Friday, August 14, 2009

Suitcases: Friend or Foe? And Other Traveling Issues
by Audrey Petersen

Lots of my friends went on fun vacations for the summer--Sea World, Knotsberry Farm, Disneyland, etc. Where did I go? Well, I went to Woodland Hills, Logan, Hyrum and Saratoga Springs, Utah as well as Montrose, Colorado. Why? Family lives there and when your family doesn't live where you live, your vacation life seems to revolve around visiting them wherever they may be.

Being on vacation has brough to light one of life's biggest unsolved mysteries for me: The Suitcase Issue & How Do You Find Anything You Need In Your Initially Very Well Organized Suitcase By The Second Day? Seriously, it's not as though I ran through the house just chucking stuff into that rectangular contraption (that is desperately in need of a new zipper, but that's a whole other story). I carefully thought through important things such as:

Church shoes (Don't tell me you haven't seen people at church whom you can easily identify as forgetting this seemingly small item which makes a huge difference in your Sunday ensemble!)

Lotion (Some areas are much more dry than other areas and your legs can start to look like a vast, desert wasteland.)

Swimming diapers (Those regular diapers will not work in a pool and buying an entire pack can break the bank!)

Q-tips (May not be important to some of you, but there is just something for me that feels so incomplete if I feel like I have dirty ears when I step out of the shower.)

Cell phone chargers (It's great to feel connected, but you may find out you don't have your closest friends' numbers memorized when your phone dies and you forgot something crucially important that requires your friends to sneak into your home using your hidden key.)

Anyway, I remembered all of these items for this trip, but even with my most careful foraging through various suitcases, they still look like disheveled messes by this point and I'm finding it hard to not just wear the same shorts day after day instead of facing the monster that is the bottom of the duffel bag my husband and I shared. I've already resorted to having my boys sleep in whatever it is they wore that day and my daughter is sleeping in an adult T-shirt. Any hope of a schedule for naps and bedtimes disappeared with the sunlight (which is apparently close to 9 pm each night I've learned) and since visiting grandparents I've discovered that I've come to feel that if every item of food which my children are going to eat has to have chocolate, can't it also have some nuts in there for protein? You know, some peanut M&Ms at least?

Oh well, schedules and suitcases neither one seem to be very helpful on vacations. A break from normal life will just have to be exactly that. My kids will have to start eating items with grains and vegetables when we return home. I'd continue to bemoan the situation, but my cinnamon toast with chocolate milk are getting cold.


Audrey Petersen is 30 years old, 5' 7 1/2" and weighing in at none of your bid-ness! Wife to Derek & mother of three--one little girl and two little boys. (Except, I'm pretty sure she's celebrated a birthday between the time I set this to post and the time it actually posted. No matter, she probably prefers to stay 30 anyway. I know I would.)

Audrey blogs (not nearly often enough) at Pete & Re-Pete, and I usually shout for joy each time her site updates in my reader. At one time she was my hand-picked-by-the-Bishop first counselor in Relief Society, and took over for me as president not much longer after that. That experience taught me quite a bit about how the Lord uses each of us differently in the same callings, and I learned much about leadership from watching Audrey.

This post may not be about moving, but Audrey tells me she HATES packing, and I have to heartily agree. Doesn't matter if it's for a week long vacation or to move across the country--packing stinks.
Lara Neves
Lara Neves

Lara is mom to three daughters—two teens and a tween. She loves to share her parenting and homemaking triumphs and failures here at Overstuffed! She was diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2015 and has been fighting it ever since. When she isn't working on her mother of the year award, you can find her reading, singing, or taking photos.


  1. Cute story, Audrey. My family lives in Logan. It's a five hour drive from Cedar and I haven't been since Christmas. Once a year is enough, right? Right?

  2. Audrey, I have the Suitcase Explosion Problem, too, no matter HOW meticulously I pack!

  3. We decided to only go home every other year since it was such a pain. This is an off year, and somehow I miss it... but your entry reminded me. ;)

  4. Packing is awful, but unpacking is the worst! At least for me. And I love how you talk about the difference in nutrition post-trip. So true! My kids love that they get junky sugar cereal on vacation!

  5. This whole post is so true for me also. Packing is the hardest part of the vacation or moving.

  6. I don't mind packing at all, but unpacking is evil. And if I have a purse that is too big and open I have similar issues to the ones you named here. Too much stuff, huh?