Category Archives: Signatures

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 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.

How To Have Skinny Arms

The girl and her friends have taught me to instantly have skinny arms.

It’s a simple tip really – place your hand on your hip in a photo. It’s difficult to do if you are in the middle of a group photo, and frankly it’s not necessary if that’s the case. But if you find yourself at the end of the group, like I do many times because I’m short, then by all means, put your hand on your hip and shave inches off of your arms. It’s an optical illusion of course, the further your arm is from the camera, the skinnier it looks and extending it out to the side makes it look thinner.

It’s a lot easier than actually working out. The ‘no pain, no gain’ strategy is over rated.arms3I try to do this as much as I can – but I forget at times. Like in the above. This is a group of my high school friends who came to support me at a memorial service for the sister. We hadn’t seen each other for so long that we decided to get together for a photo. Even under the circumstances, we found a way to smile – but I did forget to put my arm on my hip.

arms4There we go! But then I forgot to look at the camera. Oh well, at least my arm is skinnier.

Photos courtesy of the husband.

arms2I didn’t forget here but I did forget to change my shirt after I cooked. One can’t remember everything.

Isn’t the girl beautiful? This is from last fall.

arms1This may be the first photo that I took where I remembered to do it. It was the girl and I at her last home field hockey game. It was a sentimental time.

arms6A group of friends and I went to a dinner theater and found myself at the end of a group photo again. Look at my skinny arm! I love this photo too – blurry and all.

arms5And finally . . . last weekend was spent with my high school friends. We stood like we were posing for the prom almost 30 years ago. I remembered to pose perfectly with my arm. The weather was rainy but we managed to get a lot of shopping done and took advantage of spending time together in our hotel room talking and talking. You can imagine.

Now I have to figure out how to get skinny legs . . .

March 28, Birds Of A Feather

mar28This photo reminds of two love birds, flying through life together and choosing to life their lives as two – not one.

It makes me so grateful for the husband.

I continue to pray for my children, that they can too find meaningful, everlasting and God inspired relationships. Move of all, that they find love.

This message brought to you today by an emotional mom who just signed up for college orientation for the girl next weekend. She’s leaving – and I can’t believe it.

Contrails & Spring Break

I began this post a couple of weeks ago and for some reason never finished it. I began to tell the story of the boy’s spring trip home – and now I’ll finish it by telling the story of what he did while he was home.

It was a great trip – and it was wonderful to see him. Just wonderful.

contrailsI got exactly 2.3 hours of sleep last night, partly because I was watching House of Cards for the first time, partly because Ella the dog was needing to relieve herself every hour and a half (it’s not cute anymore) and partly because I was worried about the boy as he traveled from school to Minneapolis where he would spend the night with a friend and then fly home tonight.

It will make today’s work day an interesting one.

The boy said he was driving the five hours to Minneapolis and for some reason I thought it was just the boy and his friend and that they would get to his friend’s house and go to sleep like good boys.

Instead, on the way south, he said he was going to a casino. I was a little confused but went along with it. I told him if he won anything he should put it toward his flight fund. If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you will know the boy is a jokester, he loves to laugh, and he loves to say outrageous things that will make me laugh. So I thought he was joking – as usual.

So I waited to hear when he arrived at his friend’s house. The five hour trip dragged on to seven hours. I text him but no answer. I finally called him and when he picked up, I asked him if he was at his destination yet. He said, “No, I’m at the casino.”

This is where I stopped writing.

Now we continue with the rest of the story . . .

As it turns out, the boy was afraid to lose any money and didn’t gamble it even at the urging of his friends. That’s my boy. Apparently the legal age of entry to a casino in Minnesota is 18. I thought it was 21 which was why I thought the boy was joking. Now I know!

The week he was here started slowly and it was fine with all of us. He came home with a cold and I felt he needed to rest anyway. It took him a few days to adjust to not having a deadline and school projects. Then half way through the week, his friend John flew from Wisconsin to visit us for a few days. I like John a lot – he’s one of those kids whose upbringing in a happy home with supportive parents is apparent.

The other thing you should know about John is that he’s a talented musician, a creative painter and a gifted photographer. I know, it’s not fair. On top of that, he’s a good friend to the boy. They are like frick and frack. Where does that expression come from anyway?

John had never been to the east coast before so the boy took him to downtown Washington DC. Though it was not in the forecast, it poured down rain that day. Other than a text from the boy to let us know they made it to DC on the metro, we didn’t hear a thing all day until they texted to tell us they were returning home that evening. They walked in the pouring, freezing rain to the Lincoln monument and back to the National Archives and the Air and Space Museum. If you know DC, you know it’s this a long walk in the rain. But they are young and I’m glad I wasn’t there to quash their fun – because I wouldn’t have done it. I would have been in a cafe somewhere along the way.

Here is a photo collage that the very talented John took on his cell phone.

dcBeautiful isn’t it?

The next day the boys came with me to work. I was going to a technical summit where Herm Edwards of ESPN was giving a keynote speech. It was at the Ravens stadium in Baltimore and I thought they might like to shake hands with a celebrity as well as get an autograph or two.

I’ll tell you more about it later, but here’s a view from the Raven’s press box.

dc2 The boys loved taking a tour of the stadium -

dc3And boys will be boys when it comes to the end zone.

dc4We took a short tour of Baltimore then drove to Annapolis where we enjoyed a nice dinner, just the boys and I.

In short – John had a fast and furious tour of three major eastern metropolitan cities in two days. I’m tired just thinking of it.

The boys are all back at school now and today, they are back to the grind. It was a great week nonetheless, wish it didn’t have to end so soon . . .

This Week . . .

thisweek...I haven’t posted at all this week and a part of the reason why is above. The boy is at home and then his friend John from school flew in for a few days. We were at the Raven’s Stadium in Baltimore (among other places) and there were these glowing eyes in the executive suites that both intimidated us and fascinated us. I was there for work and the boys came with me to keep me company. They had a lot of fun and kept me in stitches all day.

Will share it all – but first, I’m going to catch up on work and then catch up on sleep -

I Was Tweeting . . .

I was right about Russian aggression.

I am right about something else.

Do you watch the Bachelor on ABC? No? If you think it’s reality tv rubbish, a mindless merry chase and an intellectual waste of time, you would be right.

I like to think of it as nothing but pure entertainment. I watch it for the crashes – the end.

There are some personalities that engage me on the show but for the most part – not so much. The current bachelor is an incredibly good looking, mysterious Latin and I watched the beginning of this season with as much anticipation as any other season. Pass the popcorn!

However, unlike most other seasons of the Bachelor/Bachelorette, I developed a certain, shall we say, disdain, for Juan the Latin. It was the episode where the puts the blame for a tryst on the girl rather than be accountable himself. Here’s what I tweeted then.

I think that episode was the beginning of the true exposure of Juan Pablo for the chauvinist and opportunist that is really his true character. That being said, all of us have our own sins. Maybe we watch so that we feel better about ourselves – or maybe just because we love someone else’s drama. That being said, I draw the line at the Bachelor, I don’t watch the Kardashians or any of the New Jersey shows. I don’t need that much affirmation.

And so, since I don’t like Juan as much, I also don’t like watching the show as much. But yet – I still do. The show’s producers are geniuses, geniuses! They certainly know how to tap into a person’s dark side and string them along.

Tonight we’ll see who he picks. Though I’m sure most of you who watch the show already know who it is and that they don’t stay together. That latter is not really difficult to predict.

Here’s a couple of other tweets about the show – it’s how I amuse myself.

People may judge those who watch the show as shallow and have nothing going on in their lives. The opposite is true, I’ve got too much going on and too much to worry about. This – this is how I put it all away for a couple hours a week – and Juan’s personality is ruining my precious down time.

Sure you’re not.

I Was Tweeting . . .

I was right.

I was right about two very important things.

First, Russia has not given up the vision of a re-ignited, powerful and united coalition of Russian states, better known 20 years ago as the Soviet Union. During the Olympics, I tweeted a few things that turned out to be prophetic – or as I like to think – common sense. So as I watched the USA play the Russians in a seemingly harmless Olympic game of hockey, I tweeted a few things during the game.

And then two short weeks after the games ended, Russian invades the Ukraine.

tweetThere’s something else I was right about and my tweet reflected it. I’ll let you know what that is at a later time. Right now I’m praying for peace but never taking freedom for granted.