Friday, May 28, 2010


This is such a bittersweet holiday for so many. For some of us, Memorial Day loses the meaning if you've never said goodbye to someone in uniform not knowing if and when they'll return. So this year, make it more about what it actually is and less about the barbecue. And if you need to get into the real spirit of it, head on over to Pioneer Woman who's new photography assignment is titled appropriately "Coming Home."  You can view them here, and here and here.
I must warn you to go there only with a large box of Kleenex. And make sure know one is around to witness your face while you're in the midst of the ugly cry.

Thank you to all of the men and women who fight for our country and our freedom and to the family members of these brave humans who wait for their return.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Housecleaning. Housekeeping. Blech. Those are dirty words. My house is not messy. It's lived in. When you have children, especially young ones, it's normal that your house looks lived in, right? And when you run a business from your home, it's even worse. Especially when your business is baking. A few words to facilitate a mental image: powdered sugar, flour, cocoa, buttercream, eggs, cream, icing color, mixing bowls, beaters, pots, pans, spatulas, measuring spoons and cups, pastry bags, pastry bag tips, and on and on AND ON.

Throw in being married to a man who also works from home, who has undiagnosed OCD about keeping neat, clean and organized (not to mention a secret obsession with having no dirty clothes in the laundry room) and the pressure is on to at least keep up with the day to day. There's a few problems though. One, I looooooath cleaning. Two, I am a procrastinator. Three, I am the 'creative type'; typically unconcerned with having an immaculate house. Organization can be a challenge.

So today and tomorrow, I am going to speed clean. I am getting my bucket of cleaning supplies ready, I am turning off my computer, my blackberry and the television. I am kicking the kids outside, cranking the music and will be out of the gates like Calvin Borel riding Super Saver. Hopefully I'll last longer than two minutes!

Why the sudden urge? There will soon be some redecorating going on in this house. So I need to get things organized, do some purging in closets and such. I need a clean palette. A fresh perspective. A blank canvas will open up the space so I can do something here with all of the ideas I have found. I discovered some incredible women bloggers last night and got some fantastic ideas around decorating for less without it looking cheap. Check them out here and here. I am warning you though, do it when you have an hour (or two) free because one amazing blog that you will want to read from first post to last will lead you to another blog that you want to read from top to bottom too. Thank you Sarah from Thrifty Decor Chick and Katie from Bless Our Nest. You've both inspired me to make my house feel welcome and cozy to not just it's residents, but everyone who enters.

And she's off....


Sunday, May 9, 2010


Happy Mother's Day!
I am a procrastinator. I need professional help. I am a rotten, rotten child. I fully intended to send my mother a card early last week. I went shopping, I forgot the card. I realized this on Thursday night. My mom lives in New Jersey and if I mailed it Friday, she never would have gotten it in time. I know what you're thinking, I should have sent it anyway. But I thought receiving it after the fact would be insulting to MY mom. She deserves much, much more than a Mother's Day card after Mother's Day. My mom ROCKS - and now I get to give you all a little background so you know why I think she's The World's Best Mom. After reading it, I know you'll feel guilty for wishing your mom was as awesome as MY mom. Don't worry, it'll be our little secret.

My mother hasn't always been my mother, biologically speaking. I have two sisters, and biologically speaking she hasn't always been their mother either. DNA is the one thing that precludes her being 100% my mother. But giving birth to a child does not a mother make, and in every sense of the word she is absolutely, unequivocally, without question, 110% my mother.  And she's aMaZiNg. (So is my Dad and so are my three brothers, but it's not about them!). My two sisters and I were adopted by our family in 1985. When we were adopted, I was 10.  Technically she's been my mom since 1981. In 1981, we became foster children and joined an already full house; three boys, all close to or over 18.  Who adds three more kids to the mix when you're sooooo close to having the house to yourselves after raising three BOYS? My mom does. And I am grateful to my core that she did. And I'm pretty sure she is not kicking herself. (Waiting on confirmation)

  • My mom always made me feel special. No matter what it was, she always encouraged me, pointing out that I was good at something. I wasn't overly praised; she didn't think that everything I did was the greatest, but the stuff that I did have an affinity for she encouraged. She gave me a nudge in that direction without me realizing it at the time.
  • My mother showed me what compassion is. She's a mush; gentle, with a heart of gold who loves people and animals. Mostly dogs but monkeys too. (Minkeys!) She's considerate and selfless and thoughtful and always thinking of others above herself, and she always thought of me.
  • My mother is patient. I was a 'difficult' child. Strong-willed, stubborn, stupid and lacking judgement at times. So I was like most kids, only I was this way more frequently, and when I did it, I did it bigger than the normal, teenager would. Never really thought much about when she mentioned having my own kids who would one day act like me. And yep. What comes around DEFINITELY goes around as I can attest to in my own parenting experience. But she never gave up on me.
  • My mom is fiercely protective of her family. There are no lengths she will not go to make sure her family is safe.
  • My mom is fair, no matter what I said umpteen MILLION times when I was growing up. There was always a reason behind her actions. I never understood it then but that's one of the beauties of maturing. She was usually always right, but in the rare instance she was wrong, she was woman enough to admit it.
  • My mom is a great friend. As a child who was, shall we say challenging, I never thought I would have the kind of relationship that I have with my mother today. She has been an immense source of support and wisdom, especially over the last couple of years. She listens, she advises, she doesn't judge.
  • My mom loves me. She's even loved me when I made it hard (really, really, really hard) to love me. She showed me that love doesn't always come wrapped in pretty paper with a big shiny bow. She showed me that it may look a little different than what you expect. She showed me that love is not just the words 'I love you' but that genuine love is action in the absence of those words.She wasn't overly 'huggy and kissy' but she didn't need to be. Everything in my life only exists because my mom loves me.
In the early 80's, I met my mom. She didn't give birth to me. She never saw me take my first step. She didn't hear my first word. She didn't get to see all the cute stuff. In fact, she saw a lot of ugly stuff and somehow, she knew there was beauty beneath it and she patiently waited for it.

I know I haven't told her enough how grateful I am. I know I haven't said thank you enough. I know I haven't sent enough cards. But hopefully, by reading this, she'll know how much I appreciate her, how much I recognize what a brilliant woman she is. Hopefully she knows how much I respect her, how much I appreciate her honesty and cherish her friendship. But mostly, I hope she knows how very much I love her.

So here's to you Mom. Here's to all the moms out there who think that their children don't understand or notice all that they do. We really were listening, we really did pay attention.  And when we raise our own children (who are 10 times worse than we were) we will remember all the lessons you taught us. And when we hear our children say  'I'll never say that to my children', or 'I'll never ask my children to do that' or 'I'll never make my kids eat that', we will laugh hysterically and call someone who'll appreciate the humor. We'll call our mothers.

I love you Mom!