What a busy weekend we had! I barely know where to begin!
Thursday night we realized that our passports were going to expire before our Arizona trip in September, leaving us exactly 1 month to get new ones- yikes! We printed up the applications, and I spent a harried Friday morning trying to get an entire day's worth of cleaning and cooking (literally- I had gotten behind on cleaning during the week) done in 3 hours, so that I could fly out the door right after lunch.
This is how my attempt to get my passport went:
- Packed up the kids and left the house at 12:45 (already late- my goal was 12:30)
- Reached the passport photo shop by 1:10, and got in right away (phew!). Waited 10 minutes for the pictures, while frantically working to fill out my application. Got my photos and got the kids back in the car.
- Arrive at my good friend's house by 1:40. The kids are thrilled to play with their friends, while she acts as my guarantor and signs my photo and papers, while I continue to work on my application. She feeds my kids (why are they hungry already?) rice crackers and I snag a couple of fruit bars to stuff in my diaper bag. We're off again.
- We make it to the passport office by 2:15- yippee! This gives me an hour to get through the line and still make it to pick up my students on time. I feed the kids fruit bar while I finish the last of my application.
- 3:05. My number is called. I happily walk up to the passport agent, who tells me unsympathetically that my photos will not be accepted because they have too much glare. I look distraught and think bad words in my head while trying to still be polite. She tells me if I can get back that same day (by 4:30), they can bump me to the front of the line when I return. Sure, no problem. Miracles have happened before, right? Pray for strength.
- 3:15, we're all back in the van and strapped up. Head back to the bad passport photo shop, to tell them they need to redo the photos. Ask them to take two this time just in case.
- Leave the photo shop at 3:23, and begin to rush to get my students by 3:30.
- As I'm driving, realize my blood sugar is low due to my too small lunch (because I was in a hurry), and that I'm desperate for food in the midst of this ordeal or else I will loose my ability to deal with things calmly. See a gas station. Park in front of the door, leaving sleeping children in the van.
- Think the door is heavier than it is, pull it as hard as I can, smack- straight into my face. Ouch. Ouch. Ouch. My pride now hurts as much as my face. Grab the first food item I see (cheddar Sunchips- yuck), and pay the cashier who is attempting to make me feel like less of an idiot. He offers me napkins. Oh, for the chips? No, because my face is bleeding from the door. Pray that I won't get a splitting headache.
- Get back in van at 3:34, and begin to eat chips as I hold my stainless steel water bottle to my face, and intermittently dab at the blood. Pretty.
- Arrive to get my students at 3:36. They're not pleased to hear we're going to the passport office. Oh well.
- Pray for strength.
- Head back across the highway to pick up passport photos. Get them by 4:48. He didn't print up two as I requested. Taking my chances with the one.
- Drive back to the passport office. Kids in stroller, student in tow (the other would like to sleep in the van- sure, whatever). Make it upstairs by 4:10. Get my number, which is next in line.
- 4:20- my number is called. Hallelujah. Bring all my papers, photos and documents up to the agent. She asks where is my original photo with my guarantor's signature. I panic. I thought it was in the pile. We search through the papers, etc. together. Nothing. Sheer panic. She says she can do nothing without that photo. More bad words in head. Attempt not to cry in front of children, student and agent.
- Ask the student (thank goodness for teenage students!) to stay with the children upstairs, while I attempt to get down two elevators, and 10 flights of stairs, into the parkade, try to find the missing photo, and back up to the office in precisely 8 minutes before they shut they door on me. Pray for a miracle.
- Get to the parkade in record time, thankfully not hitting any more body parts in the process (the rancid vegetable oil from the Sunchips must be giving me endurance). Open the trunk, begin to throw things around. And what should suddenly appear beneath a foldup soccer chair? The photo!
- Race upstairs. Run, run, run. The door to the office is still open (and thank goodness- my children are in there!). The guard ushers me to an open agent.
- Finally, finally, finally, at 4:32, begin to process my passport. It takes a full half hour (why? I have no idea), while I frantically bounce Caden who is now starving and wet and screaming. Abbie has needed to go pee for over an hour. My student is very unimpressed.
- 5:07 pm. We leave the building. I am grateful. It's over. The headache I anticipated never materialized (thank you God). I will make it home in time for all of my guests arriving between 6:30-6:45 (barely, without dinner being ready, but that's besides the point). What a day!
The rest of our weekend but busy, but much more enjoyably so. We spent some wonderful time on Friday and Sunday with close friends, on Saturday with my sister and brother in law (at her art festival), and watched the incredible Beijing opening ceremonies (which a friend taped for us) last night with our students while eating blackberry clafoutis.
The students leave this morning (in fact, I need to go make them breakfast and get ready to drive them to school to say goodbye). My plans for the week include a lot of time spent at home, getting things back in order. Life has felt crazy this summer, with these two sets of students. I'm eager to back to my regular routine, to spend more time on my garden and blog again, to enjoy time with just our family.
I've missed having the time to really blog well, and to interact with all of you more. I anticipate getting back on track and being around a bit more, just as soon as my house is back in order. Thanks for your patience this summer! You're all wonderful. Have a great Monday!