No Big Deal….Say it with me. No One Is Perfect

I’ve been reading a lot about the “hate” for the supermom and how no one can live up to this unrealistic supermom image. We can’t do it all. There is always a give and take. That is life. But shouldn’t we stop judging everyone so harshly and stop comparing ourselves to the uber rich and famous?

Here is the deal. No one. Nope no one is perfect. You can compare yourself to Gwyneth Paltrow in a Vogue magazine shoot all day long. But I don’t really think Vogue wants the average American woman to compare herself to styled, exercised, professional actress, who has been in hundreds of photo shoots (a la) Gwyneth Paltrow. Nor should we, she is an uber rich, actress from a Hollywood family who has countless cooks, nannies, trainers, rock star husbands and is friends with Jay-Z and Beyonce…Now no offense but I’m guess the average Mom or any Mom I know is even close to this. I can tell you that I’m none of those things. So rather than hate, I’m going to enjoy her spread in Vogue magazine as what it is…fashion, glamour and entertainment.

But I think we really need to do is stop judging each other so much. If you have perfect hair and your kid appears to be perfect great. If you have messy frizzy hair and your kid does too, great. What I always say to Gwen when something goes wrong. No big deal. I mean it repeat it it helps…NO BIG DEAL. As parents I personally think we are too hard on ourselves and everyone around us for their own decisions.

All Mom’s and Dad’s are working parents. It is called parenthood. Some parents also work outside the home and to do so they have help. Help from grandparents, day care facilities, schools, friends and families. It is ok because I bet the parents who don’t work outside of the home have a little help too.

I recently learned I’m not the best cook. It is too bad because I really like cooking. I can make a mean spaghetti sauce and have a few go to dishes, as my husband pointed out I’ve also made those dish probably hundreds of times. It is when I get a whim and try to cook something random that the bottom falls out. Ohh and I always burn something. Usually the bread at dinner parties. It is a guarantee. Cooking takes practice as does everything. For me in particular I would rather do crafts like sewing than watch TV or practice cooking an elaborate meal. That is just me. Crafting is soothing for me and I have fond memories of crafting with my Mom growing up. It has nothing to do with Martha Stewart. Who, by the way, has a large team of professional crafters doing her crafting and keeping her empire up and running.

Social media hinders a lot of us. We want to post the best picture and the funny quote that will make everyone think we are interesting, our kids are clean and our lives are perfect. I don’t want perfect. Nor do I want people to think I am perfect. Gwen’s hair will be messy, as will mine – it is the fate of curly hair. I will likely forget to put makeup on for work about once a week. I forget to call friend’s back. And I would rather write a blog post than a private diary entry. I will sew halloween costumes not to bug anyone but because I like to do that. I also don’t really watch TV. Which is just me. Cody loves TV so it works out great in our house. He get’s to watch U of A sports (which I also enjoy), soccer, cooking shows and outdoor survival shows that he loves. I would rather play on Pinterest or do a craft. That is just me.

Speaking of Cody, I’m also lucky. I know not all husbands are as supportive (and tidy) as he is. Cody likes to be busy. He enjoys a good house project and likes to cook. He also expects to be 50/50 when it comes to parenting. Thankfully because he is really good at it. He also will fold laundry as he watches soccer on TV. Not because he is perfect but because it was clean laundry that needed to be folded. We are a team. We survive because we are a team.

Anyway, I’m on a rant. It is the holidays. We are all stressed and overtired. But perhaps we should embrace the holiday spirit and stop judging everyone around us. Maybe the mom with perfect hair isn’t trying to bother you. Maybe she just has nice hair. And the Mom who throws a good party, it might be because she and her partner worked hard to host their friends and family to say thank you for all they do for them. Not to be perfect or piss anyone off.

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Holiday Hosting – Thanksgiving

We hosted our second thanksgiving (first was last year). On top of hosting dinner we also hosted Cody’s parents, sister, bother-in-law and darling niece for three nights. I must say it went off without a major hitch. We took an all hands on deck approach. Everyone brought a dish, my sister-in-law made beautiful center pieces and everyone brought a pie. Dinner was delish. Cody grilled two turkeys brining and glazing galore. Well worth the man hours if you haven’t yet brined and grilled a turkey i highly recommend.

Kameron was my right hand in the kitchen. Thankfully because it takes two to pull off the warming, mashing, heating, re-heating, baking that this dinner takes. The turkeys got done early (EARLY) but we stayed on top of it. We played a “thankful” game at dinner filled with notes about thankfulness for health, spouses, children, U of A beating Duke, new houses, graditude for work, laughter, love, delish food and drink. We reminisced and talked of those we missed and wished were with us.

Something that was on topic the entire holiday with myself, Cody, my brother Joe, his wife Lindsay, Cody’s sister Kam and her husband adam was that suddenly we were the parents, the aunts and the uncles. Our parents were letting the holiday reigns over to us (with a watchful eye) and we were the adults. The kids running around laughing and babies coohing all belonged to us. We were no longer the kids.

It is funny how fast it happens. As I try and embrace my new(er) titles of Mom, aunt and sister-in-law I try and keep in mind that my family, my nieces and nephews and my own kiddos will remember the laughter in our home, the welcome voices and holiday music they hear. They will remember playing with their grandparents and chasing their cousins. It isn’t about a perfect day it is about love, laughter and togetherness.

Approaching the holidays I want to keep our door open. Host gatherings, laugh, tell stories cook yummy food and remember it is a season to be thankful. I’m thankful for those who are gathering with me this holiday season and those I miss. Technology keeps us closer together than in past years but I strive to not focus on my next social media post but rather the people who are in front of me.

So I saw roast that turkey, try a new recipe, buy that good bottle of wine and break out the holly and Christmas tunes of Dean Martin & Bing Cosby (or Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers if you are like me). It won’t be a perfect season but we can have some laughs, make some good eats and drinks and tell a few stories.

Cheers to the best season of all!

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Life Lessons | The Zoo With Two

I am a planner. I like organization. I am a self conscious mom in public. I want to be in control. There I had my therapy for the day.

Today I embarked on my first zoo trip with two kiddos in tow. My sister-in-law and her little 4-month old joined us as well as my Momma. I didn’t do my research and felt very unprepared for the day. My diaper bag was on point for the two kiddos. But my plan of attack at the zoo wasn’t.

Becoming a Mom has made me very aware of a few things. I need to do pre-planning, prep and re-con before outings. I didn’t do my planning for this outing and because of it I was feeling nervous all day. But we did have a good time. A few life lessons learned:

  1. Who knew you could take your own food into the zoo!! I mean really. That would have been nice to know to save $$ and calories. But the cheese pizza was delish and Gwen ate almost all of her lunch.
  2. When in public I feel super judged by other mom’s as my kid throws a half hissy fit for a popsicle. Why do I care? I don’t know…I gave her the popsicle she ate two bites and wanted her lunch. Again, why do I care?
  3. You can’t feed the giraffes until 10:30AM….Opps we were too early for that…I should have figured that out and went there first to keep munchin #1 from having melt-down of “I don’t understand why I can’t go pet the giraffes”…Check mark….Lesson learned.
  4. Gwen is much more adventurous than I thought. She wanted to ride the camel. It kinda freaked me out but we went for it. It was fun. And fun fact….Camels can carry about 3x their weight. Crazy!
  5. My nephew Henry loves being outside. It is adorable and I think he will be a wilderness man one day.
  6. Our little dude Van went in a carrier and he will slept through anything. Essentially the entire zoo trip!
  7. My Mom is a super-star Yaya. Her grandkids choo, smile and Gwen thinks she is the best playmate ever. It is a joy to see. I couldn’t get by without her for sure!
  8. Gwen has great balance…she took a little tumble and I freaked out but she has recovered and didn’t whine at all.
  9. The giraffes, camel (his name was Isaac), lions, tigers, bears, flamingos, monkeys and rhino are all rad…the birds and turtles are too. The elephant however looks sad.

So, I’ll do re-con next time. I’m sure everyone else will have the same amount of fun. But I will be more at ease with my inner Jenna monolog and chill out. I’m such an ESTJ….Welp…Both kids are passed out. Gwen is holding her new monkey toy very tight. I cleaned the entire house in a furry to control something and now I want to know when can I have that glass of wine I promised myself this morning??

Gwen & Momma @ the Zoo

Cheers!

Thankful for Thanksgiving

Cody and Ihosted my family for Thanksgiving this year. Last year we did a big Christmas Eve dinner but this year the pressure was on for the Thanksgiving feast. We had a total of 7 plus miss Gwen. My Mom and Sister were a huge help the day of the big turkey entertaining Gwen while at my house with coloring books and Yo Gabba Gabba stuffed animals and helping to cook parts of the meal. I made two pumpkin pies (homemade pie crust) and a pecan pie. My sister-in-law Lindsay was kind enough to make a killer Apple pie so the pies were complete.

Cody manned the grill and grilled a 16 pound Turkey that took about 18 hours of prep with a brine and butter rub and let me tell you…it was perfect.

The dinner table was my masterpiece. Mixing Tulips and cranberries for center pieces and mixing my McKensie Child checked dishes with my grandmothers Pamonia dishes and amazing chargers  (Thanks, Merren) and silver (Thanks, Mimi & Terri) that we received as a wedding gifts along with a simple table cloth borrowed from my Mom the table setting was a hit.

We enjoyed great Italian wine, anti-pasta platter, amazing AZ weather, a perfect Thanksgiving meal ful of emotional Thankful messages amoungst my family and a fantastic after dinner fire in our backyard.

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