- 3 vacation days (3 months’ worth of accrual at the previous rate)
- $113.38 in gas (with 1/2 tank left)
- $28 for my share of groceries
- $92 for my share of three nights at a farmhouse in rural Illinois
- Three nights up way past my bedtime talking about everything under the sun with five of my best ladies
- Three mornings up with the sun nursing my coffee and observing my friends finding their way into parenthood
- Shoulders to cry on, strong arms to bounce babies, noses crinkled with laughter, shiny painted toenails
- Bottomless tins of cookies, boxes of fried pies, and bottles of wine
- Prairie rain giving way to fog giving way to a remarkable morning just in time to drive home
- Two runs on country roads so quiet that the only sounds were the breeze, my footsteps, and the crackling of the power lines overhead.
- Too too many sweets (and broccoli) – but also homemade lasagna, amazingly golden roasted chicken (raised across the street), home fries made in the leftover chicken fat, Nutella crepes, and a lot of Chupacabras
- Stepping out of a hot shower onto a heated ceramic tile floor and into warmed towels in the fancy master bath
- Making Shane’s day by stopping at a yard sale on my way out of town because there were mopeds I’d never seen before. Oh yes, and then driving home with one of them in the back of RS.
All told, a quite good investment, even if I did come home sick (again) and with no photos to show for it.