XM display of Rod's name and song title.So yesterday we proved that it doesn’t matter whether a concert is six hours or three miles away. Something will go wrong.

First, for those few who might still be interested, the clothing story had a typical conclusion, I suppose. See, packing for the bus is quite different, we have quickly learned, from packing for a normal, stay-in-a-hotel kind of trip. We don’t use luggage. Pretty much everything stays on hangers that we hang on hooks outside our closet, and “foldy” things like socks and the babies’ clothes are piled into a laundry basket. As I work to let go of my controlling tendencies, I decided while in the kitchen packing food that I’d instruct Rod to get the clothes. I said, “All you need to get is the basket and bag on our bed and the clothes hanging on the closet.” Let me just tell you: he only got his clothes from the closet hook. Mine? Those were still hanging safely there when we made it home.

We don’t bring many toiletries, because we have them all on the bus… except for my make-up, and honestly, if that had been left six hours away, Rod might STILL be sleeping on the couch! BeautiControl can’t be picked up at Wal-mart!

Thankfully, almost everything else can be. So, wearing “second-day” jeans and the shirt I slept in (ew), I schlepped with the three girls into the Supercenter and stocked quickly up on a pair of shorts and a shirt that I knew would fit (’cause, you know, I already have them in several other colors), and then I managed to find “semi-dressy” outfits for the Friday and Saturday night concerts.

But a dress for a Sunday morning? I was three months post-maternity at that point. You with me, ladies? Finding a dress that fits and does not make me look pregnant is a challenge with hours to browse. I had 30 minutes at best. I only had 30 minutes alone after assuring Rod that I did not need an entourage to help me. The process would be maddening enough!

And it was. After 10 or so try-ons, I had to get pants. Everything that fit needed a jacket or sweater that didn’t exist in the same store, and everything else… didn’t fit. Typically, I do not like wearing pants when we are guests in a church, but I felt that once Rod told the “I forgot my wife’s clothes” story from the platform, I would be forgiven. And I was.

This brings me to last night. Rod is promoting a series of concerts at a local church this summer, the first of which was last night. He is bringing in groups such as the Minister’s Quartet and Griffith and Company, and he is singing at each one as well. These are rare and wonderful opportunities for him to sing in town, but we still have to bring the bus in order to fit all the equipment and product (and frankly, now we’re just spoiled so we had our CLOTHES on there and dinner for Miranda…)

Let me pause here to say: summer Saturdays in town are always lovely. We slept in a bit, made a big breakfast for all the kids plus Miho, Paige’s best friend and our honorary 5th child, and then we hit the ground running to bathe the babies, clean the house, finish laundry, go to the store, stop at a birthday party, and pack for Kaity and Miranda because they were going home with my parents after the concert and are staying with them today and tomorrow while Rod and I are in Nashville for the CD mix. So… yeah. By the time we left for the concert, the house and the bus were a mess. Chaos does that, I guess. (Yay… a rhyme!).

The concert went wonderfully, and there was a good crowd. Sadly, I missed most of it because Miranda decided to have one of her increasingly familiar “I am almost 2” tantrums. As I took her downstairs to the nursery area, I saw that her dress and my shirt were wet, and not with tears. Sigh. Out to the bus to blow dry myself.

After the concert, there was a fellowship time which was also very enjoyable (any event boasting Cheetohs and full-fat baked goods has to be). We felt so happy and blessed to have all of our kids there; as Josh and Paige get older, this is an increasingly rare event. Josh was playing with Miranda during the fellowship time and she accidentally tripped, fell, and hit her mouth on the floor.

I carried her weeping mass into the kitchen for inspection. I noticed first that there was a small bruise on her lip where she must have bit it and second that there was a chewed up Cheetoh in her mouth. I knew it was probably going to happen, yet I didn’t anticipate enough. Seconds later, there was “used” Cheetoh on my shirt and, oh so sadly, in my hair.

Thank God for church ladies who are not afraid to mop up a sister in need. Let’s just leave that at that!

The whirlwind after the concert was exhilarating and sad. Within a few minutes, my mom and dad took off with the babies, and Josh took off with Paige and Miho. After we said goodbye to the Minister’s Quartet, Rod and I stood there sort of wondering what to do with ourselves. I was struck again by how much being The Mama (or as Miho calls me, Mama K), has become who I am. I was still in the mode, but all my kids had disappeared after a day full of togetherness.

We boarded Gracie and I cleaned up while Rod changed. We decided to make the most of the rest of the evening alone together by, brace yourselves, dumping the tanks, then getting something to eat. Date night just ain’t what it used to be.

Chicagoland isn’t exactly a hub for RVs. We have to park the bus about 25 minutes from our house in a parking lot owned by Rod’s company. Truck stops, thankfully, aren’t too far away. As we drove to “the dump station,” we talked about how surreal things are to us sometimes, and how bizarre our lifestyle must seem to some of our friends and family, who have known us forever but don’t often see up close our life on the road (which is one of the reasons I started this blog). We also noted, with a bit of humor, how a local concert was somehow just as crazed as those out of town.

After the dirty business was cared for, we chose to dine on cuisine from Lucky Burrito II (don’t knock it until you’ve tried it). Of course, we then decided it would be more comfortable to carry it out and eat on the bus while watching Friends on DVD. Yay! Bliss!

After this, we drove over to the parking lot to leave the bus and pick up Rod’s car. I gathered everything that needed to go back to the house while he shut things off. We started deboarding, and then… are you ready?…

Rod realized he forgot the keys to the car.

Defeated, we drove the bus home, left it haphazardly on the street in front of our house (thankfully no ticket this morning!), fell into 6 hour comas, and then happily packed just one bag for our trip today. We dropped the bus off this morning, I treated me to a big cappuccino, and we were off. About 30 minutes in, for the first time, I got to hear Rod being played on XM 34-Enlighten! He’s heard himself before and is now all cool and jaded. Me? I freaked out a bit. I’m married to a rock star! 