Tuesday, September 15, 2015

My First Major Heartbreak for my Kid

There are hundreds of firsts as a parent, most euphoric and heart warming. I had my first major heartbreak for my kid yesterday.

I immediately felt the sting behind my eyelids. Everything became an underwater blur, tears welling up as I scrolled the email, "So, as I'm sure Iris has told you, she did not get elected to student council this year...the votes were REALLY close!"
{Iris, Ms. MaGrath, Eleanor - Meet the Teacher Night}

A pang of guilt slapped me. I didn't know; she was at aftercare, and I was home working like a beast. I would have picked her up after school, given her the take-it-all-away hug and Amy's ice cream with 2 toppings including gummy bears.  If only I'd stayed for the results.

My girl is the most enthusiastic student you'll meet, a kind-hearted nurturer eager to please with a steadfast moral compass and high sense of justice.  A good friend and a doting sister. It was the start of a new school year, and Iris was determined to rise to the 3rd grade. It was the big time - letter grades, tests, and gads of homework.

The call out for the Maplewood Student Council came in the Wednesday folder.  It was grown-up, in fact stern even. There were lots of pre-reqs including a signature of commitment from the teacher and your parent.  No baby stuff here.
Iris set up a make-shift office in the kitchen and worked earnestly while I cooked dinner, checking herself on each qualification.  She worked, she read, I listened.  OK, I might have inner giggled and outer smiled just a bit at her admission that student council might help her "get better at controlling my temper."  I mean, come on, I'm only human.  She was super proud of herself and super hopeful, as was I.  She was a candidate by God.

A few days passed and "OMG", the big news dropped.  There were 8 submissions in her class alone and the school counselor Ms. Kirk would lead a speech-off for every candidate in front of the entire classroom to pick 2 winners by student secret ballet vote.

The big day arrived yesterday. Iris awoke super early, put on her fancy new dress from Marmie, her election day game face, and slicked back her hair into a shiny ponytail, .
{YES, that's "the speech".  I'm a Mom. I have to catch these things on the sly}

I acted measly and trailed behind the class from assembly.  Ms. M is all business in there, so I figured if I just shut my mouth and kept my hand gestures small, you know, be on the down-low, I could sneak in.  It worked! A bright-eyed Eleanor B popped up at the door, the competition.  Duh, duh duh.....she was wearing a nearly identical dress as Iris', black and white stripes on top, teal on the bottom.  Was it mind voodoo?  
{School Counselor Ms. Kirk laying down the rules of the speech-off}

Eleanor had the best plan.  She went first then took off for a swanky vaca with her dad (OK - I'm making that part up) but not before she wrote down two names - speech unseen and turned them into Ms. M.  Eleanor's speech was for real-memorized with good 'ole campaign promises about what she'd get her classmates if elected and the gung-ho"Vote for me!" appeal at the end so many 3rd graders feel weird proselytizing.  Not Eleanor though - she really went for it.  You have to admire that.

Next, it was Iris's turn.  

So good, right?!  All of the kids really rose to the occasion.  I beamed with pride confident the girl was totally in.

"However, I want you to give Iris another hug for me if you can tonight for some qualities she exhibited today confront losing: grace, resilience, empathy, and just really outstanding character.  I am impressed daily by Iris' ability to think of others, and to put it all in perspective.  She was upset for losing and so she wrote this note to Jake today, I wanted to include it (hope Iris and Jake don't mind!). You have a really special kiddo there (as you already know!)
Ms. M"
The truth is, getting up in front of your classmates is really hard for a 3rd grader.  Some kids desperately wanted to and prepared speeches, but just couldn't do it in the end. The new girl Perseis got up and nailed it out of the park off-the-cuff.  The entire class did an outstanding job!

My heartbreak is knowing this was something Iris really really wanted, and she had to suck it up because she didn't get. This will happen a lot in life, and there's nothing I can do about it. Iris would have made an A+ Student Council Member, but, I'm relieved she's able to feel the upset, congratulate the winners, and move on. 

I asked her about it when she got home yesterday. She told me she didn't cry on the outside, just the inside. But she's 8, she's resilient, and she's nearly over it just a few short days later.

The shining moment:  Ms. M nominated Iris for a Peacemaker Award for her character in the face of defeat read in front of the entire student body by Ms. Kirk this morning.  It's a pretty big deal. She was a little shy about it, but beaming, knowing she tried her best and her teacher knew it.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Yellow-splosion Spring into Target! (With links!)

Target, sometimes you just make me happy.  When I was dying over the yellow lattice fix and wanting another room to decorate that I could make a burst of spring and fun, the super helpful Target employee offered, "You should really check out the garden things that came in. They are super duper cute."  

And, $36 later, I had 3 new pillows for a much needed spruce up for our outdoor couch.   I love butterflies and the coral just pops!  Butterlies are so representative of change and growth, and that's just where I am right this very moment.

Warning ** this photo has not been styled ** so shield that part of your brain ;).   I would have loved to have some great stylins for the table, but beginning a new chapter and a new biz makes for a busy momma!  

And, yes, I know EVERYONE spells it "mama" and yeah as "yay" but I will just always see those words as "momma" and "yeah" in my mind.  So there! 
{buy butterfly pillows here and coral lumbar pillow here}

Here's my interim card.  I'm looking for 4-5 good human beings in need of some marketing assist for my 19 years of experience and referrals are quite welcome!  Areas of expertise are:  TV & radio media plans including buys, creative & execution, and online, event, database, and social media integrated marketing campaigns.

More on the flex work solutions side to come....

And, here are the items that got me initially psyched at Target.  This storage bench with the lattice and yellow reminds me of my childhood.  It screams spring, right?!
 {Buy here for just $89.99}

Can't you see this entire look in a vacation guest room or your guest room, screened in porch, or little girl's room?  It's too sweet and innocent and fun to not completely fall in love with!
{Lampshade here for just $26.99 and I can't locate the side tables, but GO TO TARGET!!}

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Pokemon DIY cards your kids will flip for!

OK, it's 2015.  I know I've been fickle, not really here for you....that's a changin'.....

So, a sweet kid named Benjamin brought THE best Valentine's gifts a kid could imagine to school this year:  personalized Pokemon cards!

My kiddos Iris & Sam went BALLISTIC.  Ob-sessed.  They had to have them, had to make there own, and knew there dad an effects guru could make it be.  I was cautiously told they'd made a purchase, a laminator as they quickly imparted it was only $19.99 at the office supply store.  I broke into a huge smile.  I'm not that big of a tightwad.  Totally worth occupying hours upon hours of my kid's time.

So....full Saturdays later, Mike and the kids patiently worked on creating their cards by using photos or drawing their own images and scanning them, making them come alive, and laminating their favorites.  The laminator is small about the size of a 3 ring hole-punch.

Sam & Iris actually do something I'm quite proud of.  They share their Pokemon cards in one binder and discuss all their trades and cards with one another.  That quite literally is one of my proudest mom moments to date.

So, here are the goods!

Now you've got something fun to do the rest of this dreary Sunday, other than forts & movies galore!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Boggy Creek Farm salvation & roasted eggplant soup recipe to keep you warm & toasty!

There is a place that is my equivalent to a Buddhist meditation retreat:  Boggy Creek Farm.

As I turn onto Lyons Street at the four way stop, my lips autopilot into a smile.  I approach the entrance, hidden and humble.  One must drive slowly up the gravel driveway as you pass the row of sunflowers, "Come in, slow down, we've been waiting for you," their whispers waft through the air as they beacon you in.  I crawl to a park and my smile deepens.

This is my grocery store, and, it fills me with light and life.  I used to come once every few months, I now come once a week. I hardly step into the bustling HEB any more, or even my once favored Natural Grocer.

Everything's slower here.  It's like you're in a film set in the 1800's far from the city folk, but you are minutes from downtown Austin.  The historic white farmhouse greets you as the mountain high pecans sway above, farmdog Buddy scampers around as you sit to watch hens peck around, flowers abound the property and the crops are in every direction around you.

I know my cashier, I know my farmer and their easy pace and friendly advice and conversation are the highlight of my week, without exception.

In the mood to cook something yummy with my BC eggplants, I googled a roasted eggplant soup recipe.  I didn't have 3 medium tomatoes or cream, but I had a jar of Larry's homemade fire roasted tomatoes which I'm sure were even better and I used 1 cup half and half as a replacement.  Takes about an hour to make.  Here the recipe is for you:

3 medium tomatoes, halved
1 eggplant, halved lengthwise
1 small onion, halved
6 garlic cloves, peeled
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
1 tsp dried thyme or 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
4 cups non-chicken broth/stock
1 cup whipping cream
3/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled

Preheat oven to 400. Place tomatoes, eggplant, onion and garlic on a baking sheet.  Brush with sunflower oil.  Roast around 45 minutes.  Take out and scoop the eggplant from the skin into a large saucepan.  Discard the skin and add the roasted veggies and thyme to the same saucepan.  Add broth. Puree into a blender and return to saucepan.  Stir in cream as you simmer.  Salt and pepper and ladle into your bowl with a few sprinkles of goat cheese and mint (I added).

Here it is:

Enjoy and stay warm y'all!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Friend Friday: Design by You

So.... don't freak out...I know... 2 posts in 1 day.  But, this has been on my mind:  I am in love with your taste.  Seriously.  I see little pockets of design brilliance in my friends homes all the time.  So why not share and inspire?  It's not just the crazy overachiever types who seem to do it all and make us want to gag.  It's you too.

I popped on Facebook and was dying!

#1 Remy, the muse, sweet thang, dog - Can you call her that?  Are dogs really that tiny??  I feel like she needs her own name.  And even her name, I want to call her Remington Steel for some reason.

#2 I am pretty much in love with everything in Bryce Smith's pad:

Where to start... I mean, "mange" backwards, the owl planter with the perfect "I'm bored off my ass" expression, the paper heads.... It's a unicorn, people.

The tree painting, which I'm convinced is Bryce-made.  Even the lamp looks good.

And..............Remy!!!  Nuff said.


Breakfast Bowl to Survive Back-to-School 4 You!

We made it through the first week of school - WHEW.  Sam began Kindergarten and Iris 2nd grade.  It was emotional.  For me.  We left our wonderful child development center after 7 years, and our baby is in elementary school.  I know.  I am a mushy mom.  I can't help it.  He looks so ready, right?

Me.  Not so much.

And, I can say Sam had no tears, only enthusiasm for more, more, more.  More of his classroom and after care.  He's exhausted, but hey, kindergarten is freakin' exhausting!

And, I'm getting through it with some good nutrition.  Here's one for all the moms & dads.  

Easy peasy breakfast bowl:
your favorite yogurt
a handful of quinoa or granola
a splash of chia seeds
sunflower seeds too
and almonds
and a good dose of berries,
especially superfood blueberries to get through it all

Good luck y'all and have a GREAT school year!! XOXO