45 minutes before we were scheduled to leave town for seattle, i looked at the pile of clothes on the sofa. they seemed to be mocking me. daring me to (a) pick which things would actually fit in my carry-on bag, and (b) actually cram them into said bag without dissolving into tears on the floor, lest rick get home ready to leave and find me in a mess.
i think mothers have a hard job. ok, that goes without saying. i could fill this page with a list of things that make a mother's job hard, but who wants to do that. not me, that's for sure. just for the sake of this story, though, it is necessary for me to state the obvious: i am SO jealous of rick when it comes to packing for trips. he gets to labor over what he's going to take--"this penguin shirt or THAT penguin shirt? this cardigan or THAT cardigan? how about these awesome, comfy shoes i just scored at the dillard's clearance center that look amazing with ALL my outfits?"
the camera pans to me, sitting in the middle of not one, but FOUR piles of clothes: one for each of the three little beans, and another (much smaller and completely uncoordinated) pile for me. except on my pile, where i'm lacking in clothes at this point, i have made up for in the way of shoes. because that's what i pack first. always. anyone else with me?
so, after spending a few days fretting and sweating and sometimes cursing over what to pack for the kids (including snacks, because that's how i roll--obsessive, compulsive, worrisome me), i finally did get packed about 5 minutes before we headed out the door to the airport.
we were going to seattle, thanks to a very kind coffee company, storyville, that was footing the bill to treat us to this excursion.
we really had no idea what to expect. all we knew is that the company works kind of in a grass-roots way, hosting house concerts with amazing (but usually not very as yet well-known) musicians and serving the BEST coffee i have ever had. (disclaimer: even though the company did pay for us to come to seattle, i have to tell you that truly this is the best coffee bean i've ever smelled or tasted, and i was saying this long before we were invited to join the group in seattle!)
i had never been to seattle, so we spent friday walking around. (side note: remember all those shoes i had out to bring with me? well, i did hands down the WORST job with shoe choices this trip and spent the entire time with a pack of band-aids on each pinky toe because of the fierce blisters i developed. i did wear some new sandals, despite the cold weather, and my feet were so numb from the cold that i really didn't feel the pain from the blisters that much...)
here are some of the things we saw.
friday night, the weekend officially kicked off with a house concert at truly the most amazing house i've ever seen in person (it looked like something out of dwell magazine), where we drank (you guessed it) coffee and listened to the witty, vulnerable, charming, and extremely accomplished guitar player willy porter. (you know someone is a great guitar player when you can't stop staring at their hands while they play and you aren't even a guitar player yourself.)
we mingled, talked, shared stories, all on very little sleep. there was an incredible energy from the beginning. people were gathered from all over the country. the buzz was amazing. (maybe some of that buzz was caffeine related, but still...)
saturday, we rose early for a gourmet breakfast, then listened to the vision of the company. so here's the deal: storyville was created for the sole purpose of donating ALL its profits to international justice mission, an insanely awesome organization that rescues people from slavery and sex trafficking. how great is that? how innovative, how edgy, how crazy?
and they want to donate a BILLION dollars to IJM by the year 2020.
later that day we visited the roastery, where the best beans in the universe are cared for, packaged, and shipped out within (i think) a day of being roasted. the roastery is on bainbridge island, and i had to focus on keeping my jaw shut, because it kept dropping open on its own because of all the beauty.
we heard gary haugen from IJM share the vision of that organization (he was one of the first people on the ground after the rwandan genocide), and we listened to grace pettis (daughter of pierce, if you have heard of him) sing songs way beyond her years.
that night, we went to a beautiful loft apartment--brick walls, awesome lighting, more coffee, and best of all music by jonathan kingham, who did the best 4-minute impromptu rap i've ever heard--he pulled from all sorts of inside jokes that had happened over the past 24 hours. it blew my mind.
as we walked back to the hotel after the concert, i took a few more pictures. i love how things look all lit up at night.
sunday was a blur: saying goodbye to people we had met, saying hello (and then later goodbye) to our dear friends ryan & holly sharp and their precious little ones who drove all the way up from portland to see us for the day.
at the end of the weekend, after all that goodness and fun and inspiration and beauty and art and coffee and wine and yummy food, i have to say that ultimately i was glad to be back home, in my space, with my own little ones.
that's another one of those things i think moms face more than dads do (but it's a bit more stressful than packing for 4): it seems really hard to be away from the little people i care for (and very much about!) without feeling at least a little stressed out. sometimes people tell me that once i leave home, leave town, i'll feel carefree. that never really happens for me. maybe it's just my personality.
i think it's just a little bit codependent....
in the end, though, i could be hung up on less healthy things, right?