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

The beats of my heart!

Life can be lived in the simple moments of family and nature, enjoying two of God’s priceless gifts.

I reflect, and often, on how my life was once full of sorrow at the hope destroyed of a baby we lost, bitterness at a marriage struggling, fear of a son dying, and exhaustion that it all never seemed to end. Seasons that seemed to toil forever.

Then I see these perfect mountains and I count 3 perfect children and I see a man I admire most on this earth and I realize that time can pull you through all things.

And God was there, steadfast, through it all.

Silence and struggle does not erase quiet, infinite care.

God bless you and yours, our friends, in your seasons of life.

#hisloveenduresforever #greatishisfaithfulness

Mombie Apocalypse 

You’ve all seen them.

You know they’re coming.

It’s not if.  It’s when.

There’s no stopping them. 

Ahhhhhhh!

It’s the Mombies!!!!

#mombiesgonnagetyou

But wait.  

You have time.  

First, they must: “Insert Coffee To Begin”

Next:  finish taking horrible Mombie selfies

In the end, these two things will give you a chance to flee. 

But not really.  

At your next recital or game or award ceremony or concert — or just even when you walk in the door from school with friends, these Mombies will be there.  Yes, perhaps, slightly better dressed and maybe even hair and makeup done — but plain ol’ embarrassing Mombies they will always be.

Well, basically it’s the #truth until you become a Mombie yourself.  And then we Mombies will buy you your very own T (shirt, that is).Welcome to the club!  

DISCLAIMER:  My children did not approve this picture or message.  Both mortify them (smile and wink).  Just doing my job, folks.  Doing my job. #mombievictory

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!

SING, the cartoon, and the blubbering mother in the middle of the Polish theater

Sing_(2016_film)_poster

*Image from Wikipedia*

Oh my blubbering goodness.  You would have been DYING had you been in the theater with me for the movie SING that has recently been in theaters (at least in Poland).   Laughter.  Snotting.  Chortles.  Gasps.  Tears.  All directed at me-the mother sobbing uncontrollably over a children’s cartoon.

It is currently a very gray and cold season in Poland.  When the sun comes out, which is extremely rare these days, Max has to ask, “MOM!!!!  What is the sun made out of?!”  And Josephine, “Mom, WHAT IS THAT?!”

NOT KIDDING.  She literally just asked the other day.  I had to explain it was not the moon, it was the actual sun gracing our presence for a moment.

So it’s gray.

Then it’s also cold.

Not -20 F or C.  But it’s been hovering in the 20s and early 30s.  Obviously that’s F.  In C, it’s been about -7 to 0 C.

On top of all of that, Josephine and MOMMY were both so sick this last week.  She ran a fever for about 7 days, and my head felt as if it was stuck literally in a bucket of sand.  I can’t recall the last time I felt so horrible.

So, needless to say, last week, we were mostly at home.

To make up for a week stuck at home where TV became the literal mother to my children for 24/7, I decided to start going on small daily adventures with Max and Jo.

Yesterday we went to an indoor Botanical Garden.  It was okay.  Nothing too thrilling, but also warm and had plants and fish and turtles and birds.  The vines hanging from ceiling to ground inspired many monkey calls, and we screeched right along with the parrots.  So what is merely a “Meh” place came to life with my Littles in their imaginations, making it a grand adventure.

Max and Jo have wanted to see the cartoon SING ever since their sister, Adelyne, told them all about it.

So, today I decided to leave the house for an early morning showing of SING.

What fun!  Of course, the cartoon is in Polish, but both of my children don’t seem to mind; therefore, away we went!

The movie—it’s AMAZING.  I loved it.  It did not go in the direction that I thought it would — now, mind you, I did not see a single preview for it, but I imagined a much more American Idol direction once the fliers were printed and sailed around town…

It was much more somber than that.  Hardships and struggles and overcoming were quietly being dealt with throughout the movie.

While fears were being squelched, dreams were also simultaneously being shattered.

And then everything literally falls apart.

Nothing went at all like I had expected.

Well, let me not ruin it for any of you that have yet to see SING.  Let me just say, when there came an opportunity for the momma pig to sing, her husband and children watching, I literally began to BAWL.

Not quiet and pretty tears.

I was literally bawling.  I was snotting.  I had to TAKE OFF MY GLASSES and wipe away the waterfall of tears.  I could not stop.

The mother—performing in front of her husband and children.  The mother giving it everything she had.  The mother LIVING out her dream.  And doing it to the BEST of her ability.

The mother taking a risk.  The mother — EXCELLING.

Yes, dear people out there.

A mother cartoon pig singing and dancing.

It was too much for me.  I am afraid I cried literally ALL of my mascara off my lashes.  My blue eyes turning as crystal as the Carribbean’s waters, as they always do when I cry.

To me, this momma pig, she was so much more than an entertainment figure for the little minds.  She was the mother in each and every one of us.

The mother stuck in the mundane routine of washing dishes, cleaning clothes, feeding children, working sunrise to sunset.

She was the mother that danced and sang to herself and dreamed in her own imagination.

She was the mother that put absolutely everyone and everything above the very core of her being.

She IS the epitome of that very word MOTHER!

I have been feeling like that momma pig.  At home.  Stuck.  In a sink of bubbles.

And, then, there I was at the theater with these two miraculous littles that I had to physically fight to bring into the world, and I realized that they are the ultimate dream.

I fought SO LONG and SO HARD to even conceive children.  And then to get them to enter the world safely was another journey.

I grabbed my son’s hand and held it.  His heart beating because my body grew him.  His life living because God gave him to me for another day.

Being a woman is hard.  Being a mother is hard.  Making satisfaction in our souls as both is hard.

And this momma pig brought this pit into my stomach that there lies within each and every one of us a fire and a passion outside of ourselves and our families.  Yet, while we are momma to littles, sometimes those other dreams may be put on the side.

But it doesn’t mean they are squelched.

It just means that our priorities are directed differently—straight.

In the meantime, someday is out there where it will be our turn to sing and dance.

And make our littles proud!