Coffee Talk 12.17.17

Greetings, friends! How is your weekend going? Ours has been amazingly uneventful considering it’s the weekend before Christmas. Yes, I realize Christmas isn’t actually until NEXT Monday, but next weekend is going to feel like Christmas Weekend so this is really the last weekend to do all the things that need to be done if we’re going to enjoy the holiday to its fullest.

Our middle child has a birthday on Christmas Eve, so the few days before Christmas are always a little more exciting and chaotic than they would otherwise be, and we will be traveling so add that to the mix. I’m trying not to dread it, but really, it’s a lot. I know that once I get to my parents’ house, I’ll be so happy we did it. I just have to get there. My mom always goes all out decorating for Christmas, my brother and his gang will be around too, and it will be so nice to enjoy her home and be with my family.

All that to say, this weekend truly was our last weekend to tie up loose ends before the festivities begin.

My girls were asking to go shopping yesterday, so against my better judgement, I obliged. We started at Panera for sustenance. I always get their Spicy Thai Salad with Chicken, and the girls love their mac-and-cheese.

Then we did a Target run for various and sundry items, and I was able to tie up a few last minute Christmas gifts.

After that, we hit up Payless and struck gold for shoes to go with their holiday dresses for next weekend. Shopping with tween and teenagers for dresses and dress shoes should be a punishment for crimes against humanity, just sayin’.

Either the dresses are too skimpy, they look cheap, or they are dowdy and the kids don’t want to wear them. They are all too old or too young or too flimsy or too . . . something. And why are the dresses in the children’s and junior’s departments all so short!?!

We finally resorted to the women’s department at Kohl’s for my older daughter. After placing three consecutive orders, yes, THREE, we found something that works for her.

My younger daughter is the hardest because at 12 years old, she still gravitates to kids’ styles, but she’s the size of an adult. We couldn’t find a thing for her this year that we both agreed on. Not. A. Thing. So she’s just going to wear a sweater dress from last year. It’s kind of small on her, but she wears leggings with it, and it works. I know, it sounds crazy, but since we had that option, we just gave up on finding something new. Thankfully she was happy with that solution.

So then. Once you find that needle in a haystack — the one dress you can both agree on — you’d think your ordeal should be over, but no. Because then you have to find shoes . . .

They’re used to living in boots and sneakers, so to find a dress shoe they deem comfortable and attractive is quite a tall order. And of course they always want the heels.

I was shocked and delighted when we were able to satisfy both of them in one location. AND we actually all agreed on the purchases. It’s a Christmas miracle! #thankyouPayless

No, this is not an ad. I used to work with Payless, but it’s been over a year since I had any work from them. Payless has been my go-to shoe store for the kids since they were in children’s sizes. (They both wear women’s sizes now!)

Thank goodness my son is easy. I just ordered him a new sweater from Gap, he already has khakis and loafers, and he’s set.

We finished off the excursion with a quick stop into CVS for things we couldn’t find at Target, and then I got my car washed on the way home. That was a necessity because after 3 back to back snow events, I couldn’t see out of my backup camera, my rear view window, or my rear view mirrors.

I always feel like a new woman when I have a freshly washed car. It’s almost as good as opening a new pair of pantyhose. Ha!

It was actually a really nice day, and I’m glad we girls got to spend some time together, even if we were just doing mundane errands.

I always think we should try to do more festive activities this time of year and take advantage of the events our area has to offer, but we’re always so busy doing the stuff we have to do that we don’t make time for fun stuff. Does anyone else feel that way?

Maybe we should go out one night this week and drive around looking at Christmas lights. We used to have fun doing that.

We do have my son’s holiday band concert to look forward to this week, and that’s always nice. They play lots of traditional music and end the night with the Hallelujah Chorus and invite us all to stand and sing along. I love that.

So anyway, I’m sure that is way more than you really cared to know about my life, and now it’s time to get ready for church. I’ll be in the nursery today so I’m not getting too gussied up, but I suppose it would be nice if I put on makeup and did something with this hair.

What I’d really like to do is go for a nice leisurely run, but my ankle is still on the mend. I haven’t been running in over a week, and I’m starting to get antsy. I’ve really had a hard time getting back into routine this year. First I had that vertigo for a month back in the summer, then I had the whole wisdom tooth debacle that had me out for another couple of weeks in the fall, and now this ankle is acting up. (I’m on steroids and anti-inflammatories, and I’m definitely starting to feel some improvement, but I don’t dare go running on it just yet.)

I tell ya, getting old is for the birds. But, as they say, it beats the alternative! That which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and all that.

No, seriously, I know of so many people going through really tough physical issues, and I’m sincerely grateful for overall good health and well-being. It’s such a blessing to be strong and active. I know I may not always have the benefit of that, but I try to appreciate it while I have it.

So on that sobering note, I’ll wish you all a happy and very blessed Sunday!

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59 Responses

  1. I think you deserved an adult beverage of some sort, even if it was just Chocolate Wine, after what you tackled yesterday.  Thank goodness for having a son that’s easier to dress.  
    Thursday night we had a friend join us for a drive up to Thomaston, GA, for dinner, buying a countertop microwave (our big one decided it needed to stop working for a trip to the repair shop), then driving through Christmas Lane.  Homeowners in one area have been decorating their homes for 10+ years.  That was a lot of fun!  I play Christmas music all day, every day, via Directv, which adds to our festive mood.
    Have a blessed day! 

  2. I echo your sentiments on the teen / tween dresses selection. It is rough!  I also always told my husband I deserved an award after every shoe shopping trip I went on with the girls. It’s brutal!  Glad you found things you all liked and are set! Merry Christmas!

  3. I loved your comments today! My daughter is now 22, but I vividly remember shopping with her as a teenager. I DO NOT want to go back. I showed your comments to my husband, with the statement the only contribution the dad makes is gripping about the final product. They NEVER go through what we do. lol I also so feel your pain about ankles, etc. In the past three years, I have gone through two stress fractures (same foot), injured toe, claw toe issues, and now a severe case of tendinitis that runs from leg down across the foot. Old age is not fun!!!

  4. Loved your coffee talk this morning, I have a 8 year old Goddaughter who is on the heavy size so she is so hard to shop for especially since she is a fashion Diva. If you go shopping for one outfit you come out with 3 and that’s the complete outfits jewelry ,shoes and outfit. Sometimes it can get overwhelming, but its so much fun. and i am glad she likes to dress modest, not stylish in the girls her age clothes like you said to short or skimpy. Have a Blessed Sunday

  5. Could not agree with you more on dress shopping for teens! My daughter is 15 and she thinks the dresses in the women’s department are all too “old”. I think the dresses in the junior’s department are all too short and revealing. Finding something we can both agree on is torture! Hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas!!

    1. Haha, my 15 y/o wants to dress like a 40 year old woman. I am always telling her things she wants to wear look too mature. The dress she picked definitely looks mature but I think it’s appropriate too. We’re both happy with it. Then she wanted to wear pantyhose. I’m like WHAAAA??? But we got some and I showed her how to put them on. Too funny.

  6. I loved hearing your wonderfully written commentary on shopping with girls!  It’s nice to hear many of us are in the same boat!  Merry Christmas!

  7. Thank you for mentioning the painful shopping experience with girls. I have a daughter that just turned 18 and shopping is so very painful. Shoes are a breeze, dresses are another story.

     I love your suggestions. I’m now starting to be adventurous on clothing choices. I’m trying leopard print, thanks to you!! I love every email, it gives me new ideas everyday.

  8. Oh I hear you on the ankle stuff.  Severely sprained mine 5 weeks ago while running (bad sidewalk + nighttime = catastrophe) and even after a month of PT am still gimpy.  So frustrating!  Don’t see running in my near future which makes me crabby.  Was bemoaning this to my daughter the other day and a woman with a prosthetic leg walked by and I felt awful.  Trying to be grateful and positive.  I enjoy your blog a lot-your style aesthetic is so close to mine it is very helpful!  Merry Christmas. 

  9. I seriously could have written literally every word of today’s coffee talk at some point or another. I still have PTSD flashbacks of trying to dress my teens for the holiday without all of us hating eachother before it was done. Boys ARE easier but they still always seemed to outgrow their *nice* khakis right before the holiday, and we called any shirt with a collar a “church shirt” for years. (Still do, actually) For my daughter I would just pray that she’d find something acceptable at Kohls or Pennys that wouldn’t break the bank. Don’t even get me started on the Justice years (shudder) I seriously praised God when she moved up into bigger sizes and started shopping for herself at American Eagle. I see those cute pics so many are posting of their families all in coordinating outfits with teen boys who smile for the camera and I say “You totally win”.
    We, too, travel for the Christmas holiday and it does take some planning and coordination to make all the magic happen at someone else’s house but after hosting Thanksgiving I am looking forward to being someone else’s guest for a change! Hope your travels are uneventful and this last week not too crazy. Can’t wait to get my college girl back on Wednesday!!

  10. My father once told me “These are not the golden years; they’re actually the rusty years.” ???? All I can say is – we don’t quite heal like we used to. Be kind to yourself and have a very merry Christmas!! 

  11. I feel your pain. Finally found a dress for my daughter for her Christmas concert after several “Hell no’s” from her father! 🙂 As for shoes, thank goodness booties are in style with dresses – we found some cute wedge booties at Target and all was right with the world.

    Did you know you are in the Sunday ads for Runnings?

  12. Yes, panic attacks here whenever tweens/teens, need dressy clothes. Thankfully in So Cal, it is so casual, even for “dressy” stuff, but occasionally a dress is needed and I just pray, because it.is.so.hard. 🙂

    Have a wonderful day, week, Christmas! Yay, it’s almost over! 🙂 Can I say that? 🙂

  13. Jo Lynne: love Coffe Talk! It is fun hearing about your life with kids. As an empty nester now I can reminisce and be sad/ glad. Kids are so fun at Christmas time ! Looking forward to family time here. 

    My only suggestion is get a good recumbent bike. I have been side lined so many times from Pilates and walking with foot issues my foot MD said I should get one. The bike is not my fav but it at least allows me to do interval training when the feet do not cooperate. Hope your Sunday is lovely and a big Merry Christmas! Julie 

    1. I have tried that at the gym, and it’s a good idea. I hate doing anything indoors, but I did get a bike a few years ago as an alternative to running, and I should use it more.

  14. God Bless you and your precious family. I wish you all a Blessed Merry Christmas.
                                           Gerry and Belinda Green

  15. Jo-Lynne, have you ever thought of going to the pool. It is a great workout as you have the resistance of the water with the added bonus of no stress on your joints. I was a long time gym addict until an injury. Discovering water aerobics saved me. 
    I know travelling at Christmas can be a pain but the reward of time with your family will more than make up for it. I know it’ll be a fun time. And, I’m sure you’ll get a chance to relax once there. Our moms tend to pamper us. 

  16. “Shopping with tween and teenagers for dresses and dress shoes should be a punishment for crimes against humanity, just sayin’.”…… Oh. My. Goodness! I laughed out loud at that!!!!!! I have 3 daughters now in their 20’s and I SO remember that! Hugs!!!

  17. You are so funny! As a mom of sons, I often longed for those shopping trips where I could buy pretty dresses and shoes for daughters. But, my friends with girls have shared similar stories of angst and arguing which made me feel more content with the ease of dressing boys. Plus I see the clothes my sons’ girlfriends wear and those dresses, oh man, they are sooo skimpy and short!!

    Although I have to say, my 21 year old son has an expensive fashion sense & it’s not cheap to shop for him or with him! He asked for a new bottle of John Varvatos cologne for Christmas – not cheap! He says the girls love that he smells good. ???? 

    Since your ankle is still healing, maybe you should try swimming instead of running. Do you have access to an indoor pool (since it’s cold where you live)? 

    Our weather is finally starting to change- yay! It was 71 degrees yesterday and I wore a sweater and leggings! ????
    Have a great Sunday!  

    1. Yeah, boys can be expensive! Thankfully mine is not. He likes his Nike shoes and socks, but otherwise he’s pretty easy.

      I hate swimming. Not gonna happen. 🙂

      So glad your weather is changing! 71 is nice! 🙂

  18. Yet another mom of teen girls chiming in to say “I feel ya” when it comes to dress shopping!! Oh, how I dread it! I’m even willing to spend a little bit more if it’s something we both agree on. We usually don’t have many issues with shoes….I think ’cause they’ve given up asking for the super high heels 😉

    1. Yes, I would have gladly spent more on a nicer dress… they are just so hard to find. I think we did well with the Chaps sheath from the women’s dept at Kohl’s. She wore it to church yesterday for a trial run, and it looked really nice on her. It should hold up for a couple years. We found some nice wedge pumps at Payless that weren’t super high. They looked nice on her.

  19. I live in Utah, and we have a store here called Downeast, and they have a nice selection of modest and cute dresses and skirts. You can shop them online at Downeast Basics. Maybe that would help for next time for your daughters.

  20. Thanks for always being so real!
    I can relate to shopping with girls! As I have the 
    Ultimate dress to buy in the new year….
    Wedding dress for my daughter!
    That should be very interesting????
    Just wanted say thanks for all wonderful
    Pics,ideas and gift list through December!
    Happy travels!

  21. I can so relate to your shopping struggle with that girls. Been there, done that!
    My daughter is 21 but I still help her shop and our latest challenge was for comfortable work shoes. She got a seasonal position at Ulta and needed black shoes that didn’t look old ladyish but had support for standing all day. After two days of searching, she settled for a pair of closed toe crocs lol  but they look like nice black flats and then today we found some black glitter sketcher Bob’s with memory form.
    All I can say is…save your energy and be ready for prom dress and shoe shopping. 

    1. Oy. I am not looking forward to that. At the moment, my older daughter is homeschooled, so I think I have some time. But I can definitely see my younger daughter wanting to attend all of those sorts of events.

  22. Hilarious! Your post really cheered me up. I was shopping once when a father kept making his daughter come out of the dressing room and turn around in the jeans she was trying. Then he’d bark,” 

  23. I’ve said this about 100 times but will say again. I love how REAL you are. Boy all that you did yesterday makes me tired. I remember when my daughter was in her teens and so tall and skinny I had the hardest time finding cute things. That was many years ago so the pickings were really slim then. Thank you for your coffee talks. You inspire all of us. Take some pics of the family with their new clothes next weekend. Everyone always looks great.

  24. Just got around to reading your post for today.  So well written about real life.  Gave me a good chuckle!  I especially liked reading all the comments!  Same story  from all us moms that have daughters. Just a different generation in some cases! Now I see my daughter having dress issues with our 8 year old granddaughter that is maturing way too fast. She wears a girls 16 & is a head taller than most of her classmates.  Lands End & Kohl’s offers a plus size online for the girl that needs a dress with a little extra room.   Really sad to see what’s out there for our girls…besides the skimpy styles, the quality is terrible. 

    1. The quality really is terrible. I guess b/c most kids only wear a party dress once. My 12 y/o fell in love with a dress at Target covered with sequins and a tulle skirt. It was horrendous. I put my foot down and told her it looks chincy. LOL. I’m not as snobbish with kids’ clothes as I am with my own, but there is a line that must be drawn. We looked at Lands’ End and Kohl’s. We couldn’t find anything we could agree on so we’re resorting to a Gap sweater dress from last winter that is truly a size too small, but with leggings she can get away with it, and I have no energy to battle further.

  25. Just got to read your post this morning.  Hilarious!  I have two daughters, grown now, but I went through the same thing.  My son wasn’t much easier he hates to get dressed up up in any way.  No “fancy” shoes for him!

  26. Oh, I feel your pain! I also have 2 teenage girls, ages 14 and 16. Finding dresses, or any clothes is excruciating.   Who designs those skimpy dresses?  Why aren’t more parents concerned about modesty? Two years ago when our oldest was being confirmed, we had the WORST time finding a dress that fit her that was modest enough to wear to church!  We also ended up in the women’s department at Kohl’s. We opted for 2 dresses from the Chaps section.  They are beautiful, classic and will serve her for a few years.  She seems to have stopped growing at 5’6″, so maybe she’s reached her final height.  Shoes are also a point of contention at our house.  Why they want heels that they can’t walk in, I’ll never understand. 

    Another constant argument at our house is ‘Tights are not pants’.  

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