Eight Pairs of Shoes (A Mama Kat Writing Prompt)

As far back as I can remember, my daughter Tenley has loved shoes. She had a little pair of patent red shoes when she was a baby which were THE BOMB shoe-wise. As she grew and was able to choose her own shoes, it became clear that she was a shoe-lover. We jokingly called her Baby Imelda.

Tenley is almost out of her teen years, but I still have a distinct memory of those adorable red shoes. Thinking of them brings back happy memories of her babyhood.

I, on the other hand, can take or leave shoes (although I do appreciate a cool pair of shoes like these on MiamiStyleMom!). In response to Mama Kat’s “list eight things you are thankful for” prompt, I decided to see what I could do in relation to shoes:

(1) My Running Shoes

Shoes for Cambodian Children

My love for my running shoes knows no bounds. Everyone who knows me knows I would rather arrive at a business trip having forgotten my “work” shoes than my running shoes! I am thankful for the miles of therapy they take me on.

(2) My Indoor Cycling Sandals

Shoes for Cambodian Children

Although I haven’t had the opportunity to wear them too many times, these indoor cycling sandals by Nashbar with clips are so great! A) no socks needed B) every time I wear them I think about the first time I ever clipped in to anything: at SoulCycle in NYC and C) I am thankful that they make the experience of indoor cycling so much more efficient!

(3) The Tennis Shoes I Wore in El Salvador

Shoes for Cambodian Children

They’re just Payless tennis shoes, and the laces were so incredibly long that people were always commenting, “do you realize your shoes are untied?” BUT they are the shoes I bought to wear when I went to El Salvador as part of the first Unbound Blogging Trip, so they bring back great memories. I am thankful that I walked the ground of El Salvador in these shoes.

(4) My Favorite Black Shiny/Matte Shoes

Shoes for Cambodian Children

This is my most current pair of black dress shoes. I don’t recall exactly when I bought them, but it was either for an important meeting or a film school project. I love the matte/shiny effect. They’re close to being way too worn now but I am thankful that I have enjoyed them so much.

(5) My Brown Boots

Shoes for Cambodian Children

I bought these shoes last year when I was going to be having a high school reunion on a farm. Although I was going to be wearing jeans, I wanted something a little dressier than tennis shoes. These filled the bill, and I am thankful that they give me another option when I need to be a little bit more dressed “up” than “down.”

(6) My Blue Dress Shoes

Shoes for Cambodian Children

I *love* these shoes. I bought them for my friend Mary Jane’s wedding, which was in the spring of 1999. It was down to two pairs of shoes, and these cost a lot (for me), but they have been SO WORTH IT. I almost ruined them this past spring when I went to visit Senator Bill Nelson’s office here in Tallahassee and dealt with a deluge of rain as I was leaving. They *might* have survived. I am thankful that I treated myself to a pair of shoes that I have enjoyed for 16 years.

(7) My Utilitarian Black Boots

Shoes for Cambodian Children

When I went to the Shot at Life summit in DC in March of this year, the weather was horrible. Snow, ice, you name it. My DC friend Christina told me to get boots. I scurried over to Kohl’s and picked these up. They may not make a huge style statement but they probably literally saved me from twisting an ankle or something on sidewalks which were literally sheets of ice. I am thankful for friends who tell it like it is.

(8) The Shoes I Will Never See or Wear

Shoes for Cambodian Children

This pair of shoes is not on me (my feet aren’t that dainty!). I do not own them. I am never going own them. BUT my friend Linda has a goal of putting these shoes on the feet of 600 children in the Kratie province of Cambodia when she goes there on a mission trip next year. Lacking shoes, these children get ill from infections contracted by walking barefoot and they suffer injuries.

I have submitted a #mygivingstory which, if it wins, would result in Linda and her team getting $5,000 toward their goal of putting shoes on these 600 children (the total cost is $9,000). Read more about The Shoe that Grows here, more about Linda and the children here, and most importantly, please go to this link and simply click like. (The semifinalists will be chosen strictly on the basis of the number of likes.) I am thankful for all likes on this #mygivingstory!

Shoes for Cambodian Children

Why do I feel the way I do about these children and these shoes? I have never been able to get the picture out of my mind of a women who met with Tenley’s and my group when we went to Guatemala in 2011. Representing her village among the Unbound visitors was a bit of a privilege for her, and she arrived barefooted. I am sure she didn’t have shoes of her own. She carried herself with such dignity. I am sure she saw this meeting with us as a way to do something that would ultimately help her children.

These shoes for the children in Cambodia are designed to last five years and/or through five sizes. Through her previous work, Linda has already opened a school, provided medical care, and provided hundreds of children with the opportunity to lead much healthier lives.

With a simple click of a like button, we can be a part of the Light of Future too!

Shoes for Cambodian Children

Children Linda has served in Cambodia.

NOTE: If you would like to simply make a donation, click here.

workshop-button-1

Wife of one, Mom of two, Friend of many.

Finding New Roads With Chevrolet

When I went to Miami Beach as part of #ChevyPlayMiami, my son and I made several side trips in addition to the main event, the Miami International Auto Show. For example, we went to the Miami Auto Museum, where we saw cars from a broad span of decades. Linking back to the Chevrolet part of my trip, we saw this memory:

Auto Show Ticket Giveaway

Chevrolet’s current motto is “Find New Roads,” and those three words mirror much of my experience as part of this group:

Parent of a Teen Driver Finding New Roads

Since I have a 19-year-old daughter and a 16-year-old son, our lives as a family have been engaged in the “learning to drive” process for the past four years or so. Being the parent of a teen driver introduces a multitude of questions for a parent, foremost among them being: How will my son or daughter remain safe?

Stephen from Chevrolet explained the features the company is incorporating to enhance safety for new drivers:

Exploring New Roads Is About More Than Driving

In addition to a demonstration of the 2016 Suburban and a private tour of the Auto Show, we participated in a session of Style Trends for Fall from Jenny a/k/a MiamiStyleMom.

Auto Show Ticket Giveaway

We interacted with Ryan Hall of #CodeFeverMiami to jump start our enthusiasm for the digital world.

Auto Show Ticket Giveaway

We also spent time with Vanessa James, a fireplug of an individual (and Florida State Seminole hooray!) who empowered each of us to make our unique mark in a crowded internet world.

Auto Show Ticket Giveaway

(Thank you Surfcomber for a gorgeous setting for our day of fashion, coding, cars, and FUN!)

New Roads Introduce You to New People

I literally took a new (to me) road for this trip. Although I am a lifelong Floridian and traveled much of the state with Healthy Kids, I had never been to Miami Beach! In addition to discovering a beautiful part of my home state, I met bloggers and influencers who were new to me. My friend Nicole and I already know each other well from our work as Shot at Life Champion Leaders:

Auto Show Ticket Giveaway

Everyone else, though, was completely new and fresh! It was so exciting for this North Floridian to meet people who see the world through the South Florida filter; by the end of two days I had many new friends and had made special new connections.

ChevyPlay Group

Taty of @CoolChillMom and I connected prior to the event and worked with Ana of @MiamiMommySavings on a ticket giveaway. Those tickets have been given to the winners already (congrats @sal0820!) but there’s an opportunity to win more tickets by participating in a Twitter Chat! (there’s plenty of time to get to the show; it doesn’t end until November 16!).

Four pairs of tickets (as well as Chevy gift bags) will be up for grabs at the Twitter party!

When: November 12, 7-8 pm ET (6-7pm CT; 5-6 pm MT; 4-5 pm PT)

Follow #ChevyPlayMiami #ILikeThatCar @SheBuysCars @TheSistersHood, @biggreenpen, @Coolchillmom, @whatsupmamis, @MommyMafia, @miamimommysavings, @HeLoEnterprises, @zeinabkristen, @bNiiontweet, @tarametblog, @ssstyle1

Enter to win below by answering a few simple questions; each answer qualifies as an entry to win. Winners must be able to pick up tickets to the Miami Auto Show in person; no accommodation for travel, parking or other expenses will be made. Value of each prize $40.

CONTEST INFORMATION

To be eligible, you must:

  1. Enter to win using the Gleam widget below. You can enter up to 5 times!
  2. Have at least one unique Tweet (other than a reTweet) on the Twitter party from 7-8 pm ET on November 12th, 2015. If you aren’t on Twitter, it’s easy—and free—to sign up. Go to www.twitter.com to get started.

#ChevyPlayMiami

Here are some of the sights you will see if you win (and these are just the Chevrolets!). SO MANY CARS!

11221636_10153050104616315_7340497059948406347_n

Auto Show Ticket Giveaway

Auto Show Ticket Giveaway

Auto Show Ticket Giveaway

Auto Show Ticket Giveaway

I’m so renewed by this experience: the environment, the cars, the people. I am glad a new road took me to Miami Beach. What new road do you want to take?

Auto Show Ticket Giveaway

Sunset over the Peace River (why yes I DID take a bus to an auto show!)

I will receive compensation in exchange for participation in this campaign. Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own.

Wife of one, Mom of two, Friend of many.