The Bus …

So, I moved to a new school and that means I can ride the bus.  I thought this would be convenient for me in the mornings so I don’t have to wake up as early just to drop off my siblings off at their schools.  I usually just ride with my mom and my brother and sister in the mornings but that means I have to wake up at 6:00 in the morning which I HATE!!  I am not a morning person; I hate everything about mornings!!  So my plan was to just ride the bus in the mornings and maybe in the afternoons if I am feeling like it.  Well, my mom thinks I should ride it in the mornings and the afternoons but kids usually don’t do that do that at my school.  They don’t ride the bus all the time but it turns out I am.  I’m going to try it out, but if I don’t like it my mom will have to pick me up.  Although she might not agree to that.

– Caroline

My Mom …

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My mom is a lot of things but selfish is not one of them.  She provides for the whole family and always puts others needs in front of her own.  I know that is what Moms are supposed to do, but I’ve never seen anyone have her kind of selflessness.  My mom definitely spoils us but she likes to say we are just loved.  Although my mom lets us have just about everything under the sun (within reason) she doesn’t let us run wild and do whatever we want.  We have structure and rules, which is what I want to do with my kids one day, too.  When I grow up and have kids of my own I don’t think I’ll be as patient as she is today.  When I was younger we had a lot of things going on in our life and it was very hard on everyone, especially my mom and I would just like to thank her for staying strong because I could never imagine what she went through.  Thanks, Mom for everything you do for me and being the most selfless and strong person I know.

– Caroline

Introducing Caroline …

 

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This little miracle came into my life in early fall of 2004.  She was 6 weeks early, all legs and my third child.  I remember the doctor saying here she comes and then silence.  It took all of 3 seconds for her to take her first breath and my life was forever changed.  Caroline was totally unplanned, in fact after the birth of her sister, Elizabeth I was told it would be impossible to get pregnant again.  Well, 13 months later here she is!  She was an easy baby and always happy and that is about all I remember of her first year.  Caroline is always asking me about her baby years and I have to admit to her that I truly don’t remember.  Elizabeth had only been home for a few months, life with a 22 week micropreemie and a newborn was a lot to juggle.  I try to show Caroline as many pictures from her first year that I can so she knows her mother didn’t totally forget she had another child after Elizabeth!

Growing up #3 wasn’t easy.  She loved her older brother, Nathan but struggled with Elizabeth at times.  It was hard to share mom and she was so little to really understand the dynamics of what is was like to have a sister with special needs.  I tried to share my time equally but it was really Nathan that stepped up and gave Caroline the time and attention she needed those younger years.  As Caroline got older I would sneak her out for late night dinners, surprise her with skip days from school and extra treats to try and make up for my absence.  Caroline never complained and her personality allowed her to just go with it for most of her younger years.

I mentioned in our welcome post that I make it a point to apologize to my mother on a regular basis for my teen years …. this girl is why!  She is her mothers daughter through and through; no question about it.  Growing up Caroline would tell people she looks just like her dad but acts like her mama.  There are no truer words.   I often catch my mom just sitting back and watching the interaction between us and every now and then see a smile actually cross her face.  Oh what I must have put this woman through growing up!

Caroline wasn’t handed an easy life and has had to grow up fast which makes her so much wiser beyond her years.  The third child, a sister with special needs, parents who divorced when she was so young, a mom who worked full time and now a new stepdad and siblings.  Now, don’t let me lead you to believe she smiled through it all!  No, she has voiced her opinion … mainly in form of hand clapping many times!  But she is tough, she has learned that life is full of challenges and it is truly how well you react to them that makes you the person you will become.

She is a brilliant student, will go to Columbia or Notre Dame.  Remember this post in about 4 years because you will not be surprised when she winds up exactly where she says she will be.  She loves her puppy, Sadie and will be a doctor of people or animals!  She excels in science and often speaks of her mentor, her Papa who she says is the reason she is so compassionate about healing the sick.  She loves swimming and volleyball and whatever you do, don’t let her tall 5’9 self fool you into thinking she will ever play basketball!

I could go on forever about this girl and how proud I am of how she has chosen to grow up but I will save some of that for the blog and just say this about her …

She is kind, she is thoughtful, her ability to find the good in all things is contagious. This girl has a smile that will light up a room and a laugh that will warm your heart.  So wise beyond her years, kindness and compassion overflows in this one; she loves her family and all Gods creatures great and small. She believes in who she is and won’t let anyone change her.  Sweet and stubborn; sassy and a bit messy …. a whole lot of Southern; a heart full of grace, beautiful from the inside out and a personality that you just can’t help but love!  She is the definition of perfection and beauty!

 

Welcome!

I’m not really even sure what was happening but it was quickly interrupted by my dad who said … “you girls need to write a weekly column.”  The girls he was referring to was myself and my 14 year old daughter, Caroline.  So I can only assume that we were “fussing and discussing” some kind of dramatic event that had just taken place.  I smiled at my dad and half heartedly agreed.  But then he said he was serious!!  So over the next few weeks every time I would talk to him he would ask how the column was going … the first few times I had to stop and ask myself what column??  Once I remembered the conversation I again half heartedly responded with something like we should do that or I will look into it.  Again, the words I am serious presented themselves so I thought I had better get to work on it!

Now my dad is a bit old school.  He doesn’t believe in text messages, a hand written letter with a good pen is the best way to go, every single time!!  A phone call is better than email and the blogging world is a foreign language he has no interest in learning!  Unfortunately I can’t just call up our local paper and convince them to give me space in their Sunday paper so my daughter and I can hash out the everyday life of growing up!  As a blog writer for many years now I decided this would be the best way to start!  And who knows, maybe my dad will someday open the paper and see us in print!  But for now … this will do!

Every mother and daughter has their moments, mostly between the ages of 12 and 24!  It is those junior high right through college years!  Since having my own daughters I make it a point to apologize regularly to my own mother for those teen years she experienced with me.  Now, I am sure our lives aren’t much different than that of every other teen daughter and mom relationship but we do have some unique family dynamics that set us apart from most.  And apparently my dad found us entertaining enough that he thought others might benefit from our adventures!

And so … Spilled Sweet Tea was launched!  It took about 10 minutes on the way to school one morning to come up with our name.  I wanted something that Caroline could identify with and quite honestly didn’t think was just too corny!  The eye rolling and dramatic deep breaths stopped when I mentioned something about sweet tea.  She’s southern, loves her sweet tea and it was a cute play on words for us to be spilling our story for the world wide web to read so it was perfect!  My dad didn’t agree; he thought we should just call it “Fuss and Discuss” … insert eye roll and dramatic deep breath here!  Oh wait, you thought that one came from Caroline!  Nope, that was me!  So we compromised, used both our ideas and here we are!  We hope you will join us on our journey of mother and daughter blogging and would love to hear from you and your own mother/daughter experiences!  Follow our blog, find us on social media and settle in for what I think will be a lot of fun that will surely keep you entertained!