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Catching Up – Mother’s Day Weekend

Well, now that the school year is just about over, I’m finding myself with a wee bit more time to partake in activities that I’ve neglected.

Blog writing is one of them.

I have sooooooo many things to catch up on, so let’s start with Mother’s Day weekend, which I alluded to a few posts ago.

The weekend started off in a super-sweet way when the Mr. and I went out to dinner.

Randomly, in the middle of a story I was telling, he pulled out a card for me.

The card took me by surprise, and the words made me shed a few tears.

We have been through SO MUCH the past seven months, beginning with me breaking my ankle and followed by his illness.  These events have brought us closer as nothing else in our marriage has.

The next day, he and I headed out to see the newest installment of Guardians of the Galaxy.  It was so funny and a bit sad too.

Near the end of the movie, I received a text from Chicky along with a photo of Gambit.

She had tried to surprise us by coming home for the weekend.  When she’d gotten to the house and found it empty, then had seen my Instagram photo of the Mr. and me headed to the movie, she knew she needed to act fast.  She didn’t want to be left out of dinner plans.  Ha!

We drove home, picked her up, and headed out, back to one of our favorite Mexican restaurants.

First thing Sunday morning (Mother’s Day), I opened the package I had received from Rooster and his girl . . .

Rooster had picked up the beautiful, 100% cashmere Pashmina scarf in Thailand.  The card was adorable.  These kiddos know me well.

The Mr. had to work that day, so Chicky and I played Hooky from church and headed to the beach.

Along the way, we had to stop and let this family of ducks cross the street  . . .

We stopped at Walmart to pick up snacks, and I bought a new hat . . .

We got to the beach around 10, which was great because we got a really good parking spot and found the perfect place to spread out our stuff on the beach.

Chicky immediately went down to the water to check it out.

We could not have asked for better weather.

I was loving my hat, let me tell you.

Chicky isn’t a big talker, so we just relaxed, each with our own books . . . our own thoughts.

We asked the couple sitting beside us if they would watch our stuff so we could grab lunch.  They kindly agreed.

There’s a small place that overlooks the beach, so we headed there.  I absolutely love this restaurant.  It has outside seating, and you can request a beach-side view.  The food is tasty and not very expensive.

When we finished, we headed back to the beach but stopped and asked someone to take our photo.

We wound up staying at the beach a total of four and a half hours, so we were beat when we left.  Chicky rested when we got home; the dogs were so happy to have her there.

Chicky wound up leaving late that day, just as Rooster and his girl were Facetiming me.  She was able to stick her head in front of the camera so they could chat a moment before she headed out for her drive home.

Mother’s Day is always hard for me.  I don’t like the obligation of the holiday . . . especially because I no longer have a relationship with my mom.  Being remembered in such sweet ways by my hubby and children touched my heart so much.  I never feel worthy; they made me feel loved.

It was a weekend I won’t soon forget.

A Little Bit of Sun, A Little Bit of Spanish

Yes, I’ve been quiet for the last little while.

I have lots of excuses…fatigue from teaching…other online responsibilities…laziness.

Today, though, I decided to venture back to share how my children blessed my day.

It started yesterday when I received the following…

For years, sunflowers have been my flower-of-choice.  It all started when I began growing them when we lived in Coral Springs.

Chicky developed an affinity for sunflowers, and I’ve often surprised her with sunflower arrangements.

This weekend, she took it upon herself to treat me.

I cried when I saw them.  Chicky is not overly demonstrative with her love, and we have battled one another for years in true mother-daughter fashion.

It appears as if reconciliation has begun, and my heart is filled with joy.

The ray of sunshine from these flowers will illuminate my soul long after the flowers wither away.

Rooster was not to be outdone.

After church today, he presented me with the following card…

Now folks, you must realize that we speak no Spanish.  He took Latin in high school.

He knew that I’m rather silly, so he thought it would be fun to give me this card.

I did chuckle.

Then, he typed the words on the card into Google translator and emerged from his room able to tell me what the card said…that I’m marvelous (maravillosa), and that words cannot express (empezar) how much he loves me.

He also told me that I would never forget this card.

That’s for sure!

I am so blessed to be a mother and thank my heavenly Father for the gift of motherhood.

My children fill the empty places that pervaded my heart before I had my babies.

They fulfill my need to take care of people.

They keep me grounded (boy, do they ever).

More recently, they show me love in return.

That’s How We Roll

Mother’s Day in the AuburnChick household is…um…unique.

Chicky left for summer session, but before she left, she gave me my Mother’s Day gift…

She sheepishly admitted that she had gotten the candle for free.  I didn’t care.  The fact that she thought enough about me to even give it to me made me smile.

The best gift she gave me, though, was a long, hard hug…right before she got in her car and drove away.

This girl child of mine NEVER hugs me like that…ever.

The gift was priceless.

This morning, Rooster woke up and said, “Close your eyes and open your hands.”

When I opened my eyes, I saw this…

The package has a wall charger AND a car charger.  I’ve been wanting a second wall charger to keep at school.

What can I say?  The boy knows the way to his mama’s heart!

I think that as mothers, we don’t look for much in the way of expensive gifts.  Simply being acknowledged, in ways that are specific to our interests, is enough to make us smile and, in the end, love our children even more.

Mother’s Day 2011

While I was getting ready for church this morning, Chicky and Rooster knocked on my bathroom door.

They wished me a Happy Mother’s Day and presented me with these…

Earrings

And…

Matching bracelet

Chicky told me that she had spent 45 minutes in the jewelry section of Kohl’s…trying to pick out something I would like.  She did a great job!

To top things off, she and Rooster paid for these gifts themselves!  That really touched my heart because they are poor teenagers.  I know how important every penny is to them.

After going to church together, we spent the rest of the afternoon chilling.

What a great Mother’s Day!

The Obligation of Mother’s Day

Let me start out by saying that I am not a fan of Mother’s Day.

I know that sounds strange considering that I, myself, am a mom.  But, for many years, this holiday has caused me much stress.

I know that people wax poetic about the virtue of their moms, but I just do not feel comfortable doing so.

And believe me.  I am no faker.  If I don’t feel something, I don’t pretend I do.

For me, Mother’s Day carries obligations that I cannot honestly meet…at least with my own mom, as this post is in NO way directed toward Coupon Queen (hugs, Coupon Queen, because I know you’re reading this).

See, for most of my life, my own mom has been a stranger to me.

At first, it was her fault.  She was married and divorced quite a number of times.  She spent years here and there as a single mom, working multiple jobs to make ends meet.

When she did not have to work, she still kept herself busy on her own interests, rarely attending school functions and often forgetting to pick me and my sister up from school (a thirty minute drive each way).

Now, I know she is to be applauded for doing what she needed to provide, and I do not fault her for that.

However, I barely remember the time she did spend with me.  She would claim otherwise, but she played favorites.

I was never able to do anything that satisfied her.  She and my sister clicked.

After my dad and I reconciled, my mom became bitter.  Well, actually, she was bitter before then, resenting the relationship I developed with the Mr.’s parents.

They were different, though.  From Day 1, they accepted me as part of the family, and they always treated me equally.

Several years ago, I found out that another couple tried to adopt my sister and me when we were youngsters.  My mom had been very neglectful, leaving us with them for stretches at a time.  They finally took steps to formally adopt us.  I can’t remember what happened…I think my dad, estranged from my mom, found out and stepped in to halt proceedings.

Either way, I was shattered.

I talk to my mom maybe twice a year on the phone.  I see her once, the week of Christmas, each year.

We only live four hours apart.

In the seven years I’ve lived in my house, she has never been to visit, although she has been invited for Thanksgiving almost every year.

For my birthday this year…my 40th…she did not call or even send a card.

I cannot help but see this as evidence that our relationship is almost completely broken.

And so, on Mother’s Day, I am simply not the “Oh look how wonderful my mom is” kind of person.

Just as I am uncomfortable bestowing attention on my own mom, I am uncomfortable accepting it for myself as well.

My children know me well.  I am a woman of mistakes.  I am simply thankful that God is working these mistakes into the fabric of my children’s lives as they choose to follow after Him.

For those of you who DO have loving relationships with your own moms, give them extra hugs.  You are to be counted among the fortunate.

And to Coupon Queen, thank you for loving me despite my mistakes and for never playing favorites.  I love you for loving me unconditionally, even though I have been quite unlovable at times throughout the years.

Happy Mother’s Day – From the Soccer Field

This is where I’m currently set up…

With my ever-trusty chair…

Yes, I realize it’s Mother’s Day, and no, the team doesn’t take breaks for such days.  They practiced the weekend of Easter, although Chicky had Prom so she was home.  The girls will be playing in the Final Four next weekend, so they had to practice.  With the team scattered all over the state, it’s important that they get together every couple of weekends each month to practice.

Now, you’d think that Chicky would have lovingly greeted me with a “Happy Mother’s Day, Mama.  I’m so thankful for everything you do for me, and I love you.”

But no, this is Chicky we’re talking about.  She keeps her feeling buried way down deep.

She did manage a, “Hurry up.  We’re running late.  I knew I should have eaten breakfast in the hotel.”

Oh yeah.  That’s what I’m talking about.  Nothing like a few endearing comments from the child you went through four weeks of bedrest, 39 additional pounds on your 5’3″ frame, and nine hours of labor to give birth to.

Not to mention hours upon hours of reading and being read to, staying up all night to hold wash clothes on a sweat-laden neck while said child was bent over a porcelain bowl puking her guts out from some stomach bug, school projects, soccer practices and games…and now college visits.

Love you too, Honey.

As Chicky got out of the car at the fields, she came back and handed me my present…

It’s supposed to be a good movie, from all I’ve heard.   A sweet gesture, even if it wasn’t accompanied with a hug.  It was her way of telling me she loves me.  I get it.

Wherever you are, whether it be on a soccer field, a cozy home, or even work, I wish you a Happy Mother’s Day.  Kids usually do not fully appreciate the gift that God gave them, but from one mom to another, I appreciate you.  So will our children…when they become parents themselves.

Thinking Ahead for a Change

If you are my mom or mother-in-law, stop reading this…NOW.

Now that I’ve taken care of the first round of business…

I’m quite proud of myself.  I didn’t work today…issues with my lower back have left me extremely uncomfortable.  I’m taking it easy, for the most part, but I’ve had a few things to do the last couple of days.  Today, I was all about prepping for Mother’s Day.

The first thing I did was go hunting for a coupon for my local Christian bookstore.  If you have a Family Christian Store near you, click on this link for a 25% coupon (good on sale items too!).   I printed it and tucked it into my purse.

Now, I’ve gotta tell you that I love the Christian bookstore.  Oh my goodness.  I was there yesterday on a quest for a new family devotional book.  I bought this one:

We have twelve more days of our other book before we get to start this one.  I can’t wait!

Because I was 100% focused on finding a book, I never even gave thought to Mother’s Day.

Until today.

When I entered the store, I began by looking at the cards.  Picking one out for the Mr.’s mom was easy.  She’s always been a big part of our lives..less so as the kids have gotten older but present, none-the-less.

Picking out a card for my mom was an entirely different story.  She and I have never been close.  We had some serious issues in the past that created a chasm almost as wide as the Grand Canyon.  Despite that, I feel it my duty to honor her.  The problem is that the cards I read expressed feelings I do not have for her.

Ugh.

I don’t know if any of you face the same predicament on holidays like this one.

I am not a fake person at all.  What you see is what you get with me.  If I don’t feel it, I won’t pretend it.

Period.

Guess I have sealed my fate as far as winning an Oscar goes, eh?

I finally managed to find a card that more accurately reflected my thoughts.

I also saw a lovely card for my sister.  I don’t normally buy her a card on Mother’s Day, but this one was just perfect.  We’re three years apart and have shared a lot over the years.

With the task of selecting cards all finished, I turned to finding small gifts to send to each mom.  What a job!  I just wanted a little something little, if you know what I mean.

Round and round that little store I went, until my eyes lit on this:

At first I thought, “Oh no, not another mug.”  But as I looked at it, I was really drawn to the colors and the verse on it.  It’s a cup I would love to drink tea or hot chocolate from.

So, I got two and paid for them, along with the cards.

Mission accomplished.

When I got home, I pulled out a few bags of Peppermint Tea.  I’ll put these inside the cups and package everything for mailing tomorrow.

Although it’s not exactly thinking way, far ahead, it was thinking, which is more than I’ve done the last few years.

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