Friday, August 12, 2005

The Chaos of Setting Up for a Show!

What a crazy day! The girls went back and forth between being great helpers and driving us CRAZY, so Nick and I still have a bit to learn about doing a show with kids! This morning, when we needed to head out to pick up a few last minute items, they tried to stage a revolt and demand to be left behind in the hotel room to watch cartoons and play Barbies! I don't think so!

We got everything done and now the room is as set up for the show tomorrow as it is going to get. Understated, but at least you can really see the designs that I brought without them getting lost among props or decorations... but I go by some of the rooms and still doubt myself. Mine will look very stark by comparisson!

Here's to the excitement and chaos of the show!!!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Making The Most of the Day...

What a busy day! We got up early (our regular wake-up time is 7 am back home, 6 am here) and had a nice breakfast at the hotel before heading out for the day. We found an Office Max where we could pick up a few supplies and leave off the copies we needed to have made (slightly more expensive than getting them done in Canada, but less to clog up and weigh down luggage!) then headed off to Discovery Place.

Nick and I first visited this hands-on science centre 11 years ago when we came to Charlotte for the first time. We'd pulled into Charlotte sounding like a tractor because our Subaru has lost the muffler along the way and while the car was being repaired, we walked up to Discovery Place to take our mind off how much we were going to have to put on the Visa. IT was captivating then, but what a difference to see it throught the eyes of my two girls 11 years later!! They were totally captivated for the 5 hours we were there and we had to pry them away! I was worried that the copy centre might think I'd disappeared instead of coming back for my stuff!

We explored Charlotte a little bit more after picking up the copies. Nick is SO wonderful about driving in big city traffic... but I doubt I could ever live in a city this size again. Having grown up in Montreal and even learned to drive there... it seems strange in a way to prefer the pace of Moncton... but I am sure that I don't lose as much time in my day to travel as many of the people we saw pushing their way through the 5 lanes of traffic, jockeying for the quickest spot.

The girls are happily playing Barbies upstairs and I thought I would blog quickly before I get set for the class I teach tomorrow afternoon and the set-up for the show tomorrow morning. This is the calm before the storm, but sometimes watching a storm roll in can be exhilarating!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Teaching Kids To Be Great Travellers...

We started today in Bangor, Maine at 3 am. We've now arrived safely in Charlotte, NC for my cross stitch trade show this weekend to show off our 3 (and one to come) new designs. My girls have been absolutely WONDERFUL travellers and are now playing happily in the hotel room with their new Barbie dolls that we found during a Target foray upon arriving in the city.

What helps kids learn to be great travellers? Partly it is approaching trips with a sense of wonder and fun even as adults. You teach them to revel in the unexpected joys and discoveries along the way. You make travel time a special time to snuggle or play wicked games of Harry Potter UNO. One of the things that the girls enjoy most is the "Doodle Diary" that I keep for every big trip. I do tiny cartoons of events during each day and then we have a visual record of the "unforgettable" moments of the trip... such as not noticing until the second airline today that my sharp scissors were in my carry-on and having to mail them to myself at the hotel... such as discovering that Bethany is actually called Nethany in her new passport and that we'll have to correct that once we get home... or watching the girls faces light up when the National Car Rental lady handed them a bag of Beanie Babies when they got on the shuttle and told them to each pick one to take with them!

Travelling also opens their eyes to the way the world around them differs from life back home. As wel drove to the hotel, Erin noticed a man at one corner with a sign that said "hungy... will wash your car for food!" Since we didn't know if we were headed in the right direction, we couldn't really stop, but she did ask that we include him in our prayers tonight and mentioned him during grace at the restaurant because we were lucky enough to be eating out.

By learning to embrace the joys and wonders that travel can hold... how can you not pass that onto your kids? There's a big wide world out there to explore and enjoy!!

Monday, August 08, 2005

A New Record! Maybe I’m Learning??

It’s not quite 11 pm on a night before we leave for a trade show and I’m done! The bags are packed, the forms are filled out for customs, I’ve rounded up most of the loose ends on my list, the rest of the family is packed and the 4 boxes that we need to mail from within the USA are all taped shut and ready to go!

WOW! Maybe I am learning how to schedule things better... I’ve gotten better at delegating... or I’m forgetting something really important, because usually I am up until at least 1 am and Nick worries about me traveling on too little sleep!

The girls both take after us in terms of having trouble falling asleep before trips (or anything exciting like Christmas and birthdays) so it was a challenge to get them to bed tonight. Wednesday morning when they have to wake up in Maine at 3:00 am to get to the airport for a 5:30 am flight may be another story completely!

What am I looking forward to most? Seeing fellow designers and shop owners of course, but also sharing this part of my life with my girls so that they can have a better idea of the work Mommy has to do when I go away to trade shows!