Ellis Was A Beautiful Deb

Deb season has come and gone. Twenty-seven lovely girls made their debuts last night in Durham. Despite being invited, Carter turned down the invitation since all things Deb were not her scene. But thankfully the powers that be allowed Carter and her friend Cait, also an invitee who declined, to attend the ball to support their friends who were coming out.

Carter’s sister E, Ellis, was their main reason for coming. They were like her personal cheering section and Ellis did not disappoint. She looked beautiful, her curtesy was spot on and the dance she led was well timed thanks to the counting prowess of her Marshall, Alan Smith.

It may have been a smaller group of girls than usual, but they all looked darling and no mistakes, falls, trips or embarrassing events occurred, at least during the presentations. I can’t speak to what else might have gone on late into the night since I made my way home once the presentations and dances were done.

This morning sister E appeared at our house after just a few hours sleep and declared it to be the most fun night of her life. That is exactly as it should have been. Her father Logan played his part as her presenter perfectly and her mother Lynn was radiant in her navy dress and wrap.

Being a deb may be a very old fashioned custom, but for the girls who want to participate it should be a night of lots of fun. Congratulations to all our Deb friends.


Fancy Pants and Wait

What are the chances that I have two formal occasions on the same evening in downtown Durham, yet I still have to have two different outfits. The first event was the wedding reception of Justin, one of Russ’ team members and his new Columbian wife Diana.

Their reception was at the Arts Council. I thought it started at five, but I was wrong, it was four do Russ and I were late. Everyone was very kind for our mistake, but who is going to get mad at the boss?

The second event is the Debutante Ball that is being held at the Convention center right behind the Arts Center. Unfortunately the Deb ball is a long dress required event, unless you are under 12 years old.

I brought my ball clothes to Russ’ corporate apartment before the wedding so I had a place to change. Turns out we have more time than I needed to change into my long dress. So here we sit watching jeopardy waiting to change do I don’t get so wrinkly. The ball doesn’t start until 8:30 which is just too late for me these days, but since I know so many Debs this year I have to go and support them. I wish the whole thing started earlier.

Carter and her friend Cait are meeting me there so watching the presentations with will be fun. For now I am just praying that no one will fall, trip or go the wrong direction all dressed up in their fancy pants.


Cait is Here

Carter’s great friend Cait and her family moved away from Durham after graduation. Then she also went to college as far away from Carter as possible at Cal Berkeley. So after five months apart from each other, with only FaceTime, snap chat, instagram, finista, Facebook and texting to keep them together Cait arrived today for a friend reunion and good long visit. All is right in the world.

Nothing makes me happier than having Cait in our house with Carter where she belongs. I just wish her parents and twin brother were with her. True to form and her good breeding, Cait brought us perfect presents from her Holiday trip to Mexico. Russ got burning hot sauce, I got a two year’s supply of Mexican Vanilla and Carter got lipstick and Mexican Candy.

I knew Carter was excited about Cait coming to visit because she did all her prep-packing for Boston and thoroughly cleaned her room. Cait is staying until we leave to move Carter into Northeastern so there is no free time to prep for her next dorm.

Carter’s time at home may be short, but she is making the most of it by having Cait here. It makes me happy too!


I Love Your Cards

Another Christmas has come and gone, but the cards are still coming in. I have had a love affair with photo Christmas cards since I was about eight and my family started sending them. There was a wonderful photographer named Gus Mersin who lived in our town. Most everyone we knew had Mr. Merwin take their photo on Black and white and sent them out as cards. The photos were so much better than than the Kodak instamatic version cards.

I love getting friends cards, even from people who I see regularly in town. I keep the cards in a bowl in my front hallway and go through them about twice a year. Despite my love of receiving your cards I have not sent Christmas in quite a while.

When you write a daily blog about the minutia of your life, which includes pictures, what could I possibly put in a card that you don’t already know? Christmas cards are like the “best of” for the year. No one puts an unattractive photo or says, “I am quite disappointed in Billy’s progress at school this year.”

A card from me would seem odd because you have already seen and rad about all the warts, os I feel like a “best of” would seem shallow. So think of my blog as your daily drip of Christmas card, just a lot more honest.

And since I have this over exposed blog, if I see you in person there is no reason for you to waste time asking me what I have been up to, get right to the meat and tell me all about you and yours. Even if you don’t read the blog regularly, you are reading this now, os that is enough catching up for you. I would always like to know about your minutia to make me not feel ridiculous for sharing mine.

So keep those cards coming. More photos and even more Christmas letters. Don’t apologize for “the best of” stuff. If you can’t tell your friends what good things have been happening who can you tell? But it is also OK to confess to the hard stuff, sometimes you just need to tell a friend.


Spas Work

I can’t remember how old I was the first time I went to a spa, but I am guessing it was in my thirties. Carter asked for a spa day for Christmas and since she is now over 18 she qualified to go. It was probably a big mistake that I took her to the Umstead for the day.

“I loved that and can’t wait to go back.”

What have I done? On the other had it was the most fun mother daughter day we have had. It also did not hurt that I had a free facial that had been on my account since 2008 and no one had thought to mention it to me on previous visits. I also had a gift card from my mother that she had given me some years ago and I had forgotten to take it the last time time I went.

Without costing me an arm and a leg we had massages, Carter had a facial and we whirlpooled, relaxed, read, had tea, showered, lotioned and all things spa like.

We got home just in time for Carter to go have dinner and a movie with her friend Scarlett and Russ and I to go to our next door neighbors for a party with a Cajun food truck. What could be easier and more delightful than walking next door and enjoying some crawfish and friends.

A relaxing and stress free day. Just what we needed at the end of this crazy year. If only I could go to a spa to escape the real world every month, but then it just wouldn’t be as special. Once a year with Carter might be the answer.


Boxing Day Celebrations

I am so happy that Boxing Day has caught on in the US. Of course no one I know is giving the staff the day off to celebrate the holiday the day after Christmas with boxes of leftover Christmas food and their holiday bonus. Mostly because no one I know has staff.

But I do have friends who think Boxing Day is a great excuse to keep celebrating the holiday season. First Carter and I went to a lovely brunch where we got to catch up with friends. Then I came home to prepare to have our old friends the Blanks over for dinner.

We have known the Blanks since before Carter was born. Actually we have known them since before their daughter Isabelle was born and she is exactly two years older than Carter. In the early years the girls spent plenty of time together at each other’s birthdays and going to the farm together. Since they live in Raleigh, when the girls got a little older and a lot busier with their own sports, schools and activities they did not see each other as much.

Tonight was a chance to catch up and talk about when we used to have many cats and a dog and Isabelle would carry our nicest cat Chappy around when he was almost as big as she was. Carter is now too big to sit in Belle’s lap, but at least now they don’t talk baby talk.

Boxing Day has made up for our pitiful Christmas Day. Maybe I am actually the staff and my real holiday is the day after Christmas. I al still waiting for someone to give me my Christmas bonus, but the last thing I need is a box of food. I have a fridge full of leftovers and not enough days in sight to eat it all.


Best Laid Plans

A few years ago I was very sick on Christmas Day. I can’t remember exactly what happened that day I was do delirious, but after I recovered I heard from Carter and Russ that they had the best Christmas dinner at Happy China. It was festive and crowded and they saw friends who go there every year as their family traditions.

When it became clear that this year we were going to be home alone for Christmas Russ declared it was a Happy China year. We all got our heart set on Chinese. To compliment the Chinese, Russ and I went to an early afternoon movie to see The Darkest Hour while Carter took a nap. The theatre was packed, not a seat in the place. I think Christians are taking their cues from our Jewish friends who go to the movies and Chinese on Christmas.

After watching the Churchill movie I had to come home and finish up the last two episodes of The Crown to fill out my full on British Christmas. Around 6:30 Russ tried to do the online ordering from Happy China. When it wouldn’t go through he thought it was a technical problem. So he did the old fashioned thing and called the restaurant. The phone rang Nd ring and no one answered.

To the car Russ and Carter went to order in person. There was a reason the internet and phone ordering system was turned off. There were 25 people waiting in line to pick up orders and no new orders were being taken because the kitchen was backed up hours. So much for our new tradition.

Good thing I am the biggest over cook there ever was. Everyone scavenged for their own dinner of varying leftovers. I continued my British theme having leftover lamb chops. Even Shay looked despondent on her bed with her new Martini chew toy. “What has this family devolved into?” was the look she was giving us. Next year we will plan on Chinese earlier in the day.