I’ve got your back

When my girls were little, I’d get up extra early in the already-early mornings and I’d make them breakfast and lunch and get all their things ready for the day. I am not a morning person and these weekday mornings were especially hard. I’d be making sandwiches and cutting up fruit and thinking “I can’t wait until they’re older. No more lunch-making duty for me. They can make their own and I can sleep a little longer.”

Every day, that litany would repeat in my head as I cut up fruit and packed Little Debbies and Cheetos, remembering which girl was currently not eating yogurt and which one couldn’t get enough.

And I couldn’t wait.

I couldn’t wait for the independence and self-sufficiency that would come with my girls getting older. And for the small break that I hoped I’d get from some of these thankless chores.

And sure enough, as they got into high school, I started to step back from the lunch-making duties.  I started traveling more for work and the girls had to do their own thing on the weeks I was out of town. I remember coming home from one trip and having them tell me about how my youngest would get up, make the coffee, make sure her also-not-a-morning-person sister was really and truly awake.  She’d make coffee, fix lunch, and then go up to get ready for the day, waking her sister again if needed.  And I marveled at this new normal they’d found while I was gone.

I thought, “They’re really doing this.  I can’t believe it. All these years and they did it all on their own!”

And I reveled in it.  My micro-managing mom mornings were finally coming to an end! Glory Hallelujah!

I started spending my mornings sipping tea and surfing social media and blogs, enjoying a slower start to my day.  I’d do the carpool run, but the girls pretty much managed their time and tasks without me. It was awesome.

However, in the last few months, both of my girls have had really crazy busy schedules. You know the kind I mean – where there are eleven thousand things to do, go to, read, study, finish, etc.  In that final push before the semester ends and the teachers are piling on the assignments, midterms and finals are looming, and everyone has some type of performance or gathering to attend.

They’re burning their candles at both ends.

And they’re in the stage of life where there isn’t much I can do as a mama to help them – I can’t take their tests. I can’t help with a project.  I can just be there for them, but that’s about it.

And so a few weeks ago, I decided I was going to do just that.

And I resurrected my micro-managing mama morning duties.  But with a slight change.  I’m not managing their day, hurrying them along and out the door.  But I am picking up some of those mundane chores for them.  I’m making the lunches and fixing the breakfast. Filling their water bottles and reminding them to take their vitamins.

What felt like so much to do a few years ago now feels like a little thing.  And in doing it I’m showing my girls I’m still here for them. Trying to take some of the stress of doing ALL the things so they can focus on doing the important things.  I know they’re capable. And have learned to manage these tasks. But I want to shoulder this for them and say, in an unspoken way, “I’ve got your back.”

One morning when my youngest had had a late rehearsal the night before, projects and tests that day, and she was exhausted and running on fumes, I’d packed her lunch, made her some breakfast and had everything waiting for her on the kitchen counter.  She came rushing downstairs, already running late and knowing she still had these things to do.  I could feel the stress and anxiousness coming off of her in waves as she dashed by.  She walked into the kitchen and skidded to a halt.

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“You did this for me? Oh, thank you, mama. I am running so late.”

And that’s when I knew I’d chosen the right path.  She can learn time management another week.  Right now I just wanted her to know she wasn’t doing it all alone.  I had her back.  “It’s all good, honey. I got you. Let’s go.”  And off we went for another jam-packed day.

Monday Morning Musings

Happy Monday,  y’all.

It’s a quiet Monday here – one girl is off to school and one girl is in bed recovering from a weekend “boot camp” church retreat. Came home sick with a cold and no voice. She’s going on 13 hours of sleep right now. But I think it was worth it, given the stories she shared yesterday before she crashed – stories she told with a hoarse whisper, her voice gone from congestion, late nights and lots of singing and shouting. Stories of faith, of friendship and of precious memories that were made.


One of the other moms we waited with yesterday – watching for the parade of buses to pull into the church parking lot – mentioned that she realized Saturday night that her son was making memories all of his own for the very first time. Memories that she couldn’t share with him. It resonated with me and I thought about that last night as my girl chose what to share with us – and as I heard the gaps in the stories that were most likely not intentionally kept from us, but just not part of what she chose to share.


It’s bittersweet. This growing up thing.

I’m so proud of my girls and the young women they are becoming.

I love watching them realize they have thoughts and opinions of their own – and helping them to sort through those (and learn that it’s OK if they differ from ours)

I love seeing them stepping out into unknown things (like a weekend church retreat) and embracing the challenges and emerging successful.

While my young one was off on her adventures this weekend, the big one was hanging out with us.  She went to church with us on Saturday night to volunteer at an event – and the staff loved her and begged me to bring her back. They were so appreciative of her willingness to serve and to dive in and do whatever was needed.


And on Sunday morning I fought back tears of pride as I watched her dive into a mess – a borderline special needs little boy who was having a “moment” – and respond with kindness, compassion and grace.  She calmed him down, loved on him, and provided him a safe place to recover his dignity. And then she stayed close to make sure he was OK for the rest of the hour we were with him.  I started to intervene and as I saw that she had it under control I just stepped back and let her go.  That’s her gift – relating to kids with special needs – and she is really good at it.  She loves them, and they love her.  And I’m so proud of her for what she does with them.

So, this Monday morning, as I sit here and sip my tea and look out at the dewy front yard, I’m reflecting on my two girls – no longer my babies, but young women coming into their own.  And I’m thinking of how blessed we are and wondering how in the heck they turned out like this.  You know what I mean? Super Man and I were talking last night about how so much of parenting is an experiment – you do what you think is right at the time but you never really know.  The result is often years ahead of you. You just say a prayer and hope the choices YOU make in the moment help THEM to make the right choices themselves when the time comes.

It’s the hardest job I’ll ever have.

It wears you out and breaks your heart.

And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Thoughts on a Rainy Day in August

I’ve been traveling this week for work.


I don’t normally have to travel – maybe once a year at the most – so this was an unusual occurrence for me although not an unwelcome one.

Except for one fact.

My kids started school today.

Yeah. Crazy week.

I flew out on Monday and had two and a half days chock-full of meetings. Wonderful, exciting (seriously) meetings that left me energized and thrilled about what’s to come for work in the next few months. I work with a fantastic group of people and I can’t wait to get started on this next project with them. It’s going to be a LOT of work but it will also be a lot of fun.

I flew in late last night – flying in the rain over ATL was interesting. Grey, gloomy skies with pops of twinkling lights as I landed.


When I finally made it home, I found this waiting for me on the kitchen counter:


Isn’t that sweet?

They had also cleaned the house, done the laundry, stripped and remade beds (!) and made their lunches for the first day of school.

I love my girls. And, I love that they are big and can do all these things while I’m gone.  Talk about making a working mama’s life easier!!

I woke up this morning to get my babies ready for school – their first day of school – Big Girl started High School and Little Bit (who isn’t so little anymore) started Middle School. 


When did this happen!?!? I mean, seriously. Some days it feels like I took a nap and they woke up grown.  Other days… well, I’m sure you know what I mean.

And now? I’m pooped.

I just posted this on my Instagram:


And that’s exactly how I feel right now.

I’m going to go see how early I can get these large people that live with me to go to bed. Or, maybe I’ll just go to bed without them!

Randomness on a Monday

Happy Monday,y’all.

Today is the first day of autumn – well, it will be at 10 something tonight, anyway. 



My favorite part of the year – when the miserable heat and humidity of late summer finally gives way to the crisp, cool days of Fall.


I love the temperatures, the falling leaves, the crisp, shockingly blue skies punctuated with cotton-ball white clouds.  I love walking in the crunchy leaves and watching Mother Nature put her creation to bed for the winter – going out with a spectacular explosion of colors and sights and smells.


I can’t wait for the cooler temperatures they’re promising later in the week. And I’m hoping they stay that way with no boomerang of Indian Summer to surprise us in October like it sometimes does.


The girls are both at home sick today with viruses. Not sure they’re the same virus, but they are both sick nonetheless.  Little Bit has been sick since last Thursday and I am hoping that we’re at the end of her virus and that she’ll be back to school tomorrow.  Big Girl just started today, but maybe we’ll get lucky and she’ll be feeling better by tomorrow.

I made them some potato soup for lunch…  Good for what ails ye.  I used Pioneer Woman’s recipe and substituted some frozen hash browns instead of the fresh-cut potatoes to speed the cooking process along a bit.  Big Girl’s in the dining room enjoying her soup and toast very much.  She says it is one of her favorite soups.


I’m making some progress on the shawl I started a few weeks ago.  I think I have about 6 or 7 more “points” to make, which translates to about 50-60 rows left to knit? I think.  I think 6 or 7 more points sounds a lot closer to being done than 50-60 rows. What do you think?

Anyway, I love it and I am looking forward to finishing it so that I can wear it as the weather cools down.

In other news, we have (another) new kitty.  This one showed up a month or so ago as a stray and has decided she kind of likes it here even if we do have puppies in the back yard.  We’ve named her “Mushi” – partly because of her moustache and partly in honor of a kitty I had as a teenager that had the same tuxedo coloring.  This new Mushi is quite the chatterbox and demands to be petted and talked to whenever she is around when we go outside. Her favorite place to lay is underneath the bird feeder (smart kitty) and she has her very own “blind” of shrubs that she hides in and melts into the shadows.


She’s very sweet. Very independent – doesn’t like to be held or cuddled.  She is also very curious about the Triplets in the house (as they are about her as well) but we have not attempted any introductions yet.  I let them smell my hands after I’ve been petting either of them so that they can at least get used to the smells of each other.  I have dreams (nightmares?) about Mushi sneaking into the house while we’re sleeping and being awakened to kitty cats who are “getting to know each other.”  Yikes!

We will see what happens when the weather gets cold.  The girls are already campaigning for the puppies to spend the winter indoors again.  And Mushi, too.  I’m not sure I’m up to a winter filled with 2 dogs and 4 cats (plus 2 kids and one husband) in the house with me!! That just sounds like crazy-town to me.

Speaking of crazy-town, I should probably go check on my sicklings…

The end of Summer…

Well, it’s been a long time since I’ve been online here. I’d like to say I’m sorry about that, but, in truth, I’m not. Life was crazy busy and when it came time to evaluate priorities, the blog took a back seat to the family. I think you’d agree that it was the right choice.

Things are still crazy busy. Work projects piling up, kids starting school, etc. but I’m going to try to get back into the swing of blogging again. I make no promises on posting on a regular schedule, but I am anxious to share some new recipes with you and the latest updates on my crafty projects and family adventures.

So, what have we been up to this summer?

Lots of things – a fantastical vacation to Disney World, mini trips to see the family in Savannah, local adventures around town, and lots of good cooking, crafting and swimming.


I’ll bring you up to date on our adventures and share some pictures with you in the coming weeks.  I promise not to bore you with the “virtual slide show” of vacation photos.


I’ve also been doing some knitting. I’m currently tackling my very first pair of socks. One is done, the other in progress. Hopefully, I’ll finish soon and can start on another to stockpile the warm socks before the weather gets cold.


The kids start school this week and we’re off to our first Open House this afternoon. It’s hard to believe summer is over and we’re headed into another school year. But, I have to say, I’m ready. I’m ready for the cooler temperatures. I’m ready for the routines and regularity of the school schedule. I’m ready for fall clothes. I’m ready for hearty fall suppers and freshly baked breads. I’m ready for change.

So, what’ve you been up to this summer?

And what are you ready for?

*tap, tap, tap*

Is this thing on?

Just as with a workout routine, an unfinished project, or a strict diet; once you leave a blog stagnant for a while, it’s hard to start things back up again.

I am, however, still here.  Life has just been busy the past few months.  And when life gets busy, blogging takes a backseat to everything else.

The last third of 2013 was full of, well, full of life… living, loving, being creative, nursing, nurturing, reading, knitting, cooking…all those things I love to do.  And, working,of course.

December was busy – work projects demanding attention, holiday projects doing the same. But we managed to fit in some fun along the way and enjoyed being with those we love the most for both Christmas and New Year’s (and the days in-between)

snow baby

School is back in session after the holiday break and the snowpocalypse of last week.  The girls are bucking down and have their sights on the mini-break we have next week when they’ll get a four-day weekend.

French Onion Soup in the making

Big Girl has a retreat with her church group this weekend and Little Bit has a sleepover planned. SuperMan has been cleaning and reorganizing the basement after our flood a few weeks ago and I’ve been busy manning the support duties for the family – cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc.

Pizza "bread"

I’ve been trying a few new recipes, which I plan to share with you  here  soon, and have been knitting like a madwoman. I have fallen in love with quick, one-skein projects – things I can tote with me in carpool line and that seem to finish up within a few days. I love the sense of accomplishment and being able to wear the fruits of my labor quickly.  I just read that someone calls January the “selfish knitting month,” which I have to say I agree wholeheartedly with. I have been doing just that for the past month – knitting things I wanted to knit just for me.  And loving every minute of it.

Hat & Scarf project

I did work on some “by request” projects over the holidays – made a hat for a longtime friend and a hat and scarf for another friend’s niece.  Those special projects were fun and I was terribly flattered that people actually wanted me to knit something for them! I certainly don’t consider myself the caliber of knitter that would make things to sell. (still don’t)  But my friends seem to like what I’ve made them.  Even my sweet little nephew loves his hat!

Very first hat I made

I hope you’ll stick around and join in on the conversation… Recipes and projects coming soon!

Things I’m loving right now

  • Cool mornings with foggy pastures
  • Seat heaters (for those cool mornings) which make you not want to get out of the car.
  • Palmiers and hot tea – so addictive.
  • Children who place their lunch “orders” the night before to make morning prep easier – It’s so nice at 5AM when you already know what lunch needs to be and you’re not having to try to be creative when your brain is not awake.
  • Cuticle therapy cream – makes my dry hands feel soooo good.
  • iOS 7 – so bright and pretty!
  • Headsets – when you have five consecutive hours of conference calls.
  • Heating pads and Aleve – when you’ve had a headache for a week +
  • Puppies who keep me company during the day

What about you? What are you loving right now?


I’m still here

Did you think I’d fallen off the face of the earth?

I haven’t.

It’s just been a busy month – very busy as a matter of fact.

First there were dance recitals –


And then a trip to see my mom and drop off the girls before I made my annual trek across the continent for work –


And then a short visit at Mom’s again for Father’s Day weekend –


And returned home with a bad head cold and stomach bug at the same time.  Sad smile

We’re getting into the groove of our “real” summer now… late mornings and evening swims in the neighborhood pool.  The girls are trying some open classes at a few dance studios, trying to decide what they want to take for the fall.

Other than that, we’re doing ok.

How about you?


Currently, I’m

Cooking a batch of shredded beef burritos in the crock pot. They smell SO good right now.

Listening to SuperMan shampooing the carpets for me. I’m such a lucky girl to have a man who spoils me so.

Nibbling on some almonds and dried cranberries – my new favorite snack.

Counting down the days until school is out. 12, if you are wondering. I think I’m just as excited as the girls.

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Planning my annual trip to California for work and hoping the flights are not too wretched. I miss the days of frequent flyer perks, even if I don’t miss the days of frequent flying.

Looking forward to my garden giving us some yummy foods this summer.

Enjoying the time we have at home with SuperMan between big work projects (and hoping it’s not too long-lived)

Reading Angelology ~ devouring it is more like what I’m doing. It’s really engrossing.

What are you up to these days?