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FAMILY/ Featured/ Kids/Family

A Family Update


{photo taken by Jenna Spurlin}

I recently wrote a post titled My Journey From Hobby Blogger to Influencer, and talked about how this blog is my recipe binder, my memory keeper, my cancer journal & a place to connect with such a great and caring community.  It has certainly become something very special to me and my family over the years. It is especially comforting as a 2-time cancer survivor that my words and our memories are in a place where my 3 girls could easily access them and know the things I think about and am passionate about.

This post is one that I am writing just to capture this season in life. I find myself with 3 teenage daughters and I wonder where the time has gone? When did this happen?

I don’t write as often about my girls now that they are teens.  It is a delicate thing, letting their stories be THEIR stories & not oversharing.  I will be doing a dance with this delicate sharing in some upcoming posts where I will write about a teen parenting class I have been taking.  It has been so good and has really helped me embrace these years and realize just how wonderful they can be.

But for now, I’m just going to share these family photos with you and try to take a ‘word snapshot’ of my 3 lovlies and their sweet lives.


{photo taken by Jenna Spurlin}



My firstborn. My overachiever. My hard worker. My heart. You can find her most nights leaning over textbooks with pens, pencils, a water bottle & snacks diligently studying. She is 16 & a sophomore in high school, is a cross-country runner, & is super involved as a leader in her youth group. She has always chosen great friends to hang out with & is wise beyond her years. She is very self-aware, knows her strengths and weaknesses, has a beautiful thinking brain, does not like a lot of emotional fluff, & finds humor in so many things.  She usually has a smile on her face and I marvel how it rarely goes away…she has this amazing ability to smile even while talking. It is her default face and it is beautiful.  I find myself trying to hang on to every moment, as I know we only have a couple of years left with our girl.


She is my red-haired beauty & my hero at age 15. Life has given her some great obstacles the last few years but she has come through them with grit, perseverance and a resilience that I am just in awe of.  She is incredibly creative and musical and has a love for instruments including the violin, guitar & piano.  She has a soft heart that cares for others.  She is very in tune with the emotions of others and will be the first to ask “are you ok?” when she senses something is wrong. She, too, has a wonderful friend group & is truly a great friend to others.  I have always called her my creative, caring, kind, quirky Colsie & even as a teenager she still is all that! She will frown at that ‘quirky’ word, but I love that she is unique and delights in things that are not always mainstream. Case in point? She is going ‘hammocking’ with a friend after school today. She saved money to purchase this awesome portable hammock,  (affiliate link) and she and her friends will just take their hammocks and ‘hang out.’ It cracks me up.  They are also going to take some photos while at the park, as Colsie is a very gifted photographer.


Avery is 13 and in middle school.  The strong will that we saw when she was young has chilled out into something so wonderful. She is the perfect balance of soft and strong. It is quite remarkable to watch. She is a very determined, gifted and self-motivated student, a great soccer player despite the challenges that having asthma brings, is a super talented baker & loves watching recorded tv with her Dad. She is not one who needs a ton of friends. She is a good friend to a select few, and truly just loves being at home with her family and ipod. She is a friendly introvert. She gets that beauty is fleeting, even at a young age, and I wonder if she knows how beautiful she really is? She is a bit of a tom-boy, but one who always has her nails polished with quite impressive DIY designs. She plays the piano & usually practices without needing a reminder.  Avery loves one-on-one conversation and will often come sit on my bed in the evening just to talk, or will become quite chatty at the breakfast table each morning, which makes me smile.  She lives for holidays, as they give her an excuse to bake something great or come up with awesome gifts for those she loves. She also values family, as her favorite place to be is at her Grandparents house, jumping on the trampoline with her cousins.


So there are my girls in a nutshell, at this stage in life.  Notice there is much positive and no negative, which is not reflective of how it really is. Yes, there is so much beauty and positive, but there IS a reason I’m taking a teen parenting class! The teens years can be hard as kids are discovering who they are and parents are learning how they must parent differently, and how to let go. There are personality differences which can create much static and drama, especially with 3 girls! We are not the perfect family, so far from it…but I do feel like we are all learning how to love well & I know God will continue to show us how to do that, despite all of our differences & shortcomings. This is my daily prayer. We have come through a lot together & I celebrate that!

I have to mention my man before closing this family update.

My Todd.  

Steadfast, loyal, loving, wise. He serves all of us ‘girls’ with humility & consistency. We all know we are his priority & that he would do anything for us. He spends his days working hard for our family and never complains.  He is in full-time ministry and does work every day that is meaningful and makes a difference.  He lives for family nights and junk food on the weekends, and the occasional date night with ME. I am a very, very blessed woman and I’m so thankful to call him mine!


If you have made it to the end, then I must thank you for reading this.  I am so very thankful for this space to record things that matter to me, and the fact that you come along with me in that means the world to me! Thanks for reading New Nostalgia!


What about you? Are you a parent to teens? What are you learning? Got any tips for me?


Frugal/ HOME

Saving On Summer Beauty Products For My Teen Girls

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Dollar General for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

{my 3 lovlies}

Summer break has officially started in the Bowman household. I’m super excited about having my girls home for the summer.  Honestly, it used to send me into a bit of a panic thinking “what am I going to do with my 3 lovelies with all this time on our hands?”  Now, post-cancer, I am just grateful to be here and for the time I have with them. Being teen girls they are much fun to hang out with & I can always find something fun to do with them.

I am a licenced cosmetologist, although I have not practiced in the salon for over 14 years!  I still have my skill set, which comes in handy with 2 teen girls (and one pre-teen)  especially in the summer.  The challenge is finding ways to have them home & have fun with summer beauty products without breaking our budget!

Frugalness is something I preach often, and summer beauty products are not something I want to spend a lot of money on.  But, I have 3 girly girls who love to express themselves and get creative with how they look, as most teenage girls do.  I love seeing what they come up with, and I’m amazed at their fashion sense & find lots of joy seeing them all express themselves with their own unique style.

I have discovered that shopping at Dollar General is a great way to get some great summer beauty products that my girls love, without breaking the bank.  I was surprised that I found so many products that they are familiar with, would want to use, and would get excited about.

This mascara is super recognizable.  Everyone woman knows that pink and green bottle as it has been around for years.  This is the mascara brand we use and love, and I was delighted to find it at Dollar General at almost 1/2 price of what I am used to paying for it.

My girls also love these particular eyeliners from Mayballine, for 2 reasons.  One, no sharpener needed.  Just twist and use.  Also, they have a great sponge tip at the opposite end for blending.  I’ve shown my girls the importance of keeping makeup natural, a way to enhance their God-given natural beauty, not distract or take away from it.  Blending eyeliner with the sponge tip makes it look so soft and natural.  This is another prodoct I was super happy to find at Dollar General.

I picked up a few more items while I was there.  Sponges for blending coverup for those teen blemishes.  Some Aloe Vera gel to soothe summer skin, cotton balls to use for removing polish, and my fav — pony tail holders to hold up our messy summer buns!

I grabbed a bottle of sparkly polish for our summer toes and a palate of eye shadows to experiemnt with.

I will be doing some posts coming up of all the ways we have fun with beauty around here, from doing our own manicures and pedicures, to our favorite detox bath using epsom salt and baking soda.  I was SUPER excited to find epsom salt and baking soda at the best price at Dollar General!

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