This post is sponsored by Zappos.

My kids went back to school last week, and not a moment too soon. This summer . . . it may have been one of my hardest yet as a parent. We were in the middle of moving and unpacking, our house was constantly full of construction workers, we didn’t have a working kitchen, and there wasn’t really a place for the kids to play. And in the midst of this I was still trying to work from home full-time. I was exhausted and the kids were bored. I think even they were ready to go back to school.

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I can’t believe I have a 5th grader. Still reeling about that a little bit. Two more years until middle school! Eek.

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Back-to-school shopping was a little different this year than in year’s past. Typically I would pick their first-day-of-school outfit for them, but in the past year my older 3 kids have gotten very picky about what they wear, and want to have a hand in choosing their own clothes. They also have specific brands that they really like. For the girls, it’s Roxy. For the boys, it’s Volcom  Not a big surprise given that both of these brands are local, and what a lot of their peers like to wear. (Not to mention their parents.)

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I’ve talked about this before but I do most of my shopping online. I really don’t like carting four kids to the store. This year, I decided to outfit their first day of school from Zappos.  I always knew Zappos as a great place for shoes, but only recently became aware of their vast selection of the surf/skate brands my kids and husband really like. They’ve got Billabong, Volcom, Hurley, Quicksilver, and RVCA clothing, and of course a huge selection of shoes.

This year, I pulled the kids over to my laptop, pulled up some selections from their favorite brands, and let them pick their own back-to-school outfit. The girls both chose Roxy dresses and Converse shoes. The boys both picked Converse as well, and some Volcom tees.

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They were really stoked when the box came full of the items they had picked out themselves.

In addition to our back-to-school clothes, we also ordered some new shoes for the girls’ cheerleading uniforms. All of my kids are doing our local “Friday Night Lights” program – the boys are playing football and the girls are cheering.

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I love the selection of Converse – so many colors. Kembe was so excited about his shoes that he kept wanting school to start THAT DAY. Every day, he would say, “I can’t wait for school so I can wear my new shoes.”

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All of my kids had a really positive first day of school, and so did I. After drop-off, I had some other moms over for mimosas to celebrate our newfound freedom. The kids saw my preparations and said, “What? You are celebrating that our summer is over?”

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Yes, children. Yes we are.