Mother’s Day Tidings

I love funny greeting cards.  I love slightly mushy greeting cards with a sweet little picture on the front, usually of two kids imitating something a grown-up couple might do.  I love greeting cards that say it short and sweet and exactly like I might have done it.  I will stand in the greeting card aisle for hours laughing and taking pictures of cards with my phone to text to my sister so that hopefully she will laugh, too.  It is really good, cheap therapy.  I say cheap and not free because I usually buy a peppermint patty or something to compensate the drugstore after I have scared off several customers who came down the stationary aisle to find me in tears and stitches at some hilarious card or another.  (I don’t have a great love for peppermint patties, either, just something about drugstores induces me to buy them – anyone else?)

This past week, though, a much anticipated therapy session was, instead, many moments of frustration and disbelief at the complete lack of funny, genuine or just plain decent cards for Mother’s Day – why?  Even Hallmark’s Shoebox division, which is my go-to favorite for cards, has a blackhole of any kind of ‘greeting’ I might want to send ANY mother I  know.

So, I am going to just say a few words to all of you moms from a mom, inspired by the mundane. You will receive some pretty rough, cheesy, forlorn greeting cards this year.  For that, I apologize that I wasn’t more pro-active in staging my revolt with the greeting card industry.

Dear Mom,

You have children.  You are a woman.  Thus, you are a mom.

You spend 20% of your waking hours doing laundry. You eat standing up sometimes.  It is a special skill, unique to those millions of women who are moms.

Sometimes you are selfish and, like, take a bath.  Maybe light a candle.  But, mostly, you pour yourself into some little lives.  Whether you are reading to them, reading something they wrote, praying for them, changing their sheets, driving them to practice, wiping their noses, feeding them something (homemade or not), playing games with them, working puzzles with them, helping them with homework, watching a school play, just watching them play with other kids – all this is you pouring yourself into them.

Maybe you feel a little poured out.  Like laundry detergent into another load.

If so, don’t lose hope.  Even though some days you feel more like you were the Arm & Hammer instead of full of Snuggle, you give your All so that someday these little lives will Gain confidence and courage and a Bounty of blessings.  So, keep rolling with the Tide – you will Bounce back, and so will they.  And, someday, you will look back.  And laugh, and cry.

But, you probably won’t miss the laundry.

Your legacy will not be how clean your kids’ clothes were, it will be that your kids weren’t naked. (most of the time)

Happy Mother’s Day!  With all sincerity, you are all amazing.


California Dreamin’

This was my view out of the back door yesterday

 This was my view out of the front door today


It does not escape me how blessed we are to get to visit our family in such a beautiful and WARM place.  This weekend was like a small retreat for us.  We loved every moment we got to spend with our family, and we got a lot of renewal from the sunshine.  I spent a lot of time just looking at my children’s faces.  I already see some of their stories written there in the freckles.  Alas, I’ll have to save sharing those for another time when there is less laundry, snow shovelling and catching up to do.  Divin’ back into the pool of life.  Sploosh…

“Top” Dream

Top Chef is one of my favorite shows of all time.  Currently it is one of the two shows I actually watch on a regular basis, and the only one that would inspire me to break the speed limit in order to not miss the first five minutes.  ‘Cause I always TRY to go the speed limit.  So, it is my “top” dream to make it to the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen someday.  I would love to do a little hob-nobbing with my favoritest chef-testants and try their delicious fare amidst the beautiful backdrop of Aspen.  It is as close to being on the show as I could get, unless someday my meatloaf is discovered by a Top Chef scout whom I unknowingly invite to dinner.  But, that’s about as likely to happen as me obeying the speed limit everyday for the rest of my life.

In the meantime, I thought I might plan a little weekend foodie trip for our anniversary this summer.  Unfortunately, I came across a few roadblocks:

#1 – no one under the age of 21 is permitted at this event no matter what, no exceptions except the womb.

#2 – roadblock #1 could possibly be addressed by babysitters or friends, but the tickets cost over $1000 apiece.  Yikes!  This doesn’t include lodging or anything, it would cost us about $2200 just to hang out and gorge ourselves for a couple of days.  And, sleep in our car.

#3 – don’t even need #3, roadblock #2 stopped the discussion.  It’s one thing to spend thousands of dollars to travel to fascinating places, make memories and visit with family, etc.  But, to eat for 2 days?  I don’t think so.  Especially considering how many hours I’d have to log on the Wii Fit to work off those 2 days. 

So, I have a new project.  I am enrolling in every contest I can find to try and win 2 tickets to the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, June 2011.  Last night we ate in a restaurant that is sponsoring one of these contests specifically just to enter the contest.  I can’t justify thousands of dollars, but if the trip is free (plus the cost of eating dinner in that restaurant), then I would happily log 1000 Wii fit hours in one weekend (I’m sure it’s possible), sleep in my car, braid Gail Simmons hair (for those of you baffled, she works for Food & Wine magazine and is a judge on Top Chef), whatever.  So, if you learn of any opportunities, please send me the info.  Help turn my dream into a reality:-)

Disclaimer:  The term “top” dream is used solely for the sake of levity.  Sharing God’s love with the masses, ending world hunger, curing cancer, etc. would all qualify well above the aforementioned “top” dream.

Which one is the real turkey - the one who could "totally" be on Top Chef!!

Parental Desensitization

Perhaps some of you might relate to a few of the following.

Things I Have Become Desensitized to As a Parent:

1. Snot (belonging to my children)

2. Eating off the kitchen floor (ahem, the kids, that is)

3. Crushed up crackers ground into the car floormat

4. 120 decibels of noise coming from the adjacent seat on an airplane or the backseat of a car

5. Hair pulling

6. Hand prints on the inside of every single window in the car, every french door in the house, and most of the mirrors…not to mention on door jams, bannisters, walls, …

7. High-pitched screaming in grocery stores, Target, or Wal-Mart (whether originating from my cart or others)

8. Digging through a purse full of hotwheels, fruit snacks, hair bows, and the occasional board book to find chapstick.

                  8b. Wearing chapstick instead of lipstick.

9. Eating 70% of meals while standing, walking, or driving

10. The first five minutes of constant interrupting when I am on the phone or in the restroom

Things I Remain Sensitive to, even as a Parent:

1. Snot (belonging to children that are not my own)

2. When you pop a cheerio or goldfish in your mouth and realize too  late that it is soggy because someone has already licked or sucked on it

(this could apply to french fries, as well, especially when the perpetrator has discovered they are a very useful salt and ketchup delivery system)

3. Eating off the movie theater floor

4. Whining

5. Barney the Purple Dinosaur

6. The sixth minute of constant interrupting when I am on the phone or in the restroom.

7. Hugs and hearing “I love you, Mommy.” there is no equal.

Looking back, I certainly have experienced “growth” in areas I never thought possible.  I think parenthood might be the unrecognized cure for OCD, as well as for organization, a clean house, and perfect hair.