Tag Archives: the perfect mother

Cheers to the Mommas

Okay all you Mommas out there..or you lucky Stay at home daddy’s, grab a glass of wine or a bottle of Dr. Pepper..whatever it is that makes you relax and feel like a real adult and get ready.  Anytime I write/say the word cheers…take a drink.  Hopefully by the end you feel just a little better and more relaxed so here we go.

Wait..you are at work?  That’s okay…I’ll wait.  YOU ARE WORTH IT!!

To all the poop.  The poop in the diapers, the poop on the floor, the poop in the potty (Yeah!!!) that you then have to still wipe the poopy butt, and the poop near the toilet because they almost made it (I’m so proud of you) to the even the dog poop you step in because we love those furry critters too.  Oh and the pre-poop.  If you have a little boy you know, the air that passes before the poop (and after the poop and during the poop) and the laughter that ensues and the smell that follows. I don’t even have time to talk about pee or all of the talk about poop.  Cheers…..

To no sleep.  I mean who needs that afterall.  What I want most in the world is to be woken up three times a night because of scary puppies, sore legs, itchy ears, dry throats, sweaty heads, and stolen blankets.  Really…(Okay I do love them, I know these moments will pass but for the love of it all I just need a good nights sleep).  And when it’s time to go to bed, what I really want to do is get water because that H2O doesn’t fetch itself.  and that wanted doll..conveniently its always the one playing hide and go seek at bed time. And the questions..ugh the questions.  They hate me….they really do.  Cheers….

-To laughing. At their cute little stinking parasite faces.  To the funny things they say and the joy that they really do bring.  To the puddle jumping and the kitchen dancing.  To the fact that by their actual birth existence I actually have to watch the amount of laughter that ensues or make sure I use the bathroom 2194 times a day.  But they are funny.  Really, really funny.  I mean the knock knock jokes alone that make absolutely no sense but that they laugh and are so proud of is just about enough for me to call my entire life and parenting a success.  To laughing…poop covered so tired laughing.  Cheers…..

-To the Working Mommas. Whether you drop your kiddos off and head out to work, or work from home as a mom or with another job…that’s super multitasking ladies.  No matter which option you choose they are all hard.  You are Incredible.  In case you don’t hear it enough.  Go you!  So Proud!  To the juggling kids and jobs, deadlines and playdates, practices and meetings.  Hip Hip Hooray!  Cheers. 

To no means no.  But actually it doesn’t.  Apparently it means “mom please” or “in a minute”. Maybe it even means yes and we don’t even know it.  I’m not even sure what it means any more, but I think it means something between “Yes” and “You’re saying there is a chance.  Cheers….

To not being the yelling mom.  Nobody wants to be the mom that yells at their kids.  We all want to have a happy holistic approach to life.  We want them to grow up mentally sane and equal.  No therapy needed for my kid kind of life, but lets be honest.  There is only so many times you can say “please pick that up” before the voice eventually escalates to a level they actually hear.  Often times for me, it when I am laying on the floor after I have tripped over something.  I’ll try again next time not to be the yelling mom.  I’m sure they will hear me when I speak to them.  Or if I just take the time to put my hands on their cheeks so they can look me in the eye as they are cartwheeling past me at mock 2.  That’s when I will catch them.  Next time….I own this.   Cheers

Refill your glass….Not you?!?  hmmm…maybe a Cheers for being awesome then…now refill your glass.

To your bad ass dance skills.  You know you got ’em.  Or at least those tiny side kicks think you do.  Isn’t it the best ever when you are dancing and you see them doing what you do.  Then you laugh in your head and sometimes out-loud because you don’t have the heart to tell them to stop practicing that because it will never…ever….be acceptable in public.  nah….bust a move baby!   Cheers

To Story Time.  We all know it’s good for our kids and we do it.  That alone deserves a great big huge pat on the back.  Because if I am being honest, would I rather be reading llama llama or the newest Lisa Gardner I would be lying if I said it wasn’t Llama Llama with those cute faces..actually now I am lying it’s absolutely Lisa Gardner.  But I do it.  Because one day I want those big growing minds to grow up and read Lisa Gardner and then we can talk about it because I know in the future they are going to want to talk to me every single day about the books we read the night before.  Bammm….  Cheers.

To not swearing.  We are raising tiny humans and trying to teach them to become respectable adults.  But let’s be honest.  We all swear inside our teeny tiny heads every day and let them roll around in there for good measure.  If you don’t..I need a dollop of your patience….Cheers.

-To Books and Netflix.  The tiny escape that keeps your mind thinking.  Thank you text-to-speech on my kindle so I can move with my book from reading to listening in my car.  If only Netflix would default to my profile and remove that one extra click from the kids profile…is that too much to ask?  Cheers..

To Politics.  I don’t have time to even begin. You can’t fix stupid…and you know right now each side equally thinks the other side is stupid.  Agree to disagree and go about being a good human.   Cheers…Cheers….Cheers.  (need to refill after that..I know we all feel it)

In fact now might be a good time to just grab a straw and the bottle.

To personal space…Or no personal space actually.  To tiny minions in our back pockets.  To knowing there is not a single solitary space in your entire house that is just yours.  You can maybe slip in a closet or the bathroom for a moment, but you realize what a dream it is when you place your hand on the bathroom counter right into the middle of a big blob of kid toothpaste (Or your makeup that they were “trying” on without your permission).  They know the contents of your purse, your bedside drawers, your closets….They are like teeny tiny little spys.  You have no personal space.  Just get used to it.  Cheers….

To Amazon. I am all for the support of shop local, but if I can choose not drag the kids out to the store I’m all for the that.  Plus if I can purchase now rather than trying to remember to write it on the store list that I may or may not leave on the kitchen counter when I actually go to the store that’s another one.  Also I remember years ago discussion about the lack of mail being sent because of the introduction to email so the USPS was about to go out of business.. Amazon pretty much saved them. My sister works for the USPS so I feel I am supporting her. Using that as an excuse.  Cheers..

To the joy.  The pure and utter joy that the tiny humans bring.  The deliriously happy joy.  The heart full of gratitude that they are yours.  The overwhelming pride in every teeny tiny body fiber that calls out…Thank you.  Cheers to the little people!

To good friends. The friends and sisters that have already heard this and agree.  To friends who don’t judge.  To friends who come over when your in your pajamas and you don’t even feel under dressed.  Cheers….   Double Cheers….Cheers... to the friends who don’t have kids or have older kids and still let you come over with yours.  Who play with them and love them because they love you.  Thanks for those friends.  Cheers… Now buy them a bottle or a six pack and take it over and drink it with them.

-To the partners.  The awesome amazing partner who work their butts off to provide for the family.  To the true partners who know just how hard you work too and they lighten the load.  They go to the store, they help clean the house, and they pour you that much needed glass of wine.  Finish that bottle for them…Cheers!!

Bottoms Up! 

I bet you are feeling a little more relaxed about right now aren’t you.  Really we are all in this together.  Nobody is perfect.  “Aint nobody got time for that.”

Feel free to open another…you deserve it!

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Mother

It’s a dreary rainy day outside today.  So instead of being out adventuring we are inside finding things to do.  It makes me anxious.  It makes me miss my mom.  It makes me think about all of the Mother’s Days over all of the years and wonder…do I need her more today than I did before?  Is there a time that our needs lessen or do they just change.

As a child we are unaware of just how much we “need” our mother.  We take advantage of everything just being there when we want it to be.  We don’t realize the sacrifices made.  Yet we need them.  Every day we need them.  For the very most basic life-giving things, we need our mother.  IMG_3528

As a teenager we start to feel more independent.  Like we are actually an adult.  We act as if we know it all and we feel invincible.  We start to act as if we don’t need our mother.  As if we just love them but can make it.  And then, a small act of unkindness and we run filled with tears and fury to the one place that is always consistent, always there.  We need our mother.  Those feel like great big huge needs and they overshadow all of the adult actions we thought we were making.  scan0096

Then off to college.  We are on our own.  Truly.  Our basic needs every day, we take care of ourselves.  We don’t rely upon our mothers for life-sustaining needs.  At least not as we did before.  We are growing up. We are making our way in the world.  And yet, in the quite recesses of our minds when we make the big mistakes, the wrong choices, and even when we do something great or make the right choice, there is our mother in the back of our minds…cheering us on whether good or bad, moving us forward with love.  And again we run to her, in need of our mother.  Still not yet understanding how great her place is in our lives. scan0093

Then we are married.  We call our mom daily for advice.  Our girlfriends seem  to drift ever so slightly away and the calls to them turn, more to our mother than to our social group.  We find that being an adult is not what we thought it was in our teenage years.  We realize that all of those things we thought we could do, so independently are sometimes actually very hard.  In those moments we turn again to our Mother for love and support.  For the whispering of confidence and the outpouring of support.  We start to wonder if maybe she hid her fears and worry.  mwed

And then…It happens…We become a mother.  It is now that we truly understand.  It is now that we thank our mother with a true and honest form of gratitude that brings tears to our eyes and heartbreak to our soul.  Why did we not see this before and tell her everyday all along the way?  So we try to make up for it.  And in every action of our own for our children we see her.  We feel her.  We need her.  We are learning and she did it perfectly so it is to her advice we turn. It is to her we learn.  Our Mother. 100_1239

My story changes here.  I had just begun to tell my mother how much I appreciated her.  I had just begun to understand.  I had only started to say Thank you.  The true thank you from the bottom of my soul kind of thank you that she deserved.  I had only begun.  I had just started learning.  Learning how to care for tiny people.  Care for those people the way my  mother did for me, long before I could even remember.  I needed her so.  I needed her to help me bring my sidekick #2 into the world and I needed her there to teach me.  To help me learn to raise these little ones to be great, kind, loving big ones one day.  I need my mother.  I need her so much sometimes that I feel her void like an angry volcano in my soul.   IMG_3594

And then I wonder, as I watch those I love around me.  What will I do when I am older, my kids are all grown and the house is quiet.  I will surely need my mother then.  I will need her to help me fill the silence. I will need her there to share my love with.  I will need her to have the conversations and to help make sure my dress is just right when my sidekicks are walking down the aisle.  I will need her there to share tears of joy when grand-babies come to play.  I will need her then too.  If I had her then, I would have great big years of memories and won’t those memories just add to my love? Or do they add to the heartache and the missing of our Mother later in life?

I think it is this…we need our Mother.  No matter the stage of our life,of the time we got to spend.  We need our Mother from day one to our very last day.  Mother.

I wish I could tell you today just how thankful I am for you. I wish I could tell you that I see the sacrifices that you made me for me.  I wish I could thank you for all of the fibs you told me just to help keep me happy in a world that is so cruel.  I wish I could tell you I’m doing it right. I think I have this Mothering thing down….most days.  I wish I could tell you just how much you taught me.  I wish I could tell you that I want to be just like you and I’m trying.  I am trying really hard everyday to do just that.  You did good Mom.  You were the very best and I am so thankful for you.  I need you today. I hope you know that.  I need you every single day.

I love you!  Happy Mother’s Day (and Birthday soon!)gscan0115

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The Snow Shoveling/Exercise Balance

Piles and piles of snow.  That is what we currently have.

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This leads to the following question…

“At what point does shoveling snow count as exercise?”

So I ask you…Is there a line?

For example…

Does one actually have to be the one shoveling the snow? (cause that looks like a lot of work)

And if sweating is a requirement…

Can one instead be in a hot tub with a Bloody Mary watching another someone shovel the snow and it still count?

Asking for a friend….who clearly needs a vacation…on a beach…with a Pina Colada…

I’ll tell her to do that…and maybe some yoga.

Thanks Guys!

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Dreaming of Beauty…

I look up to the woman before me. With wide eyes I see such beauty.  Her textured hands full of beauty and grace, the small black watch fitted over elegant lifted wrist bones. She smiles at me and it reaches her eyes.  The wrinkles in perfect form on either side of her mouth.  She laughs and it fills my soul. I know behind that laugh is beauty.  It is strength.  It is long searched for and missed in its absence.  It’s her eyes though.  The beauty and strength that show in each and every burst of bright wide blue light.  The presence of love in every tiny pixel.

It’s her hair.  Fixed or unkempt but her color makes me feel joy.  Even when the roots grow a little long, I don’t see them, I just see her and just how she wishes her hair looked every single day.  She has the perfect figure.  It’s soft at times but her hugs are magic.  Healing…happy..wonder. She is class.  She’s beautiful.  Like a magic star in a unicorn sky.  She…the most beautiful woman in the world.  One day…I hope..I pray…I wish…I believe…I can be just like her.

How I feel about my Momma.

How my daughter feels about me.

Genetics are strong…so is love….

Why doesn’t our vision stay the same, unmasked, untainted when focused inward?

Hoping to see what my daughter sees…for me…for my mom…for my daughter…to show her that today and always she is beautiful. A magic star in a unicorn sky.

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Kindergarten Eve

Tomorrow is a very big day.  This is the day that my first-born child will start Kindergarten.  It is monumental.  I am so proud of her, so excited and so utterly terrified all at the same time.  Tonight I sit and think about all of the moments in life.  All of the things I have taught her, or hoped to before she started school and I am faced with the feeling of complete and utter inadequacy.  I can only hope that many other parents have also felt this way.  I hope I am not alone.

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I think of all the things I have hoped to teach her .

I hope she loves herself most of all.  I hope she has enough love and enough confidence that she will be strong and happy against all odds.  I hope she will always see her worth and value.

I hope she knows that I love her. I hope she knows I am proud of her and on her side no matter what.  I hope she always talks to me about things the way she does now.  I Hope she will trust me as I do her and that this will never change.

I hope she keeps that personality that makes her so uniquely her.  She is so fun and so genuine and so full of life.  I hope that never changes and that she keeps that piece of her and that she doesn’t conform and become a part…too much.

I hope she is happy. Everyday I hope she feels more joy than any other feeling.

I hope she minds her manners and always shows respect.  I hope she remembers these lessons.  I also sit here hoping that maybe some of these manners and lessons that I have tried to undo over the last couple of weeks also stick.  You know like…always say excuse me when you fart…changes now as you see your child going out into the world to…only say excuse me if others can hear it and know it will be you.

I hope she doesn’t get teased.  Please oh please let them be nice to my baby.

I hope she doesn’t cry.  She is so sweet and so kind and I don’t want her to feel broken.  I want her to feel amazing and wonderful, because she is exactly that.  Amazing and Wonderful!

I hope she succeeds and learns so much. I hope she loves school and wants to go back every single day.  I hope she thrives and grows and becomes an even more amazing and wonderful contributing human being.

I hope she makes friends.  Good friends.  The kind that stick.

I hope she misses me a little.  I hope she thinks of our time together with fondness. I hope she remembers the good things we did together and not all of the moments that I wish I could change.  I hope she is happy with our time and doesn’t feel shortchanged.  In these moments I wish I would have spent more time, done more things, or been more.  But I still remember (because I promised myself I would) that in those moments I was doing the best I could at that time.  Tomorrow I can try better.

I hope she is kind to others and is the one who helps build another up. I hope she shares and makes others laugh because that is what I see in her. That is what I know she can be.

I hope I prepared her for the world.  It starts tomorrow.  So young.  All the lessons I taught her and hoped to prepare her for I realize tonight I did not.  There are too many that a mom can’t teach.  We can’t teach them all of the lessons because we don’t feel the way others in the world feel about our child.  We love too much.

I just hope she holds onto that confidence and that love and remembers tomorrow when she is just a small girl in a great big world that she matters.  Her spirit is big.  Her heart is fierce.  She is Amazing and Wonderful and she can do hard things.

Be kind to my girl big world.  Her momma loves her so.

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Adventurer in Pearls

Today while driving Sidekick 1 asked me this question, “Why is God taking all of our people right now?”  I didn’t know how to answer her.  It made me feel very sad.  I don’t like posting all things gloom and doom but it has been a very rough month at our house.  We are currently in the process of sending one more very lovely lady to Heaven.  It’s hard not to ask why God is taking all of our people right now.  It’s hard not wonder if there is something that I have done wrong.  It is hard not to question my own strength.  It is even more difficult to watch the ones still here with me grieving and struggling.  The hardest part..is watching others suffer and not being able to help them.

I am personally thankful for all of the time I have been able to spend.  All of the lessons I have been able to learn.  Thankful for the memories, the stories and the time.  The greatest of generations is moving on.  What lessons can we take with us? What can we learn from them to make a better tomorrow?

I just keep thinking of my time spent, and I am so thankful that I spent time with loved ones, eyes open, heart open, and embracing the moments.

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This grandma of mine has come to me through marriage.  She is the one and only that I got to meet in my time as a Boxall.  She has brought so much into my life and I feel blessed to call her mine.  She is a woman of grace.  A woman of class.  She is the woman who when I was young I would have looked up to in awe. I still look up to her in awe and hope that some day I can have just a smidgen of her in me.

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She was always presentable. She woke each morning and dressed in fashionable clothes.  She kept up with times and ensured she dressed it.  She always had jewelry on and most often a scarf.  Nice shoes and perfectly curled hair. If you really paid attention you could smell her fragrance, always clean, always floral.  Her nails and hair were done weekly and it showed.  She was beautiful, stunning, a woman through and through. Even my sidekick could see it.

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She had presence and beauty.  She stood and walked tall.  When she entered a room you saw her.  Beauty and grace.

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I loved sitting with her.  She loved having the kids come to her place.  She always complained that it was too small, and she wanted more room. What she would do with more room, I have no idea, but she always wanted it.  I think it was because she was accustomed to things and liked them that way.

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She loved having the kids come and play.  She loved to hear their chatter.  She always thought they were the smartest and “so advanced” for their age.  She loved watching them dance and play.  I love how proud she was of my children.  My children were proud of her too.  They love her.  They loved to visit and spend time in her tiny place.  They loved drawing her pictures on post-it’s.  You would think grandma thought they belonged in a museum the praise she gave them.  I am surprised they didn’t end up on her wall.  She had a talent for displaying items as art.

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An example…In her room there was displayed a cow bell.  I loved having her tell this story because she would laugh the whole way through. On the night of her wedding their friends took them out for night.  They lived in Yuma, AZ so they were close to the border in Mexico.  They spent much of the night across the border.  She said she danced and had fun but her husband was anxious to get home.  She too, but in her story it was always her husband who was begging to go.  They were kept out the entire night by friends.  She said when they got back home to bed the next morning they laid in bed and found themselves itching.  Their friends had put some powder in the bed that made them itch, so they decided to turn the mattress over.  Upon turning over the mattress they found a cowbell had been securely fastened to the springs in their bed.  She goes on to tell how difficult it was for her husband to get the cowbell off of the bed because it was wired on tight.  She laughs and laughs.  Hanging in her room still to the day is the cowbell and the memory of the wedding night to the love of her life.  I love that sass, that charm.

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As fancy as she was she always knew how to enjoy a party.  She loved her Chardonnay.  She also loved beautiful old music. She was funny.  She would make jokes and razz people.  She always made me laugh.  One night when we went to visit and sat to have a talk, she tapped the top of her knees and said, “It’s a girl party, now what should we ladies talk about.”

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She had a beautiful home surrounded in my favorite things…real leather bound books.  They were so beautiful and she was so proud of them.  This is just one way we were kindred spirits.  I spent a lot of time with her one week when I went up to check in on her when her daughter was on vacation and we talked about those books in length.  She showed me her favorite and even offered for me to borrow them.  That was a sure sign of trust.  I didn’t, as I knew the love she had for them, but the honor I felt that she would have let me take one of her precious books was something I will never forget.  She told me so many stories that week. I wish I would have written them all down but I was too busy laughing.

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She was a top realtor in the state of Idaho.  She worked hard and was really good at her job.  She loved it and wasn’t ready to retire. Her business sense, her understanding of people, and her work ethic made her successful.  She truly listens and watches.  I can’t remember a time that she ever interrupted me when I was speaking. This is a talent and something totally genuine about her.  I would guess that her skills in this area led to her success.  That and her honesty.

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She adventured in life.  She is the adventurer in pearls.  She traveled with her husband, she spent time with her family. My husband spent a lot of time with her in his youth and I am thankful for her influence on him.

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She is quite the competitor though too.  I saw this in her stories, in the way she lived her life, and in the way she related to others.  She always wanted to “give” the best.  She didn’t realize that she already did.  She gave me my mother-in-law.  She gave me my husband.  Through them my children, one of which is named after her.  Really maybe they both are.  The way she lived her life and her last name.

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I am so thankful for her example.  She showed me that I can be bold and beautiful.  Smart and humble.  Kind to others but care for oneself.  I want to be just like her when I am older.  Lucky for me I have my Mother-In-Law.  A lady rich in class and kindness.  One that I am so blessed to have and lucky to learn from.

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So to all you classy ol’ broads.  I know the best!  Take a lesson.

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The Wonderful Lady

I am currently in the process of a long goodbye.  I’m losing my grandmother.  The mother of my mother.  The last tie I truly have.  You see, there is an order.  Parents should never lose a child.  I have always understood this looking at it as a parent myself, but I never took the time to really think about the other end of things.  I am losing my grandmother. A wonderful woman.  A motherly figure in my life. It is at times like this I really miss my mom.  I should have here now.  We should be leaning on each other.

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I laid next to my grandmother today and I swear I could smell my mother.  The curve of her chin bone could almost have been hers too.  They are a piece of one another.  A piece of me.  I am going to miss her.  I am going to miss the small piece of my mother that was also still her lingering with my grandmother.  There are so many things I will miss.

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I learned so much from this wise grandmother of mine.  She loves so deeply.  She is a truly, genuinely, good person.

She had such a strong love.  We were her dolly’s.  We were her precious darlings, so loved.  We were the best at violin, the best at sports, the best at plays…the best.  She was our biggest fan.  She came to every sporting event I ever had.  She and grandpa would sit up close and cheer ever so softly.  Yet the softness of her voice, would reach me and I knew she was there.  She came to every play. Whether it be in school, a talent show, or just in her basement with the cousins she was front row.  She was a whole audience all to herself.

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She was the very best storyteller.  She would read us stories when we were younger and she had a thousand voices.  She could also tell a story about grandpa that would light up the very room.  The time they first met when he gathered her hat.  The time on the bus where he pretended to be asleep on her shoulder and she all but held her breath so she wouldn’t move and make him stir from his pretend sleep.  The time he made her wait for a wedding ring because she hadn’t been sure, but then she was and he was not taking her back.  But then he did. About the times he held  her hand and sang, “I love you, a bushel and a peck.”

Grandma was a hard worker too.  Everything in her house ran like a well oiled machine.  It’s possible that this was because everything was used a minimum of 10 times. This goes for plastic bags and foil too.  Things knew what to do because they were well-worn in. Like her coat and her boots and every single turtleneck. She didn’t waste.  Not a thing.  She ate everything on her plate and only served what she could finish.  She was in charge of feeding the whole cattle crew in the desert.  She pulled off the meals while watching the little ones and keeping the camp clean.  That is no easy chore.

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My sidekick would use this term, but it fits best for grandma.  She’s the cheese on the pizza that keeps all the toppings in place.  There is something about grandma that she can make everyone come together and stick together even when this is the last thing they want to do.  There has been a family reunion every year.  Every single year.  For grandma.  She knows whats going on with everyone too and can remember every reason for every one that couldn’t make it. She not only knows and remembers all of her great-grandkid’s name, but she knows what they like, their favorite color, and things to say to make them smile.

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My “sisters” and I sat today and talked about grandma.  We talked about how sleepovers were the very best.  She would let us have two vitamin c’s before bed.  Just two because any more than that would overdose us.  Then she would take us downstairs and let us jump from bed to bed about four times.  She would have us lay down on her feather pillows, tuck the blankets around us tight then lift just a corner so she could put the hair dryer in there to warm us up.  She would tell us just to lay still like that and we would stay warm.  Then she would read us only 1 story, then come back for at least one more before we finally went to sleep.  Then we would wake to the best pancakes ever.  She also makes the best wheat bread and sugar cookies.

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We also decided that grandma is going to have a few black marks against her in Heaven.  She is a fibber.  This grandma of mine can tell you a story so tall you would think it is a tree and not even change her face.  Such as: “I feel great.” “It was a wonderful, just wonderful day.” “You are the very best at that.” “You are the most beautiful.”

Although…now that I look at it.  Maybe she wasn’t really fibbing all these years.  Maybe she really believed those things because she just has an incredible perspective and outlook on life.  I hope to be like her someday.

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We spent hours spitting seeds from frozen cherries and peeling rhubarb so we could put salt on it and eat it. Grandma could spit the farthest every time.  She taught us how to roll the legs of our pants up to wade in the river and showed us that you can be down to earth and classy at the same time.   A few months ago I went to her house and she was just feeling frumpy.  I gave her a quick trim and set to work for a quick manicure.  I never knew that my grandma was very particular about her nails, but I learned pretty quick that day as she made sure I did them just right. I realized then, more than any other time that she was more like my mother than I think she ever knew.

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She loved looking out her windows and playing with the kids.  The noise didn’t bother her at all and if she could, she would be up with them every step of the way.  Like playing swords and pirates with my wee child because that was important to my girl so it was important to my grandma.

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She made the best special blankets.  She always had juice and ice cream for the kids.  Ice cream bars or vanilla ice cream with chocolate powder.  She cherished every drawing, colored page and picture because they were treasures and just so precious.

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I think that is the greatest lesson I learned from my grandma.  I matter.  Everyone matters.  She sees the best in everyone.  She blocks out the bad and only sees the good because that is what matters.  Everything else…well…”it’s just whatever, it doesn’t matter anyway.”

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Dear Mom

Dear Mom,

It has been three years since you left me. Three years since I last talked with you. Three years.  So much has happened in these three years.  So many things.

  • Your grandson was born.  He’s incredible Mom.  He’s funny and sweet.  He was born without you.  He had his first bath without you. He crawled, he walked and he is finding his words.  He had 2 surgeries and one very scary time in the hospital with an illness.  I needed you.  He needed you. You weren’t there.
  • I quit my job.  The one that I loved.  I am home now, with my kids who need me more.  You would be so proud of me.  You always told me that I would be able to make it work and I do.  I work a lot of a little jobs but we make it and my kids are happy.  I figured it out now, even though there were so many times I grabbed the phone to call you, to discuss, to talk.  You didn’t answer.
  • I’ve run hundreds of miles. I’ve flown thousands. I have taken lots of classes and read lots of books.  I would have loved to share my journey with you.
  • I’ve written more books, and have a story that is actually published.  You didn’t get to read it.
  • I’ve learned to cook so many things that you would have loved to eat.  My small one loves to cook too.  You never got to try them.
  • I’ve moved.  I live in a home that I love, in a place that I love and that you would have too.  You’ve never been in my home and I have no memories of you here.
  • My Honey Cuffs are helping kids.  You helped me make the first one, but you didn’t get to see the patent in my hands.  You didn’t get to hear all the people they have helped.  You missed this.
  • Art has  new job too.  He’s good at it.  I am proud of him.  We would have even more in common and something to talk about.  We can’t share this.
  • Your granddaughter can read now.  She dances lovely.  She loves to sing and is so sweet mom.  She would make you laugh.  She hasn’t got to hear your laughter in three whole years.

I haven’t got to hear your laughter in three whole years.  People say it gets easier.  People lie.  I have learned to adapt my life.  It’s just my life now, with a piece missing.  A mostly complete puzzle.  I notice the piece is missing. I imagine what is there and I put that forward, a whole puzzle to the world. That piece is still missing. I always miss you.  Some day’s it is easier than others.  But there are times, Mom, times when I want to scream. Times that I feel are just so hard that my soul seeps right out through my eyes.  Times when my heart misses you so much that it balls up in my chest and I realize in those times that life just isn’t fair.

Sometimes the hard times come when I am least expecting them.  Sometimes it’s when I am cleaning my house.  When I am dusting off your ashes.  Keeping them clean so that somehow in my heart I can feel like you are watching over me, over my kids, but sometimes it just feels too hard.  There shouldn’t be dust on you.  You should be here.  I am thankful I have that memorial in my home.  My most treasured place includes you, my mom.  But then I miss you, we circle, and I just feel like crying again.

It happens every time my sidekick makes a wish.  Pennies, stars, eyelashes, and candles. Every one is a wish for Mimi to come back.  Every single one ends in tears.  How can I teach about dreams and hopes when I always have to say, “try again”.  How can I say it’s a beautiful world when she remembers everything. She remembers you and she misses you.  We all miss you.

It happens when I smell something that reminds me of you. It happens when I read a good book that I want to share with you. It happens with I get worked up and angry over something someone said and I know you would have a reasonable suggestion for interpretation that isn’t evil.  It happens when I drive, when I used to call you.  It happens on the boat. It happens when I sing, dance, or play your guitar.  It happens when my kids do something awesome that I know you would have liked. It happens today, on your birthday, on mother’s day, on my birthday, and the whole Christmas season.  It happens all the time. I miss talking to you. I wish I could talk about you more.  People skip the subject, they don’t want to see me cry.  They don’t want me to be sad, but the reality is, I like to know others remember  you too. I need to talk about you.  Three years gone. Three.  Where have you been?  I still need my mom. You have missed so much and we miss you too.

I love you Mom.

Love,

Me

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Winter Harvest Casserole

I have more exciting news coming soon, but for today, I thought I would share a recipe. We love food at our house and I just joined a recipe swap group which I am really excited about.

Today was Bountiful Baskets Day (Co-op fruit and veggies) so I looked at what we had and tried to come up with something.  I wanted to make sure it was loaded with nutrients, but I am a comfort food lover at heart, so I made a casserole.  I would like to say that it is a quick meal, but it is not.  It is time-consuming (probably and hour prep time), but it includes wine-so there’s that.  I hope you enjoy it as much as my family (especially my sidekicks) did.

Ingredients

1 Head cauliflower cut into small florets

6 Stalks of Celery sliced

2 large carrots sliced

5 small yellow potatoes sliced

6 TBLS Olive Oil

1 tsp Ground Mustard

1 tsp Kosher salt

¼ tsp pepper

4 cups chopped Chinese Cabbage

3 slices wheat bread cut into croutons

1 clove garlic, minced

 

Cheese Sauce

1/3 cup white wine

1 clove garlic, minced

2 cups milk

1 ½ TBLS Flour

1 tsp Kosher Salt

½ tsp pepper

2 cups Jack Cheese

 

Pre-heat oven to 475.  Chop and mix cauliflower, celery, carrots and potatoes in a large bowl.

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In a small bowl mix together 5 TBLS Olive Oil, Ground Mustard, Kosher salt, and pepper.

Toss chopped vegetables in oil mixture.  Lay flat on a large cookie sheet and bake 10-12 minutes.

While vegetables cook, put remaining 1 TBLS olive oil and clove garlic in saute pan. Then add chopped cabbage stirring often until tender.

In medium saucepan begin cheese sauce. Mix wine and garlic clove and bring to a boil.  Boil until 1 TBLS wine remains.  Add flour, then milk, salt and pepper.  Whisk until mixed, frothy and starting to thicken.  Add 2 cups cheese.

Put baked vegetables in a casserole dish, mix cabbage in with vegetables and cover with cheese sauce (I mixed in).

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Chop 3 slices of wheat bread and cover on top.

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Reduce heat to 375 and bake for 30 minutes or until bubbling and bread is browned and crisp.

Enjoy your nutrient rich, delicious side.  Casserole pairs great with chicken or fish and (looks around to find bottle of white wine empty) a bottle glass of Merlot.

Then pat yourself on the back because you are eating a diverse and healthy dish.  Even the grapes in the wine count right?  That’s fruit. Happy Winter Harvest.

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Dear Me

Dear Much Older, Much Wiser Me:

If the advice I am often given and the articles I am reading are correct, then you are looking back on our life and wishing you would have done at least a few things differently.  You are wishing you would have let more things go.  You would have let the floors hold just a little more dirt while you sat right in the middle playing cars with your kids.  You would have chosen not to take that extra job so instead of being in front of the computer, you could instead be reading a book to your sidekicks.  You would have done with a little less stuff and instead spent a little more time.  You would have yelled less and hugged more.  After-all, the time went so quickly, you would have embraced every moment.  You are probably looking at your life wondering if you could have done better.  Wondering if you failed.  Wondering why you didn’t try harder.

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Just in case that’s you, I want to tell you just a few things.

You feel the same way now.  At the end of every day you reflect and wish you would have done more.  You wish you would have spent more time with the kids.  You are worried you are doing it all wrong and that you are screwing it all up.  You worry that every time you yell, you are doing damaging harm.  You worry that every time you shoo your sidekicks away as you take an important call that you are wasting precious moments.  Especially on those days when you had one thing after another and didn’t get even a smidgen of a chance to really focus and play, those days you really feel it.  Then you worry that maybe you are focusing too much on your kids and not enough on your husband who you also love very much and who is working just as hard as you, and then wait, are you enabling your children too much?

You don’t get enough sleep.  You have so much to do.  Especially in December when you are trying so hard to get things right.  For no other reason than that you want to see your sidekicks smile.  It’s fun, but it’s exhausting. I think as you are looking back you are forgetting just how tired you are.  That down time, the alone time you feel you have too much of now, you didn’t have enough then.  I promise.

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I just finished folding laundry and cleaning the house today.  I know you think maybe I should let it go a little more and spend a little more time, but I worry about the little buggers that are ours.  They can’t live in filth.  What about the lesson about appreciating the things we work for?  I’m teaching them that, so hopefully you don’t have to bail them out in the future because they never learned.

I make sure they eat healthy, most of the time, and worry about me to.  Not because I really worry about me, but because I am worried about you.  I hope you are healthy and happy.  I hope instead of wishing you would have spent more time just living it up, you feel gratitude that at least a small focus was on health and wellness.

I know you are thinking that you wish you would have worked a little less, you did want to be home with the kids right?  But here’s the thing.  I worry about you too.  I don’t want you to have all the stress of catch up.  You are sitting there (I hope) not in a financial pinch, but instead living comfortably.  I did that for you, while raising our kids and keeping the home.  Of course not alone, our husband did that too, but we tried to do our part.  Remember that next time you wish you would have done it differently.

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Our kids laugh, you laugh.  You love being a mom more than anything.  They are incredible souls that are so amazing.  Life is really, really great.  You are happy and enjoying it, right now in the moment.  You are embracing it and feeling joy and pride at what you are accomplishing every day.  You despise the articles that make you feel guilty and then hold them close to your heart just trying to embrace them too.  It’s a very awkward (but totally fun and thrilling) dance.

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But sometimes you still yell, but only after speaking at least twice.  It’s trying after-all.  The kids leave messes.  They throw things.  They spill juice. They break things.  They fight with each other. They go out the doggie-door. They throw eggs.  They pull your hair.  They ask you the same damn question 62 times in a row. They dump crackers on the bed. They color on the walls.  They hate sleeping. They cry and throw fits. They puke and they poop.  They wake you up at night just because they can. They push your buttons.  All on purpose.  All at the same time.  They act differently for Grandma.  Oh, and you’re tired, frustrated, and wishing you were doing better.  So you yell and immediately feel bad.  Then you dance in the kitchen with your sidekicks, play chase, and eat popcorn (and drink wine) because it’s fun and they  (you) deserve it.

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Trust me when I say, what you are feeling, so am I.  I am doing the very best I can to be a woman who will make you proud.  I don’t want you to look back and wish I would have done better.  But just in case you are, here’s a little note to assure you that I wish I could do better too, but I am honestly, completely doing the very best that I can every day.  I love our sidekicks and our husband too.  FYI…I also love you.

From a younger, only a little wise,

Me

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