Just two hours before we had to leave the house for Dulles Airport to catch our flight home, I was racing up and down the aisles of AC Moore, frantically trying to determine what items I needed to round out my holiday crafting supplies. The girls were home napping, but needed to be roused, fed and changed. Clothing needed to make its way out of the dryer and into our suitcases. Beds had to be looked under and couches moved to locate missing hair barrettes and toys. First things first, though - I had to take care of the pressing matter of whether gold or silver wired ribbon would look better on my Christmas wreath. (And as it turns out, I didn't even use the ribbon).
I think most of us who live the expat life have experienced this at one time or another. I imagine it was worse when I was a kid and we didn't have Amazon.com (also, I'd hazard a guess that the term "snail mail" was coined by a user of the APO back then). Here in Moscow, I'm told, you can find just about anything for a price. I'm sure that is true, however, I don't have the time or inclination to hunt down things like pipe cleaners if it is going to involve two hours in road traffic or a 45-minute journey on the metro. Also problematic: I hate paying for shipping. And my Amazon Prime membership is pretty much worthless now that they have stopped free two-day shipping to APO and DPO addresses (if anyone from Amazon is reading this, take note that you now get a big thumbs-down from me and probably from a lot of other people in my shoes).
So during our R&R back to the States, I bought. And bought. And bought. We filled up two new suitcases with my purchases, and I still had to mail a couple boxes back to the States. Trader Joe got a lot of our money. So did Target, and AC Moore, and Michael's. I had decided the girls and I needed to do more crafty activities together, so we're now all stocked up on googly eyes, pom poms, craft foam and of course, pipe cleaners, to name a few items.
I also decided I needed to make a Christmas yarn wreath for our door.
When my first attempt turned out looking more like a lifesaver than
yuletide decor, I panicked.
Would I be able to find the items I needed to turn my craft dream into reality in Moscow? Better hedge my bets. And that is how I ended up back at AC Moore four hours before our flight back to Russia. I bought stuff to make the finished wreath, and a few things that didn't get used. Sorry for the lighting. I'm not a great photographer and the natural light here is kind of lacking when I think to take these photos.