Time to Pass the Gauntlet

My beautiful mother had 3 girls. I suppose she thought at some point she’d have grandchildren and it would be time to pass the gauntlet. I suppose she thought each of us girls would have children in order. 
But the truth of the matter is, I’m the youngest of her 3 girls and I had her first and second grandchildren, both girls. My middle sister had her third grandchild, another girl. Then I had her fourth and fifth grandchildren, another girl and our first boy. Of course I did bring 2 step kids into the mix too so I was over fertile, even by marriage. She handed the gauntlet. Her kids were grown. It was time for her to just be a grandmother at that point, and she was happy to do it. 

I knew at some point I would have to do the same thing. I have six kids and I can’t keep having them forever (insert huge sigh here knowing that Bubby will turn 5 in October). But it is what it is and I always knew it would happen. I figured all of my children would be older by then. But then again when you have children spanning from the ages of 24 all of the way down to 4, I guess you just never know. 
My “big” girls are growing up, meanwhile I have one going into 1st grade and one that won’t even enter Kindergarten until next fall. I’m still the mom of young kids, babies even!
My big (baby) girls are 24 and 19. They’re gorgeous and they are proud big sisters, and I’m a proud momma. That’s enough right? I suppose the oldest will be a mom before long. I should get prepared to pass the gauntlet. 
B and I are ready to be grandparents some day. When the babies are grown that is. But guess what? The babies won’t be grown before that happens. 
Nope. My #2 is going to be a mommy in December. There, I said it. I wasn’t trying to hide it. I’m just superstitious and announcing these things too early makes me nervous. Like I’m jinxing things. But she’s far enough along now that I can tell you. I will be a Mimi and B will be a Poppy. Why those names? Because it makes me sound younger and him sound older (which makes me giggle for so many reasons). Give me this. I’m passing the gauntlet and hanging on to what I can through my excitement. 
And by that time, my Bug will be a 7 year old aunt, and my Bubby will be a 5 year old uncle. I assume they will think this new little minion is their little sister although they won’t see her as much as we’d like. I’ll let them think what they want until they get a little bit older and understand it more. They’ll get it in a couple years and think it’s really cool. So do I. 

I’m actually glad I get to hand over this coveted gauntlet when I’m young enough to enjoy it. I’m glad my babies will be around for years to come to watch their little niece grow. I’m proud of my daughter for the woman that she has become. I just wish we were closer in proximity so we could all enjoy this together on a daily basis. 

Our family has an odd dynamic, but it works for us. I’ll be the mother of a preschooler and a Mimi all at the same time. What more could you ask for in life?

Apparently, My Life is an Open Book and It’s Not a Bad Read!

I was in Chicago for a week for a conference and I learned a lot. Mostly about myself. I made a lot of connections, both professionally and personally, and I was happy for the experience. 

I heard a colleague, someone I truly respect, tell me I was a memoir blogger. At first, I took a step back and almost got offended. Memoirs? Not me. I’m funny. I shoot it straight. I tell you about my life. I tell you about things I love. I tell you what I hate. I talk about things as I see them in life. I talk about my life, my marriage, and my family. I’m a lifestyle blogger. I don’t write memoirs. 

Then I thought about it with a clear head and realized that I do just that. I chronicle my life with emotion, good or bad. I tell you about my life. I put myself out there. And then I Googled it:


  [mem-wahr, -wawr] 

a record of events written by a person having intimate knowledge of them and based on personal observation.
Usually, memoirs.
an account of one’s personal life and experiences; autobiography.
the published record of the proceedings of a group or organizationas of a learned society.
a biography or biographical sketch.

And so, the dictionary agrees. I’m a memoir blogger. I didn’t set out to be the person that wears my heart on my sleeve, but apparently I am. It is what it is and there’s no denying it now that it’s been called out. 

This post was going to be about the flowers I received tonight for no particular reason other than my husband was not very understanding or kind during my recent trip. This post should have highlighted the fact that he realized that he was wrong and bought me flowers. This post should have shown the beauty in our relationship, but instead, it revealed that I can’t write without sharing details of my life. I can’t just tell you a story without telling you the back end of that story.

The flowers are beautiful, they look wild and free against the sign that tells the story of my life. But they aren’t as innocent as they look. 

This past week, I went to a convention, 4 days out of 365 (that I spend taking care of my family for the other 361…24/7), and my husband made me feel guilty while I was there. He didn’t mean to. He was lonely and wanted me home. But he did, and it worked. I felt horrible by day 4. And on day 6, he bought me flowers, because he was admittedly wrong. He’s sorry, and he does support me, and I’ll forgive him, but that moment, while he was lonely, sucked the fun out of my whole trip which was only meant to connect and grow my brand. It should have been fun. It was only 4 days. I’m a little sad. It will all be OK because where there is love, there is forgiveness. 

It’s my life and it’s an open book. Sorry for the memoir. I guess I am what I am and I just can’t change! My colleague, and my friend, was right. I guess I should keep writing from my heart. If you want to play along, keep stopping by because I appreciate you. If you want to dip on me and my memoirs, I completely understand.

The Haves and The Have Nots: Sears Makes It Possible for Both to Have Back To School Fun

For the record, I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and Sears. As always, all opinions, ideas, and photos are entirely my own.
My Bug is a “Have”. My older girls were “Have Nots”. I’ve seen both sides, I’ve been on both sides, and it still stings to think about it. With back to school right around the corner (seriously…where did the summer go?), I’m reminded of the Have Nots as I feel the pain of not being able to buy my older girls the abundance of school clothes and supplies back then that I do for Bug now. I try to ensure that she knows how lucky she is to have so much. I hope she knows. But sometimes I like to remind her by involving her in missions to help others who do not have what she has. Sears helped me accomplish that this year with their affordable fashion. 
My life is good now and we are able to afford the things we need, including school clothes and supplies, but that doesn’t mean I enjoy spending a ton of money. I’m not frugal by any means, but I’m not stupid either. When shopping for school uniforms, a denim jacket and new jeans for casual days, plus a backpack, the first place I thought to shop was Sears. I know they offer affordable, quality fashion, at a price that will please my checkbook. And I get additional discounts for being a Shop Your Way Reward Member. Obviously I took advantage of that since they were having a Secret Members Only Sale that day. 
I was able to snag 4 uniforms for my Bug at amazing prices (seriously the skorts were only $13 each!) and I found her size! She’s super thin and it’s hard to find uniforms in a size 6. If you need them, GO TO SEARS NOW, they’ve got them. Last year we had a horrible time trying to find her uniforms and I washed constantly. If I’d only known then that Sears carried uniforms, I wouldn’t have stressed so much.
But for the real fun, we got to go all out. Bug has “freestyle” days at school for field trips and special events. Those are the days she shines. She loves to have a special outfit for those special days and she found exactly what she wanted at Sears at prices that pleased me. This light blue denim jacket is adorable and she can wear it year round here. Uniforms are a must to even out the Have/Have Not thing and I’m glad for that, but I’m also glad my Bug can let her colors shine. Sears has over 2000 denim styles in store for men, women, and children. You’ll certainly find something to suit your personal style like Bug.
And although Bubby won’t start school until next year, he needed clothes too. I couldn’t refuse the prices on the boy’s 2-piece outfits so he got a couple. He’s a good boy, he deserves to look good too!
You might be asking yourself what these crazy kids are doing. Are they practicing their favorite dance moves?
Nope. They’re practicing their synchronized falling skills. My kids are rough and tumble. That’s why I shop at Sears often. The babies are rough on their clothes and the quality items that Sears carries at fabulous prices stand up to my babies’ rough sides. 
And since I was able to save so much on my purchases (far more than I had anticipated but hey, those monokinis for $15 each for me were adorable and B needed clothes too), I decided to teach my Bug one of those lessons I mentioned above. The Hello Kitty Backpack Bug picked out was regularly $30, on sale for $15, and it had a detachable lunch bag. I planned on $30, we spend that every year on a new backpack. So I bought 2 for the price of one plus a Hello Kitty screened t-shirt that she picked out with the money I saved on the other items. No child should be without the necessities in life. No child should go to school feeling less fabulous than another. No little girl should ever wish that she sparkled but not have the means to sparkle on the outside the way she does on the inside. When my big girls were younger, we were fortunate to have “angels” that helped us through the tough times and I’m happy to pay that back. 

When I go to buy Bug’s school supplies this week, I’ll be putting half of the supplies I buy in this other backpack with the screened t-shirt (and the tiara…Bug threw that in). Then I’ll be heading back to the Resource and Crisis Center of Galveston County to donate our backpack full of BTS fun to a child that has lived through an abusive relationship and a mother that was brave enough to escape. This non-profit does amazing things in my community and helping a child feel better about themselves as they heal, while relieving the burden from their mother as she heals, feels really good. I’ve been there. As a mom, there’s nothing worse than the feeling that comes with not being able to provide for your children.
My Bug has everything she needs and then some and she’s always excited and appreciative when we take the time to give to those who have not. I encourage you to do the same this year. There’s still time. Sears can help. You’ll save enough to get what your child needs, plus help another, without breaking your initial budget. All children deserve to have a fun Back to School experience. Your one donation could be the difference between an A+ and a D kind of year. Your choice! We’re shooting for A+’s across the board again this year!

Follow along with Sears on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on all of the back to school fashion and deals. And if you save enough (which you will), be sure to stop back by and let me know how you decided to brighten a little life this year for back to school with your savings.

You can get inspiration for your own summer style by flipping through the Live SoFab Summer Digital Magazine below. Sears is featured of course!