The child of the caterer has no food

Falling apart here, then Ashley comes to the rescue!

Tonight, I was just at my breaking point with cooking and cleaning and feeding and driving. And you know, all the things that moms who cook for weddings and such do. Jimmy was home from work and I sat him down in all seriousness, "Jimmy, I am about to lose it. I am one mishap away from throwing things." He knows me well. Just in case you thought this is abnormal, let me give you a little view into the week of an event at the House of Graham:

Saturday (7 days until event):
Finalize all the lists(shopping list, timeline of week, timeline of day of, packing list) and print out.
This day, I am thrilled- I feel like a race horse aching to jump the gate. My energy level is through the roof.

Day of rest- I take a nap.

All the shopping excluding last minute purchases of things like ice.
This is a day from beginning to end at an average of a dozen stores. I like this day. I like filling the car with essentials thinking of the people I am cooking for. It is long and exhausting and I always wear comfortable shoes. I am still so optimistic about my time. "I have a whole week ahead of me! Tra la la!" I actually cook dinner for my family. A real dinner that I prepare from scratch.

The cooking starts! I pace myself well- but nearly always leave one thing on the list for Wednesday thinking I have so much time still. And I always regret it on Wednesday. On Tuesday, I cook most of the meat and deep freeze it. I prepare all the sauces that benefit from mingling together for a time. Today, dinner by mom is usually a frozen something I can prepare quickly.

I start the day cooking and do not finish until bed time. It's hard work, but I still love every minute of it. That love, I swear, goes into the food... Tonight, we eat out. I do not make dinner for the family and Kate is lucky that it's a half day at school or she might get an unopened can of tuna in her lunch box.

Today is the day that I can finally kick it in to high gear. There are many things that cannot be cooked earlier than Thursday- it is a very delicate balance. On Thursday is when I think, "Where in the world did all my time go?!?!" I don't know what my family eats for dinner...

This is full throttle, folks. No one in my family dares to walk in the kitchen for fear of losing a limb. They are smart. I do everything that cannot be done a second sooner. I usually work straight up until midnight.

Saturday (day of event):
I sleep in. I have worked hard all week so I can sleep as long as I want. It's a good system for me. I usually roll out of bed around 9:00 am. Then I do a couple of simple things, but it really is the calm before the storm and I relish it. There is never any frantic desperation on Saturday morning. The lists I have prepared are so detailed, that everything is working out just fine. I like Saturday mornings.
Kate has the check list and stands with her clip board and a pen. Jimmy and I pack while she reads things off. Everything non food goes into the car. Then, right before I leave, we turn on the AC in the car and load up the final food items. Only when I am driving off the premises do I feel the adrenaline kick in.

At the event:
I start jovial and don't get crazy until halfway through service, then we wind down and get jovial again. I come hoe with dishes and do about two or three loads in the dishwasher before crashing into bed. It's only because I am so super charged that I cannot get to sleep. I take full advantage of the adrenaline and get some cleaning in.

And that's how we roll the week of a catering event.

If you were able to get through that lengthy description, you can sympathize with me when I tell you that right I after I told Jimmy I was about to lose it and he put on an apron, we got a call from the receiving center. The receiving center is the place foster children go in between being removed from their home to being placed in a foster home. When you are on call, you are expected to spend up to 24 hours supervising the children there. Jimmy had to take off his apron and leave. And that is when I burst out into tears and Ashley drove her cute self up here to hold me together. And that is how my Thursday went...

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