Wanna See J’s Prom Dress? (And mine?)

With J’s permission, I want to show off how pretty the dress is that she picked to wear to her prom next month (she’s a junior, and has a date). We looked at LOTS of dresses, and we actually ordered this one from Alice + Olivia first – but in pale aqua instead of the pale pink – before she decided to have me cancel the order and keep looking.



The one she finally settled on is sweet and adorable, plus it came in petite sizes, which is good for my teensy daughter. It’s silk chiffon, and while it’s shown here in gray/lavender, J went with a totally different color. You can count on me showing off a photo of her actually wearing it on prom night, so the final color selection will be revealed then!



Clearly, prom fashion has improved significantly since my own junior year when I wore…. THIS HORROR. Yep, that’s me, in white gloves … posing on my grandparents’ porch before Todd Tolbert arrived to pick me up for junior prom. You can read the whole backstory on that particular dress over in Katie’s Personal Gallery of Regrettable Fashion Choices.



So how about you? Did you go to your junior or senior prom? Was “prom” a big deal at your school, or for you? Who was your date? What did you wear and how did you choose it? How did the night turn out? Tell me in the comments below.

Also if some of y’all reading this will get brave and email me your own prom pix (to mamapundit@gmail.com ) I will publish a “Mamapundit Readers’ Prom Gallery” later this week, which I think would be a lot of fun. So send me your best (worst?) prom photos! Can’t wait to see them.

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STUFF I LIKE: Words for Composing a Life

Zulily has two big ol’ sales going on right now on wordy wall art, some of which I love.  They are from Fresh Words Market and Vinyl Crafts.

Here are a few of my faves (just click on any of the prints below to go to its sale page).  I am buying the first one for J and E to give them on May 31 of this year.


Three sizes - $11.99 to $32.99


Be the Good print

Three Different Sizes - $15.99 to $39.99


One size - $17.99



You are my sunshine print

One Large Size - $39.99




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Please Don’t Lick the Sidewalk

Yesterday was so lovely and warm that it felt like summer, and we all spent the afternoon in the yard, pretending it was June.

At one point, I handed out Popsicles. Danger Baby ate a few bites of hers and then proceeded to drop it on our front walkway. She seemed fascinated, watching Leo the Dog lap the sticky, melting Popsicle up off the concrete after she discarded it.

And it turns out, she was watching Leo closely because she intended to copy him.

I spent the next few hours of daylight repeatedly stopping her from pretending she was Leo, as she attempted to LICK non-existent, melting Popsicles OFF THE GROUND.

Again. And again. AND AGAIN she went back to the sidewalk licking. She’s so stubborn that I think that she only became more determined to do it the more times I made her stop.

She is kind of exhausting now. But I think this determined non-conformity will actually serve her well in her future role as leader of the free world.


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Hank Allison: Letters from Vietnam #1

As regular readers of my blog know, my father, Hank Allison, died very suddenly in 2008. He was only 64 years old. 

In the mid-sixties, before he met and married my mother in 1966, a very young Hank served a combat tour in Vietnam as a draftee. During his time in Vietnam, my father wrote dozens and dozens of letters both to his mother, and also to his only sibling, his older sister Judy and her husband Bert, all back home in Southern California. Most of these letters were saved, and I’m going to be sharing them one at a time here on my blog. Each one was typed out on his classic Underwood typewriter, and then signed by hand.

Some are the letters are extremely mundane, like this first one, while others are quite profound. I am going to publish all of them, one at a time, although they aren’t necessarily in order (for example, this first one is dated near the end of his Vietnam service, while others I’ll publish are actually dated earlier.)

My father left for Vietnam a working class boy attending community college while trying to figure out what to do with his life. While in Vietnam, he somehow talked his way into the Army’s internal journalism corp, turning himself into a real reporter during his time there by sheer force of talent and determination, creating a career for himself that would lead to meeting my mother, and that would define the rest of his life.

I could tell you much more about my father, his history, and the complicated feelings he struggled with for the rest of his life about his Vietnam experiences, but instead, I am going to let his letters tell the story.




Hank Allison in Vietnam, 1965


January 1, 1965

And so begins the new year. I can hardly believe that all I have left to serve is the amount of time I looked at on my calendar many months ago and said, “Man, when I get that short, I’m not even going to worry.”

Today I went out and dug up three features and called them into the office in An Khe. In case you haven’t been reading Mother’s letters, I am in Pleiku. I guess that I’m supposed to answer questions in letters, but I haven’t seen any mail now in about five days. It’s supposed to come tomorrow with some guy coming here.

I’m also supposed to get some new clothes. The ones I am wearing are beginning to develop an aroma.

I ran into two guys from my basic training company up here and learned that two more are warrant officers flying choppers at Camp Holloway with the 52nd Aviation  Battalion.

I have a colossal case of chapped lips and am going to have to get something from the dispensary tomorrow. They have chapstick in the PX.

I fully expected some trouble last night, but there wasn’t any. That surprised me very much. Ken told me on the phone today that a couple of guys from our company in An Khe got very drunk last night on New Year’s Eve and shot the place up.

Those people shouldn’t even have access to rifles. They should keep them in a central location with a guard and the men could get them fast enough if they needed them. Those people do nothing but sit in their compant (sic) with their typewriters and once in a while go to An Khe. I don’t think most of them even know there’s a war going on. I’d like to see them on patrol or operation. But then again, I wouldn’t.

Mom said you sent a letter I wrote you to the LA Times. I wish you would ask me before you do that, and I hope it wasn’t that letter from Berkely because according to the Army, that wasn’t supposed to be shown to anyone. 

Our 3rd Brigade came up here today and will probably launch another operation in the la Drang area in the next few days. Nothing could suit me better. No one bothers me and I can do my work.

Tomorrow I’m going to see my buddy in the 9th Cav and see if I can go on recon with their helicopters over the area they are sizing up for attack. I think it would make a good story to just write what they do. They are a real bunch of hot rods and fly at ground level. One AP correspondent who flew with them called it an “exercise in sustained terror.”

Well, that be about it. I’ll drop another line in a few days and let you know what’s new and also answer your letters if they get to me.

See you in 135 days.



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After Losing a Child: How Bad is the Second Anniversary?

Henry Granju prostitution

Henry, taken on the Nepalese side of Mt. Everest

As the second anniversary of my son Henry’s death approaches, I think am prepared for the worst, unlike last year when an intense and totally unexpected wave of fresh grief nearly pulled me under.  That’s what I am blogging about over at Babble this morning. (And I have also added TONS of incredible new “Henry photos” for y’all to enjoy seeing just as our family has. They are simply amazing and beautiful, and they’re from all over the planet.)


Henry Granju drug dealer

Henry Street in San Francisco

Henry’s Fund Announces New Grant, Partnership with Florence Crittenton Agency

Henry Granju

Henry Louis Granju, ---- 1991 - 2010



Knoxville, Tenn. – March 26, 2012  – Henry’s Fund has a new partner in the fight against adolescent drug addiction and overdose. Youth Summit of Recovery, a program of The Florence Crittenton Agency, Inc is the newest Henry’s Fund partner agency and has been awarded an initial $5,000 grant, known as “Henry’s Gift.”

Located in Knox County, TN, Youth Summit of Recovery offers an intensive inpatient addiction treatment program for teenage boys and girls between the ages of 12 and 18 years. With the launch of the new partnership, Henry’s Fund made an initial grant of $5,000 to Youth Summit of Recovery.

”The Florence Crittenton Agency has been a longtime leader in our community and across the country when it comes to meeting the needs of our most vulnerable young people,” said Henry’s Fund Executive, Betsy Allison Tant, MSW. ”We are so pleased that with this new program partnership, we will have the ongoing opportunity to support the critically important services offered by Youth Summit of Recovery.”

Founded in 2010, Henry’s Fund honors the life of Henry Louis Granju, a much loved teenage boy who lost his own painful battle with drug addiction. Henry’s Fund is a Donor Advised Nonprofit Fund of the East Tennessee Foundation, and the organization’s mission is to help pay the direct costs of treatment and aftercare for young people suffering with the disease of drug addiction.

For more information about Henry’s Fund, and to learn how you can help young drug addicts get the treatment they need, please visitwww.HenryGranju.org, or find us on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/henrysfund.

For more information about Youth Summit of Recovery and The Florence Crittenton Agency, please visit http://www.fcaknox.org/

Media Contact:
Betsy Allison Tant, MSW
Executive Director, Henry’s Fund

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