What do you do?

I keep people alive every day.

Some professionals call this a doctor.

I keep people out of trouble. Even prison.

Some professionals call this a lawyer.

I have a 24-hour food service.

Some businesses call this an all-night diner.

I make sure individuals are eating properly.

Some professionals call this a nutritionist.

I provide full-service cleaning of home and garden.

Some businesses call this Merry Maids. Others Lawn Services.

I organize an entire empire, guaranteeing the success of my subordinates.

Some professionals call this a CEO.

I listen to hurts and pains and help guide to a healthier and stronger emotional well being.

Some professionals call this a psychologist.

I pray with, for, and share scriptures with those in attendance.

Some professionals call this a pastor.

I even democratically rule my own country…with the strong use of Veto when necessary.

Some would say that I am a self-appointed democratic monarchy—ruling both the party and the crown. Therefore, calling me simultaneously Mrs. President and HRM the Queen.

Yes, many professionals and businesses may give me many names…

But, for those under my roof, they simply call me mom!

Slodkie Czary Mary

Making candy that we are so quick to gobble up is a beautiful process perhaps far too under appreciated!

On our recent trip to Wroclaw, we were able to see a sweets shop make little bits of hard candy like grandma would give you and finish with the grand finale of a heart sucker. It was a hot yet delightful experience—and I literally felt as excited as a “kid in a candy shop” !!!

To begin, the candy base has to be heated until it reaches the perfect temp. Then it is dumped onto a granite tabletop to cool for a period of time.

Aren’t we all a bit like candy? When we are a little too hot, we also need a cooling off period.

While it is in the process of cooling, the Candy Gals begin adding the colors for their upcoming projects.

After, the candy is cut and the second process begins—it’s nearly like a play-doh factory.

You begin by folding and pounding the candy.

Which then leads to stretching it…

After stretching, they begin the process of separating their colors and building their desired result/s—which this one would eventually become a heart lolly.

Along the way, however, was almost like a “dessert break” because they took a portion of the sucker and made it into tiny little pieces of hard candy which they promptly served to our room full of eager eaters.

The candies were still warm, sour, and brought me back to grandma’s house.

While we were all sucking on our nostalgic delights, the final project was expertly being finished with twisting, turning, cutting and shaping…

Until finally, voile! The heart lolly!

Which then goes for sale at the store, Slodkie Czary Mary!

Am I patient enough to make candy?

Perhaps.

Am I eager enough to eat it?

Pretty sure that’s a resounding You Betcha!

Do I recommend stopping in and watching this process?

Absolutely!

Did I feel just like a delightful kid in a candy shop?

The entire time!

Hence, we should all find ourselves watching how candy is made because then we have truly experienced time travel…even if just for a moment!

#wroclaw #poland #slodkieczarymary

Dessert to steal your heart…

I kid you not…we ate these divine ditties in the Square of Wroclaw while watching bubbles float over fountains and listening to a solo saxophone playing love songs with soulful perfection…

After that we walked across Saint Jadwiga’s bridge to board a small boat and travel the Odra, taking in every magical sight…

Before crossing the bridge of love to leave our mark with a lock…

I can recommend visiting so many places in Poland. But this one, Wroclaw, truly will steal your heart!

And then light it on fire at night with an actual lamp lighter, in full costume, walking the streets bringing them from darkness into night life…

All the while, church bells ring…

Would I recommend travel to Poland?

In a heartbeat!

Would I recommend Wroclaw?

Is the Pope Catholic???

Yes!

The Midnight Bullfrog!

Seriously.  I was having so much fun hanging out at a friend’s house that it was just before midnight when I gathered my 3 and 5 year old kiddos up and stuffed them in the van for the ride home.  We barely made it out of the neighborhood when I saw the BEST thing I could have ever seen…a humongous bullfrog hopping across the road in front of me!

I pulled the car over, put on my hazards, and then took off after the bullfrog in the dead of night.  

A car came around the corner.  I don’t think they knew what to do.  Stop and help the lady and the van or just watch as I chased this bullfrog down the street?  Apparently they figured I was not in need of assistance as I grabbed the bullfrog and let out a loud whoop of delight.  So they continued driving on. By this time I’m slightly far away from the van with my kids (bullfrogs are FAST little buggers), so I begin a quick trot back to them—a proud trot.  An “I am an accomplished mom because I have captured a bullfrog.  I am a bullfrog capturer,” type of trot!  

And just as I go to open the passenger back door to show my triumphant capture, the bullfrog squirted (urine—yuck) ALL OVER ME!  My hands.  My arms.  My legs.  The bullfrog pee was running down my leg.  I kid you not.  And, as the bullfrog’s number 1 was covering me in disgusting wetness, all I could do in that moment was hold this midnight bullfrog high in the air and proclaim, “Look what I caught for you, children!”  

The kids?!  

They squealed and laughed and just thought that a mom covered in froggy pee-pee was the BEST gift anyone in the world could have given them.  I don’t even think they even saw the bullfrog through their laughter.  

As I finally released the bullfrog in the greenway for its freedom, I returned to the car to hear Max, my 5-year-old say, “I thought you caught me a present.  I didn’t know you were going to bring me pee.” 

Neither did I, Max.  Neither did I.

But, in the end, sometimes laughter is the best present after all!  

Does this look like vacation?

I am fairly sure I don’t even need to write a lot.  

We are on vacation.  

But really???

Hashtag: life; reality; parenting; humor

No rest for the wicked…

Oh, wait.  I mean the mommies (smile and wink).

Greetings from La Jolla sunny California!

Dzien Matki — Mother’s Day in Poland

I am pretty sure I just ate candy my son gave me from his grubby fingers—and I am not sure the last time he washed his hands.  Or went to the bathroom and forgot to wash his hands.  I am actually gagging a little bit right now.  Really.  My stomach is not feeling so well.  Hashtag “truemom”.  EATING NASTY GERMS FROM GRUBBY DIRTY FINGERS.  Sigh.

Therefore, let’s just say that I am VERY VERY VERY happy to be celebrating the upcoming day about ME in Poland.  Dzien Matki.  May 26th.  Mother’s Day.

In Poland, Mother’s Day is the same day year after year after year.  Kind-of like Women’s Day, Wigilia, your birthday, your anniversary, New Year’s … MOTHER’S DAY!  It is set in stone and NEVER GOES AWAY!

Kind of like our kids, eh????!!!! (smile and wink)

Anyhow, this upcoming Mother’s Day I think that I am going to set expectations for my kids:

  1.  I am going to expect for them to make me frustrated.
  2. I am going to expect for them to make a mess.
  3. I am going to expect for them to NOT leave me in peace when I have to pee OR merely pick up the phone—EVEN THOUGH, moments before, they had forgotten about the very existence of me.
  4. I am going to expect for them to cry over their hair styles or crust.  YES—the crust on their bread.
  5. I am going to expect for them to have a small accident in their underpants—just enough so that they will not want to wear the same pair and not enough to make a mess on the floor.  The in between stage of wet.  Enough, however, where they will then declare that they must STRIP NAKED and be.  For the rest of the day.
  6. I am going to expect for my toddler to wake me at 3am.  Or 5am.  Or 6am.  And not at all appreciate that they day is about ME!
  7. I am going to expect for the pre-teen (nastolatek) to give me grief.  I don’t know about what.  About the volume of my voice or the fact that SHE CANNOT WEAR MY SHOES.
  8. I am going to expect for them to fight and argue about the 1 block.  On the floor.  When there are 1 million and 12 other blocks right next to the 1 block.  And there are 500,000 of those 1 million and 12 blocks that are exactly the same as the 1 block that they are rowing over.
  9. I am going to expect them to stub their toes, blacken their eyes, break their teeth, or scrape their knees.  I know this because it will happen.  My three year old currently has a black eye and a huge forehead mark from tripping onto the training wheel bike tire and also falling on the side of the trampoline.  All in a day’s work.  So I am going to expect a trip to the hospital, a broken bone, or a bandaged knee.  It will happen.
  10. And, lastly, I am going to expect a gazillion times over for them to tell me that they “Love me the most!”  And fight over it.  And cuddle me.  And then fight over cuddling me.  And then fight once again about who loves Momma the most.  Because it will happen.  I expect it.

And number 10 makes up for 1-9.

As I expect it should.

So, you see, Mother’s Day in Poland is really no different than Mother’s Day anywhere else in the world.  If you come from a dirt floor or a mansion that touches the sky, being MOM is full of a million and one expectations that always start with DISASTER…But that one moment (#10) will make up for all of the tornadoes that will come in and hijack your day.

In the end, however, you don’t mind.  Because it’s a nice feeling.  Being mom.

But NOT eating the grubby food from their fingers.  Leave that behind on Dzien Matki.  I am pretty sure that is not a nice feeling.

Not at all.

Happy Mother’s Day from Poland to YOU!

Happy Mother’s Day for the woman that is not the mother…

strong women

Today may be a day that is your least favorite day of the year.  Mother’s Day.

Maybe you even feel a little guilty for not liking the day because you had an amazing mom.

Perhaps you have siblings, friends, or cousins that are AMAZING moms but you are not a mom.

Perhaps you are not a mom because a baby was just never given to you.

And you feel.

Well, you may not know how to feel but you know that you feel.  Deeply.

Perhaps you are not a mom by choice.

Yet your eyes wander the world on this day and see other women celebrated.  And this makes you feel.

You don’t know how it makes you feel.  But it does.

Perhaps you were a mom and then your babies or children were taken from you.  Too soon.  And now you, the mom, are a mom forever and always but you don’t have your baby to say on this day, “YOU ARE MY MOM!”

And this makes you feel.

On this day, ladies, all I can say is that every beautiful trait of YOU is wrapped into a beautiful box and displayed with the grandeur of the perfect woman.

You are that woman.

That beautiful treasure that is perfect just the way she is.

Strong.

Resilient.

A fighter.

A lover.

A giver.

A friend.

A woman.

A woman who makes our world a more beautiful place.

You make this world a place where I can travel with my daughters and say, “Look!  You are perfect for who you are!”

You, dear woman, are the reason that my daughter will walk tall and strong and proud.  Because who knows what her one day will hold.

Maybe it will hold children.  Maybe it will not.  Maybe it will hold a husband.  Maybe it will not.  Maybe it will hold loss.  Maybe it will not.

But when she looks about this world, she needs to see YOU.

She needs to see that one day — SHE IS ENOUGH as the woman that she is.  Because she is fearfully and wonderfully made!

So, today, on Mother’s Day, Ladies, I would like to say “Thank you” to you.  Because of you, I can point to my daughters and say “Look at this woman and see what she has done!  The world is stronger and more creative, beautiful, and kind because of her.  Be like her!”

And my daughters will go to bed remembering all that you are…

The woman that makes our world a better place.