Everyday Moments Make For the Best Memories

My first childhood memory is from when I was five; my family and I did a road trip to Florida to visit my mom’s brother and see Disney World. Though at the time my mind was likely blown by the amusement park, my memory is of riding in the back of our station wagon, watching the strange tropical trees fly by, hanging my new little beaded change purse out the window, hearing the fringe brush against the car door. The chain broke and I lost my purse; atypical of my parents, they went to a gift shop and bought me a replacement one. I treasured that cheap bag and didn’t hang it out the window. My parents understood why I did it, let me be a kid and learn from my mistake without punishment. I remember another point of the trip, riding in the car on a highway, my eyes closed, my hair whipping my face, clutching the purse and running the beads under my fingernails.

Karl, Emerson, and I were driving to visit relatives on a beautiful summer day just a few weeks ago. I heard a noise, looked at the backseat and saw Emerson (who is proud to tell everyone she is five and a HALF) watching the trees go by, hanging a beaded necklace out the car window and watching it bang against the car door. I warned her that it may break and she would lose it, but I didn’t stop her because I remembered that feeling, that moment. And like me, she smiled, closed her eyes, and leaned a bit towards the window to let the wind hit her face.

chevy traverse blogher

We can spend so much money and exert so much effort for perfect parties and exciting vacations, but often the moments treasured most didn’t cost a dime. This summer, the age of my first childhood memories, is a summer where we’re hoping to create lifelong memories for Emerson. She’s starting public school in the fall, and this may be the last summer where we won’t have to compete with camps, sports, and new BFFs. We’re doing a lot of activities that Karl and I remember from our childhoods, family moments we treasure: camping in the backyard, practicing swimming at the local pool, helping to make potato salad and shape hamburgers, building forts and playhouses outside, collecting wildflowers for the dinner table. We lead busy lives, but have pared down our schedules to focus on family time these last few weeks before Emerson heads off to kindergarten. 

For me, family isn’t just Karl and Emerson, but my sister, my mom and her boyfriend, and the dear friends we are blessed to have. Though blood may be thicker than water, some of the strongest bonds and deepest connections are those we are not related to, but have become family.

Summer is almost over; it’s time to celebrate the everyday, for that is where the true lifelong memories happen. Your family doesn’t care how much money you spend, but how many quality moments you share. They say you should stop to smell the roses, how about this summer you do that with those who love you most? I promise, it will be worth your while!

There’s no better vehicle to bring the family together than the Chevy Traverse. With seating for up to 81., everyone in the family can join in on the fun. A 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score for safety2. helps keep everyone safe on your journey to find new roads, no matter where, or how far, it takes you. And best-in-class maximum cargo space makes packing for family road trips, or hauling around children’s sporting equipment, a breeze. With all these great features and more, there’s no question the Chevy Traverse is the ultimate family vehicle. Learn more at http://www.chevrolet.com/traverse-mid-size-suv.html.

 

  1. Standard on LS and 1LT.  Available on 2LT. LTZ seats 7.
  2. Government 5-Star Safety Ratings are part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s New Car Assessment Program (www.SaferCar.gov).

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  • Amber

    Can you disclose that this is a sponsored post at the top? It feels a little deceptive to read a post and then find out at the end that you’ve been paid to say it. I’m not saying I wouldn’t read it if I knew it was sponsored, but having it only at the end leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

  • http://www.wardrobeoxygen.com/ Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen

    Hey Amber, at the very top it says it’s brought to you by BlogHer and Chevrolet. I always make sure to share when a post is sponsored. This one was a bit different because I wasn’t reviewing the product so I couldn’t really put it into the body of the post. But thank you for pointing this out, I’ll be sure to make it clearer with any future sponsored posts!

  • Amber

    Thanks for replying – my screen doesn’t show anything about BlogHer or Chevrolet at the top. Could it be a adblocker issue? I only see the post title and the date, and then the first paragraph starts.

  • Amber

    Just checked – yes, with my adblocker turned on, I don’t see that statement, but it is there when I turn it off.

  • http://www.wardrobeoxygen.com/ Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen

    It very well may be, it’s javascript code provided by BlogHer that is to show up at the top of any posts like this to show the disclosure and likely to also track pageviews for Chevy.

  • http://www.wardrobeoxygen.com/ Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen

    Thanks for checking, I’m going to let BlogHer know this and will surely word it in future posts in case it’s blocked for anyone else. Last thing I want to do is look shady with these posts. I chose to do this one because I thought it was a great message and not having to do some fake review, but I don’t want it to look overly sponsored. Thanks again!

  • Jenny

    What a great post. As a mom one year from an empty nest, I can tell you time really speeds up once they head off to school. It’s great that you are making this summer special!

  • Christina

    I agree, the fact that this is a sponsored post didn’t jump out at me either. It felt like a smack in the face when I got to the last paragraph. Like I was sticking my head out the same window, just like Emerson, and got smacked in the face by the side mirror of a Chevy Traverse flying by in the opposite direction.
    I get it, you have to make a living.

  • Lynn

    Yeah. I was with you until I got to the car commercial. I understand the nature of a sponsored post, but this one — Wham! — felt really abrupt and heavy handed. We’re still friends though. ;-)

  • http://www.wardrobeoxygen.com/ Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen

    I’m sorry, a lot of times these posts are written by me far in advance and then sponsored content is added to the beginning or end. I’m glad you’re all speaking up, it’s hard when you’re contracted to do something and it doesn’t end up the way you expected or hoped. Feedback like this is good to give back to clients so they can understand that there are better methods to reach an audience.

  • http://www.wardrobeoxygen.com/ Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen

    Like I said to Lynn above, THANK YOU for this feedback. Sponsored posts are a weird animal and have gotten progressively weirder over time. These posts are often written far in advance and then the client adds the blurb about the product and then you’re given a launch date. I agreed to this post because I loved the idea of sharing family moments that don’t cost a lot – it fits with my quality not quantity mindset for this blog. But what you agree to at the beginning doesn’t always end up what you’re asked to do at the end. But calling out me and clients about this can help brands realize that content like this isn’t the best way to reach an audience.

  • Chris M

    Christina, your comment made me laugh! And I completely agree – I didn’t see anything to say this was a sponsored post and the sudden switch at the end caught me unawares.

    But I really liked your story nonetheless, Allie. We do too often get caught up in everything else and miss those everyday moments. Thanks for sharing.

  • RM

    I knew before reading it that it was a sponsored post, and I would read any of your posts anyway because I agree with what you said — that your content fits with your quality mindset, and I knew it would be good even though it was sponsored. I’m glad you are selective with sponsored posts, because when I do read one, I can trust that the story will be real, that I will enjoy the writing, and I might even click the link to the sponsor. Good work, Allison!

  • http://www.wardrobeoxygen.com/ Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen

    Thanks Chris!

  • http://www.wardrobeoxygen.com/ Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen

    Thanks Jenny!

  • http://www.wardrobeoxygen.com/ Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen

    Thank you!

  • Christina

    I really appreciate your response and it makes sense what you say about what you agree to at the beginning might not end up how you thought it would. I still enjoyed reading about your childhood memories as well as the new ones you’re helping create for Emerson :)

  • Christina

    Thanks, Chris! I also really enjoyed the story leading up to the sponsored part.

  • DC Celine

    To add a different perspective, I clicked through to this post from facebook, and your link there was very clear.

    That aside, it’s a lovely essay that makes me glad I’m working from home today and can at least hear my little ones during the day, that we played hooky one afternoon and took them to the local pool, and that we, well, we’re not worrying about bedtimes as much the last few weeks.

  • Ginger

    Ha, ha! Seating for up to 81. You can take them and their friends to the prom.
    Nice post.
    These days with kids strapped into car seats until they graduate from college rolling down the windows and sticking a hand out is pretty adventuresome.

  • http://www.wardrobeoxygen.com/ Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen

    Thanks A! <3

  • http://www.wardrobeoxygen.com/ Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen

    It does look like an 81! That’s a 1 to the footnote but my font makes it look wonky :) We did have her seat in the center but the seatbelt in my car gets stuck too easily there even mid-ride so we moved her to the side and she is THRILLED to get some wind and be able to open and close the window herself “like a grownup.” :)

  • Ginger

    I have often thought the same thing myself – time goes slowly until they go to school and then it flies.
    Your life stretches from this break to that holiday and suddenly you’re at a graduation.

  • http://www.wardrobeoxygen.com/ Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen

    Today I walked in our bedroom and K was sitting on the side of the bed, holding Em in his arms, his back to me and oh my GOODNESS the length of those legs! She is NOT a baby any more, and I know in a blink of an eye it will be her graduation. Gosh time flies with kids!

  • crtfly

    Allie,

    The ad seemed so abrupt to me too, although the story was great. Adblock does block the “sponsored by” bit so I didn’t see it either. There is something about this that vaguely bothers me. Do you have a Traverse or have you driven one? I’m thinking no, because you said it is not a review.

    I guess I’m surprised that you did a car sponsorship. Clothes and beauty products I expect. A Chevy sponsorship seems more appropriate on a car or auto racing blog. But then it really is none of my business. It’s your blog and your finances. I’m not in the arena with you.

    Maybe you should buy a Traverse. When E starts kindergarten, you may need that seating for 81 to transport her entire class!

    Chris R

  • http://www.wardrobeoxygen.com/ Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen

    I’ve done some of these before (first one I can think of is my partnership with Folgers: http://www.wardrobeoxygen.com/2013/11/choosing-a-positive-life.html ). With Folgers I didn’t sample the product, didn’t have to consume it, they just sponsored positive content like Chevrolet chose to. I think the difference is the wording Chevy chose to add at the end versus the wording other brands chose to ad to my previous posts of this type.

  • Emily

    Aaaand, barf. This was a sweet post until I realized it was just a car ad. I’ve been reading your blog for about 2 years, and am officially finished. I have no problem with posts being sponsored, but I’d expect along the lines of a room makeover being sponsored by paint, not this. The hypocrisy of a topic like this (about your own daughter) being used to sell a gas guzzling polluting car.

  • http://yousaucyminx.com kat at yousaucyminx.com

    We all have to get that money! Get it girl :)
    http://Www.yousaucyminx.com

  • Evie

    Agree!!!

  • Jenny

    I love reading this blog, and I’m happy to see the person responsible for all the writing making money from the effort. If the content of the blog wasn’t good then the number of readers wouldn’t be sufficient for Chevrolet to want to partner with the author. I thought you were upfront that the post was sponsored and I see it no differently than a commercial during my favorite television program. Wardrobe Oxygen has plenty of readers, so Chevrolet wants to take the opportunity to put their product out there in front of your audience. I thought the post was 100% in line with other things you have written about your family, and I didn’t feel in any way that I was duped or somehow let down by the fact that you made money from a sponsor. I know we all have a right to our opinion and I respect those of everyone else, but I just wanted to add another perspective.

  • crtfly

    Allie,

    i really do understand that we all need to make a buck. I am not upset with you at all. You’re the best! I am upset with Chevy. Their approach is too hard sell.

  • http://www.wardrobeoxygen.com/ Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen

    Thanks Jenny! I honestly like it when a brand trusts me enough to write what I want in my voice, instead of creating an infomercial. It takes a lot of time and energy to run a blog, and while I love it, being able to bring in income justifies the time spent away from my family.

  • http://www.wardrobeoxygen.com/ Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen

    I’ve notified BlogHer about the sponsored message at the top not showing up for all readers. Honestly, I feel better about having a sponsor let me write whatever I want in my voice and then put their ad at the bottom of the post than create a fake infomercial for a product I wouldn’t necessarily like if they didn’t give it to me and pay me. As stated in my post, my first childhood memory and many of the memories I have with my daughter are in our family car and a car is how I get to work to pay our mortgage, to go on vacation and visit relatives, and to create future memories with my loved ones. Many other things, such as clothing manufacturing, also pollute the environment but are less of a necessity for so many in this country. I understand why you feel the way you do, and respect your decision.

  • http://www.wardrobeoxygen.com/ Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen

    I encourage you to read some of the other comments I’ve made here on this post to understand how this post came about. But I respect your opinion and understand your feeling.

  • Erika

    I had the same reaction as many to this post – that ad at the end came as a big thump. As feedback to them, the lack of division between their ad and your text made it seem like you were the one blindsiding us with the ad, rather than them sponsoring your content. It made me feel icky overall, but also definitely made me go “Chevy. That is so freaking cheap and ugly”. I did have the “sponsored by” text at the top, but I missed it – it didn’t stand out much. It would have worked much better for me (and made me feel much less icky about chevy) if their ad had been in a different font size, color, etc., so it didn’t feel like they were using the emotions that you (so beautifully) generated.

  • http://www.wardrobeoxygen.com/ Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen

    Fully agree. I even went after and tried to reformat it, having the Chevy part in italics and it screwed up all the formatting and even though I know what I’m doi with HTML I couldn’t remedy it thanks to the javascript stuff. Lesson learned for sure!

  • Jennifer

    Exactly how I experienced it. No delineation between Allie’s text and theirs so it felt icky. So glad I read the comments because otherwise I would have left with a bad taste in my mouth.