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Why I Married For Horseradish Mashed Potatoes

There he is in the back right corner, staring back at me. Frozen in time. A pale, unassuming piece of plastic Tupperware. You see him, yet? He still gives me goosebumps every time I catch a glimpse of him as the freezer empties. I see him as I go in for the Oreo ice cream and do a double-take. He needs me to spiffy him up a bit with a little crumb-dusting on his rectangular lips.

He is my husband Todd’s legendary horseradish mashed potatoes – made for me the day “I knew” he was the one. You see, before Todd, I didn’t date men for very long. Three months was a good stretch. I was too busy with my career, my ambitions. Todd knew he was rolling the dice with me, having peppered me with intimate questions on our first date like, “What was your longest relationship?” Ouch. How do I spin this one so I don’t look bad? It hurt to tell the truth. He didn’t want to waste his time on me if I wasn’t ready for a long-term commitment. Smart guy.

The Oven You Want Your Kids To Play With

Today I’m missing Mayberry, the neighbors who moved away and the cousins who live just too far to come over and play. Chances are you have a few Mayberry friends too. It’s the family with kids the same age as yours, and if you’re really lucky, the parents are fun to hang with too. You dream of how perfect the world would be if your Mayberry friends just lived a little closer.

Kirkham Solar oven
Our six-year-old scientist and his DIY solar oven making a “grilled cheese.”

To make my own Mayberry, I’m sharing this fun science project–a DIY solar oven–with all my Mayberry friends and family. It’s the perfect, kid-friendly oven for making grilled cheese, nachos or even s’mores! You could put the kids in charge of dinner if you really wanted. 

Too Much To Do? Take a Walk With a Child

Kids wander. And after today, I realize Mommy needs to do a little more wandering too. Too often, as parents, we stay on task, focused on our to-do lists that never seem to get done. We end up frustrated when our kids steer us off track, needling us with this or that. Well, today, I decided to let my kids take me off-track, and it made me fall in love with being a mom all over again.

Tucker dandelion
One-year-old Tucker discovering the freedom of green pastures, dandelion in hand.
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When “Having it All” Makes You Unhappy, READ THIS…

Dear Valentina,

As you turn three years old, I wanted to share a few thoughts on motherhood with you, for one day you, too, will face a crossroads. Lead with your sweet heart.

Love, Mommy

 

“But I’m miserable,” the supermom fired back at me. Her response made me cringe, a death knell to my dreams. I had just congratulated the high-profile television personality I had admired (and who shall remain nameless) for having both a successful career and a family with four children. I had no idea “having it all” was making her that unhappy. And that’s when I promised myself I was never going to be her. If “having it all” meant being miserable, I didn’t want to have anything to do with “it.”

The Wife Replaces The Girlfriend

trouble-the-girlfriend
“The Girlfriend” paired with cinnamon-sugar toast at Trouble Coffee Co.

 

Last weekend’s trip to San Francisco left me thirsty for more Trouble (as in the coffee company).

To take me back, I decided to treat myself today to “The Girlfriend” – Trouble’s so-called lavender tea with honey and steamed milk (and a touch of vanilla). I LOVE lavender so I happen to have a jar of Cloister lavender honey in my reserves (the shelf the kids can’t reach).  With a few adjustments, I believe I may have just perfected “The Girlfriend” and I’m now calling her “The Wife.” This, my friends, is what I call Mommipop, the perfect pick-me-up for a sleep-deprived mom. Pure joy in a cup!