it all by myself with a giant glass of wine, while I plan for next years family reunion.

Someday, I will get it together. I will be that mom that plans the night before. That thinks about where they are going more than 12 hours before. Who will make the dish the day before, not the morning of in the baked goods section of the local grocery store. I mean… at least I can try.


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