It completes me…


Beth really tries not to be just like me, I’m sure it’s not cool for an almost 21 year old to be anything like her over 40 mom. But try as she might she just can’t escape all of my influences. She saw the house for the first time this week and after walking through it and squealing with delight she said, “this house completes me.”  And I know exactly what she means because that is exactly how I feel about the house too.

When Thomas and I first walked in with the realtor, that we had never met before, he didn’t know what to expect from us. This house was a foreclosure, it is not in good shape. There are falling down ceilings, holes in the walls, a bathroom that needs to gutted down to the studs. Carpet stains that look like blood and plenty of animal urine. He said that he shows houses to a lot of people that want a fixer upper but when they see what that means they leave without even looking at the whole house.



Not me, I fell in love! All of the door knobs are glass door knobs, most all of the lighting are antique fixtures. There are built in cubbies and cabinets in almost every room. IMG_3832



There are arched doorways and nice solid wood doors throughout the house. I didn’t see the stained carpet only all the hardwood floors underneath. None of the wood trim or doors have been painted, how awesome is that?



There is so much light coming into the dining room with all those windows, even if only half of them work. That’s still more openable windows than you would have in a new build.



Yes the windows are old and several of the cranks seem to be broken, but the outside storm windows are wood, and actually hinged to the house so they can easily be opened up.


The kitchen cabinets are seriously dated, but they are sturdy and built well and only need to be cleaned up and painted. The yellow Formica may not be for everyone but I kinda love the vintage feel it gives the room.


The kitchen layout does have me a little stymied. Where will I put the stove and refrigerator. How much should I change it to make it more useable? I’m glad I took so many pictures so I can start planning what we will do.


One week away from closing then all the fun begins.

Dusting off the blog

It has been almost 2 years since the last blog post that I have written. Long enough that I couldn’t remember how to log in to my blog or even what program I used to use to write my blogs. Thomas and I are starting a new adventure and a friend suggested I should blog about it. I love the idea of documenting everything we’re doing but I’m not sure if I’ll have the dedication to take the time and write about it. We’ll see how this goes.

It’s funny how I have shared different interests with each kid. When Daniel was still living at home we watched a lot of cooking shows; Iron Chef, Anthony Bourdain, Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern, Man vs. Food. Mostly shows with exotic foods and chefs that travelled around the world. Then when he left for college I never watched another cooking show, it made me too sad to watch them without Daniel. Beth and I watched Project Runway and Americas Next Top Model again not shows I ever watched without her. Thomas and I also have our favorite shows, we love car shows; Top Gear, Fast N Loud, Counting Cars if we had the space we would buy an old car to rebuild together, sadly we don’t have the garage space for that. We also like auction shows, house flipping shows and renovation shows. Thomas has also been the kid that has had the privilege of living almost his whole life in a construction zone and helping with the many never ending renovations we’ve tackled in our very old house.

So on to that new adventure…I am buying a house for us to renovate. While I really want to flip houses this first one is for the kids to rent. At first Daniel, Megan and Beth will live in the house. Then in 4-5 years when Thomas is ready to start at the Police Academy him and BJ plan on kicking the other kids out and moving in.

I think I need to clarify my previous statement that “I am buying a house for us to renovate.” I have been wanting to do this for years, recently I started looking at house online and stumbled across the house we are now very close to owning. I didn’t mention any of this to Dan until the night before I had set up a showing, it was just an idea I was throwing around and I wasn’t really sure where it was going to go. Dan couldn’t go see the house with me but Thomas and I fell in love. OK maybe I fell in love and Thomas was quietly stoic. Dan did go look at it the next day and agreed that this was an amazing deal and a house with great bones. Yes, it needs a ton of cosmetic work but structurally it is very sound. Without one word of complaint or objection Dan worked out the financial side of this endeavor and made it happen for me. I love that about him, instead of pointing out that our house is practically condemnable due to unfinished projects he just lets me go into something that is a little bit crazy.

I do have a big picture plan; Thomas and I will do all the work we can on this house (with a little help from Dan when his expertise is needed) and within 2 months it will be move in ready. Then I think we should move in so Thomas and I can gut our kitchen and bathroom and finally get our house finished. That idea is very dependent on our financial outlook at that point, but that’s what I’m hoping we can do. About the time we are done with all that the kids leases we be ending in their apartments and they should be ready to move into the house. And if all of this goes as planned then the next house I buy will be a flip and we can finally make some money from this new endeavor.


The past 6 months have been a time for changes in Bethany’s life. Not all the changes have been good but we’ve fought through the dark times and it looks like we’ve reached the light at the end of the tunnel.

You can see her journey through the changes in her hair since Jan.

First Beth cut bangs into her hair. Pretty benign considering what’s to come…

Dec 31

Next she died it black, while I didn’t like it at the time it was much better than what was to come…

Feb 3

For some reason she decided to add pink tips to her hair, and it looks like she’s done quite a bit more cutting of layers into her hair at this point.

Feb 26 (2)

Then she must have been bored with the two tone black and pink so she decided to switch it up buy trying to go platinum. This was a process that took some time and some shades of orange along the way.

March 22

Next up was BLUE! Which really started to grow on me. It was always easy to spot her in a store. For this color she did finally go to the Aveda salon and let them do it.


A little blue head popping out of the beach.


The blue started to fade so….


She decided to add some purple. At first on just 1 side of her head but then she added it everywhere. Unfortunately (or fortunately) the colors did not survive the water parks at Disney. By the end of vacation her hair just looked gray. So when we got home (literally the night we got home from Disney) we died Beth’s hair a more natural color. And then on her own without planning to…


She had it all cut off with a free haircut from Aveda. My first thought was: now she’s going to have to get her hair cut too frequently (I’m always thinking about the money.) Then I remembered she’s going to school to cut hair, it shouldn’t be a problem.


We all love the new haircut and color and she seems to be back to her happy self. Also the gauges are gone out of her ears, but she is sporting a couple new pieces of body jewelry, in her nose and belly button. Overall its a whole new Bethy.



It has been a very long blogging break, almost 3 months since I have last wrote a post. The summer really got away from me. We had a couple great vacations but besides that it was mostly a lot of chaos surrounded by an unlivable heat.

It has also been a summer of change, lots of changes! We spent the summer planning for Beth to go away to Kent State in the fall. She had been planning on going to Kent for a couple years. Last year she was enrolled and decided to defer for a year while she travelled the world modeling. (I wrote about her acceptance here.)

Beth look so young in this picture from last year.

After a year of modeling she decided she was ready for college, so home she came and we set about getting everything in order for her to leave in Sept. We turned in all the paperwork, paid all the fees, filled out the FAFSA, spent the weekend on campus for orientation. She chose her housing, picked a room mate and scheduled her classes.

We had all our ducks in a row and then life happens and things change. Going away to school was no longer the best thing for Beth and that was a very hard decision for her to make. She struggled but finally decided that she should defer for 1 more semester while she finished up some things at home. Then she decided that she was no longer interested in going into fashion design, her plan since she was 15 years old and the entire reason she chose Kent State. It didn’t take her long after that to decide that she really didn’t want to go away to a 4 year college at all.

So today we went on a tour of the Aveda School of Cosmetology. God knows she’s spent enough time over the past several months dyeing her own hair maybe that was really her calling. She loved the school and felt that this is where she was meant to be. So we filled out the paperwork, put down yet another deposit and she is scheduled to start classes Set. 24.

It’s 1 year of classes Monday-Saturday form 8:30-5. Every day with no breaks, except for 1 day for major holidays. No spring or summer break, no break over Christmas. No time for the 2 week family vacation we have scheduled in North Carolina next summer. She can maybe squeeze out 1 week for the vacation as long as she doesn’t have any sick days over the next year. Also not much time for a job unless she can find something at night. Which means no money for her to move out until after school is done, much to her disappointment.

I’m glad she has a plan and that she’ll be close by so we can keep and eye on her and make sure she’s doing OK. It will be quite an adjustment, hopefully she’ll be up for it.

CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Runway Show in L.A.

While Beth was in LA she did a few runway shows. One of them was for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund. She walked for both Pamela Love and Joseph Altuzarra. It was hard to find any pictures of her from the shows, this was all I could find floating around the internet.

Vogue Daily — Frédéric Fekkai with models.Donato Sardella/

Donato Sardella/

Beth was excited that she OPENED the show with a look for Joseph Altuzarra and he chose her to accompany him on his walk out on the stage.

He was also the Winner of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Challenge.

John Shearer/

Being in the show and having her hair done by world famous hair designer Frederic Fekkai landed Beth her picture in the January issue of Vogue:

Here’s one of the pictures of Beth in Vogue, there is also 1 more small one of her in the Pamela Love look.

And here is the video of the runway show that Beth did in LA. You may see a fleeting image of her right after Pamela Love speaks, then the video ends with the same picture that made it into Vogue.

Watch for Beth at :58 (I think that’s her) and again at 2:46

Bethany in Glamour Dec. Issue

I got the text from Beth yesterday that I had to go get the Dec issue of Glamour magazine. I left immediately heading to Barnes and Noble only to find the Oct. and Nov. issues but no Dec. I went to the service desk to see if I was just missing it, the girl behind the counter asked if there was something I needed to see in the Dec. issue, to which I responded, “YES! my daughter.” That was fun to say. And yet it did not procure me a copy of the magazine. Thanks to Facebook I did get to see the pictures and I’ll just have to head back to B&N next week to pick up a hardcopy.

Chanel Runway show in San Francisco

The life of a model…

Last week Beth flew from LA to San Francisco for the Chanel Runway show.

She arranged for a cab to pick her up at 6:30am to take her to the airport. Unfortunately, the cab did not show up so she had to call around until she found a new cab that could get there very quickly. After much stress, she finally made it to her gate with just 10 minutes to spare.

Once she landed Chanel had arranged for a van to drive the models to the hotel. After a little down time in the hotel it was time to head to the Chanel Boutique for her fitting.

After the fitting she walked down the street to the Lux Salon where all the models got manicures and pedicures. One very nice perk from doing the show. Beth had so many blisters from New York Fashion week that she was very happy to finally get a pedicure and get her feet and fingernails all cleaned up.

After her spa time she was chosen to be the hair model. Which means the hair people practice the look for tomorrows show on her so everyone on the team knows what they’re doing the next day. There was another model that they did the make up look on. While Beth and the other model were waiting they were drooling over all the Chanel purses and shoes that were sitting around the room. Sadly no trade from this show.

Back to the hotel and to bed for an early day again tomorrow. Beth shared her room with a Brazilian model that didn’t speak much English, so no late night chats for them. They were both to sleep very early.

The next morning the van picked up all the models at 7:30am then took them to a private home in Atherton where the show took place.

After the show the models were brought straight to the airport for  their return flight.

This is the second time Beth has done a Chanel runway show, the first time was in Istanbul. She really enjoyed the show and the little side trip was a nice distraction from all the bus taking in LA (which she does not enjoy.)

Here are a couple pics from the day that I snagged off Facebook. Thank goodness for Facebook or I would never get to see what Beth was up to!

Test Shoot with Joseph Tran

Bethy was wearing pretty much all her own clothes for this test and there are a few items she was really excited to be shot in:

This black “leather” vest has made it into several of her shoots. The shirt underneath it had to be from the 80’s found at the thrift store.

Beth LOVES this button up white shirt that has birds embroidered across the front. Also a thrift store find (one that possibly should have been left behind in the thrift store.)


Little Denim vest is a Paris vintage piece that Beth picked up last season during fashion week.

And her favorite item, Hello Kitty Vans! She looked all over NY for a pair that fit but ultimately had to order them since the stores didn’t stock her size.

Joseph N. Tran Photography