April 14, Camaraderie

april14One of the things I love about my time in the military is the camaraderie that is a part of the organization. I actually miss it. There’s also a fraternal aspect in the flight world.

april14aI spent last weekend at the boy’s school for Aviation Parents Weekend. Look at those young men. There is true camaraderie there. He’s made such good friends which makes the experience of being far away from home a much nicer one for his parents:) It was a fantastic weekend, will show you photos very soon.

On Our Way!


april9So this boy has his pilot’s license. And this weekend, we make our way up to his school where he will fly us in a school airplane for Aviation Parents Weekend. I have trepidations but not because he’s flying us, but because I’m not a good small airplane flyer. I pray I won’t need the sick sacks.

I am excited to see him and find out what’s going on in the great plains of the US!

Prom Dress Shopping

You know that sense of certainty and peace I had yesterday when I posted about the girl’s future college plans?

Never mind that – first, we have to get through the prom.

I say that with all seriousness -

I started thinking about the prom a couple of month ago – I really did. It didn’t have anything to do with her date, or whether she will even have a date. I knew she was going, even if it wasn’t on the arm of an official boy. I was thinking about her dress. And let me caveat that with the fact that I wasn’t thinking about the color, or if it was strapless, or whether it was long or short.

I was wondering how much it was going to cost. And the sooner we get a grip on the cost, the better. I’m romantic that way.

So I asked the girl if she was thinking about it at all, I mean, it’s just two months away. This was one month ago by the way, time flies when one worries about money.

She sent me a couple of pics last month and thus began our prom dress (in)decision process.

prompic999Wouldn’t you know it, the first photo she sent me (at work) was my favorite. It’s elegant and classic.

prompic1And I love the back. I was told (and I wouldn’t know) that this flesh colored embroidery is the new “in” thing with the Hollywood crowd.

Once again, it’s the first one and so it was put on the back burner.

prompic2She then sent me a photo of this dress, which I didn’t like at all. And I told her so. I mean, look at that slit. Wahoo! And what in the world is that model doing?

prompic994Then she sent me the above and well the back is a little much don’t you think? Maybe not. Well, maybe so. It was put on the official list of  “dresses to consider” though I would have probably continued to lobby against it.

We left it at that for a while and went on with our immediate tasks like work for me and school for her until a last week when I said to myself, “I wonder if she picked out a dress.”

She didn’t.

I found myself with an hour of free time between driving back from a girls’ weekend and picking up Neighbors Beth and Bill from the airport (TMI I’m sure) so I stopped at the mall and started on a prom dress quest on my own. The tables were reversed, I was the one who sent her photos from the mall.

prompic3My first stop was Lord and Taylor’s where I found this dress I loved.

She didn’t love it.prompic4I knew she wouldn’t like this but I sent it anyway.

prompic5and I was right. “I don’t think so.” she says.

prompic6I then saw this dress and I was in love. In love.

prompic7I sent her a photo of the back and she said, “I’m not crazy about it.”

Oh well, it’s her prom. It was too much money anyway.

prompic8My next stop was a fancy dress store. I didn’t know this at the time, but a lot of girls turn their heads at this store because every girl shops there. Every girl. How was I to know? I loved all the bling in the window.

prompic9The girl wanted to wear royal blue this year but seemed to open to green so I sent her this.

prompic91And it wasn’t the green color she didn’t want, it was the fact that it was strapless. Scratch that.

prompic92Then bingo. I found the perfect dress in the wrong color. prompic93Here’s the back. It’s still conservative even with the low back.


And she said, “That’s cute” The first positive comment the entire trek from the endless mall trek. I glommed onto it.

Apparently “glommed” isn’t word but all females who used to be teenagers know what I’m talking about.prompic95

I saw this beautiful dress that I would wear and I sent it to her knowing she wouldn’t like it. And I was right. She is much more conservative with much better taste than I have.

But this dress is beautiful don’t you think?

prompic97It weighed close to 10 pounds because of the sequins – and it cost $650.

Never mind.

prompic98This is another dress that I liked but I wasn’t too sure of the orange color, not because it’s not pretty (double negative watch) but because the girl wouldn’t wear orange. However, according to the high school prom registry (yes, there is one on facebook!) it’s a hot color.prompic99And once again I loved the bling. Actually, I really like this dress. Apparently so did a lot of girls because there were at least two other girls trying on the same dress while I was there. They all looked beautiful but I know they wouldn’t like it when they see another girl with the same dress on at the prom. Unfortunately, unless you can afford Dole Gabbana . . . I’ll just leave it at that.

The neckline is a little low anyway . . .


I really like the coral red dress so I sent her a couple of color options and I left for the airport. I knew we were running out of time but what’s a mom to do. Except shell out the money.

So between last week and this week – this happened.

prom1She was so thrilled. How many of us remember a first love? All of us I’m sure.

A boy asked her to the prom, and not only asked her, but went through the trouble of making a light board which he attached to the back of his truck. He came over to visit and right before he left, a couple of his friends came over and started his truck so when she went to walk him out, it was running with this sign lit up in the driveway.

It was so sweet. And so young.

The husband and I slept through the entire thing. Her friends have to leave the house at 9:30 on a school night but the husband and I went to bed at 9:00. Hey, we’re old. The girl told me the next day and I squealed like a little girl.

So anyway, now the quest for a prom dress became urgent. We finally found one last night on eBay. This was after looking through dozens – hundreds – of dresses. After a couple hundred they all begin to look alike.

I still like the very, very, very first dress. Do you remember it?

prompic999It was this one.

It costs $450. Argh – I almost died when I found out. Back to square one.

We ended up finding a dress on Etsy and we were so desperate that we bought it. But then we didn’t like it. It was only after I bought it that I realized it was custom made and wasn’t going to get here until after the prom! Foul. Since it was a custom made dress, it was also a 30% restocking fee. Can someone say, “off the rack”? We canceled the order.

We finally settled on a dress from eBay. I have no idea if it will fit or if we’ll like it when it comes. I only know that I’ll be (whining) telling you all about it.

Stay tuned.



College Orientation

The girl and I had a great couple of days at her college orientation last weekend. We visited this same campus exactly a year ago and she immediately fell in love with it. It’s small, historical, and yes, it has an equestrian program. Priorities.

orientation2The girl is not one for spontaneous outbursts of emotion but as we drove onto campus, she said, “Wow, I like it already.”

It was a great sign.orientation3In case you didn’t already know, small private colleges are expensive so the husband and I noted her reaction and put it in our back pockets. After all, we were just beginning our search.

The above photo is of a parent seminar in the church on campus. Its roots are deep and I love that.

orientation4After we left this school, we drove to Cornell University where I got lost attempting to find the parking garage. Cornell is a beautiful school, but it’s big, and the girl said, “I already don’t like it.” to which I said, “Can we at least take the tour?” We drove eight hours to get there and we didn’t even get out of the car before she made up her mind. I guess when you know, you know.

You can guess that she’s not attending Cornell University.

orientation5Since this school is expensive we asked the girl to come up with a plan b so she dutifully applied to several schools right here at home – just in case. Many parents encouraged me by telling me that private schools tend to give generous scholarship packages to students with good academic histories and in our case, that turned out to be very true. The girl received her acceptance package last November and found that half of the cost was granted in the form of scholarships and grants; we were all thrilled. So her first choice turned out to be her final choice.

I asked her last weekend if she loved the school as much as she did when we visited for the first time last year and she said she did. It’s a great thing.

So as the husband and I careen toward a life of empty nesting, I find myself very content with the choices we’ve made so far. It’s a strange sense of peace; strange because that’s rare for me when it comes to the kids. I’m surprised that I’m not emotionally distraught like I was a couple of years ago when we were going through this exact same process for the boy. Give it time I suppose.

orientation1As I wandered around the campus waiting for the girl to finish her placement tests, I came upon these young people playing frisbee in the courtyard. They work for the admissions office but they look like the perfect poster children for a college brochure don’t they?

For parents who will be sending their children off to continue life with a higher education, I applaud you.




April 4, Around Baltimore Inner Harbor

The boy, John and I wanted to do a short amount of sight-seeing and Baltimore is a beautiful city with great historical sites. Even if one only has a 20 minutes to spend, like we did, it’s possible to capture a few photos that will showcase the major sites in the Inner Harbor.

Of course, we would have had more time if I didn’t take 45 minutes to drive 2.3 miles but that’s another story for another day. Let’s just say it was a good thing we were navigating around the city in the day time.

Here’s a small photo collection of the Inner Harbor.

bowfin92 bowfin91 bowfin9 bowfin7 bowfin6 bowfin5There’s more – below deck. And if you’re claustrophobic, then you’ll enjoy the photos more than actually being there. . .

bowfin4 bowfin3 bowfin2The boys had disappeared into this submarine and I went down to try to find them. I went as far as I thought I could, to this room.

bowfin1I looked around and I couldn’t find a way to go further. Can you? I turned around and went back up the stairs and told the ticket lady there was no one below. She told me I didn’t go far enough, that I had to go all the way through the submarine.

I thought I did but I sat in a bench waiting for the boys to come by when they popped up a the other end. I could swear I went as far as I could . . .

I don’t know how the Navy does it – but I have a whole new appreciation for our sub-mariners . . .

April Fool’s A Day Later

Whew, we all survived April Fool’s Day. Or did you? Did you have any self control yesterday? Or were you the victim?

Monday a blizzard hit the midwest and as a result the boy’s school was closed until almost 4:30 PM yesterday. It’s not a joke, but it was so unreal that any photos posted of four foot drifts on April 1 would be considered just that.

Here’s one from yesterday at Thief River Falls, Minnesota.

april2aIt’s April 1st and yet this was happening in Minnesota.The boy did tell us last weekend that a blizzard was on its way but of course I forgot and I asked him on Monday whether or not he was flying, to which he answered, “Mom, it’s a blizzard.”

Then he sent us this, a photo out outside his dorm window.

photoThat poor boy! I felt so badly that I asked him what I could do to which he answered, “Make it stop mommy!”

I wish I could. I was away for one night last weekend and turned the air off before I left thinking that it would be warm enough but lo and behold, it snowed last weekend. The rest of my poor family was left to fend for themselves with blankets and extra layers of clothes!

So the chill continues, but I’m still dreaming of warm weather.

april2bThis is what I’m looking forward to doing again, hanging out with friends at our favorite winery. C’mon summer.