Wednesday, November 12, 2014

What I've Been Up To, and A Shopping Re-Cap

Recently, I heard about an opportunity for bloggers to tour a thrift store, buy fabulous items, and then feature them on their blogs. This would be followed by a delicious lunch at one of my favorite restaurants. And the thrift store in question was not just any thrift store, but my home away from home for the past 9 years! Where I got my kitchen chairs, dining room set, and pretty much every other piece of furniture in my house except my mattress. Where I got the jeans and vest I'm wearing as I type! The blog outing was right up my alley, but I can't go because of a prior commitment that day.

You see, I have not been overly busy, but since Rare Book came, I've been spending time connecting with people about grief and the book. I have been speaking to book clubs and small groups and getting together with individuals who want to talk/process. Without the pressure of a deadline, my calendar has more breathing room than before, and a typical day while Margaret is at school often looks like this. Wed: Susan, Jennifer. Thursday: Panera--Joan. I have been taking things slowly, cherishing these opportunities to spend time with people face to face, hear stories, and connect. I have also been open to opportunities to speak to larger groups, and that's something I definitely want to pursue, but I have been cherishing these small pockets of connection all fall long.

On the morning of the thrift store outing, I will be speaking to a group of Presbyterian educators on "Ways the Church Can Better Support Families in Trauma." I am really looking forward to it, and I have a feeling I'll be listening as much as talking, drawing upon their expertise on a topic that is so important.  Perhaps it will lead to a blog post that can be a resource.

Since I couldn't go to the thrift store outing, I popped over there on Monday instead. I found a cute shirt and dress for myself and then I saw them...

Pink HUNTER rain boots!

Could it be? Margaret is very brand-aware, and I've been searching for used Hunter Boots on my forays for over two years. I picked one up and checked the size. Perfect! I quickly stashed them in my cart and covered them up with my other clothes. They were listed at 12.99, but with a discount coupon, they ended up being $9.00. I felt triumphant! Sure I threw in a couple of items I didn't need, and that served to jack up my total, but I had dropped off a big box of donations on my way into the store, so I was feeling a little giddy.

I decided to text Margaret a picture of the boots when I got home, because I knew she would be so excited. Lining them up on the kitchen counter, I could tell something was amiss. Why was one boot taller than the other? I picked up both boots and checked the sizes. Are you kidding me? They didn't match. Someone must have donated TWO pairs of pink boots, and they had become mismatched in the process. Nooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

My shopper's high quickly led to buyer's remorse. And it wasn't like I could re-sell them, unless I found a very specific buyer, with a size 2 and a size 3 foot. Perhaps not impossible, but well out of my realm and energy level.

Margaret's eyes lit up when she saw them! "No way! Thanks, Mom!" and then, "Wait. What's wrong?"

I told her about the size issue. She could not believe it either. But with some padding of one foot and some tandem-tugging and scrunching on the other, we managed to get her into them. And she wore them until bedtime. Victory!

Boy, those boots took me on a roller coaster ride on Monday, but ended with a happy and excited girl who just needs a rainy day so she can wear them before her foot grows too much. Whew.

Speaking of excited, an article I wrote for Woman's Day (Dec Issue) is out now! Please check it out when you are at the grocery store. I love how the article turned out. It is a heartfelt shout-out to all of the people (YOU!) who have lifted us up since our family's tragedy. You are our Unexpected Blessings.


Anonymous said...

I live in NoVa and I love thrift stores. Could you give a tiny little plug to the one you wrote about? I'd love to know where it is. It sounds like a gem. Thanks!

One crazed mommy said...

LOL - I had to laugh at the boots! The same thing happened last time I found the perfect pair of boots for my daughter!! They had mixed sizes, and I was bummed. BTW - I finished Rare Bird and I loved it!!!

Cassie Bustamante said...

that is too funny about the boots!!! can't wait to see the article!

stephanie said...

oh please please please share the name of the thrift store. And I have size 11 feet, so I promise I won't steal any good boots from you! ;)

Anna Whiston-Donaldson said...

It's called UNIQUE and is in Merrifield. If you live elsewhere in the country, it is a chain called "Savers." :))))

Alison said...

Aw, sorry about the boots but kudos for making it work!

OSMA said...

How I never ran into you at UNIQUE, I'll never figure out. But Target it was. I miss UNIQUE and Joseph's Coat. Is that one still there?

Yay for Margaret handling the boot situation with grace and resourcefulness. Somewhere there is another mother and daughter having the exact same conversation about stuffing boots or a very upset teenager wondering how to trim her toes. Ew, sorry for a gross visual on a perfectly good Thursday.

Rosa said...

I visited months ago, brought by a link for a DIY project of something or other. Poked around until I came to the post on your precious son.

I admit I could not stay but I did read the post because I felt I needed to bear witness as a mother. I had just met you. I felt like I had intruded somehow.

I believe people are put in our paths for a reason.

Earlier this week I again stumbled onto your blog after searching for mudrooms. I quickly realized where I was, went straight to your book excerpt and was completely moved.

I bought the book. I read it in one day. It is profoundly moving, honest, and full of insights and wisdom that those of us who have grieved can relate to and identify.

Thank you for sharing your journey with all of us.

Most importantly, thank you for sharing your sweet son and family.

Your book is a beautiful and moving tribute to your son and family.

There is a beautiful song about mothers and sons by Iron and Wine entitled Upward Over The Mountain:

I will try to drop by more often. I have enjoyed your posts, especially those on parenting and thrifting. I hope your daughter gets to wear out her boots before she outgrows them;)

A Speckled Trout said...

I just got a vintage winter coat from Savers for $5.00. I might have squealed when I saw it.

Anonymous said...

I should have known. I love that place! I was hoping there might be a second great thrift store in the area. I guess it really is UNIQUE. Thanks for sharing!

Jenni said...

My daughter has 2 different sized feet. Not even kidding, we buy almost all her shoes from Nordstrom because they'll sell you two different sizes for the price of a single pair. So, depending on which one is a 2 and which is a 3, I'd be very happy to take those mismatched boots off your hands at some point. :)

Leigh Ann said...

I really adore Margaret for making them work. That could have been bad for any teenage girl!

Unknown said...

It sounds like the way you're spending these days/weeks is exactly what you need to be doing right now. It sounds heavenly. (Wish I lived close by).

Anonymous said...

I read your article in the Dec. issue of Woman's Day, and decided right then that I *needed* to add your blog to my list of daily reads. ;)