Hey there, unicorn friends! Welcome to our blessing. (That’s a herd of unicorns) I’m Tracey, and I am thrilled that you’ve somehow navigated the vast internet to my blog! I started Tote Your Horn in 2018, not realizing people would read it. I wasn’t even sure what direction Tote Your Horn was going to go. But, I knew most of the large family blogs I stumbled across were sanctimonious and frankly, made me feel like a failure as a wife and mom. As if homeschooling, maintaining our home and managing a blessing with 8 kids of my own wasn’t enough-I decided to keep blogging to give mom’s that didn’t quite fit into the “perfect box” a place to go!
I could say that I am truly passionate about creating a beautiful, loving and thriving home, life, and business. But let’s be honest…I ain’t got time for that. I’m passionate about survival mode. Our house is never going to be perfect. Sometimes my kids are little jerks. My businesses have their ups and downs. Even our marriage goes through times when I want to pull the plug. Life is hard. Blogging is therapeutic and if I can help just one woman know that she is not alone, it’s totally worth it.
In school, I was not “popular”. I played the flute, got good grades, worked multiple jobs and was a “good” girl. I was also bullied for being different. My self-esteem plummeted. When I had my own kids, I didn’t want them to ever feel like I did (alone and unsupported) Tote Your Horn is a place to empower other moms that are different than societal norms. When you have support, you can support your own unicorns and have a happy blessing for your family. Embrace being different, you are NOT ALONE!
I love organization. If you stay in our blessing (herd) awhile, you are going to discover that I really LOVE being organized, having lists and color coding. So, I thought “HEY! Why don’t I just introduce myself to you in a list!” You’ll start to see a theme with the number of items in my lists too. 🙂
1. TOTE YOUR HORN STARTED AS A BUSINESS NAME
It’s true. I started Tote Your Horn when I signed up with Thirty-One. I wanted a play on words with Toot Your Horn. Tote Your Horn seemed to fit that well. It was actually “Tote Your Horn-Bag Your Brag”.
2. I USED TO BE IN THE NAVY
I joined the Navy in October 2001 as a young mother with two sons. Living in welfare housing was not where I wanted to be. I needed a way to escape and provide for my kids. My first month in boot camp, my three-month old was killed. I returned home to bury my son and went on to be the top recruit in my graduating class in January 2002. I spent 6 years in the Navy as an Aviation Electrician and was a Petty-Officer Second Class when I was discharged in 2007.
3. SEAN AND I MET ON YAHOO PERSONALS <3
In 2006, I was getting out of a toxic marriage. I’d been knocked down since the beginning of my marriage in 2000 and was looking to have some fun. This dorky guy messaged me. Sean was a little too nice. You know what I’m saying. He’s one of those guys you want to keep around “just in case” your current fling doesn’t work. Well, none of my flings were what I was looking for. I didn’t realize everything I ever wanted was right in front of my face until I gave him a chance! We were married in 2007. He had a son and I had a son and two daughters. So, we started our marriage as a large family already. 🙂
4. I NEVER WOULD HAVE GUESSED THAT I WOULD BE A LARGE FAMILY MOM, BUT I WOULDN’T HAVE IT ANY OTHER WAY
I was MORE than happy with my three kids. But, I fell in love with a man with custody of his son. When you love someone so deeply, you love everything about them. Not long after we were married, we wanted to have a child together. One turned into two. Two into three and before you knew it…we had two daughters and two sons together with our four original kids! Four boys and Four girls is perfect. 🙂
5. I REALLY LOVE TEACHING. BUT…
So, I really REALLY love to teach. I ran the training program for our squadron in the Navy. I even started going to school to be a teacher. But, I don’t want to work in a classroom. It’s too much interaction with society and having to leave my house everyday. I may continue my degree, but for now I am content homeschooling my own children.
6. MY DAUGHTER LYRA WAS BORN WITH A RARE LIVER DISEASE
When Lyra was born, we knew something wasn’t right. She started having pale poops and turning yellow. By the time she was 9 weeks old, she was diagnosed with Biliary Atresia, Polyspleenia, Interrupted IVC, Intestinal Malrotation, and Failure to Thrive. Lyra is doing well now, but will eventually need a liver transplant. She is A+ blood type.
7. I’M A DORK
Ok, this is NOT a secret! But, I really am a dork. I like video games, historical movies, Sci-Fi shows, Comic-Con, paranormal stuff, dressing up like a unicorn, and being goofy. I also made straight A’s in school and wanted to be a vet when I graduated. Being a dork is not a bad thing. 🙂
8. I’M A HERMIT
I don’t like leaving my house. Social Anxiety is REAL ya’ll! When I have to leave, I start looking for any excuse to stay home. This makes it hard for the kids to be as active as I would like and I feel super guilty about it.
9. I LOVE TO BAKE BUT I HATE TO EAT SWEETS
I’m really creative and have multiple outlets for that. One of the things I LOVE to do is bake unusual cakes and treats. But, I’m not a fan of eating them. That’s okay with my family…MORE FOR THEM! 🙂
10. MY HAIR CHANGES A LOT!
Sometimes my hair is blonde, black, purple, pink and every other color of the rainbow. I get bored easily. Hair is easy to change. I like to look different than everyone else as well. But, I don’t like being the center of attention. It’s an oxymoron for sure. 🙂
OK, now you know way more about me than you ever wanted to know!