Embarrassment of riches.


On Mother’s Day I woke up to this:

Homemade cards, pictures, tissue flowers, original poems, and a really cool purple notepad from Ethan that had a picture he drew on every single page. All of this was accompanied by one of Derrick’s signature homemade omelets and fresh fruit, delivered on a tray as I woke up, of course. The perfume is my gift from Derrick, via a less-than-subtle-hint given by me, to Megan, to give to her father. (Premeditated tackiness beats a pouty aftermath. I’ve learned that lesson the hard way.)

A full shot of the loot. I was thrilled, and touched. The gifts just kept pouring in, most of them homemade, which are my favorite kind. If you look closely, you can see that I am wearing a necklace made by Megan.  I love it.  I wore it to church and no less than four people stopped me and complimented it, asking where I got it. None of them could believe it was handmade, by my nine-year old daughter, no less. Ethan admiringly asked, “Is that a real diamond, Mom?” I told him yes, of course it was.  He was impressed.  (And please excuse the hope chest that somehow got plunked down backward when we moved in, and the bare, undecorated wall it rests against.  Still getting settled.)

After the final gifts were opened and I began rousing myself out of bed to get ready for church, the girls dropped one last envelope on my lap. I tore it open with well-deserved anticipation, as it stated the following:

As instructed, I spent a full two hours lounging upstairs in the rare bliss of quiet, late Sunday solitude. I spent most of the time doing important things like updating my iPod and reading your blogs, while my two little dears slaved away in the kitchen, preparing the special meal they’d been planning for days.  Derrick did all of the shopping for them, but I need to make it clear here that they did every last bit of cooking–including dipping, frosting, and slicing–one hundred percent on their own.  They called on their father only to bring down great-grandmother’s china from a high shelf.  I was truly impressed.

Apple-Cheddar Stackers

Strawberry petit fours

Hand-dipped chocolate covered cherries.

Strawberry Lemonade

Not pictured:  “Salted Almonds” and “Plump Green Grapes” as appetizers

This food was all so good.  Not good as in “oh, that’s-so-cute-that-my-kids-made-it” good, but for real:  geeoood! I ate like a queen and enjoyed every bite.  The chocolate-dipped cherries were especially delicious, although the petit fours were light, moist and delectable.  We ate and chatted, and when it was all over Rachael looked around and said, “Um, mom…do you want to sit and talk a while?”  It was then that I realized she had just learned the first lesson of womanhood:  it’s exhausting, and inevitable, that a meal you spend hours preparing will be over in fifteen minutes, max.  Oh my sweet girl, how I wish I could shield you from such truths…

It was a fabulous day.  I have fabulous kids.  I know you do, too.  I also know this was a long, shameless post, but I don’t care.  Soon my daughters will enter their teen years and start hating me, and I’m gonna need posts like these to look back on during those dark days ahead.  But until those days come, I’m flying high.  Right now, I’m just happy to be a mother, especially to my own sweet children.  Aren’t you?

p.s.  It’s two and a half years later and I just re-read this post.  The self-indulgence of the text aside, um…what was I wearing?  Yikesies.

Please don’t be mad at me…


I know I haven’t posted in forever.  I’m sorry.  I miss you.  Have you missed me?  (It’s rhetorical.  Really, don’t answer.  I can’t take the indifference.)

I haven’t posted because lately all I do is entertain a seriously hyperactive, always bored, always wanting-a-friend-over-and-getting-in-my-face-if-he-can’t-six-year old, run a nine and twelve year old around to seven different activities a week, try to keep up with my husband’s crazy schedule (i.e., phone call at 5 pm:  “Jen?  Um, did I ever mention to you that I signed us up to bring (insert name of person I’ve never met) dinner tonight?  Please don’t be mad at me…”)

I then do lots of laundry, cook lots of food, do lots of dishes, yell at the kids, “Why am I doing the dishes?”, run lots of errands, do more laundry, cook more food (I am going to move my bed into the kitchen), pick up the house, yell at the kids for not picking up the house, yell at the kids to do their homework, yell at the kids to practice their music, yell at the kids to stop fighting and stop yelling! (“We aren’t trash!” I yell at them.)  By the time I sit down to the computer, it’s 10 pm and I’m beat.  I check my email and flop off to bed.  I don’t even check facebook anymore.  Yes, my friends, it’s gotten that bad.

I don’t know what’s happening.  My life is unraveling just when it was supposed to slow down.  My two older kids are in school and my youngest goes to kindergarten in the afternoon.  This leaves me with a solid two hours of “free” time every day, during which I’d planned to blog, write, keep my house spotless, practice the piano and dang it, finally get those digital scrapbooks caught up (okay, started.)  Instead, I do a little housework, run a quick errand or do church stuff and poof! time’s up and the troops come spilling through the door, with forms to sign and projects to do and things to buy at Michaels and braces needing tightened and clothes needing bought and drama needing dramatized and snacks needing made and driving here, there and everywhere needing driven.  (Please don’t ask me to diagram that sentence.)

The part I feel most sheepish about is that I only have three kids.  I know many of you reading this have many, many more than that, and of course you are managing it all beautifully.  I’ve decided that, ultimately, I just function under a severely limited capacity.  That’s the only explanation I can produce for why, despite the simplicity of my life, I am just barely hanging on.

And that, in my signature long-winded manner, is why I haven’t posted lately.  But big things are coming, my friends.  I’m hitting the booming metropolis of Boise this weekend to see Wicked, and I’m excited.  I’ll treat (bore) you with photos upon my return.  I’ve also lately uncovered some old, gnarly wounds concerning scrapbooking that we need to work out.  (Why do I hate it so much?)  And, of course, I need to tell you about Ethan’s latest cuteness. (“When I love someone so much, my heart thumps really fast.”)

It will be a blessed reunion, my friends.  And exciting.  And long overdue.

And I really am sorry for neglecting our relationship.  Please don’t be mad at me.