Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Our Own Red Dress Moment!

Jenny Lawson's Traveling Red Dress
It's been awhile since I've posted. Life kind of got in the way and my writing mojo (as I have mentioned several times) seems to have disappeared under the avalanche of the negative.

But recently, a very positive has happened and I felt the need to share with everyone.

If you haven't read about Jenny Lawson's Traveling Red Dress, please click on the link and go read what started this amazing phenomenon. Also here. And then it was covered in a  Katie Couric Appearance and also by Forbes and The Washington Post.

The traveling red dress project is something amazing that Jenny (The Bloggess) Lawson started to empower herself during a time when she was dealing with depression and a major anxiety disorder. Although it was a difficult thing for her to come out to her audience with her mental illnesses, the reaction she got was astounding, as thousands of people responded by telling her of their own emotional problems and mental illnesses. She says on the Katic Couric Show that she keeps a folder of people who were on the verge of suicide and decided to get help because of the response she got from people also suffering in silence. It was a mass coming out of the mental illness closet.

So, what does this have to do with me?

I wanted a red dress moment for myself and Malea. With Malea getting sicker and sicker and the chemo not doing its job, I so wanted to make ourselves a "moment" when she feels beautiful and normal again.

I had been looking around for a photographer to take a family photo (I think 12 years since the last one constitutes now as being a good time to take another one) and my hairdresser suggested Misty Higgins of Moments by Misty Photography here in Winchester. I met with Misty about the family photo and that branched out into a much more intensive meeting about doing a photo shoot with me and Malea. I explained the Traveling Red Dress Project and Misty understood immediately what I was trying to do.

After I met with Misty and we settled on a date and time for both shoots, Misty got to work behind the scenes. She contacted the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley and they agreed to waive their fee of $100 and open up their gardens (please click the link and see where we will be shooting on Tuesday!) to us for the photo shoot. She then got in touch with Judith Platz of Refinements of Shepherdstown, a vintage clothing consignment shop in West Virginia, who graciously opened up her shop and allowed Misty to bring back dresses, button bouquets, jewelry, and accessories for me and Malea to choose from for our photos. Thanks to Judith and Misty and the Museum, we will be able to have a gorgeous moment in the beautiful gardens and it will be commemorated in pictures.

Oh. I forgot the best part. I contacted the local paper to see if they would be interested in doing a story about our red dress moment and how the Winchester community has rallied to give us the best photo shoot possible and they are sending their own photographer out on Tuesday to take pictures and then I will be interviewed by a reporter. They will be running the story of our incredible 10 year friendship and how it has been affected by Malea's cancer, and how the community came together to help us. I will be sure to post up a link to the story as soon as it comes out.

I can't express how grateful I am to everyone who has made this possible for us. Malea is more like my sister than my best friend (although I guess she can be both!) and I want to give her the world right now.

Life is too short not to have your own red dress moment. Please check out all the links (I especially like the story by Katie Couric) and try to have your own red dress moment. You can also check out The Traveling Red Dress Facebook Community if you are on Facebook. I also understand that it is all over Twitter and that red dresses are flying around the globe.

So, if you need help having your moment, all you need to do is reach out. It's amazing what people are willing to do.


Bella Bridal of Winchester has offered any dresses we would like from their bridesmaid collection, along with any accessories on loan for no charge. I am so proud that my community is so incredibly generous. Misty went over yesterday and picked out some gowns to set aside and I am getting ready to go choose the gowns we will wear for the photo shoot. If you have a chance, please check out Bella Bridal on Facebook. They have a beautiful selection of both wedding and bridesmaids gowns.



  1. Mary, Fairy GodmotherSeptember 19, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    May the spirit of the red dress be with both of you on Tuesday. I know Jenny's and my thoughts will be with you both. Sending you lots of love and big hugs.

  2. That's so awesome!! You're going to share pictures, right?? I can't wait to see!

  3. I had no idea the meaning behind the Red Dress. How fantastic! Although your friend Malea is aflicted with a terrible desease, she is blessed to have a freind like you!


I'd love to hear from you. Feel free to tag back to your blog in the body of your message. Comments are my favorite!