I mentioned in my post on Friday that I was visiting my parents for the weekend. The morning after I arrived I was having coffee when my mom walked into the room. She was wearing the exact same color combination of a blush top and burgundy pants that I had photographed for my blog! I hadn’t mentioned one thing about that outfit to her. I guess colorful minds think alike.
I was planning a visit to my parents and thought that I would bring them dinner. I figured they could freeze it for later or we could eat it together when I arrived at their place. They live in another state and it’s not often that I get to see them so I was excited to cook for them.
Chili is one of my favorite dishes and I started cooking early in the day so that the flavors would have time to meld together. I picked the best lean ground beef and used black beans because I knew how much they like them. I added my own special touch – a little cinnamon – and after a quick taste test, deemed it ready to go. The evening before my trip my dad sent me a photo of a meal that their next door neighbor had just brought over. Guess what it was? Chili!
During my father’s first military assignment in Crete, Greece, we lived in Hersonissos, a large village by a harbor. I was a pre-teen then, but I do remember its beauty and its kind people. I also remember my mother gathering with the village women each evening in a circle of chairs outside on the patio of one of their homes. For hours, they would sit, talk and crochet. My mother taught herself to crochet intricate doilies, both large and small, by watching the women. She made gorgeous pieces for me and my sister as well as our children. I still have these pieces today and plan to pass them on to my sons and their families in the future. Each one is a unique piece of art that takes on such a special meaning because they were created by the hands of my mother. Continue reading “A Long Denim Jacket and A Walk Down Memory Lane”
When our family first adopted our dog Harper a little over a year ago, we weren’t sure what to expect. She was afraid of everything and ran away from all of us. But with constant and reassuring TLC, she became my sidekick and eventually warmed up to my husband and sons. Continue reading “Olive Safari Jacket and Some TLC”
If you follow my blog, you may know that when my husband and I married, we each brought two sons to our family. We struggled for a couple of years with transporting them around together in one vehicle because we didn’t own one big enough for six people. Then we found “Big Red.”
Today means that there is just one more full week before my kids go back to school. It’s been nice having them around because I’ve been able to learn little things about them that I didn’t know before.
When you’re a mom of teens, compliments from them to you do not come fast and furious. At least not in my household. My teens seem to be mainly concerned about themselves. I don’t say that to be insulting or critical; it’s just a fact of life in Teen World. But last week, I received a compliment from one of my boys and it’s one of those moments that will stay with me forever.
Before my son Hunter had his knee surgery in July, he went on a hike with some of his friends. He said they were complaining about their troubled relationships with their mothers. I think at one point they looked at him to add some validation to their diatribes and he said, “Honestly guys, I don’t have that type of relationship with my mom. She is actually a lot of fun and I like being around her.”
I asked him if he really said that or was he telling me he said that just to make me feel good. He assured me that he said that.
Wow. I know I felt my eyes well up with tears but I didn’t want him to see that because you, know, teens don’t want to be caught hanging with their crying mom. So I turned around quickly, grabbed that moment and locked it away till later.
And when it was later, I couldn’t stop thinking about what he said. Remember Sally Field at the Oscars (yes, I’m that old). You like me! You really like me! I was Sally Field in all her tearful glory. My son actually liked me and he wasn’t afraid to tell his friends. I’m welling up again.
Parent Performance Evaluations?
In a blended family of step-kids and step-parents, the blending takes time. Even when the blender is going really strong, things don’t always come out as smoothly as we’d like. But my husband and I try our hardest to ensure that each one of our kids knows that we love him no matter what.
Sometimes, it is hard to know how we’re doing. At work, most people are evaluated on their performance. I always knew I did well based on my boss’ feedback, the scores in my evaluation and subsequent raise. But parents don’t receive a performance evaluation (unless you base it on the number of rolled eyes, grunts and time spent in their bedrooms as feedback from teens), and we certainly don’t receive a raise from our kids. Sometimes it feels like we’re just grasping in the dark. But then you hear a compliment from your kid masked in a story about an afternoon out with friends, and all I can say is that I’ll take that over a raise any day.
My parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary today and I thought I’d wear this white maxi dress as a tribute to their half century of love. It is in no way as beautiful as my mom’s wedding dress, but I’ve been saving this dress for a special occasion and what better occasion than my parent’s 50th anniversary? Continue reading “Celebrating 50 Years of Love”
When my son Hunter was preparing to interview for his first job, I was adamant that he be dressed to the nines. After all, first impressions are lasting impressions and I wanted to help him start off on the right foot. But mom, he said, this is a fast-food restaurant. I don’t need a three-piece suit. I’ll be so overdressed. I thought about that for a second. He had a point. He didn’t want to be overdressed for the culture of the organization, and walking in with a suit and tie might be a little too much for the casual environment of a fast-food restaurant. However, I advised him to still dress professionally and appropriately for the interview to help him project a positive image and to show respect to the person interviewing him. He ended up wearing tan trousers and a button-down collared shirt. Continue reading “Striped Navy Dress and Red Shoes”