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?

One Day…At SoFabCon…I Met My Best Friends #thisisme

Meeting Amy from As The Bunny Hops and Mallery from Horrible Housewife for the first time!
The first day at SoFabCon 2013 held many exciting moments for me. From touchdown in Arkansas to a cocktail party I’ll get in to later, and everything in between. THIS was the in between and for me it was magical. 

You see, SoFabCon was an emotional event for me. This wasn’t just a conference. This is where I met my best friends in real life. I had an incredibly trying year last year. We were displaced in The Woods and my family was falling apart. I had issues with my oldest daughter, my step (on me) daughter, and my marriage. Through my sparkles, I was a nervous wreck on the verge of a breakdown. Not everyone knew. But these two did!

Through my trials and troubles, the 3 of us bridged a 3 decade age difference and 100’s of miles in proximity and we bonded. We had late night chats. They dropped work for me. They talked to me instead of family on more than one occasion. They encouraged me. Amy with her inappropriate humor at all of the worst times (this is actually a good thing) made me snort on a regular basis. And Mallery with her grounded thoughts (seriously, who at the age of 25 could possibly be that rational and grounded?) made me take a look at myself from within and stick it out and do the right things. 
Photos compliments of Organize with Sandy. Thank you oh-so-much for capturing these moments for us!
And so, the moment when we all met. When we hugged for the first time. When our bond became “real”. Yes, that moment was the highlight of the conference for me. 

I wonder if they know how ready I was to give up this past year? I wonder if they know how truly depressed I was at times? I wonder if they know how much they meant to me during my hard times and how much they still do? I wonder if they know that they quite possibly saved my marriage, my family, and yes, my life? I think they do. But those are unspoken words. Sometimes things are better left unsaid. It’s just best to hug it out. 

I love my beavers and I hope they know they mean the world to me, and I hope they know that this was one of the highlights of my life! I hope that others read this and understand that maybe we spent a lot of time together this past weekend because I owe these women a world of gratitude. 

I hope they know. And now you know the truth behind the smiles. This was a good day! It was an awesome moment in time that I will cherish forever. I await the day that I can see them again. 

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. I’m writing this series to share my SoFabCon experience with all of you and putting it in to writing so that I don’t forget one single moment. I’ll be back with a not so sappy post soon. Stay tuned!

A Conference, Mother’s Day, and searsStyle….OH MY!

“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. #cbias #SocialFabric #ThisisStyle”

Later this week, I’ll be heading to Bentonville, AR for SoFabCon and I’m super excited. The only thing is, I had nothing to wear. Nothing! You can’t show up at a conference in yoga pants or shorts, tank tops, and slippers. At least I don’t think you should, but that’s pretty much all I have to wear.

Like most busy moms, I don’t take too much time to pamper myself. Heck, I skip showers on more occasions than I’d like to admit because there just aren’t enough hours in the day to take care of everything that has to be done let alone just taking some “me time”. 
With 6 kids (well 7 if you include B), someone else always needs something. Sure the oldest 3 don’t live with me anymore, but believe me, that doesn’t stop them from calling asking me to do things for them. Once a parent, always a parent (seriously…they never grow up). Then the 3 youngest are always demanding something. I have to get the girls off to school, and be at Bubby’s beck and call all day every day as I try to work. Then afternoons are filled with getting the girls home from school, prepping dinner before B gets home, shopping trips for groceries, kitchen clean up after dinner, laundry, preparing lunches for the next day, baths, tucking everyone in, then getting back to work for a couple of hours before bed. Honestly not much time for me.
BUT sometimes moms just need to take a break so they don’t burn out. This conference will be my break. I’ll be meeting up with some of my best friends that I’ve never actually met. And there’s a bonus, I took a break this weekend to pamper myself before my actual break. And B helped which was another bonus. Although I don’t need an excuse to spend money on myself (I honestly have one of those husbands that constantly reminds me to do things for myself and spend as much money as I’d like), I remembered that Mother’s Day was right around the corner so that was as good of an excuse as any. I am a mother after all, of 6, I deserve a HUGE present!
I headed to Sears armed with my Shop Your Way Rewards card because although style is important to me, so is savings. The more you save, the more you can spend. Well, that’s how it works in my head anyway. My shopping experience was fabulous. Sears fashion is amazing. The store wasn’t crowded, everything was on sale, and I found pink and sparkly affordable fashion at every turn. And B showed up after work to save me take the babies off of my hands so I could actually try my clothes on in peace.
I came home with a LOT, you know, because I was able to save so much I could spend more right? I saved a total of $147 on my Mother’s Day gifts to myself. I think my favorite outfit is my traveling outfit. I will be arriving at SoFabCon in head to toe pink. No one would expect less. I was able to score Bongo jeans, an adorable top with built in pink sparkly necklace, sparkly pink flops, a pink purse, and pink Hello Kitty sunglasses for right around $50. Beat that!
And thanks to my Sears savings, I decided to pamper myself further with a sparkly pink manicure and pedicure. Sears was very, very good to me this weekend and I’m totally ready for Bentonville now. Oh wait…I still have to pack. I might need to go back to Sears with the 2,160 Shop Your Way Rewards points I earned this weekend because I think I need a bigger bag!
Oh my pink puffy heart stars! What do you think? Am I ready to defeat the Purple Army that awaits me at the conference? I say bring it! This is pink and #ThisisStyle!
I’ll be sure to come back here to share photos from the conference where I’ll be wearing all sorts of fabulous Sears fashions. You won’t want to miss this!
In the meantime, be sure to connect with searsStyle on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with the latest fashion trends. If you’re not already a member, be sure to sign up for the Shop Your Way Rewards program to save even more in store and get updates on weekly deals. And if you’re a mom, be sure to remember to take some time to treat yourself this Mother’s Day. You work hard and you deserve it. Happy Mother’s Day! Head to Sears and buy yourself a prize.