I love family. I love learning. I love food. This is simply a collection of thoughts, memories, and recipes that are a piece of me!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Cool By Association.

Did you know that I'm married to a DJ?  That's right.  He's a legit scratching-up-some-genuine-vinyl kind of DJ.  He does the...cuts...mixes...?  I have no idea what they're called.  Once he even asked me to do something called "drops" for his internet radio show.  No seriously.  I swear my husband is cooler than your husband.

He has been on real life tours.

He has performed in front of thousands of people over the years.

He knows people who know people.

None of this stuff does he willingly talk about though.  He's all humble and stuff.

Somehow, I tend to think this means I'm cool.  I'm not.  Not in the least.  (Need I remind you that I'm at home on a Saturday night geeking out about starting Advent and writing a blog post?)

I'm a total generic white girl.  I can't rap, but I try.  I can't dance, but I try.  I can't DJ, but I did try that once.  It's not as easy as it looks.

Today, he turned on some music while we were hanging out with our kids.  He was holding Eva, and I was dancing with her and rapping along with the song.  She and I were having so much fun, and I glanced up and saw my husband's sweet face.  He wasn't making fun of me.  He wasn't laughing at how ridiculous I really must have looked and sounded.  He had a genuine sort of smile on his face as he looked at me as though I was really someone.  I wasn't generic to him.

It always amazes me when I have these realizations, and this is one I tend to have over and over.  Once upon a time, Bird chose me- not because I'm the prettiest or the smartest or the funniest- but because he loved me and all my crazy.  I am one seriously lucky gal.

I will very happily take being cool by association.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Beauty And The Beholder.

I'm beautiful.

I know what you're thinking.  Stop it.  I'm beautiful.  I know it must be true because my daughter said so.

I've never been a big fan of the way I look.  Makeup every day.  Always fix(ish) my hair.  Clothes can't hug the wrong places.  These shoes with these pants.  Wear a dress and an apron.

My idea of beauty was skewed.

A few days ago, I was feeling particularly like Quasimodo.  I swear I noticed a hump on my back that Bird keeps telling me I'm imagining.  My hair was flat yet miraculously frizzy.  My nose was too big.  My eyes looked too small.  My makeup didn't cover the imperfections I loathed.  The shoulder of my shirt was covered in Eva crust, and my pants were members of the pajama family.  I wasn't Hot Mom.  I wasn't even in the Hot Mom zip code.

I was playing with Izzy and letting her climb on me.  It was a passive Mommy moment, really.  We tickled and laughed and hugged and all of a sudden, she threw her arms around my neck and said something, very much in passing, that I will never ever forget.

"You're the most beautiful girl there ever was."

And she kissed my cheek, and she was done.  Off she scampered, having no idea what she did.

Me?  I am the most beautiful girl there ever was?  I didn't correct her.  I couldn't- not because she wasn't wrong to you, but because she was right to her.  I...me...her mommy...is the most beautiful girl there ever was.

It literally took me days to really process what she said.  Those words have popped back into my mind like a relentless weed.  I didn't want to meditate on them.  I didn't want to ponder them.  They stung somehow.  I just kept thinking, "One day she'll realize..."

But then I thought of my mom, and I remembered that she's the most beautiful girl there ever was. (save maybe the two that have rooms in my house...)  So I prayed.  And I thanked God for the beauty Izzy sees with her heart.  I asked for forgiveness for it being a reflex to "correct" that.  Then I tried to see myself through her eyes.

After spending the last few days in the mind of my three year old, here is what I'd like you to know if you have a daughter (or even if you don't):
Your dresses are gowns.  They make you her queen.
Your shoes are magnificent and something she aspires to fill.
Your movements are something she studies, but she only sees the grace.
Your hair is amazing.  You're practically Rapunzel.
Your face is perfection- no eyeliner required.
Your smile is bright, and she will imitate it every chance you give her.

I might as well own my beauty because my sweet-hearted girl already does.

And I think you should own your's, too.  After all, you are the most beautiful girl there ever was.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Just A Minute.

This is something I've been thinking about a lot lately.  

I'm a busy mom.  Just today I made waffles for breakfast, I did four loads of laundry, I made pasta for lunch, I homeschooled my older two kids, I made homemade monkey bread (Enter shameless self promotion here.) I went to our homeschool co-op, and I did it all while holding onto my one year old and praying she didn't grab something off the floor and stick it in her mouth without me noticing. You know, like a cricket...or a nail...

Being so busy, I've found myself constantly saying one thing over and over..."Just a minute!"

Can I have some juice?

Just a minute.

Can you turn on cartoons?

Just a minute.

Can we read a book?

Just a minute.

I hate it.  I cringe when I hear myself say it.  It makes me feel like the worst mom.  Don't get me wrong- I'm all about teaching my kids patience, but there's a point when it stops being about making them wait to build character, and it becomes more about making them wait because I can.  

I started wondering today how my children would feel- or even how I would feel- if instead of saying "just a minute" I told them the whole truth.  What if I replaced that dreaded phrase with "what I'm doing right now is more important than what you want or need."  Let's try it...

Can I have some juice?
I'm making waffles, and that's more important.  I'll make you juice when it's also time to eat. Well that's not so bad.

Can you turn on cartoons?

I'm in the middle of a homeschool lesson.  You'll have to wait until we are done.  I can live with that, but let me be a bit more realistic...

Can we read a book?

I'm in the middle of the good part of this show, and that's more important. 
I'm on Facebook trying to figure out why this person changed their relationship status, and that's more important.
I'm writing a blog about how I don't pay enough attention to you, and that's more important...

I guess it's all about prioritizing.  There are legit reasons to make my kids wait for things.  It builds character. It teaches them that waiting for things is a necessary evil in life sometimes, but if I'm being honest, it also can easily teach them my priorities.  

I want to write a better, more thought-provoking ending to this blog post, but it's my kid's bedtime, so you'll have to wait...just a minute...

Friday, November 1, 2013

Thanksgiving: An Act Of Giving Thanks.

I wanted to share with you something I'm super excited about.

Like, nerdy-level  excited about.

Last year, right before Thanksgiving, I had this idea, but it was too late to start it.  I've kept it tucked safely in the back of my mommy brain since then, and I have been biding my time all October to finally bust this out.

Every year my family goes all out on Christmas.  We do the whole shebang: Black Friday, Cyber Monday, circling things in toy books and ads, scouring stores for the perfect gift, awesome wrapping parties, huge dinners, a million decorations, tons of traditions...you get the picture.  It be gettin' cray cray up in here.  

I'm sorry.


Because it can be easy to spend way too much focus on what we don't have and what we want, I wanted to create a season of thankfulness that will (hopefully) transfer well into the Christmas season, too.

I started by making a rather crude looking "turkey."  I'm going to go ahead and warn you that I'm using that term pretty loosely.  I used a rolled up piece of brown packing paper, but a paper towel tube would be peachy.  I then added a beak and some eyes.  Remember, people, kids don't care if your crafts are Pinterest-worthy.

Then I cut out about a million "feathers."

Every night before bedtime in the month of November, we are coming together as a family (after Eva gets put in bed...no need to make this harder for ourselves...).  We will start with reading Psalm 100.

1 Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
2 Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before Him with joyful songs.
3 Know that the Lord is God.
It is He who made us, and we are His;
we are His people, the sheep of His pasture.
4 Enter His gates with thanksgiving
and His courts with praise;
give thanks to Him and praise His name.
5 For the Lord is good and His love endures forever;
His faithfulness continues through all generations.

I just thought this passage was so appropriate.  I want myself and my kids to remember why we thank and praise the Lord: because He is God.  His love endures forever.  We will spend a little time each night breaking this passage down a bit so that it's more understandable to a 3 and 6 year old as well as give us parents some time to really chew on it.

Next, everyone in the family (sans sweet baby Eva) gets a feather, and every night, we will each write one thing we are thankful for.  We will go around the room and tell what we wrote and why we wrote it.  I'm already tickled at Izzy's "I'm thankful when Mommy lets me have candy."  Remind me again why we spend a small fortune for Christmas gifts...  Then we glue our feathers onto the "turkey."

Finally, Bird leads us in prayer to simply thank God- our provider- for these things, no matter how trivial they may seem to others.

It's pretty simple.  It takes maybe 20 minutes or so, but for 28 days at least, we will have a tangible and constant reminder in our home of things we are thankful for.

And I'm thankful for that.