A Day for Moms

So Mother’s Day is still over a month away. However, I just had a cooking question and I emailed my mom, she promptly replied with the answer and now I can have dinner tonight. And it made me feel grateful for her, all over again. Not just that she’s my mom and she’s awesome and she knows so much, but that she’s always there for even the little stuff.

i was thinking that I don’t need a special day to profess my love and admiration for her. But this year, I will be so glad for the arrival of this pseudo-holiday for one reason.

Then Hulu will finally stop playing that horrible commercial about breast cancer. EVERY episode of EVERY show that I watch it is on during EVERY commercial break. It’s awful, non-compelling, and way too long. And each time it comes on I think, “seriously, I have to put up with this for three, two, one more month(s)?” Now that MD is only five weeks away it’s almost over, but I still have to watch it every day for five more weeks.

Unbearable.

So, bring on the day to celebrate Moms. Let people walk for breast cancer. Allow me to celebrate my mom any old time I want. And for God’s sake, quit showing that damn commercial.

Amen.

P.S. Happy Maundy Thursday, everyone.

Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful moms I know, most especially to the wonderful mom I have.

We decided to spend mother’s day at my mom’s house, but I volunteered to cook dinner. I made Honey-Chili Chicken (these were both easy and delicious, the juiciest chicken we’ve ever had–and kid friendly. Arionna loved it) and Chipotle Sweet Potatoes (these were okay…I used too much milk and toned DOWN the peppers and they were still too hot for everyone but Dad and Chad) and Vinaigrette Slaw (this is my favorite budget bytes recipe…except for maybe Burritos Blanco…toss up). The potatoes kind of flopped, but the rest was terrific.

Besides cooking, it was just a day of hanging out. Trivia, cards, and lawn games. Grandma had to leave early, she had a second dinner to attend, and Zack had to go to work, but the rest of us were there all day.

Everyone was outside while I was cooking, until Arionna came inside. She said she didn’t want to play outside anymore. I asked if she wanted to help me and she did. She helped me measure and stir the honey chili sauce, then we had to brush it on  the chicken–which is about the perfect job for a kid, if you can stand the mess.
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She loved doing this. She kept telling everyone, “I did the sauce”. Which is true.

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Grandma and her girl. So cute they are!
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These two are just the best of buddies. They are so cute together, even if she’s obsessed with the McFlurry.

After Grandma and Zack left, and we had all eaten, we decided to head out into the sunshine for a rousing game of croquet. In our family, you are never too young to learn to play games,
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Arionna had her own ball and mallet and Emmy was teaching her how to shoot.
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I love that the mallet is bigger than her!
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Random snapshot
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Lady of the day, observing the game. She was all alone because she was in first place.
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As I watched, she got tired of waiting and decided to rest. Love her, so very much.
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Candid snapshots don’t get much better than that!
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Oh, the cuteness!

Later, we switched to Bocce ball. Arionna couldn’t play because she kept stealing the palina and wrecking the shot. So, I picked her up and put her on my shoulders. She was surprisingly content to just sit up there and chatter at me while I still played the game. (I’m not that good at Bocce, but with an extra 30lbs on my shoulders, and the inability to bend over, I was pretty atrocious. But I hung in there and played anyway).
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Eventually, my shoulders were aching and so I handed her over to her dad.
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(Ssh, don’t tell my sister, but I am giving her that as a bday present!)

Chad lasted less than 5 minutes with her on his shoulders. Wuss.

I was still trying to get a perfect shot of my mom and Arionna:
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I didn’t get any good ones, but this one, the expression on my mom’s face makes me so happy. She’s just so happy!

And, speaking of cuteness:
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He was observing the game, and she just stood next to him, calmly holding his finger. Even he thought it was sweet.

And, because it was so beautiful outside, I said I wanted a group photo. I’m trying to be better about taking more of these.
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That’s pretty good for a self timer where the camera is balanced on the bed of a pickup truck.

And that was my incredibly perfect Sunday with my family…to celebrate mother’s day.

Mom, I hope you loved your day as much as I did.

For those who didn’t see it, this was my tribute to my amazing mom last mother’s day.

She: fried chicken, apple cake, chicken~n~dumplings

She.

She is smart, she is strong, she is wise. She is my best friend. She is my support. She is the one I’d rather spend my time with, she is the one I can always call, always count on.  

She is why I can’t smell fried chicken without thinking of her. She worked in a deli when I was growing up and she would come home from work and she always smelled like the chicken she was frying.

She is why people say that I am a good friend. She is the best friend I’ve ever had. She taught me how.

She is why I laugh so much. She taught me to be silly, to have fun, to have a ready smile and a quick laugh. She laughed loud and often. She still does and I am honored when people say that I do, too.

She is why I sing. I know countless little children who giggle when they hear me making up a silly song. When I was one of those “little children” it was she would sing and make me giggle. Before bed it was “Apple cake, apple cake, oooh, I love ya!” And silly faces so we’d drift off to dream with a smile.

She is why I love my birthday. She made them special in the small ways. It wasn’t about the hoopla or the party, it was about me and my place in the family. It was the notes stuck in lunch boxes, surprises I’d never expect, and my favorite meal on my special day. Four kids, four days, four favorite meals. And she never missed. She is why chix and dumplings makes me think of her, and my birthday, and being loved.

She is why I can do anything. She taught me strength by example. She taught me calm, she taught me acceptance. She always believes in me and gave me the ability to believe in myself. She is why I am successful.

She is why I am a librarian. When I was lost and unable to find my way, she let me keep looking. She didn’t interfere, she didn’t point, she didn’t tell me what I needed to know. When every path followed to that same dead end and I ran out of ways to look. I turned to her. I asked. She said, “you’re a librarian, I’ve always known.” And she was, she is, right. She set me back on the right path, where she knew I belonged.

She is a million little stories and a thousand big ones. She is my conscience, the voice in my head that guides my heart.

She is what makes my friends all say, “you’re so lucky.”

I am lucky, I am blessed, I am grateful.

She is my mother.

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She has a sign, in her kitchen, that says:

Home: where your story begins.

It is talking about the memories, the love, the neverending little details that make up who we are; that create a family, that create people. That created me.

The sign is wrong. It ought to say:

Mom: where your story begins.

I love you, always. Happy Mother’s Day!