In Which We Travel to a Garden Expo
We just got back from a super busy, fun-filled weekend at the Garden Expo in Madison, WI, where we had several wonderful people join our Young Living team! Weekend trips to WI to visit my parents always ends up being pretty exhausting, because we try to minimize the time we take off from work. We drove up Thursday night, after John got home from work, which meant we didn’t pull out of the driveway until 6:30pm! With a solid 6hr drive ahead of us, and a nursing 4mo old in tow, 6:30pm is about 8hrs later than anyone really wants to be leaving! But, when you have limited time off to work with, you do what you gotta do.
The nice thing about this trip, whether it was the late hour or just the way things happened, I’m not sure, but James slept all the way through Des Moines, we stopped for a potty break got him out to nurse, switched drivers, and we were back on our way. He woke up once more just outside of Cedar Rapids, but I could tell that he wasn’t really committed to being awake, so we pulled off in a rest area, I rubbed him down real good with SleepyIze™, found his pacifier, and we took off. He was out in less than 15min! I was even more thankful for that fact when John fell asleep about an hour later, dead to the world and unable to be awakened by anything short of a catastrophe.
That sweet boy slept the whole rest of the trip. I was worried that the rumble strips leading to a stop sign in one of the small towns near my parent’s farm would wake him up, but neither of my boys stirred. Maverick was the only one that noticed them. Ha! We rolled into the farm at 1:30am, and it was probably close to 2:30am by the time we got to sleep. Which, if we weren’t heading into town early the next morning for an expo, wouldn’t have been nearly such a big deal. But we were. And it was.
Our 6:30am wake-up call from Maverick came way too early. We finished pulling everything together for the event, loaded the truck, and headed out. Thankfully, mom had set up the booth the day before, which meant we didn’t have to be there until a little before noon, which was a major blessing.
Friday was a great day. Mom and Cheryl had designed an adorable booth, mom’s Cooking with Oils demo went fantastic and brought several people to the booth to talk about oils. We had a Wellness Tea setup for passersby to sample, and that was a huge hit. The event organizers had set up a passport program for the kids, so we had lots of kiddos coming through the booth for their stamp and free Aroma Dough handout (it’s like Play Dough, but homemade and infused with YL essential oils!).
James helping Grandma finish some stuff up for the 2nd day of the show
I did realize that in my sleep-deprived haze that morning (I did not sleep well, or at all, the night before), I somehow managed to forget to pack any burp rags for James, or a nursing cover, or re-stock the diaper bag with diapers. We used one of his blankets as a burp rag, and I owe my mother-in-law another huge thanks for the nursing tops that she gave me for Christmas, because they totally let me nurse discreetly without a cover. And we put the last clean diaper on him only an hour before we had to head home. Thank God for watching out for us on that one!
That was a late night, and Saturday was an early morning, but we pulled ourselves together valiantly. I managed to remember burp rags that morning, but somehow the light blankets I like to use as nursing covers didn’t make it into the truck when we left Missouri, so we went without once again. Probably for the best anyway, since James is getting to the point where he likes to look around and gets warm underneath a cover. I asked John to pack diapers for me, so I ended up with enough diapers for almost the entire weekend, packed into small portions in each of my bags, presumably so that no matter where we ended up, we’d have plenty of diapers to get us through. The man doesn’t do anything the way I would, but bless him for doing everything he can to take care of us. And we didn’t run out of diapers on Saturday!
We had a phenomenal day on Saturday. We had three people join our Young Living team, and I lost count of how many people we got to talk with. We ran out of Aroma Dough handouts for the kiddos, and almost ran out of the oil-infused honey for the Wellness Tea. Y’all, we had a great time on Saturday. We chatted with our booth neighbors during the few breaks that we had, and mom did another demo on using essential oils to make an adorable succulent diffuser. That brought a few people to the booth, too.
John was a superhero all weekend, but especially on Saturday. He took James almost all day, so all I had to worry about was talking to the people that walked through our booth, and sitting down to nurse when he brought the baby back. I think I changed maybe 2-3 diapers the whole time we were at the event center between the two days we were there. I could not have asked for a better support system than this man right here.
My hero of the weekend
Since this was a 3-day event, we blessedly did not have to tear down the booth Saturday night. It was such a long day, and we were all exhausted. It was nice to just be able to walk away. It’s an hour drive from the event center to my parent’s farm, and it was a bit of a rough drive for our little man after such a crazy weekend, but we made it.
Sunday morning was another early morning for everyone. Mom, Cheryl and Ladonna, our upline Diamond who graciously drove up from Oklahoma to help with this event and teach a few classes in WI for our team, were all heading back to day 3 of the event, and John and I were packing up to leave for home. After the weekend we had, John’s afterburners were 100% non-functional, so we got out quite a bit later than we had hoped. But that happens. And after 2 busy days with almost no sleep, it was not totally a surprise. We got out a little after 11am, and drove as far as we could. James slept all the way to Des Moines, so we stopped and woke him up for a quick meal before we went through the city so we could avoid the sudden, emergency, starving baby screams that I felt were inevitable about halfway along the Des Moines bypass.
We took off from the rest area and headed out. Everything went great for about a half hour, and then he decided that 4 1/2 hours in the carseat was enough. Bless my husband, he decided to ride in the backseat with the baby the rest of the way in case he woke up. That sweetheart talked, sang, held a pacifier, offered toys, applied oils and about 17 different combinations of all of the above while I drove as fast as I dared for the last 2hrs of the trip. We stopped for a brief fill-up just north of home, for both the truck and the baby, and then took off again for the last 20min.
Our trips have really taken on a different look over the last few years. Three years ago, a trip to my parents looked like getting up on Friday at 7am for me, and 1pm for John, I went to class all morning, then went home to do homework, pack for the trip, and try to take a nap. John worked 4pm to 4:30am (though it was usually closer to at least 5am). By 5:30-6am when he got home, I had the car loaded, the house ready for us to be gone, and had (hopefully) taken a nap, so we could eat some food when John got home and then take off. We got to my parents usually by 1:30 in the afternoon, and then spent all day Saturday visiting with my parents or doing chores, or whatever else was planned for the day. Then, Monday we left in the late afternoon, and got home sometime in the deep, dark middle of the night, made dinner, and got ready for the week.
Some days, I really miss those days. I’m a night owl. I loved sleeping in till 1pm, and staying up until 4 or 5am. I liked going to the latest showing of the movies, and going grocery shopping at HyVee when no one else was awake.
It was hard, though, because I was in school at the time, all day while John slept, and then he was awake all night while I tried to sleep. But that period of time brought us closer together as a couple, and now in this new season of life with a baby, trying to build a business, and still maintain a healthy marriage, the skills we learned during our first few years continue to serve us well.