Friday, August 23, 2013

Shaking in my custom made baby seal leather. . . jackets

Last year we arrived just before our stretch of birthdays and I was scrambling to try to make each birthday special with little advance planning. This year we had lots of time to plan for birthdays - and then plans changed. So once again, my kids' birthdays are sneaking up on me and happening right in the middle of moving chaos.

Delaney's birthday was this past weekend- sandwiched between agricultural customs inspections, the boys' boar hunt and lots of lots of pre-packing, out-processing stress. And it's her sweet sixteen. I wish we could have made it more special for her. She's such a great girl and deserves to have a wonderful celebration. But life is life.  We did the best we could. Berry breakfast cake in bed, some presents from each of her brothers,  chicken alfredo for dinner and peanut butter cake with peanut butter frosting for dessert. A long game of farkle in the evening with me, her dad and brothers.
I felt like I was fighting anxiety/panic all day and not as joyful as I would have liked to be on her special day. But we must have done okay because just before going to bed she came in our room to thank us for making it such a wonderful day for her.  Actually, that is probably more a reflection of her kind, thankful heart than our mediocre efforts.

But I did have one epiphany about these birthdays that turned out rather fantastic. One of the things you can get here in Turkey is leather. And the place to get it is Pop's Leather. They've been around forever and all the pilots know them. You can get flight jackets here but they also do purses, bags, cowhide rugs, holsters,  and leather jackets.  They have plenty of jackets to buy off the rack but if you want something different or one to fit just right, you can have a jacket custom made.  So I took Delaney there about a week before her birthday to pick a jacket.

Brannick came along too. His birthday is next week - the day we move out of the house and into the temporary lodging. Great timing for his big 18th, huh?

After trying on nearly every ladies jacket in the store, Delaney found one she liked. Well, she found one zipper style and a different waist style and a third leather color. And because its Pop's, she could have all of those combined into her very own unique jacket.
Doesn't it look fantastic?

Brannick had been eyeing a cowhide rug and I had planned on that being his birthday present. But then he saw a Harley Davidson jacket that just called to him.  After some debate, he chose the jacket over the rug. I think it was a good choice. Girls aren't all that impressed with a dead animal skin on the floor but we are going to have to drive them away with a stick when he wears this:
Shorter sleeves were all the adjustments he needed for his jacket.

We picked up the jackets the day after Delaney's birthday. And because the kids couldn't bear to let the movers pack them, we kept them out. It's still deathly hot here and will be in Arizona and Nevada but we will mail them to Las Vegas on the off chance that it will cool down before our HHG shipment arrives lest they miss a chance to look this cool.

And although my birthday isn't for another two months, I decided to get myself a jacket as well. After all, I won't be here in October. Here is mine being modeled by Delaney:
It has a zip out hood that I totally love. And frankly, it looks way better on me since my short hair is framed nicely by the hood rather than being pushed up in my face like Delaney's is.

Geoffrey also got a jacket, along with having the knit cuffs on his flight jacket changed to leather ones and buying a fur snap on collar for his flight jacket as well. His birthday is long past so I don't know what his excuse is.
Here's Brannick showing off Geoff's. Again, this jacket is nice on Brannick but my hubby rocks it!! It's just his style and looks so classy.  He had it tailored to his measurements and it fits him like a glove!

The cool part about having your jacket custom made (or altered) at Pops is that they sew a label inside that says:
Custom Made for Ida Ewing by Pops Leather
Pretty awesome, huh?  And when I went to pay for our purchases (feeling slightly guilty that my family is solely responsible for the deaths of a small herd of bovine), they had discounted the total to the equivalent of one whole jacket. Happy birthday to my checkbook! The owner called it a going away gift. Very nice of him.

One last photo - my favorite one.  I love these two kids. I love that they are good friends. I love that they are good people.  I don't claim to have much mothering wisdom but somehow I figured out years ago that while these two dislike being told what to do, they will leap over tall buildings if I ask them to help me. So through the years of deployments and homeschooling and moves and all the other craziness of military life, we have become a pretty great team.  Delaney is my assistant mother, cook, organizer and everything else. I could not manage this family without her. Most of it she can now do better than I can. Brannick is my strong man, my lifter, mover and reacher. He has been the man of the house through many dad absences and fills that role well. He never allows the younger kids to be disrespectful to me.  I know without a doubt that he has my back.  They both do. And there have been times when that fact is what has allowed me to sleep at night. They are a blessing I don't deserve.

1 comment: