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!

My Average Child…

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“Average Ada” age 2 at the NLC

Keep soaring, our girl!

I can seriously not stop laughing.  My daughter, my firstborn, my pride and utter joy has written two different things that she would like me to help edit.  The first is part one of a children’s book—seriously the cutest book ever.  Can’t wait to share it with you here!

And then.  Then there is her resume.  My daughter is saving all of her gift and babysitting money to buy a phone.  But, as we all know, phones are very expensive.  Well, my little ray of sunshine, my decade plus 2 daughter, will see her Nana and Papa for a few weeks this summer, so she has decided to submit a resume for them.  On her resume, which I won’t share the entire thing, she wrote:  Average student.  If that was not brutally honest enough, the rest would make you laugh out loud.

Things such as:  Good at—Loving her grandparents.  And so much more.

My “Average Daughter” is just so ABOVE AVERAGE in the good feels department!

And, to be fair to her, she studies in the Polish language, all her subjects.  So those average grades are really QUITE impressive for me 😉  Her father and I will take them, at least!  I can barely help her study for her History or Science tests (no smile and wink here).

Oh, my average daughter, I love you so average PLUS much!

Thanks for bringing sunshine to my EVERY DAY!!!!!!!

 

Worms on the ceiling…

worms

I wish I was kidding.  I am not.

Besides the mice that seem to occupy both the upstairs and downstairs of our home, we have had a huge trail of worms on our ceiling for the last week.

Like a trail of them…crawling.  Across our kitchen ceiling.

It’s so delightful.  NOT!

Sometimes you think, “Momma don’t have time for that!”

And then worms appear.

Crawling across your ceiling.

Yes.  This is how seemingly life is handed to people, eh?

If it’s not children in and out of doctors.  It’s mice pooping everywhere.  Then it’s camping baths for at least a week while they convert your home from coal to gas.  Lastly there are worms.

You can make a list similar to mine.  Well, hopefully not the hospitals and mice and worms.  The camping baths are okay.  A good bucket of hot water can help a momma get kids clean…

But I know you have this list.  And you think, “Do I REALLY need to stand on a stool and KILL these worms—or can I just let them continue to crawl?”

Or, perhaps, “Is it ABSOLUTELY necessary for me to discover WHERE these worms are originating from???”

You may even give yourself a few days to just let everything overrun your home.  And that’s okay.  It’s called rest.  Believe me.  If you don’t sit and take it, life is not going to get any cleaner.

And after that coffee and rest you may FINALLY muster up the courage to try and find the source of the worms.

You may EVEN be married to a brilliant man that actually has an epiphany, “HOT CHOCOLATE!”

That’s when you both rush to the cabinet above the sink and open it up.  Out fly moths.  Out crawl worms.  And at the bottom of that shelf is a bag of natural “homemade” fruit tea dried compote.  Hence the worms.

With great rejoicing that you have found the source, you dump the entire contents in the trash and begin the new process…

Clean up the mess on the shelves and get rid of the worms that were beginning to turn into moths.  Because you know what moths do?  Destroy.

Yes.  Worms on the ceiling.  It is a thing.  And perhaps you have them, too.

I hope you are able to find the source of your frustration, get rid of it, clean it up, and begin  the next moment fresh!

Because, after all, this isn’t really just about worms, is it?!

Listen to your children when they talk about their bodies…

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“Adelyne, what is your greatest fear right now,” I asked my 11-year-old over a private Italian dinner we were eating, just the two of us, following the EEG she just had in Poznan, Poland.

“My biggest fear,” she repeated the question.

“Yes, with all that has been going on in your life, what is your current greatest fear,” I wanted to hear the heart of my daughter, and I had her alone, no little brothers or sisters to distract her.  Just Ada and Momma.  Together.

“The fear of being afraid,” she replied.

It makes tears come into my eyes right now.

If there is one thing we want to do as parents, it is to protect our children.  To be their stalwarts.  To be their walls.  To be their protections.  To be their everything.

And then you realize you can’t.

Unless you lock your child in a bubble, never letting them escape the house, you will quickly come to realize that you cannot be your child’s everything.

With the very act of living, they will experience many different joys and pains.

And sometimes, in that living, they experience very scary moments.

A little over a month ago, my daughter experienced at school what she describes as a heart attack.  She then spent the next three days in a foreign hospital, hooked up to heart monitors and enduring multiple blood draws and tests to see what is going on with her body.

Then, not even 3 weeks after that, she experienced what is described as seizure-like behaviors before slipping in and out of semi-consciousness.  Once again, at school.

This daughter of mine.  It’s not that she is completely fearless—but, out of EVERYONE I know in the world, she is the bravest kid that I know.  She has traveled the world. She has surfed.  She has crossed borders.  She has been surrounded by machine guns on territory where we literally have NO voice.  And she hasn’t even batted an eye.

So for her to say that her biggest fear is fear itself, makes me, as her mom, sad.  The freedom for her to live a life of great adventure is the greatest gift I wish to give her.  And now she is wondering if she will be okay to ride her bike.  Or swim.  Or paddle board.

Will she surf again?

Can she jump off a mountain like she plans in February?

Can she jump out of an airplane, like she tells us she’ll do at 18?

Afraid of being afraid.

It’s a life-changer, for sure.

And I hold her hand and tell her that we are doing everything we can to eliminate a bunch of scary stuff in hopes that we find out she is perfectly healthy and just had some bad stuff happen to her for reasons unknown.

But that doesn’t erase what happened.  And it doesn’t change the fact that now she may not live quite as carefree.

And I need to listen to her.  I need to listen to her body.  I need to listen when she speaks.  Because she is the one living inside of her body, and she knows how it feels and needs to be able to communicate that to me.

A childhood friend of mine recently watched her son go through his third concussion.  And, with that concussion, his entire life changed.  Now, together, they are realizing that life has a different journey than the one he was walking.  And it is something he must do to remain healthy and able.

She listened to her son.  Now together they are fighting for his best life.

Here is his recent news interview, telling his story:  http://www.azfamily.com/story/36611797/chandler-hs-senior-quits-football-due-to-concussion

Here is a second story on concussions and high school sports:  http://www.azfamily.com/story/36162154/concussion-study-reveals-most-valley-parents-will-let-kids-play-football

Here is another childhood friend, Dr. Javier Cardenas, speaking of concussions and how to identify one in your child, as well as an App that can be used to teach children about concussions:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHm4RPFgwEM

In the end, all we can do is live and teach our children to do so, as well.  But, in living, we also need to stop and listen.  What is our body telling us?  What is our children’s bodies telling them?

Growing up, we learn that if you ever catch on fire, you are to do three things:  Stop; Drop; Roll.

I find myself in this same position with my daughter:

Stop.  How are you feeling?

Drop.  Let’s stop everything to figure out why you feel the way you do.

And Roll.  Let’s put out this “fire” in your life, so you can go on to live your best life possible.

It may be with a little more hesitation than before.  But it’s still living.

And, in the end, that’s what counts the most!

 

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!