Gee, But It’s Great to Be Back Home

At some point on Friday, I finally figured out why the week felt so disjointed. I only went into the office one day, and it was a Tuesday. No wonder I had a hard time remembering exactly which day of the week it was. (Seriously, at the conference, I had to keep checking the agenda to know whether it was Thursday or Friday.)

Wednesday morning, my mom picked me up and drove us to Chicago for my conference. The problem advantage of making hotel arrangements so close to the conference date is that the cheapest rooms are all full. (The hotel has a 72-hour cancellation policy. If I’d booked the room while the group rate was still available and then had been told by the midwife that I couldn’t travel, I would have had to pay for the room out of pocket.) We weren’t expecting our room to be ready, but we were able to get in as soon as we got there. This particular Westin is rather discreetly branded. We drove by it at least once before I was able to identify the correct building. Anyway, we were told that there was only one of the type of room we reserved ready for check-in. She was very apologetic that it was on a low floor, but to make up for that fact, it was a corner room. Turned out to be not quite ready for check-in. We were sitting, people-watching the pedestrians crossing the river when there was a tap on the door. It was the person whose job it is to check the mini-fridge between guests. He was very apologetic for disturbing us. Not that we really cared. We also suspect he could tell it was obvious we weren’t the sort of people to indulge in the exorbitantly priced goodies. Yes, we packed our own lunch.

The pre-conference was pretty good. It was your basic review of the accreditation process with useful tidbits on which criteria are most likely to be found non-compliant. I was able to snag a seat right by the door. I took more than the one break that was scheduled. A lot more breaks. And I got a lot of knitting done, too. And I wasn’t the only person with a really small department. That is one of the annoying things about these national conferences. They are frequently populated by these departments of ten or fifteen full-time staff members. There were several of us who run the whole show all by ourselves. (Okay, I do have half an admin, but when it comes to compliance…)

Since Wednesday was an early day – we were done at 3:30 – my mom and I decided it was a good day to go out for dinner. We wandered in the general direction of the Giordano’s on Rush, knew we’d wandered too far, and eventually found our way back so that I could get my spinach stuffed pizza fix. And then we wandered back to the hotel to watch some HGTV before crashing.

Still being on Michigan time, I was awake very early, which made Thursday an even longer day. The conference started around 8 and ran all the way until 5. Around 6, my mom and I went down to the bar in the lobby for dinner.

Friday was only a half-day. I would have skipped out of the last plenary session since it was basically a condensed version of the pre-conference from Wednesday, but my attendance certificate had been sent to the wrong break-out room. I didn’t think it would look good to just hang out near registration while waiting for my certificate to show up and then leave. Instead, I snagged a seat in the back row, stayed for about half an hour, and then gathered up my things before going to the bathroom. And then I went back to registration to get my attendance certificate and leave. My mom called for the car, I checked us out, and we were on the road back to Kalamazoo.

I am so glad my mom was willing and able to drive. I was pretty beat. (My mom describes the way I currently sleep thus: I take two hour naps between bathroom breaks.)

And yesterday was the “friend” baby shower, hosted by Meredith and Jenny. I now have several onesies, decorated by the guests. In addition to the variety of things for the bump, there were some things for me. I know I will enjoy the pedicure! I’m sure I’m not the only expectant mother to feel this way, but I have the most amazingly generous friends. I feel incredibly loved.

And, yes, I was happy to put my feet up when I got home.

There was just one little thing that had to be dealt with today. I really needed to go grocery shopping. I am pretty much out of yogurt. You’ll note that last sentence is still in the present tense. If I weren’t a total yogurt snob (which I am and freely confess to being), I would have left Meijer’s with yogurt. But I am a total yogurt snob, and the one yogurt that Meijer’s was out of is the one that I was looking for. And, yes, they were out of it. I asked if there was any in the back and was told that it had just been restocked so if there was none there, there was none to be had. So I still need yogurt. Clearly, a trip to Sawall’s will be had after work tomorrow.

But Meijer’s was dealt with early, so I have been home. A little Hulu. A little knitting. A little napping. And no more going places. It’s good to be home.


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