Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mothers Day

Let me start off by saying happy Mothers Day to all the moms out there. This Mothers Day is unique for me since it is the first one I will be spending without my mom. Oh how I miss her every day, but today I can't help but miss her a little more. What I wouldn't give to be able to hug her again.
Here is a picture of us when we were getting along. We did not always get along so well but we always loved each other so much. I think that love is what allowed us to get under each others skin and irritate the other so easily. She could get madder at me than anyone else in the world when I did something she was sure I shouldn't do. Even as I became an adult that never changed. She always calmed down and came around eventually. Now do not for a second think it was one sided. She could aggravate me to no end but we always came to terms and accepted each other for what we were. Stubborn, pig headed, forgetful, and most of all, family.
I never understood how much my mom loved me until I had my daughter. I told my mom shortly after the Poo was born that I forgave her for all those times she wouldn't let me go have fun because she thought it was " just too dangerous", even though I assured her nothing would happen and I would be fine. We had a good laugh over it and talked a lot about how your outlook on the world changes when you become a parent. Sidewalks for instance seem perfectly safe until you have your first child. Then they appear to be a pit of death to a toddler learning to walk or a 3 or 4 year old growing into their feet and running in flip flops. Recliners seem perfectly safe until you have a little one. Those things are awful once your child realized they can climb up onto one and try to fly face first into the ground, or gets a foot under it as someone is getting up and gets a toe smashed.
I know why she saw the world the way she did and how hard it was for her to give us some independence to grow into the people my sister and I became. I understand why she stayed in the car outside of wherever we were , such as a concert or the skating rink, instead of going home and coming back to get us. We thought she wanted to spy on us when we were younger. Now I can see she wanted us to have independence and feel free to have fun, but be close by if we needed her.
I am glad we got to share these things before she died because if it is possible we were even closer in the last few years than we were before. She always told me she hoped to live long enough to see me have a child. She never thought I would. I was 29 when my daughter blessed me with her arrival and the day she was born my mom said if she died that day everything she had wanted in life was fulfilled. My sister and I both had a child to love and help grow, we were stable and happy, and we had a good relationship with each other. It was very important to my mom that my sister and I be close and talk to each other often. She wanted us to have a good relationship and each of us know that the other would be there for them no matter what. We do have that and it is truly a blessing. My daughter remembers my mom and misses her. She talks about her often and tells me stories about things they did together. I hope she is able to keep some of those memories as she grows up and always be able to feel inside how much my mom loved her.
My niece was already almost 17 when my mom passed away so she has memories to keep with her. I was so touched when she wore the patent leather converse tennis shoes my mom had gotten for her to the prom. She said she wanted her grandmother with her on that special day and it felt like she was able to take her to prom when she wore those shoes. How can you not be proud of a young woman like that.
I am going to add a perfect pairing in to the end of this post just because I believe it fits so well with the emotions I feel today. 1 John 4:18

18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

Growing up I was never afraid of my mother. My fear was not of punishment but of disappointing her. I always wanted her to be proud of me and proud of the job she had done raising me. Her love was pure and perfect and completely unconditional. I thank the Lord everyday that I was able to have her in my life for as long as I did and for giving me such a wonderful family, be it blood family or chosen family. I have been blessed with a loving family and we all miss her so much. On this day I choose not to be filled with the pain of loss but to rejoice in her love that was given so freely for so many years and fill my heart with the blessings I see everyday. My family, my child, and the people of this earth that do things because they are the right thing to do, not because they are easy. Thank you Momma for teaching me to appreciate what I have and not to dwell on the negative. Thank you for teaching me that love is the greatest gift we have and we should share it with others. Thank you for being you. Thank you Lord for allowing me to be blessed with her in my life and hug her for me on this day created to celebrate her love and giving nature.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Appetite for Inspiration

What a wonderful time we had yesterday! Lynette@ Crazed Mind and I got the privilege of being invited to the Texas Beef Council in Austin. It was truly a great day. We got to learn a bit more about the Texas cattle industry and also taste the delicious food they were offering that was prepared by chef Richard Chamberlain.

Lynette's DH makes fertilizer and Papi makes feed for animals, so it was really cool to see it come full circle to the beef on your table. They had a lot of wonderful information to share and delicious food as well. We even got to play Top Chef and team up in groups to make our own dishes. If that wasn't enough we got to meet a bunch of wonderful bloggers and make some new friends as well as find new blogs to read.

All the beef was provided to us by Nolan Ryan Beef. If you have never eaten it, you definitely should. I am not usually brand specific on food, but that beef had the best flavor and texture of any I have ever had. I know you can purchase it at Kroger stores and order online but if you live somewhere you can't buy it be sure to ask your local grocer to stock it! It was fantastically delicious.

The Poo was very excited to learn that they had given us a goodie bag that had an apron for her and a real cow bell. She has played with her cow bell a good bit already and is just loving it! I was impressed that they included children into the bag as well as the presentation and made it more about family than just you preparing a meal for them. The Poo and I cook together a lot. I have found she is more willing to eat something new if she gets to help prepare it and knows what is going in and tasting it along the way so she can see how flavors change in the cooking process. I have never had a problem getting her to eat nutritious food because she is so involved in not only preparing it but in growing it and harvesting. When we harvest food from the garden she is able to try everything raw and again when it is cooked so she can see that it is the food we grew going from our garden to our tummies to keep us strong and healthy.Even more than that, it is a sense of pride and accomplishment for her to be able to say "I grew this in My garden!" She will definitely let you know very quickly that it is her garden.

It was so great to me that the Texas Beef Council not only understood how important it is to involve children in healthy eating but encouraged it and thought of kids when putting things together for all us bloggers to take to our homes. All and all it was just a wonderful experience and I hope I have the opportunity to do it again sometime.