Monday, November 23, 2020

Covid Homecoming 2020

It has taken me a while to get this post up simply because I felt that HOCO20 was such a bust this year. But I certainly wanted to have these memories for our scrapbook, and that's why I've decided to share them after all.  

As I mentioned before, Alise did not throw her name in the hat to be voted on for homecoming court. The "Covid Cloud" was hanging pretty low and dampening the usual HOCO excitement, so we agreed to buy Alise the new iphone 12 since she truly needed a new phone. She was happy and mom and dad were happy. No homecoming festivity hoops to jump. Or so this mom thought. 

Alise and one of her besties had agreed to go to the dance as single ladies.  They did not need or want a date. Two weeks before the dance, a friend that Alise has known since kindergarten decided to pop the question and after much consideration, she decided to go with him as friends. Oh, and her bestie decided to go with an upperclassman, too, so so much for being the single ladies! 

Homecoming prep was a total disaster. Nothing I did could make my kid happy. Call it hormones, call it pure sassiness, call it being a spoiled %$*@!#, call it what  you will, but by 3:00 that day, Mama was DONE! The nails, the hair, the pumpkin spiced coffee, NOTHING made her happy or even want to smile. However, I did have one saving  grace when we picked up the boutineer and coursage (because she wanted them to match - white roses, baby's breath and blue and silver ribbon), she was actually very pleased with them.  I used a new florist this year and thought they were beautiful.

This picture was taken a few days after the dance. The coursage stayed in our fridge for nearly a month. I was surprised that Alise wanted to keep it because she's not usually that sentimental. 

Alise's coursage accidently fell off and D helped her put it back on. It was such a sweet moment. 

Make that TWO saving graces. The fact that she could still fit in to the $36 sale rack dress was a miracle. Alise had been eating everything in sight (basketball practice) for two weeks and I was worried the dress would be snug, but of course, it was fine. I think I mentioned earlier that Alise had originally found a dress on the internet, but before ordering it, I convinced her to try our local Dillard's never imagining that she would choose a dress from the sale rack. When she tried it on in the store, ithe dress was just her and I absolutely loved the color and design on her. 

Alise and her favorite post player and team mate. They've played basketball together since PeeWee ball. R may make most of the points, but Alise certainly has the most assists. When these two girls are "on," they're pretty unstoppable. 

The weather ended up being rainy, gray, and cold. Alise was upset that I didn't have a nice wrap for her to wear with her dress (she didn't like my leather jacket or my favorite leopard coat. What can I say?). And for a mom that always seems to have the answers, I was left disappointed and also at my wits end. I've learned through the years that it's not a good mix for us when we're both stressed or anxious. Wayne knew I needed those two glasses of wine at dinner later that evening.
Alise with her best couple friends. I thought they looked fabulous. 

One of my favorite pictures of the night. Someone noticed their dresses and they became known for the rest of the evening as the "Patriotic Girls."

Once Alise was around her friends, I think her nerves began to subside. She finally began to smile and act more like the fun loving daughter that I knew and love. 
Such a sweet shot that D's mom got of the two. We had just finished taking some pictures when D surprised Alise by grabbing her hand. It was kinda an awkward moment for the two of them, but they both laughed and blew it off. This is the moment when I knew the night would be fine. 

In her own special way as an apology at the end of the photo meet up, Alise called me over to the car where D's parents were whisking them to dinner, and said, "Bye, Mom! Love you! Thank you for everything!"

Day made.

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Will It Ever End?

The Covid Cloud continues to loom and its effects are beginning to hit closer to home. My heart is so, so heavy for those friends that we've lost and I continue to pray for those that are struggling against this awful virus.  A very good friend of mine that I had gone to school with since elementary passed away last week. Wayne's boss that hired him at UPS over twenty-five years ago passed away last Sunday. My brother has decided not to come home for Thanksgiving or Christmas and for the first time in my life, Thanksgiving is "on hold." Lord, when will it end?

There have been increasing numbers of Covid cases in our area just like everywhere else. The Mother Ship has upgraded her visitation policy once again and rumors are that our state will return to Phase 2. I was shocked to find out when I returned to work from a long weekend that my staff and I are to begin working from home once again. I have an employee that retires at the end of December. There will be no retirement party.

I silently cussed myself for becoming complacent in a Covid World. Although our family wears masks and practices hand hygiene, we've been a little more laid back in our going and doing. Alise started basketball games this week and there is no social distancing, but what do you expect at a basketball game? I am pretty sure they will not finish out the season (and for the first time ever, we're 2 and 0!). 

God continues to speak through people in my life. I had dinner with a friend last night and we talked at length about all the craziness. Her pastor had said (about the election), what if God is using all this chaos to bring people to salvation? Now, I know that God can take hopeless situations and bring good, and I've honestly thought the same thing about using this year as a way to draw people to him, but for some reason when she said those words last night, the truth hit me so hard. I was stunned, actually, and thought about that moment until late into the night. 

I am so sad and weary of all that is going on in our world. I no longer watch the news because I don't trust the media. Our own government is lying to us! And I know that my hope and trust do not belong to a President or the things of this world, yet it is so hard sometimes to be courageous in my faith and to press on. We've been studying Abraham in my BSF class and the timing couldn't be more appropriate.  Abraham was known as a man of faith, but even his wavered from time to time when he couldn't see God's promise. It was a step by step faith.  As a Christian, I know my hope is secure but yet I still have to ENDURE. And I think that's where my heart is right now. I'm simply tired of enduring. 

But for now, with the Thanksgiving week upon us - whether we actually celebrate it or not! - I choose to not think about the things that I can't control and the sadness that I feel and be THANKFUL. Thankful that I have a Savior, that when I can't see His hand, I can trust His heart. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Sweater Dresses & The Style Six

I'm taking a break from my favorite fall season style of puff sleeves today to talk about another fun trend that I'm seeing these days: sweater dresses.  Have you noticed them, too?

It is finally "sweatah weathah" here in Louisiana and that makes me oh-so happy! 

Recently, I was transitioning my closet (which has become like a three weekend project for me! 😝), and found a black sweater dress that I bought probably five or six years ago and hadn't worn in several winter seasons. For that reason, I was tempted to toss it, but there are some pieces that are just timeless and so I decided to keep it and promised myself that I was going to wear it this year. 

Today I'm sharing some pinterest inspiration for this warm and cozy style. One of the reasons I love these dresses so much is because they are so versatile for the office. And they look good with boots! I especially love a good turtleneck or cowl neck, too.

I recently bought this Time and Tru sweater dress in gray from Walmart for less than $20 bucks and it is so comfortable, y'all. It was a little longer on me, but I plan to blouse it with a wide belt. #bringbackthe80s  Also, it runs a little big, so you might have to size down, but for the price, this sweater dress just can't be beat if you like this style as much as I do. 

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Saturday, November 07, 2020

Late Night Randomness

It's late on Friday night and I can't sleep. Right before turning off the lamp, I checked Facebook and saw that a guy that I dated for a short time in college had committed suicide. He leaves behind a wife and son much younger than Alise. His mother died at the end of October. B and I haven't talked in well over twenty years, but we're friends socially and have kept up with each other through FB. This just breaks my heart. 

I can hear Wayne snoring from our bedroom. He is exhausted, but the lucky devil is off for the next three weeks! No fair. He's tired from working, building a deer stand all week, and working in the concession stand tonight. It's late, but Alise is still up face timing her friends. She doesn't know that her dreams are finally coming true and she's getting the new i-phone next week. I think we need our heads examined for giving a teenager a phone well over $1,000 bucks. As for me, I've been hugging the toilet for the last 24 hours and doing some Christmas shopping on line when I find myself not in the bathroom.  We went to Newk's last night and ever since we left, I've been so ill. I had to miss one of my best friend's daughter's homecoming presentation tonight at the game. 

I am beginning to know what it's like to have an aging parent. Daddy had a stress test earlier this week after a "spell" he had two weeks prior. He gets the results from the test next week. In the meantime, he's having problems with his blood pressure and after no responses earlier today from his regular physician and new cardiologist, and at the advice of a dear friend of mine, he and Mama went to an after hours clinic tonight. He left with a prescription and peace. I called my brother to let him know what was going on and I had an intuition of what my future may hold one day. Probably much sooner than I want to think about. 

There was a car accident and fatality on the main highway leading to our house this week. Alise and I actually saw the covered body lying on the ground on our way home after basketball practice. That vision has stayed with me all week.

I had my evaluation this week. It was stellar. The BEST evaluation I have ever had. An absolute perfect score. But it wasn't enough. Oh, the lines organizations draw with red tape and over priced consultants. They hang themselves with tape while dollars fly out the window. 

This whole election debacle has been so discouraging. I had lunch with a friend last week and she nearly predicted that something like this would happen. I was just naive enough to believe it couldn't. After two days, I finally turned off the television and have ignored social media. I've not asked, "Where are you, God?" but rather, "Why?" My coping mechanisms are not the best during times of disappointment and this week has certainly not been an exception. I have no idea what is going on anymore as far as the election, nor do I care. I'm trusting that God is still on His throne.

A friend has recently reached out to me again after nearly three years of silence. She has asked if we could face time and I've been putting her off. Boundaries. It's called not being sure if I want to go back to that place. Or even if I can. 

I "attended" my first covid funeral virtually this week. Such a kind soul and friend. 

My Christmas tree is up! It's the earliest it's ever been up, but seeing the tree all aglow makes me smile.

Joy comes in the morning. 

Friday, October 30, 2020

October 2020 Favorites

Another month of 2020 has nearly passed and I don't know about you, but October is my favorite Fall month. I am SOOO loving this time of year with our windows thrown open wide and the smell of gumbo simmering in the kitchen. 
I have returned to the Mother Ship! It feels so good to be back in my office among all my "things," even if I have to wear a mask to go to the bathroom! Much to my surprise, though, my staff and I will begin working a "hybrid" schedule which means that I can still work from home two to three days a week as my meeting schedule permits. So thankful for this opportunity since I've gotten use to being able to put a load of clothes on to wash or load the dishwasher throughout the day. 

This month, I'm sharing lots of beautiful ideas and memories that are near and dear to my heart. 

Andrea's front porch// Earlier this month, my favorite girl posted about her front porch for fall and let me just say that it looks like something out of a magazine! Truly. I was stunned by how beautiful it was! The color scheme is not from the "traditional" fall palette and I think that's one of the reasons I love it so much! That and the fact that I don't think I've ever seen mums so big! Wowser! So hop over and go check it out. 

"Ghoul" friend happies// Well, I promised last month to share the BBW hand soaps that I "dressed up" to give away to friends this month. This is actually a pic of the second set I finished because unfortunately BBW ran out of the specific "ghoul friend" soap that I loved. They were a HUGE hit and my friends loved them.  Just a little happy to brighten their day!

I included the hand soaps, some "ghoul friend" napkins that I recently picked up from a cute store in Natchez and some Halloween chocolate. What could be better? 

Favorite Memory// It's no secret that we love Halloween and I miss sharing the evening with our friends and our trick-or-treat traditions. I was talking with a friend a few weeks ago and trying to recall all of Alise's costumes. She was everything from a ladybug to a mermaid to Princess Leia. She was an Alabama cheerleader two years in a row, but I think Minnie Mouse is one of my all time favorites. Oh, how I miss these days!

New burgundy lipstick// It seems the berries and burgundies have it for fall! All the new eye shadow palettes are deep pinks and mauves and I've drank the kool aid. I'm currently trying some pink and burgundy eye shadows from a Morphe palette of Alise's, but I did try a new drug store lipstick this month. It's called Ragin' Raisin by L'oreal and it's a great shade for Fall. So if you're looking for a new shade for the season, check out this one.

Chonda Pierce// It was a Girls Night Out (and Moms, too!) this month when Christian comedian, Chondra Pierce, came to town. Our group met up at a new restaurant in town and then headed to our church for the concert. I had seen Chonda about fifteen years ago at a Women of Faith conference, so it was so good to spend the evening laughing with friends. She is hilarious! 

A Gratitude Pumpkin// I found this while browsing Pinterest this month and I think it's a terrific idea!  So terrific that I've already bought my pumpkin! Looking forward to starting a new tradition with my family during the month of November. 

Blush Raincoat// While we were in Texas last month, Alise found the cutest raincoat at Walmart. It's blush and the lining is brown and beige leopard print.  She has gotten so many compliments on it and I really wish I had picked me one up, too.  They were less than $20 bucks and we also saw camo, but I am especially loving the blush. 

Cinnabon Muffins// I decided to shop for my groceries a few weeks ago instead of picking them up curb side and decided to try these pasteries from the frozen section.  That's one of the things I miss about actually shopping IN the store, is seeing all the "new" things to try. I made these the morning of the homecoming dance because I knew we needed something delicious before we started running for the day. And I say, "made," but all you have to do is stick them in the microwave. Two thumbs up!

So, yes, I am still recovering from Homecoming weekend and I'll be sharing a post with all the deets soon enough (what a year!). Until then, I hope you have a great Halloween weekend!