Category Archives: One of those moments

Vivienne Tam: Giving Thanks and Feeling Worthy

vtstoreme

Do you know that feeling when you watch reality shows like “Extreme Home Makeover” and you see amazing things happen for people and you say out loud “that sort of stuff never happens to me”? Or how about the reality show “What Not to Wear”. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to wear really nice clothes instead of jelly smeared jeans? I know these sorts of shows well. I watch, I smile and I think “not in a million years”.

Well, during my time in NYC, I kind of had an “Extreme Home Makeover / What Not to wear” moment. A real one. I think it would have made a great reality show actually. And it all has to do with Vivienne Tam.

As you know by now, I spent 4 amazing days in New York City for fashion week thanks to the folks at Buzz Corps, HP and Vivienne Tam. The entire experience in itself was “reality show” worthy in that this sort of stuff *SO* does not happen to me. I spent every day thanking everyone around me. I thanked drivers (oh wait I hugged him too), door holders, hotel folks, waiters, even random people I passed on the streets for slightly stepping out of my way. I was so damn grateful to be there. Every crack and crevice I happened upon heard my gratitude, loud and clear.

But then something even more amazing happened to all the bloggers on this trip. “What? MORE?!” I hear you mumble. Yes, more. We were given a gift.

We started out mid morning in our shuttle not exactly knowing where we were headed. When we pulled up to Vivienne Tam’s boutique, it was familiar to us after having been there the night before for her show. So we stepped out of the bus and walked in, curious. The entire space had changed into a “store” with racks of her dresses lined up, mannequins dressed, shoes and bags on display. We all wandered around, happy to see the goods in daylight for better pictures and also excited to see more of her line. We snapped pics, picked out favorites, held them up to each other, laughed at the possibilities and moved along.

And then Alan Wang, the Vivienne Tam boutique manager and all around very nice man, got our attention. He stood at the front of the store and thanked us for being here this week. He told us how much Vivienne Tam truly appreciates our support and that she recognizes the important work we do. And as a symbol of her gratitude, she would like to give us a gift. Each of us were welcome to pick out one dress. To keep.

Blank stares. It dawns on us. Mouths drop. Rushed whispering. Quiet squeals. And then me, “Can I hug you right now?”

I am not sure what he said next (although I remember that he diplomatically ignored my invitation for a hug, smart man), but it had begun to sink in. Kind of. We could pick a dress in that room to take home. To wear. To have. To feel fabulous in.

And we were off. Some spending time carefully considering. Others leaping on the handbags and shoes (understandably). And then there was me who grabbed one dress and dashed for the dressing room. What if they changed their minds? Quick. Let me get this on and out the door before they decide this isn’t such a great idea.

I wound up with the second dress I tried on. I truly felt amazing in it. I ran around the store in it. I teared up. Three times. Shamelessly. My friend Moosh in Indy saw my Hanes her Way and that’s cool by me. This was serious business. I got an amazing dress. A Vivienne Tam dress. Glamorous pieces of clothing like this just don’t exist in my life. But now one does. (And it is laughing at everything else in my closet as I write this.)

So what happened next? Just wait. Yes, there’s more.

That night we were welcome to attend another event back at the Vivienne Tam boutique. This was the official launch of the Vivienne Tam Hp Mini. Another night on the town? What better excuse to don our fab dresses. And that we did.

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I also brought my VT HP Mini with me. I just figured it would be good to have it since that evening was all about it.

And so what happens? Vivienne Tam arrives, speaks to her guests and then offers to sign anyone’s computers. So now, under my right hand in the bottom corner of my Mini, is Vivienne Tam’s signature. She signed it for me and you know what she said to me? She said I was so beautiful in her dress.

Wow. This mom with jelly smeared jeans and a leaking sippy cup in her purse could be beautiful.

It was a moment. To be sure.

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And that’s what the dress and the computer have come to represent. Women running around managing the insanity of their lives, elbow deep in dirty boy socks and sticky pots of mac and cheese DO deserve nice things. A dress like this, a computer like this – well, they are simply special things. Little bits of fabulous that remind you that you are actually “worthy” – socks and mac n cheese aside.

So I had that “What not to Wear” moment. And staying true to the thanking theme of my week, I thanked Vivienne Tam that night. I thanked her for making me feel more beautiful and special than I had in years.

My gratitude is endless, my heart is full and my sense of beautiful is in check.

For that (just one more time) I say: Thank you.

vtandme

For more information about the HP products I review, please visit my HP Update page.

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Filed under Blog love, Bloggers, Gifts, Giving respect, HP, Identity crisis, Mothers, One of those moments, Parenting, Shopping, Stuff I have, Techie Stuff, Women

A Flock of Birds in my Backyard

This morning, my 5 year old came running in to tell me there were lots and lots and LOTS of birds in our backyard. “Uh huh, that’s nice dear.” “No, Mommy, LOTS. Come see.” And I did. And so did my husband with my 2 year old toddling behind us.

There were, in fact, many birds in our backyard. Hundreds potentially. A flock like I had never seen were swooping and swirling and flying just above our heads. And then landing in one bush, weighing it down. And then off they went again. It was close to magical.

I grabbed my video camera and threw this little montage of the scene together. It certainly doesn’t capture the feeling or size of this flock flying all about us. But blog-worthy still. My backyard strikes again.

By the way, I used my Muvee Reveal software for this. It took 5 minutes to put together. The software edits the footage to work right along with the song. Pretty cool, huh?

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Filed under Animal appreciation, Florida, One of those moments, Wildlife

Flight 1549 Represents Hope for our Country

flight-1549

Last night curled under a blanket, my husband and I sat and watched the stunning footage of flight 1549 bob in the Hudson. While watching smiling passengers step off the ferries that rescued each and every one of them, my husband said something to me.

“Its a strange karma, symbolic thing, don’t you think?”

“How do you mean?”

“In Bush’s first year as President, we witnessed the worst plane catastrophe in history. And now… we are witnessing the most miraculous plane catastrophe in history, happening only hours before Bush says his final farewells to the public.”

I looked at him. “Wow. You’re right.” He absolutely had a point.

I don’t cry at the drop of a hat usually but everytime I see yesterday’s plane footage, I feel tears threaten. And I know that this entire country has been awed by this miracle, we are all equally emotional. But it seems to represent some level of hope for me also. It seems as if a message is being sent. It seems the impossible can happen. We can survive this mess.

And as for Bush’s farewell, seeing him go is simply anti-climactic. I thought I would cheer the day. I thought I would be over the moon. But I’m not. I am left puzzeled by his rationalizing, heroic “I made the tough choices, even if they weren’t the popular choices” sense of self. Honestly, he seems sadly delusional. If he really believes he did right by us, well, there is nothing left to say. Except, “Goodbye”.

Tuesday will represent the beginning of a new era for this country. But do I expect Obama to stand in front of the nation, tap his magic wand on day one and make everything all better? Hell no. I am worried for him. Really worried. And I am concerned about all the hope we have inside us. I know that he is an amazing leader, but this situation our country finds itself in could be an impossibility for any leader.

And yet, yesterday, everyone got out of that plane. Everyone, including one infant, is alive today. The impossible happened.

So this morning, I am taking a deep breath, I am watching out the window of my television as our nation dips and bobs over its troubles. I am holding my family close. And I will brace myself. But flight 1549 has inspired me. Just as our President elect has. It seems the impossible can happen and perhaps there will be a way out. So here I sit, clinging desperately onto a concept which has kept this country afloat before. That perplexing and amazing concept called: hope.

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Filed under Bush, Deep thoughts, Economy, Karma, Miracles, Obama, One of those moments, Panicking, Presidency, Reality check, Signs

One of those Moments: This Weekend.

“Sit down in my thinking chair and think. Think. Thiiink.” – Blues Clues

Do you ever have one of those moments? Those moments that make you stop and think hard, and you keep thinking about that moment long long after it has past? I have had three of those moments this weekend. I thought I would share.

Moment #1

At Target, I ran into a couple moms I know. I know them through my children. We are not particularly close but it’s always good to see these moms, say hello, chat a bit. And so that’s what we were doing. We had not seen each other much over the summer, our kids were in school, starting playgroups, bladdy bladdy blah… there was lots to catch up on.

I am not sure what we were talking about but suddenly, one mother lowered her voice to a whisper and said something like “that’s what a black person would do.” Before I could even think at all, I said “Well, gotta get going, I’ll see you ladies later!” And turned and left. Just like that. It was a gut thing. I just reacted. I didn’t like what I heard, I was offended, and I bolted.

I will admit right here, that has not always been my reaction either. In the past, I have ignored statements like this but carried on the conversation like nothing happened. Or changed the subject. Or tried to find an out for my friend – surely they didn’t mean it the way it sounded – and have allowed them to use the famous disclaimer “not that I am racist or anything”. I have never been proud of myself in retrospect – where I try to smooth over and actually normalize the moment. I may as well have said it myself.

This time I couldn’t ignore it. But I didn’t say anything either. I didn’t say ” I found that remark offensive.” I just bolted. I guess the message may have come across that I didn’t like what she said. Or it could have come across that I just had to go. I dunno. I am not sure how I feel about my reaction and I can’t stop thinking back about it.

Moment #2

We went to Busch Gardens this weekend. We have “fun passes” and go fairly often. Theme parks are to Florida what the Smithsonian is to Washington D.C. We take for granted what people travel for miles with families to see and do.

Anyway, my 5 yo son T. and I were in line for the Flume. You know which ride this is – the log ride – with the big drop at the end where we get all wet. T. is dying to be old enough for roller coasters and this was his first time on a ride with a big drop. So we were really excited – giggling and chatting, we were all wound up about it.

As we were only a few people away from jumping onto our own log, I heard a violent thump from behind me. I turned and saw a woman, slumped back in her husbands arms, eyes rolled up in her head, and an enormous gash – maybe 6 inches across – on her forehead. She had fainted and hit her head on the stairs. Blood was everywhere. We yelled for help, the Busch Gardens attendants were unsure – radioing managers, grabbing paper towels, running, whispering, clueless. I saw the hands of the girl with the paper towels, she was shaking.

Since we were ahead of the woman who fainted, they ushered us onto the flume and off we went. My heart in my stomach: for T. who had never done this before and for this woman, and all the blood, and the moment she was in.

After an exhilarating splashdown, squeals of delight and “let’s do it agains” from T., we pulled back around to get off our ride. I then heard the announcement that the Flume would be closed due to “technical difficulties”. I stepped off and carefully helped T. off too.

And thats when I saw the two boys. They were maybe four and seven. They were huddled together on the stairs, quite a few feet away from the woman lying on the ground. Obviously, they were her sons. They were crying quietly, the older boy had his arms around the younger boy; now and then he would pat his cheek or rock him gently. Like Hansel and Gretel, holding onto to one another, in utter shock, their world had just turned upside down.

I looked to see who was helping them. No one. Their father was too consumed with helping his wife and talking to the paramedics arriving on the scene.

And we were being pushed along and asked to exit on the right.

But those boys. There was a large fence separating where T. and I were and those boys. If only I could have stopped and stayed with those boys. If only I could have offered them some comfort. They were alone, they were too young to know it was going to be ok, they were utterly distraught, they had seen their mommy fall, they saw so much blood. All I can think now is how they will remember that horrible moment for the rest of their lives. Their mother was fine, all would be well, children have seen worse, but my heart broke for those boys in that moment.

Moment #3

I was in Wal-Mart this morning. (OK, ok, I know. I hear your booing. I’ve already said my piece on that place before. With our meager, pathetic, shoe-string budget, it is what it is.) I can’t believe it’s September already, and naturally, my mind is starting to gear up for the holidays. So we were wandering the aisles in the toy section. C. was starting to feel impatient for lunch and I knew my time was running out.

Suddenly C. said “Oooooh, Mama. Baby. Toe TOOT!” (Translation: Oh, mommy, that baby is so cute!) He saw a doll haphazardly left behind on the wrong shelf. C. adores babies. He can hardly keep his hands off any of my friend’s babies. They light up his world, I mean it.

Well, a lightbulb went off in my head. How can it be this child does not have a doll when he loves babies this much?

So off I wheeled in search of a cheap, small baby doll for C. Where could they be?

Oh. Right. The “pink” section.

I have two boys. I don’t get to the pink section often. And I gather all dolls are in the pink section, the girl section. So, into the pink I wheeled. And bingo. There, between the hideous Hannah Montana dress up crap and the Bratz dolls (What the HELL are they about! Ah!), there was a small section of dolls. He played with a few. We picked one out. It has a little hat and a pacifier as accessories. And as excited as he was, he shocked me by being so gentle with that doll. Carefully cradling it, jibber jabbering little comments to the doll, giving it the pacifier, hugging it, patting its head. He played with it all the way to the register, had the doll sitting next to him in his car seat home, on the floor next to him during lunch and, currently, the doll is tucked in T.’s bed across the room from C. as he takes his nap.

So I am glad we found that doll. It’s perfect. 

But I couldn’t help but mutter how crazy it is that the only dolls to be found were in the PINK section.

WHAT. BOYS can’t EVER have a doll?

WHAT. BOYS aren’t ever NURTURING?

WHAT shouldn’t I be encouraging my boy to nurture small babies, to be a good parent some day, for crying out loud!?

Cleary, dolls are for girls. Found only in the PINK section. UGH. GAG.

I should probably mention one thing, however. You know, that the baby we got? He’s dressed in blue. I assume he is a boy doll. And who picked that color out? I did. What was my point? Did I think that having him play with a boy doll, assuming he is a boy because he is in  blue, makes boys playing with dolls THAT much more ok? Like “It’s ok, its a DUDE doll.” The blue doll assures that C.’s masculinity is still intact?

Eh.

So whats that say about me?

Clearly, this Monday, I am lost in my own thoughts. And once again, obviously thinking way too hard about stuff going on around me. But I am guessing these kinds of moments will happen again. And what better home for them but here.

I hope you have a wonderful and less “over thought” start to your week.

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Filed under Boys, Busch Gardens, Feminist tendancies, One of those moments, parental fear, Parenting, Racism, Toys, Uncategorized