Yay! Its Friday! I’m so glad you’re here! It’s shaping up to be another fantastic February weekend!
Today I’m including two topics, Fashion and Zumba!
First, a shoutout to some very dear friends of mine, Kaleigh and Alex Prokic, who have come alongside me as I began this blogging journey. They have provided many hours of technical mentoring and support, and inspiration. In this post, Kaleigh and I are sharing some of our fashion finds. Kaleigh is less than half my age, and she is a shining example of kindness and total acceptance regardless of the fact that I am old enough to be her mom. This is one of the beautiful things in life when you can break down the walls between generations and just truly appreciate the person inside.
So, one day in the fall, Kaleigh and I planned a shopping date. I asked her to take me to all of the places she loves to shop. Kaleigh loves a good bargain, and she is gifted at finding them! So our first stop was TJ Maxx. Honestly, prior to that visit, I think I had maybe been there once in my life (remember I only shopped at 2 stores for about 25 years… Kohls and Target… great stores, but I am adding to my repertoire now!) She explained the layout of the store, how there were key spots that got the higher priced fashions, still discounted but strategically placed to catch your eye. And there were areas where a treasure trove of bargains could be found. We tried all kinds of things on. And because the prices were amazing, the temptation to pull the trigger and buy was much greater!
And there it was. Stuffed in a rack of coats, a black moto jacket! I never before saw myself as a “moto jacket kind of gal”, but I’ve kind of snapped lately, remember I put a crowbar to all my ruts and have opened up a treasure trove of options (or a pandora’s box!).
Anyway, I put this “faux black leather moto jacket” on, looked in the TJ Maxx mirror, and I just grinned ear to ear!
Visions of Olivia Newton John in Grease came in my mind. Its super comfortable, with a fit as smooth as “buttah”! And… only $39! Do I dare? I had two crisp twenty dollar bills in my pocket! You betcha! I’ve worn it so many times!
I put it with a striped tee, some jeans and my black boots from TOMS, some of my absolute faves!
Kaleigh had put this beautiful sweater together with a scarf and a stunning pendant necklace with black pants and black boots.
She is incredibly gifted at putting outfits and accessories together.
I had asked her to shop/style a backpack which is kind of trendy now in place of a purse. I honestly tried one and it just didn’t work on me, I felt a little out of place with it. But she looks fantastic with this adorable one she picked! She got it at Target.
Photo credit to my husband Troy Kennedy for these. Kaleigh took us to a beautiful park in Ann Arbor that we had never been to. Really a fun day!
Now, one of you readers, a dear friend of mine, Judy Van Tuyl contacted me a few weeks ago, and said, “If you are really interested in trying new things, I would like to invite you to a Zumba class!”
So of course I said “YESSSS!!!!!” She gave me the entire treatment, picked me up at my house this past Wednesday, February 15, My Zumba Birthday! She insisted on treating me to the class, and also brought me a water bottle to keep me hydrated! I had brought one for her, but she insisted this was her treat. Honestly I thought that was so touching! So off we went to Zumba!
She took me to a class with over 100 people in attendance, held at a roller skating rink as it offers a nice big floor. The instructors, Derica and Len Wade run a program with a huge following and I fully understand why! They make it so much fun!
Now I also happen to be a Zumba Troglodyte. Sort of like Herman Munster in yoga pants. Judy introduced me to so many people, including the instructors! She let them know I was brand new, which I think was a great strategy because it bought me some grace. People kept telling me “We all remember our first time!” We were there early and everyone was marking their spot on the floor with an item.
My mind was racing, and Judy was calmly telling me, “Don’t worry if you mess up, its really dark in here, no one will see you!” Hmmm ok. I remembered a quote I read that morning about Zumba, “In Zumba, there are no wrong moves, only accidental solos.” And just like that it was time to go out there!
The music starts, the moves begin and I realize I’m not in Kansas anymore. Sorry I don’t have photos during the class, but there is no way I could safely Zumba and Snap! at the same time.
So I was trying to train my brain on the fly to predict where they were going next with their moves… “Was that two taps to the right? Wait they are going left… ok.”
“Holy Cow what is THAT move? Never mind… just go with it!” But quick observation – my move definitely does not look like theirs!
Something is happening… a disconnect between my brain and the person on the stage leading us- I’m trying to gather the clues for what to do. Some recognition of pattern. Thank goodness its dark in here! But my smile grows ever bigger, and I keep moving my feet, and occasionally I laugh right out loud at myself like I”m watching a Lucy episode that I am starring in. (honestly that is actually a pretty great feeling).
Judy sashays over to make a suggestion, “Follow her, that girl right in front of you, she’s really good!” She was right… she is really good, and it does help at least to keep me moving in the correct direction even if it is a few steps behind.
For a moment or two I slip into trying to understand the lyrics to the songs… all seem to have these great messages… mind you, I really don’t listen to the radio much so I knew none of the songs. “What’s wrong with being… What’s wrong with being What’s wrong with being confident?” “That’s a nice message”, I think… “try to remember it and I can look it up later on Youtube”. At that moment I realize I’m the one domino in the room moving in the wrong direction (again) so I better just keep my mind focused at least till I get the hang of this. And I will get the hang of this!
They invite us to an upcoming “80’s night”, and the words from another friend the other day who warned me, “I don’t want to see you in spandex doing some kind of 80’s big hair thing with sweat bands on your arms and around your forehead.” I make no promises!
Afterward, tired and “sparkly”, Judy and I chat with another dear friend “Katy” who I work with at church. She was good enough to get called on the stage and help lead! I will definitely be back for more Zumba!
I can’t encourage you enough dear friends, to get out there and just “Live”! Try something totally new! You might find that you love it! Have a great weekend!
Quote for the day: “Honestly it’s way more fun to dance crazy than it is to dance cool.” Emily Ratajkowski