There is a mall here in NC called the Concord Mills Mall. Anyone who truly knows me is already rolling their eyes as they know that I claim the mall as my mother ship, my true home, my raison d'etre.
Ok, now I'm rolling my own eyes.
It's true though. I have a problem. The first step in solving a problem is admitting that there actually is one and I have no problem admitting that I have a problem.
Does that makes sense?
All those problems aside, I've been doing very well with my shopping addiction. No huge frivolous expenses, no purchases for incredibly expensive musical equipment that I'll never use. I'm doing a good job. Deep breaths.
The Concord Mills Mall is a comfort to me for more reasons than just the conveniently scattered Starbucks. Ironically, it was built by the same man who did the Sawgrass Mills Mall, which was located about 5 minutes away from my condo when I lived in South Florida.
The two malls are so similar that, if I blind myself to the fact that most people are wearing two layers of clothes, scarves, snow boots, etc., I can almost pretend that I'm back in my sunny hometown and stopping by the mall for some cute beach accessory before heading down to Ft. Lauderdale strip.
I jump at any opportunity to make the 25 minute drive to Concord Mills Mall, so when my husband asked if I wanted to go so he could buy me my Valentine's Day gift I was in the car with the keys in the ignition before he even knew I had said "yes."
I had asked him for a sports bra that actually fit me. A QUALITY boob supporter, not just any crummy over the shoulder booby grasper, but one that would squoosh those suckers down. I've been using a sports bra of mine from like... 4 YEARS ago and, well, my boobs were basically smacking me across the face every time I worked out. Not comfortable and CERTAINLY not pretty.
It just so happens that the entrance closest to the Nike store is a *HUGE* shop called The Children's Place. My husband was giving me the side eye as we walked towards the entrance and I knew why. Every time we pass the baby section in any store I sort of lose my cool. I try not to, but I can't help it. I usually keep myself under control... on most occasions you can just sort of see that proverbial shadow pass over my face.
On the way in I was alright, I just sort of ooooh'd and aaaaaah'd at the vast majority of inexpensive cuteness hanging from the walls and scattered among the displays. Even my husband was impressed and he kept saying "Oh yeah, when we have a baby we are totally shopping here!"
It was as we were leaving that I had the vision... it didn't hit me until we reached the parking lot and we were walking away.
On our way out of The Children's Place I had seen this shirt:
It was paired with adorable pink leggings.
I was busy chatting excitedly with my husband about how beautiful our daughter would be in that outfit and as soon as the words came out of my mouth...
I saw her.
And when I say I saw her, I am telling you that I LITERALLY saw her. I don't remember much from the moment, but my husband tells me that I actually stopped in the middle of the parking lot and just stared straight ahead of me for a short few seconds and that I had a faint smile on my lips.
She was skipping along ahead of us in the adorable shirt pictured above with her cute little leggings and a pair of pink shoes to match. She had the same long, wavy dark hair and olive skin as me... but when she turned around to smile at me she had the most beautiful bright blue eyes, just like her father. This probably doesn't make much sense, but it was the most real thing that I have ever NOT really seen. I'll never forget exactly what she looked like and how it made me feel when she turned, giggling, and smiled at me. I felt my heart leap out of my chest and burst into a billion pieces of light.
I'm not sure exactly why I had that "vision" or what it was supposed to mean or whether or not it was just my imagination, but it gave me hope that one day I'll be able to physically hold that beautiful little girl, and my husband and I can call her ours.