I Feel Certain I Could Find Them If I Remembered Where I Put Them

Usually I try to be pretty organized when I pack for a trip. I don’t like feeling flustered or digging through my closet or slinging a bunch of stuff in a tote bag at the last minute, so I try to plan, wash, fold, etc. a few days before my departure date. I don’t have the process whittled down to a science or anything like that, but generally I am efficient. Methodical. Unhurried.

But then there was last night.


All I can figure is that it was a perfect packing storm.

I had a hair appointment late yesterday afternoon, so I knew that I was going to lose some premium packing and planning time. But hair is worth it (hallelujah), and after I finished at the hair place, I decided that I might as well go ahead and get a pedicure. By the time I left the nail salon, it was after 7. I was home by about 7:15, at which point I ate some supper, caught up with my husband, got the boy to bed, and started gathering up clothes that I thought I might want to take to Chattanooga (for dotMOM, by the way – that’s probably a helpful piece of info). It seemed like my clothes were scattered all over the house – some in the laundry room, some in the dirty clothes, some in my closet, some in the clean clothes pile in the guest room – so for about three hours, I walked from room to room, picking up a tank top here and some jeans there and a pair of socks from somewhere else.

By 10:30 my suitcase looked like I was headed to a destination where the primary fashion requirements were a couple of well-worn Life Is Good t-shirts, some yoga pants, jeans, and approximately 84 pairs of earrings.

Just doing my part to keep things sassy, you understand.

Somewhere in the middle of all my inefficiency I thought about a cream-colored top that is great for layering, and I decided that my life would be incomplete if said top didn’t make the trip to Chattanooga. So I looked in my closet – didn’t see it. Looked in the laundry room. Didn’t see it. Looked in the laundry basket. Didn’t see it. Looked in the suitcase to see if I’d packed it for a previous trip and somehow put it in one of the zippered pockets. Didn’t see it. Looked in the closet again. Didn’t see it.

Well. By that point the hunt for the cream-colored shirt had become a full-blown quest. Forget that I needed to wrap up the packing process: clearly my primary mission in life was to FIND THAT SHIRT. So I looked and looked. Then I looked some more. There were about thirty seconds when I forgot about the cream shirt because I remembered that I could also use a black ruffled shirt for the same layering purposes, but then a horrifying thought occurred to me: I DON’T KNOW WHERE THE BLACK SHIRT IS, EITHER.

Oh. It was a festival of crazy.

Long story endless, I spent about two hours trying to find those two shirts. And I never did find either one of them. I don’t know if I left them somewhere, if I put them away in a place where they don’t normally go, if they’re crumpled and lonely at the bottom of a carry-on bag. But I could not find them, and I still haven’t found them. Which doesn’t drive me crazy AT ALL.

It was after 1 when I finally went to sleep, and when my alarm went off at its usual time this morning, I thought for a split second that I’d been unknowingly transported to Thailand. Apparently the iPhone software update created some new settings, and I’ve never heard such an array of Far Eastern chimes in my life. I mean, I appreciate that there are all sorts of new alerts and ring tones, but that new alarm tone was a little disconcerting. Because CHIMES.


I eventually finished packing my suitcase, and I made it to Chattanooga this afternoon, GLORY BE. I’m mighty happy to be here, and after spending time with some sweet friends tonight, I am ready to get some good sleep and hit the ground running tomorrow. With or without the layering options that those two missing shirts would provide.


I’ve almost stopped twitching and everything.

And if you’re at dotMOM this weekend, just know that I’ll be the person who’s trying to figure out how to operate her newly updated phone while wearing shirts that are most definitely not cream or black. Because I don’t know if I mentioned it, but I STILL CAN’T FIND THEM.

(I’m totally over it, by the way.)

(Or at least I will be by tomorrow.)


Can’t wait to see some of you here in Chattanooga – it’s gonna be good times, y’all!

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • email


  1. I understand about packing woes and the mystery of missing clothes. Go buy a new black shirt and a new cream shirt – the old ones will get jealous and return home. Just be sure to save your receipts so you can get your money back. :-)

  2. Oh dear. I’m afraid I can relate to this a little more than I care to admit. I try to tell myself “obsessive much?” but the reality is I’m not over it until I find or remember what I did with those must have items. ;) Have a wonderful time at dot mom!

  3. hahaha…. I almost thought I would read that you were wearing the top you were looking for. That sounds like something I would do! Thanks for giving me the giggles this morning. Have fun! :-)

  4. Ok, so “my life would be incomplete if said top didn’t make the trip” kinda sums up my packing philosophy. I had to have a Come to Jesus Meeting with myself about that last night, because I am currently packing for a two week trip that will include my wedding and honeymoon, and I WILL survive if that blue blouse doesn’t fit in the suitcase. But it might fit in my purse…

  5. It’s so nice to start my day laughing. Thank you so much! Also, hope you get to see some wonderful women from Teen Challenge of the Mid-South today.

  6. Not finding clothes is the worst … your special ones. The ones that go with everything. The ones you wish you had bought more of, if you’d only known in the beginning how much you would love them! Feeling your pain … and praying you find them safely at home.
    Love, Shelli

  7. Mary Feagley says:

    I once left a favorite shirt and skirt in a hotel room closet (impetus for me to NEVER hang up my clothes in a hotel, or anywhere else for that matter!)…and DID NOT REST until I had replaced them with replicas from Ebay! It’s exhausting being a fashionista!

  8. I’m feeling your pain, because I have my deliverer of lost items, St. Anthony, working a hard case for me. I’ve lost my checkbook! I wrote a check on Sunday for Church, thought I returned it to its rightful home, and now it’s gone…even gone through the trash, soooo gone. I’m not even wanting to think about having to cancel the account and all that will go with that. I’ll ask him to find your shirts, I hate things being lost!!! I feel like the widow with the lost coin, oh what a party it will be when I get it back, it will be a miracle I’m thinking though.
    Hope you are having a blesssssed time at the conference.

  9. You are so hilarious! Love this story of the mysterious, missing, layering shirts. haha

  10. Ahhhhhh!!!! I was so going to figure out a way to go to dotMOM this weekend, but duty calls and we have to be in Missouri and Kentucky. Trying to stay as busy as possible before the little man comes. =) Have a great weekend and may the shirts magically appear when you get home.

  11. If I was an awesome writer, I could’ve written this. I don’t lose things, but the one time a year things go missing, I can’t let it go and I have to make it my mission to replace said item with an identical copy.
    Hope you find them, keep us posted.

  12. I’m not alone! Last week I was packing for a retreat where I’m speaking. I searched everywhere for a fancy-ish cardigan long enough to cover my backside. OH, WHERE HAVE ALL THE CARDIGANS GONE?! I visited every one of my usual stores, but only skinny jeans and blazers to be found. Like you, I made my trip without the vital piece.
    Like you, I am still trying to get over it.
    Thanks for sharing!

  13. But, did you remember your slip?
    Have fun, ENJOY!

  14. That sounds basically like every single time I pack anything. Sad, but true.

  15. Oh the RINGTONE! I wasn’t sure what entered the bedroom this morning when my alarm went off, monks maybe? You are too funny. But let’s rejoice in the fact that the snooze feature has a countdown of how much time is left…it’s the little things. Enjoy a fabulous weekend!

  16. Have I complained publicly about my missing shorts yet? My 2 good pairs of shorts, brand new, went missing in July. I have driven myself and my family crazy looking for them. Hours spent hunting to no avail. And now my sole mission in life is to find them or to complain loudly to everyone I know while I look. My people find this endearing… I hope. Anyway, I commiserate.

  17. Becky in 'Bama says:

    So July/August we had a bathroom makeover forcing us to ‘live’ in the upstairs bedroom (sleeping on a mattress on the floor which is another tale). Unfortunately, I was not very tidy with out clothes while living in the alternate bedroom and now that we’ve moved back to our master bedroom downstairs (hallelujah and another story) – I’ve still not recovered all items of clothing – in particular a favorite tee shirt with JSU emblazoned across the first. Sure it’s old and slightly natty, but it’s my favorite workout tee. Never mind that I’ve not worked out all summer (recovering from surgery – tale of WOE) but when the time comes to get back in the gym – what am I gonna do?? Laundry is of the devil I tell you.

  18. Becky in 'Bama says:

    uhh, that should have been front (re: tee shirt)- not sure how my fingers typed ‘first’ – with reference to the tee.

  19. I hate when that happens.

  20. Oh, if I could send you a virtual cream AND black shirt for various layering options I totally would!! Maybe even through your newly updated iPhone…that hopefully won’t be left behind in any airport bathrooms during your entire trip to Chattanooga. :)

  21. Jackie Ingram says:

    “Because CHIMES.” I snorted out loud! Listening to the Aggies on the computer since evidently we don’t have ESPNU while catching up on your posts. Have fun at dotmom!

  22. Katie Coleman says:

    Loved dotMOM in Chattanooga this weekend! I cannot wait until next year and want to bring everyone I know! Thank you for the genuine belly-laughs and encouragement from all who spoke this weekend. What a “precious” time it was :)

    • Karen Ward says:

      Ditto…you and Melanie are exactly who I thought you would be!! Love, love, love y’all! Can’t wait for another dotMOM conference in Chatty!

  23. I pack the same way!….Oh and a good pair of earrings can turn a drab outfit fab.
    Hope you had a good time,

  24. Wondering if you found them?!!


  1. […] post about packing travails had me in tears (and not just because I just had a similar whirlwind packing experience last week). […]

  2. […] found my black ruffled shirt this […]