Where is the Prince Parade Now?
I suppose the first thing I should mention is how we got the name “Prince Parade” in the first place…and it’s all about our family travels.
When I started my first online business, it was about figuring out a way to take our family to Disney. Since then, we’ve been bopping across the globe—and traveling on the cheap including how we fly for free.
Trust me when I say that over the years we’ve gotten a LOT of stares as our family of six arrive. It’s rarely quiet and to say that we don’t just slide quietly into places anymore is an understatement.
We take up space…and a LOT of it.
Jared and I have left the era of toddlers sitting on our laps and being surrounded by diaper bags and car seats. It’s been replaced with full-size humans and all of the books, backpacks, and electronics that go with it. I miss many of the sweet moments of having little ones—the sloppy kisses, the cuddles, and watching them discover the world around them—but traveling with our kids now is a joy (and far less exhausting!) There are moments I’d love to freeze time because we have so much fun together.
The funny thing is that whenever we travel, people ask if “all” the kids are ours. I’m from Utah, where 4 kids is probably the average, so it doesn’t seem like a big deal. But to others, we're downright fascinating. In fact, one day we started to count the questions and stares about our “big family” and joked that we were going to start waving like people in a parade…and the name “Prince Parade” stuck. I guess that would make Jared the Grand Marshall, right?
This last year has been a whirlwind for our little family…and it’s only September.
At the moment I'm sitting on a plane headed back to Utah. Not HOME to Utah, just back. Two months ago we went on our greatest adventure so far and moved the Prince Parade to Puerto Rico. A year ago Jared and I talked about visiting Mt. Rushmore in an RV. Instead, we rented out our house and moved to an island that’s roughly a bajillion miles away from everything we ever knew.
Here’s what we’ve learned:
1. Moving homes is really quite freeing.
I didn’t think I had collected a lot of junk over the years, but with 4 growing, curious kids it turns out we had. We got rid of about 100 big trash bags of stuff and sold off a bunch of random things that were just collecting dust. We live in a time where “more” is supposed to be better, but it was absolutely liberating to have less. I may need to pretend to move every year or so! Click here to find out why we moved to Puerto Rico?
2. Don’t google rabies symptoms.
Jared has gotten bitten twice so far: one dog, one duck. I’m thinking he must smell like food to animals. But the good news is that it’s pretty rare animals here have rabies; in fact, Puerto Rico doesn’t have rabies shots on hand because it’s pretty rare animals have it here. Still, don’t google the symptoms of rabies if your husband is ever bitten. Don’t do it.
3. The kids have only been slightly sunburned once.
I take full credit, as I screech “sunscreen!!!!!” as they step foot out the front door. They’ve shared that’s what they’ll put on my tombstone. I’m okay with that.
4. The Prince Parade marched into homesickness at week 2.5.
Tears, isolation, sulking—the struggle was real. We recovered, only to have it come rolling back in at week 6. We’ve found the best way to deal with it is to get out of the house and onto a beach.
5. We are happy that it’s no longer a thing to pay for cellphone minutes.
If we did, I’d have to take out a loan so I could pay for all the calls to my sister. She is a saint.
6. I think I’m past my Lucky Charms phase.
When it’s hot and you live on an island, cooking a hot meal just isn’t going to happen. All I wanted was something cold, and Lucky Charms was my answer. (Can you eat when it’s insanely hot? Is it just me?)
7. Our experiment was a success: our online stores are still up and running!
Moving to Puerto Rico was a test of sorts: did we set up our ecommerce businesses to run them from anywhere we chose to live? The answer was yes. We learned it made sense to combine a few of them—which meant I got to live up to my word of the year and “simplify.” I’ve actually had some big summer sales that I’m pretty excited about—proof that you can either mope about summer slumps or put on your big girl panties, eat some Lucky Charms, and get to work. I’ll be writing a post shortly on how we gave away a free notebook and had an order cart value of $37.
8. Sometimes I really struggle with what to post on social media…so I don’t.
We’ve all seen posts from people who post about business and money and their laptop lifestyles and how their lives are seemingly problem-free…or who are so dramatic that we cannot help but roll our eyes. Yeah, I don’t want to come across as one of those people. Ever. I know I’ll have haters no matter what, but my goal is to have the people I love and the people I’ll never get the chance to meet to be inspired to get out there and live their dreams—not because life is problem-free, but because it’s not.
My journey has been hard. Over the last decade, I've had to learn every aspect of building a business, putting in countless hours to do it. I've stayed up late, got up early, slept on my warehouse floor, struggled with hiring people, missed some of my kids’ school events, and put my neck on the line way too often. I’m an introvert who had to learn how to step on a stage without shaking so hard the whole room could feel it—all to help others understand how they can do it too.
I’ve had to deal with the fact that in this online world I live in, sometimes I have to talk about how much I've earned. On the one hand, I get it: people want to learn from someone who has achieved success, right? But I’m a person who doesn’t even buy wrapping paper (we wrap gifts in towels) and I’m perfectly content in a $6 shirt from Target. We’ve had our neighbors ask if we needed financial help when we had close to a million dollars in our business accounts, all inventory paid for, and zero debt. Flash just isn’t what we’re about.
I never want to lose that, no matter what the balance of my bank account happens to be. So I’m working on finding a balance of staying true to who I am while still helping others know that I’m an expert in my field. If that means missing a social media post every now and then while I figure it out, I’m okay with that.
9. Sometimes you have to say “no” to something to say “yes” to something better.
I just turned down an opportunity to speak in front of thousands of women. Makayla is only going to live with us for another six months before she leaves on a mission for our church. Time is going to fly by, so I want to make the most of every minute. I'm even batching my work more (this blog post is an example) so that I don't have to make a choice between hanging with her or spending time in front of my computer. Speaking can wait. Time won’t.
10. I realized (again) that sometimes kids are smarter than adults.
Case in point: I was introduced to a famous businesswoman who I genuinely admire via video text…and it was awkward. So awkward that I didn’t get a response from her. I stewed over it for days before Makayla walked up to me and said, “Mom, you know she’s busy and probably just forgot. If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be.” I needed that.
11. The mom guilt struggle is real.
When my three younger kids started their first day of school in Puerto Rico, I was with Makayla when she was speaking on stage. Jared—as always—was a rock star dad and handled the back-to-school drill without missing a beat. I still wanted to be in two places at the same time.
12. Gratitude is always a good thing.
At the end of this just a little late mid-year update on the Prince Parade, I’m left feeling a little tired, but even more grateful than I was when January 1 rolled around. We’ve been through so many changes, but I’ve learned so dang much…and we’ve met people who are so cool that they still take our breath away. And yes, we still get our share of stares as our family of six runs through the airport, but we’re all good with it. We just look at each other, grin, and wave.