Friday, February 24, 2012

"Do you have any prom dresses for pregnant thirty year olds?"

Blessings from the thrift store gods!  Someone recently decided to part with some beautiful vintage formal dresses and it was very much appreciated today!  Thank you for bravely sending them on rather than pushing them to the back of the closet again.   

My daughter and I went shopping all day today in Topeka looking for an appropriate formal dress for her upcoming Army Ball.  It's like prom, only thirty year olds get to go!  She originally thought we'd surely find something at Dillards.  She's always had good luck on their mark-down racks.  But I encouraged her to shop online before we trekked out into the malls.  Especially since she's three months pregnant now and we would be shopping with my two year old granddaughter in tow.  My daughter is not a marathon shopper on a good day - much less when she's pregnant and chasing a toddler. 

She looked online all day yesterday and found a few possibilities.  But today, she was ready to go try one of my thrift stores just in case something wonderful had been dropped off.  I chose Maj-R in north Topeka, per a recommendation last year from fellow blogger Teri at www.ragsagainstthemachine.com.  Thank you Teri!  I had never been there before.  It was a huge store, very clean and well organized.  I kept my little granddaughter busy at the Easter displays while my daughter went straight to the dresses.  The first one she saw is most likely the one she'll wear.  Deep forest green velvet from the 1960's with a cream lace bodice that pulls up into a choker type neckline.  Classic, understated and timeless.

I don't have photos yet.  But she picked out three dresses at at $5 per dress.  Every one of them is beautiful.  And she has a little wiggle room in sizing between the three - as she has two more weeks to go before the big event.   Neither one of us felt confident in trying to guess how much her body will expand!

Thank you to my new friendship circle of real women who blog about personal style.   We didn't need to rely on a huge price tag to make us feel secure in her choices.  I remembered especially a quote from someone in blogging world (not sure who it was now?)  who cautioned that with formalwear we women commonly make mistakes of "too bare, too shiny, too tight".  We carefully avoided that trap.

She will look very classy and have money in the bank for much more important things in a young family's life.  Even better, she will look like the wife of a highly decorated combat soldier instead of a too-old teenager going to her first prom.     

Monday, February 20, 2012

Prairie Wedding Photos


I just realized I never posted photos of our family's wedding last October!  My son, the baby, who turned 27 years old a couple of days after his wedding is shown above kissing his bride.  They have always been madly, crazily in love with each other.  They met when she was 16, he 17.  He was a long hair druggie kind of kid; a  high school drop-out making his living working minimum wage at the lake marina.  She visited the lake with her brother and his friends one summer day and was smitten with this shaggy, bare chested guy driving a Chev 4x4 truck made the year he was born.  With his cigarette hanging out the side of his mouth, he asked her to climb into the bed of the truck to hold down the inner tubes so they wouldn't blow out while they moved the party to the other side of the lake.  (I guess he noticed her nice long legs would be good for such things)  Ah....to be young and in love again!

Anyway, fastforward through a decade of always being in love but not always being a couple; trying times, different life paths, different levels of maturity, different goals.  And then, one day they both were grown-up.  And they realized they had always only loved each other.  We finally got a wedding around here!

The wedding was in our pasture near one of the ponds.  And the photo below is my very special bonus granddaughter!  I made her dress for this very special day she will always remember.  She felt honored to walk her mommy down the aisle.  This photo might make you think that's she's a princessy type girl....



But the photo below captures her personality very well.  Notice, they decided to place the ring bearer pillow on her legs to keep it clean!  Sometime between the photo sessions and the actual ceremony, she ripped the entire hem out of her attached petticoat.  She and I ran back to the house and I sewed it back on while the guests were being seated.  Mommy didn't even know until weeks later.  



This is what I wore:



I have two good looking guys, huh?  After months of searching for just the right thing to wear......this was it.  It's a brown sheath dress made of microsuede which I bought for $5 at a thrift store.  I kept coming back to it as it fit well and the wedding colors included brown.  

If any of you have only been mother of the bride, but now are preparing to be mother of the groom - I would say its a welcome change!  As the mother of the bride, I ran around like a chicken with its head cut off.  I remember very little from the day because I was stressed to the max.  But the mother of the groom, well, its more about showing up, smiling, being happy and enjoying the party!  The mother of the bride was the one stressing out this time! 

Since the brown dress was sleeveless I tried several cardigan and jacket ideas but nothing was especially sticking with me.  I had a couple of good options but hadn't decided for sure.  Then, my son-in-law arrived home on his leave from Afghanistan and brought a box of goodies.  Two nights before the wedding he pulled out dozens of these handmade scarfs, probably woven in the mountains of  Pakistan.  They are sold in the markets near his base.  I chose this one and it was perfect!    And such a nice combination of memories including both son and son-in-law.  I used an antique brooch to hold it in place.  My shoes are Stuart Weitzman flats I bought a long time ago at TJ Maxx and had never worn. 

This is my son and I just before he walked on up to wait for his bride.  I carried this child an extra 5 1/2 weeks through the hot summer of 1984.  His due date was Sept 4th.  He was born Oct 10th.  And he weighed nearly 10 lbs.  A family friend who makes his living ranching predicted I was carrying a "bull calf" (this is, of course, in the days before sonograms). 


And now he's built his own family:




Two more photos and I promise, I'll quit!  I made the bridemaids slinky fiber dresses:





And here's my other granddaughter playing flower girl.  She forgot to throw the petals as she walked down the aisle.  Instead, she was fascinated with people sitting on the haybales.  She still talks about that part when we walk down to the ponds.  "Grandma, when I get married......."  She wants people to sit on haybales.  She will wear a BIG (holding her hands out like a poof) white dress and have purple flowers.  And she will marry Zach (the groom, my son.)  Little girls start planning their weddings at two years old, evidently! 

As the bride came nearer to the front, she suddenly remembered her job and quickly emptied her basket.  The photographer was able to catch this:




Life is good!