Posts Categorized: Mabel

Win an Ultimate Back-to-School Combo!

Back to school is around the corner and I want to give our committed blog readers the opportunity to win an Ultimate Back-to-School Combo!

What do you have to do? It’s this simple: post a comment stating that you’d like to win it! That’s it, that’s all.

You can get creative and say why you need it or what you’d use it for. We’d also love if you shared a Mabel tale or let us know why you read the blog. But, all you really have to do is word up and you are in the mix to win!

Even if you don’t have someone heading off to school, you wanna get your hands on this little win anyways. Comment away!

(Photo is of Combo in Juicy Citrus; also available in three other colour options)

Wedding Stress

When you think of wedding stress you probably think the most stressed out person involved is the Bride. Maybe in the case of a high strung Mother of the Bride (MOB), she’s the likely candidate. Once I was at a wedding where there had been a recent divorce of the Groom’s parents and the most stressed out person was the one who was instructed to ensure that the respective parents didn’t cross paths. It’s always stressful too, when there is that loose cannon alcoholic uncle who is likely to either pass out at the table, make an inappropriate speech or hit on the sophomore bridesmaid.

But, with all those stresses buzzing around, my personal experience tells me that no one is more stressed out than the mother of the flower girl and ring bearer! The thought of your children ruining the wedding of a loved one….well, it weighs very heavily.

I’m a bit of a veteran since next weekend will be the fourth wedding my children have been involved in. One daughter, who is painfully reliable has been in all three to date. Problem is, the children in my family can be divided into two categories: the “completely reliable” and the “pathetically unreliable”. The over-experienced Flower Girl around here is very lonely in her category since all four of her siblings fit into the latter. My stress levels have been recently peeked since my ONE reliable kid has been benched for this one.
The picture you see is of two of my girls in cousin Christina’s wedding last year. I thought that by inviting one of the kids from ‘unreliable’ camp into the wedding party showed that she was a good sport – even on her wedding day she was prepared to handle anything that was coming her way. I was stressed, but respected that Bride’s spirit!
Christina’s sister, Carol Ann is marrying Andrew on Saturday and three of my highly unreliables are in the wedding. Clearly, they are a couple who like to live on the edge. Last summer, Groom Andrew would make cracks (as my baby crawled around) about getting him trained up for the trip down the aisle. I thought Andrew was joking, apparently I was wrong.
So the kiddie contingent of at the Carol Ann/Andrew wedding is looking like this:
- my eldest son, who is amazing (but wasn’t diagnosed with autism for no reason);
- my diva three-year-old who has proven that she is a ‘bridezilla’ in the making, when at her first dress fitting she had a melt-down because she couldn’t wear her dress NOW and directly to the wedding. Oh, and don’t refer to the flower wreath on her head as a headpiece, because it is actually her ‘crown’;
- my 20-month-old who is, well, 20-months-old! He naps everyday from 12:00 noon – 2:00pm. The wedding is at 1:00pm, so he will either be asleep or absolutely psycho.
After hearing countless elders in the family ask me when I was going to cut the boys’ hair (I like the surfer dude look), I took the Bride aside and asked her opinion. She firmly stated that she has told me three times that she doesn’t care about their hair, if the baby sleeps through the wedding, or if the diva dances down the aisle.
That was a moment of clarity for me – this is a couple who GETS that a wedding is about the people, and not the performance. If the chick in the tierra can speak with that kind of authority, maybe it was time for me to take a chill pill. I mean, should the Bride really be counselling me the week before the wedding? Yikes – what a reality check!
So that has opened up a whole new set of issues for me to worry about. For example, I still have the same nail polish on my toes as I had for her sister’s fall wedding. I wish I could say I was exaggerating.
No longer am I worrying about how things are going to go next Saturday at 1:00om. I’m committed to worrying about getting to other important issues surrounding this wedding – first up, getting a pedicure!

Corporate Culture?

I’m just back from an energizing, exciting, and exhausting retreat with my business partners. Sound glamorous? Not exactly. Picture the four top Mabel Mommas locked in a hotel conference room together, hanging out for 16 hours a day, putting heads and hearts together and discussing everything Mabel.

One of the topics we always discuss is our corporate culture. Like many of you, we have the daily battle of striking the work/life balance. Heck, we’ve got 11 kids between us, some kind of balance is a necessity. Because this is a priority, we have created a workplace that provides some flexibility. We have a handful of Mabel Momma employees whose work hours are based around school hours – they rock up to the Mabel digs after school drop-off, and say ‘adios’ just before school pick up. It’s not unusual to walk into the production area and see a kid hanging out, face buried in a Harry Potter book as Momma finishes sending off that last package of the day.

One thing that became abundantly clear on our retreat is that our husbands (fondly referred to as ‘the Mabel Widowers’) may have TOO clear an understanding of our corporate culture.

Get this: one of my business partners calls the office yesterday to check in. To her shock and disbelief, she discovers that her nine-year-old son is at the office. Why? How? She asked those same questions!

It goes like this:
- son complained of a tummy ache at school.
- School knows mom is away, so calls husband at work.
- Husband picks son up from school and needing to return to work, tries to problem solve his dilemma.
- Husband shocks himself with his brilliant solution.
- Husband drops sick son to Mabel’s Labels office where one of his wife’s senior employees can take care of him.

Yes, you read that correctly. Sick son is at Mom’s office (while Mom is out of town at retreat) and senior employee takes care of sick son.

It gets weirder: neither husband nor senior employee found this to be a strange solution.

Safe to say, our corporate culture message is coming across loud and clear!

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