A Few Thoughts On Motherhood

Sometimes, others say things more eloquently than I could ever hope to. Here are some of my favorites on motherhood…

Happy Mothers Day to all Moms and all Hopeful Moms. Most especially to MY Mom…

julia mom savannah 20131 A Few Thoughts On Motherhood

 

Irish Baby Blessing

May all the blessing of our Lord touch your life today.
May He send His little angels to protect you on your way.
Such a wee little fit, sent from above.
Someone so precious to cherish and love.
May sunshine and moonbeams dance over your head.
As you quietly slumber in your bed.
May good luck be with you wherever you go.
And your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow.

“Sometimes when you pick up your child you can feel the map of your own bones beneath your hands, or smell the scent of your skin in the nape of his neck. This is the most extraordinary thing about motherhood – finding a piece of yourself separate and apart that all the same you could not live without.”
Jodi Picoult, Perfect Match

Before you were conceived I wanted you
Before you were born I loved you
Before you were here an hour I would die for you
This is the miracle of life.
~Maureen Hawkins

 “The decision to become a mother is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”

“For the mother is and must be, whether she knows it or not, the greatest, strongest, and most lasting teacher her children have.”

 When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts.  A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.  ~Sophia Loren, Women and Beauty

“God could not be everywhere and therefore he made mothers.”

 

There is no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one.” ~ Jill Churchill

julia emma mothers day 20131 A Few Thoughts On Motherhood

Front Row Seats Made It Worth It

While  cheering my Indiana Hoosiers on to sweet, sweet victory (suck it DUKE!), I took one for the team.

I went down, and I went down hard. I landed directly on my ankle, which made an odd noise- much like a POP- when I landed on it.

The next morning, I woke up to dark purple (Indiana University crimson?) ankle that was at least twice the size of my other ankle. This was problematic because I had a job interview in Indianapolis (an hour away) that day. This was March 2002, a mere seven months after 9/11. The economy was turning down, and fast. I had to go on the interview. But first, I had to get some crutches!

I could not find anyone anywhere that would sell me a set. I tried and tried, and no one would take my hard earned, (OK my parents’ hard earned) good money for a set of crutches. Next, I tried to rent some. That was also unsuccessful as , no one will let you rent any without a prescription for them. When it became clear that I was not going to be able to procure crutches in the very short term (I had about an hour from the time I woke up until the time I had to leave for my interview), I resigned myself to the couch and the Real World marathon that was on.

My pity party lasted only a few short minutes before I realized that life had to go on because we had another basketball to watch the next day. The question wasn’t IF I could find somewhere to watch game comfortably, it is was WHERE would I go?

There have been a few times in my life when I have been able to play the Princess Card (my entire pregnancy comes to mind). This was one of those times.

We rolled up (in my case, gimped up) to the bar about an hour before tip-off. This time, however, we did not have to wait in line for entrance. We were whisked to the front of the line and ushered in the door. It was kind of like being one of the Kardashians. The princess treatment did not stop there! The hostess pressed on, through the throngs of fans clad in cream and crimson. She stopped in front of a table that was DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF THE TV! Forget Khloe, Kourtney, Kris and all the rest of them, this was the Kim Kardashian treatment!

We assured her that this table would work for us (hell yes it would!) and thanked her for her help. These crutches rocked!

Although the game did not have a fairy tale ending, at least I was able to watch it in style.

My crutches also came in handy during trips through the crowded bar to the bathroom- my boyfriend would stand behind me, yelling “Girl on Crutches! Coming through! Move!” while I would whack those in my way with the rubber end of my crutch…

All in all, crutches suck. However, being the ex-Girl Scout that I am, I was able to make the best of it. Having the best seats in the house (outside of the stadium) did make it all worth it.

Crutches At March Madness

Being on crutches sucks. After five minutes of hobbling around, you feel like your armpits have lost every layer of skin.

Except when being on crutches is your Golden Ticket.

My senior year in college was the last time the Hoosiers made it to the final game.  (As I write this, I cannot BELIEVE it was eleven years ago.)

Truly, those few weeks were a magical time. Sports can unify people like very few other things can, and it is an intensely emotional bond. As cheesy as it sounds, I really felt like I was part of something quite special. During those games it felt as if time stood still. Every bar was packed to the gills with fans wearing their Indiana Basketball Tshirts, chanting the fight song:

Indiana, Our Indiana,

Indiana, we’re all for you!

We will fight for the cream and crimson,

For the glory of old IU

Never daunted, we cannot falter

In the battle, we’re tried and true

Indiana, Our Indiana,

Indiana, we’re all for you!

 

Because everyone wanted to watch the game at a bar, advance planning was required. All of the bars opened at noon, and to get a table (and faster bar service), someone had to show up at noon to claim a table.

While in theory it sounds like a good idea to spend seven hours in a shitty college bar drinking shitty college beer, the reality is that A) I suck at waiting for things, which makes everyone around me homicidal, B) it gets expensive to drink for twelve hours (even cheap college pitchers), and C) I suck at waiting for things (did I already mention this point?), thus rendering getting myself to the bar at noon impossible. Sadly, my powers of persuasion did not work on my boyfriend or on my best friend as neither of them volunteered (or caved to my repeated requests) to give up their afternoon to go sit at the bar.

I was about to find another way to secure a table during March Madness. Before you congratulate me on my powers of persuasion  you should know that crutches open many doors (and secure sitting in crowded bars)…

Six On Sunday, Version 36

1. Indiana Basketball. So over it.

2. Cadbury Creme Eggs. YUMMO. Old school, I know, but still my favorite.

3. Easter Candy. I swear, Easter is the new Halloween. I think Emma received more candy today than she did on Halloween. I am all for a few jelly beans and some Robin’s eggs (a close second to the Cadbury egg), but the situation has gotten out of control. Perhaps the dentists are receiving kickbacks?

4. Broken iPhone. Nothing screams WHITE TRASH like a cracked iPhone screen. I dropped my phone on Thursday… When it landed, it made a noise that was different from any other time that I dropped it. I debated on not picking it up, but ultimately decided that wasn’t a good solution either. For $90, I can get the screen replaced. For $169, I can use my insurance. For $200 (plus a $30 upgrade fee WTF is that all about?!), I can upgrade to the iPhone 5. I’m probably gonna go 5…

5. Pinterest. It’s starting to happen- Pinterest is starting to control my life. I have tried so hard to avoid her siren song, but I fear she has her clutches in me! This is what I have spent my entire afternoon attempting to create:

eaa7ef50d0fab1aa0937b93acdd5479d Six On Sunday, Version 36

 

so far all I can say is “Work In Progress”.

6. Monograms.

southern monogram Six On Sunday, Version 36

I have monogrammed almost every single article of clothing that Emma will wear this summer. She wears a uniform to school (best thing that has ever happened to me- other than me wearing a uniform for the first twelve years of my scholastic career) and loves it. Sadly, uniforms are not worn during the summer. While I am dreading the inevtiable fights over wardrobe choices, I am thrilled to have satisfied my monogram fix!

emma easter Six On Sunday, Version 36

Note both the enormous basket and the monogram.

Valentine’s Day Was Our Superbowl

In high school, Valentine’s Day was our Superbowl.

It was CRAZY!

To read the rest, please check out PAGE 10 (woop woop!) in Sage Magazine:

http://issuu.com/sagemagazineonline/docs/feb_sage2

 

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Buffalo Chicken Dip

I meant to include this on Six On Sunday.

Beware… it is ADDICTING and you WILL BE the most popular gal at the party.

BUFFALO CHICKEN DIP
4 boneless cooked chicken breasts shredded or diced
2/3 bottle of FRANK’S BUFFALO WING SAUCE
2 bars of cream cheese(softened)
1 16 oz. bottle of blue cheese dressing
3-4 cups of shredded Monterey Jack cheese

buffalo chicken dip Buffalo Chicken Dip

I never thought I would be one with foodie pics on my blog! Moving up in the world…

“Scoops” tortillas or regular tortilla chips (We use Fritos.)
celery sticks (optional) (I am the only one EVER who has eaten celery sticks with this dip.)

First, layer the chicken and Franks Buf. Wing sauce in the bottom of a 13″ by 9″ pan.  Mix together the cream cheese, blue ch. dressing and 2-3 cups of the Mont. Jack cheese. (SAVE THE REST OF THE SHRED. CHEESE. FOR THE TOP) Spread over the chicken.  Put remaining Mont. Jack cheese on the top.
Bake at 350 for approx. 1/2 hour. It is good hot ,or warm!

Six On Sunday, The Monday Julia-Is-Sick-Again Version

1. Girls Night Out. On Friday night, I got to do something very rare- I went out for a Girls Night Out! Don’t get me wrong- my husband is always supportive of me taking time with my girlfriends; life just seems to get in the way. On Friday night, one of my besties was in town. She invited me not only to hang out, but to spend the night at the St. Regis with her- a bona fide slumber party! In true slumber party form, we had a ball and were both exhausted the next day.

jen girls night out Six On Sunday, The Monday Julia Is Sick Again Version

Keeping it Klassy at the St. Regis

2. St. Regis. The St. Regis is a fabulous hotel- from the incredible floral arrangements in the lobby to the doorbells on the suites. It is also a place where the fabulous people go. I love my current roles in life- suburban wife and mother- but it was so much fun to be Fabulous again, at least for a little while!

3. HDMI cords. You loyal readers will remember that my husband seems to have the worst luck with cables- they always seem to be too short! Once he gets the correct cords, the man is a wiring genius! In the past week, he has wired a sound bar with hidden cords and hung a TV in our bedroom- again, with no visible cords.  In related news, he has also built another shelf into an exisiting set of shelves, hidden more cords with cord keeper and hung pictures from a decorative knob. Thanks honey!

family pics Six On Sunday, The Monday Julia Is Sick Again Version

I need a little help with the ribbons… not sure how to drape properly- any ideas?

4, The Superbowl. Who cares? I don’t. I did have a great time with more great friends and greater wine- woops, I think I said that backwards!!  I think the Superdome has bad karma after Katrina… props to everyone for staying calm and being reasonably well behaved during the blackout.

5. Buffalo Chicken Dip. You need to make this immediately. It is life changing.

buffalo chicken dip Six On Sunday, The Monday Julia Is Sick Again Version

I never thought I would be one with foodie pics on my blog! Moving up in the world…

6. Almond Milk. Vanilla. Warmed up. AMAZZINGG!!!

It’s All About The Pods

My life was forever changed when I tried Fancy Pants coffee.  In a few small sips, I understood why Starbucks is slowly taking over the world, one wanna be hipster at a time. Suddenly, all the glassy eyed folks in the never ending line at Starbucks didn’t seem like such idiots. Waiting forty five minutes for a coffee made sense! I felt their pain at the excruciatingly long wait for such perfection. I silently apologized for all the mean things I said to them over the years. I hung my head in shame for all the self-congratulating smug I had harbored over the years, thinking I was too good for Starbucks.

However, I maintained some of my smug, because I can make my own coffee, in my own kitchen, whenever I want it! True, I understand the siren song of the Fancy Coffee, but I do not have to stand with the masses and wait my turn because I have the Nesppreso. (Thank you again!!)

The Nespresso comes with a sample kit of all the varieties available in pods for use in the machine. The pods are darling- brightly colored, and shaped like little acorns they are very festive. I quickly found my favorites (Volluto and Decaffinato Lungo) (Thomas prefers the Roma) and was SO EXCITED to fill my appliance cabinet with colorful coffee pods instead of slightly sticky, never used waffle makers. I Googled “where to buy Nesppreso” and set off to the Cooks Warehouse store. And was DENIED. I tried Bloomingdale’s… and was again denied. (This hurt my heart because Bloomingdale’s always ALWAYS comes through for me. Always.) I realized: it isn’t me, it’s them! After a little bit of digging, I discovered that one can only purchase the pods online directly from the company.

Back home, I grabbed my iPad and navigated to the Nespresso homepage. I navigated to the coffee page, and tried to order but before I could complete my order, I had to fill out customer information. OK, that is fairly standard when purchasing something online. Most companies do not require the serial number of the machine to complete the order though! Yes, that’s right- you can only order the pods if you can prove that you have the machine to use them in. I went outside and retrieved the serial number on the box. (OK, Thomas went outside in the dark cold and got the number while I manned the couch.) Once entered, I was able to complete our order. Membership (and almost $10 worth of shipping fees) has its privileges, and the coffee was overnighted and delivered the next day, a Saturday!

nespresso pods Its All About The Pods

Now, I can count two more clubs in my collection of places I belong: the Fancy Pants Coffee club and the ultra exclusive Nesppreso (or the why yes, I pay ridiculous amounts of money for coffee pods, thank you) Club. And, that is the gift that keeps on giving.

empty pods Its All About The Pods

Six On Sunday, Version 28

1. The Bachelor.  OMG HOW HAVE I MISSED THIS SHOW FOR THE PAST 16 SEASONS?!! It has everything a girl could want in a show- manufactured drama, bitchy girls, suspense AND diamonds! Stop it!!  I feel as though everyone I privately mocked for watching this show deserves an apology: I am so so sorry. I “judged a book by its cover”, and I was totally wrong. I cannot wait to ridicule share observations about the contestants. (To the chick who attempted back handsprings in an evening gown: NO. Just NO.) Also, I am not impressed with Sean…. way cuter guys out there.

- Other notables from the 25 women: One woman tries to backflip her way into Sean’s heart, only to fall on her face; one woman reveals an open-heart tattoo that she’s hoping Sean can fill; one freaky gal is looking to fulfill her “Fifty Shades of Grey” fantasies on national television; and one woman says her Italian father will break Sean’s legs if he breaks her heart.

 

2. Oddly Warm Weather.  I love you. You are welcome here anytime. However, I am concerned that a lack of freezing will only intensify the Bug Problem (unless the ground actually freezes- a so-called ‘hard freeze’, the bugs do not die. They in fact, multiply… ) I love wearing short sleeves in January! Sadly, I understand that the high tomorrow is supposed to be 40. Boo!

 

3. Almonds. Just awesome. I love them! I have the butter toffee, wasabi, smoked, roasted, AND salt and vinegar varieties. I have almond butter (yet another reason to love Costco- a gigantic tub is $6. At Whole Foods, the baby tub is $9.). This week, thanks to my Nespresso addiction, I have discovered Almond Milk. GENIUS! So good! So vanillay! So much calcium (that’s the Mom in me)! Try it, and trust me, you will like it.

 

4. Kim Kardashian’s Baby. Firstly, poor Khloe. She is clearly the best Kardashian, and the only one with some sort of semblance of morals- she actually got married, has stayed married, and even quit her show (Khloe and Lamar) to work on her marriage. I cannot imagine how angry that made Kris Jenner as she is the ultimate example of what a Controlling-No-Regard-To-Boundaries mother looks like. As everyone who stands in line at the grocery store knows from reading the trashy magazines at check out, Khloe wants a baby. And despite Kris’s best efforts (read: writing checks and or throwing sh*t fits) to control everything Kardashian, Khloe is still not a mommy. All that aside, I CANNOT WAIT to watch the trainwreck that is Kim’s pregnancy. Pregnancy is one of the few things in life where we are all on a level playing field- Kris cannot buy away stretch marks, or morning sickness, or the general Holy-Cats-This-Sucks-Please-Hurry-Up-Baby feeling that is felt by every pregnant sister out there.

 

5. New Years Resolutioners At The Gym. I admire those who want to become healthier. I think its great. That being said, most of you are not really serious. Most of you are clogging up the machines and the prime real estate at the gym and getting in the way. For those who are serious, I will save you a spot. You are awesome. Those who are not, GO AWAY.

 

6. Routine. The holidays are over, and you are back! While you might not be the most exciting, you are wonderfully predictable, and I love you for that.

Family Fun: Finding The Perfect Christmas Tree

After what seemed to be DAYS of wandering around in the dark, searching for The Perfect Christmas, baby Jesus would smile down on my family, and we would find the perfect tree. Instead of hearing choirs of angels singing the glorious praises of the tree, the soundtrack was someone having a meltdown due to extreme cold, tiredness, and the letdown of a candy cane induced sugar rush.

Also, there was a good chance it was the first tree we even looked at, so the hours of “family fun” were not technically necessary. But, in the end, it was worth it, because I remember all of our trees as being majestically tall (especially when we lived on Waterman and had 12 foot ceilings), full of branches, and beautifully decorated.

A curious thing happened once my sisters and I moved out of the house; my mother developed a penchant for Charlie Brown trees.

You know the tree; the sad, forlorn, sparse, short tree in the back of the lot that had been overlooked by every other family on their quest for The Perfect Christmas Tree, and with good reason- it’s ugly! And crooked! These attributes- crooked, sparse, short- are tops on my mother’s list for a The Perfect Tree. She has somehow taken the concept of Christmas Charity and interpreted it to mean “buy the ugliest tree you can possibly find because no one else will want it”; which she does.

But, in good news, now that I am a bonda fide “grown up”, I have my own tree! This year, we went tree shopping in short sleeved shirts (thanks Global Warming!). We did not employ the Non-Decision Tactics so popular in my family, either. We found a tree, took a cursory look at a few other trees, and made a decision. (Practically unheard of in my family!) While I am not sure it is The Perfect Christmas Tree, it is upright, straight and fully decorated which counts a lot in my book…

decorating xmas tree 2012 Family Fun: Finding The Perfect Christmas Tree

It’s Beautiful. And, it’s DONE!