Memorial Day Memories

Memorial Day Memories

It’s Day 352 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and our family spent it making some Memorial Day memories. Because we’re a big fat blended family ranging ages 5-63, getting everyone together, even for holidays, can be a challenge. Today, all but two who had to work were present, so after faith and a prayer remembering all who have given their lives in service, fun, fellowship, and a fuss free BBQ rib, brisket, pulled chicken and all the fixins feast, our youngest, Izzy, snapped this family photo (the one with her in it didn’t turn out great and didn’t make the cut…). Adding my oldest stepson’s in-laws into the Memorial Day mix is becoming a new tradition. His mother-in-law and I go back to my teaching days. Faith further connected us when she heard I’d been made homeless when my abusive marriage ended and she gifted me with dishwater and cutlery during my transition into a townhouse. Now we’re family. Sharing the meal and our children with her made for more special Memorial Day memories.

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My Big Fat Blended Family Minus a Few – Males left to right – Oldest stepson’s father-in-law, son, Levi, oldest stepson, middle stepson, hubby. Females – Daughter, Liv, Me – Pink Collar Coach, daughter-in-law, daughter-in-law’s mom. I’m in an oldie but goodie dress and shrug, with matching thong sandals and floral handbag. All Calvin Klein from TJ Maxx over the years. 

I lost my beloved father, a Marine who served in Vietnam,  at thirty. At his funeral, after “Taps” played, his folded flag was placed in my arms. Though he didn’t lose his life in combat, his sacrifice was still great. All of my life, he slept under the kitchen table where he felt safe – like he was in a bunker. He’s been gone seventeen years but I still feel his loss like it was yesterday. My son, Levi, looks like him. A few months ago, I took him shopping at Goodwill and he selected a patriotic T-shirt to wear under his red fave red hoodie. Seeing he chose to wear that shirt today, and my father’s face looking back at me from that of my son’s, made for another magic memory. So did shopping for over two hours for a swim suit Liv could wear for another fun trip we have planned for tomorrow. I know, two hours is a lot! But at one point, her father’s now ex-wife had her wearing skimpy strings that substituted for bikinis. Now that she’s out of the picture,  Liv seems to have returned to her more modest roots. Besides, though my hubby has never served in the military, both he and Levi were real troopers during the Great Swim Suit Expedition!

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Swan, I’m all about minimizing barriers and maximizing beauty and best lives. Divided loyalties (a new D!), divorce, domestic relations issues, dysfunctional relationships, etc. could all make the holidays abysmal. Instead, I’m learning to embrace the family I do have and to make the most of our time together. Even so, I’m not gonna lie. At times we’re a mess. But what beautifully messy Memorial Day memories we make.

How about you? Are you Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose about embracing your mess at home or work? With a little change of perspective, you may come to see it as beautiful, too.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

 

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He’s Risen! Hallelujah!

He’s Risen! Hallelujah!

It’s Day 196 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and He’s risen! Hallelujah! Playing the Easter Bunny, a praise service at church, lunch, preparing dinner, then an egg hunt and pictures at our house have made for a busy but beautiful Resurrection Day. Even so, the best part of it was my son and daughter waking me with “Hallelujah, praise the Lord!” from him and “Yay, the big stone was rolled away” – something she’s said since she was a little girl- from her. You see, I shared the Good news of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection with them when they were little, and they accepted Him as their Lord and Savior. To hear them articulate their faith without any prompting made me feel like Mommy Mission Accomplished!

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Hallelujah! The Big Stone Is Rolled Away!                                                                                                    Me, Pink Collar Coach, outside the empty tomb on the set of our church’s Passion play.                Easter is the best Sunday of the year, and I’ll never be too old for a pretty dress. Believe it or not, it was purchased separate from the handbag. The florals don’t match but coordinate perfectly. The gold shrug and sling backs shoes are oldie but goodie go-tos. All Calvin Klein from TJ Maxx. 

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Lover of Jesus Christ, what a blessing the day has been! I know He lives, and because He does, there’s nothing in this life I can’t face. Personally or professionally. Furthermore, the sting of death and the grave’s victory are gone because He not only rose but went to prepare a place for me that I can be with Him eternally. And that’s the true hope of Easter – not only for me, but for you, too. All you have to do is believe that He’s risen! Hallelujah!

If you’ve never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, my prayer is that you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and do it today.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

A Wee Bit of Green for St. Patty’s Day

A Wee Bit of Green for St. Patty’s Day

It’s Day 284 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and because I’m African American, Native American and Irish, I always wear a wee bit of green for St. Patty’s Day.    The holiday started yesterday for me when I wore green athletic wear and shamrock earrings to teach my Friday Zumba class and green jeggins to hang out at virtual golf. On the actual day, I sported a shamrock headband to the Saturday class where one of my mentors always lets me lead a few. Then I took advantage of the opportunity to don a green leather jacket that doesn’t get a lot of use for lunch with a Swan Sister. Though it’s not my go-to color, every year it’s fun to celebrate with a wee bit of green for St. Patty’s Day.

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I’m a bit OCD about textures, so wearing a green leather jacket meant wearing a leather dress. The zipper detail on the jacket carries through on  back of the wedge booties. All Calvin Klein purchased from TJ Maxx over time. The green handbag is about four years old –                    Premium Outlet Calvin Klein store. Green nail polish – OPI from TJ Maxx – $3. The green jewelry is likely Kendra Scott, also purchased at TJ Maxx years ago before I knew what it was!

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Maxxinista, though I love dressing up for holidays, I’ve never been one to go for the goofy looks. Not that there’s anything wrong with that – if that’s your style. But it isn’t mine. My personal style is feminine, pretty, and pulled together. For instance, at Halloween, I have a set of cat ears, a bowtie, and a tail, all black with pink satin, ribbons, and sequins. I pair them with all black – a simple long sleeve top, leggings, and ballet flats. Then I paint a nose and whiskers and finish it all off with purr-fectly pink lipstick! (I couldn’t resist!). For me, the look is festive instead of foolish. After all, I’ll be fifty next year…Nevertheless I’ll still play Ed Sheehan’s “Nancy Mulligan” and teach my class an Irish jig tomorrow while wearing a wee bit of green again to close out my St. Patty’s Day celebration.

How are you Pink Collar Savvy & Chic about incorporating your personal sense of style into St. Patrick’s Day and other holidays?

And now I’ll leave you with my favorite Irish Blessing:

May the road rise to meet you,

May the wind be always at your back.

May the sun shine warm upon your face,

The rains fall soft upon your fields.

And until we meet again, 

May God hold you in the palm of His hand. 

   Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach