29 August 2014

A Fabulous Friday Feature

Nanette from Sweet Fringe Benefits:  I am so incredibly excited for my guest blogger today.  This is a woman from my hometown, Franklin, Tennessee.  She is full of faith, honesty, and a powerful love for her family.  On her blog, Sweet Fringe Benefits, you can find refreshing honesty in her day to day.  What I love about her blog is that even though we are at very different stages of life, I am able to find a way to relate to a lot of her experiences.  There is something about a woman who shares the truth about what's in her heart and on her mind.  A woman who doesn't try to be something she's not.  Her writing is real, funny, and touching.  Reading her blog encourages me to find my own Sweet Fringe Benefits each day.  And even if she's 50, she's got killer style.  I've pulled many ideas from her OOTD.

I want this blog to be a place where women of all personalities, styles, and ages come together to find common ground.  A place to feel connected.  A place to be uplifted.  A place to laugh and maybe to cry.  A place to realize that you're not the only one who has weaknesses, and you're certainly not the only one who feels like they don't add up.  We're not perfect, and we're all learning.  We'll be learners our entire lives.  So why not be a little less hard on ourselves and try to find the Sweet Fringe Benefit of each day?  

Sit back and enjoy a little dose of a Nanette.  You won't regret it!    

"I can't wait until I'm 50!" said no one, ever.  I know I certainly didn't.  And yet here I am.  50.  Sweet Fringe Benefits (SFB) are all the good, the sweet, the easier side effects of my age.  And although the "nasties" of 50 abound,  I have spent the last year finding an SFB in any kind of day.  My blog posts are prompted by emotion, daily experiences, music, pictures, flowers, teenage angst, hot flashes, cycling analogies, spiritual ah-ha moments and the list goes on and on.  My posts have gotten me in trouble for being a little too honest at times.  But I've been surprised by the commonality that has been found in my realness...by men and women of any age.  

My niece is a young mom.  I shared with her my concerns of guest blogging for such a young hip crowd.  She encouraged me by saying, "Well, I love it when you talk about when your kids were young because it helps with perspective.  I think that times are crazy and all, and then sometimes you need to stop and realize that it'll all be gone very soon, and I just need to enjoy it all.  Hearing you reflect on that is different than someone telling you to stop and relax and enjoy blah blah."  I get it.  I remember plenty of 50 somethings giving me the same advice.  Ugh.  And I didn't listen.

Enough about my background.  Let's get to the meat of the post...

I have shared many a post about my daughter's involvement in cheerleading.  I've shared her successes and her failures.  I've confessed my middle school emotions of not fitting in with other cheer moms.  I've even admitted to breaking a rule of parenthood...the one about living your life through your children.  Well, here's another one.  

My daughter sprained her ankle 10 days ago tumbling...just when she was landing her standing tuck and making progress.  And she's been in a boot ever since.  I gotta say, I'm tired.  I'm tired of the drama.  Over team sports.  Over peer pressure to succeed.  And of my daughter's self esteem being caught up in whatever tumbling skill she is landing...or not landing.  

I'm going to try to learn from past mistakes here.  I will love every minute watching her on the sideline cheering (even with a boot on), and on the stage competing.  But I'm not going to miss it when it's over.  I do miss the successes, the highs, the wins, the triumphs that I witnessed with my boys on the field.  But I don't miss the nervous stomach on a Friday afternoon wondering if tonight my son would finally  get a chance to play quarterback, or alternatively, if his luck would run out, and he'd get injured.  I miss cheering out loud for my sons, but I don't miss the silent treatment in the house all weekend long after a loss or a botched play.

Today's Sweet Fringe Benefit is a boot.  A boot that's been worn because of Sever's Disease (a growth plate disorder) and many twisted ankles.  A boot that's kept my daughter from achieving goals.  A boot that's helped me see the short term nature of this aspect of her life.  And a boot that teaches my daughter to overcome obstacles.  And in 3 years, that boot will be retired.  I don't think I'll miss that or the pom poms.  I'm just going to enjoy the phase while it lasts...disappointments and all.

See.  Sweet Fringe Benefits can be found in just about anything.  Phases are called such because they don't last.  By definition, a phase is a distinct period in a process of change or forming part of something's development.  Babies are born.  Eventually sleep through the night.  Terrible twos end.  Teenagers become adults.  And 50 year olds find peace with their new normal.

Outfit of the Day:  Merona (Target) black/white geometric blouse, JCrew Factory mint green shorts, Banana Republic white statement necklace, Banana Republic black espadrilles.  The only deception you'll find on my blog is the "selfie" that I take of my Outfit of the Day (OOTD).  It makes me look like a size 4, when really I'm a 12.  The pressure to get dressed each day, get out of my workout gear right when the workout is over has been good for my psyche.  Now that I have a part-time job, getting out of my workout clothes is a requirement.  But the OOTD continues.  

Do I have regrets about not finding the Sweet Fringe Benefits of age 29, 35, or 42?

Nope.  I don't like regrets.  The past is the past.  All I can do is change my attitude today.  Right here, right now...

❤, Nanette

And just for fun, I put together some of my favorite outfits of hers from previous OOTD!  From her statement necklaces to her playful, fun patterns to her popping colors and beautiful neutrals, she's got it goin' on and really knows how to put together an outfit!

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