The highs and lows of parenting and real estate.

Recipe for a Girls Trip


5 Mommies who’ve known each other 20+ years, out of patience with small children and husbands
One huge Suburban, packed to the gills
An Italian feast
A wine bottle-to-person ratio of approximately 3:1
An adorable log cabin in Camp Verde without a correctly functioning heater
Exactly 24 hours without responsibility and not a single small butt to wipe


1.    Drive to Sedona, fueled by the thrilling promise of two hours in the car without listening to a kids movie you’ve heard so many times you have it memorized, in addition to Nutty Bars and Sour Cream and Onion Ruffles you would never let your children eat. Revel in the fact you don’t have to stop once to scoop carsick vomit out of the backseat with your bare hands.

2.    Stop for lunch and large margaritas (less lunch and more large margaritas). Wander up and down the touristy main drag buying fudge and harassing the locals. Buy matching friendship bracelets just like you used to make in elementary school. Consider going into business making friendship bracelets.

3.    Take group photos with the pretty mountains in the background. Hold your legs in the air for no logical reason.

4.    Pile back in the car and seek out the sketchiest looking ‘Psychic Center’ you can find. Feel you’ve made the right choice when you encounter several large wood statues of aliens out front of the shop.

5.    Flip through a large binder of potential psychics you can meet with. Pick the one who looks the weirdest but who doesn’t have the vibe of someone who will kidnap and dismember you. There are surprisingly few options in this category.

6.    Try not to choke on your laughter when your ‘psychic’ tells you your husband will come to you in the next year wanting to adopt one, possibly two more children, the economy will suddenly get significantly better in the spring and that you should go into ‘staging’ to really take your real estate career to the next level.

7.    Consider opening a friendship bracelet/psychic business in Sedona as you pay the woman with pink hair for the wisdom she just provided you.

8.    Head to the cabin you rented for the night. Get nervous as you drive through trailer parks in the woods that look like how you’d always imagined Appalachia does.

9.    Feel relieved as you pull up to a gorgeous modern log cabin. Unload ridiculous amounts of stuff for one night. Realize the cabin is actually colder inside than it is outside. Don winter jackets and beanies as you wait for the heat to kick on.

10.     Prepare Italian feast. Uncork wine. Break out the elementary school yearbook so you can all remember how young and gray-hair-free you once were. Add another layer of socks because the house has only gone from 44 degrees to 51 degrees in an hour and a half.

11.    Eat dinner at the dining room table with placemats and nice silverware, napkins in your laps, because you’ve conditioned your children this is what you do every night. Feel sorry for yourself that finally, at 33 you’ve officially turned into your mother.

12.    Abandon all pretense of civility and begin drinking multiple types of wine out of red cups like a wine suicide. Turn up the music and have an old lady dance party. Turn the oven on and leave the door open with the hope it will warm the house.

13.    Come to the conclusion the house is really not going to get any warmer. Decide to build a fire in the fire pit in the back yard. Realize none of you actually knows how to build a fire or has any matches or lighters. Briefly remember why sometimes it’s good to have men around.

14.    Have a ‘girl power’ moment and convince yourselves you’re just as capable of starting a fire as people who have testicles. Send two girls to gather wood and leave the other three to light pages from a phone book on fire by the gas stove in the kitchen and carefully carry them through the house and out into the back yard to light the kindling. Realize if your husbands or children ever attempted such an idiotic and dangerous stunt you would put them in timeout for a week.

15.    Almost give up on the fire plan after six attempts to carry lit paper out to the fire pit. Try spraying hairspray on the fire because it’s supposed to be flammable. Realize you grabbed the wrong bottle and are actually spraying volumizer on the fire, which is apparently not flammable.

16.    Rally and come up with the new plan of gathering all the decorative candles in the house and lighting those on the gas stove and carrying them out to the fire pit to light the kindling.

17.    Roast marshmallows on the small fire you have finally successfully built out of a phone book and paper towels. When it begins to go out, jump up and run inside for more paper towels and on the way back out slip and fall on the paper towels and bang your old lady knee on the ground. Take a moment to feel relief that the paper towels weren’t on fire that time. Realize you should probably be in timeout for at least a week.

18.    After many marshmallows and drinks, give up on feeling any warmth from the small fire and go back inside. Dutifully pour water on the fire because probably as soon as you turned your back it would become a roaring blaze and burn the neighborhood down.

19.    Realize you let any small amount of heat the house had managed to generate out with all of the running back and forth trying to start the campfire.

20.    Gossip drunkenly until it’s just late enough you don’t feel ridiculously old and sad going to bed. Wear three shirts, two pairs of socks, a jacket and a doubled-up down comforter to sleep. Try not to think about how cabins in the woods are the natural habitat for both ghosts and serial killers and that the trip would make would make an excellent slasher/horror flick premise.

21.    Get up the next morning at 6:30 because you are incapable of sleeping in. Realize the house is still only 61 degrees. Take a hot shower to rinse off the campfire stink. Briefly wonder if your friends will judge you for various drunken admissions the night before. Come to the conclusion that if they were going to judge you, it probably would have been the several hundred other times they’ve seen you embarrass yourself over the last 20 years.

22.    Pile back in the car and immediately feel warmer than you have in the last 16 hours.

23.    Pull back home exactly 24 hours after setting out actually looking forward to seeing the husband and children you’d so quickly abandoned only one day previously. Consider the trip a success.

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