I know you all are dying to know what I did after this post. Thanks to your comments and some sage advice from my friends, I sent the GORGEOUS dress that didn't fit back. While working out is important to me, I decided not to drop the 5 lbs to get into the dress this time around.
I tried to find a similar alternative, but you really do get what you pay for. So I went in a completely different direction and got a dress from Rent The Runway. It's full price was about the same as the dress I wanted, but what I paid for it was pennies to the dollar. I think it was still a showstopper, but just in a different way.
I'm giving myself 30 points for loving the skin I'm in, making a positive money decision AND being fly while doing it.
As you read this, I'm likely driving back to Pittsburgh after being in the Chi for 10 days. I likely will have cried the entire first hour of the drive (not visually safe, I'm sure, but there's no stopping the tears when they start to flow.) There are only 17 days until Thanksgiving and I'll be back home with family and friends and world class spas and good shopping and once again my heart will be filled.
Happy Monday y'all!