The Ultimate Betrayal

Guys, we have a problem. On the grand scale of “Problems the World Faces” this is, like, a .5. It’s a small problem when placed against the backdrop of all the things that could go wrong.

But it’s still a problem.

My van is falling apart. A moment of silence, if you please.

It’s a funny thing, paying off a car. When I submitted the final payment, I felt an awesome sense of victory. I felt like I was sticking it to the man.

We enjoyed a WHOLE year of no payments before the heat shield on my engine went kaput and we needed to sacrifice one child’s college fun to fix it.

(Sidenote – I actually have no idea if it was the heat shield that went bad. I can’t remember what happened. I just remember that when the mechanic told me the issue and how much it would cost, I felt like he was explaining the mechanical failure of a space shuttle – not my van. So I’m sticking with heat shield for the purposes of this blog post.)

That event began a slow descent into car maintenance hell. New tires. New belts. New this and that.

Shattered windshield.

A few months ago, the check engine light came on. I pretended I didn’t see it for awhile before finally taking it in only to find out the fuel level sensor was going bad. It didn’t take a $60 diagnostic test to figure that out given the fact that my fuel gauge is never accurate.

Then there was an oil leak.

Then they told us how much it would cost to fix the fuel sensor, and we’re thinking it would be more beneficial to just get a new car than sink that much into this current one.

That’s when it all hit the fan.


Lee came home and scoured the internet for new used cars. I peeked over his shoulders and do you know what he was looking at?



“You don’t really need a van anymore,” he tried to reason with me. “You could just get a 7-passengar SUV instead.”

The betrayal! For shame.

Of course, I did consider it briefly. I considered the cool points I’d get back if I got rid of the minivan and went back to traipsing around town in a slick SUV, no longer neutered by my four-wheel metal office.

But then practicality set in. I have three children, all of whom are on track to be rather tall. If Sloan doesn’t slow down, he could easily reach 6 feet by junior high.

I tried to envision him and his tall, lanky friends crawling into the back of a 7-passenger SUV, and all I saw were broken windows and a lot of inappropriate jokes.

Someday I’ll experience release from the confines of the minivan. Someday I will pull up to the curb in a saucy little car that screams “hip” and “cool.” I’ll probably be a grandma by that time, but whatever.

I’ll be one hip granny.

Until that time, however, I’m afraid the minivan is the practical choice for me. They even have vans with built in vacuum cleaners now. WHHHAAAAA?????

Ten-to-one a mom came up with that idea. I’m still waiting for minivan makers to adopt my brilliant idea. And when they do, I expect them to give me a free van for the duration of my minivan driving years.



So there you have it. I may be in the market for a new minivan in the coming months, and my husband is a traitor to the minivan community. I still love him, though. If for no other reason than for his brilliance in this movie.

Peace out.

Guest Post: Minivan Must Haves for Moms

One of the things I love most about this fascinating world of social media is the ability to make friends all over the country. Most of the women I interact with on a regular basis, I’ve never even met personally, and yet I feel a deep gratitude for their friendship.

I “met” Jenny Sulpizio when I joined the writing team at The MOB Society. After reading just a few of her posts online, I knew I liked her. If we lived closer, we’d be fast friends for sure. I love her heart and her wit. Jenny’s recently released book, Confessions of a Wonder Woman Wannabe: On a Mission to Save Sanity, One Mom at a Time, is a pleasure to read. It’s funny and motivating and encouraging and just so darn practical.

I’m pleased to have Jenny here today sharing a few of her tips for Minivan Must Haves. When you’re finished reading, consider hopping over to Amazon to buy her book. You won’t regret the purchase. So, without further ado I give you:

Minivan Must Haves for Moms


Minivan Must-haves

Okay, so not all of us drive minivans, but as mamas hauling precious cargo, we know one thing for sure: those cars of ours need to be stocked from front end to rear bumper in order to stave off any major (or minor) emergency while on the road, Amen?

In my recently released book, Confessions of a Wonder Woman Wannabe: On a Mission to Save Sanity, One Mom at a Time, I discuss (in depth) the numerous items our vehicles need to carry in order to prevent a kiddy catastrophe from taking place. From wet wipes to emergency snack supplies, our cars serve as much more than just a mode of transportation–they are our second home of sorts, and need to be stocked accordingly.

But what about those of us responsible for driving said minivans?

WonderWomanWannabe Cover jpeg_final front-1Aren’t moms in need of a few items ourselves in order to save our sanity, and ward off any major mommy emergency while cruising down those streets? Of course! We need a stash of Sanity-Saving Mommy Must Haves (SSMMH’s for short) on board at all times. So what goes into a kit like this, you ask? By polling my girlfriends and wracking my own brain (well, as much as possible that is), I came up with several objects we’ll need to conceal in those swanky vans of ours at all times. Yep – Our very own, personalized mommy emergency kit(s):

1. The Bible: Whether it’s the actual Bible, a devotional, or a piece of paper with your favorite verse written on it, you need some form of Scripture somewhere in your car at all times. Amen?


2. Feminine Hygiene Products: I can’t tell you how many times I’ve needed one of these items only to find them in tatters at the bottom of my purse, exposed and unable to be used (well, without risking a meeting with TSS or something). Store these items in a zippered pouch, within your trunk where they’ll remain in tact and ready for use when you need them.

3. Money: Whether it’s for the parking meter, a coffee run, or any other last-minute need that finds you scrambling for spare change, keep some extra moola in your car…preferably hidden where small hands (or big ones) can’t find it.

4. Travel-Size Everything: Ladies, load up on everything you could possibly ever need (you know-aloe vera, lotion, miniature deodorant, etc.), and pack it within a sealable crate in your trunk. When a mommy emergency rears its ugly head, you’ll be prepared, ready, and stress-free. Talk about a sanity-saver!

5. Chocolate: A stash of chocolate may just be what most of us mommies need after an adventure in the mommyhood. Sure, it may not be the best idea as far as storage purposes go (especially during the hot summer months) but when this mama’s in need of some calming down, there’s nothing like a king-sized bar and the chocolaty goodness it’s comprised of to help smooth a situation over. Yum!

Now these are just a few of the ideas I’ve got to keep stress away while on the road. And as we all already know, the more stress we can prevent and the more sanity we can save? Well, it’s a really good thing!

Wanna find out some more ideas? In need of more tips and practical advice? Click here to win a copy of my new book, or click this link and head on over to Amazon and get yourself a copy right now.


JennyAuthor Bio: Jenny Lee Sulpizio is a wife and mother of three who enjoys writing about anything and everything under the sun, but especially loves to instruct, motivate, and guide other moms with practical advice, tips, and a whole lot of comic relief in the process. Jenny is a contributing writer for The MOB Society and Moms Together, and is the author of the recently released guide for all mamas titled, “Confessions of a Wonder Woman Wannabe: On a Mission to Save Sanity, One Mom at a Time.” To find out more about Jenny or to follow her blog, visit





Miss Minivan America

MV5BNzA5NTAwNDc4MF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwNzM0OTg4._V1._SX263_SY475_Last night I caught a few minutes of the Miss America contest. Is it called a contest? Is that the correct terminology? I just don’t even know.

Now, I’m going to start this post with an apology to anyone who may happen to love Miss America. If you were a beauty pageant girl and get warm fuzzies whenever you think of strutting around in a bikini and heels, then this post might not be for you. With that said, I will confess:

I don’t get it. I do not get the allure of Miss America. I know everyone says it’s about the scholarship, and these girls are so well rounded, but all I see are young ones wearing too much make up, dancing awkwardly in the sand, then strutting their stuff in a two piece on national TV. There are other ways to get scholarships, right?

Now I must confess, I was kind of pulling for Miss Kansas. Mainly because she speaks Chinese and shoots guns and somehow this made her a little more rockstar. But still, after five minutes of watching the broadcast, all I could think of was Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality falling on her face and I got the giggles and had to ask Lee to change the channel back to football.

Lee says I’m just jealous because I’ve never been on Miss America. I told him he’s right and maybe I’ll start my own Miss America contest. Miss Minivan America.

Then he told me there’s already something like that – apparently it’s called Mrs. America and it’s for…well I can only assume it’s for married people? Older women? The more pressing question is HOW DID LEE EVEN KNOW THERE WAS SUCH A THING?! Who is he?

It’s concerning, really.

Back to my point, though. If I were to design my own pageant, it’d be Miss Minivan America and we would eliminate that pesky bathing suit portion of the whole shebang, because all of us would have had multiple children and we know better than to throw on a skimpy two piece in front of the world.

Instead we’d replace the bathing suit portion of the show with an athletic clothing parade. Yoga pants and tennis shoes would be the uniform of choice and we’d strut comfortably in front of the judges. Some could even wear skorts if they felt so inclined, because we all know that the skort combines the comfort of shorts with the fashionability of a little skirt.

I think I’d keep the evening gown portion of the show, because what minivan mom doesn’t enjoy getting dolled up every once in awhile? Of course, to keep it realistic, she’d have to have at least one spit up stain on the gown and there would likely not be enough make up in all the world to cover the bags under her eyes, but dang it, she’d rock sequins like it was nobody’s business.

For the question and answer portion of the show, we’d ask super important questions like, “How do you prepare a dinner for five in 20 minutes or less?” Or how about, “What are your tips for optimum daily function on three hours of sleep?” Or “You have three children: One begins projectile vomiting in the middle of the grocery store while the other pulls an apple off the bottom of the pile sending the rest tumbling across the floor. The third wails in horror as she’s covered in vomit. How do you handle this situation with both grace and poise?”

As there are no good answers to any of these, we’d all probably bark “WORLD PEACE” into the microphone, which would be a satisfactory answer, because who doesn’t want world peace, right?

The talent portion of the program would be most interesting as it would likely find women performing all sorts of miraculous acts such as simultaneously fixing dinner, folding laundry, talking on the phone and signing take home folders all while ignoring a whining toddler. And all this would be done in her cute athletic skort, of course.

Perhaps another contestant would be working on her computer while taking a phone call from the school about a child who is sitting in the nurses office with a sore toe and petting the neglected dog who whines at her feet.

A third contestant would demonstrate the art of cleaning a rancid minivan in under ten minutes. (Grab a large trash can, sweep everything into it, even if it’s not trash, spray Febreeze on the seats and call it a day).

The possibilities for talent would be endless!

And there wouldn’t be any super blonde Barbie hair or dancing on the beach. Ain’t nobody got time for that! Ponytails would be the preferred hairdo with roots that were at least a half-inch thick. And contestants would wear just enough make up to look human.

Now naturally, you cannot have a contest without a reward, so what on earth could we give to the crowning champion of Miss Minivan America?

Six hours alone to do whatever she wanted.

Now that would be a pageant worth competing in.



Image credit

Dear Minivan Makers Everywhere

I have titled this photo: Road Trip from the Back Seat

I have titled this photo: Road Trip from the Back Seat

There are five people in our family. I realize that in the grand scheme of familyhood this is not a significant number. Three children is less than four or five or six or twenty children. I wouldn’t classify us as a large family. We’re a regular-sized family of five…who love to travel.

Since gas prices have soared (Boo! Hiss!), airline prices have gone through the roof. This means that an average family of five cannot afford to fly anywhere without having to sacrifice a small puppy to the gods in hopes that money will start falling from the sky. And since I’m not generally in the habit of murdering puppies, this leaves me with no alternative but to teach my children the finer art of the road trip.

(Sidenote: Can we talk for a minute about the absurdity of the fact that it costs less for our family of five to fly from Florida to California than it does for us to fly to Little Rock? What the huh?!)

In the last two weeks, we spent about 43 hours driving as we visited family and friends in Missouri and Arkansas. So the equivalent of two days were spent inside our minivan, which, incidentally, currently SMELLS like a family of five spent two days cooped up inside. Excellent.

car2In general, my kids have become quite adept at traveling by car. We have a system. They play for a bit, look out the window, whine for good effect, then ask to watch a movie. But before they can watch a movie, they have to do two math sheets or a reading comprehension exercise. This is my barometer for how badly they want to utilize technology.

If they get hungry, I throw a bag of Cheez-its their way. Thirsty? A tiny little water bottle gets hurled at their heads. If and when all requirements are met, they are then allowed to shut their brains down and watch quality, educational movies such as Rookie of the Year and Teen Beach Movie.

Once upon a time I was staunchly opposed to the children ever watching TV in the car. When I was a kid, I read on road trips. I cozied up with The Babysitters Club and Sweet Valley Twins (Ah, Jessica and Elizabeth…I wonder what they’re up to these days?). I didn’t have the option of watching a movie back then.

I also laid out flat on the back seat with the seat belt juuuuust barely fastened around my waist and wasn’t stuck sitting straight up and down in an uncomfortable seat with the seat belt snugly tucked across my chest.

And I walked to school up hill both ways barefoot in the snow.


The point is, I quickly came to the conclusion that there is no reason to be a martyr for motherhood. If the kids wants to watch a movie, they can watch a movie and I will be thankful for the serenity of modern technology.

But 43 hours is a long time, which means there was a lot of time spent NOT glued to the tiny TV screens. Most of the time the kids do a pretty good job of playing quietly, drawing, listening to music or reading. But there are those long stretches of time when they ask every five minutes if we’re almost there, when they cry because a foot has fallen asleep or, my personal favorite, when they start car wrestling, an activity that always, without exception, ends with someone crying.

This is where I need the developers of minivans to step up their game. I’m here to offer a proposed to solution for parents everywhere who are relegated to cross country car trips inside the bowels of their minivans.


How about a partition between parents and kids? Just a thought…a mere suggestion! Think of it like a limousine, because we all know that a minivan is a limo for very small people. Limo drivers can raise a partition between themselves and their passengers allowing for some privacy. WHY HAS THIS NEVER BEEN DONE FOR MINIVANS?!

When the kids are getting particularly squirrely, parents could quietly and non-chalantly raise the thick, sound proof partition thereby cutting themselves off from the insanity. Of course, we would still need to be able to keep an eye on the monkeys in the back – safety first and all. A monitor on the dashboard would be connected to the camera inside the partition allowing the parents to keep an eye on the children.

You could even install a button that parents could push to hear what was going on in the back if they wanted. Or they could keep it muted and assume that everyone back there is just fine.

I see a number of benefits to this idea. First: SANITY! Kids could blast the soundtrack to Teen Beach Movie as loud as their little ears could stand it while Mom and Dad listen to music that doesn’t make their ears bleed. Kids could wrestle and cry and duke it out without giving Mom all that unnecessary grey hair.

Honestly, I’m not sure that I really need to list all the obvious benefits of this (brilliant) idea. It speaks for itself.

A rare moment alone in the minivan. Look how clean it is? This was taken BRT - Before Road Trip.

A rare moment alone in the minivan. Look how clean it is? This was taken BRT – Before Road Trip.

Now I realize that putting this out there means it could be stolen and someone else could make a lot of money off my idea. No worries. This one is for free internet! Someone, please, take this idea and run with it. When it comes time for us to buy a new van in a few years, if I find that they all come custom fit with a separating partition between front and back, I will consider that thanks enough.

You’re welcome, minivan drivers across the world.


You’re welcome. 

The one with the pictures


I really admire creativity. I am always in awe of the way that people see the world. Some see it as a concrete place of numbers and statistics. I don’t understand their view of the world but I can appreciate their brand of creativity.

I see the world as a series of images. They move and flow together in mostly word pictures and that’s how I’m prone to create. I weave and piece together the words until the world around me lights up.

My five-year-old sees the world as one giant surprise. He’s delighted with every step because he never really knows what’s coming next. I wish I could bottle that wonder up and sip on it awhile. Kids are master creators because they aren’t bound by predictability. I hope he never loses his sense of awe. I pray that a little piece of that always sticks with him.

And then there are the photographers. Those who see the world through a lens have a unique ability to create. Last month, my friends Tammy and Jenni reminded me once again that photographers are some of the most creative and inspiring people that God has placed on this earth. They see life in vivid color and dramatic black and white. They see life as a tapestry and with a tiny click, they capture an image that gives testimony to a single moment in time.

I’m a fan of photographers.

Before we left for California, Tammy told us of a project she’d like to work on. She wanted to capture a single image of each one of us that told a story. In the weeks leading up to the trip, we sent countless emails back and forth, each trying to determine what our image should look like.

Bethany’s image was a bit like a feast of words. Bethany may be the smartest person I know. Her grasp of literature and writing is impeccable, and her understanding of story and poetry is awe-inspiring. Add to that the fact that she is stunning, and you have a recipe for some pretty spectacular pictures.

Of course, Tammy took more than one image of each of us. Knowing that we’re all busy moms, Tammy understood that we rarely get to stand in front of the camera. We’re usually behind it in yoga pants and t-shirts capturing the life that plays out before us. So she gave us the opportunity to get prettied up and she gave us the gift of being in front of the lens for a little while.

When it came time for my photo shoot, I had in mind something vintage and simple. Tammy went above and beyond. She captured images that signify the emotional journey I’ve been on and merged them into a single image to tell our story of hope and healing. I thought that it would be easy for her to capture that image of me, but it wasn’t. I struggled to display the emotion necessary to really tell the story.

I’m a writer, not an actress.

But in the end, Tammy (and Bethany, who acted as her assistant) pulled it out of me. Because they’re that good.

After we took the serious image, Tammy let me have a little fun. We risked our lives inside a rodent infested house to capture this image. (And by rodent infested, I mean you could hear hundreds and hundreds of mice scurrying in the attic above us while mounds of mice feces piled from corner to corner. Horrifying…)



Tammy then had me change into a more vintage inspired outfit and just have a little fun. I felt like a supermodel and for over and hour we just laughed and enjoyed the art of creating.

It’s a little embarrassing for me to share fancy pictures of myself. It feels slightly narcissistic and strange, but this isn’t about me so much as it’s about my friend’s amazing talent. What Tammy does with a camera is nothing short of magical. She takes an ordinary girl – a minivan mom of three who’s life is not glamorous by  stretch of the imagination – and she transforms her into someone else entirely.



This is the beauty of art. It’s taking the ordinary – the plain – and focusing in on it in such a way that it becomes extraordinary. I’m grateful for friends who use their gifts in such powerful and beautiful ways!

Click this link to see the rest of the photos Tammy took during our morning in California. You’ll want to “Like” her on Facebook as well so you can keep up with her work as she continues to grow and expand as an artist.

The Minivan Mom’s Guide to Awesome Hair

Forgive the oversized sweatshirt. It was cold outside (Florida cold...60 degrees...and I didn't feel like changing.)

Most of my days consist of multiple hours inside the belly of my minivan shuttling children to baseball, gymnastics, school or friend’s homes. If I’m super lucky, I might get to go to the grocery store sometimes or, as is the case today, I get to make a hefty drop at the local Goodwill thanks to one of my children who could easily occupy an entire episode of Hoarders single-handedly.

This hectic schedule leaves little time for hair care, which is one of the reasons I have so loved having my hair short. I have all but mastered the fashionable bed head and when I’m really on my game, I add the hot pink highlights to give my hair a little bit of edge.

Because I am sooooo edgy.




Alas, maintaining awesome hair is a greater challenge than most of us care to admit. I’ll be totally honest and tell you I have no idea what color my hair is anymore. If I had to guess, I’d label it dirty dishwater. It is neither blonde nor brown thanks to years of abuse and the hormones that come with birthing three children. So I pay someone to help a Mama out and give my hair some much needed TLC.

At least, that’s what I do when I have time. But if you’ll re-read paragraph one, you’ll understand that getting myself to a salon for three hours to have my hair loved on is not always easy or feasible. I haven’t had anyone sprinkle magic pixie dust (i.e. Redken Hair Dye) on my hair since before Christmas. Nor have I had it cut.

I’m in a bad place, friends. A bad, bad place.

So, what’s a busy Minivan Mom to do when life gets too busy to take care of her hair?

Buy. A. Headband.

Or four.

I’ve found that wide headbands worn high up on the head are an excellent way to mask those painful roots that give my hair the perpetual appearance of filth. I recently bought two headbands like the one I’m wearing in these pictures at Sam Moon in Dallas.

I love them.

I greet them in the morning with a chipper, “Hey there, lovlies.” And as a reward for my encouragement, they keep me from looking a hot mess.

The good news is I only have to wait one more day before having something done with the sad, pitiful mop on top of my head. Tomorrow, my hair lady will work her magic with scissors and a bit of color (Pink!). But my love of the headband will not waver.

In fact, yesterday I bought two new headbands from O Sweet Joy. I got The Collette in both sour apple and raspberry. Aren’t they the cutest little head wraps you’ve ever seen? (If you go to Kacia’s site, Coconut Robot, you can snag a discount code!)

(And after you snag the discount code, check out the giveaway Kacia is hosting today for Noonday, an AMAZING organization that works to advocate for the orphan by providing jobs so families can provide for their children, raising funds for adoption and so much more. I love what they’re doing and their jewelry is Gorgeous with a capital ‘G’!)

So, back to my original premise for the post: How does a Minivan Mom keep her hair looking awesome? By investing a little time into a good cut and color, of course. However, when time (and funds) do not permit such an investment, then the smart Minivan Mom fakes it. She invests in a few good headbands, puts on a little extra makeup and keeps things sassy until that next miraculous moment when she can sit her behind in a chair at the salon and let them work their magic.

And we all said together…


(PS – To the men who read my blog (and I know there are several of you out there…don’t try and hide it) – I apologize for what was likely a very boring read. I hate for you to feel left out, so please feel free to share with us any tips you have for maintaing your hip Minivan Dad edge. *wink*)

If I Say it Enough?



When my life looks like this:



And this:



And this:


One of many scratches down the side from wayward bikes.


And especially this:



Then I have to remind myself of this:



You think if I keep saying it, I’ll start to believe it?



Blonde jokes totally appropriate

Landon gives the angel her final flight.

Despite temps in the ’80’s, Christmas has fully made its way to our house. We topped off Project Initiate Christmas this past weekend with a trip to the local Tree Lot to purchase our Christmas tree. You can go to actual tree farms here in Florida to cut your own tree, but a Christmas tree grown in Florida does not have the  same appeal as one brought in from Oregon.

You understand.

Lee and I have celebrated twelve Christmases together and we’ve never had a tree fall over thanks to our amazing tree stand, so imagine our horror when we got home Saturday and realized our tree didn’t fit into the stand. I’ll make a long story very short:

Awesome neighbors lent us another stand.

We decorated our tree.

It fell over at 10:30 Saturday night.

Ornaments shattered.

Our angel broke.

I cried.

Apparently it was too heavy for our borrowed stand as well.

We tied it to the piano and the chair with twine where it stayed propped through our big party on Sunday.

So Sunday night, I headed to Home Depot to look for a sturdier stand to hold our wily tree. As I walked out of the house, I grabbed Lee’s keys thinking I’d take his car. Did I mention Lee got a new job? His new job necessitated the purchase of a new car and…well, his new car is pretty. I like driving it.

It doesn’t smell like french fries and make strange knocking noises when I hit 40 mph.

Alas, my car was parked behind his, so I grabbed my keys, jumped in the car and took off. I purchased the largest tree stand known to mankind made of solid steel. You’ll be pleased to know that should we ever want to get a 12 foot tree we have the stand to hold it up.

Merry Christmas!

After I paid for my tree stand, I walked back out to the parking lot and began looking for the car. The problem? I thought I was looking for Lee’s car. Somehow I totally and completely forgot I had driven my car to the store. Lee’s new car is so fancy that you just push a button to start and stop it – you just need to have the keys in the car with you.

As I wandered the parking lot, I couldn’t remember taking his keys out of the car with me so the obvious conclusion that I could come to was someone had stolen his car.


I stood in the parking lot and began to panic. My foolishness and forgetfulness had resulted in Lee’s car being stolen right out from under my nose. I wondered how on earth someone had figured out that I left the keys in the car. I wondered at what point I should call the police.

Just then, a Home Depot employee came up to me. “Can I help you?” he asked. I must have looked a little crazy, what with my heavy breathing and wide, panicked eyes and all.

“I…I can’t find my car,” I said. “I parked it right here and I don’t see it.”

The young man looked concerned himself and both of us turned in a circle, scanning the parking lot.

“What kind of car do you drive?” he asked.

That’s when I realized my mistake. How did I realize my mistake? You ask.




I saw the van and cleared my throat, trying to figure out how to not look completely crazy but I realized pretty quickly that there was very little I could do to mask the truth.

“Oh…ahem…um,” I turned to the concerned helper. “So, funny story…I was looking for the wrong car. This car right here is mine.” I point to the car that is literally within arm’s reach.  “So, I’m all good.” I flashed him my best I-am-totally-normal-and-not-crazy-at-all-and-am-actually-a-fairly-intelligent-chick-who-happens-to-suffer-from-a-rare-bout-of-ditziness-now-and-then smile.

He smiled back. It was more of an I’m-totally-going-to-laugh-my-head-off-and-tell-the-entire-store-about-how-dumb-you-are-when-you-drive-away sort of smile.

So there you have it. The blonde strikes again. It doesn’t happen often but when it does, I make sure it’s good…


Am I the only one who’s ever done this?


You know what…don’t answer that.

How to dress like a mom without LOOKING like a mom

Yesterday, I made my way downtown to the County Clerk’s office to track down yet another elusive form needed for the adoption. When I entered the building, I decided to run into the bathroom before heading up to the sixteenth floor. Friends, what I saw upon glancing in the mirror both shocked and horrified me.

I looked like a mom.

But Kelli, you ARE a mom.

Yes, I know. I know I’m a mom. I’m a mom who drives a minivan, no less. BUT IT DOESN’T MEAN I HAVE I LOOK LIKE IT!

I had put zero effort into my appearance before leaving the house yesterday. I hadn’t even brushed my hair!

(But I did brush my teeth. Go me.)

(For Real. GO! ME!)

I had simply pulled my dirty, greasy hair back into a ponytail, slapped on a little mascara and chapstick, threw on the first clothes I managed to grab out of the drawer (in the dark, no less, since I woke up before the sun) and I skipped into a very public place looking like I’d been hit by a truck.

Case in point:

A couple of months ago, I bought the above pictured shorts at GAP. I didn’t try them on when I bought them which means I came home with a pair of shorts that were one size too big (which is always more encouraging than coming home with shorts that are too small, mind you).

Because I am the most orgainzed scatterbrained person on the planet, I almost immediately lost the receipt and decided they weren’t really that bad as long as I belted them. They were kind of comfy, actually.

Lee came to me the second time I wore those pants and leaned in close. “You know those are Mom-Shorts, right? They totally give you Mom-Butt.”

I’m not entirely sure what Mom-Butt means, but the way he said it did not lead me to believe that it was something I should be striving for. I was a bit disappointed as I really loved the shorts, so I decided they would just be around the house comfy shorts from there on out.

Until yesterday, when I had a moment of terrible mombrainitis and decided to leave the house in said Mom-Shorts. I also had Tevas on my feet, which let’s face it, scream Mom-With-A-Minivan.

At least it wasn’t a skort and Keds! Baby steps, people. Baby steps.

Upon seeing my unkempt appearance, however, I made a resolve to try juuuuust a scooch harder to put forth an effort in my appearance before heading out in public. Thus, I give you:

I generally tend to leave the house looking a bit frayed for a few different reasons. Sometimes it’s pure laziness. I don’t feel like washing my face, or brushing my hair, or putting on a semi-cute outfit.

Sometimes it’s because I’m running late. We moms generally have to attend to all the chicks in the flock before we can fluff our own feathers (how do you like that metaphor, eh?) which means we run out of time to do anything more than make sure we at least have the proper undergarments on before leaving the house.

(Um…there’s a chance I’ve left the house in the past without even getting to this step. Maybe. I mean, I won’t say for sure, but…)

Sometimes I have high and lofty expectations of getting to the gym after I drop children off where they need to be and I have no desire to try and look cute only to go work out. More often than not, though, I never make it to the gym so I walk around looking like a drowned gym rat without ever having worked a muscle.

*hangs head in shame*

So what is a busy mom to do? How do I dress like a mom without looking like a mom?

First things first. I will fix my hair!

Even if I’m throwing it into a ponytail, I can still brush it. And if it’s dirty? Well, that is the perfect excuse to invest in a couple of cute hats. Am I right?

Second – Never underestimate the power of accesories:

Yes, it’s only September, which in Florida means we are now enjoying temps in the mid to high ’80’s every day. Not exactly scarf weather, but how cute is this lovely? I have been dying to wear it, so yesterday I put it on over a tank top with a pair of jeans and voila! Cute outfit in less than ten minutes!

Third: Wear clothes that fit. I dunno, but I have a sneaking suspicion that Mom-Butt has something to do with shapeless formless clothing, giving one the appearance of a wide, saggy derriere. Just conjecture, but I’m pretty sure I’ve hit the nail on the head.

Fourth: Make up. I know some of you are so naturally beautiful that you simply don’t need make up. I salute you (and I’m secretly envious).

I am not one of those people. I mean, I’m not afraid to leave the house without make up, but I also feel MUCH more secure with a little bit of color on my cheeks and some mascara to give the old eyes a lift. Just me. Even if I’m going to the gym, I’m putting on a little make up.

Because I would rather not scare everyone in my path!

Finally – a pair of cute shoes goes an awfully long way. They can make or break an otherwise drab outfit. I mean, even a skort can be dressed up with the right pair of shoes.

Hmm? What’s that? Forget trying to make the skort sound good ’cause you’re not buying it? REALLY?!

Is it time to give up on the idea of the Skort? *sigh* Fine…back to the shoes.

Listen, just because I have three kids, am nestled somewhere in my thirties and drive a minivan doesn’t mean I have to abandon all hope of dressing sassy. Even if I’m headed to the gym, I can do so looking cute and put together. I can look like a mom without LOOKING like a mom.

Know what I mean?

Have any cute fashion tips for us frazzled, busy Moms? Do share!

*PS-Please know this is all written very tongue in cheek. It’s not meant to offend. Here’s the obligatory winky face emoticon so you know I’m only writing in jest:  😉

On the road again

The kids and I are off on a grand, road-tripping adventure on Friday wherein they will gorge themselves on processed foods and movies (and, don’t tell them this yet, but they will be doing Math on the road…because I don’t feel like eighteen hours in the car together is torturous enough…)

If all goes according to plan (and by plan I mean if we all make it from Point A to Point B in one piece) we should be in St. Louis on Saturday night. My smokin’ hot husband and aging, sweet as pie dog will be holding down the fort here in the Sunshine State, luckies.

While I am away, I plan to post new content when I feel inspired and I will be re-running a few of my favorite posts in the interim as well. I’m always here for ya, sweet friends. Heaven knows I wouldn’t want you to start resenting your minivans or shopping for an SUV simply because I couldn’t give you the frequent reminders needed that you are good enough, you are hot enough and doggon it, your van’s smokin’.

We have to stick together, us minivan rockin’ moms and dads. And to those of you who don’t drive a van, but have found a haven here for your van-shunning ways – we welcome you with open arms. And when the day comes that you are ready to step into the glorious light of double sliding doors, french fry crusted seats and a sound system that would make Snoop Doggy Dog cry, just know that we’ll be here for you. We’ll pat your back and hold your hand as you step away from the glamour of the SUV and we will usher you into the sweet light of the minivan.

Smokin’ hot minivan.

Glory Hallelujah!