red with pride

It was a typical Sunday evening in Sluiter Nation.

Cort had made a “take and bake” pizza from our local Meijer deli  for our dinner, and we were in the clean up process.

Plates were being cleared and rinsed, Eddie was being wiped up, and in the middle of it all the phone rang.

The house phone.

The house phone never rings unless it’s one of our moms or our grandparents.

Or a telemarketer.

“I’ll grab it,” I said.  I was expecting a call, but I thought it would be on my cell.

The caller id showed a cell number and area code that I did not recognize.




And then a pile of giggles.

I was on speaker phone in a car and two bloggers whom I had never met were dying of excited giggles.

I quickly indicated to Cort that it was for me and I wandered into our bedroom to take the call without distraction.

I knew this call was coming, but I had no idea what it was about.

The butterflies in my stomach were raging.

Can I call you this weekend?  I have something I would like to ask you.

I gave out my phone number without a second thought.  I trusted her and respected her.

Yes, she is a role model to me as a blogger, but I also look up to her as a woman and a mother, so when she asked if she could call me?  I put aside my hatred of the phone.

I smiled at their giddiness to be on the phone with me.  I wasn’t expecting both of them.  And I immediately knew what it had to do with, but had no idea what the question could possibly be.

“We’ve called to ambush you!”

More giggles.

I was dumbfounded, but trying not to sound dumb.

“Yay!  I love an ambush!  What’s up?”

My voice sounded weird to me.  I was trying to be cool.

I am so not cool when I am trying to be.

Both of them started talking at once.

You don’t have to make a decision right now…we want you to think about it…talk it over with Cort…we just want to put this out there…we want to make some changes…do new things…you’re so energetic….your writing is so lovely…you are exactly what we need…but we know you are so very busy with your million blogs, being a mom, and teaching…but you are exactly what we need…you are so lovely.

All I heard was “We love you.”

I have struggled with owning the title writer for quite some time.

I have hit publish and then checked in on my posts with my hands over my face, just barely peaking between my fingers. What would people say?  Would they even comment?

In that instant, I sat up tall on my bed and looked at myself in the mirror while they kept gushing.

A smile broke out on my face and I interrupted them.

“Yes.  Just…yes. I don’t need to talk about it with anyone. I am so honored…and proud. Yes.”

We kept chatting for another 20 minutes about ideas and when the partnership would take place, but I was hardly listening.

I must have sounded very simple to them, and I am sure they hung up the phone wondering if they made the best choice.

But the fact of the matter was that I had been blown away.

In a simple phone conversation, many of my insecurities were swept under my bed.

I am proud of my writing and proud of where it is going.

I am proud to be part of the leadership at The Red Dress Club.

Thank you Cheryl and Nichole.  You will never know what that phone call meant to me.

About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.


  1. What a great phone call and TRDC has turned into a terrific community full of wonderful writers. You three seem to work very well together.

  2. Awwww. I always wondered how it all came about. What a terrific story. You are a great writer Katie, and in good company with Cheryl and Nichole. If it wasn’t for TRDC, I don’t think I would have realized how much I actually love writing. Yay for TRDC!

    • Thank you, Alison! I agree, my writing was sort of just blah before I started with TRDC…and since becoming part of the leadership team, I like to think my writing has improved even more.

  3. What a great phone call, I was feeling proud and excited for you as I read this. Definitely one of those defining moments when you were able to own your talent and all you have accomplished to get you to that phone call. They couldn’t have picked a better addition to the team.

    • thank you, Jessica! I was so surprised, but they told me I shouldn’t be! Ha!

  4. Oh this is so fabulous. What a great choice to write about. So deserving! xo

  5. SO sweet—and such an honor indeed!! So proud of you, and of all 3 of you, for this wonderful space you’ve created for us. Thank you.


    • thank you, Erin! You’ve been a great participant! And I am so honored to have “met” you this way!

  6. I love it! Of course you were proud. You guys have created such an awesome community. I know we are all grateful.

    Thank you for saying yes!

    • they had done such a great job before me, ya know? I was just another participant each week. To say I was shocked to be asked would be an understatement!

      So thank YOU for believing in me!

  7. I love this! And you and Cheryl and Nichole and The Red Dress Club. You guys are making a wonderful difference to a lot of people. Thank you!

    • aw thanks. They were well on their way before they asked me…I still smile all goofy when I see my name/blog listed with them!

  8. What a great call. You should be proud – your writing is fantastic. Glad you are part of TRDC. All three of you are great writers and so helpful.

    • Nichole and Cheryl have been SUCH a positive influence on my writing. Just being themselves and including me has been HUGE motivation for me to keep up the writing, ya know?

      Thank you so much for being such a lovely cheerleader!

  9. What a great phone call! Definitely something to be proud of. I am so glad I found TRDC as well as all of your blogs.

  10. what an awesome moment! so proud of you! you are the perfect addition to the RDC team!

  11. I love this! Loved hearing the birth of TRDC tremendous trio! 🙂 You should be proud.

  12. Awww this is so cool! And like others have already said, so neat to find out how the RDC came to be!

    • Oh I am just the last leg in how TRDC came to be…it was already alive an booming before me! I just made the leadership a trio 🙂

      But thank you!!!

  13. What an excellent memory!!

    So glad you’re a part of TRDC.

    I hate talking on the phone too, but I would’ve done the same thing. 🙂

    • ha ha! thanks, Tonya! I always feel that I sound all awkward on the phone! For DAYS after that call I felt like a tool because I KNOW I sounded like it was my first day using a phone!

  14. Congratulations!!! You are awesome!

  15. What a great choice for this assignment! Now that we are (hopefully) over the cold/flu/pink eye/ear infection season at our house, I’m planning to jump in again on Friday.

  16. OH I had no idea how you were picked, but what a FANTASTIC choice, I mean I adore you!!!!
    this post made me beam with PRIDE for you..I am so proud most weeks to write for you…at your prompt.
    You are more phenomenal than you know.

    • I still have no idea how my name came up or why I was picked other than what they told me (that I put in this post).

      And you know what? I don’t care! Ha!

      you are one of my biggest chearleaders, Kir. Love ya!

  17. You are incredible, dear one!

    AND…I am proud to say that I got to take part in some of the strategic planning that went into that phone-call.

    You know…while I was running around half-naked wearing Cheryl’s jacket.

    What? Don’t ALL the best planning meetings happen wearing jammies and other people’s clothes?

    • you were??? see, I did not know that. I knew you guys had a way fun weekend, and that they called me from the car. I just realized that I have no knowledge into how much time/thought was put into me. I don’t know who they polled about it. I don’t know anything other than that they think I am a good “fit”.

      And that is good enough for me.

      Although I do wish I could have been there for some naked jacket wearing. Especially if it was Cheryl’s jacket!

  18. Oh I just LOVE this!! I’m so proud of them for knowing to call YOU and for you for taking the chance! You all make a great team. So wonderful all around… 🙂

    • thank you, Elaine!

      I have no idea how they knew to call me, but I am darn glad!

  19. How awesome to read your story of joining the partnership that is The Red Dress Club. You should be proud, you are a rock star and I’m glad I get to read your amazing written words!

  20. This. Just this. Is so very beautiful and lovely.

    Friendship, owning your Writer title, sharing a glimpse of your inner thoughts, your hatred of the phone- I can relate so much.

    This was truly a wonderful post You *should* be so very proud!

    • aw. Thanks, my lovely Galit!

      I thought and thought about what I am proud of and realized I am proud to be doing this with/for all of you!!!


  21. This made me giddy reading it. Congratulations you are a wonderful addition and a mentor to us!

    • aw thanks. I was just realizing that it’s been 3 dang months! I feel like they called YESTERDAY, but it’s been 3 months!

      Time flies with awesome people 🙂

  22. Awww… I love getting the background on your involvement with TRDC! And I’m so glad it’s helped you to see yourself as the writer you truly are.

    • before I found TRDC? I just “told” stuff here on the blog…even though that is NOT the kind of writing I teach to my students.

      These women (and all of you) have helped me see that I CAN write WELL too!

      So thankful!

  23. How sweet! You should be proud! 🙂

  24. It is a wonderful gift to have such great writers and leaders have so much faith in you. But, my dear, it is a gift you gave yourself by being so wonderful yourself. Relish your pride!

  25. The three of you are a perfect team. You have inspired me to write. I had stopped 40 years ago after high school. The muse turned her back at locked herself in a closet.

    It was reading your blogs that reopened that door. But very slowly. I randomly posted random rants.

    I watched the trdc tags and was intrigued. But thought I couldn’t do it.
    I read the timeline when you got your invite, Katie. And finally read some of the trdc posts.
    And finally the muse tapped me on the shoulder and said “It’s time”.
    You three have given me something so special. If I never wrote another line, I’ve still had the greatest time.

    I love you all!

  26. Aww, what a sweet story! I’ve recently discovered TRDC (don’t judge, I’m still learning the ropes to blogging!) and I’ve been debating on whether to give one of the prompts a go.

    But, congrats to you! I love your writing!

    • no judging here! I can’t wait for you to give a prompt a shot!!! I want to read it! 🙂

      and thank you…you’re making me all blushy.

  27. You know, you are totally a perfect fit. You make me so proud woman.

  28. Loved this post. What a great phone call and what a great club the three of you have created. I’ve had a great time participating. I never considered myself a writer, even though I’ve had a blog for 2+ years. It was just chatter to me. Now I consider myself a writer. Thanks for all you do. Including the concrit!

  29. I am smiling for you as you relive this moment. I just recently found TRDC and am happy to be a part of it. Thank you for saying yes.

  30. I absolutely love this story. I can just imagine how you felt – such an exciting opportunity! And you’ve really added to the group (I think – I only found it as you were joining, ha ha).

    So when you tweet about your sense of self, think of your role in TRDC. Writing inspiration. Leadership. Commitment. Support. Skill. Humour. You bring all that and more, and I suspect that’s true in the rest of your life too.