Natural Beauty …

Wearing makeup was never really my thing growing up.  My mom was fairly strict in this department however when I woud tiptoe around the subject she would say things like … your skin is so pretty the way it is or natural beauty is the best or my all time favorite was you have your entire life to wear makeup!  As I got older and saw how experienced my friends were in their makeup regiment the peer pressure began to set in to want to be a part of that lunchtime routine crowded around the bathroom mirror adding another layer of mascara and reapplying lipstick, like real lipstick!  You know, the kind you had to actually turn the tube and it would magically appear?!  Once my mom finally gave in to my desperate pleas she started me out with just the necessities.  This included a foundation so light you couldn’t even tell I was wearing any; a small brush stroke of blush and a touch of mascara, brown mascara – not black like all my friends had and a clear lip gloss with just a hint of gloss.  I’m pretty sure chapstick had more shine and color!  I was not impressed with her willingness in helping me keep up with my classmates at all!

I was not a girly girl by any stretch of the means.  I loved sports and spent most of my days in the pool swimming competitively for our local swim team and playing basketball all through my school years.  I could be found with my naturally curly mop piled on top of my head and had little time for brown eyelashes that bled into my eyes and white towels covered in the hottest colors of lip smudges.  I also have very little patience for anything that takes time so before long the idea of a painted face no longer impressed me.  However, much like Caroline is today I would buy whatever my friends had and there it would sit all neat and pretty on my vanity.  I am not nearly as strict with my girls as my mom was with me.  Caroline is a beautiful girl – she is truly a natural beauty!  Her pale features allows for just a little kiss of the sun to bring out a glow that would lead one to think she had spent hours making herself up.  Following in her mama’s footsteps she is hardly girly as well!  When Caroline was old enough to decide that she knew what she wanted to wear we would battle daily about tights!  I would buy long dresses with matching tights; every color, design and texture filled her dresser draw.  Black tights with pink hearts, red and white stripes and every holiday represented.  I would lay out her clothes and out she would walk in whatever I had not picked for her that day.  I would beg, plead and at times resorted to bribery but it was leggings and t-shirts that made her happy; running shorts and tank tops became her summertime wardrobe.  She inherited my long curly hair which was always in her face and some outside creature always in her hands!  Honestly I thought I might get lucky with this one; that she would never be interested in hours of mirror time and the endless supply of makeup brushes in mason jars that would adorn her bathroom countertop.  I was wrong.

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So a little confession here.  I actually did not buy Caroline any of her first makeup.  After a weekend at her dads house she came home with a little Vera Bradley makeup bag filled with just the basics.  Caroline’s stepmom is 20 years younger than I am and probably much more knowledgeable in what teenage girls are interested in.  My movie brain goes back to “Stepmom” with Julia Roberts and Susan Saranadon and the scene in the car where Julia hands over her lipstick to the teenage stepdaughter.  Upon returning home Susan Sarandon comments on her daughters newly made up face and there is that awkward moment between the three of them while they try to figure out how Mom is going to react.  I would love to tell you that Caroline was more than happy with just the basics and a swipe of her stepmoms lipstick in the car but …. oh wait are you waiting for me to tell you how I reacted to Caroline’s teenage stepmom introducing makeup into her life?  I highly recommend you watch the movie, I identified very well with Susan in that scene (maybe almost all the scenes!)  But really, it was fine.  I have often told Caroline there are a lot of girls her age who would love to have a young, cool stepmom to identify with at times.

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Thanks to social media Caroline became the skincare and makeup guru!  There were endless tutorials, youtube videos and instagram posts that kept us gracing the doors of Sephora.  She always needed something I am sure she already had 4 of but she would assure me that it was definetely NOT the same thing she already had.  Caroline is also very quick to be sure and include me in her need for something new by trying to convince me it would be perfect for me as well and we can share it; Caroline does not share well!  Now as Caroline has so generously mentioned I know nothing about … well let’s be honest here, Caroline thinks I know nothing about anything but I really know nothing about my face!  I turned 48 this week and on the morning of my birthday I woke up and washed my face, put on a little mositurizer and went on about my day.  No makeup except a little dab of Caroline’s favorite Glossier lip balm and I never gave another thought about my face!  So here I am 32 years later back to just the necessities that my own mom introduced me to that I thought for sure I could never survive on.

I will admit having Caroline and her knowledge of skincare has been helpful (and expensive) at times!  And I will holler upstairs “heading to Sephora” as a bribe for a little mother/daughter time because if I ask if she wants to got to WalMart with me there in rarely a response!  Caroline will walk the aisles picking up items and telling me what they are good for and if she or I should try it.  There are times I have to reel her back in as she and the Sephora associate become best friends filling a basket full!  So yes, Caroline is right, I am very lucky to have her but I will let you in on a little secret.  I can not wait until she has a daughter of her own who will assure Caroline she knows nothing and my daughter will call me and ask … did I ever do that to you?

Makeup and my Mom …

My mom and I have a lot the same tastes and we are pretty similar.  I am told that we act basically the same, but one thing that is totally different about the two of us is our thoughts on skincare and makeup.  Personally, I think taking care of your skin is a big deal and I take a lot of pride in what I do to take care of it.

I wash my face like everyone does, but then I have to put on toner, serums, eye creams and moisturizers.  Even though I am only 14 and probably don’t need to do all of these steps it makes me feel accomplished.  With just makeup I feel like it is not nearly as important as your skincare but still I have a lot of makeup; more than anyone should need and I think I know pretty much everything there is to know about makeup.  I know where to conceal, highlight and contour.  And the same goes for skincare, I know what you need to use if you’re struggling with wrinkles or blemishes.

The thing is that I don’t even know how I know so much about makeup and skincare because my mom is pretty clueless about this subject to be quite honest with you.  Her makeup collection, well it’s not really even a collection but it consists of mascara, foundation, blush, lip balm and a few brushes.  I wish I could be that minimal.  My mom is definitely not a beauty guru!  She puts her foundation on with her hands, which kind of makes me cringe but I’m sure I would be the same way if I had 4 kids to take care of!  But at the end of the day she looks the same no matter how she puts on her makeup and yes that is a compliment to her!  Maybe I should give her techniques a try.

There is one thing I have to say though and that is if she didn’t have me to help her with makeup and all of that stuff who knows the kind of things she would be using.  What I am trying to say here is that she is pretty lucky to have me!

– Caroline

Catching Up …

I have no idea how this much time got away from us; believe me Caroline and I have had plenty to write about over the last month so that has not been the reason for our absence!  Life, life is what happened.  So let me catch everyone up on our bus rider and then we can get back to some spilled sweet tea!

She’s surviving!  (Barely if you ask her!)  So before anyone gets the idea that I am just a horrible mother who doesn’t want to get up and take her kids to school, because I am sure that is how Caroline would describe me to her friends whose sweet mama’s drop them off at school every morning … I want to have the opportunity to explain my side!  I have 4 children; the oldest is 23 and the youngest is 12.  I am terrible at math but I can assure you that is a lot of years of drop offs and pick ups with a lot of years left to go!  So for quite a while it was 4 kiddos, 4 schools (because you know that I would never be so lucky to have any of them going to the same school at the same time!) and hours, literally hours in the car.  The van pulled out of the driveway at 7:10am every morning with it returning at 9:15am.  It would then leave again at 2:45pm and return around 4:30pm if traffic was good, the car line ran smoothly, which most days it didn’t and if I was a really sweet mom and let the kids stop at Casey’s for an afternoon snack, which most days I wasn’t.  So I am sure you are asking yourself why I didn’t have the brilliant idea of having the kids ride the bus before now.  Simple question with a really long and complex answer.  (You have time to grab a cup of coffee while I explain this!)  There are very few schools that offer the 1 to 6 ratio classroom that Elizabeth requires.  Until we moved all of the schools from elementary to high school were clear across town and most mornings the reason so much time was spent in the car.  Our school district worked with me and allowed the other kids to attend schools close to where Elizabeth went so that I would not have them scattered all over the district for which I was very appreciative of but the trade off was that no transportation would be provided.  I weighed out the pros and cons and came to the conclusion it was better to have them all next door to one another so no bus riders!

We moved over the holidays, about 20 miles North which meant all new schools for the kids.  Everyone was excited for the change and looking forward to their new surroundings.  AND … they were the ones that brought up riding the bus long before I did!  Yes, including Caroline who was honestly the one most excited for the opportunity.  I will be honest here and tell you I was a little apprehensive, I’m pretty sure I have called in some bus numbers in the past to the school district.  Maybe I shouldn’t admit that!  And not to mention my overly active imagination of every bad thing that can happen while waiting at the bus stop or walking home alone.  But the thought of having 4 extra hours during the day quickly replaced any bad thought I had.  I think it was a few days before the kids started school when Caroline came to me and said she wasn’t sure she wanted to ride the bus anymore.  That turned into maybe just a few days a week, and definitely just in the morning but not in the afternoons for sure which turned to well maybe once a week or how about just once a month …. YOU’RE RIDING THE BUS!!!  And as I said up top there, she is surviving although she is already trying to figure out how not to ride the bus next year in high school!

So now that you know Caroline is okay and there has been no major trauma to her teenage pride for being a bus rider we can get back on track and spill some sweet tea!

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!