Today would be Jen Bunich’s 41st birthday, man do I miss her. So much has changed in just 4 1/2 years. I feel like I’ve aged 20! Jen would be so incredibly proud of what this Smarty pink & green movement has become. For those of you new to CSP, here is how it all started.
Three weeks before Thanksgiving in 2007, two Smarty Moms & besties were holed up in a Hilton Head, SC hotel room. We brought 3 of our 5 young children with us (see photo to right) so we had a valid excuse for a weekend getaway hall pass (now adays, we are WAY more empowered and know that we should have taken that journey solo, sans kids, but you live and you learn:-). The birth of CSP was about to take place.
We kept it on the downlow because we just weren’t sure what people would think of it. This was before facebook was on anyone’s radar, the term “social media” was in it’s infancy stage, and most people didn’t even know what a blog was. But we did. And we knew it was going to be life-changing. Before we drove home that Sunday afternoon, we scheduled our first week of blog posts. We hand-picked our closest hundred friends, sent our email, and hid for a week.
This was my first blog post (Smarties, do not judge me on the raw honesty on this blog, my boys were the best oops I’ve ever made:-):
This was Jen’s (photo got lost in blog platform transition, but you can see that she was so organized and good, not crazy rowdy telling the world about an oops like moi:-):
Breastfeeding at SouthPark Mall
We were the perfect balance – she was the organized, researcher and tester-outer. I, on the other hand, was the wild card. I was straight up and told it like it was.
Here is a glimpse of our first blog site, designed by Jen B:
And that was the beginning of this crazy little thing we call Charlotte Smarty Pants. Every day after that, we set out to report on all things mommy in this incredible city, each of us alternating our daily posts. We knew there was a huge void in information readily available to moms. We recognized that moms have zero free time, so we decided that our goal was to have our moms wake up over their cup of joe, and bask in a daily dose of CSP. Our Smarty moms didn’t need to do anything but log on, we would do all the work for them. Our thoughts were that if we could benefit from something – whether it was how we found our pediatrician, daycare, hair stylist, or where we found the best deals on kids clothes – our readers deserved that same chance.
As many of you know, we tragically and suddenly lost our beloved Jen B on February 4, 2008. It was hands down the worst day of my life. But in retrospect, the next few months would be nothing short of amazing. I learned about God and angels. Jen was an angel strategically placed in my life for this very purpose. I had no idea the magnitude of this until she was gone. But there is no doubt in my mind, she was and still is my angel, always looking out for me, often sending me a hug. I also learned the importance of true girlfriends, the kind who will pick you up off of the ground and don’t expect a single thing in return. I learned how to surround myself with creative, intelligent and beautiful people. And I learned that we moms stick together – we lift each other up when we are down, we support each other in our accomplishments and we all need a little guidance in this wild journey of parenting.
For the next four years, the most amazing women have entered our Smarty family. We represent all walks of mommyhood – working moms, stay-at-home moms, just surviving moms. We come from north, south, east and west Charlotte and we do our best to deliver the hippest, most important information to you every single day. You know how many posts that equals? 2,245. And we will do that many and more for the next 4 years.
Charlotte Smarty Pants started out as an email between two best friends and grew organically into the cutest little pink & green southern mommy lifestyle you have ever seen. And guess what? Each and every one of you helped make it what it is today. You and 26,000 of your Charlotte mom besties log onto this sassy little site every month and share the highs and lows of mommyhood. I couldn’t be more proud. And I know Jen is shining down from heaven.
Smarties, be proud of the movement you created. Raise that pink & green flag high over this incredible city we are raising our children in. Don’t forget to log in every single day and sign up for our newsletter, the hub of our awesome giveaways – we have so much information to give you that sometimes we have 2 and 3 blog posts each day. We’d hate for you to miss out.
Lastly, in honor of Jen B, make sure you take your best gal pals out to lunch, or for a glass of wine, or for a play date – and tell them how much they mean to you. I never got that chance with Jen and I regret it every single day.