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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Let There Be Cake!

I love crooked cakes!  This was the cake we had for my daughter's graduation party this summer.  She loves music too as you can tell.  The cake was awesome!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Thoughts on Lent

I had a few nine and ten year old girl scouts baking cookies in my kitchen last Friday afternoon.  Some never knew butter and flour and sugar were in cookies.  Okay, they all knew sugar's in there, but you get my point.  One or two have never made cookies other than cutting open a plastic tube and spooning the cookie dough out of the plastic.  I thought that maybe we'd better incorporate more food prep into Girl Scouts.  It is amazing what you hear when you get them involved in an activity.  They start babbling on about everything.  Being the first week of Lent, the girls talked amongst themselves about what they are "giving up."  One girl said that she was giving up cookies, or so she thought.  She couldn't remember.  I told her that we were only two days in.  Try harder.  Some were giving up soda, video games, some candy, etc.  You get the idea.

Now, I am no minister of faith, but I pondered on how Jesus would weigh in on this notion of  "giving up."  I am not talking about forty days of fasting in the desert here. God, no.  I am talking about today's world.  The land of Nintendo and Wii and iPods and American Girl dolls.  The plugged in/battery operated world.  The gotta have it all and gotta have it now world.  The world we live in.  I just don't think giving up playing with your Webkinz has anything to do with Lent.  For some odd reason, I think Jesus would agree.

In my humble opinion, Lent, being forty days long, give or take a few, and don't forget that Sundays don't count, should be spent thinking about how we could be better friends and neighbors, husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, etc. and then doing it.  We all "know" how.  Jesus showed us that.  It is the "doing it" part that comes so difficult for most of us.  I do not think it is intentional.  We are so used to living in the fast lane that we forget to listen, to think, to empathize, to hold the door open.  We forget to get out of our trench and see how it's going in the trench next to ours.  It's not our fault.  There's no blame here.  We all just get wrapped up in our own "things." After all, we are human.

I think Lent should be a time of reflection, a time of "giving" rather than one of "giving up."  How about forty days of giving?  I think that the little things count.  I really do.  And they add up.  And you get warm fuzzies to boot.  My Lenten season is going to be spent in reflection, giving and fellowship.  A time to reach out.  How about committing to giving on these forty or so days with me?  After all, Jesus showed us how to do it best.

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Not Good Enough Syndrome

Yesterday, I was on a mission.  First off.  Clean the house. Yes, I have a cleaning lady or two.  Sometimes, a "personal assistant"  -- ie. a good friend that helps me out, especially when I am stressed out and intimidated by cleaning ladies.  Yeah, that's right.  I said it. I get intimidated easily.  I feel insecure.  I feel that I am not good enough.  Way too often. I am sure you are now rolling your eyes in disbelief.

I "can" be very outspoken.  To some people.  To those I know so closely and so deeply that regardless of what I say, they will still be there for me.  Love me anyway.  Not so with cleaning ladies.  I can appear very together for short bursts of time.  Notsomuch in the long haul.  I won't bore you with a diatribe on inadequate body parts and a forever shrinking amount of stamina.  I want to believe that we all have at least one or two crosses to bear. But, in the corners of mind, I can do it, be it All.  How do I reconcile?

I hear tales of chopping and filling crockpots at 6:00 a.m. and I see creatures dropping off kids at school who resemble moms, but are all decked out and coiffed, ready to start their days at 7:00 a.m.  Who are these people?  Have they been sent here to shame me into getting my !@#$ together?  Okay, for the sake of reality here, I know that these super-creatures aren't everywhere.  Or so I am told. They just seem to gravitate in My rear view mirror. Or up close in front of my dashboard.  I want to run them over. Oooops.  Sorry.  One down.

I am not talking about those who Must get up early, get dressed and get to work on time (que BTO tune here).  I get that.  I've done that.  I am talking about the moms who are fortunate enough to stay at home.  Those who answer unto themselves.  Those who are thy own bosses.  Where on Earth do they get their drive?  Day in, day out.  Same dance.  Same song.  Same laundry.  Just a different day.

A few days ago, I took that shower at 6:00 a.m.  - just because.  I took the meat out of the freezer early enough for once that we could actually eat it for dinner.  I was the put together one in the school drop-off lane.  I went grocery shopping at 9:00 a.m.  Who knew you couldn't go to Sam's Cub that early without a Special Blue Card?  And so I went to Meijer instead.  Who knew that I would be one of only six cars in the lot?

Maybe some of those moms went back to bed.  Maybe some of them are watching Oprah or reading a rag mag. Maybe some of them have laundry piled up and dishes in the sink.  Maybe some of them are holing up in their homes so they aren't outted.  Maybe some of them are feeling really insecure.

Sometimes (actually most of the time), I feel like I am the only one who feels this way.  No one ever talks about it.  All too often, I feel that the Not Good Enough Syndrome is So taboo that we actually don't want to admit that it exists altogether, especially amongst stay at home moms. Why is it So taboo to tell anyone that you don't always have it all together? I am outting myself right now!

Since I have started this blog, I have had thoughts of not being good enough to blog, that my house isn't good enough or clean enough to blog about. That what I have to say is irrelevant.  Blah, Blah, Blah.  How ridiculous is that?  I am going to try to wrap my head around this one and chance it.  Jumping in.  Sooooooo, after this post, I will be posting pictures (as soon as I figure out how). Things upon which I wanted your input from the get go.  Feeling exposed?  Yes, but I am jumping in anyway.  I have things to say!!!!  I want to feel the sense of fellowship that comes from blogging. Dirty laundry and all, real and otherwise.

Monday, March 7, 2011

I Must Have Dozed Off

Years ago, in a land far away when there was just one movie theatre near home and it offered exactly two movies to choose from, it was easy to see almost every wonderful new movie.  And everyone who was anyone did see them.  And everyone talked about them.  Those movies stayed at the theatre for weeks and weeks.  We had time to anticipate the coming of a New Major Motion Picture. When did this simple idea morph into multiple mega movie-plexes every few miles offering about twenty different movies or incarnations thereof?  I must have dozed off. For several years.  Or was working.  Or cleaning baby poop.

There was a time when I went to the show nearly once a week (the dating era, I assume) to one or twice a year (the married and too exhausted from working full time and trying my bestest to raise my children at the same time era).  Presently, I seem to catch a movie every few months. And probably more than half of the movies I do see are rated "G" or "PG" and in cartoon form.  I did not watch the Oscars, but I read about them afterwards.  What happened to four or five nominations for best picture?  I am certainly out of the loop.   I did see two of those nominated for best picture, one of which was the day before the Oscars -- The King's Speech.  And this was a good year.  

I have never for an instant thought about adding "See More Movies" to my Bucket List.  Nope.  Not on there.  See more musicals, on the other hand, did make the list and I am happy to say that I am working on that.  But, See More Movies?  Ut uh.   It has come to my attention and made abundantly clear (from dear children) that I do not know any of today's new-ish actors.  The latest heart throbs. Can't name one.  The latest scandals?  Don't know about those either.  Do I care?  For the most part, no.  

On the other hand, what I do care about is being able to interact and talk to my children on their level.  It seems that I went from being the hip cool mother to the most lame according to my junior high daughter.  Overnight.   Most conversations these days involve cleaning up her room, finishing homework, talking respectfully, etc.  Actually, they aren't really conversations at all.  I know most of my contemporaries would say that "it is their age, things will change in a few years, blah, blah, blah," but I am not willing to accept that right now.  I would like to talk about nonsensical things to which, we both could relate.  Ummmm, let's see.  Maybe, movies?   If the words could just flow more freely, more naturally about things that aren't so earth shattering to a young teen, nothing more than just idle conversation, maybe the more difficult discussions wouldn't be so hard.  I just hope that the magnitude of the gap between parent and child never ever gets as large as that between my parents and my young self.  So, See More Movies is being added to my Bucket List.  Funny thing, my oldest child is twenty-five years old and thinks I am being too hard on myself.  Probably because he still thinks that I am pretty cool.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

About Me

Hi Everyone!  My name is Jackie and I am a stay-at-home mom living in the Southwest Suburbs of Chicago.  I left the work force in 1996 when I married my sweetheart and fellow work companion in the Windy City.  I managed my husband's law firm for several years and after we planned to marry, I decided to stay at home to parent our Brady Bunch of sorts.  At the time, we had three young boys from our previous marriages and have since added two beautiful girls and some livestock (two cute dogs) to the mix.  Our boys are all growed up and our girls are now ten and twelve years old.  I just celebrated my fiftieth birthday on November 9th!  I do not feel 50!!!

I am looking to share my world and my home with others who share my vision and my philosophies.  I knew that there were other creative stay-at-home moms out there, but never expected to find so many out there in print!!! That is when I decided that I might as well take the "leap" to the Blog World.  I am new to this, scared as heck, and I hope to find inspiration and friends along with some gentle nudging to mix things up.

I feel that one's home is a sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of life and should be as warm and attractive as possible without costing a fortune!

I am on a quest striving to make Me the Quintessential Me and hope that my home and my outward reflection represents who I strive to be.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Spin Cycle: DIY

The Spin Cycle: DIY: "Hi Bloggy Friends! I am working on my first DIY project. I got a 'free' medium-sized wicker basket at Michael's Craft Store the ..."