Friday, April 09, 2010


Yesterday was freeing, relaxing, amazing, wonderful, familiar, hilarious, fun, eye opening...and totally different.  Yep...Mama took another road trip!  Not familiar with my first one?  You can read about it here.

I had been thinking about it for a couple months but only actually decided to pull the trigger a week and a half ago.  The Spousal Unit usually takes a few days off during Hope's spring break so I seized that opportunity to take a day off myself.  While Daddy and the girls went to the library, had lunch at Burger King, and went in search of some kites, Mama took off bright and early and returned to the scene of her first escape.

Yes...I went back...and while it was eerily similar it was also vastly different.  I'm a fair weather driver.  I tend to get spooked when I have to drive in less than perfect conditions.  My last trip was nothing but blue skies and warm temps.  This time?  When I left home it was 60 degrees and cloudy.  Even before I got out of the county it had begun to rain and the temperature had dropped to 48.  I spent an hour and a half driving in rain that fluctuated between drizzle and downpour...yet...I was ok.  More than ok actually...I was fine.

I had trouble sleeping the night before.  I had set a goal for myself for the next day and I was pretty nervous about it.  I know...I know...I worry about the most ridiculous of things.  On my trip last August, when I was leaving my destination to return home, I tried to follow the directions that Google maps had given me.  They say the least.  I was thrown into about a dozen lanes of traffic when I was fairly certain I didn't need to be.  I had decided that this time I was going to find a back way out of there...and I was going to do it as soon as I got there.  Setting goals is new for me...I refused to do it for years because I always expected to fail. more people...NO MORE.

Back to my trip...I reached my exit and while I waited at the light to turn right, I had already figured out a better way to 5-6 hours.  ")

One of the items on my "Things To Look For" list was a new spring jacket.  The fact that it was now pouring rain and 48 degrees brought that to the top of my list.  I parked outside Forever XXI and ducked inside.  Ohhhh...I've never seen so many cute little was like stepping inside Cute Cropped Jacket Nirvana!  I've honestly never seen so many in one place that I not only liked but would actually wear!  But it gets better...there were several very long racks of jackets and coats on clearance.  I found the perfect little jean jacket for spring for $15 and yet another perfect wool coat for next winter for...ready?  $25.  I was a very happy and very warm girl...and it wasn't even 10:30 in the morning yet!

Here they are in all their glory.  The Spousal Unit's comments?  "You got both of them for less than $50?" and "Those scream you."

I was leaving Saks when the young lady who was working the MAC corner said, "I love your jacket!"  I thanked her and told her to go down to Forever was on sale for $15...I just bought it that morning.  She said, "You're kidding!  THANK YOU!!!"  Later I was meandering around Delia's when one of the girls working there said basically the same thing.  I told her about both coats I had purchased.  She looked at me and said, "Ohhh THANK YOU!  You have no idea what you've've just created a monster!"  Hey...just doing my job ladies...happy to be of service.  ; )

I did my straight line shopping first...sticking to my list.  Folks?  I was done by noon!  I was giddy.  You know...I've been doing a lot of work lately both by myself and with God, about what I want, and what I need.  I'll save that topic for another post...but the fact that I had found everything on my list and had it packed in the car before noon?  I was such a happy little camper.  So what was on the list?

Well, the basics of course...I needed my 5/$25 fix at Victoria's Secret.  Check.

BuckleSURPRISE!!!  If you remember I still had a balance on my gift card.  I made a beeline straight for the Sinful shirts.  It was so early in the day I had my own personal shopper right beside me.  She was bringing me armloads of shirts to look at and then she mentioned...jeans.  I refuse to even look at jeans at Buckle...I can't see spending that kind of money on a pair of jeans!  But...I had the balance on the gift card...and I had an almost full rewards card good for another $10 off.  So I told her I'd love to try some on.  She asked what size I wore, and how I liked to wear my jeans.  I said, "Do you wanna see?"  She said, "Sure!"  So I raised up my shirt and showed her!  Ohhh...her little face was just priceless as she said, "Ok, you like them kind of low."  She's right...I do like the low riders...and no...nothing is or was hanging out!  She started to load up a room for me.  She had at least 6 different pairs of jeans/crops in various sizes and colors...4-5 shirts she thought I might like...and three pairs of shoes to try with the jeans to check the length...all this plus what I had chosen to try on.  Before I even picked up any of the jeans I checked their price.  I left the pair marked at $120 untouched.  There was no WAY I was going to try on something for that price and risk falling in love with them!  The first two I tried on were too big...the next pair however?  Oh mercy...I've never had anything fit so perfectly in my life.  I literally didn't want to take them off.  They came home with me as well as another Sinful shirt.  Buckle...check.

A quick stop at Icing for a thumb ring for my LEFT hand.  They had just the one I wanted.  Check.

Off to The Disney Store for some Princess And The Frog merchandise for the girls.  We are obsessed with all things Tiana at our'll hear about it in another post.  Also picked up a Perry The Platypus for Daddy.  Check.

Did I mention that the mall was hosting an open search for America's Next Top Model that day?  Umm...yeah.  I saw young hopefuls carrying their information packets with their call numbers on them...I stopped looking at around 290 something.  It was a zoo...and putting it as nicely as I can?  There was no shortage of self esteem amongst these girls.  You figure it out.

So it's just a bit past noon and I'm finished with my list.  I was going to buy another lyric bracelet but I really didn't feel the need to anymore.  About a month ago I came home from my walk, took my coat off, and my bracelet was gone.  I wasn't pretty.  That bracelet was concrete proof that I had walked through the fire and lived to tell about it.  I was frantic.  I went through all my clothes, my coat, looked all over the floor and was just getting ready to go out the door and walk my hour long route again when I remembered hearing something hit the floor when I took my coat off. was all but invisible hanging out from under the refrigerator.  Once I calmed down I realized I don't need a bracelet to prove I've changed.  I KNOW I've changed.  I am not the same person I was this time last year...or even last month.  People have been telling me how strong I am since I was 17 years old.  Well, ok, it's taken me 30 years, but I get it.  I AM strong.  I am an amazingly strong broad and I don't need a bracelet to tell me that!

So I did some window shopping and some people watching and headed to, yes, The Cheesecake Factory for lunch.  ")  They've discontinued my sinfully delicious Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Dough...once they are out of it they aren't making any more.  Well, they had a piece left with my name on it.  Strangely, it wasn't as good as the last time I was there.  But then, things were different this time in a lot of ways.  I'm much panic attack once I got call from anyone to talk me down...but then there was nothing to talk me down from.  I also found myself standing a lot straighter, looking people in the eye, and just generally displaying a lot more confidence than I ever have before.

After lunch I planned on making one more round of the shops and seeing if there was anything I couldn't live without.  When I got off the escalator I was standing in front of Things Remembered...and my heart AND my head were telling me to get another bracelet.  I went in, spoke with the clerk who was working, chose a bracelet, and she gave me the work order to fill out.  As soon as I had the pen in my hand I knew which lyrics I needed to have engraved on my bracelet.  As she was ringing me up she said, "Did you buy another bracelet here about a year ago and have something inspirational put on it as well?"  I looked at her and realized it was the same young woman who had waited on me last August.  I told her I did.  She said, "Yeah, you were out on your own, away from your husband and kids for the first time?"  Again, I told her she was correct and I was astonished that anyone would remember something like that...especially...having to do with me.  I asked her how her baby was doing.  She blushed and said, "He's great!  Thanks for asking!"

I left and did my last round while she did the engraving...checked the prices on a few more things...went into some stores I'd never been in before...grabbed a drink for the ride home...then headed back to pick up my bracelet.  When I walked in she went behind the counter and took it out of a little black velvet bag and held it up for me to see.  When I saw the words printed out I had to fight back the tears.  I choked out, "Thank you..." and then we hugged...just like we have always known each other...just like it happened every day...just like it was the most normal thing in the world. She whispered, "You be careful going's wet out there..." then she put it on my wrist and smiled.  I said, "I'll see you in August!"  She said she would look forward to it.

Lessons learned:

1)  I am one strong broad.
2)  I am someone worth remembering.
3)  Always listen to your heart...especially when it's agreeing with your head!

This living stuff can be downright pleasurable...can't it?

Love and hugs y'all,

P.S.  Oh!  What were the lyrics?  "Then You Stand"  You can read about their importance to me here.


Jay said...

Oh, that sounds like an absolutely WONDERFUL day! I'm so pleased for you! To have everything fall into place like that is just soooo nice, isn't it? And then to connect in a very real way with the young lady in the jewellery shop .. possibly the nicest thing that happened that day - am I right?

Although, all those jackets, and the perfect-fit jeans? Could be a hard call!

Mel said...

LOL! Amber, the young lady at Things Remembered...yes...that was just the most wonderful moment. But you're right...the rest of the day was pretty terrific too!

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