Monday, August 31, 2009

What Not to Wear

I tempted fate today and wore white pants for the second day in a row. It was a different pair, mind you, but the challenge was to see if I could get through another day without spilling or dropping something on them... or worse. Like the day when the car door slammed shut on my leg! There was a grease stain on the outside of my pant leg and blood on the inside- double whammy. Naturally, those are the days I am caught without my handy Tide to Go pen or Shout wipes.

So back to the white pants. I survived yesterday in a pair of Polo capris which I kept spotless through baking blueberry muffins, rinsing out a heavy crock pot of cheesy soup that had been soaking overnight, an hour and a half road trip, hubby's company picnic where I consumed baked beans, potato salad, and a grilled pork chop sandwich--complete with ketchup and mustard, pickles, and tomato slices. My only protection was one thin paper napkin that came in cellophane wrap with my spork and knife. After no lunch mishaps, I thought sure the tour through his factory would render some sort of stain momento but again I managed to escape unblemished.

So why would I test the law of averages and repeat the challenge today? Because Labor Day is coming and I only have 8 days to wear my precious bargain white jeans before the fashion alarms rings and it's time to put away the white.... I think.

Is this still true? My southern upbringing carries many rules to remember and I just don't know if they still apply these days. For instance:
  • No white after Labor Day or before Easter (same for straw handbags and linen clothing)
  • Don't mix patterns
  • Redheads shouldn't wear red (or pink, or gray)
  • Jewelry metals should all match
  • Shoes and Handbag should match
  • No mini skirts after 35-- no wait, that one came from "What Not to Wear"
I like to think of myself as an observer of trends and as one who fundamentally can put together a decent looking outfit, but when I go with The Princess into stores like Forever 21 and Heritage--I think to myself, there are no rules--they have done away with the rules--it's a generation in clothing chaos. Nothing makes sense to me! They mix all kinds of prints and colors. Skinny over loose, loose over skinny. ..metallics with tweed... velvet in the could drive a middle aged mother crazy! So with her, I just smile and say, "that looks cute" (and it does) and don't try to analyze what makes the outfit "work".
But as for me, I'll risk another day and keep on wearing my safe white jeans until the fashion police come calling...or till stains do us part.


What's in Your Trunk?

You can generally know the season of the year by the contents of my car. It has been an unseasonable cool and wet summer here in Iowa. With a great deal of hope and optimism, I have driven around for the past 3 months with my fully stocked swim bag and poolside chair in the back of my vehicle just in case the occasion arose for a post-workday visit to the pool. That occasion only arose twice throughout the entire summer--what a bummer! So with some sadness, I said good-bye to summer that wasn't and cleared the sun-screen scented bag and it's contents out of my car to make room for the next seasons supplies:

Stadium blanket- check; padded stadium seats- check; emergency clothing kit (rain poncho and sweatshirt)- check.

As much as I may have missed Summer, I must say that I love, love, love Fall! Sunshine filled days and cooler evenings. Football games. Pick your own apple orchards. Corn mazes and pumpkin patches. And while I may have to take a drive up through the bluffs that line the mighty Mississippi to see vibrant tree colors, I think there is something spectacular about this region of the country during Fall. So since my car is packed with the essentials, I will look forward to this season and all it has in store.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

There's Someone You Should Meet

I am not a huge fan of the Lifetime channel but I do know where to go if I need to see what nobody will be wearing on Project Runway, or if I need a sappy movie cry fest, or if I have a hankering for past season episodes of Grey's Anatomy. However, my opinion of the network rose a bit when I heard about their "Every Woman Counts" campaign and it skyrocketed when they choose to feature someone I happen to know.

I first met Jodie when she was a newlywed, freshly transplanted to Iowa to join her new husband who was the worship pastor at the church we attended. I knew her as quiet and smart girl who would never put herself "out front" for any recognition (and was perhaps scarred for life when she was coerced into performing in the staff/spouse band during a women's ministry event). As she entered motherhood, I saw her handle the rambunctiousness of boys with unflappable style and grace. After my family moved to another city, I continued to follow her life through articles she wrote for a church publication then later through her blog. I was inspired by her family's journey of faith when they had a child born with physical challenges. Trusting God through that time stirred her already sensitive heart to open itself up to other children who are suffering in our world.

You can read more about her here, and I hope you will because she is really someone you should know...

Monday, August 17, 2009

Water for the Soul

There's a blog post sitting in my drafts. It's not done and may not ever make it to the public domain. It's a list of the things that fill me up when I feel drained. One thing on my list is water. Whether it is a fragrant, bubble-filled tub, a sparkling blue swimming pool, a mountain lake, or a aqua blue ocean- I find water relaxing, soothing, and comforting.

One of the blogs I follow is doing a photo post. I found Angie's blog through the Show Us Where You Live carnival when she posted her lovely beach inspired home. So how appropriate it is that the first photos she is inviting us to share is about water.

So here are some of my favorite wet places:

Hot Springs Village, AR

Saugatauk Dunes State Park/Lake Michigan Holland, MI


Not only does Angie have a beautiful home but she is a great photographer too. Stop over here and see her photos as well as a few others for your own water inspiration.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009


It's August. Where has the summer gone? This has been an exceptionally cool and rainy summer in my neck of the woods so it just hasn't felt like summer to me. I grew up on the Texas coast and it's just not summer until you've dipped your toes in the sand and the ocean or at least in the chlorinated water of the swimming pool. I also love summer vacation trips, the smell of sunscreen, grilling out, fireworks, and summer produce from roadside stands.

But when August comes around, I am in back-to-school mode. As a former elementary teacher, I love the smell of musty classrooms, new books, and get 'the tingles" when the stores start putting out their school supplies. My season of back to school excitement is soon to be over. Last week I registered The Princess for her senior year. There was no school supply list. No new boxes of crayons or the latest Disney character emblazoned on a lunch box. There were, however, school fees, parking sticker fees, activity fees, yearbook purchase, lunch deposits, and graduation cap and gown purchases to be made. So much for free public education.

It's a new year and even being her last year of high school, I am going to savor every last bit of it. Right now she loves high school and can't imagine life any better than that. I'm sure her tune will change over the next 9 months and she will be ready to graduate and move on. So I'll wait (and save) because when the time comes to send her off to college, there will be bedding to coordinate, and dorm rooms to decorate, and a whole new list of new things to buy.