Photo Credit: TLC
I had to pick my jaw up off the floor last night while watching the season premiere of TLC's hit show, 19 Kids and Counting. When Jim Bob Duggar gets a speaking engagement in Colorado, he decides to make a family vacation out of it and take (almost) the whole clan skiing for the first time. (Mama Michelle Duggar stayed home with baby Josie as a precautionary measure.)
But what fascinated me wasn't watching 22 Duggars flounder about on the slopes or buy all of their ski gear secondhand for $235 (though I'll admit, that part was pretty awesome). No, it was watching them pack for the trip.
Every year my little family of four takes a one-week vacation to the beach. It's an eight-hour drive, and we spend about two days prior to the trip packing, organizing and then fitting everything into our SUV. I'm a pretty organized person -- I have packing strategies that include putting complete outfits in separate Ziploc bags, for crying out loud -- but I have nothing on the Duggars.
Here's what (and how) they packed for a nine-day vacation: 100 pairs of pants, 200 shirts, 300 pairs of socks and 56 pairs of shoes -- all neatly stored in clear plastic bins and suitcases labeled with the kids' names and loaded (again, neatly) on their enormous bus. And here's another amazing fact: It took them exactly one hour to unload the bus and sort their possessions once they arrived.
Yep, just one stinkin' hour -- sixty short minutes -- to unload it all. One hour to get everything out of the storage area underneath the bus and into the correct rooms. Heck, it takes my puny little family that long to unload one singular car trunk when we get to our beach house every summer. The Duggars are nothing short of a well-oiled packing machine. (Okay, they're a well-oiled machine when it comes to just about anything.)
Sure, the rest of the episode was interesting enough (watching Jim Bob ski... er, fall down... was rather funny), but I couldn't stop thinking about the preparation involved in getting 22 people to a ski vacation. And yet, in typical Duggar style, they did it calmly, with humility and without complaining. Now if only my kids could do that.