I just returned from New York City with my good friends Peggy Earl and Janet Bergeson and my daughter Danielle. We've gone the last seven years for the costume show, with one trip to Chicago and one to San Fransisco. I love a good vacation as well as the next person, but it is definetly hard to get away when your husband is in harvest and your vacationing with the two people you count on the most to pick up the slack when your gone. For the past 4 years I have been gone on Quinn's birthday as well, what a relief this year Quinn is ALSO gone. A few years back Peggy took her daughter Courtney and Janet took Tanae, but Danielle felt she couldn't miss her classes out at Big Bend....but now she's in her last semester at BYU and she has learned what I didn't want her to know then....grades are not that important to a soon-to-be homemaker and stay at home mother. As long as she gets that diploma in December everything is good.
We had a great time. You couldn't ask for a better tour guide than Peggy. You would think I would know my way around after five years, but really I just get up every morning and spend the rest of the day following Peggy around. It's very stress free, except for the fact that as I get older I am having a hard time keeping up with Peggy. One of these days she just may lose me.
We spend two long days in Seacacus, New Jersey looking at costumes. Each costume company comes with all their samples and you get to see the costumes and the fabric in person. When we first started doing this 10 years ago I would say I ordered a little over 100 costumes. We have grown considerably since then and if I include my drill team, this year I will personally order over 850 costumes, making sure they all fit, and they have all the accessories they need. Thousands of rhinestones and sequins are glued on and alterations made. It has definetly become a full time job and first took over just my storage room, it now takes over the storage room, the dining room, two extra bedrooms and most of my spare time. My house used to be perfectly clean. I would check each child's bedroom every morning, and pick up anything on the floor and make sure the bed was made. I used to hate laundry in the hamper and garbage in the garbage cans. Let's just say....those days are long gone.
After the costume show we save some time to tour New York. Over the years we have seen 'Phantom of the Opera, 42nd Street, Hairspray, Altar Boyz, Wicked, Beauty and the Beast....(twice), Drowsy Chaperone and probably more that I am forgetting. This year I gave Danielle Phantom tickets for her birthday. It was so exciting to experience that with her. Last year Peggy, Janet and I bought partial view tickets for Wicked. They were on the right side of the stage on the front row and we loved every minute of it but dreamed of seeing it from the middle. This year we put our names in the Wicked Lottery and Peggy's name was chosen. She was kind enough to give the two tickets to Danielle and I. We sat on the left side in the front row. I still dream of seeing it from the middle, but anywhere or how you see it, it is worth it.
This year we also tried to get on David Letterman, saw Rockfeller Center, Grand Central Station, Time's Square, Grey's Papaya Hot Dog Stand, Spamalot, Juliard Performing Arts School, The LDS Temple and had a cupcake from Magnolia's Bakery.
My favorite part of New York however is Canal Street. If you have never gone, it is worth the trip. It is scary and adventurous and exhausting. You head down to canal street where they have streets of vendors selling jewelry and perfume, hats and t-shirts, scarves and belts. As you stroll by someone walks by you whispering so you can barely understand, 'Coach, Prada, Channel....what kind you want..." We acknowledge that we have heard them and then it begins. They tell you their shop is just around the corner. You follow. Sometimes their shop is merely a van with illegally dark tinted windows. (We are not doing that again) and sometimes the shop is just around the corner, but mostly its around this corner and that corner, and up two more blocks and down three flights of very steep stairs until you have reached a room the size of a small bathroom and they get you in and slam the door behind you. They ask you what you want and claim each style you pick up is brand new and best quality. They quote a high price and hope you pay it. You have to pretend your not so interested and just looking, which if you stop to think about it makes no sense at all after what we just went thru to get to the shop. Finally, you come to some sort of agreement. I usually feel good if I have talked them down $5 or $10 dollars from the original price they offered me. They stuff the purse in a black garbage bag, carefully open the door after checking their walkie-talkie and shove you out the door to find your own way back to Canal Street.
You cannot do a Google search to gain a testimony. You can't text message faith. You gain a life-changing testimony today the same way it has always been done. It comes through desire, study, prayer, obedience and service.
I am wife of one and mother of five. I consider myself loyal, friendly, busy and hopeful. I love my husband, my children, my friends and my girls....I dream of more time to be a better wife, a better mother, a better neighbor and friend.