Manic Monday: Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice

Ugh!  I feel like I keep apologizing for being away from the blog so long.  Lately, it has just been so hard to get things back on track. 
Dress:  Eloquii (Available here)
As I have discussed on the blog before, I have five kids who all live in the home with my husband and me full-time.  I don't talk about them too much to respect their privacy, but sometimes being a mom/stepmom is just really, really hard.  And very often, the chauffeuring, psychological counseling, crisis intervening, personal shopping, tutoring, and everything else that is parenting takes its toll mentally and physically.  And that is in an ideal situation!  In my case, we are dealing with all of that plus the blending of a family, two special needs children, a biological mother to three of the children who is deeply mired in drug addictions, and a very angry and hurt teenage stepdaughter.  It's a lot, and it has definitely forced me to put my blogging on the back burner lately.
Boots:  New Look Wide Fit
I have always tried to keep things fairly real on the blog, but we all have that "best" version of ourselves that we usually present to the world.  I usually try to keep the blog light because for me, it is a means of release and of sharing a part of myself that is fun to me - my love of fashion!
Glasses:  Coach
That said, being real doesn't just mean showing you one part of myself.  Sometimes, it also means getting into the yuck of it all, the painful, stressful, and sometimes downright depressing circumstances that life and parenting can bring.  I often feel like I do a craptastic job of parenting and with five kids who each have different needs, I usually feel like I am individually not meeting any of their needs or giving anyone the attention they deserve.  One or two of the kids, because of their problematic behaviors, seem to perpetually get the most attention but for all of the wrong reasons, making me feel like I'm neglecting the other kids and that I never have anything positive to say to the "troublemakers."
Purse:  Express
Some days, I feel lucky just to get through the day and feel relief when they are all finally asleep.  One more day down and a few hours of peace until it's time to do it all again.  Then, I feel guilty for feeling that way.  As my kids are starting to grow up and face puberty, interest in sex, body hair, and all the things that come with adolescence, I am reminded of how quickly time passes.  I know they won't be around the house much longer, and I feel sad about how often I wish the days or time away. 
Parenting definitely has its awesome, beautiful, and hilarious moments.  It has its touching moments, its moments when you feel like you made a real difference in your child's life, moments when you know that they appreciate your efforts and love you despite your own imperfections and limitations.  But parenting is definitely not sugar and spice and everything nice, and it isn't for the faint of heart!!  And I feel like this isn't talked about enough.
Pom:  Torrid
You want to know what is sugar and spice and everything nice?  This sweet and pretty dress from Eloquii!  Between the peppy pink shade, the ruffles, and bow, it's just too adorable.
I love this dress so much that I tried three sizes before finally going with a 14 in Eloquii's new Viola fit.  This dress didn't come in petites, so I first ordered it in a 16 (drowning on me) and then a 14 (fit weird in shoulders and bust and seemed to accentuate my tummy).  I then decided to try the Viola fit.  The Viola fit is designed for women who are a size or two bigger on bottom.  I actually have the opposite body type - I'm generally a size bigger on top than I am on bottom.  That said, I thought the Viola would give me the extra tummy room I wanted while also giving me a better fit up top.  I was right! 
Ring:  The Limited
Even though the overall fit wasn't bad, I did have to make some alterations, and through those, I definitely made this dress my own!  It originally was too long and came with a bottom ruffle that I really didn't care for.  So, I had the dress hemmed and lost the ruffle.  The sleeves were too long as well, but I didn't want to lose the great ruffle/button detail on the wrist.  To shorten the sleeve, my tailor took the sleeve up in the middle and created a seam around the cuff portion.  Lastly, the dress was too big in the hips, so I had it taken in on bottom.
I kept the styling simple and played up the gold buttons through gold hardware on my booties and bag. A pink pom and rose quartz ring add some additional pink to this sweet look.
What do you think - how would you style this dress?  For those of you who are parents, how do you balance your parental duties with all the other life responsibilities and time for yourself?

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