The Army – Navy Game is Much More Than Just a Football Game

The Army – Navy Game is Much More Than Just a Football Game

“On the fields of friendly strife are sown the seeds that on other fields and other days will bring forth victory.”

General Douglas MacArthur

Every year in early December the Cadets of Army meet the Midshipmen of Navy for a football game where the very best America has produced is on display. These young men on the field are cheered on by the entire Corp of Cadets and the Brigade of Midshipmen, men and women who are committed to serving their country for five years after their four year stint at the service academies. Upon graduation, many of them go straight to the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq as Second Lieutenants or Ensigns in a commanding role.

They are well prepared for their roles after stringent training at the academies which is augmented by the teamwork and discipline exercised on the gridiron. Game plans formulated and executed on the playing field are analogous to battle plans. The camaraderie and the bond forged during the football season by those who wear the Army and Navy football uniform are like that enjoyed by those who wear the country’s uniform. Both bonds usually last a lifetime.

The game can also create bonds of a different nature. My father, who had a lifelong love of West Point, took me to many Army football games as a child and the pageantry and spirit on display made such an impression on me that I applied for admission. Only a fractured spine from an accident kept me from realizing my dream of attending, but I still watched every Army-Navy game with my father since 1964. Today was the first time I watched the game without him as he passed away this summer. The game was something special that we shared and it was strange to experience it without him. What made it even more difficult for me was that today would have been my father’s 90th birthday.

 

 

 

 

 

Did you see this dress??

Okay, so I admit, I am the first to follow the red carpets.  Why not – nice to escape to the goings on of some amazing dresses.   I have been deciding on – “do I have my seamstresses make my own?” one day and the next week, thinking “this is the dress!”

So, I plan, as a Mom of the Groom to find or design THE DRESS.  Ideas anyone?  So far I am stuck on this one – by Monique l’Hullier.  We designed flower girl dresses for one of her staff – maybe I should pay her company the same compliment.  Anyhow, to watch our enthusiasm for the wedding festivities in Lake Tahoe and Reno, go to our Pinterest board.

For Billy's wedding?

Did I say, it’s off to the plastic surgeon next week.  Got to fit in that dress after all,

I’M A MOM OF A GROOM!!! WOOT!!

My oldest son moved to California in January, as far away from what he knew, to seek his fortune (I suppose).  As a mom of adult children, I have to say it is so exciting to see them grow on their own, not to mention, do their own laundry. Bill has been a terrific kid with one of the kindest hearts I ever knew.  As a one year old, he called everything he loved “mommy” using different intonations to mean different things, but what it mostly meant was “I love you” bird, cat, dog, uncle, candy, and of course mom.

billy

He loved to dance and as a former dancer myself, I took him to the studio where I taught dance classes and he took classes, in fact both of my boys did.  He had and still does, a very loving heart. He could sell the Brooklyn Bridge too.  In fact, while driving in the car, when he was only 5, he told his friend “my pop-pop was president of the United States”. (His grandfather was in politics so I guess it messed with his five-year-old perception).  Well he almost convinced me.

He not only had a great imagination and he also keenly needs to know that his ducks are in a row.  While in fifth grade, out of the clear blue sky, he sighed and said, “I so much want to be married”.   He and I called it the picket fence moment.  SO, it was really no surprise to me that once settled in his new state and into a job, Bill was ready to start on the quest of the wife and the picket fence.  Eventually, I got the phone call – “Guess what mom?  I met HER”. (He actually met her while they were both working at Disney World where we live only a mile from and they stayed in touch after she moved back to Reno.)  And so my son introduced us to Juanita…. well via Skype that is.

Over the summer, recently in fact, Bill brought Juanita to the east coast for us to meet her and attend my nephew’s, his “brother” cousin’s wedding.  We had talked to Juanita by this time, many times, so meeting her in person for the first time was like, well, we didn’t skip a beat.  She met our crazy family and didn’t run the other way.  She even listened to my husband, who has a penchant for over explaining, and listened to every word.  She passed the test!

SO, over the next year I will be blogging for sure about some of the preparations and of course our Pegeen.com flower girl dresses and ring bearer suit we will design exclusively for their wedding in Reno/Lake Tahoe.  As a mom-groom I am resigned to deciding on only the rehearsal party, but you can bet it will be over the top because, after all, this guy called everything “mommy” in part because he loved me to the moon and back.

Just a reminder – although we sell exclusively online,  if you are visiting Orlando, Pegeen.com Flower Girl Dress Company is located just 1.25 miles from Disney World.  Call to visit our factory or design studio. 407-928-2377

 

 

 

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This Guy’s Getting Married. Sigh.

Okay, so when Jim and i were first married, we said, just like that commercial, “We’re never having kids”.  Besides, I justified in my mind, I had three of the best ‘kids” who were more than rent-a-kids, they were my best friend’s (my brother) three children.  Two girls and a boy.  Perfect, I thought.  I could rent them when I needed that special moment and donate them back to their parental units when I had enough.  These kids were MY kids, I was pretty sure. We did Halloween trick or treating together for YEARS until they were too cool to go.  Christmas was a blast and in order not to MISS any moments, we occasionally showed up,  without brushing our teeth practically, in PJ’s so as not to miss their giggles.  (One year we ran out of gas and the State Cop was pretty amused when he brought the gas to us).  There were birthday parties and more.  I had a blast with my rent-a-kids and more.  Then, after we had our two kids, all five were fighting and playing along side each other like siblings.  Naturally too, we used my brother’s 3 kids as our models in our photos in Child Magazine and Martha Stewart and more… last year I boo-whoooooed all the way down the aisle with Jessica quite sure that Alan would be the perfect husband for my “first” born.  Now, Thomas is about to do the same with one of the greatest gals Bridget, and from Jersey too!  Perfect.

In just a few weeks, this guy is getting married.  Thomas.  Sigh.  One of the greatest “big brothers” ever known to my two.  I love you.

329Kate_Thomas Billy_Thomas_yellow_suit cherry-blossom2 jessica-thomas-pegeenplays

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How Intellectual Property Theft Hurts You

Yesterday Donald Trump spoke of “intellectual property theft”. What does he mean by that phrase? We know what intellectual property theft means firsthand as we have seen Chinese companies copy entire pages of American websites and post them on their Chinese sites and represent the images for sale as their own. When the unsuspecting consumer purchases the Chinese made goods based on these photos, they are invariably disappointed in the quality of the counterfeit dress and the American company loses the sale they may have otherwise made.

While many American consumers may be able to recognize a Chinese site by the broken English and other telltale signs, many do not pick up on it. Since we monitor our market of flower girl dresses and special occasion wear, we see it manifested in our industry quite extensively. This is why we put the name of our website across every photo on our site, in order to fight this pervasive piracy of intellectual property and ensure the consumer that they are buying the real thing only if they are on http://www.pegeen.com  ` Since 1982

Pink tulle flower girl dress by Pegeen.com

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Mommy Guilt

My husband and I recently celebrated 30 years together . Funny how I think that time stood still yet time flew by. Sometimes I feel like I am this entity that has messed everything up – like would have, should have and then, I remember, I did everything okay.  What is often said about mommy guilt is true, no matter what you do, you are definitely sure you screwed up your kid’s life.

It used to be that women wanted to have it all – those who influenced my generation were people like Gloria Steinhem, Shirley Chisholm, and to a smaller extent, Oprah Winfrey. But my personal role model was my mother, who made everything fun yet always believed in me and my father who, no matter how busy building his own law and political career, always seemed to stop when we ran into the room.  He also taught me to be a voracious reader from an early age. When kids my age were reading Nancy Drew,  I started on the Presidents and their families (probably because of his involvement in politics) and then moved onto the great industrialists. I read everything about the “big families”, the Vanderbilt’s, Mellon’s, Carnegie, Astor, Duke, Morgan, Rockefeller, Stanford, Flagler, Frick, Hilton and so many more.  I was particularly fascinated about how so many of their wives also became strong arms to their business entities. My dad always got a kick out of me knowing so much about all these families and how these companies grew.  I still remember going into our small-town library with it’s musty smell reading about these great business leaders. Trust me, I was just as interested in reading about Mrs. Astor’s First Four-Hundred as the reasons for the boom of Florida (via Flagler, Plant and Chipley).

Running a company was empowering. Wanting to “be the boss of my booth”, as my then- 6-year-old son whose concept of business was a 15×30 foot booth at the Jacob Javits Center where you were in charge, was what drove me. My father was a strong influence in my life – not for the patience that he showed us when he got home from work but from the deals and the meetings that he would have and how he could remember everyone’s name. It also felt as the time we spent with him as a busy father was very heartfelt.  I wrapped up what he taught me, what my then 60’s values were growing up and translated it into the business I have now.  I used to tell my employees that having the chance to run over to their children’s school play was just as important as getting deliveries out, embracing your kid home from college by taking off an extra day or two was exactly what they needed to have a profound effect on their child’s well-being.  All the while, I don’t know how I “picked” such a great husband but I am so lucky to have chosen the prefect compliment to my strengths and one that had no difficulty taking a back seat to my strong personality while still maintaining his.

My son, the oldest, also pursued a career in entrepreneurship. He went to business school and I will never forget, he asked me once, “Mom, why do you do this day in and day out?” My answer was simple. “I love it Billy, I love being the boss of my booth”. For the most part, it is fun and interesting and empowering. But it takes a special spouse to put up with it. Like my aunt who owned one of the largest dance schools in the east coast, I always wondered, did my Uncle Johnny mind being called Mr. Marcia? Its the same thing for me too. How do couples work together everyday without killing each other? Still show respect at the end of the day, especially when the woman is the boss? How did these things affect my children? I always worried, would they adjust to strong women or hate them?

I suffered from so much mommy guilt as if I didn’t give my two children enough of me and now that I am this “empty nester”, I realize, I gave them so much.  These two great kids also gave me more. Working for myself has been hard at times and infrequently a strain on our marriage.  But the one thing I know, even though I was positive that I destroyed my kids life at times with the long hours and role reversal, I enriched theirs by giving them a strong role model for women.  I am beginning to see that what they learned is, that to be in love, is to find a partner who is just that – a partner.  Someone to share decisions with, even when it is not easy to express the opposite opinion – to work out the kinks in daily life and to change the idea of normal roles for a mom and dad – these were the things that were important for my husband and I to teach our children.  I think this valuable lesson about having the right partner, I learned, made it easier to deal with my tremendous mommy guilt.  Photo c2009

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Harry Potter Wedding

I love Harry Potter and am a HUGE fan. I credit it for making one of my kids a voracious reader.  Teddy was so enamored by Harry Potter and we knew it was the motivator to make reading an everyday occurrence.  In fact, when small, Teddy loved to have us read to brother Bill and couldn’t wait for the nightly sit down.  A few years later and lots of practice (Teddy was reading at 22 months), in Kindergarten the new Harry Potter book came out and naturally, the bad mother that I was, (tee heehee) at aged five, we took both our kids to Barnes and Nobel at Midnight to get the latest book.  Early the next morning, out from the covers, Teddy pronounced “I’m finished Mom, you can read it now”.  Yep, that’s right – Teddy finished Harry Potter iv in one night as a Kindergartner.

We were crazy about the books.  In fact, I lived in an historic Tudor home in New Jersey at the time and all the way up the stairwell, in the kids rooms, we had scenes from Harry Potter done by an artist.  I decorated their rooms like the dormitories and one of their closets was turned into The Common Room.  And yep, on the way to the scary attic, Fluffy guarded the door.  I’m lucky to get my “fix” living minutes from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter over at Universal Studios, Orlando but I still look often and “anything” Harry Potter.

Griffindor Room

So, when I came across this story in Town and Country about a Harry Potter Wedding, I had to know more.  Yes – the images are fantastic but more cyber-stalking later and I found Cassie has a website of her own, featuring her great paper bouquets that she makes – this one was for her wedding and was made from the pages of a Harry Potter Book.

Visit her Facebook page  HERE and become a fan for sure.  You have to visit her page JUST to see her incredible wedding video by Viaduct Video.

Photography for her wedding was by Kelly Clarke Cheshire, UK whose photography is absolutely incredible!!

Kelly Clarke Wedding Photography, Cheshire, UK

Kelly Clarke Wedding Photography, Cheshire, UK

 

Kelly Clarke Wedding Photography, Sale, Cheshire. UK

Kelly Clarke Wedding Photography, Cheshire. UK

 

Family Weddings and Thoughts

My niece was recently married. That’s the Fairytale.  I really admired some of the beautiful touches she chose (most, if not all, she actually made) and couldn’t get over how much she used Pinterest to plan her wedding.  Her dad built the arbor just in time!!

i loved LOVED LOVED their save the date card!

Save the Date card

I brought my camera and admittedly my photos were terrible but the photographer captured my two sons and from this, I can’t help but think of all of the “moments”.  All the times as kids the cousins shared times together.  There wasn’t a Halloween that we didn’t schlep down to western NJ to go through their favorite places until my brother’s kids were just too grownup to go.  These 5 cousins spent so much time together that my oldster’s name for his aunt was mamjoanne which was a mush of mom, aunt, and Joanne.  We’d unwrap Christmas gifts at their house, showing up in PJ’s and shared many birthdays together.  They were so close that I did manage to share my boy’s feelings when their “sis-cuz” walked down the aisle.

Bill-and-Ted-jessicas-wedding

First, the wedding occurred the weekend of Hurricane Joaquin and it was, of all things, a planned outside-tent wedding.  Thankfully the winds subsided as the hurricane skirted the east coast and except for the sides of the tent breathing quite heavily, it was pretty cozy in the tent.  Pegeen Flower Girl Dress Style 414

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outdoor wedding

outdoor wedding

infant flower girl dress by Pegeen.com

outdoor wedding

outdoor wedding

outdoor wedding

outdoor wedding
The weddings keep coming too! Recently another nephew announced his engagement and this time it’s to be on The Jersey Shore during Labor Day weekend! Woot! I can smell the lobsters and clam bake now!!

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Nestle’s pumpkin spice molasses cookies

Nestle's Pumpkin Spice Chips

Nestle’s Pumpkin Spice Chips

For those who know me, I bring out Christmas decorations the day after Halloween and bring out the cookie stuff Thanksgiving week, baking just two trays and freeze the rest for a marathon baking day around December 20th and wrap as gifts for service people and our UPS drivers, mailman and the such. 5 WEEKS of dough later, I’m making thousands. USUALLY mom’s old recipes but today, I tried Nestle’s pumpkin spice molasses with chips. I made a goof and had to double the batch. Thank goodness I did because it’s really strong. What a punch of flavor in one tiny morsel. Good job Nestlé. 

Halloween and Christmas Decorations

Halloween 2014I remember when I was a newly wed, my husband and I went to my parents house to set up their Christmas Tree.  It was just prior Christmas and my husband said that he really thought we should enjoy the holiday more. So from that year on, the day after Halloween is a huge day for us – with the tradition of bringing our decorations out. We start small, first bringing the decorations back to the attic and taking down just one or two of the boxes but the past couple of years, now that I have one so far away in college, we started right then.  So wish me luck as we begin to do it all, including the Christmas tree.  Why not – its always so beautiful with the lights.  I will let you know how it goes tomorrow.  Then it’s off to freezing cookie dough!

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