Nice to meet you.

That first blog post, whether it’s the first EVER or the first after a long absence, is always the hardest for me.  I start writing, rusty fingers tapping at keys and then backspace-erasing because nothing I’ve typed sounds like what my inner voice wants to say.  Eventually, it will be easier.  Everything always is with practice, isn’t it?  But for now, I will type and backspace and wonder what exactly it was that I sat down to say in the first place.

I guess the best place to start is the beginning, and for a good Southern girl that would be an introduction.  Hi.  I’m Shelby.  Nice to meet you.  I’m a 35-year-old mom to a blended family of 5.  Wife to my best friend, who just happens to be the sexiest man alive.  Until recently, I was a high school Social Studies teacher, but as of yesterday I’m a stay-at-home mom.  My boss?  A giant 11-month-old baby, aka Baby Coco, who has the best disposition a mom could ask for, even though (as all babies do) he believes he is the center of the universe.  And, fortunately for him, he kinda is.  His older brothers and sisters think he’s fascinating and do whatever he seems to want them to do.

We live in a small town in Texas, where the Olive Garden is the nicest restaurant in town, and our grocery store’s initials seem to stand for Hello Every Body, because you see just about everyone you know or are related to when you’re shopping.  As someone who grew up in a small Texas town but has lived in several of the country’s major cities, I really appreciate that here, dressing up to go out means putting on your fancy jeans and your dressy flip flops.  I chose my blog title — Old Jeans and Flip Flops — because it pretty much describes my lifestyle: tee shirts, old jeans, flip flops, and a big ol’ purse to carry all my mom and kid stuff.

I’m a former portrait studio owner, so I still drag out my camera occasionally — although now, it’s usually to photograph my own kids instead of someone else’s.  I suffered serious burnout after years and years of portrait sessions and it just doesn’t bring me the joy that it once did.  These days, I find my joy in cooking and in writing.  My husband is diabetic, so I’m really conscious of what is in our food and I usually cook from scratch, using fresh, organic, and local ingredients as much as possible.  Expect to read a lot about food on this blog.  We’re also a family of faith, and we believe that God’s blessing is the reason we have the opportunities we do right now, so expect to read a lot about that also.

I look forward to getting to know everyone who stops by, so please leave a comment so I can say hey (no, not howdy, at least not in this part of Texas).