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My Professional Background - Once upon a time, I wanted to be a motivational speaker. Actually, I was a professional motivational speaker for about 5 years.:
gill

Have you ever heard the expression that fish and company stink after three days?

Interestingly, I first heard it from my father-in-law…probably on day four of a two week visit to his house.

Though, I’m sure he didn’t intend for me to draw a parallel between the expression and our visit there. Noooooooooo. I’m sure that was just a coincidence.

Wasn’t it, dear father-in-law? WASN’T IT?!?!?

I often think of this expression when we have company of our own (usually family) for more than three days. My parents just left after a 13-day visit with us, and I couldn’t help but notice how things change when we have company—even company as familiar and beloved as my parents.

Meals become more involved:

Why can’t they just eat potato chips for breakfast like normal people?

Activities become more elaborate:

Oh, so you wanted to do more than sit in our pj’s in front of the computer all day?

And I begin to realize just how boring our house can be sometimes:

Yeah, we don’t have TV. We usually just spend our evenings gazing into each other’s eyes.

Who wouldn’t love to stay with us for 13 days?

(If you listen closely, you can hear my mom yelling “MEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!”)

I honestly think that God created me as a means to teach my mother patience. Because we couldn’t be more different sometimes. Sure, we sound exactly alike (much to my dad’s embarrassment), but our personalities are vastly different when it comes to everyday living.

My mom is a planner. A VERY DETAILED planner. She wakes up every morning with a “game plan” for the day. She has the energy of a gazelle on crack and completes more tasks than I even think to accomplish in a day. She joins clubs, sits on committees, attends meetings, plans parties, cooks homemade meals and creates masterpieces on the sewing machine in her free time.

If she was a website, she’d be Pinterest:  organized, detailed and incredibly creative.

I, on the other hand, meander out of bed after a 45-75 minute quiet time. I slowly sip coffee, play with the kids and check email until around noon. I rarely accomplish anything notable before 4 p.m. And I spend most days in exercise clothing (see: athleisure) as I wait for blogging/vlogging inspiration to hit.

If I was a website, I’d be…well, this one. Or maybe Pinterest Fail.

So, when you put the two of us together in the same house for 13 days things can get…interesting.

Mom starts to get antsy around the third or fourth hour in our house.

No TV.

No to-do list.

No “game plan.”

Basically no structure whatsoever.

I have learned that our chosen lifestyle is a form of cruel torture for a planner-type with a high energy level.

Around day three mom gets absolutely fed up with no organization, structure or television (she’s a news junkie). And I get absolutely fed up with her need for organization, structure and television (I’m a news hater). So we hash it out.

Like an emotional cage match.

But then we’re fine.

And by day 13, we’re sad to part ways because we started to focus on the things we enjoy together:

Like beating the crap out of my dad and my husband at cards. Every. Time.

Or rearranging the house…again.

Or taking photos of the kids.

averi jj

I’m always sad when my parents leave. No matter how long they visit or how differently we live our daily lives.

When they leave the house is so quiet.

The kids are sad.

averiandjj

I’m sad.

Even the fish is sad.

(I think I forgot to feed Gill today. So, that could be his problem.)

Interestingly, my husband has been whistling all day.

Kidding. He’s sad too.

Aren’t you, dear? AREN’T YOU?!?!?

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Comments to "Fish and Company"

  1. Robyn

    April 22, 2013

    I laughed through your whole blog … maybe because I know all the people you described and you described them all perfectly. A gazelle on crack? Your mom is the only person I know who thinks it takes less time and effort to sew and embroider a new blanket than to launder the old one. And nothing is a coincidence with your father in law, note the length of our next visit. Please keep making me laugh!

    • katyinacorner

      April 22, 2013

      @Robyn I already have a “honey do” list for my dear father-in-law to accomplish while he’s here. So he won’t go stir crazy either. All these energetic relatives wear me out. 🙂 Love y’all and can’t wait to see you soon!

  2. Frammitz

    April 22, 2013

    Oooo, I have a Mom like that. She wants to do things like knock a wall out and put a door between the kitchen and living room. I just want her to grandma the kids for a while. She agrees to, but might teach them how to swing a sledge-hammer while I’m not looking. If I put my foot down, it’s time to pack everyone into the car and go shopping. Sometimes we’re shopping for clothes, sometimes it’s for tools that I already have but she thinks I probably don’t have. She once brought her own dustpan and brush. Of course, it’s nice having the light to the basement working and the electronic thermostat wired up and the deck power-washed, but it’s exhausting. You kind of have to put your life on hold while she visits. I don’t think I could go much more than 3 days. I’m too old for a mother that young.

    • katyinacorner

      April 22, 2013

      @Frammitz”I’m too old for a mother that young.” I think that’s my new favorite quote!!!

  3. imklvr

    April 22, 2013

    Great post!  Your daughter’s precious face put a lump in my throat!  Dona

    • katyinacorner

      April 22, 2013

      imklvr Dona, my mom took that photo, and I just love it! Averi’s eyes really sparkle from behind those cheap mini blinds. 😉

  4. mustloveleftovers

    April 23, 2013

    That was funny–and I love the sweet pictures of your kids.  My family is coming in June for 10 days, and if I could take something from this post in terms of advice, I’m getting extra magna doodles (good for drawing up plans and itineraries that may or may not pan out), a list of possible chores that could be done ranging from anything to EVERYTHING, and general tasks that can keep even the busiest “gazelle” type free from complaint.  My mom is the same way, so I’m buying extra Mr. Clean Magic Erasers and we’ll just see how motivated she is.  I’m hoping to do a mix of funstuff, and just hanging around the house, talking, lounging, laughing at old pictures, and gossiping.  I’ll keep your recent experience in mind.  Thank you!  🙂

    • katyinacorner

      April 23, 2013

      mustloveleftovers I also recommend planning meals well in advance rather than relying on your guests’ hunting and gathering skills. I can hardly think of what I want to eat three times a day. Too many decisions for too many people!

  5. Katy’s Mama

    April 23, 2013

    We are always sad to leave but I do have to admit your house is very different than ours.  I think having been raised in a house with 5 other kids background noise is comforting to me.  I will have to remember the next time I visit to:
    1. Bring more books to read.  There is alot of quiet time when the kids are sleeping and Katy & Brian are on their computers! 
    2.  Bring my own computer if I want to keep up with news.  I did miss the most active news reporting week in years.  My TV at home would have been on nonstop!  So I could then call Katy with hourly updates on what is going on in the world outside her 4 walls!!
    3.  Bring Paper & Pen to write down all of the words I am not allowed to say around the children when reporting the news.  Like death, bomb, & explosion!
    This is not an exhaustive list.  When time permits I will add to it.  I am a list maker!!
    We always have a great time with the kids and hate to leave them.  All my grandbabies just live too far away!!  I guess I need to figure out a way to get them closer!  
    Add it to my “TO DO LIST”!!!
    Love you!!

    • katyinacorner

      April 23, 2013

      Katy’s MamaWhen you say, “we always have a great time with the kids and hate to leave them,” you DO include me and Brian in with the “kids,” right?

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