Roughly 95% of the time I make cookies, I go for chocolate chip. They’re sure to please, I pretty much have the recipe memorized and I just drop scoops of dough onto a cookie sheet before—ta-da!—gooey chocolatey deliciousness. But for a Christmas cookie exchange party, I wanted to up my cookie game a bit. So I got all inspired and created these tasty, festive and pretty Christmas cookies: chocolate candy cane pinwheels!
Dark chocolate, sugar cookie dough and candy cane chunks come together in something that tastes just right at the holidays. Read more →
This guest post is by Jenni Bost, expert party-thrower, generous extrovert and wonderful mama to two boys. She blogs about DIY entertaining projects and motherhood at A Well Crafted Party and organizes the blogging group Portland Bloggers—in addition to working outside the home. (Phew!) In this Happy Mother’s Day to Me series, Jenni and a whole slew of mothers are celebrating themselves for the dedicated, loving, tireless mamas they are. Check out all the posts in the series!
Do you remember that feeling of never being big enough, fast enough, or strong enough? Living life through the eyes of my sons—with the knowledge that comes with getting older—is humbling to say the least.
My oldest son is four years old and very much enjoys growing older. While I wince with each creak of my aging body, I hear my son talk about his next birthday (not for many months yet) and all the joy that comes with that celebration. (He is totally my kid.) He often talks about “when I get to be 100 I’ll be faster than anyone” or “when I get to be 100 I’ll be a giant.” One hundred years is not old to him.
On a recent car ride and yet another discussion about his birthday he quieted in concentration and then quite seriously asked me, “Mom, do I get a prize when I get to 100?”
“A prize?” I asked.
“Yea, like a toy or a present or something?” he asked in explanation.
I laughed at the time and joked about telling him once I get there. However, the thought stayed with me for some time—especially as I had been mulling around about what I’d write about for this “Happy Mother’s Day to Me” series.
I work in the senior living field and know firsthand that living to 100 (or much older) is no longer the complete fantasy it might have been.
I also totally believe that a prize should happen if I hit 100 years old. The thought inspired my letter to my son for when I hit 100 years old. Read more →
Peeper loves to create, so when it came to planning her second birthday party, I knew I wanted to incorporate art. Thanks to getting almost no sleep and leaving most of the party prep till the morning of, I had to scale back some of our painting plans, but one activity made the cut: the group DIY easel.
Peeper and her friends got to paint alongside each other in our front yard, and each kiddo took home a piece of art (or several!). Peeper’s painting is now hanging on our wall above the dining table.
The setup was surprisingly easy—and cheap—and we’ve left it up in our yard for now. Peeper continues to use it, and when we do decide to take it down, we’ll recycle or reuse all the pieces for projects later!
Want to get in on the artistic action, too? Here’s how to make an easy group DIY easel for your kids to paint their own outdoor masterpieces. Read more →
When I worked at College Possible Portland, a nonprofit that helped low-income high schoolers get into and graduate from college, we often ended the week reviewing the ups, downs and what we’d change. Allow me to steal the format for today’s blog!
Swimming It’s still blazing-hot hereabouts, so we went swimming in the Clackamas River at Milo McIver State Park (yes, still one of our favorite places to be!). Peeper is her happiest in water, and I’m carrying a 38-week-old furnace, so splashing in the river was pretty much the best.
Peeper’s birthday party We didn’t throw a party for Peeper’s first birthday and I knew I wanted to do a little something this year. I considered canceling it (see the downs below) but am so glad I didn’t. Peeper and her friends had a wonderful time painting and playing in the water, and we got to properly break in our newly fenced front yard! More about the party in a later post.
Seeing family Much of my side of the family came in for Peeper’s birthday party, and I’m always grateful when the Ryans are around! After the party we watched the U.S. women’s soccer team beat Japan (in style!), eat pizza and play video games. As we drove away from my brother’s house, I was overwhelmed with the wish that we’d all live near each other permanently. My brother recently moved to Portland, so that leaves only two more siblings to get down here!
This up was a little bittersweet, though, because Eric’s parents were meant to have arrived this weekend, too. They had to delay their trip out to deal with some health stuff (good thoughts/prayers/internet love to my mother-in-law much appreciated!), which is important and necessary, but we still missed them. In fact we re-sang Happy Birthday to Peeper so we could record it and send it to them! Peeper didn’t mind. 😉
Fireworks Ah, the holiday my noise-phobic toddler and high-anxiety dog love the most! Happy 4th of July! Call me a grump, but I hoped every single boom was the last. We will not be spending Independence Day in town next year. You can find us running away to the mountains somewhere fireworks are illegal.
No sleep Ironically, Peeper slept a few hours through the fireworks and woke up shortly they were finished—and wouldn’t go back to sleep. It was horrible. She hasn’t had a night like that in… oh, a year and a half? We finally left her to cry herself to sleep and she passed out around 5:30, a half-hour before I’d set my alarm to prepare for her party.
Eating struggles I should apologize to all my friends who have to hear the latest tale about how Peeper just doesn’t eat. Not that she’s picky in a I’ll-only-eat-chicken-nuggets kind of way, but in the sense she’s completely uninterested in food. It was worse than usual on Saturday, which led to my redefinition of a meal on Sunday because hey, at least Ritz peanut butter sandwiches and ice cream are calories!
Here’s where I mess up the format. I wouldn’t change anything (except maybe the fact I got 2 hours of sleep on Saturday). Every experience, both good and bad, shapes me as a person and a mother. I learn from some of it (leaving town on the 4th!) and revel in the rest (treasuring the memory of Peeper “getting the baby wet” in the river).