You can’t skip the flour and the dishes…

I have always loved to bake. I make pies, cookies and breads for the farmers market. Pies are a favorite. There is something special about a homemade pie crust. The flakey, crispy, melt in your mouth pie crust brings back memories for many people. It brings me back to my mom’s kitchen in the 1911 farmhouse I grew up in. It makes me think of the red and white Betty Crocker cookbook (the crust recipe I always use). I remember her saying, “Save your fork,” after the meal… then you knew there would be dessert!

Aside from pumpkin (which HAS to be Festal), I make all of my fillings from scratch. It isn’t quick but I’ve gotten better at pie time management. Before a market, I’ll prep the filling mixes (the sugar, flour, cinnamon etc) so that it’s ready to mix in with the fruit when the crust is made. I’ll have my son help line some pizza pans with foil to reduce oven drips. I’ll make sure I have the cinnamon and sugar mixed up for the pie crust crispies.

There are some things about pie baking you just can’t skip. For mine, I need flour. I haven’t tried gluten free pie crust yet and I don’t have a flour free kitchen, so there is flour everywhere. It’s difficult to keep flour off the counter, the apron and even the floor. It’s a key ingredient to the crust. It can’t be skipped. Dishes are the other thing that comes with baking. Even though I put pies in disposable tins, I have bowls for the crusts, the special fork I use to mix it, the rolling pin, all of the measuring spoons and cups and even a small basting brush to make the top of the crust extra tasty. Dishes. Ugh. If ever I could hire help, it would be solely for the dishes. But they are necessary.

The mess is necessary. You can’t skip it. You can’t skip an ingredient and the dishes have to be done. Similar to life, you can’t skip the middle. You can’t skip over the messy parts or the clean up. You’ll get covered in flour and have a full dishwasher, but in the end, you’ll have a wonderful, delicious pie. (Ok yes, you could just buy a pie, but you get the idea). To me, baking is therapy. It’s soothing. I am creating something and sharing a skill. I’m baking JOY. I’m offering a connection – since most people share a pie (although I do not judge if you chose to keep one for yourself!)

I love seeing the people smile at the market when they buy a pie. They talk about bringing it to a friend for pie and ice cream, or a having a coffee snack. They don’t think about the mess behind it, they just get to enjoy the finished product. They have their own “flour and dishes” to deal with. We all do. Let people into your flour mess. Let them help with the dishes. And let them scoop up some ice cream when you’re done. We are meant to help each other in some way. We might as well enjoy some pie too.

I wish you peace on your journey of enough. I also wish for you to have flour messes and dishes so you can get to the pie part. Save your fork, the best is yet to come.

Never too old for “firsts”…

This past weekend, we flew from MSP to Bozeman. We had originally planned to fly to Kalispell, MT when we thought that’s where our oldest son was moving. We were scheduled to go over October break, but things were too risky with Covid, and vaccines hadn’t come out yet. Between then and now, he decided NOT to move to Kalispell, or to go to Billings. He wanted to see Bozeman once more before moving there and get a feel for the town. It’s 170 days until he moves away.

There were a few “firsts” on this trip.

  • First time traveling without snacks
  • First time changing flight plans a week before the trip
  • First time flying first class
  • First time in Yellowstone National Park
  • First time on a winter wildlife safari
  • First time seeing a wolf pack surround an elk
  • First time in the Bozeman airport
  • First time flying during a pandemic
  • First time in a Murdoch’s store
  • First Roost chicken and Red Tractor Pizza

I’m sure there are more “firsts.” Each time we travel, we try to eat somewhere new. (Or at least somewhere we can’t go to at home… so no McDonald’s, Culver’s, Taco John’s etc). We had a big lunch one day and were too stuffed for supper. Instead, we decided to go out for ice cream. I might have added it to the list, but I can’t guarantee it’s a first time having just ice cream for supper. It for sure is the first time we’ve had ice cream AND shared huckleberry shakes for supper. (It was amazing!)

While we sometimes remember the “firsts,” we aren’t always sure when we will have the “lasts.” The last time our kids held our hand or wanted to sit on our lap. The last time we heard someone’s laugh. The last time we hug someone we love. A friend of mine has gone through a lot of loss in the last year. A LOT of people she knows and loves have passed on. Some of them were known to be passing due to illness and some were sudden. It’s a lot for our hearts to bear. We want to help others navigate their loss, while still trying to process our own. We miss seeing them in person. We miss their smile, their stories, their touch. Was our time together enough? What do we remember most? Memories & pictures are what remain after they are gone. The other “stuff” left behind is just that. Stuff. It’s those moments of joy that bring us back to the time when they were here physically.

It’s one of the reasons I like to go on trips. Memories. Moments. Joy. A little escape from regular life that carves out some firsts…. some “remember when?…” It’s putting a pause on Groundhog Day and making room for some Pennies from Heaven.

As we flew into the Bozeman airport, my son said, “Can I just live here forever?”… and that’s when my mommy heart knew that my boy had found his place. He will be living in a beautiful town, surrounded by mountains and streams and abundant wildlife. He will have so many new “firsts” coming up. I hope someday he will remember this trip and smile…and know how very loved he is. I’m so excited for your journey, buddy. You are always enough.

I wish you all peace on your journey of enough. If your heart is hurting and missing the “lasts,” think back to the “firsts” and go create some new ones. You might just find some signs from your loved ones when you do. We found pennies and quarters on our trip. Each time, I stopped and smiled, and my heart was happy.

862…

862. It’s 862 miles from our house to Montana State University in Bozeman. Our oldest son got accepted to MSU for this coming fall. He will graduate high school in June and have his welding certificate this summer from the Tech school. This fall, he will move 862 miles away to pursue an Ag education degree to become an Ag teacher and hopefully an FFA advisor.

This is not a piece of cake. He isn’t a 4.0 kid. He will have to work hard, ask for help and really get to know the tutoring department… but I know he can do it. We haven’t been saving for this since he was a baby, like is often suggested. The amount the Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) suggested we should contribute is ridiculous. Why am I not stressed about this? It will work out. He will apply for scholarships, take out loans and get a side job welding or at a sporting goods store. It’s where is heart wants to go, and to have him settle for less because it is more convenient, cheaper or closer to me wouldn’t be fair. His one year of school will cost what almost 4 years cost when I went. The thought of moving to Norway did cross my mind. (Just joking – kind of).

He will be ok. He will have a high school diploma and a tech degree/certification and a 4 year degree. Since some of his tech classes will transfer, it should be less than 4 years. He has something that is difficult to teach…. communication skills. He isn’t afraid to talk to people. He is his father’s son. He’s getting better at asking for help and has seen the value in tutoring. He will be able to relate to the kids who have trouble focusing and who prefer hands-on learning. He can share his love of nature, outdoors, agriculture, welding and wildlife.

From Jaguar to Cardinal and now Bobcat, I’ll cheer him on wherever he goes. Part of my heart will move 862 miles away, but I’m so excited for his adventures. His journey is just beginning and there is so much more to his story. How does this relate to you? Don’t settle. Don’t sell yourself short. It’s not entitlement. It’s about knowing what you want and knowing what will bring you joy.

I wish you peace on your journey of enough. May you find what brings you joy, even if it is 862 miles from home.

Jesus be 95?? What?

As we were sitting in the car, waiting to meet someone (benefit of cleaning/selling extra stuff), we were listening to the radio. Youngest son was playing Minecraft, but stopped and said, “How do they know how old Jesus is?” I was confused. “What?!” “Well, the song says Jesus be 95.” I burst out laughing… “No, it’s ‘Jesus be Magnified,’ not 95.” “Well, that makes more sense. I was wondering why they kept saying he was 95. Maybe it was some code or something.” We’ve heard the song on the radio many times and he has never said anything before. He always assumed they were saying 95, and probably wondered each time how they knew his age & thinking that he must have died before he was 95.

How many times do we misunderstand, but don’t seek clarity? Misheard lyrics are one thing, but we often don’t really hear people. Are we listening to their message or are we “multi tasking” … thinking about what we will say next or something completely different? It’s like a kid saying, “mom, mom, mom, mom (x100).” After a while, the kid either gives up or someone else in the room demands your attention. For some reason, most people are nervous about asking for clarification. They just go along with their version of ‘Jesus be 95,’ and wonder what it means. Seeking to understand isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s showing that you want to learn and comprehend what is being said. How many times does a teacher ask if there are questions and the room (or Zoom) is silent? Trust me, as an introvert, asking questions is like shining a spotlight on my head. I’m not a fan. But also I don’t like the feeling of not knowing what’s going on.

What’s one way you can seek to understand this week? Maybe it’s in a current conversation or maybe it’s something you’ve always wondered. What’s your “Jesus be 95?”

I wish you peace on your journey of enough. To me, peace feels like a warm hug on a sunny day. Take a deep breath and have a wonderful day!

Adulting…

No, not adultery… adulting: “the practice of behaving in a way characteristic of a responsible adult, especially the accomplishment of mundane but necessary tasks.” Our son just turned 18, so he is officially an adult. He could legally get a tattoo, vote and apply to be an auctioneer. I’m not sure he will be doing any of those things very soon. Instead, he’s fishing, welding and applying for scholarships.

18. I know… I’ve written about this more than I thought I would. You might be sick of hearing about my senior. When I look back at the pictures of my little boy, I can’t believe how fast it went. I will let him read this before I publish it, but here are my 18 things I want him to know.

  • 1. I will always love you. Not in a cliche way or something that moms “should” say… I really love you. If you have kids some day, you’ll understand.
  • 2. Always be humble and kind. Listen to the song if you need to, but this is important. Kindness will get you further in life than being a jerk or being “cool.”
  • 3. Have fun but be responsible. Your teen and college years should be fun. It’s one time in your life where people will assume you’ll have lots of fun, but please know your boundaries and respect the boundaries of others.
  • 4. You really do need to eat some fruits and vegetables. It won’t make you less popular. It’s good for your body. Unlimited ice cream is fun, but seriously, have a pear every now and then.
  • 5. Keep music in your life. Dance, tap your toes or sing along in your car. Music lifts your vibration and is good for your soul.
  • 6. Stay grounded. Connect with nature and don’t absorb any negative energy around you. Sit on the grass and watch the geese and ducks, stand in the water while you fish.
  • 7. Your college friends are more likely to be your life long friends. You get to choose who you hang out with even more after high school. Choose wisely.
  • 8. Don’t smoke. Don’t smoke anything, just don’t. Your grandpa had open heart surgery in his early 40’s because he smoked. It’s not worth it. It’s really not. Plus you’ll save money.
  • 9. You don’t need to spend everything in your pocket. I’ve failed at being a good example of money managing and letting you learn about it. It’s ok to save some. The fishing lures will still be there next time.
  • 10. You will always have a place here. I hope you always feel like being with us is like “home,” regardless of where we are. A year from now, I might be sitting in your room, wishing for a messy floor.
  • 11. I hope we taught you the value of hard work. It’s ok to go the extra mile. It’s ok to get up early or stay later. People will notice this, even when you think they aren’t paying attention… they are.
  • 12. Look someone in the eye and shake their hand (once COVID is over). I think you do this well. You had a good example by watching your dad. Don’t forget this.
  • 13. Brush. Your. Teeth. I’m not even joking. You have a beautiful smile. We spent a lot on orthodontics. Don’t mess it up.
  • 14. Look for a partner to share your time with. They are not “less than”… they aren’t your maid or cook. You will be a team. Make sure you give and receive respect.
  • 15. It’s ok to change your mind. You already have, but it won’t be the last time. It’s ok. You can do more than one thing with your life.
  • 16. Always do the extra credit. ALWAYS. Ask for help before you get stuck. It’s ok to fail, but you need certain grades for scholarships.
  • 17. Crappy jobs will add to your character. Have a job (at least once) where you have to serve someone so you know how difficult it is. Don’t look down on another profession.
  • 18. I’m so ridiculously thankful to be your mom. That won’t ever change. I can’t wait to see what the world has to offer you.

I wish you peace on your journey of enough. 18 years have flown by, and I am looking forward to cheering you on for the rest of your journey. Oh, and to quote your dad, “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.”

Are you ready?

I shared a story yesterday about a mom with a senior and all of the struggles to let go. It hit me hard. It’s something so difficult to prepare for. A friend asked if she would be ready when her kids get to that age. My reply was, “You won’t be ready… but I will be here for you when it happens.”

I understand that not everyone has the same relationships with their kids. Mine isn’t perfect. Nobody’s is. I remember feeling so ready for diapers to be done. I remember being ready for them to crawl, walk and ride bike. I remember being ready for the floor to be free of toys and then LEGOs. People would tell me, “Enjoy it, it goes fast.” I would grin and nod, thinking it wouldn’t end. It literally feels like yesterday when they rode bikes around the neighborhood with water guns. I can still hear the little kid giggles and belly laughs.

I wasn’t ready to let go of their little hands. I wasn’t ready to no longer have cheers when I come home from work. I wasn’t ready for him to drive (ok, maybe a little). I wasn’t ready for the first time he lied and it hurt my heart. I wasn’t ready for his first heartbreak. I wasn’t ready for the harsh words from bullies. I wasn’t ready to NOT be able to fix or help or mend. I wasn’t ready for the last trick-or-treating. I wasn’t ready for the last Christmas he helped decorate the tree.

I’m not ready for graduation. I’m not ready for his room to be empty. I’m not ready for his bathroom to be clean. I’m not ready for dad’s fishing buddy to be gone. I’m not ready to share his time with a girlfriend. I’m not ready for less communication. I’m not ready to be second.

I AM ready to see him do what he loves. I’m ready for him to spread his wings. I’m ready to hear about his new adventures. I’m ready to see what kind of man he will become. I’m ready for him to be independent (kind of). I’m ready to cheer him on when he succeeds and listen when he stumbles. I’m ready to send some cookies that remind him of home.

Will he change his mind a few more times? Probably. That’s ok. This is such an amazing time- to get to decide what you want to do, find your love, explore the world. It’s so much more accepted to do this at 18 instead of 47 (although it shouldn’t matter). Are you ready? I’m not. But I’m forever thankful to get to be a mom, his mom.

Hang on, moms of seniors, the next 5-6 months are going to fly. I wish you peace on your journey of enough. I may not be ready, but he is, and that gives me peace.

Discouraging words?

“Home, home on the range
Where the deer and the antelope play
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word
And the skies are not cloudy all day”

After a modified Christmas, we ventured towards Billings, MT. We planned a tour of the college over the break. We saw lots of deer and antelope playing on the way. There were a few discouraging words from the back seat (ha ha). A tour of the town and driving through campus in person is much different from what you can see on a web site. It’s difficult to get a true picture of size, cleanliness, safety and over all feel of the college (and town) from the pretty pictures on the web site.

As long as we are this far west, what else should we see? This sparked a conversation that led to a last minute trip 2 hours west to Bozeman and a campus tour. The town is beautiful, the campus was larger and he really seemed to like the area.

Do you remember deciding what you wanted to do after high school? I do. I changed my mind and my major several times. I changed colleges twice. I heard several discouraging words. My high school guidance counselor said I should not go to a technical school for radiology tech because my grades were too high. I was told I couldn’t be a physical therapist because I got a B my freshman year. I thought of becoming a counselor until I was a resident assistant in the dorms. I ended up with a Mass Communication degree but scheduling and planning manufacturing production lines.

It’s a balance between finding what you love to do and being open to other options. Allowing your kids to be able to spread their wings is one of the most wonderful and frightening moments all at the same time. As we toured the campus, they had a statue of a bobcat named “Spirit.” Surrounded by snow capped mountains, it seemed so peaceful. And, as “cheesy” as it sounds, I knew the spirit would always be with him. I hope he listens to the nudges from spirit as he navigates adulthood. I’ll try to limit my discouraging words.

I wish you peace on your journey of enough. May you seldom have discouraging words as we head into 2021.

Thankful Tuesday?

What age is it when you can’t remember how old you are, so you have to do math to figure it out? …But your random math skills stink even though you do math every day? Not sure, but it’s been happening for a while. Tell me I’m not the only one who has to do math to figure out their age? Like only on the significant years (21,30,40) do I know how old I am for a whole year. Ha ha, maybe it is just me.

My birthday usually falls around Thanksgiving. Since that isn’t the same day each year, it varies. Having a Black Friday birthday was fun when we could stay up all night and go shopping. I’ve baked Christmas cookies for my birthday, driven to our favorite restaurant, had Thanksgiving meals or spent the day shopping. This year will be different, so I’m going to see if I can come up with 47 things I’m thankful for. These are not really in order of importance. I’m just glad I could come up with this many.

  1. My husband. 25 years of marriage – we’ve had our ups and downs but he’s stayed with me and still tries to make me laugh.
  2. My boys. Forever thankful I got to be their mom. Even though some days I struggle, I think they know I love them.
  3. My sisters. I’m thankful to have them as my friends. They are both strong, faith centered, family loving women. They are amazing examples to me in more ways than they will ever know.
  4. My nieces and nephews. Blessed with some of the best. I’m thankful to get to see many of them & treasure the time we have together.
  5. My friends. I’m a bit reserved, so it takes a while for me to open up, but if I talk your ear off, you’re in my circle. My true friends “get” me & don’t try to change me or force me to fit in.
  6. My cat. Toothless has been a wonderful addition to our family, even if my hubby isn’t a fan. I love the kitty cuddles. He is one of the softest black cats.
  7. The chickens. These 6 ladies make me smile so big. They each have their own personalities and make me laugh. I love their different sounds, and the way they run to me when they think I have treats!
  8. My cancer journey. I’m not thankful for cancer in general because it sucks and it takes lives and loved ones. I’m thankful for the lessons I learned and for my ability to help others.
  9. My job. It puts food on the table and a roof over our head. It’s not glamorous and most of my family has no idea what I do, but I’m thankful for it.
  10. Our land. Not just the house, but our land. The land that grows the crops that feed us and our community. The beautiful trees and the land that houses the chickens and my son’s fort.
  11. I’m thankful to live near the river. Floating down the river with friends in the summer is one of the most relaxing experiences. I love to walk down to the dam and listen to the water and watch the fish.
  12. Faith. My faith has gotten me through some tough times. It has also evolved over the years.
  13. Love of travel. Most years, we’ve been able to take a trip or go camping. We sure missed it this year.
  14. Music. I listen to the same station when I’m driving & it’s uplifting/positive. I’ve been enjoying Christmas music at home though.
  15. Planning skills. Aside from being my job, it also helps with #11. Not all my trips have budgets and spreadsheets, but it has happened.
  16. Writing. I’m glad my cancer journey led me to writing. It’s something therapeutic for me and I’m in awe when people share it because it resonates with them.
  17. Art. I’ve always loved art. I like to paint and draw. I don’t let myself do it enough, although I have more paintings than I have room to hang them.
  18. Sewing. I learned to sew through 4-h. When I was in college, I had a work-study job at the costume shop. I kind of faked my way through sewing costumes for plays. Now I like to sew baby blankets, masks & the burp cloths like my grandma used to make.
  19. Pictures. I take a lot of pictures. I go in spurts with getting them printed or put into books. I don’t remember everything, so I like to have a picture to remind me. It’s fun to look back on our adventures.
  20. Empath. I consider myself empathic. I can sense people’s energy and often take on their feelings. I’ve learned more about holding space for someone else instead of being a sponge and absorbing it.
  21. Yoga. I’m thankful I learned yoga. I miss it. It’s peaceful and relaxing. It’s a way to connect to the earth and move my body.
  22. Laughter. The kind of belly laugh that makes your eyes tear up so you can hardly see. I was laughing so hard recently, I almost had to pull my car over. It was great.
  23. Senses. Something we often take for granted, but I’m thankful I have all of mine.
  24. Meditation & prayer. It is a great way to be present & connect with a higher power.
  25. Journaling. Sometimes I just need to write down all the stuff that’s in my head so it stops spinning around up there.
  26. I’m thankful for anyone who had read this far!
  27. Campfires. I love sitting by the fire… Especially on a crisp night, with a hoodie or a fuzzy blanket. I love the smell, the sound, the sight of it. Maybe because it awakens so many senses. (Not touch though LOL)
  28. Lakes. Being by water is relaxing to me. I like to be on the boat or go fishing with my family.
  29. Stories. I’m thankful for the stories my boys tell me about their day. I miss reading stories to them as little kids. I’ll settle for fishing or Minecraft stories now.
  30. Half marathons. I’m thankful I did them. I didn’t set any records or have a fast time, but I finished. I showed myself that I could move forward for 13.1 miles. Maybe I’ll do another… someday.
  31. Fall leaves. I love going for a walk in the fall, when the leaves crunch beneath your feet. I love the smell of them, the sound, and the sight.
  32. Crisp white snow. I’m not a big fan of winter, but when the ground is all white and the snow glistens in the sun, it is pretty.
  33. Skiing. Speaking of snow, I like to downhill ski. Our friends taught us how and I like it. I’m still a novice but I have a good time.
  34. Camping. I know I mentioned travel, but I think camping is it’s own thing. There is something special about cooking over the fire, making letter shaped pancakes and sleeping in a tent or small cabin. Some of my best memories with my boys have been camping.
  35. Big extended family. My parents came from large families. I’m thankful to have a big support network. I miss my grandparents.
  36. Curly hair. Maybe a strange one, but I have very curly hair. It’s naturally curly and I let it be. It doesn’t take me long to get ready in the morning.
  37. My unique name. There aren’t too many Mavis names around, so it makes me feel unique. Add in a last name that few can pronounce, and I’m even more unique.
  38. Coffee. But not for the typical reasons… I don’t NEED it to get my day started. I like it though. I like the warmth, the smell and the taste.
  39. Retreats. I’ve gone on a few retreats with other ladies, and it’s been amazing. I’ve met people I would never have met before. They’ve opened my heart and widened my circle.
  40. Time. I’m thankful to have had (almost) 47 years here. We never know when our time is up, and I’m thankful to still be here.
  41. Pennies from heaven. My grandparents & aunt send pennies or dimes (10 kids). My mother-in-law sends quarters. Little reminders that our loved ones are still with us just warms my heart.
  42. Movies. We watch a lot of movies as a family. I enjoy the time together & we are often quoting lines from movies.
  43. Flowers. I love fresh flowers. I often pick some up to have at my desk (pre-Covid). They are so beautiful and make me smile.
  44. Blankets. Maybe because it’s cold outside now, but I love being curled up in a cozy blanket.
  45. Care packages. I love sending them. I love to put together a surprise for someone to lift their spirits or even make their day.
  46. Fireflies in the summer. I love to watch them in the summer, especially on a clear, starry night.
  47. Last, but not least, my parents. (Hopefully they read this far!) I wouldn’t be here without them. I wouldn’t have a giving heart, a sense of faith or a love of family without them. I’m grateful to be their daughter. My dad just celebrated his 80th birthday. I’m thankful for that also.

Wow. 47. I wasn’t sure I could get that far, but I could probably keep going. It’s easy to think of a few things, but to get to 47 takes some extra thought. Whatever your Thanksgiving looks like this year, remember all that you are thankful for. Focus on those things. I wish you peace on your journey of enough. May your thankful list be long, and your heart & belly full.

Ho Ho, oh no!

Thanksgiving is next week. Normally, I wait until after Thanksgiving to put up the Christmas tree. Not this year. Not 2020. Something that brings joy and doesn’t hurt anyone else? Go for it. Handmade ornaments, sentimental gifts and mementos from trips we’ve taken adorn our tree. There isn’t a theme or fancy ribbons, but every ornament has meaning. There isn’t room for a tree upstairs, so you can’t see it from our window. Instead, it’s in the basement family room, and to me – that’s perfect. Watching movies with the twinkling glow of the tree is one of my favorite things.

This year, our cat joined us in the festivities. While the Christmas music was playing in the background, the cat attacked a few ornaments. In order to distract him, our son got a fuzzy cat toy. In the picture above, his claw is stuck to a fuzzy toy on a string. He has a guilty look on his face. Silly, but funny to me.

We could all use some silly. We could all use some extra joy. It’s been a stressful 8 months. Tensions run high, people are frustrated and there is a lot of anger. Way too much anger. Even though your Thanksgiving or Christmas might look different than you planned, try to find some JOY. Put your tree up early, bake your favorite treat, take a drive, go for a walk, sing to the radio, dance in the kitchen, savor a cup of coffee, read a book, spend time with your pets.. so many options. Just think – if we all did one thing a day to bring joy, what a difference it would make.

So this year, instead of “Ho Ho, oh no,” say “yes” to joy. I’d love to hear your ideas on what you can do to bring joy. Many of us aren’t traveling, but we can get creative. Video call, write a letter, send a surprise in the mail to someone, leave a treat for your mail carrier or delivery person. There are still ways to connect, even if it’s different than before.

I wish you peace on your journey of enough… and enough joy to make you giggle… or at least crack a smile.

It needs to be said…

Monday, my husband told me something that I didn’t know I needed to hear. We were talking about the upcoming 2 days off of school. We try to go somewhere during this time each October. But 2020 has been different. We like to travel and explore but this year, we’ve gone very few places since March. One year, we went to Colorado and rode ATVs in the mountains. Another trip was to St. Louis (cheap flights!). Yet another was to Nashville. We are finding out that the trips we took when they were really small are ones they don’t remember. Feeling like I don’t have control of how we can spend our time, I was at a loss for what to do. Having a senior, I know our family trips are going to be dwindling.

Then he said it. The 4 words I didn’t know I needed to hear…”You’re a good mom.”

It took a while to sink in, but it made me kind of emotional. We assume people know how we feel, but sometimes it needs to be said. More important to me than any professional title, job grade or so-called success … I just want to be a good mom. Many of us do. Now let me be clear, I’m not writing this to have a bunch of other people tell me I’m a good mom. I’m writing to tell you that maybe the moms in your life need to hear it. Tell your wife, daughter, daughter-in-law, sister and especially your mom that she’s a good mom. She needs to hear it. And if she dismisses your statement, say it again (Good Will Hunting style). “You’re a good mom.”

I have a great mom. What makes her great? 1,000 things. My sisters are great moms too. They’ve been great examples. But we have a fault. We put others first way too often. We still haven’t learned that we can’t pour from an empty cup. We try to do it all. Everyone else comes first. Somehow that makes it better? Nope. Taking time for ourselves makes us feel guilty. Self-care seems like a luxury instead of a necessity. I’m in an online class about self care. She asked us to start our day with something just for us. I was at a loss for what to do. That’s probably not a good sign. Baby steps… I’m trying.

If she has kids at home, she’s probably trying to juggle it all. She’s a good mom. If her kids are grown, she’s probably adjusting to her empty nest. She’s a good mom. If her kids are adults and she’s a grandma now or even great grandma, she wishes she could hear from you more. She’s a good mom. Just tell her while you can. You will probably make her day, but have some Kleenex near by.

Peace be with you on your journey of enough. Go tell a mom what she means to you (unless she’s having coffee, then give her 5 minutes.) Feel free time share the post. You might inspire someone to make a mom’s day.