Well, friends. I hope you had as lovely a Mother’s Day weekend as I did. Whether you celebrated with your mom, gave thanks for being a mom, grieved the loss of a mom, were hoping to be a mom, or simply spent time thinking about the mom-like women in your life, I hope your day was full of warm, fond thoughts and surrounded by the people who mean the most to you. I know mine was.
We went to early church, like always. I love how my church celebrates Mother’s Day. It is a day that celebrates women in general, and it is lovely. About a month before Mother’s Day, they have photographers all over the church campus. They are at church services, Sunday School, Bible studies, and any kind of event the church is having, and they take pictures of mothers and women. Then, when you get to church on Mother’s Day, they have strung ribbon all down the hallways and in the courtyard in our church and attached all those pictures to them. So, you spend the morning with a cup of coffee, walking through the church grounds, looking at pictures of mothers and women from our congregation. It is really beautiful, and makes you so thankful to be part of that community and surrounded by those women.
After church, we met Sarah and her family up at our favorite breakfast place for brunch. It was Sarah’s first Mother’s Day, and I was so glad we were able to spend it together. We’ve been best friends since we were in 6th grade. I think we’ve shared just about every major milestone in our lives together, and this one was by far one of my favorites.
After lunch, we headed home and in about 3.6 seconds, we were all in our bathing suits and out in the pool. This was our first weekend in the pool this year, and it was wonderful! I absolutely love summer, and being in the pool every day is one of the best parts.
That afternoon, we all took a big, long nap, and when we woke up the whole family came grocery shopping with me. Chris reasoned that if I had to do household stuff on Mother’s Day, then they would all do it with me. Normally, I would rather get a good swift kick in the shin before we all went together, but somehow Mother’s Day made it better…
I’m thankful this Mother’s Day that I get to be Michael and Gracie’s momma. I’m thankful for the sweet husband who made me their momma. I’m thankful for my own mother who taught me how to be a momma. I’m thankful for all those women in my life who have taught, shaped, and molded me as any momma would.
Motherhood is a funny business, and the more experience I have with it, the more convinced I am that motherhood is not just about our children. It is about living a life for someone else. Motherhood is about being willing, even when we don’t feel we are able. It is about serving, even when we don’t know quite how to serve. It is about saying yes when everyone else avoids the question. It is about stepping up to the plate, and swinging the bat. It is about showing up. Motherhood is about healing wounds with love, feeding bellies with food, and filling hearts with kindness. It is caring without reason, cause, justification, or reward.
No, motherhood isn’t all about our children. It is something that is inside of us that calls us to live a life we do not deserve; a life we are not worthy to live.
Such is the joy of motherhood.
“As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
Gracie turned two yesterday, but we celebrated on Saturday with family. It was a pretty low key celebration, which is just the kind of party that Gracie likes. She’s not big on the crowds and action, so hanging out with grandparents, aunts, and uncles was perfect for her.
But even the low number of people in attendance made our living room look like Christmas morning!
Gracie wanted a Minnie Mouse themed party, so we had little Minnie Mouse decorations hanging from the ceiling in the kitchen (which I did not take any pictures of, sorry…). We also got Minnie Mouse balloons, along with pink and white balloons for our mailbox and scattered in bunches around the living room. There was also a Spiderman balloon that we snuck in there somewhere for Bean Man… And, of course, there was the Minnie Mouse birthday cake.
After opening presents and eating cake, we headed outside to play with Gracie’s two biggest gifts. Nana got her a new water table, and Grandmomma got her a sandbox. I think I am just as excited about this as both of the kids were. During the summer, we are outside all day long and these toys will be perfect!
Yesterday, on her actual birthday, Chris and I took the kids to the zoo to celebrate. It was a small zoo, but there was still a lot to do. It was gorgeous weather, and we stayed almost all day!
When we first got to the zoo, Gracie flipped out at the very first exhibit. Chris and I were like, “Great. She’s afraid of animals and we brought her to a zoo on her birthday…” But, turns out, she’s just afraid of birds! And who can blame her? They kind of freak me out, too!
As the day went on, though, Gracie warmed up to the zoo. I think at first she was worried that something was going to jump out and get her. She was really jumpy. But Bean was a real life saver because the more he did, the more Gracie wanted to do, too!
Our favorite part was the giraffe exhibit. They had the spectator platforms built up really high so that we were literally face to face with the giraffes. They were really friendly, and you could feed them right out of your hand. Gracie liked them from afar, but Bean Man was right there in the middle of it!
It was a really great way to spend Gracie’s birthday, and we had fun together as a family, too. I can’t believe that sweet Gracie Girl is two! Where has the time gone????
We love you so much, Gracie! You’re our little firecracker that keeps this family on its toes. You bring us sunshine and happiness every day, sweet girl. We love watching you grow, and can’t wait to see what the world has to offer you.
We love you to pieces,
Mommy, Daddy, and Beanie
Music: “World on a String” by Michael Buble
Video made with: Animoto Pro
Want to see birthday videos from past years? Check these out:
Mark another fun, productive and exciting weekend down in the books for us. The kids are at great ages right now for getting out and doing, and we are taking full advantage! Saturday started with a birthday party for one of Bean’s friends at the Orlando Science Center. We don’t go often to the Science Center because admission is outrageous ($27 for adults; $20 for kids). The birthday party was a lot of fun, though, and included free admission to the Science Center for all party guests. Bean’s best friend, Elle, came and so her mom and I decided that since our husbands were out playing golf together, we’d stay for a few extra hours after the party and let the kids explore (and, I’ll admit, to get them good and tired for big naps!).
After the Science Center, we came home and I gave the kids baths. I’m not a germ freak, but everything at that museum is hands-on and interactive, and all I could think about were how many other kids had touched everything Bean and Gracie were touching. Plus, they smelled like a science lab with a side of syrup from breakfast. Glack! So, we had baths and played with glow sticks and bath crayons. By this point, the kids were so tired they were about to fall asleep in the tub.
One of my most vivid childhood memories was coming in from playing outside somewhere and my mom giving us a bath in the middle of the afternoon (is there anything more luxurious? even for a kid?). Then, she’d put us in clean clothes or even jammies, and lay us down for naps in our beds. I remember so clearly how good that felt and how soundly I slept. My own kids must feel the same way because give them an active, dirty morning and a big afternoon nap, and those babes will sleep for HOURS!
During which time, I cleaned our entire house. Although, I don’t know why because by the time we had people over for dinner that night, the kids turned the house completely upside down! But at least under the mess, it was clean! We had Elle’s parents and our friend, Gary, over for a casual dinner that night. We made individual French bread pizzas, which might be my new favorite food for a crowd. So easy and everyone gets to be involved in the cooking.
I bought four loaves of Cuban bread (though for five of us, I only used three), a jar of spicy marinara sauce, a couple bags of shredded mozzarella cheese, and then some assorted pizza toppings: turkey pepperoni, green bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, onions, tomatoes, and I had basil leaves, but forgot to put it out. Then, I cut the loaves in half lengthwise and then in width, so that everyone had a fourth of a loaf. I went ahead and put them on a baking sheet with marinara on them, and then I set out the toppings in little bowls so people could fix their own pizzas with their own toppings. Throw those bad boys in the oven at 400 for about 15 minutes and – VOILA! I cut each loaf into thirds so it was easier for people to eat, and then served it with a side salad.
(I made the kids loaf ahead of time so they could eat first. They just had sauce and cheese on theirs. After they baked, I cut them into small little strips that were easier for them to handle.)
We sat out by the pool to eat while the kids ran around inside and out. We sat out on the deck until about 9:30, and by then the wee ones were exhausted from their big day. And so were the adults!
Also, do you like my make-shift candle holders on the back deck? They are glass beer steins that we never use!
Our family slept in on Sunday morning and skipped church (sorry, God…) so we could all lay around and eat toast and watch Cinderella. Later, we got up and worked on Gracie new room while I did the laundry. It was a pretty relaxing Sunday, actually.
Weekends are awesome. The End.