my boyfriend’s outta town.

The boys have left, all three of them, to take Dziadek {our Polish grandpa} back to California. It’s just me and Precocious all alone with the world at our fingertips. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

They left quite a mess in their wake, those boys. And for any of you who might feel a little jealous that I’m getting a renovated kitchen, that I get to travel all the time, and that I own a horse, I want you to do a little exercise with me.

Close your eyes.

I’m serious, do it. We’re going Zen. I want you to imagine you’re me for a little bit. Humor me here, we’re going to take a good, exhausting look inside my life.

I want you to invite your father-in-law, with whom you’re not super tight, to come live with you for a month. He’ll be sleeping across the hall from your bedroom, which has paper thin walls. He’s actually doing you the favor by being the nanny/slave labor for the kitchen project for a solid month, but this doesn’t take away from the fact that the two of you don’t really, uh, mesh.

Go speak at a conference in S.L.C. where you have various panic attacks, convincing Karey you are completely neurotic and not to be trusted in public, let alone with a microphone and a speaking badge.

Come home haggard, to a messy house.

Now, give your father-in-law, husband, and 5-year-old son sledgehammers and have them go to town on the kitchen. Literally.

Remember those appliances you’re getting? They show up at the door while your kitchen is a total and complete disaster. Shove your old appliances into the family room to make room for everything to get installed. Have the boys take all the cabinets down, take them into the garage, and start sanding. Now, you get to work painting the ceilings of your kitchen. Which are something like 20 feet tall and angled.

Good luck with that, it’s the best part.

Pack your bags, you’re heading to Nashville now.


The kitchen is a mess, you can’t even find a suitcase, and there’s no clean laundry? You’re thrifty, figure something out.

You’re home from Nashville and guess what? The house is even worse than when you left. Also, your husband is working so it’s just you and your father-in-law chilling in the house all day. Get used to it.

P.S. you’re speaking in Houston next week, do you have your speaker panel put together? No? Oh girlfriend, game on. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps, this is where the fun starts! You are a powerful, successful, modern day marvel, and if you can’t juggle it
all no one can.

{snicker, snort}

The boys are sawing, sanding, painting, hammering and yelling at each other {in Polish} all over the house. If you can’t hack it, go find somewhere to hide because they’ve dug in for the long haul. And they’re quite comfortable wearing Carhartt’s around the house, which mind you, is subarctic in temperature at this point. What’s all this nonsense about you needing to *work* up in your bedroom? How is “blogging” *work* anyway?

Okay, pack your bags again, it’s time to fly to Houston this time! Your bags never got unpacked from Nashville? Perfect, you’re set to go then.

I know you don’t have your panel together because the ladies you’re speaking with are all busy enough to be running small countries, but you’ll find the time somewhere, you’re amazing remember?

Wing your panel. You’re with rock stars, you can fly on their power through an entire hour onstage. Host a party in your room, meet and greet your pals all weekend, and fly home. You might be so tired it feels like you’re sleep-walking through waist high mud, but I believe in you.

Your father-in-law will pick you up from Marie’s house and you won’t see your husband for another day, but not to worry, the kids are so strung out on whatever Dziadek has been feeding them, they won’t even notice when you crash {fully clothed} on your bed.

The boys are gone and it’s just the two girls now. Three if you count the cat, which I do not. The dust has settled and there’s a lot of it, so put on your work gloves and get cleaning. The contents of the cupboards which have been sitting on the family room floor for a month? Those need to be sorted through, organized, sent off to the thrift store, or put back in the kitchen.

The ten work projects that have been simmering on the back burner for the last two months? It’s time to whip those out sweetheart, a lot of people are counting on you. And I believe in you. I know you can pull it all out of thin air and make it work because you are a modern day, miraculous, do-it-all-and-live-to-tell-about-it mother.

P.P.S. That race you’ve been pseudo-training for? It’s coming up and you really need to amp it up or you’ll be dragged across the finish line in a stretcher.


Open your eyes.

The next time you start to think I live a glamorous, pimped out, rock star, beautiful life? Step in and take a look around. It’ll make you so tired your head will spin.

Don’t worry, I carry a lot of Excedrin Migraine in my purse and I’m not afraid to share.

(Visited 653 times, 2 visits today)


Hello there! I'm Allison Czarnecki, founder + editor of Petit Elefant, a blog all about style on a budget for every part of your life: style / home / travel / family. I do a lot of how-to beauty + style tutorials, travel posts, easy recipes, home remodel projects, and cool DIY crafts you totally want to try. I'm super happily married (to a hot Polish immigrant) and am the mother of two kids, a daughter and son, all of whom are featured here on the regular. We live in the country but we're a little bit rock + roll. Welcome!


  1. Boston Mamas :

    Ahhh… deep breaths. Amazingly enough, out of all that craziness the one that makes my brain hurt most is bunking with your father in law (however helpful).


  2. Anonymous :

    Hey Girl,
    I'm not a blogger I just read them and came across yours. Hilarious! Thanks for making me laugh. :)

  3. Jenny :

    I am so not comparing my brand of crazy to yours, but I think that overall February is not the best month this year.

    Just give everything to the DI. If you need it later maybe it will still be there.

  4. Mrs. Potts :

    Believe it or not, you are not alone!! We spent a month at my in-laws' house at Christmastime renovating their kitchen.

    (Totally made fun by the facts that 1. I also am like totally besties with my in-laws, 2. This was all going on during Christmas, so, of course the kitchen was needed especially because my mother-in-law caters for fancy parties, 3. They don't throw things away, like ever, 4. I had my own infant son to watch during the entire process.)

    My goodness, I hope my in-laws never see this comment but it did feel good to get that off my chest!

    Go Allison! You are amazing!

    (Also, I just found out I am going to BlogHer in August! Hope to meet you there!)

  5. Donna :

    How do you get over that scared, jittery feeling in your chest? Oh, that's just me when I have to do something new and scary! You go girl! You are amazing!

  6. TM_Erin :

    I closed my eyes like you said. And spilled my coffee. Thanks A LOT. ;)

  7. likeschocolate :

    I guess I am not jealous anymore. Hope it gets finished soon for your sanity sake.

  8. briannajenkins :


    That is one crazy month!! I can't wait to see your fab kitchen!

  9. Jen :

    Sure sounds stressful…look on the bright side though–you get a new kitchen out of it right?? I'd do ALMOST anything for a new kitchen…

  10. Sarah :

    Wow. I do feel better. But you know, I think you are a rockstar – your life and their life are the same: running ragged!

  11. Dottie/Leslie :

    Honey, if I were you, I'd be crouching in the bath-tub rocking back and forth mumbling gibberish to myself. You lady, deserve a spa day!

  12. Emily :

    Okay, I'm exhausted just reading about your past few weeks. If I were close by you know I'd be there with soup and homemade rolls–and I'd tackle your laundry. Love ya!

  13. Chrissy :

    But you get to go on TV!

    I cannot wait to see the finished project…what's taking you so long? You know, if you stayed home more during this process it might be done by now…

    HAHAHAHA! I'm just joking of course. Love your blog!


  14. Naomi :

    Breathe in. Yikes!

  15. The Dragonfly :

    That you are still alive to blog about all that tells me that you are in actuality, a ROCK STAR!

    And even in all that mess, I still think your family room floors are gorgeous!

  16. Camille :

    You need a vacation! (once the kitchen/house projects are finished so you don't have to come home to the mess!)
    I don't know how you do it, but you always keep a stiff upper lip and smile! At least that's the effect you have on the rest of us!

    P.S. I absolutely LOVE the pic of you painting the ceiling! :) Can't imagine the "after" shot of the paint drippings on your face…

  17. Deb :

    Ha! I can SO relate. We are so crazy, aren't we?? Love you, girl! xoxoxo

  18. Kacy :

    Sounds tiring.

  19. Jessi :

    I'm curled up in fetal position just READING about that craziness. You're amazing. Simply amazing.

  20. Marie {Make and Takes} :

    Why do you think I hang out with you so much, you ARE a rock star!

  21. kgbgraphics :

    See I told you, it is a good thing you don't "understand" all the screaming. It would just add stress, which you, honey do NOt need anymore of! ;)

  22. Julie {Angry Julie Monday} :

    I'm laughing at everything. You know that I'm totally waiting for the kitchen finale.

  23. Mindy Gledhill :

    I eat Excedrin Migraine for breakfast.

  24. Kami :

    I love Allison! Through it all, I know it will all work out. I can't wait to see the after. :)

  25. Rebecca :

    I would love to sit down and share ridiculous foreign in-law, what the hell is going on, stories with you. Too small track suits are just the beginning!

    I'm waiting for stories on the conference….how was it??

  26. Emily :

    WOW…slow down girl…your life is CRAZY. Take a couple of weeks off and enjoy your new kitchen…it is done…right?!??! Hire a maid to clean everything up…it doesn't cost that much. The YW girls don't cost that much…

  27. karey m. :

    no no no! you only convinced me i adore you!

    xoxo. loved this so…

  28. Neva :

    You are a rock star BECAUSE you do all those things and lived to tell about it!

  29. Carolina :

    Pros and cons come with everything. I truly wish I even HAD a house to remodel, so there's a lot of blessings you posted about, no matter how stressful they might be to balance and manage.

    But I agree, there is usually a lot of hard work and stress behind things that seem totally amazing. And that makes them even more amazing :)