May 17, 2013
Man this gig is a tough one. Man it is a rewarding one too. I tell you what mama's of the world, I am not quite certain I will ever get the hang of this here thing we call motherhood.
First and foremost it is imperative to state just how much I love this gig and just how much I wanted this gig and just how grateful I am to have this gig. It is also important to point out that in a couple previous posts I have stated that I may or may not be capable of handling motherhood to more than one bio baby and two bonus babies, that is in fact not true... I am fully capable. The love part is something I am good at, in fact sometimes I am too good at the loving my kids part. I certainly have the capacity to love the three I do plus ten more. It is the losing all control part that really puts this parenting thing into question.
My Doodle and my bonus babies are incredible gals. They all carry that intrinsic beauty and intelligence that makes them so much more than what y'all see on the outside. They all love deep and they all love each other good, oh so good. They all shine bright. They are uniquely individual, yet so very similar. They bubble over with pride when they succeed and show sadness when they don't measure up to their own expectations. They put others first and they are learning how to compromise in our blended family. They are hip and cool and funny and beautiful on the inside and smart and everything sugary you want your little girls to be...
But, mama's that is not what makes this mama thing hard... What makes it hard is when they show their little girl spice... It is hard when every day on the way to school Doodle says "I don't wanna go to school", it is a sweet sad voice that breaks my mama heart. It breaks my mama heart because I see her joy in class and how she thrives with her peers in school, but it is the separation anxiety that puts fear in her at drop off. It is hard when everyone is all sassy and bickering. It is hard when one gets sick and all the others follow. It is hard when the 11 year old is crying real little girl emotions and the two year old decides to jump in and copy her just so that she can be just like her big sister... Um, really? You are not sad Doodle. The not so shockingly honest truth is they all seek attention and when they see one another get attention they copy the behavior even though it may be a negative behavior or the feelings and fears and emotions are not true for them. It is hard when they are moody and brooding. It is hard when "she" ignores bed time (DOODLE) and fights against routine and then has a morning melt-down because she is so tired. It is hard when she says no one million and one times just to say no. It is hard when she intentionally ignores my directions. It is hard when she melts down with me, whines with me, throws tantrums with me and me alone and I get reports back that she is a dear angle with everyone else. It is hard when Doodle comes home from her dads house where she has a bonus brother and she pretends to shoot me dead... It is hard...
And what makes it ever so slightly more difficult is that I love good and hard... So when Doodle is sad and when Doodle is angry and when the girls are emotional and bickering and when all the cards are crumbling in our emotional, female dominated house, I am not so good at the balance thing. Balancing when love is the answer, when discipline is the answer, when ignoring all the crazy is the answer, when putting my foot down is the answer, when breathing through it is the answer... Man it is hard.
But Mama's... The hard is all so very worth it. Sitting at the dinner table and hearing them all laugh and talk and say crazy things... A kidddo interaction from last night just made my heart melt. The 11 year old was getting sick of Arkham (our annoying rescue puppy who is up in your face at all times seeking love and attention) bugging Doodle while she ate and told Ave not to pet her because Arkham may bite her hands... Doodle, mouth full looked at her hands and shook them at all of us in and emphatic, you are crazy kind of way and said "That's not true, my hands are alright.". The sweet interaction melted us all into giggles. And that is what it is about mama's.
In the moments when the family is sitting in the eye of their own family storm; emotions, anger, schedules and chaos all swirling just on the outside of the moment and there is clarity and joy and happiness and laughter. That is what I signed up for. This is my wild and crazy life and I love it... I sure hope my family knows that... Cause this mama, this mama wears her heart on her sleeve and she ain't so good at the breathing through it part, not just yet anyway. And the Mr that handles all of us, well he is a saint.
***Note: this is a mommy meltdown post primarily to get my feelings of failure off of my chest... I feel like when I only see the chaos and the emotions I am a bad mommy for not understanding better the emotions of girls, being one of them and all. I am a control freak by nature, who has OCD tendencies occasionally and that makes it so very hard for me to breathe through the tough stuff. I am also new at the mommy game, having only been at it for two years now there isn't much by way of knowing how I am going to raise her decided, I am learning what that looks like as I go. And becoming a bonus ma is tough shit. Beautiful girls that have a rhythm already, ensuring I stay true to my parenting beliefs (that I am just now identifying) while not upsetting their applecart. Did I mention this was hard? This also so very worth it... Every second, when I enter the center of my storm, makes my heart leap, skip, jump, a smile with joy.
May 15, 2013
It was the company. It was the charm. It was the waitress (I pay very close attention to the wait staff after 7 years in the biz). It was the menu. It was the decor. It was the experience. It was the conversation. It was the St. Francis.
I cannot quite pin point exactly what made this evening magical. And, as all folks know, sometimes expectations far exceed the experience and sometimes the experience far exceeds expectations. This evening, our experience far exceeded our expectations, I don't even know that we had any expectations. We were on a hunt for a restaurant and found a gem. Driving the streets of Central Phoenix with a couple ideas in mind, we found the St. Francis on a whim. From the street it held charm, there were people dining on the patio and it was a perfect fit for our hunt.
The food was delicious, serving up much more healthy bites than most restaurants. Utilizing local food and farms and providing options for gluten free, vegetarian and vegan focused individuals. The presentation of food reminded me of an intimate family and friends gathering, individually portioned deserts, food plated with charm and tasty treats that had a homey feel. Our server Emily was so sweet, soft spoken and made wonderful menu suggestions. She spent the appropriate amount of time romancing, offering suggestions, bantering with us and simply letting us be.
My love for the St. Francis didn't stem from the food, it was developed through the architecture, the structural charm and the details in the decor. My Mr and me are always discussing our dream home. A home that combines modern structure and details with natural materials all melding together to create a classically modern home with charm. For me, the St. Francis had it all. Brick, wood, cement, cables, floor to ceiling windows, bistro lighting, natural plants, a patio setting that was intimate and inviting, pavers, a bar area that transitioned from inside to outside, a green room style dining area surrounded by glass walls, copper accents, chalk boards... I was in heaven architecturally.
My home has been inspired and another meal will surely be enjoyed at the St. Francis.
May 13, 2013
Mother's Day Weekend was a weekend that filled my heart. My home was clean and happy (most wonderful gift a girl, full-time working mom and girlfriend, could ever ask for). There were special moments watching the Doodle run wild and free. There was a heart filling moment watching my Mr and my Doodle spy airplanes high in the sky. There was adventure feeding duckies for the first time. There were cuddles while watching movies. There were moments playing out doors, running stairs and playing golf. There were meals shared with the people I love most. There were moments big and small that filled my heart to the brim. This was the weekend through my lens.
May 12, 2013
First and foremost... To all mom's, Happy Mother's Day! Whether your kiddos be human or furry, biological or bonus, Happy Mother's Day to you, your LOVE matters.
This here day is my 3rd Mother's Day as a mother. This here day is the 3rd time in my life I've had the opportunity to be part of this oh-so-awesome club on this day. This here day, is just a day after-all. The whole mommy thing happens 24/7, 365. But, today, today I slow down a bit more, I smile longer at the silly and absurd, I breathe deeper sooner, I ponder the sweeter side of this mommy thing. Today I am so blessed, so blessed to be part of such an awesome club, The Mommy Club.
This job, mommy, is no simple task. The patience, the promises, the focus, the determination, the sacrifice, the sleepless nights and the worry-filled days. Yet, this not-so-easy job is the most rewarding gift God has ever granted me. This gift of motherhood is so beautiful.
Today as I reflect and my heart swells. My heart swells at the blessing that is my daughter, the heart string that her sweet little giggle pulls, the way she says Mommy with inflection and intention, the way her little hand reaches for mine, the way she wraps her arms around my neck for a good long hug, the way she puckers her lips over and over when she is in the mood to give kisses, the way she plays independently, the way she says "me do it", the way she is proud of herself, the way she loves. God blessed me with the most incredible little girl in the world. Today I am lucky because I am a mama solely because she is my Doodle.
Happy Mother's Day. Thank you Avery Grace for making me a mama!
May 10, 2013
I love food. There is no secrets there. Food is my favorite thing... well, when you don't include the humans that make my life magical. So, back to food... I love it. I love pairing flavors and trying new eats and tasting new treats.
I have communicated on this here blog recently that I am trying to eat clean moving forward. And that is still my focus, but I realized focusing on eating clean has turned me into someone I am not. Someone nearly too focused on food and if food is healthy or not. My goal, to eat healthy and clean more often than not. Bottom line... I am not going to sacrifice that which I love in order to "diet", but I can focus my lifestyle so that I can eat more healthy more often and prepare better food for people I love.
In learning the principals of eating clean I have had the ability to modify and map out meals healthy for me and yet fully flavored. Wednesday my Mr came home early from a business trip, so why not cook up a yummy welcome home treat. I made my post work, evening trip to the grocery for the essentials... Dog Food, Honey, Milk, Watermelon, Margarita Mix, Cabernet, Butter, Spinach, Green Beans, Goat Cheese, Blue Cheese & Bison Meat. The only reason for the trip was the dog food, but you know, a hungry girl in a grocery store is a shopping girl. Again, in knowing the principals of clean eating, I was aware that bison was an approved meat and chose to forgo the turkey in the fridge for a little more flavor. My Mr loves a good bison burger and I love my Mr.
Dinner was incredible. And not just because I made it. It was incredible because I made it for sure... I enjoyed the preparation stage of this meal much more than most. Felt a little June Cleaver even. But, it was also the melding of flavors. The spices patted into the bison, the butter coating the spinach, the creamy blue cheese crumbles melting into the burger and spinach alike and the dousing of hot sauce (some use it in limited dashes, I douse). The watermelon was juicy and fresh and there is nothing wrong with a margarita. Candles were lit and we chatted, we laughed, we smiled... It was a good meal...
On to the secrets...
- 1 lb Bison
- 1 package frozen spinach (if you prefer to wilt fresh spinach I respect you a whole lot)
- Your favorite burger cheese
- Margarita mix (we enjoy 1800)
- Seasonings you love
- In a mixing bowl place Bison and any burger seasoning you would like to add to your meet for flavoring. I used salt, pepper & cayenne. Mix gently (Bison meet is filled with moisture and I pretend it is more tender than other meet). Separate meet mixture into two patties.
- I chose to cook ours on the stove top, coating my mini skillet with PAM, I placed the two patties in the pan and covered on medium heat. I choose to cover the skillet to create an oven effect. I flipped the burger every 5 minutes, reducing the heat at 15 minutes to low and letting sit on stove until dinner was complete.
- In a microwave safe bowl I prepared the spinach as instructed and allowed olive oil spread to melt over the prepared spinach.
- The watermelon was pre cut and ready to serve, I just transferred it to a nice serving dish.
- Upon completion of each component I laid a bed of spinach on our plates, then I placed the Bison burger on top of the spinach heap. Topping the dish off with a tablespoon of blue cheese (I add more because I love cheese). I then doused my entire entree with some Frank's Red Hot sauce.
- Poured our margarita mix into our glasses and served!