last-minute vacation, #familyforward, and the internet gives me fashion advice


A few weeks ago, Alex told me, "Mom, I'm not saying you're a bad parent, but you do realize I've never been to an amusement park, right?"

Clearly, my mid-year review didn't go as well as I'd hoped.

Unbeknownst to her, however, I'd already registered for the Family Forward Retreat, being held at Universal Orlando.  This is Family Forward's inaugural year, and is the brainchild of my friend Jyl Johnson Pattee and her team over at Mom It Forward -- Jyl was one of my travel companions to Kenya, and is a sweet friend, so I'm looking forward to supporting this new venture of hers.  To be completely honest, I'm not a roller coaster kind of girl (never have been, never will be), but Alex and her father are adrenaline junkies, so it's going to be very fun to witness them screaming their fool heads off on the rides, not to mention doing the family bonding activities that Jyl, her team, and her very awesome sponsors have planned.

We head out today. 

It's just a quick trip; we return to Houston late Saturday evening, because school starts for Alex on Monday.  I'm intending for the next few days to be very family-focused, and  so I'm actually not planning on taking my big camera (!), but I did dig out that Olympus PEN-E camera that I reviewed a couple of years ago, so I'll see if I can get it to work again.  And as a safety net, we'll also be bringing Marcus' point-and-shoot, the one that captured the awesome images of his trip to Puget Sound.  So between those two, if I have a spare moment, I'll pop in and share any favourite shots we take over the next few days while we're gone.

In the meantime (unrelated, but I mentioned Alex's school, and it reminded me that you might find this of use), I wanted to share something that happened earlier this week, in the event that any of you are struggling with a similar issue.  

On Monday, we went to meet Alex's new teachers.  I don't know about you, but I never know what to wear to Meet The Teacher Meetings:  casual seems appropriate, but you don't want to be too casual; similarly, dressing up feels like you're trying to hard, you know?  So that morning, as I was going through my closet, I mentioned my challenge on Twitter, specifying the look that I was trying to achieve:


It appears that my struggle is a common one, because happily, there were many folks who were willing to give me fashion tips.   For example, the folks at Blue Heron Farm helped me narrow down my choices by specifying recommended textiles:

This was helpful, but it is still summer in Texas, and leather can be a bit chafing in this heat.  Fred over at Mocha Dad, however, had a cooler option:  

(I'm so wishing Fred was a fashion blogger, because that's a look that really bears seeing, I think.)

My personal favourite: 

How Jessica knew I collect those tears is anyone's guess.

Allisone decided to just skip the "vaguely intimidating" part and go straight to "homicidal": 

Oh dear.

And finally, Butch went with some practical advice to just work with what's already in my closet: 


Taking everyone's advice, I cobbled together an outfit, and while I won't tell you what I wore, suffice to say that I think I achieved my mission (or, at the very least, no one called the cops).

And on that note, enjoy the rest of your week, friends.  

(I may be checking in from Orlando, so stay tuned.)