Today we’d like to introduce you to Molly Mackenzie.
Molly, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Four Boys of Summer is inspired by a daily dose of sunshine, compassion, love, gratitude for family and all-around positive vibes. This is the season to slow down, hit the pool or beach, relax, drink rainbow slushies and play with your favorite friends. I’m only speaking from this perspective because before starting 4BOS, I’ve witnessed another side of summer and survived a few dark storms along the way.
I was 19, starting my second year of college, and remember it being a beautiful early fall day on my campus. The sun was setting ending a carefree college day. My friends and I were hanging out and having fun talking in my room when I received a phone call that would change my life forever. I was instantly transferred to a new realm of existence. The distraught voice on the phone said, “your dad was just killed in a car accident.” I immediately dropped to the ground, covered my face with a throw pillow and let out a primal and traumatizing scream. The next few days were spent in a comatose state surrounded by many friends and family trying to support us through my dad’s visitation and funeral service.
Before this, my life was happy, oblivious, and shiny with no care in the world. My mom and dad were in love and enjoying the empty nest life with my older brother and I both away at college. They had big dreams for a new stage in life together, which I absolutely adored. After the pain was unbearable, times were dark and living on earth seemed so harsh. Unknowingly, people seemed cruel and insensitive. Missing him was an understatement and I felt incredibly alone with a feeling that no one could relate. I was super close to my dad and I needed him back in my life. The sun was not shining even on the most beautiful day, and the family unit we once knew seemed diminished. When my dad passed away, so did my soul.
I lost my dad in early November with Thanksgiving just around the corner. My mom did her best and cooked a beautiful dinner, but the deep shock and disbelief that he was no longer with us robbed us from our holiday joy. We sat down at the table and it was painful to see his empty dining chair, the spot where he once sat eating and laughing. This moment was so powerful because it was then that I made a memorable and conscious decision. I decided I would try my best to live the most successful and positive life, and one day I would fill my dining chairs with as many family members as possible. I struggled for many years later but with each passing day, the grief lifted slowly. During one moment of anguish, I wanted to give up on my college degree and move home. However, knowing my dad was such an ambitious man, I needed to dig deep and make him proud. I ended up graduating from college and immediately after I accepted a full-time job. I started to find my way in life again.
Fast forward to 2003, I married my college boyfriend, my best friend and the love of my life who was there for me during those very turbulent times. Despite being one of the best days ever I wanted to sob hysterically because of one obvious and important person missing from the guest list. I “kept it together” with the loving support of my mom, brother, and uncle (who were also grieving deeply), and I called on the unconditional strength of family to walk me down the aisle. I felt so incredibly loved, but missing my dad more than ever, I was angry with him for not being there on my wedding day.
When my first son was born in 2009, life completely turned around into a positive direction. I felt incredibly overjoyed with this full-circle moment, my time to start over. We planned on naming him William (after my dad) where we continue to celebrate his life and memory. Then came my SECOND son, THIRD and a year ago we welcomed our FOURTH and final boy. We now occupy ALL the chairs at our dining table and there is always a special spot reserved in our hearts for other family members no longer with us. It feels beautiful and beyond successful to have our family complete. I look forward to focusing this abundant positive energy on my newest creative coastal lifestyle blog—4BOS.
You see, my dad passed away but his love is stronger than ever, living through me and my boys every day. I can feel him lifting me up even when the clouds roll in, and now it’s time to give back and inspire others. I dedicate 4BOS to my dad and thank him every day for giving me strength and a renewed and authentic perspective on life.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Life with four little kids is like brushing your teeth with a mouthful of Oreos. Never smooth when you try your best to be productive and there are constant interruptions and tiny needs to be met ALL DAY LONG. It’s super loud and active in my house, and every day is completely unpredictable keeping me completely on my toes. I use to be a little more “Type-A” but I’ve learned to let go of a ton and try my best to roll with the punches as much as possible. Recently, my baby dumped an entire bottle of shampoo on the floor and finger painted his way through our bathroom with extreme soap suds. I came into the bathroom and he was all smiling while my older boys were giggling hysterically. All you can do is remind yourself that it’s just a small crazy moment and will soon pass.
We wanted a large family filled with tons of love and personality, and our wishes were definitely granted! We knew it would come with chaotic moments but we love what we have, and try our best to laugh off the small things and greet each day with gratitude. My family will always be my top priority so I have to be extremely patient and find dedicated time to concentrate and collect my thoughts. For me, creativity comes from the heart and has to be authentic, so it can be a struggle when you are inspired and have only a short time to produce content. Four Boys of Summer is new on the scene so I have an enormous amount to learn on so many levels. I plan and design my own website, content, and run my social media all while raising four boys. This often means working super late after the kids go to bed, or finding any amount of time while they are at school and my baby is napping. It’s a work in progress to find the balance but we are doing great and still having fun as a family.
Please tell us about Four Boys Of Summer.
Ten years ago I looked into my newborn baby’s eyes and my life started over again when I became his mom. My perspective completely changed and I loved every second of being able to live through the eyes of my child. Being a mom reminded me to appreciate the little things in life and open my heart to the entire community around me. After my fourth and last son was born, I felt an incredible closure and the most success I will ever feel in my life. I decided to attract more of this feeling, dream even bigger and started soul searching about my next adventure. It was time to find my creative self again and wanted to work on something I felt very passionate about.
One day I heard an 80’s song playing, by Don Henley, called “The Boys of Summer”, and my mind immediately jumped to the idea of Four Boys of Summer inspired by my family, the transformative loss of my dad, and life in sunny San Diego. I had an incredible sense of clarity, designed a logo and the birth of 4BOS happened within a few days. It all clicked so rapidly and has brought me more joy than I could ever imagine. I am a very proud mom of four boys, a coastal lifestyle blogger, and digital creator. I love uplifting others through writing and designing fresh content about my love for life in California. My schedule with the boys is very condensed so I’ve really surprised myself by learning to design a website from scratch (thanks to our friends at Youtube!!) and shows me that with passion, the sky’s the limit. Four Boys of Summer is all about being positive and choosing to live life sunny even when you are faced with dark times. There is hope in each new beautiful day and while living anywhere you can still relate to the 4BOS lifestyle.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
I had a really happy childhood with lots of wonderful memories but this memory truly takes the cake. It was my first day of 1st grade, coincidentally also my birthday. I remember it was a warm August day. Excited about the day, I put on my favorite bright pink sundress. When I arrived, my teacher presented me with the most incredible handmade green construction paper birthday crown.
Even better she inscribed “MOLLY” in what seemed like the most sparkly gold glitter. My heart was filled with pure joy and I wore my crown with deep pride. The bus took me home after school and my mom surprised me by inviting a few of my closest neighborhood friends over for pizza, cake and ice cream. I wore my crown to bed that night, feeling like the most special girl in the entire world. If I imagine myself back to this day, my mood instantly goes into happy mode. Such an incredible reminder that a simple day with love is all you need in life.
- Website: fourboysofsummer.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fourboysofsummer
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fourboysofsummer
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/4bosCali
Family photograph is by Chris Wood Photography
Christine Skari Photography