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This “Hot Mess” blog was written by Surprise Gift Co./guest blogger Rachel Smith

All Aboard the Hot Mess Express

It was nearing the end of July, 2011. We had welcomed a new baby seven months before, and the summer had been refreshing. My step-daughter was headed into 2nd grade, so I was beginning to think about another school year. What fun it was to hit the stores and find everything that would take her through the school year! I LOVED shopping! Just walking into a store mesmerized me! All the colors! All the STUFF! I loved the smell of the stores and the new clothes! I loved the new school supplies and the backpacks! I knew I could easily spend an entire day in the stores, buying up all of the things for our sweet girl!

But then we actually went out.

I had not considered that I had never done back-to-school shopping with a baby. And it wasn’t easy, to say the least! The shopping I used to be able to do in one day, now had to be broken down into tiny, hour-and-a-half increments when the baby didn’t need to be fed or napped or cuddled. And, even following his strict list of demands, we would inevitably be caught in a store when he had a major blowout…probably some place that didn’t have a changing table. (Which…it’s the 21st century, for the love. PUT CHANGING TABLES IN ALL THE PUBLIC PLACES, PLEASE!!!)

And did I mention that I’m a teacher?? Yeah, I quickly realized I should’ve started back-to-school shopping in May!

At that point in my life, I knew there was only one way to describe myself: a hot mess.

Fast-forward a few years to 2016. My step-daughter is going into 7th grade (!!!). That baby boy I was talking about has somehow become a kindergartener. We now have a daughter going into K3, and we’ve added a 3rd grade daughter to our family this year through adoption. I am still teaching, and have recently accepted a job at a new school.

As I think about packing up my classroom, unpacking in a new space, shopping for uniforms and school supplies, finishing the laundry, cooking dinner (or getting something for all these people to eat), feeding the dogs, vacuuming the carpet, getting to church on time, and all the other things, I’m not nearly as excited as I was then. I actually want to call 2011 Rachel and tell her I had no idea what a hot mess was before. Now when we walk into places, I feel the need to announce, “THE LOUD FAMILY HAS ARRIVED!”

The good thing is that I have several Hot-Mess Mamas in my life, and we all know that we wouldn’t have it any other way.

So, who’s the Hot Mess in your life? She doesn’t have to be a mom or a teacher like me. She could be a college student or a minister’s wife or a nurse or a stylist. Have you thought about sending her the Hot Mess Box from Surprise Gift Co? It’s hand-packed with love, full of stuff to remind her that hot messes are still beautiful. And I’ll bet she could certainly use that reminder.

Rachel Smith