We all have ideas of what a family should look like or should be like. Growing up, we are taught about our own families and life’s lessons, but when we start our own family, we have to mesh those ideas into something new and grow a new family model. Hubby and I had very different families. Our little family grew quickly and before we knew it, we were lost and didn’t know what we were doing. We didn’t know how to teach our boy about life, how to manage our family, how to grow as a family. We had good models around us, but nothing was quite clicking. We were struggling in our relationship, our finances, and especially in how to raise our boy to be a great person. We had love and laughter, but it wasn’t growing.
In March 2012, I heard about a type of open call through Collective Bias for a PayPal Coinstar campaign. I had heard from other bloggers about how great it would be to join the Social Fabric community through Collective Bias so I threw my name in the hat and hoped for the best. On March 18 (the day before my birthday, by the way), I received this email:
My name is Terri Jensen-Satterlee and I am the Collective Bias Campaign Leader for the Greater Dallas/Fort Worth Paypal/Coinstar Shoppertunity. Thank you so much for your willingness to assist us in this campaign! I have had the pleasure of exploring your site and would like to offer you an opportunity to join my team for this campaign.
Ohhhh. Emmmm. Geeee!! I was so excited. I told Hubby about it and tried to explain to him what we needed to do. He was skeptical and just played along. We had the most fun saving up coins with our boy to use at Coinstar! It seems weird to me now that our little family had fun at a Coinstar, but that is how bored we truly were at home. After that first campaign, I was able to apply to join the Social Fabric community and once accepted, things have just been the most amazing whirlwind since!
The very next shoppertunity I was accepted to was a Champions for Kids campaign. We had the opportunity to shop for sports equipment and Odwalla juice and then encourage others to gather sports equipment to donate to kids in need. If you’ve been around my blog for a while, you know how much my boy has embraced each and every month’s CFK campaign since that very first one. My boy loves to give and I credit Collective Bias, Social Fabric, and Champions for Kids for that push we needed to get involved in our community.
As I got more comfortable in the Social Fabric community and applying for shoppertunities, I started to notice changes in my family. By brainstorming ideas for campaigns with other bloggers and the staff at Collective Bias, I had ideas for fun activities to do with my own family. I applied for fun campaigns…and was accepted! I was getting compliments from other bloggers and campaign leaders and I was getting paid to shop and play with my boy!
In the past (almost) year, I have learned how to date my husband, how to be creative in the kitchen, how to create a family game night and a family movie night. I learned how to create family fun for my little family. Our relationship has continued to improve because we are spending time together as a couple and as a family. Because I am making money to have so much fun, we are improving financially and we are having fun together outside of campaign shopping. My creative juices are flowing and I am writing more and more.
Through the Social Fabric community, I have also met some of my favorite bloggers and the best friends. The bloggers in this community are the most supportive and friendly people and I have “met” some of the most amazing people.
I can frantically message Christy about a problem (whether shop related or not) and she is right there to help me through.
I can spew out all of my insecurities to Mallery (about blogging or otherwise) and she will tell me I’m being crazy and to get over it.
I can tweet about eye patches and Amy will tweet back about zombie bunnies and purple hair bows.
I can talk about my cravings for cheesecake and Brandi will sympathize with me.
I can gush over my adorable son and Heather will agree with me and smile.
I have even tweeted about silly socks and my desire to have a cbias sticker for my laptop and Ted has responded with a friendly note.
And I can ramble on about taxes and my crappy crafts and Terri will send me back advice and a smile.
There are just so many bloggers in this cbias family who have become my friends that I am overwhelmed with the love sometimes.
At the beginning of 2013, I made some rather large changes in my approach to blogging. I took most of the ads off my blog and put my face up top for you all to see. I can now greet you when you get to my page and you can now learn more about me. I have drastically reduced the giveaways on my blog and replaced it with…well…my family! Because of the encouragement in my writing and my family, I am now spending more time making crazy crafts with my boy, talking more about that crazy man I love, and just talking about me. And…you guys are still here, reading what I write, and you’re responding even more and I’m soaking it all in!
In fact, this week I was featured on the cbSocially Facebook page and I was amazed at the responses from some of the bloggers I admire who praised me…seriously, me?!!
After all of this rambling (and yeah…I wrote this post twice and still haven’t said all I wanted to say yet) what I’m really trying to say is that the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community has taught me how to have fun with my family, has given me invaluable friendships, has provided a better financial stability for my family (so we can relax and have even more fun), and has taught me to blog it all in a way so others can learn from me and enjoy what I have to say.
We are all gushing over Social Fabric during this lovey dovey month of February so check out the tweets with #LuvSoFab and follow our Photo-A-Day challenge (also tagged with #LuvSoFab) and you can always see the fantastic content coming from the Social Fabric bloggers by following #cbias on Twitter.