At 3:40 this morning I was snuggling in bed with my nearly two year old, still in Virginia.

At 4:40 this morning I was headed into Washington DC to hop a flight to a conference. Seasoned traveler that I am (insert irony here) I had all my little travel sized items in the appropriate zip lock bag in my purse. I also had a carry on bag. And in it I had a humongous bottle of shampoo and another one of conditioner, a brand new bottle of styling lotion, contact lens solution and a big old tube of toothpaste.

I was astounded when security stopped me.

But, I gabbled, this is my suitcase. My purse has all the right size items.

Duh, Lisa-Jo, your suitcase is coming with you on this flight. Double duh!

Not prepared to sacrifice my tub of South African body lotion so preciously procured by a colleague on a recent business trip, back up to check-in it was.

But that threw off the rhythm and my travel buddy then proceeded to misplace her boarding passes and her driver’s license. But, smarty pants that she is, she had a copy of her passport with her and was able to get a new boarding pass issued in time to, well, you know, board.

Once we had huffed and puffed our way down the gangplank (hmm, that doesn’t seem like the right word – but I’ve been up nearly24 hours now) we spotted the license and passes stuffed in a hither-to-fore unexplored corner of her large, leopard spotted bag. I swear it growled at us. We were that frazzled.

From DC we flew to Illinois – hi Chicago style pizza!

Then over to Colorado – hello Rocky Mountains!

And then another jaunt on to Portland, Oregon – hello Trailblazers!

Then it was just a hop, skip and a cab ride to Vancouver, Washington. A mere 12 hours after we got up this morning.


Tomorrow I get to rise and shine and show off my swollen, black and blue chin to all the other conference attendees. Oh, didn’t I mention that yet? Yea, on Sunday I took a spectacular fall right after this purrtyy picture was taken.

Related photos and the humbling tale of what happens when a mother tries to force her overtired kids to pose for family photographs to follow.

It. was. not. purrtyy.

And naturally, as it begins to heal the rainbow of bruises has come out in full force right before I have to spend two days meeting strangers.

Here’s to first impressions! (and frequent flier miles).

But on the up side, the “before” pictures are awesome. Thanks Mallory for making me look less like a mommy and more like a me. And for stealing a beautiful picture or two of our wriggly family.

Over and out,

from Washington (state, not district).