“What would you like to wear today?” I asked my four-year-old daughter as I opened her closet doors. Bouncing over, she announced: “Something pink!” 

A few minutes later, I heard her rummaging through her underwear drawer. 

“What’s the matter?” I asked. 

“I need pink panties!” she exclaimed. “Mom, I can’t find them!” 

Sighing, I walked over to look. I had returned from vacation only to find my typically rough-and-tumble daughter had entered a new phase. 

I sit down while smiling at the other ladies around the table, fumbling to put down my baby’s car seat, diaper bag, and favorite toy. I let out an audible sigh. I'm glad to see these lovely women, looking forward to a night of planning for an upcoming conference.
Exuberant Eleanor

Eleanor is a wonderful baby, but at seven months old, she is not quite a sweet, sleeping infant anymore. She loves to move. And although she hasn’t figured out how to crawl just yet, she finds ways to get around a room.

As we order our meals, Eleanor shows everyone at the table her two new tricks, spitting and screaming loudly. After each outburst, she smiles exuberantly at me, like she’s just done something spectacular. I instinctively tell her to “shhh” (ridiculous, I know), as I attempt to hear the conversation.

I collect my thoughts to add to the dialogue and feel something warm on my leg. Looking down, I see leftovers from Eleanor’s dinner — green beans — now spewed all over the clean jeans I threw on before heading out the door. I quickly grab my napkin to cover the mess, trying to keep my thoughts — and dignity — intact. As the meals come and we continue to plan while we eat, Eleanor does not want to sit in her car seat, and so she wiggles and squeals all through the meal, juggled on one of my arms while I try to eat with the other. As dinner comes to an end, Eleanor is getting more and more fidgety. Nothing will please her: not a bottle, her favorite toy, not even me holding her.

And just as I’m trying to think of what new thing I can pull out of my bag of tricks, I again feel (and smell) something warm. Oh no, not again! Please tell me she hasn’t blown through another outfit!

It's no secret that we at TRE love stories. And to celebrate our 200th post, we thought, What better way to celebrate than by sharing some of your stories?! Five amazing women sent us a story; one snapshot, if you will, of a picture of their lives. 

Some are warm and dear, others are hard and heartbreaking. But they are all real. And they are all life. And, as people, we can relate to the emotion conveyed through their stories.

But, as if sharing stories wasn't enough, we are also partnering with Broken and Beautiful to create a one-of-a-kind storyteller necklace for one lucky (randomly chosen) entrant! You'll find more of their story, as well as the winner of the necklace, at the end of this post.

Now, here are the five lovely women who have shared their stories with us: