I should have stayed on it. I ended up with...if you recall...a choir uniform. White shirt, black skirt. B.O.R.I.N.G. But they fit.
Or so I thought.
There was a wedding this past weekend. The bride, a cousin of sorts - the groom - we know the family. I always enjoy weddings. I especially enjoy watching the front rows being ushered out and watching all the family resemblences. Seeing old friends from years gone by. Visiting. Cake.
When I got to the wedding I headed downstairs to put our card in the box. I ended up alongside the father of the bride, and we were talking photography. We enjoy sharing photography links and ideas back and forth to each other, and we were discussing wether he wants me to refer him as I still continually turn down senior photo calls. We discussed this down the first flight of steps and were on the landing with a bunch of little boys directly behind us when I felt a quick breeze on my ankles that confused me.
I looked down.
My skirt was right down there at my ankles. Dead serious. The bride's father...he kinda pretended he didn't notice, but I know he did cuz he stopped talking. I'm so onto him. I didn't hear the boys giggling...but I'm sure they were...cuz I know I was. I yanked it up real quick and went straight to the ladies room laughing the whole way. I mean, really....what else can you do? I laughed nearly thru the whole wedding...kind of a change for me, normally I bawl...but I had the giggles really bad. I was sitting all alone too, which I'm sure made for some curious glances.
All I could think of afterwards that had I taken just one more step...I would have walked right out of my skirt and not even been able to pull it up. Can you imagine?? Or tripped and taken a digger down those last few stairs making a real spectacle of myself. Oh...the what ifs.....
I managed to hold onto it then and pinned it up after the ceremony. darn skirts. I knew I wanted a dress.
So that's the story of how I lost my skirt in church.
I'm still laughing.....it's one of those things that I know will catch me laughing out loud as I'm driving alone.
Okay. The fact is....I still don't have time to organize my thoughts. I've been home for 3 days, we have another wedding next weekend, out of town company is beginning, I have August 1st deadlines.
Life is nuts.
So - once I have a few kid-free minutes on this Saturday afternoon, I'll just go for the off-the-cuff CHA report.
Where to begin?
I drove down Thursday from Upper Michigan. An 8 hour - blissfully quiet, alone time. I crave that sometimes. I love to drive, I love to travel. I have to remind myself to stop and stretch my legs. I had lucked out at a garage sale the week before and had an Iris Johannson book on CD to take me thru 5+ hours of the trip. Pure bliss.
Got off the Convention Center exit - and was instantly delighted to see that with one sweeping glance, all the places marked on my map were within walking distance. While I love a road trip, I'm not real fond of driving in the city. I could park here, and never have to move my car. Perfect!
Found the Hyatt parking lot, and got my parking ticket. hmph. Don't you think when you pay X amount of dollars for a room that parking should be - complimentary?? This was the first foreshadowing that this weekend would NOT be cheap. Small town girl experiences culture shock.
Called TT at the convention center to let them know I was there and ready to work. I've been with Technique Tuesday for over a year now, but had not met anybody from the office yet. This was one of my main reasons for wanting to get to CHA - it was awesome to meet those voices that I pester from miles away. I enjoyed their humor, enjoyed watching them in action, enjoyed seeing where each ones strengths lie. This alone would have made CHA worth it for me - but I got to experience so much more.
Worked for 2 hours when the trip started to catch up with me - went to the room and put up my feet. I cancelled my evening to Chicago with the girls - darn my logical/practical side...but I just couldn't do it. Went out to dinner with Kelley and Kevin from the Scrapbook Zone along with some other store owners from Michigan, and then called it a night.
The rest of CHA I have so so many thoughts - I don't know how to best type them so that they are coherent. I'll start by saying that for me - it was all about the people. I loved putting names to faces, I loved meeting everybody and seeing how their real life person matches (or doesn't) their online person. It completely fascinated me.
I didn't take many pictures - and, well..I actually didn't step into all that many booths. Truth be told, I'd be hardpressed to come up with 10 new products. I found myself more drawn to the overall presentation. The booth set-ups, how they displayed their layouts, how the service crew dressed...that type of thing. I wouldn't have foreseen that it would be these things I'd be attracted to...but I loved it.
So....let me rattle of a few things with all that in mind
Imaginisce gets my two thumbs up for best grand entrance. A new company that did it with flair. They had an awesome booth, eye catching product, extremely generous give-aways by way of a new scrap tote - and just an overall friendly booth. I predict much success for them.
The American Crafts booth impressed me with it's class. The booth was well thought out, practical, and planned so that your eye went straight to the product. The salespeople were all professionally dressed...suits for the guys, that type of thing...and the whole booth radiated efficiency. These are the kinds of things I noticed.
Fun booth? Doodlebug. Hands down. It appealed to my whimsical side - wanted to come home and change my kitchen right up. But alas, Chicago was expensive and my bank account is empty. Ah well...another day
Booth that employed the friendliest and best salesman in the place? Mustard Moon. Vicky's husband Bill is *it* I loved meeting him - he makes you wish you could order, even as a designer. lol
Best impression from a fairly new company? A2Z. They haven't been around long, but their booth is top notch. It's efficient, eye catching, professional.
Loudest booths? Chatterbox - I ended up feeling sorry for all the booths around them...they raise the roof, those ones. Quickutz - I happened to be leaving the show as they were having one of their pep rallys, and I had to wait...I could not get thru. I was telling a friend, you know...I could work the crowd like that, but I have absolutely no interest at all in being part of that crowd. haha. It was a bit fun to watch tho.
The booth that most tickled my fancy? Thermoweb. Why? Because they are an adhesive company and their displays are behind glass. It tickled me because I imagined that this must be so that people don't go around pulling and tugging the displays to see how strong their adhesive really is. Seriously...I got a kick out of it.
And I'll go out on a limb here....the booth whose outfits I most wanted to change? hmmmm....maybe I'll see if anyone can guess it......
let's move into people and events....
The first night I found a floor in Wendy and Kelly's room - I had ended up coming to town a day earlier than I planned on. I brought my aerobed, but somehow ended up in Kelly's bed instead. hehe.... she slept on the aerobed. I had argued the taking of someone's bed before the trip, but the 8 hour drive had now taken it's toll...and I didn't say no when there. I met Kelly at 7 in the morning, both of use bed-headed and in our pj's.
One of the first people I met at the show was Heidi Stepanova. I really enjoyed walking around and chatting with her - wish we had had more time.
Most adorable flat? It was tough...so many of the '05 HM's came as flats...and I never did see E with the 2 heads, or I think it would have been a tie...but I have to go with the flat Kelli Crowe. If you find a picture of the Designer reception...you'll see her in the back row of the group shot. I reckon it's the first time she's ever been in the back row in her life (you have me to thank for that, Kelli!) hehe...
The Papercraft editors. I was invited to the PC reception at their booth on Saturday, and was greeted with the butts of all the overflow from the Chatterbox hurrah. Anyway...while waiting, I bumped into Vanessa and Karen - superstars both, much pubb'ed by PC, and I totally hung onto their shirttails - I'm so glad I bumped into them, otherwise I'm sure I would have gotten shy and then left. I am shy. and unobtrusive. I hate worrying that I might be bothering people. Anyway...in clinging to them I got to meet and talk with Cath, Stacy and Jennafer. That was the type of thing I enjoyed...putting real faces and personalities to names.
I kidnapped Ali Edwards. Totally. I had a message for her when I got to the CK reception...and we totally bailed. I think some of the gals were genuinely worried about what I said to have her whisk me out so quickly. Wonder on. hahahahahahaah! Ali's a hoot. I'm so glad she's talking about coming back to our lss next year.
And I also have to say, that I'm still surprised when people know me. It's the oddest thing for me. I consider myself pretty low key and under the radar. And while I know that the publication board pretty much knows me for my prattling fingers...it's when someone who I don't realized is there lurking, knows me, that I'm totally floored. Case in point....while at the CK reception I had been telling a friend that I wish I had the nerve to go up and say hi to Erin Lincoln and talk with her because I've totally admired some of her opinions and thoughts. But, like I told my friend, 'she doesn't know me from BEANS!' Well....probably 1/2 hour later I happened to be in her circle and she looked over and totally says, "TORM!" I think my jaw hit the floor, and I told her exactly what I had just minutes ago told my friend. Crazy, huh? So then I got to tell her in person how much I enjoy her opinions. THOSE are the kinds of things that totally made my weekend.
StephPea was the best roommate. I've met her several times in real life (for my family wondering how I dared room with an internet acquaintance) and it was fun to come back to the room at night and have someone to bounce the thoughts of the day on. I enjoy her to bits.
People. I loved meeting so many of the '05 HM's. The '06 HM's. The pub board frequenters. The lurkers. The people of power, the retailers, my email friends (you know who you are) and so many more. I'm so glad I had the chance to go - it'll be at least 2 years before I go again. But with what I learned this time...I can go back so much more prepared, I'll have a better idea of what I want to do, what to expect. It was an awesome experience. I had the best of all worlds - working for several hours/day, keeping my schedule light, no pressure...just rolling with where it took me.
And I've left out so much...but the kids are home now. If anyone has a specific question on my take on something, please ask, I'd love to answer if I can. With so many thoughts and directions, it's hard for me to feel coherent in my writing....
Time to get ready for this evenings wedding (this week..next week....how many weddings do YOU go to a year? me? whew....I think this is the 4th this year)
The kids hadn't seen dad in over a week...so his coming home from work yesterday was quite anticipated.
Allan - he was planning tricks and jokes, and asking every 15 minutes "why is dad working so long today" When, in reality, dad took off work early.
Wendy isn't one to waste time pacing and dwelling...she ran to the neighbors to spend the afternoon.
Brian - he slept.
And then 4:30 arrived. Allan was over the top...couldn't figure out which great story to tell dad first. Also tricked him successfully with a piece of petrified wood - darn good thing dad didn't drop it on his toe or our new floor! For Allan - the evening was a time to share with someone who understands him completely.
Brian - he was in the living room when dad walked in the door. He couldn't see him, but could hear his customary bellow of "I'm HooooooooooooooMMMMe" And it was the funniest thing. His eyes got real big, he ran in a confused and happy panic circle, he couldn't figure out where to put the water bottle he was carrying....so to ease his confusion...I grabbed it, and then he ran to dad. It was the sweetest thing.
Wendy was still at the neighbors...and we called her home when supper was ready. Oh...that Wendy. She's a hoot, and she's not shy about getting what she wants. When she came in the side door she could see dad sitting and feeding Brian as he was in his high chair. She commanded, from the doorway, "Dad....stand up!" And he did, with a bit of "what is she up to now" questioning in his eyes. She then added, "put down the spoon and food" And he did. She than commanded with a point of her finger, "Now move over there" Several feet to the north. And he did. And then she took off in a running jump into his arms.
YES...I know I still owe the world my CHA report...but I have to get these down before I forget them...they crack me up. Just got home a bit ago from picking up the kids - rainy drive from the bridge. I'm just tickled that I finally got my window to roll back up...or it would have been a very wet and rainy ride. It was close.
So, our Al...he cracks me up. He has his own vocabulary - and he often uses words out of context. We try to hide our laughing...but it's not always possible.
Last night - we went out to eat at Big Boys for supper. With much confidence and seriousness Allan asked the waiter, "What is your pop refill concept?" The waiter looked at me and said, "huh?" I referred him with my eyes back to Allan, and Al...he repeated it. My mom and I were in hysterics.
After the restaurant...the kids asked if they could climb the moose statue out in the front for a few minutes and I gave my permission. When they returned to the car, Allan declared that it wasn't much fun because one could never get to the top of the moose without a "parental boost" He's just so serious when he spouts off these things.
The only other recent one that I'm recalling just now is from when he was spending the nights at his cousins. When I picked him up I asked him for a report, etc... He mentioned that "Auntie Sherry asked if anyone wanted to go to the store, and I said that I did because I had some goals that I wanted to exceed. And I'm glad I went, because I exceeded my goals" Meaning, basically...that he found some pieces that will work for a game that he's making.
okay...I lied. I still don't have time to put my CHA thoughts into type.
Yesterday flew too fast. I had so much I wanted to do in one day...and I feel like I didn't make quite the dent I wanted to. But I have clean underwear again, and I got the envelope mailed with my drive by (whoops) toll fee in it so I don't get a ticket in the mail. Those were the important things.
It felt really odd not to have the kids yesterday. I kept waiting for door slams, fights, beggers of food...and it didn't happen. Greg and I walked to town and enjoyed a dinner out...felt like newlyweds all over again. It's all good.
Now I've got to pack my overnight bag and get on the road to pick up my kids. My mom and I are meeting at the 1/2 way point...well....a bit more than 1/2 on her hand...at the Mackinaw Bridge. I'm anxious to see how Brian reacts after not seeing me for almost 6 days. I'm totally craving one of his monkey hugs, as my mom so aptly described them.
mmmmmm......time to get busy. Keep buggin' me for that report....it's in me. Really. I'll be home again tomorrow. For good. As of now I've cancelled my August multi-mile road trip out of sheet exhaustion. But I may change my mind. I do that, you know.
I made it home last night just before 10pm. I have so many thoughts that I want to share - but it's going to have to wait a few hours. After not being home for nearly 2 weeks...I need to settle in. I'm also without kids until tomorrow...so it's a good time for me to make some serious headway on some serious deadlines. I'll be on the road again the next two days....so I really do need to get busy.
But I'm home I had a blast It was absolutely everything that I wanted it to be and I learned so much. so so much. I'm still absorbing. It's all good
We had a busy weekend. Family, wedding....more family. Beaches. It's hot up here in upper Michigan. I haven't taken my annual dunk in Lake Superior yet, so that may be on today's agenda. Wendy was much disappointed that we never made it to the beach yesterday...so today it is promised. Right after we go visit the grands...and buy new shoes....and deliver a special order....and and and...
But really, today we'll make it to the beach.
Yesterday we didn't leave the house at all. I caught up on the weekends laundry, worked on a for hire job, cleaned out the van. All those things that make me feel like I'm in control again. And how does a van get so messy so fast anyway?
I haven't seen Allan for a few days now. He has the good fortune of having boy cousins his age up here, and off he goes. I'm feeling a bit badly for Wendy....need to work on making her some buddies. All of her cousins are boys. Ick, and all that, you know.
So not too much...just a bit of this and that. I've got two kids hanging on me begging to hit the road, so I suppose we shall.....
We had a great trip. The kids were good, we left right on schedule...we took time for toe dunking in Lake Superior and a sit down lunch at McDonalds...and made the trip in 10 hours.
The weather right now is ideal. Did you know that in upper Michigan it doesn't get night time dark until almost 11pm? My kids are so confused.
So now it's relax time. Now I can focus. I have a few things that I still need to do, but it's so much easier now without the daily laundry, neighbor kids, and everything else that comes with being at home. I feel like I can air my brains just a bit before I head out to CHA next week.
And this is good.
Off to enjoy an evening cup of tea with my mom.......
gas tank full - check bills paid - check plants watered - check jammies found - check graco - check strollers - check church shoes x4 - check business cards - check camera - check extra card - check swimsuits/towels - check assignments for the road - check cell phone - check chargers - check phone numbers to put in phone - check 7 white shirts - check (not.a.word.wendy!...maybe a trip to the mag.mile is in order, eh?) one boring black skirt - check ali book - check august ck - check brian's cross-stitch stocking - check (you didn't give up on me, did you??) travel boxes - check teething tablets - check travel snacks - check book on cd - check
I think I have it all........... we're planning to hit the road at 5am tomorrow....one of my favorite things, an early start and watching the sun rise while on the road.
Allan finally came home on Monday. Good times were had, memories made. I think he would have stayed all week had I let him
I found something to wear to the summer weddings. My standard, what I call, choir uniform. Black skirt..white blouse. You have NO idea how often I buy this outfit in assorted, but eerily similar, styles. But hey, I'll be clothed.
Brian had a bug all weekend, and didn't sleep. Wore me out...took me until today to catch up. I brought him in yesterday and he was diagnosed with a upper respitory infection. A wait it out thing. He did finally sleep last night tho. Phew.
I used to get an email whenever someone left a comment on my blog...and somewhere over the weekend, that function went wonky. Frustrates me. They say they are working on it, but they think it's the servers all of a sudden calling it spam. I say not so...I know too many people that its happened to all at the same time. argh. I miss my emails.
I'm busy getting ready for CHA...little by little. I have things I'm going to work on while on the road. Such as learn my new cell phone. Cell phones came a long way in the year I took off!
I said yes to a senior photo query today. argh. They stress me out. But she called right after I balanced the checkbook. Timing is everything.
I cleaned Wendy's room from top to bottom today and STILL didn't find her new jammie pants. Does that make any sense???
I got my haircut today....what a relief. And I made my 6 week appointment while there and promised I will never let it go 3 months again. I swear...it felt like it was just 6 weeks ago that I went in. Where does time go????
Summer IS busy. That's what.
Oh...and if you want to know of a great place to pre-order some of the fabulous new Technique Tuesday stamps being introduced next week at CHA...well, let me enable you. Lookie here!