Tonight I went into the hair salon with hair as thick and heavy as a mop. I left with hair that is nice and fluffy, and very very big. So big, in fact, that I thought perhaps I should audition for the Miss Texas Bighead competition.

Then I went to Tanya's to visit my kids once more before they spent the night there and I spent the night preparing for a flight that I am seriously not prepared for. They danced and jumped and giggled as they got ready for bed, excited to be at a friends house, excited to be leaving the next day with Randy for Louisiana. I gave them many hugs and kisses and I love you's ... too many, maybe. I've been away from my kids before. But this felt different. I stood at the doorway for a long moment taking in everything about them: how Steven arches one eyebrow when he thinks someone is being silly, how Daegan's smile can light up an entire room. And then I turned into the cold and drove away.

I couldn't get the feeling of "what if" out of my head. Not for the length of time it took me to drive from her house to WalMart, where I needed to pick up various last minute things. I couldn't get those thoughts to go away while I shopped or even at the check-out, while the woman tried very matter-of-factly to tell me all about how soon Christmas would be here.

So I came home and I ignored the fact that I still hadn't packed. And I painted my nails (toes AND fingers, boys and girls) and I made some phone calls and recieved a few more before I finally decided to peek into my closet and pack away the things I needed. Packing was a strange thing, too. Thinking that people might be nosing around in my luggage made me feel like perhaps I should pack much neater than usual. Then I realized (for the fiftieth time tonight) that I am the most paranoid freak that I know.

And in 3.5 hours I must be awake and getting ready. I'm actually very excited. I've never taken a trip all by myself before, or even made so many plans for myself. It's kind of neat. No. It's really neat. So I'm sure that once I get over this feeling that I forgot something or left something out or didn't plan something correctly (and no, I refuse to say my real fears because you know, I just do) I will be fine. And happier. And I will stop forgetting what I am saying mid-sentence and stop standing in my room staring at my suitcase like it's something I've never seen before.

See you guys Saturday night. Kelly's off to have some fun.

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