I have come to the conclusion that you cannot avoid stress when you are preparing for a family of five to get away for a month.
I have made my lists and checked them twice to no avail:
Bills paid? Check.
Car maintenance completed (including new tires and battery)? Check.
Various appointments scheduled and completed? Check.
Dog care arrangements made? Check.
4H meeting on April 1st that we are hosting with another family planned? Check.
Art classes completed ahead of time? Check.
School books and supplies packed? Check.
Clothing and personal items packed? Check.
Various other items packed? Check.
Diet successful and 10 pounds lost? Umm, never mind.
I realize that part of my stress comes from my attempting to anticipate the things we will need and bringing them without overpacking. For example, I don't want to buy bug spray or sunscreen when we've got plenty of that here at home. Stuff like that. Plus, is it really necessary to bring my bird watching scope, tripod and window mount? Well, actually, yes, I think it is.
It's the last minute stuff that seems to consume so much of my time. There are a lot of little odds and ends to remember. The girls and I are leaving tomorrow morning, hopefully at 6:00am to drive down. The men will follow next week, flying into Orlando. If we forget something at least it's comforting to know that they can bring it with them.
Well, the clock is ticking so I'd better get back to work!