My niece, Toni Chase could be called a bargain hunter, because she loves to shop in thrift stores, but that is where her typical bargain hunter status would end. Toni usually has a plan for the things she buys. Yes, sometimes they are perfect as is, and she wears and enjoys the things she buys herself, but often, Toni sees something else in the things she buys…the possibilities. Toni is very creative, and when she sees the possibilities in something, she works on it to change it into her vision for it. Toni’s redesigned clothing, boots, and purses are beautiful. Often she sells them on E-Bay, but just as often, she gives them away, because Toni has a very giving heart. If a piece of clothing, purse, or a pair of shoes reminds her of a certain person, she simply gives it to that person. Toni found a couple of handbags that were perfect, as is, for her mother, Cheryl Masterson, so she just took them to her, and blessed her with them.
Toni and her husband, Dave love to travel, and they do so as often as they can. The love to go places where they can hike, but they also love the warm sandy beaches. I suppose that would be why they got married in Hawaii…and a beautiful ceremony that was. Family is important to them too. They go to visit he parents in Laramie often, and they love getting together with family here too. My sister, Cheryl’s whole family loves to get together often to have dinner and visit. It is the perfect way to stay connected. These days everyone is so busy that a family can easily drift apart. They don’t want that to happen, and they are all best friends anyway.
Toni is slowly adjusting to changes in her own family. Her only child, James is grown up now, and while he is still living at home while he attends college, he is nevertheless, a different person. He recently took a trip to the Netherlands to visit his girlfriend, who had been an exchange student at his high school, and then she made the trip here to spend Christmas with the family. Toni doesn’t know where that relationship will go, nor where his schooling and career will take him, but she is supportive of all his hopes and dreams. The changes in James’ life have made for a little bit emptier home for Toni and Dave sometimes, but they have that figured out too. Toni has a number of younger nieces and nephews. She and Dave like to have the little kids spend the night sometimes. They watch movies and eat junk food…a hit with all the kids, for sure.
Toni is a very thoughtful person. She is quick to see the needs of others, and then to meet them. Whether it is giving the parents a night off, or entertaining the kids, who love to come over. She likes to take the kids shopping for shoes or clothes, or other things they might need, and with her talent for re-designing, the possibilities are endless. It is such a great help to their parents too, because as we all know, raising kids is expensive. She has supplied things like shoes, coats, and clothing, because Toni is a giver. Toni is just a very good-hearted person, and that has endeared her to many people. Of course, Toni would never have told anyone about this, but I know a little birdie, and that gives me the inside track on the matter. Today is Toni’s birthday. Happy birthday Toni!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
A while back, I wrote a funny little story about my oldest daughter, Corrie Petersen’s early attempts at wearing makeup. Since she was about three at the time, I can imagine you already know just how skillfully her makeup was applied that day. Most little girls are that way though. Their first makeup attempts usually come from sneaking into mommy’s makeup and usually, making a real mess of it, and of their face. Mascara is one of the worst…or at least the funniest things that girls apply, because it is usually black, and they have no idea how to put it on their eyelashes, but they know that is where it goes. Needless to say, it ends up being all over their eyes and their face, but they think it looks great, because their mommy does it, so it is just what everyone should be doing. Anyone who understands human nature, knows that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, and every little girl wants to be just like her mommy.
When I posted the story about Corrie getting into my makeup, I thought is was pretty funny, but now I see, that like Corrie’s sister, Amy, who was so much like me in that she held the kitties by the neck, the apple didn’t fall too far from the tree with my daughter Corrie either. Apparently, Corrie’s mom…i.e. me, was one of those little girls who wanted to flatter my mom by immitating her too. Mom caught me in a picture getting into her purse, and putting on her makeup. Of course, I don’t know what the aftermath was of that particular event, but I think that like most moms, my mom thought it was too cute to be mad about. And after all, if you don’t want your kids getting into your makeup, don’t leave your purse where your little one can get too it…right? Still, I don’t know of one mom who hasn’t had her child get into her purse once or twice.
That purse is another thing that little girls just love to play with. They know that the things in that purse are very important, or their mommy wouldn’t have one…right. It is simply a girly girl thing, and would we really have it any other way. Of course not. There is really nothing better that having our little daughter be our mini-me…whether that means clothes, purses, or as in the case of my mom, my daughter, and me, makeup. It’s funny that years later, when I was suddenly old enough to be allowed to wear makeup, I wasn’t as interested as my mother would have hoped…at least as far as lipstick was concerned. I wore mascara, but the rest of it…no, not for years anyway. We all grow up and realize…finally, what things look good and what things don’t. In my case, while our color preferences are different, my mom and I both wore pretty much the same types of makeup…including lipstick. I guess my mom knew what was pretty after all. Go figure.
Every girl can tell you that there are the everyday things and then there are the important things. The important things vary from girl to girl, and are partly their personality and partly the way they mimic their mother. From the moment a girl is old enough to notice the everyday essential things that her mother has or does, she starts to develop her own list of the important things. One of the first things many little girls notice is their mom’s purse. They instinctively know that Mom’s purse is important. It seems like everything she needs in in there. With that discovery, they decide that a purse is a must have for them too. The things little girls keep in their purse are different than their mom’s, because at this time in their life, toys and lollipops are just more important.
Of course, the use of the purse changes as girls get older. With the discovery of makeup, comes not only a time of experimentation, but a time of change in purse contents. A girl just can’t go anywhere without the ability to freshen her makeup, you know. One other thing that usually happens at this point is that Mom’s makeup is no longer safe, and really needs to be put away in a place that is too high for her little angel to reach, because I don’t know a single little girl who hasn’t used her mother’s makeup and not had disastrous results…for the makeup anyway. And, yes, I think for her little face too.
At some point, maybe after the makeup phase, or maybe during the makeup phase, the dress up phase begins. Your little princess starts trading her sensible shoes, for your high heels. She may also borrow some of your clothes too, because she is pretending that she is you. In her make believe world, she heads off to work, just like you do every day, or if you are a stay at home mom, she wants to cook dinner, change the baby, or clean the house. The biggest problem with this phase is that it is all too quickly over, and she goes back to wanting to play and not help out around the house. Have you every noticed just how quickly our kids grow up and begin a life of their own, leaving behind them all of the memories of their little kid days, for us to sort through and feel quite lonely over? We miss the little person they were, and if it were possible we would love to have that person back…especially when their teenaged years begin.
Yes, when the teenaged years start, many of us begin to wonder just who the child is? We thought we knew who they were and who they were going to be. Then suddenly, and without warning, all they want to do is talk on the phone with their friends…or boyfriends, as it were. Once again, the important things have changed, as they spread their wings and try to figure out who they want to be, and the kind of life they want to live. You are no longer the only real influence in their lives. Yours are no longer the only priorities in their lives. There are other hopes, dreams, and goals on their minds now. You have been relegated to being the back up plan. You are the one they come to when they have a problem no one else can fix, and you become the babysitter when they want to spend alone time with their spouse. Those are wonderful things and I don’t know of a parent or grandparent who doesn’t love being there for their adult children, but somehow…in the back of your mind, you can still see the little girl…your little princess, who is trying to figure out just what the important things are, while you are trying to figure out, where the time has gone.