Happy (Early) Mother’s Day

I decided to go ahead and publish this post on Friday instead of Sunday just in case you’ve forgotten what Sunday is – Mother’s Day!

I haven’t experienced anything more life changing than becoming a mother. Every emotion I was capable of, I think I experienced. And it’s wonderful. Truly, it is. If I’m being 100% honest, though, I also mourned the “old” me. The “me” who didn’t have the weight of a thousand worlds suddenly thrust upon her. I remember the first time the realization hit me that I was completely and fully responsible for a small, innocent human. I went out to my granny’s house and sat with her for the longest time. I remember her looking at me for a while before speaking. She only said, “Being a mom has aged you.”

Now, she wasn’t referring to the dark circles that has appeared the same time my baby girl did. There’s an innocence that is lost when we become parents. That moment shifted our relationship into an even deeper place. It was also the moment that made me realize that we don’t achieve those deep relationships without the valleys. The all-nighters, incessant crying and constant neediness has formed a bond between my daughter and myself that you simply cannot manufacture. You have to hit those lows to come out on the other, wonderful side.

I’m grateful to all of the moms in my life.

To my mother-in-law, who raised me husband, I’m so thankful you look at me like a daughter and truly love my kids.

To my grandma who would stay up late with me eating peanut butter toast watching Disney movies while everyone else slept. Thank you for cultivating my connection with past generations of our family.

To my granny who taught me more during her life by simply being the loving person she was. Plus, she had the kindest laugh.

And to my mom, the one who would make me a glass of water in the middle of the night because it “tasted better” than when I made it and who has always shown true, unconditional love.

 

Nostalgic Food From My Childhood

My mom is a great cook who was raised by a great cook. Many summer days and nights I remember her cooking all of the meals outside and on the grill. Steaks with baked potatoes and a salad full of garden-fresh vegetables was a standard summer meal. She also fried okra and chicken fairly often. Especially the okra. To this day, I think fried okra may be my all-time favorite food.

We had family over regularly for fish fries. She’s known for her barbecue and homemade breads.

My mom is notorious for big breakfasts, even though growing up I wasn’t much of a breakfast eater. We usually had eggs, bacon, toast or biscuits and some sort of fruit. Now that she’s a “granny,” though, and not just a “mom,” my kids have Mickey Mouse-shaped pancakes each time they stay with her.

One meal in particular, though, is nostalgic for me. I honestly haven’t made it as an adult because it won’t be as good, I’m sure. I may cave soon, though, because just thinking of it gets me excited!

It was the meal where I knew my mom had had a longer day (she was a high school math and computer science teacher), but it was amazing. Fried spam, ranch-style beans and Kraft macaroni and cheese.

Seriously. Out of everything my mom made, this meal has continued to stand out to me. The spam had a crust from where she had fried it, and it was the perfect salty bite. The Kraft mac and cheese kind of congealed as it cooled, making large bites easier. The ranch-style beans were different from the pintos my granny regularly cooked, making them a bit special, even though they were from the can. The best part? It was a splurge. This meal didn’t happen often, and it came together quickly. Clean up was a breeze, which was an added benefit for me.

Maybe I will have to try this meal just once for my kids to carry on the tradition.

Nail Trends

When I was younger, I remember my granny telling me that one of her top compliments in her life came from her mother-in-law. My great-grandma told my granny that her nails looked very neat and clean. It was a simple statement, but as a child of the Depression, it made quite the impact on my granny. Even with Rheumatoid Arthritis, she always kept her nails well manicured, even if she didn’t paint them any longer.

As a girl she would tell me of the different trends she followed with her nails. In the 1930s and 1940s, the half-moon manicure was very popular, and when she was first on her own, this was the trend she loved. She said she would paint all of her nail other than the area where a half moon would be.  After researching this a bit, it seems the Hollywood crowd would wear their nails longer than my granny did, and they’d also leave the tip bare, other than clear polish.

My own mother also has beautiful nails, and when I was starting kindergarten (1991), I remember them most often as long and red – very fashionable for that time.

Now, though, it seems as though history is repeating itself as it so often does. The half-moon manicure is making a comeback! The next time I get a manicure, I think I’m actually going to attempt this trend as a nod to my granny. I’m going with red, though, for my mom.

Fun fact: There’s an old wives’ tale that states that the more nails you have that have half moons, the more attractive you are.

 

Happy Birthday, Mom!!

Today is a very special day, as it is my mom’s birthday! For my entire life, she’s been the most giving, selfless person I’ve ever met. She’s the best mom and granny anyone could ask for, and I’m thankful for the role model she is to my kids. She is constant, dependable and more loving than any of us deserve.

Happy birthday, Mom! We love you!!! (Three exclamation marks just for you!)

 

Guest Post: Mother’s Day…for the Non-Mother

I’m excited to bring you Freaky Friday again! Today’s Guest Post is by Kayla Price Mitchell, who blogs at www.kaylaprice.com about cooking, crafting and the fun she has along the way! Here is her post on Mother’s Day…for the Non-Mother

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I grew up with three amazing parents: my dad, my mom, and my Aunt E. Aunt E saved me from many a spanking, she rubbed my back until I fell asleep, she picked me up from elementary school at 3:30 p.m. everyday, she taught me to crochet, craft and draw.

Aunt E gave me raw potatoes and lots of treats. She cooked for our family on most nights, so I must have gotten my love of cooking from her (my mom was not a fan of cooking).

Mother’s Day has always been a day that we celebrated my mom and my Aunt E. Both women are now gone, but I do think of each of them on this day. I am appreciative to both women for teaching me to be a strong, independent woman.

Now, life has repeated itself. I am an aunt and a step-mom, but not a mom in the traditional sense. I have never been one for being traditional, so it is fitting.

My nephew always gives me a card, takes me to lunch, and all the other things he does for my sister. He makes me feel like a queen (and a mom). I appreciate that he thinks of me on these special days.

When he was born, my sister was very ill and had to be taken to Dallas for emergency care. My nephew had a breathing issue, so he needed around the clock monitoring. Aunt E and I took care of him together so that my parents and brother-in-law could be with my sister. We three bonded.

Life isn’t always traditional or clear cut. Sometimes we are blessed with moms who did not give birth to us, but cared for us as if we were their own.

Do you have women in your life who took care of you as a mother would take care of a child? It might be a dad who filled the role of a mom as well. It might be your best friend’s mom or even a special teacher. Whoever it was that made or makes you feel safe, loved and cared for, please don’t forget them on Mother’s Day.

A card, flowers, phone call and/or visit is all it would take to make that person feel appreciated, remembered and loved. And, as we get older, that is all we really want from this world.

To all the non-moms out there who are caring for a young person as if they were their own, Happy Mother’s Day! To me, it is so special to be a mom and also to choose to be a mom.