The Prom Mom

If you read my blog called “Confessions of a  No Prom Mom” around this time last year, you know I was slightly lamenting over my oldest daughter’s decision to not attend her senior prom. I know it’s their prom and not mine, but I wanted to have the experience and memory of my kids attending their senior prom just like I did. Thankfully, my youngest daughter Fahrelle, who was a junior in high school at that time, committed to attending her prom the following year. I had been waiting anxiously to have a mother-daughter prom experience. The shopping, the dress selection, hair, make up, shoes, pictures…..awww…all the makings of a perfect experience for a girly girl like me. I was finally going to get my fill! Fahrelle made good on her PROMise this past Saturday.

 Although I couldn’t wait for her prom time to come, I was soon ready to see it go. In fact, I was becoming the “so over this prom thing mom”. What happened to all my prom excitement???? It dwindled in the process of planning all the details. Ironically, I enjoy planning, but this time….ehhhh not so much. The stores were overcrowded with moms and daughters just like us, going from store to store looking at limited selections or overwhelmingly large selections of prom gowns, dealing with sometimes rude (or maybe just overworked) retail assistants, standing in line waiting for a dressing room to open up, trying to find a great dress for a great price, yada, yada, yada. Then there was the online internet hunt for a dress. Wait, did I mention Fahrelle and I often clash over fashion choices? That only prolonged the process.

Our first prom dress shopping outing.

Our first prom dress shopping outing at Serendipity in White Plains, MD. All the dresses we loved were by Maggie Sottero for Flirt Prom.

To my daughter’s credit, she did a lot of work for several weeks, researching online for hours to find a prom dress and then texting me photos of the dresses. She used this texting method in an effort to keep the prom dress search rolling on her own as I was consumed with travel and my son’s basketball games. I picked apart every dress she texted me, thinking “will it look the same in person as it does on the computer?”, “is the online company reputable” and the fearful thought “we gotta nail it because these dresses are non refundable”. She scrutinized the dresses I texted her as well, only her responses were very brief (just like a teenager), “mom, that’s ugly”, “uh unnnn”, and “nope”. We did this for weeks until we ultimately got burned out. Finally, we went back to the stores, and then back online again. By this time, prom day was fast approaching and I had called off her attending the prom at least once (or maybe twice). We worked through all our frustrations, got back on board, rushed to get the dress we selected (which happened to be one of the first dresses we liked on our first shopping outing. We allowed our fear of commitment and the hope that something better and less expensive would come along to keep us on the hunt.) That store could no longer order the dress, so I ordered from an online store. It was scheduled to arrive via UPS just a few days before the prom and it DID. I was praying I could get the needed alterations done in time. *Wipes sweat from brow*. There was no room for error. Everything had to work right the first time!

The moment the prom dress arrived. Somebody cue the HAPPY song!

The moment the prom dress arrived just THREE days before prom. Somebody cue the HAPPY song!

And then there was the very important DATE factor. With no boyfriend as the obvious choice for a prom date, the selection process for the guy to escort our daughter to the prom was just as grueling, if not more grueling, than finding the dress. Hey, not just anybody gets to take our girl out for the evening. We needed a background check, credit report, birth certificate, etc. Just kidding. Fortunately, she was pickier than we were! The prom date conversations were hilarious, as we vetted the next president of the United States, uhhh… I mean her potential prom date. Nevertheless, as the dress ordeal came together, so did the prom escort ordeal. We got a parent and daughter approved young man to share this once in a lifetime occasion with her.

Fahrelle receiving her corsage from her prom escort, Christian.

Fahrelle receiving her corsage from her prom escort, Christian.

Prom day had a little drama of its own. My daughter experienced chemical burns on her arms and back from the hair removal product we used on her for the first time. (NOTE to you and reminder to me: NEVER experiment with your appearance on the day of a major event). That put a kink in our schedule that adversely affected the arrival time at the hair salon, which affected our arrival time to the makeup studio. Thankfully, our hairstylist and make up artist were so accommodating. Everything (and I do mean EVERYTHING), worked out just fine!

Makeup of Kelley Woods. Perfection! (Photo by Kelley Woods)

Makeup of Kelley Woods. Perfection! (Photo by Kelley Woods)

As I sit at the finish line and reflect back on this prom process, I cannot help but think of all the things in life we get so excited about the “IDEA” of experiencing. We have some fantasy-like thoughts about what our wedding day will be like, our marriage, our dream job, buying our first home, etc. All we can see is all the good, all the joy, all the fun times that will be wrapped into that experience. We approach it with such naivety, just as I did with this prom experience. But then, once I got into the thick of things, the shopping wasn’t as effortless as I had imagined in my head, the days out scouting for the perfect dress were longer than I liked, I invested more money upfront than I originally intended, and I felt like throwing in the towel a time or two. In essence, it took COMMITMENT to walk out the prom process, and COMMITMENT usually involves you COMMITTING more along the way than you ever intended to COMMIT when you started out. Commitment costs, but commitment pays.


Isn't she lovely?

Isn’t she lovely?

This past Saturday, we got to see the reward of our commitment. Our daughter was beautifully dressed for her senior prom with the perfect prom date by her side, and all the agony of the process was a thing of the past. Then God blessed us with so many beautiful surprises along the way as we walked out our commitment. We did not have to pay a dime for a few of the prom expenses we had planned to pay for. Although the process was agonizing, in the end it was all worth it! And guess what? Whatever process you are committed to will be worth it as well. That vision you had at the beginning wasn’t all wrong. There will be good. Lots of good. And truthfully, if you saw the struggle upfront, maybe you would not have committed to go throughout the process. Keep that vision, no matter how impossible it may seem to accomplish. It will propel you forward. Focusing on it will keep you standing firm when the negative distractions come that make you feel like giving up. It’s worth fighting for. The PROMise will come and it will be worth it!

I love to hear from you! Did this post encourage you at all? Have you ever seen the benefits of not quitting during the process? Do you love prom stuff like I do? Thanks in advance for taking the time to share.






Photographer and family friend DeAunte of PicsNMotion Studios having a talk with them about posing.


Hair by Adia Day of Vogue III, Waldorf, MD.

Our family (minus one).

Our family (minus one).

Honored to have friends gather to for the prom send off.

Honored to have friends gather together for the prom send off.


Fahrelle attended prom with a group of friends.

Fahrelle attended prom with a group of friends.

The Making of a SUPERmom– How I Discovered My Cape

What makes a SUPER mom? I can’t say I know completely, but the perception is a woman who is able to do super human feats, above and beyond the norm. Ah, if that’s the case, I remember exactly when I discovered my “SUPER mom powers”.

Imagine this—I was a pregnant, twenty-one year old, recently married woman, enrolled as a full-time college student with my heaviest course load of 17 hours. Not a huge deal since my baby was due mid-May, just as the semester would be ending.  Everything seemed to be in sync until one day I experienced unusual pain. Through a series of fast and traumatic events, my husband and I found ourselves at a hospital that night making serious life and death decisions over the future of our unborn daughter and me. Trying to stop my labor posed as a major health risk to me and her due to other complications. At the same time, our daughter was a few weeks shy of being in the “safety zone” if we allowed her to be born then.  It seemed nothing was certain. Through a brief time alone together in prayer, we sensed the undeniable peace of God nudging us to allow her to be born right then. Fearlessly I went into surgery under a complete anesthesia.  I awakened later and learned that our 3 pound baby girl was here, but not without some complications that would keep her hospitalized for several weeks.

Before I ever laid eyes on her in that hospital, I was forewarned by the doctors and my husband that she probably didn’t look like what I expected. I didn’t care. I had already set my heart to love her anyway. I just needed to see her. I made the slow walk down to the neo-natal ICU and there she was. I was so unprepared for what I saw. I broke down in tears at the sight of my tiny little baby with tubes disguising her face and body as she lay on her back…fighting for every breath. I wanted to stay by her side and help her get better any way I could.

After a day or so, I was released from the hospital, but my daughter was not. How was I supposed to leave my new baby in the care of nurses and doctors while I went back home? Was I supposed to resume life as usual? How could I continue my hefty class load, along with its assignments and tests while constantly pumping breast milk for storing up and making frequent trips to the hospital? How could I balance this with my “regular” home life of paying bills and cooking dinner? To be honest with you, I didn’t know how; and I never gave it much thought. I knew I didn’t want to quit college mid semester, and there was nothing else left to take off my plate. So I just did what I had to do. I believed if my baby girl could fight every breath in that hospital, surely I could fight to finish that semester by the grace of God.

God harmoniously worked everything out for our good. Our daughter got out the hospital a little earlier than we anticipated. Most importantly, she was discharged much healthier than expected! No major medications or surgeries were needed. My grade point average was the highest ever during my time in college, nearing close to a 4.0. Although we lived a few hours from our biological family, our local family which consisted of friends from church, work, and school all helped by giving their sincere prayers and precious time to us. Looking back, I can see how God put his SUPER on my natural MOM abilities.  I stretched further, reached higher, dug deeper, and came out on top with His help. There is no way I could have done that on my own. Jesus Christ’s strength was made PERFECT in my weakness.

And that’s my SUPERmom story….well, part of it anyway. That experience changed my perception about what I could really handle. It would have been much easier just to quit school or at least drop some classes. By pressing in during that challenging time, I was able to graduate from college the next year. Oh, and today my oldest daughter is a smart and beautiful young lady.

I know that you have your own unique story. Many of you have so graciously shared them in the comment section of my previous blogs, and I love reading them!  Some of you are single moms, others are married moms, some of you have children with health challenges, and others of you are overcoming your own challenges. Regardless of the circumstances, I think the lessons in this blog applies to us all. What are that lessons? They are simple— Don’t quit. Trust (lean, rely, depend on) God. You can’t be super and sane on your own. He is the SUPER in SUPERmom.

Do you know another mom that could use this encouragement? Maybe she has her hands in a lot of things right now. Maybe life has dealt her some unexpected circumstances. Maybe challenges have caused her to give up on pursuing some personal goals. If you think someone else could be encouraged by this blog, please share, post, or tweet it. Thank you. Also, please leave your comments about when you “discovered your cape.” Your comments are so helpful to me and everyone that reads them. God bless you!

PREP(aration) SCHOOL – Getting You and Your Kids Out the House On Time

Frustration and tension you could cut with a knife…..These were not feelings of a woman that had just found out some heart wrenching news.

Oh no. This was ME getting my two beautiful little girls ready for church every Sunday morning– alone.
My husband would leave early to play in the band at church, and I was left to myself to find tights, dresses, bows, shoes, and all the other things little girls wore. (Insert sympathy here). Oh and somewhere along the way I was supposed to get myself together and show up at church on time, looking fabulous, feeling refreshed, and ready to worship! This was NOT my reality however. While I hoped and wished it would all work out, every distraction imaginable would come up. [Read more…]