How Did A Prior School Teacher, School Counselor And University Professor End Up Writing A Lifestyle Blog?

Tawna working on ipad laying in grass

Dr. Tawna Schmidt

Hi, I’m Tawna, the face and writer behind ‘what grandmas do.’

I love being a grandma, in fact, it is probably the most fun of any role I have ever had in my life! ?

Putting the fun aside, I still experience the common struggles of life. Things that I thought I would outgrow but they stick around.

And of course, there are new challenges as I enter this new stage in my life.

Finances are not always easy, time is still a commodity I have trouble finding enough of, and staying fit and healthy has a whole new set of rules with menopause and slowing metabolism on the brink.

I have close friends that are facing new struggles from their mom role, as their adult children go through life challenges and they work to help them.

I have other friends that are caring for their elderly parents and feeling heartbroken trying to make difficult decisions on what is the best plan of action for them, such as letting them stay in their lifetime home or moving them into an assisted living facility where they don’t want to be.

And yet others that are going through a divorce after being married for most of their life, and never expecting it would be them in such a difficult situation.

On the flip side, for many, there is more freedom to travel, to read, to enjoy an exceptional sunset at the end of a busy day, and simply enjoy life in general.

You might call it girls night I call it therapy image

Friendship has a new meaning as only your best friends have stuck with you all these years.

I am guessing I am no different than you with these challenges and triumphs.

This is some of what you will read about on ‘what grandmas do.’

But that isn’t all! You will find all kinds of grandma activities to enjoy with your littles, favorite recipes to whip up with them, and so much more!

It is about real life for the grandma that still sees herself as vibrant, sexy, active, fun, and a fighter. A fighter of striving for the best life ever, no matter what obstacles have to be overcome to get it.

It is about the grandma that refuses to fall into the traditional role of how many still visualize a grandma . . . sitting in a rocking chair on the front porch sipping a glass of tea.

How Becoming A Grammy Changed My Life, And The Inspiration Behind ‘What Grandmas Do’

I am a mom to two grown boys, a grammy to the best little buddy ever, mom-in-law to a beautiful young lady that is the closest thing to a daughter I will ever have, and a happy wife of 29 years.

Over the years I have been a teacher (elementary, middle school and high school), school counselor, college and career consultant, university administrator and instructor, realtor, real estate appraiser, and commercial insurance representative (all before I started my first blog.)

Oh yes, and I cannot forget to include my super successful business as a Mary Kay Cosmetics consultant. I earned my first car (the red Grand Am at that time) in 7 months, and the iconic pink Cadillac as a super-achiever sales director in 18 months. (If you’re interested, you can read more about my professional life at It Started With A Blog.)

Decker on the way to sunday school

The best little buddy ever!

However, my professional accolades are not what I am most proud of, nor what drives me toward new goals every day. That comes from my most important roles: wife, mom, daughter, mom-in-law, and most recently grammy (because I struggled with the real term ‘grandma’ at one point! It isn’t so bad now that I am loving the role so much!)

We wear a lot of hats as a Grandma!

And coming up next for my family? I get to be Grammy to a second baby that is on the way! ?

How Does A Person End Up Moving 22 Hours Away In A Matter Of A Couple Months (From New Idea, To Decision, To Selling Home, & Moving)?

As an extremely organized person, my friends and family know me as a goal-setter that always has a plan in place.

I am not scared of change, and in fact, when I glance at my career history it even seems I thrive on change and new adventures! It makes sense, as I am often called a ‘free spirit’ by the people closest to me!

However, my move from Colorado to Mississippi was quite different for me than anything I had ever done.

“No matter how many plans you make or how much in control you are, life is always winging it.”
― Carroll Bryant

There was not a plan in place.

There was not much time given to make the decision.

Actually, in this case I made a decision, jumped in, and then created a plan! The new baby wasn’t waiting on me . . . let me explain! ?

The trip to Mississippi for the baby shower that changed my life (literally.)

We were living in Colorado, but part of my family was living 22 hours away in Mississippi, and I wanted to be closer to them. You may have guessed, this is where the Grammy part came in!

And this is where it all started, in September 2017.

On a 22 hour long drive home from Mississippi to Colorado, after attending the baby shower, the fleeting thought began churning in my mind. Then my mind wouldn’t stop.

It would be so simple! ?

I could move into an RV so I had complete mobility to go back and forth between Colorado and Mississippi, and then I would be able to spend time with the baby and help out the kids when he arrived in November.

There was one thing that was clear in my mind: I wanted to be part of my grandson’s life with real hugs and kisses, not via phone calls and videos.

I was already working from home at my current position with Progressive Insurance. I would request to work in another location temporarily so I could spend time helping the kids and playing with the baby when he was born.

I was also working online as a university professor, so that would be simple because I could work from any location as long as I had access to a computer and the internet.

I had started several businesses (including a couple of successful blogs) in the past, so I knew starting another blog would also be an option for me.

When I got home I brought up the idea to Dave (hubby of 29 years on this life journey with me.) At first I don’t think he thought I was serious . . . it was so much change at one time and he is not nearly as good with change as I am!

However, he has seen me try some pretty drastic things over the years, so in his heart he knew how important this was to me.

Let’s do it!

We agreed to move forward with my plan. There was so much to do it was overwhelming. I wanted everything done before the baby was born in November so I didn’t miss one moment after that!

As I prepared for the transition to live in an RV for a few months to spend time with the baby and help my kids with transitioning back to work after he was born, I got a new thought.

I realized there are so many wonderful places I have never been and would love to visit.

What started as a thought to temporarily live in an RV so I could be closer to our grandson and return home to Colorado when he was a few months old, turned into selling the house and making a total life change.

In less than three months, it was all done.

We found Dave a place to live much closer to his job, we purchased the truck to pull the RV (that we didn’t have yet) and we sold the car.

We welcome Decker to our family!

I moved my necessities into my mom’s RV with her (she would be travelling to Mississippi with me), sold or donated everything in the house except what Dave needed, and sold the house (within hours of listing it on the market we had a cash offer for the full asking price with no appraisal.)

Oh, and I cannot forget to mention during this window of time the baby (aka Decker) was born so we had to grant our oldest son power of attorney to sign the closing documents for the house while we were in Mississippi for his birth!

When I reflect back on this time, it was a whirlwind.

There was so much emotion mixed into the decision and actual transition, I often wonder how I was so efficient at getting everything done so quickly.

The transition from Colorado to Mississippi happens.

I left for Mississippi early in the morning on December 1, 2017. It was a bittersweet moment I will never forget.

I was leaving my life in Colorado (and family still living there) for a place I had only visited a couple of times.

I had said my temporary ‘goodbyes’ the night before, which did not happen without tears.

It is tough on a mom when their family lives far across the country from one another.

RV and Duramax before leaving Colorado December 1 2017

Ready to  leave Colorado the morning of December 1, 2017.

What was planned to be a few months has turned into 2+ years. It is incredibly hard to believe grandbaby is #2 on the way!

Time please slow down!

Dave is in Colorado continuing his teaching job, and we facetime with Decker every morning. He flies to Mississippi every couple months, and Decker and I also fly to Colorado on occasion.

The travel and RV trips have not been as frequent as I had planned; however, they are an incredible time when we can fit them in.

Life is a journey.

We all have our own story.

I will share mine with you, and I look forward to hearing yours!

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