More than just baking bread

Wednesdays are usually the days I post a recipe, but today I wanted to share something a little different with you.

Yesterday I had the good fortune to be able to attend a very special event put on by some very special ladies.  It was a fundraising function but the event itself was focused on bread making and other baking tips/techniques. 

I learned a lot about grinding your own flours, what tools to use, what to do (and not do) and I got to taste some really awesome food. 

But what struck me the most was the lesson-within-the-lesson of the day. I’m not even sure the ladies who were organizing and teaching really had this in mind when they planned things, but it was what stuck with me.

Mixed in with all the tidbits of information about healthy cooking habits and how to prepare food that is not only good for you but tasty, too, was this overwhelming sense that it’s not just about the nutritional value of the food.  It’s about the love and care that goes in there. It’s about taking the time to prepare food from your heart – food that will nourish your family’s bodies and souls. 

It struck me, as I was there, that this is our job – as mothers, wives, homemakers – to make a home for our family – one that is welcoming, loving, nourishing and enriching of their hearts, minds and souls.

I think we all get so caught up in the day-to-day rush of life that we sometimes forget this.  This morning was an opportunity for me to remind myself why I am a mom… why I chose to marry and have a family. It wasn’t so I could spend my time rushing from school to dance practice to girl scouts and home again. It was so that I could share my life with people that I love – and give of myself to them.

It really helped to reset things in my mind.

So, that afternoon, as I tidied up the house and planned dinner, I rejoiced in the fact that I had a house to tidy, I had kids to feed and dinner to cook.  I gave thanks for the many blessings I have been given and let go of some of the little frustrations that normally get me down (like shoes and book bags and Barbie dolls scattered everywhere). 

I learned a lot more than just how to grind my own wheat and get a good rise on my bread… I learned to remember why I am a mom and to focus on showing my love for them when I’m doing even the most mundane things for my family.

And that makes all the difference.

CD67E0460FE3932B7A3B08ACDCE65B3F

I love this

Every once in a while I read something that just so totally speaks to my soul it begs to be shared. 

I just read this blog post over on Chatting at the Sky and it was one of those times.

She writes so eloquently exactly how I have been feeling about this phase of motherhood I am living right now.  How awesome and inspiring are her words.  They feel as if they come from my heart and yet they are from another's.  Motherhood is so universal. And yet so many times we feel we are all alone on this journey. 

Thanks, Emily, for reminding me that all mothers are experiencing (or have experienced) the exact same thing. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your words and capturing something so poignant.

Oh, Grow Up! (just not so fast)

Today was a little bittersweet for me. 

My youngest daughter (5) had a Holiday program at school. They sang carols and did a few recitations for all of the parents, showed off their artwork and then we had a “reception” where we shared donuts and muffins.

I loved it.  She did such a good job and all of the kids were so adorable. (I love this age) The little boys with their energy just bursting from their little bodies, straining against the structure of standing in a row and reciting in time with the rest of the class… The little girls with their fancy dresses and pretty hairdos, smiling at their mommies and daddies and waving occasionally to be sure they are still paying attention to them.

It was heaven.

And yet, it was a little sad for me.

I couldn’t help but think that this was probably my last Christmas program I’d get to see (at least until the grandkids come along).  So, while I was reveling in every moment, there was a part of me that wanted to hit the “Pause” button.  Stop! Wait! This can’t be it!  Let’s go back a year or two.

Isn’t that funny? 

When our kids are little and dependent on us for EVERYTHING all we can think about is that we can’t wait for them to get bigger so that they can do things for themselves.  We push, we nudge, we cajole and we threaten.

And then, one day, you wake up from the everyday and realize that that time is here.  And, I don’t know about you, but I’m not sure I’m ready!

One girl entering her pre-teen years, thinking she knows it all already; the other learning she can be independent and it’s ok. Don’t get me wrong… I love it for them. I am proud of my girls.  I am so excited to see their growth and development, to cheer their accomplishments.

I’m just not ready to give up my babies yet.

I know what is coming. I have seen it with friends.  Next, I become the “mean mom” who doesn’t let her stay up all night, texting with friends on her cell phone.  Or the mom who won’t let her meet friends and hang out at the mall (all alone) (as if!)

I’m still enjoying being the mom they WANT to be with. The mom they think is cool (and that they think actually KNOWS stuff)  I’m not ready to give that up.

I want babies to snuggle in my lap, rock to sleep, and kiss their boo-boos.

So, it’s bittersweet. 

While I’m so proud of them and can’t wait to see what they will become, I’m going to miss these little girls of mine.  I love them an awful lot.