DC – Day 3 and 4

– Day 3 –

First off, I overslept and missed the first plenary. I know lots of people skip the early morning plenary sessions at these kinds of conferences, but I don’t – I actually really enjoy them. When my alarm went off only 30 minutes before it started, I was a little sad. My fault though for not paying attention when setting it.

The rest of the conference day included great sessions and the Academy of Certified Archivists business luncheon. But you don’t want to hear about that. You want to hear about the sightseeing.

I headed to Ford’s Theater first. Like I mentioned before, I’m only visiting sites I’ve never seen before; all of the big landmarks and monuments are out. This was a biggie to cross off my list – I’ve only seen the outside.

IMG_20140814_014829Ford’ Theater visitor center – the actual theater is behind the scaffolding on the right

Ford’s Theater started with a small museum. It was visually striking and well interpreted. I enjoyed it. In the actual theater, I was creeped out by people taking photographs of their children in front of the box where a president was assassinated . . . to each their own, I guess.

A park ranger gave a short overview of the history. It was conversational and I think it held the attention of the children much better than the museum probably did. If your kids aren’t up for the museum, save it for another time and just do the theater/ranger program. Unfortunately, I was running out of afternoon and was unable to finish the tour with the Peterson House. I snapped a quick photo before heading back to the Metro.

By now I was getting pretty tired, but powered through on my way to the National Archives. I didn’t tour all of the exhibits (it was pretty busy and I was out of patience), but I saw the Magna Carta, Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights. I heard a lot of people talk about National Treasure when talking about the document housing. That movie really made an impression.

20140814_154304National Archives

Next up, I needed a break. I spotted a Starbucks just off of Pennsylvania and indulged in a green tea lemonade concoction. After a little people-watching, I joined the commuters and headed back to the hotel.

IMG_20140814_043635A gorgeous day – the Starbucks is in the brick building in the center

The best part of the day was dinner with friends I had not seen in quite a while. We had great conversation and good food. I was sorry to see them go, but happy we had been able to meet up. Till the next time, I guess!

All of that and I was still in my pajamas by 9:15. Conference continues tomorrow . . .

– Day 4 –

This day was a huge conference day. With the exception of lunch and the evening reception, I spent all day shuffling from session to meeting to session. I won’t share the details of my archives day, but I will leave you with a few photos of my lunch. It was restaurant week and I indulged in one of the preplanned, multi-course meals.

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– Day 5? –

Day 5 had a couple of final sessions, but was mostly a travel day like the first (although without the longer layover) and doesn’t really need to be recounted. I made it home around 9:30pm and was happy to see my bed.

DC – Day 1 and 2

– Day 1 –

My day started with a very horrible alarm clock as 3:30am. I immediately started questioning my sanity for booking a 6am flight. When I made it to the airport at 5, I was happily surprised to see my airline had curbside check-in. This made the check-in process a breeze, although I was starting to wonder why I was there an hour early if I didn’t have to stand in line to check my bag.

Another lucky moment, I got put in the TSA expedited screening line. I didn’t have to take off my shoes or remove my laptop from my bag. Plus, the line was short.

I made it to my gate by 5:16 and spent the rest of the time thinking about the extra sleep I could have enjoyed. ::sigh::

Flight #1: first class to Atlanta, slept, no turbulence
Layover: Atlanta, wondered around for a while, bought some hummus

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Cloudy at the Atlanta airport

Flight #2: first class to DC, flight crew late, plane slightly delayed, rained, no turbulence

It was raining when we landed and I didn’t get to enjoy the view of the city coming in. The Washington Monument was so foggy it might as well have been a smoke stack. I quickly caught my shuttle and headed to the conference hotel – with a van full of archival strangers.

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Reagan National airport

The hotel room was nice – standard business room – and I was excited to see my king sized bed. View was pretty lacking though. Oddly enough, you could open the windows.
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I grabbed lunch in one of the hotel restaurants and intended to settle in, but found a second wind when the rain stopped. A metro stop was right across from the hotel. I headed down and – once I got my bearings – set off towards Chinatown. Then Dupont Circle. Then I walked down to Nordstorm Rack and didn’t find one single thing to buy (that I could afford anyway). After about three hours I crashed back in the room.

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The Friendship Arch in Chinatown

I love exploring cities.

– Day 2 –

Prepare yourself for a very boring conference day. I don’t even really have any photos to share to make it more interesting. This is my real-life work travel though, warts and all.

I originally attended to get up early and head to the National Archives to see the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights (I’m limiting my sightseeing to things I’ve never seen before). Unfortunately, I misread my schedule and actually had to be in a meeting at 10:30. Good thing I remembered that before I headed out.

So, 10:30-12:00. Leadership forum. Because I’m a leader. No really, I hold a leadership position. It was a very interesting meeting and I got some good ideas from the others at my table.

For lunch, I headed back to up my room and ate my leftovers from the night before. Yeah fancy, I know. It was all for a purpose though; I had to create and print a couple of documents for a meeting I was co-leading later in the afternoon.

After lunch I went to a great meeting for women archivists. The speakers were interesting and I really enjoyed myself. I almost decided to skip it – since it butted up against my meeting – but I’m really glad I changed my mind. Plus, great conversation with the other ladies at my table.

Next up was the meeting I was co-leading. I’m not going to tell you what it was because 1) it feels like the only thing I haven’t revealed and 2) you don’t care. I kind of steamrolled and talked way too much, but it was a good meeting. Afterwards a group of us headed to dinner at the nearby Lebanese Taverna.

Yum. I had chicken schwarma and a passion fruit mojito. It was lovely. The restaurant was wonderful and the staff did a great job dealing with our table of fourteen.

It was a beautiful night, so after dinner I took a little walk around the block to enjoy it. After that? Pajamas and television. The television in this hotel is lacking, so I spent way too much time just flipping through the channels over and over again.

Don’t worry – tomorrow there is actual sightseeing to tell you about.

How to Survive Saturday as a Non-Fan in a Whovian Household

The Doctor Who premiere is this Saturday. If you didn’t know that, this post isn’t for you. My husband and daughter are big fans and I’m . . . well . . . just not. I’ve never disliked an episode I’ve watched (and I watched all of #9’s season), I’m just not enthralled enough to watch it regularly.
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So here we go, my suggestions for surviving Saturday as a non-fan in a Whovian Household:

1) Watch the premiere.
This is the most obvious solution to your problem. Give in.
If you have ever thought that you might like to start watching, now is the time as we are starting with a new doctor. If you found the last few years to be a little too hipster for your taste, the coming season promises to take it back a notch. Look for a much more serious doctor and darker plots, not to mention the reappearance of classic enemies.

If you decide to go this route and don’t mind the previous seasons, I suggest a little Netflix marathon to get you in the mood. In my opinion, there is no better way to get excited about a show you aren’t previously committed to than to watch a few one after the other.

Let’s say you don’t want to do that though. Your next option is to . . .

2) Encourage your family to see it in the theater or at a viewing party.
This leaves the television remote firmly in your hands and – bonus! – lets your family enjoy the premiere surrounded by others just as excited as they are. Watch out though – if you aren’t careful with how you pitch the watch party, you could end up hosting a house full of Whovians.

Remind them to take their screwdrivers with them; they don’t want to feel left out. Moving on. .

3) Give in to that watch party, but also invite non-fans to do something fun with you.
Whovians in front of the television, Non-Whovians in the dining room. Whatever you like. Just make a whole lot of food, maybe break out the margaritas if you are into that kind of thing, and everyone gets to have their own fun. I suggest board games, a wine tasting, book club, or tag. If you happen to have access to a swimming pool, you are set! Neither group will bother the other.

Need food suggestions? How about a nice dish of fish fingers and custard followed by an assortment of jammie dodgers. For the kids, pick up some jelly babies. Your non-Whovians might not enjoy that menu, so make fajitas. Yum.

Still not your thing? How about . . .

4) Appreciate Peter Capaldi in other ways.
Peter Capaldi is the new doctor. Show you family you support their fandom by watching other shows featuring Capaldi. You have several options: The Thick of It features Capaldi in all his foul-mouthed glory (you can find it on Amazon Instant Video). Not your style? Check him out as a transvestite in NBC’s Prime Suspect with Helen Mirren (available on Netflix and Amazon) or as King Charles I in The Devil’s Whore (not as easily accessible for us yanks).

Are you reaching last resort? Try . . .

5) Hide in your bedroom.
Admittedly not my favorite suggestion, but it will work in a pinch. Watch your own favorite show in another room with a television, read a book, browse the net. Or hey! – come back and comment on this post about how oddly your family is behaving. The rest of us non-fans can commiserate together.

My most important tip for surviving Saturday?

6) Don’t blink.*

*Yeah, I’ve seen that one. It was good. Still not a fan.

Special Tacky Sister Saturday Review: Paula’s Choice 8% AHA Gel

One of the perks to having a sibling is being able to blame them for things you know darn well you shouldn’t have done or just down right didn’t need to do. It took me nine years of being an only child before I found my best friend who became that sibling that I could blame things on. And despite being an adult, I still blame her for things. I have those missed years to make up for after all. The latest being my subscription to Birchbox, which I love. (But don’t tell her. She likes to rub things in.) She threatened me and said I couldn’t have another glass of wine until I got a subscription! And THEN proceeded to drink the rest of the bottle by herself.*

Something I can’t blame her for though is the condition of my face. Wonderful hormones that still cause me to break out, despite being said adult, and years of spending summers outdoors by the pool sans sunscreen have caused some rather unsightly discolorations and scars. Since Birchbox is so cool, they sent me a sample of Paula’s Choice 8% AHA Gel.gel

Pro: This gel is the easiest and most carefree exfoliant I’ve ever tried. Just apply right before you put your moisturizer on and done. No waiting, no rinsing. No muss, no fuss. And it only takes a very small amount so it lasts a really long time. I’m still working on the sample Birchbox sent me back in May, which makes it well worth the $24.00 price. But my biggest brag on this product, it heals up my acne spots so much faster! I’m a picker. I can’t help it. I do it without even thinking about it. I don’t have to pick though when those spots don’t hang around so long. Nor do I have to spend as much time feeling self-conscious about an ugly scab on my pretty, little, angelic face.

Neutral: As awesome as this gel sounds, it isn’t an overnight miracle cream. You do have to use it for at least a week before you’ll start to see some improvement. The longer you use it the better you look obviously. If you can’t handle this issue then I challenge you to find me a real miracle cream. They don’t exist. All good things take time.

Con: If you have really sensitive skin you might want to get a trial size and try it out first. It is, after all, an exfoliant. You might end up with some redness or peeling from it. Parts of my face can be sensitive but I’ve yet to experience any of these negativities. Also, if you have an open wound (like if you’ve been picking at your face) you might want to steer clear of that spot because it will sting. Believe me. I know. It hasn’t stopped me from using this gel though.

Verdict: Totally worth being threatened by my sister and becoming addicted to a box.

*Complete dramatization

Looking Towards the Future

I’m at a conference this week in Washington DC, so I’m reposting some old favorites from the beginning of my blog. I’ll be back with fresh content next week and – in the meantime – keep up with me on Instagram to see highlights of my trip.

This post originally appeared on my blog on June 7, 2013.

Parenting a disabled child takes all of the plans/hopes/dreams you had for the future and tosses them in a large blender then mixes them up and shreds them a bit before spitting everything back out on the other side leaving you a big mess to sort through. Kind of like a giant strawberry smoothie of life – the strawberries are still there and still taste good, but aren’t quite the same as they started.

Many of my hopes for the little man are things typically taken for granted – I hope he can speak; I hope he can sit up unassisted; I hope he can walk. The bigger stuff is still there – I hope he can fulfill his dreams, have a family, find a career, explore the world – but the day-to-day goals overshadow them.

And then of course is the overall hope – that the little man will live a full life regardless of limitations. That one is always in the background. Yes, I hope he can walk someday. But if he can’t? We can provide him with the most-awesome wheelchair available. Maybe one with flames and a rear spoiler. Yes, I hope he can speak someday. But we are working with ipad apps to provide him with a way to communicate with anyone he comes into contact with.

Don’t even get me started on my hope and dreams for my other family members. We just don’t have enough room to talk about all that today.

I am, by nature, a planner and an anxiety-ridden worrier. I worry that my daughter will one-day feel that her brother is a burden – regardless of how much she loves him. I worry that no one will be around to tell her that it is okay to feel that way, that it doesn’t mean she loves him any less and doesn’t mean she wouldn’t do everything in her power to help him. I worry about the other parents out there who feel like they can’t express their frustration, their desire for just a little bit of time alone, their need for a “normal” day, their jealously when the play group parents complain about colds and ear infections instead of therapists, feeding tubes, and an ever-growing list of medications.

I worry that no one has told those parents it is okay to be selfish sometimes. It took me a long time to feel comfortable talking about the challenges my family faces, to shake the horrible feeling of being judged if I spoke one ill word of parenting the child who is such a joy in my life. I worry that no one is there to help those parents when they need help. When they need someone to understand how difficult it is to find a babysitter and just come watch the kids for a couple of hours so they can go to the movies.

I worry that they will start to disconnect from their support systems. I worry that they will start out feeling like super-parents, but deflate when confronted with the burden that brings. I worry this will all be too much.

I worry that they will lose that hope for the future.

An Unashamed Therapy Dropout

I’m at a conference this week in Washington DC, so I’m reposting some old favorites from the beginning of my blog. I’ll be back with fresh content next week and – in the meantime – keep up with me on Instagram to see highlights of my trip.

This post originally appeared on my blog on May 6, 2013.

I am an unashamed therapy dropout. To understand why I found myself in therapy and then quickly back out of therapy, I need to give you a little bit of “here are my issues” background. Try not to hold any of it against me in the future.

I’ve dealt with depression and anxiety for a very long time – long before I ever knew what to call it. I think the anxiety came first and then slowly developed into depression when I was an adult as it became tricky to deal with. No real problem though; it was all mild so I dealt with it and moved on.

Then it started to become more of a problem. My anxiety was downright out of control for the last few years and I had to spend a lot of time psyching myself up to do even the most mundane social things. I started making up excuses to miss events and going to great lengths to avoid invitations altogether. [Yeah . . . if I missed one of your important life milestones in the last few years, I probably wasn’t sick or working. Sorry. It sucked.] I always felt like I was on display being judged and didn’t even like to go visit my family – the one group of people who would never judge (well, within reason. We are family, after all).

Then the depression took hold. We had some financial trouble, my husband’s company went through major layoffs leaving us constantly on edge, and we were adjusting to our new life as parents of a disabled child. All things that are very stressful. All things that I was in no way equipped to handle in my current anxiety-ridden state. At first, I didn’t realize how bad the depression was. I knew something wasn’t right of course, but kept pushing it down and going about my life.

Then the binge-eating started and I couldn’t ignore the situation anymore. More background: I am fat. I’m fat for a lot of reasons. I have always struggled with being overweight (the first time I can remember being “fat” was 4th grade. I wasn’t of course, but that is a topic for a different day) – less than stellar eating habits + too little exercise + prone to carrying a little extra around the middle. After I had my daughter, I got a handle on my weight and lost quite a bit. Then I slowly gained some of it back. I developed an irregular heartbeat (runs in the family) and went on a medicine that helped me gain even more. Then I felt bad and gained some more. The binge-eating didn’t first present itself until I was already fat. Because, yeah, that makes sense, “a little self-shaming and guilt with a side of nachos is a great way to lose weight!”

With the new mix of depression and anxiety, my annoying little problem with binge-eating presented itself in a big way. It was time to talk to my doctor. Thankfully, my doctor is awesome. She immediately made some suggestions and got me hooked up with a highly-recommended therapist.

The first day I walked into her office, I knew it wasn’t the right place for me, but I wrote that off to the anxiety. There was a sign behind the desk that said something like “Please do not comment on the appearance of office staff.” I’m paraphrasing, but you get the point. Your first thought walking into a therapist’s office probably shouldn’t be “Well, these people are crazy.” [I should probably point out that people love this therapist and I never felt uncomfortable talking with her. It just wasn’t right for me.]

Dutifully, I went every two weeks, sat on the couch and bared my soul. Except I just wasn’t very good at it. I could never come up with a deeper reason for anything – in most cases, I just didn’t believe there was one. Why can’t I just be upset about the actual problem? Do we have to try and relate it to something else? I’m apparently shallow and very bad at recall, so I could never answer most of the questions she asked me. At one point, she wondered if I was blocking out something major since there seemed to be a big lapse in my memory. Nope. . I just shut down when I’m on the spot. I really disliked going.

Next thing I knew, the tumor popped up. Not a good thing to help with anxiety! I had a minor panic attack (later I had a major panic attack . . . yeah, I never want to experience that again please). I added some anti-anxiety medication to my daily routine. Suddenly everything started to change. Life got a little bit brighter and I started to realize just how depressed I had been. The anxiety started to be easier to handle on my own. I started to leave the house and happily join social situations. With the help of a little bit of modern medicine, I found myself in a much better position to tackle the issues around my depression.

I stopped seeing my therapist shortly after my tumor-removal surgery. I know this is the right decision for me right now. I’ve gotten more out of writing this blog for a month than I did from a year in therapy. My depression has receded, my binge-eating is mostly under control, and I’m strong enough to deal with my anxiety, albeit slowly.

Will I go back to therapy? Probably. I’d like to get completely off of the medication someday and I know therapy will make that possible. I learned that it is important to find the right therapist, not just a good therapist. For now though, I plan to stay a dropout.

Planning for the End of It All

I’m at a conference this week in Washington DC, so I’m reposting some old favorites from the beginning of my blog. I’ll be back with fresh content next week and – in the meantime – keep up with me on Instagram to see highlights of my trip.

This post originally appeared on my blog on April 6, 2013.

A few months ago, I planned my funeral.

While I am a planner – an over-planner, really – this didn’t have anything to do with getting ahead or being prepared. This was a necessity. Last year, I found myself facing the very real possibility of a life-threatening illness. Before I had to get on the table for a median sternotomy to remove a [then mystery] tumor, my husband and I sat down to for an extremely difficult discussion.

What did I want to happen? It was so hard to think about; I wasn’t ready. I had family and children to think about – graduations, marriages, grandkids, so much to see. I didn’t want to think about the end of it all at twenty-nine years old. But I did, because it had to be done.

If something went wrong, I wanted to be given some time for the chance of recovery, but didn’t want to be kept alive just to avoid the inevitable. It would be a difficult decision for my husband, but I knew he felt the same way I did.

I didn’t want a viewing unless my parents requested it – I find them creepy. I wanted to wear my favorite dress with the red sash. I wanted a few hymns, but mainly calm, folksy music (think Mumford and Sons). I did not want any kind of photograph slideshow. I wanted Dougie MacLean’s The Gael and bagpipes (not necessarily the real things). No, we aren’t Scottish. I guess I just have a flair for the dramatic.

I didn’t have a preference over burial or cremation. I have an irrational phobia of closed caskets – either way I was going to have to go in the box, so I was flexible. Really, who isn’t at that point? I didn’t want to end up on a shelf somewhere though, so we decided on spreading or burying the ashes if he went with cremation. Somewhere pretty was my only request – I don’t really have strong feelings about any particular place. I’ve always been largely unattached to my physical surroundings.

I wanted to write letters to my children, but I couldn’t get myself together to do it. Instead, I bought a recordable book of The Night Before Christmas. Recording that was a hard evening. It was something so simple, something people do every single day, but for me it represented a life where my children grew up forgetting my face, my perfume, my laugh. It represented what would be left of me.

I asked my sister [both only children, we chose each other] to do all of the fun girly things with my children if I couldn’t do them myself. My husband and I discussed insurance plans, finances, passwords. I made an appointment to get my hair dyed – no reason to meet my maker with my roots showing. I made jokes about the situation [see: hair dye]. It was all very practical.

We held hands. We hugged. I cried. I’ve never felt that kind of fear.

I came through ok. The surgery was major, but uncomplicated, and the tumor was benign. In the end, I didn’t need any of my plans. It changed me though. I will never again be that person I was before the diagnosis. I’m learning to work with the new me now – trying to find a balance between living life to the fullest and avoiding unnecessary risk. I don’t think anyone would ever describe me as fun-loving, but I try to be easy and frivolous. I try to love every single day.

Something Different

No Saturday review today as I couldn’t get myself together to write it. The rest of August will feature two guest reviews and great products including Paula’s Choice skincare, the Roku, and Netflix vs. Amazon Prime. Want to write a review for Playfullytacky.com? Email me! And remember, while many of my reviews are about samples I received for free or from services like Birchbox, none are sponsored. If that ever changes, I will always disclose it.

I will be traveling next week, so I’m doing some re-posts to fill the void (Monday-Wednesday-Friday). Stay tuned for three of my favorite posts – mostly from when this blog started. One of them is a downer, but it makes the list since it is pretty raw and emotional for me. And don’t forget to follow me on Instagram if you want to see all sorts of conference travel fun.

Don’t forget to enter the Back to School Giveaway for a chance to win one of 3 $200 paypal prizes.

In the meantime, check out some of these interesting things from around the web.

Don’t Be Afraid Of The Clowns – BuzzFeed
The red-nosed pros at the 2014 World Clown Association annual convention know you think they’re creepy. How does a maligned and misunderstood centuries-old art form survive bad PR and cultural decline?

The Future of Iced Coffee – The Atlantic
At its cafes, Blue Bottle might make one of the best iced-coffee drinks in America. But are artisan businesses doomed to fail when they try going mainstream?

A Friend Flees the Horror of ISIS – The New Yorker
A humanitarian crisis that could turn into a genocide is taking place right now in the mountains of northwestern Iraq. It hasn’t made the front page, because the place and the people are obscure, and there’s a lot of other horrible news to compete with.

The Dummies’ Guide To Cosplay Photography in 2014 – Boing Boing
Andy Ihnatko’s golden rule about photographing cosplayers: You must never do anything that makes the cosplayer wish you hadn’t taken that photo.

The Ballad of Geeshie and Elvie – New York Times
On the trail of the phantom women who changed American music and then vanished without a trace. [includes some audio]

For Hire: A Dedicated Young Man with Down Syndrome – Al Jazeera America
A father reflects on his son’s quest for employment.

Did you read something great this week? Did you write something great that you want others to read? Share in the comments!

Back to School Giveaway

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Great news! Playfullytacky has teamed up with several other blogs to giveaway 3 $200 back to school paypal prizes.
I can’t embed the Rafflecopter entry here, so please clink the link below to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A Day In The Life, Mom/Daughter Edition

On Monday, I needed to take our daughter to back-to-school-check-in and get some glasses fixed so I no longer lived in a crazy carnival world. I decided to take the entire day off of work and – since the girl and I don’t get a day just the two of us very often – decided to do a lot of the things on our to-do list.

Speaking of back to school, Playfullytacky has joined forces with a few others blogs to do a pretty excellent giveaway. Stay tuned for details.

So, back to Monday. Here is the rundown of our back-to-school-extravaganza:

First, we slept in, just a bit. No day off is complete without a little extra sleep. The house is so quiet after our typical morning rush. After finally getting up and getting ready, we made it out the door by 9am. Not too bad.

Our first stop was the eye doctor. I picked up glasses with a new prescription last week and they are . . . odd. I have a weird fun-house thing going on with all five pairs. Yes, five pairs. We used to have insurance that paid for frames every year; I stocked up and take good care of them. so I’ve only lost a few over the years. A rush order on some new lenses and hopefully I’ll be back to normal by the end of the week.

They were busy, but not like it usually is in the afternoon. We made it back to my daughter’s school for check-in by 10:30. Now, it really annoys me that her school insists on doing these required things during business hours. We had to check-in today sometime between 9-4. I’m lucky to have a job that allows me to do that, but I’m sure it is very stressful for a lot of people. Okay, mini rant over.

The daughter is going into six grade, which means major changes at her school. She was extremely disappointed because they didn’t let her decorate her locker today. I was extremely disappointed because they didn’t allow us to bring some of the larger, extra supplies. We were both disappointed because she didn’t receive her schedule. The first day might be a shock – she is moving to seven individual periods for the first time.

All of the disappointment was soon forgotten when she found out the archery team is now open to 6th grade. The girl took a liking to archery in Girl Scouts and has been waiting for the opportunity to join their team. Depending on how many sign up, they may not do tryouts for 6th graders and just take them all. I have my fingers crossed for her.

After doing a mass of paperwork with the other frazzled parents at school, we headed to TJ Maxx to buy a birthday gift and then to Michaels to buy some cheap t-shirts. As usual, the girl’s school didn’t have enough uniform shirts and she needs plain t-shirts to wear while they order more. We finished the morning off with a trip to our favorite local 50s-themed-nostalgic burger joint for lunch.

After lunch, we made a quick stop to get her hair trimmed. Then we went off-budget to get our nails done. Nothing wrong with a little mom-daughter quality time.

One final stop at Target to get the rest of her school supplies. It was a mess after the tax-free weekend. Those employees were fighting a losing battle trying to get that place organized. Just thinking about tax-free weekend makes me shudder; I avoid it every single year.

By 2pm the heat was getting to us. We headed home and I briefly considered going into work. I was stressed out about work I needed/wanted to finish before leaving town next week, but I settled on just checking my email from home. I didn’t seem like I was missing much.

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