33. It’s a Magic Number.

OK, OK. So I know it’s really 3 that’s the Magic Number, but work with me. Reminder: This is the Week 33 post (Oct 19-25). Sooooo close to caught up! And if you look at the header images at all, you know where this one’s headed. Palm Springs!

Thanks to our fabulous friends Joe & Mary, we had an amazing (and much needed) change of scenery last week. I host roundtables with clients most weeks and need a highly reliable Wifi situation, so our original plan was to leave Thursday evening to spend time in Palm Springs and return home the following Wednesday evening. Here’s how that plan went so wrong (and so right):

Bart asked if it would be OK to go a few days early and meet Joe out there. I was in full support; our poor caretaker deserves time away. Bart’s face looked concerned at my fast “YES!” response, then he shared that he thought taking the girls with him to meet Joe would be fun (Uncle Joe really is a lot of fun). What are the chances of THAT?!

Without missing a beat, I agreed, and instantly I began to imagine how incredible alone time was going to be. OMG!! You see, when we’re all stuck at home together, a stupid amount of my time is spent putting things back where they “go”. With no one home, everything STAYS where it GOES. Plus, quiet time. My music. My silly documentary that no one wants to watch. My uninterrupted tub time. As my friend Alison said, I wanted a ME party.

Of course, sometimes when you get what you THINK you want, it’s not what you THINK. The instant everyone left on Tuesday, I called my sister to say, “Uh oh. What do I do now?” I felt so much pressure to make the MOST of the alone time I was sure I would never get EVER AGAIN (llama llama, mama drama – bless my sister for her patience.)

Her kind advice? Think forward to the end of your alone time. What will you be happy to say that you’ve done? At least one of us got some smarts.

On that first night, I went on an (indoor) bike ride, ordered my favorite salad from Sweet Green, watched My Octopus Teacher (yes, Oma! it was great!), and took a relaxing bath. Decadent. Better yet, I woke the next morning and EVERYTHING was exactly where I left it. Nirvana.

However, our empty house felt, well, empty. I did my best to “enjoy” it, but I was remarkably happy to hug my family on Thursday night when we were all together again. Before we get to that, I’d like to note that they had a blast without me.

Ella was so excited about the trip that she wouldn’t stop telling anyone who would listen. Plus, she made the sign above, which was two-sided, and here’s the back (yes, it clearly says “POM Springs”):

Maybe she’s clairvoyant. The school + work arrangement worked well for them, too, with a place for everyone in the main room, where Bart could keep an eye on the girls (and Zoe could keep an eye on Ella’s screen):

Let’s just say that Ella still struggles to stay on task… What worked to keep them both (mostly) motivated during our time away from boring old home was telling them that we would NOT do this again if it meant they struggled with school.

Meanwhile back at home with me, poor Jasmine would not leave my side.

When I finished my roundtable on Thursday, I drove 3.5 hours to Palm Springs (which should have been 2 hours, but I guess we weren’t the only ones who decided to head east). Here’s MY view from the pool the following day after school ended:

We had a lovely family weekend. The girls constructed a haunted gingerbread house (thanks, TJs):

On Friday afternoon, part of Zoe’s homework was to record a video of herself doing something she enjoyed. Lucky us, she decided to sing:


I will never get tired of hearing that kid sing. We spent most of Saturday at the pool again (oh, how our kids want a pool), and we played some Pickleball! I’ve always been curious about how it works, since it’s a combo of badminton, table tennis and tennis. We weren’t that great, but we had a great time trying!

Early Sunday morning we went to the Living Desert Zoo. With plenty of open space, mask requirements and lots of animals, it was yet another terrific break from our usual routine. Oh, there was also a wide variety of cactus plants throughout the zoo, which leads to many fun pictures:

You know your kid’s moving towards “teenager” when she’s too cool to pretend she’s going to sit on a cactus because it looks like she’s pooping. Ha! Ella had no issues at all. POOP!

The last bit of weekend family fun we had was an outdoor mexican dinner in downtown Palm Springs, where I unveiled our new Halloween masks (the protective, not costume-related kind):

And that wraps Week 33. There’s a bit more to our Palm Springs story, but I’ll save that for next week, which will also include (gulp) HALLOWEEN! I’ll leave you with a few more beautiful views of Palm Springs and wish for you some alone time or family time or getaway time – or whatever you need to remember that YES, this sucks, but we are all very very lucky to have one another. Period. Stay safe!!!!!

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