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Life, in reality

I get caught up in this blog and the person and ideas that I want to portray, but at the end of the day, it’s just me and I pride myself on being real. I’ve gotten some new followers recently and I’m realizing you probably know very little about me and my real world. In reality my life revolves around balancing somewhere between three and four jobs, being a mom and a wife. And in reality, it’s not easy. Here’s a little more about me.

1. Pays the bills (most of them): I’m a senior associate editor for a national magazine, and no, unless you’re a radio engineer, you won’t have heard of it. Everyone I meet asks me what magazine I work for and it’s such a let down to tell them something they’ve never heard of. In reality, I have a great boss, I get to work from home and it’s laid back enough that I can pursue my dreams (see #3 and #4).
2. Pads the savings account (slightly): I write LivingSocial daily deals for Johnson County in Kansas. That’s in Kansas City for those who don’t know. So I get my wit on daily and hopefully people think I’m funny. I also write little blurbs about where the best bbq sauce and handmade bread are in KC.
3. What gets me through the work week: A year ago I discovered estate sales and I fell in love. The thrill of the hunt, the variety of goods, the amazingly low prices (on the right day)…I was hooked. I’ve always had a love of history (thanks Dad) and vintage items, but when I figured out I may be able to make a little extra spending money picking and selling vintage items online, my purpose in life started to sharpen. It’s strange when you feel like you’ve drifted (actually kicked, screamed, cried, worked really hard for nothing, felt disappointment, felt joy, felt alone, felt loved, etc.) for 30 years and then suddenly you run into something that you finally think, I could actually do this for the rest of my life. Consequently I started My Etsy shop and this blog thinking someone out there might actually like the things I find and what I can do with items people might otherwise throw away. Right now I’m trying to post twice a week.
4. My dream: This summer I will be launching a local vintage magazine via a new blog in Kansas City. I’ve been planning this for a while and the range of emotions has gone from thrilled to terrified. I’m scouting around for writers, contacting photographers, hunting for clothes for a photo shoot, planning the design, networking with local businesses, losing my mind…all while trying to hold down #1-3 above. Most nights I can’t sleep well because I’m picturing photo shoots in my head or thinking of feature ideas. Putting together a magazine is nothing new to me. I’ve been doing that for 6 years. It’s just the fact that it’s all becoming so real. And I hope people are into it. I hope it doesn’t fail. It’s hard to put your whole heart into something, make sacrifices in your life and sanity and realize something could not work out the way you think it might. So I’m tackling an office space makeover to encourage me every day. I’m thinking something that says Believe on the wall. I believe this is what I’m supposed to be doing, I believe I’m good at it, I believe it will work, that’s why I work so hard.

Thinking about everything I listed above makes my head spin and it would not be possible without the love and support of an amazing man. Well…two…

I indeed married a rock star. Check out Fullbloods. He’s the lead guitarist. He’s also my rock. We’ve been together for 13 years this summer. I was a senior in high school when we started dating. He picked me up in a beat-up old Dodge Omni, drove away with my heart and has cradled it ever since. I’m a tad stubborn, strong-willed, driven and ambitious. I’m also incredibly sensitive, love to watch movies on Friday nights and wish I had more time with those I love. He’s sensitive, quiet, cracks really bad jokes, but is incredibly talented and thankfully also enjoys Friday movie nights. I tend to take on too much (see #1-4 above) and he’s helped me learn how to sit and relax and be OK with it.

We’ve been together so many years already. I was 21 when we got married. We spend all day in a house together because he stays home during the day to care for our son, although I’m in a different room working a lot, and yet I always crave more and more time with him. We’ve been working on a few aspects of our marriage in the past few years and nothing makes me happier than saying I’m more in love now than I was as a smitten 21-year-old kitten. Marriage is a lot of work, but man is it worth it.

The cute stuff
A couple years ago we created this:

Which turned into this:

And now looks like this:

Someday I’ll tell you more about why this kid is so amazing and the obstacles he’s overcome. For now, I will simply say there is no greater joy in my life than being a mother. When our son was born I said there was no greater purpose for me, no job, no accolades, no fulfillment superior to seeing his face every day and knowing that I am his mama. It is a gross understatement to say I never knew I could love this much.

I’m really not sure what led to this brain dump today. It may be all the concentration business has been sapping from my brain, causing me to take a break, step back and just be real for a bit. Feel free to ask me anything you’d like to know about our life here in the good ole breadbasket. I’m an open book.

And out of curiosity, if you’ve got any advice on juggling life and managing to keep your sanity, I’d welcome it with open arms! Until next time friends…


About Erin Shipps

Life in your thirties can sometimes feel like you're stuck between what has happened and what's yet to come -- like being amidship. But I'm forging through with thrifty household decorating, DIY projects, health advice, and just life. When I'm not crafting my local Kansas City magazine VintageKC, I'm busy being a rock star's wife and mommy to the most beautiful 3-year-old. Welcome to our world amid the Shipps.

17 responses »

  1. You brought tears to my eyes. Yes, you have found your path. Good job on unearthing it. I know you’ll do an amazing job, and am so excited to see what you do. Now, for that little boy, why who couldn’t love him?! Look at that smile. What a happy kid! Go mama!

  2. This is great! It is fun to see how other people have similar stories, loves, and interests. I have been married to my husband since 19, we will have been married for 17 years in May, we have three kiddos, and I too have recently found my niche in the world of vintage. My mom gave me a love of everything old, this has manifested itself in museum work in the past. I now love the thrill of the hunt, the photography, and excitement of sharing my finds with other people in my etsy shop. I love reading a local blog filled with things I love. Keep up the good work.

    • Thanks Rachel! I’m so glad we found one another. I look forward to getting to know you better. It is crazy how lives can be so similar. πŸ™‚

  3. Love this! I know we know each other in real life and all, but I’m always happy to learn a little more about you. πŸ™‚ SO excited for your magazine! It will be amazing, I know it!

  4. Thanks for sharing, Erin. I am a new reader of your blog, and I always love to learn new things about the author behind it all! congrats and good luck on your future magazine!!

  5. I’m a new reader as well, so it was nice to get to know you a little better. You have a quite a bit on your plate but you sound so happy and that’s what matters! Good luck! πŸ™‚

  6. Ooooo – so glad for this little update. It’s nice to hear a little more beyond Facebook posts and craft projects! You’ve always been so driven – I have no doubt your mag will be a success!!!

  7. Erin, you inspire me to get back to my creative side! I’m working toward doing more with my stained glass and photography. I Believe…

    Thank YOU!

  8. I just found your blog and I love it! I’m from Lee’s Summit and I’m a photographer and would LOVE to help you out with some shoots for your magazine when you get to that point! please email me if you’d be interested in collaborating sometime! πŸ™‚

  9. Erin dear, I love your blog, just found it via TipJunkie on fb. I will be back often!! LOVE your table and your story of you… and yes!! I have heard of your magazine!! I love it too!! The only time I get a chance to read it thou is at my local doctors and dentist offices. Read every issue I can get my hands on! Thanks for sharing both your magazine, and your blog! I do have a question for you thou… how do you make your barnwood so that it can be brought inside without any bugs?? I have an old barn that has fallen in, and have been waiting for COLD weather to go in and get my wood out… (don’t like snakes… and sure there is PLENTY of them lol.) I want to bring the wood inside for uses in my house. BUT my hubby tells me when it gets warm the bugs will come out… any ideas?? Thanks Erin dear for all your help!

    • Hi Debi,
      Can you send me a link to the mention on TipJunkie? I’d love to know what magazine you’re referring to, as mine has yet to be released. πŸ™‚ Perhaps I have some competition out there. As far as bugs in barn wood, all the experts say to either have a professional fumigate the wood or to pressure wash it and heat it up to around 120-150 degrees F. Hope that helps. Good luck!


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