***Ok, this started out a story about the Great American Scrapbooking Convention, but has morphed into so much more........ Read on for the update on the Convention, update on Jensen and his school stuff and some reunions with old friends!***
~So, I was so excited for this convention because I have never been to GASC and it's a HUGE, 3-day convention. The vendor floor was massive and I was duly impressed. The people in charge, namely a girl named Rose were so sweet.
My job, as always, was to teach people how to use the Bind-It-All. And once they try it, they buy it. And it's really easy to demo a product that you love. (I love my Bind-It-All!!! In fact, getting ready to use it for a mini-album today!)
The worst thing about this convention was that Texas HEAT!
They say everything is bigger in Texas....and believe me, this includes the
(just ask me how bad it sucked schlepping boxes in at 4pm from the parking lot!!!!)
And this trip was not without MASSIVE DRAMA. Fed-Ex lost a very important box that my boss had shipped to Texas for our classes. A box that contained the pieces for the Texas-shaped chipboard album class. And believe me, this was horrid! But, with grit and determination, we were able to finally get out hands on the box on Saturday and Kim and I worked our little tails off to get the albums kitted and to the women by Saturday afternoon. But, we did it!
And as bad as all that was. A certain someone had to make things more difficult for us by insisting we be moved from her room. (we were there first) So, there we were....with a million (literally) pieces of scrapbooking materials spread all over 3- 8ft. tables, frantically trying to make these album kits before the convention was over ....and this woman insisted we move, just to be nasty. Well, all I have to say is...karma, baby, karma..... and that kinda behavior will get you the bad karma!!
It's only a matter of time before she will get hers.
Ok...now on to the good stuff!
So, one of my all-time bestest friends lives outside of Dallas.
Jennifer was a Delta Zeta with me. And she was a bridesmaid in our wedding.
So, before my trip....I called her and called her and called her, with no response.
I was soooo bummed.
Finally, when I was actually on the trip, I heard back from her.
Turns out, she had just finished the school year and was moving schools, so she was swamped busy. And, she and her family (4 kids, too) were moving to a new house that weekend, as well. They were SO busy. And she hadn't received any of my messages.
I was so happy to hear from her and she happily drove the hour to come see me!!
(and the best we could figure is...we hadn't seen each other in like 7 years....it had been
so long...we couldn't even 100% pin it down exactly how long it had been!)
So, she showed up and pitched right in helping us tear down the booth.
And then, she was rewarded by going to dinner with us! (and by us, I mean, ME!) :D
So, here Jen and I are, after dinner.
Remember, we are in Texas and we had sweated ourselves silly!
(and this was at like 10pm...after a very, very long and stressful day!!!)
Then, my trip home was a complete, Texas-sized disaster!!
A MASSIVE inconvenience!
My first flight was delayed because the computer on the teeny tiny jet crashed 2 times before push-back. So, we were waiting on the computer to completely re-boot twice before we could leave. (way to instill confidence in the passengers by telling us that!)
So, once we finally did leave we were 40 minutes behind.
And I only had a 50 minute connection time.
50 min. - 40 min. = 10 minutes from landing till take-off =
ME NOT HAPPY!!!!!!
so I asked the Flight Attendant.....do you think I'll miss my connection?
Oh no.....it should be fine. The pilot will make up the time in the air.
I wouldn't worry about it. You should have plenty of time.
(ok....lesson learning time....DO NOT trust what flight attendant tells you while
in the air.....they are just trying to placate you.
DUH...you'd think I'd have picked up on that one!!!!)
Anyway.... so we land 35 minutes late and I run for a total of 30 gates to attempt to make my connection. (now...picture this...... so I have these shorts on that I hadn't worn since a year ago. And because I have mostly maintained my 30lb. weight loss, they are now WAY TOO BIG. And because I forgot my belt at home.
They don't fit. At all.
And as I am running with me two very heavy bags of scrappin' stuff.....
...my pants are FALLING OFF. Literally!!!!! FALLING OFF!!!!!
So, I am running.
Sweating my butt off. (still in Texas - Houston)
Hauling 2 huge bags.
My pants falling off.
About to have a heart attack. Or a stroke.
Yanking my pants up again.
So tired.... from 4 days of hard work and stress.
And as I run up to the gate...they shut the door.
"Sorry miss, you're too late!" they unapologetically tell me....
So, I step to the counter and say, "Well, what do we do now?"
So, the woman starts typing on her computer.
And she finally says, "Well....all the flights to Tulsa are way overbooked today. But I can get you out first thing tomorrow morning." (said like this is no big deal)
I FREAKED OUT.
"WHAT?!?! NO, NO, NO...I say!
That's not good enough. This is not MY fault. YOUR airline was late.
YOU MADE ME MISS MY CONNECTION.
I just ran 30 gates trying to make the connection. That was my part.
Your part is to figure out how to get me home TODAY!!!!!"
At this point, the exhausted and frustrated girl begins to cry.
She types more and tells me there is nothing she can do.
And I begin to sob.
I then say to her... "Ok. I am going to go to the restroom and try to calm down for a minute. When I come back, I trust the you will have a plan to get me home. TODAY.
Please figure it out....
It's not my fault I was late!
It's not my fault you have overbooked your flights.
And I have no intention of spending another night in Texas.
I have plans to see a dear friend tonight. And I have to be in Tulsa tonight."
And I then, walk off to the bathroom.
When I return, the gate agent is still on the computer.
But, within minutes...I have vouchers for lunch and a
FIRST CLASS TICKET on the next flight to Tulsa.
Oh ya, baby!!!!!!!
BUT... the kicker is....my 2nd flight was delayed an hour, too........because, get this...of a broken armrest. Yep, you heard me. A broken armrest.
Now, at this point, I was laughing. I mean really....what else can you do?!
They had lined us up to load, then told us they were delaying the flight.
People were G.R.U.M.P.Y.
So, I decided to walk to the restroom to take a little break.
And when I returned to the gate, there were no chairs.
So, I spotted a spot on the floor by a nice looking guy.
I walked over and asked if he minded if I sat next to him.
He laughed and said he didn't mind.
So, I sat and we started the small talk.
"Where have you been? Where are you going? kinda stuff."
And I about fell over when he said he was coming home from a conference for his job, which is working with a Pediatric Opthamologist in Tulsa.
I COULD NOT BELIEVE IT.
(in fact, so much so, I gently shoved his arm and said SHUT UP! when he said it)
So, anyway...I told him....I know you probably don't wanna talk work, but I would realllllllly appreciate your insight on something. Well, then he was intrigued, so I began to tell him about the trouble Jensen has had in school with reading and everything we've been through trying to figure out the mystery of it all.
(read about that here.)
**(for that matter...I never updated about the progress with that. At the school he stayed in the afterschool program the entire year. In addition to that, I took him to a Optometrist that does extensive testing. And in April they determined that Jensen is reading nearly 2 years behind and they know that although his vision is better than 20/20, he is having trouble focusing his eyes and his eyes "stutter" at times when moving, rather than moving smoothly together.
Well, after over $500 in testing that our vision insurance denied.....
...they had recommended this "eye therapy" plan to help Jensen. And of course, our vision insurance won't pay for the 8 months of vision therapy they say he needs.
(for a grand total of over $2000)
Now, this is not about the money.......I'd do anything for this child.
The trouble is....there is no guarantee it will work.
(i mean...of course they say it will work, but what if we waste all that time...
8 months worth of time....and it doesn't work?!
By then, Fourth Grade will be more than half over....
And for some reason, I just haven't had the best "feeling" about it.
It just bothers me that if it's a ligitimate treatment....WHY won't insurance pay for it?
And why is there no study that PROVES it will work?
So, I have hesitated starting him in the "therapy."
(plus we still owe like $240 for the testing phase of this, which our insurance denied)
So, back to the airport......
So, I share with him the "readers digest" version of what we've been thru with Jensen.
And I share with him the reasons for my apprehension of putting Jensen in the eye therapy program. And to my surprise, he sided with me. He told me that there is basically a "division" between the opinion of the pediatric "Optometrists" and the "Opthamologists." Well, initially, I was looking for a Pediatric Opthamologist, but I could not find one. (you see, in Kansas, there is some weird law regarding insurance and the eye doctors, in which they can't advertise themselves as "pediatric" specialists or something to that effect.....so when I search my insurance, I can't see what type of specialty they have. Weird...I know. But, it is what it is......)
So, long story longer.......
...after I finished the story of what all we've done, he basically told me that I was right, there is NO PROOF that the vision therapy plan as outlined to me will work.
....also he told me the name of what he believes that Jensen most likely has.
...and without me telling him, he knew that Jensen had migraines.
(Jensen was diagnosed at age 6)
...and he's agreed to help me find a doctor for Jensen in our area.
(most likely it will be in Kansas City - 1 to 1 1/2 hours away)
So, hopefully, we will have a new, improved plan very soon.
And, like I told him.....
"I know God brought you to me!"
And I'm so very thankful.....
...and a MASSIVE BLESSING!!!!!!!
In the meantime, Jensen was doing additional therapy afterschool for 1 1/2 hours once a week with his classroom teacher. And then, he's been in Summer school this month.
(it ends on this Friday.....and then, he gets a break)
So, I hope to get a plan in July.
Ok, back to the trip story.
Well, I eventually made it to Tulsa and they lost my suitcase.
Yep. I go to baggage claim and wait till the very end. And my suitcase is not there.
I look one way, and there is the AA baggage claim office. The other side has the Delta baggage claim office. And I look around and there is no other airline baggage office.
So, I wander over to an information desk to a lady who tells me I need to go down to the ticket counter and stand in line to try to see if they can find my suitcase.
(now...let me tell you....I won't be working till August so I came home with over $200 of scrapbooking stuff in that suitcase, between what I bought and property of SNS.
BELIEVE ME....I WAS GONNA FREAK OUT IF THEY LOST MY SUITCASE!!!!!)
So, I go down to the ticket counter and wait in line only to find out....
...my suitcase made my original flight.
Lucky for them it wasn't lost....
So, later that night I had plans to meet up with an old college roommate, Jenny.
Jenny and I met in the Fall of 1987. And we lived together in 1990-1991. (that was so much fun!) And then, Jenny lived with Ike and I for a short time back in late 1995.
Jenny was also a bridesmaid in my wedding.
Now, just a few months ago I received a surprising email telling me that after all this time, and at age 39....Jenny is expecting her 3rd child!
Well, Jenny looks beautiful, of course. With child and everything.
And again, this photo was taken at about 11pm, after another reallllly long day! And when I took Jenny home, we stayed out talking, laughing and crying till wee into the morning hours. It was just like when we shared a bedroom.
Minus another roommate.
And seeing her and her entire family was so great!!!
Here's a favorite Jenny story. When we lived in our apartment, we had a roommate we loved, but who could be a bit bossy at times. Now, Jenny and I weren't dirty, just unorganized and messy. And when we would be in the kitchen, we would rinse the dishes, but not always immediately wash them. Well, this would infuriate our roomie.
And she'd really gripe at us about this A LOT.
You know, the whole "that's how you get bugs" and "were gonna have bugs" speeches were getting pretty old. Especially when we didn't ever see ONE BUG EVER!!
(and remember, the dishes were clean, just not washed.....)
So, Jenny and I being who we are....decided to make a point.
So, she and I made hundreds of giant bugs out of construction paper and taped them all over the kitchen. On the counters. On the cabinets. On the orange juice inside the refrigerator. On the canned food in the cabinets.
It was HILARIOUS, I'll tell you. H.I.L.A.R.I.O.U.S.!!!!
And our roomie was furious!!!!
But, we made our point!
or should I say MASSIVE MEMORIES!!!!!! LOL!!!