Wednesday, January 28, 2015


As a mom, I think communication with my children is so important.  I communicate with them endlessly.  They love that!

My teenage son?  One word answers and imperceptible head nods are the norm around my house.

 Unless bathroom functions are involved.

At least it's something.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015


My little T, my baby, turned 9 on Saturday.

NINE! I can't believe it. 

We celebrated with grandparents, a trip to Kline's (in Staunton) and dinner at Red Lobster.  He's been asking to go there for months, because he was dying to try lobster.  We don't usually do lobster for our children, like, ever.  Never.  Granted, he could've tried lobster somewhere else, but when you're 8 lobster = Red Lobster because, duh.

He's not excited about turning 9.  Truthfully, he's not excited about growing up.  He's not ready to not be able to play.  He told me that big kids get too big to play pretend and he doesn't want to ever stop playing pretend.  Sadness.  I told him I still play pretend, although admittedly a more grown-up version (you know, pretend you don't have housework, pretend you're a gourmet cook, pretend you don't see that crack in the ceiling, pretend the kids are cleaning their rooms).  He looked at me like I was crazy.  He might be right.  

Of course, he went to Red Lobster like this.

I love his crazy.  I love his energy.  I love his curiosity, his imagination, his irreverent sense of humor.  I love his big green eyes, his crazy hair, his freckles.  I love his heart. 

Nine years has gone by so fast.  At one point in the weekend, he crawled in to my lap, and as he sat there, I smelled the baby shampoo he'd used to wash his hair and realized that in another 9 years, he would leave me.  So I sniffed his hair some more and snuggled him up and hugged him tight.  Denial.  And then I let him go before I could start crying and make things weird. 

I hope 9 is good to him.  I am happy for these 9 years.  When we found out we were expecting him (surprise!) I thought, holy cow this is going to make things crazy, and now I can't imagine a life that isn't crazy.    

Happy birthday to my little T.  Here's to never losing your pretend.  Or your crazy. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Um, Well...

I volunteered to make cookies for a Cookies for Kids Cancer bake sale at our elementary school.  Meems has two friends who have been battling neuroblastoma since they were little.  What am I saying, little, what I mean is littler.  We're talking elementary school here.

I may be in over my head.  

Because this.

womp womp.

Seriously, what's wrong with me?  I feel I am a relatively accomplished person.  But wow.  Baking cookies is not my forte, clearly.  Most of these are overdone.  Some are overdone on the edges, yet raw in the middle.  Some are broken, my thumb went through one of them and none of them look very appetizing.  

I have to package these bad boys up and offer them up for sale.  Yum, right? 

This is what my children will remember about their childhood.  This is what my cookies usually look like.


The over achiever in me says start over.  The realist in me says you're out of sugar and the roads are icy and this took FOREVER and do you really think you can do better than this?  I mean, really?

The realist in me knows me too well.

I will package up a few of the prettier ones and call it a day and hope that no one is keeping track of the cookies too closely.  I baked, I packaged and now we'll try to keep this as anonymous as possible.  Surely there will be a bazillion chocolate chip cookies, right?  

The rest of these will go in my kids' lunches.  Because they actually are super excited about the brown, crunchy ones.  I am a hero for baking enough cookies for them to have some too!  Which makes me happy and sad all at once.  Poor Little Meems won't even know to be embarrassed about turning these in because she thinks that's how cookies are supposed to look.

#cookiefail  #crunchycookiesarethebest  #childhood memories  #itsforagoodcause


Monday, January 12, 2015

15 for 2015

God is good.  I have no complaints about my life.  That doesn’t mean I don’t complain sometimes about little things, but I am fully aware that I have a wonderful life.  I just need to appreciate it more. For 2015, I'm offering up 15 things that I want from this year.  Most of these are goals for myself, there are a couple "wishes" and there are a few reminders.  It's like I tell my kids -- make a list.  A list of all the things ever.  Anything that's on your mind.  Your goals, your dreams, your groceries for the week.  You'll be glad you did.

The first thing I want?  To appreciate my life more.  Every little bit of it.

2.  Connect with the people I love.  Not electronically, although that makes it easier to connect with the people that I love that are far away.  I mean connect, face to face, hug to hug, laugh to laugh.  My husband, my children, my extended family, and my friends.  I’ve been mired down for years in the daily whatever of my life and I’ve especially sacrificed time with friends.  This is the year I will reconnect and enjoy who I am when I’m not being mom, wife, daughter, employee, short order cook, maid, chauffeur, tutor, etc.

3.  More quality time with my children.  I’ve never been a believer that I have to entertain my children all the time.  Does that mean I have sacrificed some potential bonding moments with them?   Possibly.  I’m sure there are parents who would say definitely.  But the goal here is to instill independence and self-reliance.  I know 10-year-olds that can’t tie their own shoes.  My husband and I have both experienced the parent of a potential job candidate reaching out to us on their child’s behalf.  I don’t want to do everything for my children, nor do I want to do everything with my children.  But when I do, I want to make it count.  I want to find that one-on-one connection I believe every child needs with their parents.  I want to better understand each of my individual children.  I want to make special memories for us both.  Even if it’s just running errands together and grabbing hot chocolate.

4.  Health.  This goes without saying.

5.  I want to be less critical.  I got together with my girlfriends the other day and I wasn’t very successful at this, but I want to be.

6.  A new kitchen floor.

7.  To be more decisive.  Little Meems makes me crazy with her indecisiveness, but she gets it from me.  The funny thing is, we’re both good about helping others make decisions, but are terrible at making decisions for ourselves.

8.  Speaking of Little Meems, be more gentle.  We are on the cusp of puberty and middle school and hormones and straddling that line between kid and teen and not knowing which foot should be where at any given time.  Many, many days are fraught with emotion (hers) and anger (mine).  I remember what it was like, how I just wanted someone to understand and not get upset because even though I was upset I wasn’t really upset but I didn’t know what to do or how to control the things coming from my mouth and oh crap now I’m crying and I don’t know why and just be patient with me because in a few minutes I’ll have it all together but first I’m going to need to stomp off screaming that you just don’t understand and slam my door and I need you to just let me.  Then I’m going to need you to act like nothing just happened so I can get over my humiliation.  Little Meems, for all her sweetness and light, has always been my biggest challenge.  Things have been bumpy for us at times.  I have not always been my best self.  I know for the road ahead I need to do better than she’s expecting me to.

9.   Growth spurts for 2 of my 3 children.  Big, giant ones that force me to buy all new clothing.  Being a late bloomer isn’t that much fun.

10.  For my husband to travel less.  I know it’s beyond his control, but I can wish for it anyway.  He’s missing too much.  In 2 years we will have a child who drives and in another 3, he will leave us for college (God willing).  It’s time to take it all in, every last little bit of it, as much as possible.  You can’t get it back.

11.  To blog more.  I don’t know what shape this will take.  My goal has always been to just get my memories down.  To share my stories, in all their imperfection.  I want, someday, for my children to read this blog and laugh and cry and shake their heads and remember and be reminded and know that I’m not perfect but my love for them is and has always been.  Would I like to share more?  Yes, but I’m not one to market myself.  I have dreams of turning this all into a book one day, but I haven’t really sat down and made a list of goals for me to this end.  Maybe I should start with that for 2015.

12.  I want my some of my children's goals to be realized.  And I want them to realize that it's up to them to make that happen.  Right now, it's simple:  I want for Will to make the lacrosse team he has his eye on, I want Little Meems to nail her back handspring, and I want Tate to play more than 7 seconds in a football game. You know, just little humongous things.

13.  To get through the winter.  I hate winter.

14.  To have all the laundry done, folded and put away AT THE SAME TIME as the house being clean in its entirety.  All the house things, all at once, done.  Just once.  Then I would pour myself a glass of wine and enjoy a magazine and silence and solitude, because everyone being gone is the only way it's going to happen, or last for more than 5 minutes.

15. See #1.  To love my life.  Every minute of it.  Can't stress that one enough.