Recently I hit the road for a bit of work/play adventure in Mackay (and Proserpine!). I was heading up to stay with my friend Kate, maybe you know her, and attempt to be helpful in the home stretch of her renovation/visit. The second to last time I was in Mackay Kate broke a bone in her hand and I took the spill that busted my knee forever more.

I mean, this trip was always going to be risky.

First, there’s the almost ten-hour drive to get there. But I was prepared for that and downloaded a heap of business and social media podcasts. Downloaded because last time I blasted my data and was in penalty overtime almost immediately. I made my way along the highway, eating gross truck stop food every time I got bored and by something like 10 pm, I was there.

The kids (five, total) had done their best to wait up for me, but by the time I arrived all but the eldest, were asleep. Kate and I caught up for a couple of hours, made plans for the next day and went to bed. I woke the next morning, upside down in the bottom bunk, confused as to my actual location. The general noise and activity before 7 am certainly gave me the heads up.

I wasn’t in Kansas anymore.

In the mornings, I barely hear Kel anymore, and on a Saturday, I don’t have to be in the office until 10 am when Charlotte arrives, so it’s always a slow start for me. I’m not sure Kate knows what a slow start IS anymore. Haha. She thrust coffee in my direction as I made my way to the kitchen table where the kids were having breakfast. Joyful, loud, wonderful hellos and catch ups followed.

That day I did some work, and later we caught up with some of Kate’s friends for drinks and dinner at the house. With a slow Sunday on the books (for me, there was a band performance before 9 am for the team! Ouch) it was Monday before we knew it. The kids were pretty amped up so bedtime was fun and games, I was literally crying at some of the antics. So funny! Then with the news that I wasn’t heading home the next day firmly in their brain, they went to bed and so did we.

But all of this sounds pretty cruisey, right?

No broken bones and no public humiliation in the form of a stack off giant heels. Monday was a work day in Proserpine. By Tuesday it was time to get stuck in at the house. There were 17 panels of faux hedging to collect from Bunnings, and we were just the girls to do it. Success. We even made friends with the Bunnings lady with the cool lift and magnetic caution tape.

Plus, the furniture had arrived and it had our names written all over it! Two couches, two MASSIVE kids beds shaped like houses and a billion dining chairs. Boxes as far as the eye could see. But seemingly manageable. We planned a casual lunch and a more fancy lunch between the builds and when I was heading home. There was more talk of other adventures, meals and the upcoming family photos I was going to take for them.

Nothing would have prepared us for the amount of effort and choice swear words it would take to get the feet on the couches. Day one, we were defeated. Two girls, a bunch of screws and a drill. We had one completed and the other just wouldn’t WORK. It thumbed its nose at us and laughed.

Not a great start.

Afraid to terrify the neighbours further, we left the rest of the build to the actual builder with plans to tackle the non-couch furniture the next day. A little stiff from all the lifting and laying on the floor, but in good spirits, we hit the ground running on the next day. The kid’s beds would be our bitch. We started with the dining chairs. And CRUSHED that, putting us in a confident mood, perhaps beyond our actual capabilities.

Riding that high we were determined to have them completed (the guide suggested two people and 45 minutes) before lunch we got into it. By school pick up time, we were staring down the barrel of one made bed, and a really hungry Suger. So, we hit the Maccas drive-thru, fed and watered me, and after the school run, and a stretch, we got back into it!

By something like 6 pm that night we had the second bed built. We were triumphant victors of the spoils. Spoils being that now Kate had some furniture in her soon to be completed house and I’d gotten more exercise than I had all year with the lifting, reaching, straining and effort.

Let me tell you, I slept well that night!

The last night before I went home, we grabbed some pics. The first in a couple of years for the family. It was the funniest experience in my experience taking photos of people. Seriously. I’ve never shouted ‘LEAVE YOUR SHIRT ON’ so many times ever. Haha. We ate Indian food and I dragged my tired, sore body and ringing ears to bed after a few beverages.

The next morning, I was packed and ready to go home when Kate returned from the school run. Good news and bad news about our pre-leaving breakfast date, she said! Still totally possible, but we have to go to the house to clean out the wardrobes (which were storing ALL the things) for the cabinet makers. I think she could see the tears well in my eyes as my eggs on toast dreams slipped away. Haha.

But again, we rallied.

We cleaned out those stupid wardrobes, Kate directed cabinet-maker traffic, selected handle directions and more and soon our egg future was VERY bright. Within a couple of hours, I was making what would turn into an over 11-hour drive home. I have no idea how she does it; I was exhausted and I didn’t even DO anything helpful with the kids. Except for yell sometimes. Haha.

I’m proud of her and all she does and so happy I get to be part of their family. In some way, I just wanted to document this moment and save it for us for one day in the future (there are so many more stories to tell from my visit but this is already SO long! Haha). So there it is, the tale of the time that Kate and her busy life and flat packs almost killed me. Here’s to many MANY more weeks like that one.

Enjoy some of the pics we got. xo

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