Don’t mess with Texas

This weekend Beth and I are in Dallas, TX. So far we haven’t experienced anything that would alert us to being in Texas, no cowboy sitings, big hair or long-horns grazing in open fields not even a mechanical bull. We’ve spent most our time in the Sheraton Grand Hotel because we’re here to reconnect with old friends that we only get to see once a year.

Unbeknownst, until a few years ago, to Beth or myself I passed on a rare hereditary genetic alteration. While it is not life threatening it is life altering. Because of how rare it is and the special nature of the condition it can make you feel different or separated from your peers. But not when we’re at this conference. When we’re here we are just like every other woman that is also here. The amazing thing about being with a group of women that all have the same rare condition is that you instantly feel a connection with all of them. Amazing women that we would never, under normal circumstances, get the chance to meet now feel like our extended family. Especially the other teenage girls which instantly become Beth’s sisters. The connection and love that the girls have for each other within minutes of meeting each other is amazing to witness. As parents and carriers we are also bonded, we have other parents that have gone through the same experiences. I don’t have to be careful about my words or how I explain the condition so that I don’t infringe on Beth’s right to privacy. When I’m at the conference I know that every parent here has gone through the same testing, the same conversations with Drs, the same heartbreak and eventually the same acceptance of our new path.

While we’re at the conference we have workshops that we get to sit in on, we have social times, swimming, food, hanging out and lots of crying. It’s an emotional weekend, not so much for Beth; she has a complete acceptance of her condition and doesn’t carry any sadness or feelings of loss. But as a parent (an emotional one at that) I cannot listen to the other parent’s stories or the other adult women’s stories without feeling their pain. But through all the crying and the talking is how we all heal. We can forgive ourselves for passing on this condition to our daughters. And we can rejoice at how happy and well adjusted the girls are all becoming. We can celebrate the new relationships they have developed and be thankful for the new friends that they have made. And know that now they have peers that they can discuss their specific life’s challenges with.

We are so grateful to be here with our old friends that we are reconnecting with and our new friends that we have just met. Even without seeing any cowboys we’re happy to be in Texas.

Designer purses

My Aunt Chris in Seattle has a purse obsession. She very generously would share her bounty with my sister and I whenever we would come to visit. She gave me my first Coach bag, only to have it stolen out of my car at the YMCA a couple years later. I never fully descended into the designer purse obsession due to lack of funds and being busy raising 3 children that suck any spare cash I may have. When my sister moved back to Seattle and only had my Aunt as a shopping companion she quickly succumbed to the purse obsession. Her focus is on Harvey’s seatbelt purses. While they’re a little pricey they don’t come close in cost to a lot of designer purses. I’ve slowly been sucked into the seatbelt purse obsession, getting a few purses as gifts from Dan. One of my secret (or not so secret) covets is the Coach Patchwork purse, unfortunately it is far beyond what I can justify spending on a purse, even at my favorite resale store it is beyond my reach. Harvey’s does have a new line of patchwork seatbelt purses that I have my eye on. However, they are quickly selling out and without any gift giving holidays in the immediate future I think I may be out of luck.

I did just hear from my 16yo daughter of a secret back alley connection to designer purses that we may have to investigate. It seems that a fellow purseaholic friend of ours, who also happens to be a Catholic teen homeschooler, has an inside connection with “George.” A simple call to “George” and he’ll meet you in a convenient alley and open up his van of designer purses at extremely reduced prices. Hmm where do these purses come from? I don’t know but according to my slightly inexperienced but extremely confident teenager they are all “real.” I did see one of these purses at a recent party we had and I have to say I did have some purse envy, it was an awesome oversized purple leather Dolce & Gabanna. I have to admit I had no idea it was a D&G until I heard the story of George from my daughter.

Now the question arises am I brave enough to set up a secret meeting with “George” to investigate his wares?

New York here we come!

Our eagerly anticipated trip to New York has finally been scheduled. Beth and I depart Aug. 10 for 5 days of modeling excitement. We get in early Monday, with a car to pick us up at the airport. Then we will be dropped of at the mystery location of the “model apartments.” We will have Monday evening to explore NY and get our bearings for the following day. Tues morning Beth will be getting her hair done. Where? I do not know. I have to assume that someone from NEXT modeling will be meeting jus since they will be advising on what to do with her hair. The problem with her hair is it is neither long nor short, it is shoulder length and nothing special. Beth is very excited to have someone else decide how her hair should be because she HATES to make decisions and she is NEVER happy with her hair. While it is sometimes a cute style, most of the time her bangs are hanging in her face and obscuring her vision. It also has a strange crinkly texture that we attribute to a medication she takes to control her Crohns disease.

Then after the mystery haircut on Tuesday we have photo shoots, Tues evening, Wed & Thurs, also at an undisclosed destination. I like to think that before we arrive in NY someone will fill us in on these slightly important details. I don’t know if all of these activites will be within walking distance from where we’re staying or if we’ll have to hail a cab, or travel by subway; neither of which have I done before. But Beth is brave and open to anything so I’m sure between us both we will be able to master NY and come out of this experience as experts. Then Friday morning we will have a little bit of time to explore before we have to head back to the airport, I don’t know if a car will be provided or if we’ll need to take a cab. I read that the cab ride to the airport can take an hour and cost between $45-$80, ouch!

But if all goes well we’ll have many future trips to NY to perfect our travels! And we’ve recently made a teenage friend that lives in Paris so if that trip is on the horizon we’ll have a tour guide we can call up. I hear that her and her friends usually sit around drinking wine, eating cheese and shopping. She’s my kind of girl!