Finding the dress

This year has brought us so many changes. My daughter is a young woman. Her determination continues to take her to new heights. Her sweet personality, her empathy, her compassion have made her a valued friend, a trusted confidant, and an essential teammate. She’s earned two Varsity letters and is working toward the third. She maintains a high GPA in advanced classes. Her teachers and coaches speak highly of her.

And now, she’s preparing for one of the many rites of passage in high school: prom.

As a mom, I was a bit apprehensive about shopping for the prom dress. I mean – – this dress has to be beautiful, it has to be a statement. And (here’s where we might diverge on opinion with the trends) it has to be appropriate for my daughter.

{An aside: She’s a freshman. I was supposed to have three more years!}

Dresses are expensive. They’re an investment. And unlike the bride’s maids assurance that “you can totally shorten it and wear it again,” this is a dress that only makes one grand appearance.

Today we ventured into prom dress central and browsed through the hundreds of choices. They don’t look like much on the racks. Lace and mesh brought fear to this mother’s sensibilities. Slits and peek-a-boos made me want to avert my eyes.

We were on a mission: two piece, mermaid cut, high collar, open back, red. It was mission impossible…

Instead, we found dresses that met a few of the criteria, but not all. Assured by a website that we could “custom make” the dress of her dreams without extra charge, we hoped to pick the right style and worry about the mission’s directives when customizing.

The dressing room was already crowded – – and it was only a few minutes after the store’s opening. Mothers stood tensely next to doors waiting for their daughters. Daughters fussed around inside these cubes, rustling fabric, fighting zippers, and adjusting everything before emerging with apprehension and anticipation. The reveals were mixed: Gasps of appreciating awe and appalling shock inhales.

Bonita. Perfect. No, no, no. I liked the other one. Hmmm….

The discovery of pockets in some skirts met with giggles and pure joy. What a concept – – pockets!

It was as though we had become members of a new sorority. Sisters whispered, “You look amazing.” “I love that color on you.” “Wow.” There was a bonding over taffeta and satin. And girls – correction, young women – stood ever-prouder as they admired their beautiful and diverse shapes in the mirrors.
Inside that stuffy space confidence grew.

I cannot wait to help her put on her gown. I am excited to apply the final touches to her hair. I am eagerly awaiting watching her adorn herself with jewelry. And I am getting the tissues ready for when she meets up with her date and he sees her with new appreciation for the beautiful young woman she is.



Winter time runner

In the rain, in the cold, running, running, she will go.

Giving it all…

Track meet: It hit 74 today, but in the winds, you couldn’t tell. My girl likes her running shorts no matter how cold


Birthday girl’s dinner

She picked Outback. So after her meet, we celebrated the beginning of her 15th year.

It’s our anniversary: She’s 14! edition

Her: Mom, four is so bipolar. I wonder if 14 is going to be bad, too.
Me: I hope not. Thirteen was bad enough.
Her: What???

To my awesome first born:
I love you beyond measure. You continue to make me proud and I am blessed to be your mama. Continue to reach for your passions. Never settle. And always believe that God has a purpose for your talents (and there are so many). You have no limit to what you can achieve.


12.19 – – She’s growing into a beautiful young woman. She has talent. She is dedicated. She is sensitive. She loves passionately. She cares about people, animals, and the world. She thinks deeply. She is simply amazing. I am so lucky to have her as my baby girl.

Navigating these teen waters has been challenging, especially when the sea of attitude is choppy and unpredictable.  Though stretching this metaphor is tedious, I’ll say this: I’m glad our ship is solidly built.

Chi has, as the firstborn, been tasked to set the example.    She does.  No matter how often I nag, her room has no visible floor, her art space is creatively cluttered.  But she takes care of Ya and Ri.  She protects them.  She completes her chores with minimal prodding.  She balances a hectic sports schedule with a heavy course load. And she navigates through a world of privilege our family can scarcely compete with.

I’d be amiss if I didn’t also acknowledge her positivity about family.  Ours is an interesting mix of siblings and parents – which number far more than is “normal.”  She is proud of her siblings (close and distant).  She loves her many parents fiercely and forgives their shortcomings.  Even when we fail her, she lifts us up.

And she has never failed us.

Halloween 2016 – Purple Minion


 Diva decided to be practical this Halloween. After a discouraging perusal of Spirit Halloween’s $40-50 costumes, she was about to call it quits.  At 13, she is starting to feel “too old” to dress up and enjoy the fantasy that is Halloween. But then, she had an idea: become an “evil” purple minion.

Purple shirt? Already own one.  Jeans? We need a new pair anyway, so let’s get a good fitting set now.  And she’s still holding my Dollar Tree clown glasses (with lenses popped out) hostage since she was Arthur for Spirit Week.  Lest we forget that Ri got an official pair of Minion specs during a store tantrum more than a year ago.  

Finally, the suspenders – purchased new with an assurance that she’d be able to use them in several future costumes, too. Oh, wait.  The purple crazy hair headband… it completed the look, though she prefered spraying her hair with temporary purple color.

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