My husband manages two galleries in Sedona, AZ. He is responsible for the hiring, training, firing, scheduling, networking, public appearances, in-home consultations and appointments. It's a lot to deal with, especially when he is given employees to train that go to sister stores in the company. Add in the fact that he is down one man due to a gallery opening in Wyoming, and he has almost more on his plate than he can chew.
In December, added to his list of responsibilities was a location change. In Sedona, there are two major shopping venues along hwy 179, otherwise known as The Gallery District. They are Tlapuepaque and Hillside. The lesser of the two is Hillside. It has seen declining numbers of foot traffic in the past couple years. My husband's boss decided to snatch up a second location at Tlaquepaue for the larger items they carry. It's not as big as the Hillside gallery, but it is much bigger than the existing location in Tlaquepaque.
The problem is now that between the two stores in Tlaquepaque, as well as the space in Hillside (their lease is up in May) the team is short-staffed. So this week, Corey asked me if I would just sit at the Hillside store (with our one-year-old in tow) just to have someone in there. I happily accepted the position. It may turn into a once-a-week thing, who knows? At any rate, I was there, in an empty store with an empty stomach.
I remembered Corey talking about the delicious chicken nachos from one of the restaurants at Hillside. I ordered a half order, and it was just enough. Lily ate the shredded chicken and tomatoes. I had the guacamole, beans, sour cream, and scallions. I had everything put on the side, which made it easy to share. With the Hillside employee discount, it was $7.00.
That night, since I had "been at work" I was not really in the mood to cook. When Corey got home, he surprised me with an early Valentine's Day dinner at the best place to eat in town. It also happens to be right around the corner from our house. We called ahead to see what the wait time would be since we were going out with both kids. They said they had tables open. Ten minutes later, we were seated and ordering margaritas. He said we could "splurge" and that it was "off the books, no fun dollars." That really put a smile on my face.
Juxtaposed to the gourmet Mexican food of Thursday night, We had Domino's pizza two night's before. I don't understand how we can spend so much at the grocery store and still have "no food" in the house. We have stuff, but none of it goes together (or at least I am not creative enough in the kitchen to make what we do have work together.) We used to do meal planning at out family meetings, but lately we have been doing bare-bones meetings that mostly are about schedules for the next week. There were even two weeks that we skipped the family meeting all together. These were tough weeks to get through.
I have found that we do better as a family, and have more success in the kitchen, when we do a full-on family meeting every week. The family meeting was something we started last year and have enjoyed tremendous success with. Each week we go over schedules for ourselves as well as the children. We create a meal plan, grocery shopping list and lastly we talk briefly about what we did well as a family and what we need to work on as a family from the past week. I don't really like spending my Fun Dollars on pizza just because we didn't plan well. This is something we need to work on as a family, getting back into the practice of a regular, full-scale family meeting.
And finally, my last $3.00 went to Taco Bell. I signed Carrick up for gymnastics again, so that dominates our Saturdays. He has several friends that go too, so I get to see their moms, whom I am also friends with. After class, the gymnastics center has two hours of open gym for $5.00! After three hours of gymnastics, Carrick is exhausted, happy and hungry. So I let him get a bean burrito and a side of nacho cheese at Taco Bell since it's right next to the gym. Sometimes I get a pintos and cheese if I need a snack too.
This Saturday morning ritual will need some planning as well. Sometimes, us mamas like to go out to lunch (as mentioned in the post Delicious Dining) while we just have one child in tow. So I will need to start to earmark money for the weekend so I can enjoy these little mama outings. We are making our way through the cafes and eateries in Cottonwood and Old Town. Yesterday I used some birthday money (I turned 32 yesterday) to go out to Red Rooster. I enjoyed a half tuna sandwich and a giant iced tea. This meal was outside the Fun Dollars system because it was birthday cash.
Javelina Cantina Chicken Nachos with employee discount- $7.00
Taco Bell- $3.00
Balance this pay cycle- $2.00