Pianist

Driving with my daughter in the backseat this morning, listening to The Little Mermaid soundtrack, she asked “Who is this?” I answered “Alan Menken”. After telling me how wonderful he is she asked about the instruments and if the band all played together or if they recorded like Daddy, one instrument at a time. She said “the piano player is really good” and I replied “a piano player is called a pianist”.  It wasn’t until I finished the sentence that I realized what I had just done. I think we can all agree that I do not do my best thinking in the morning. At least my Mom will be thoroughly amused since I know how much Riley likes to use new words she learns.

 

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Betty Crocker

I love cake. I also love to bake, but my execution kind of sucks. I always have an idea in my head of how something is going to turn out and it rarely turns out that way. It’s okay, I have fun baking and now my daughter and I bake together so it’s twice as much fun. I normally buy a cake for our big events. I am blessed to know an amazing baker. She was a neighbor for a short period of time and she has a daughter who is a month older than my daughter so we got them together for a play date when they lived in the neighborhood. We have been friends since then. Life happened which took my baking angel away for a time period, but now she is back in the area. We have remained connected through social media and when I am in need of a beautiful cake for a big event, I know who to call. I will bake a cake for a small family party but not for larger gatherings. We alternate the size of my daughter’s birthday parties from year to year. For the years she has big parties I don’t bake, but for the small family birthday celebrations I will attempt to bake a cake. (more…)

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Only Child Syndrome

Together we are better

I am an only child. It was great growing up and always being the best one at whatever I did because there was nobody there to measure up against. But then I got married and all of a sudden there was someone else in “my” family to compare myself to. It sucks to be married to a guy who can do everything. I taught myself how to cook and I was decent at it, but then he started cooking so I gave it up. I was a photographer in high school and did a fairly decent job as family photographer until he came along and he is actually a gifted photographer, so I gave that up. He is a better parent, a better provider, a better everything than I am. But it is all okay. I love him so much that I love to watch him do all of these things and be really good at them. I am a fantastic cheerleader. And we are a great team.

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“Not Really Gone” by Blaire Sharpe Book Review

“Not Really Gone” by Blaire Sharpe is about a woman growing up in a family with a  lot of dysfunction and how the matriarch (Grandma) held her family together the best she could. It is the story of a girl growing up with absent and neglectful parents, but also a grandmother who stepped in and became a parent to the three children left behind by parents who couldn’t manage to take care of themselves. It is the story of how a young woman was shaped not so much by the events in her life but how the love she felt from her grandmother stayed with her through all of those events. It is the story of how a grown woman was able to become a caregiver to her elderly grandmother in her dying days and give back the love and affection she received throughout her life from her most influential role model.

I read a lot of memoirs and I can always find at least one part of a person’s story that I can relate to. I know what it’s like to have a person as a touchstone. It is how we measure ourselves. It’s the person you go to when you don’t know who you are yourself. Blaire’s person was her grandmother. “Not Really Gone” documents those important moments that Blaire shared with her grandmother that shaped her into the person she became. It is a recollection of times spent with her “person” and how that relationship formed her thoughts and feelings about the world. And it is the story of how the author measured herself using her grandmother as her barometer.

In the final chapters of the book, the author talks in great detail about her grandmother’s declining health and final days. She writes about how she was able to return the kind of love that her grandmother instilled in her. It was touching to read how the dynamic of their relationship changed and how Blaire was able to give back to her grandmother the same sense of security that she received from her as a child.

“Not Really Gone” is a wonderful tribute to a grandmother who gave everything she had to her family. It was well written and kept my attention from beginning to end. Definitely worth the read!

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She’s Crafty

She’s a Pistol!

When I was pregnant with my daughter I remember talking with my husband about what she would look like. It was almost like setting our pictures side by side and picking who had the better physical feature. I won nose, eyebrows and bottom lip. He won the rest. My husband is much better looking than I am. I am totally okay with this. Some of the traits we hoped for were more practical, like we both hoped she had my husband’s teeth, straight, white and no cavities. These qualities all cost less and save a lot of pain for all of us. We also hoped that she did not end up with my bow legs and knobby knees. We talked about all of these things having no idea if we would have a baby girl or boy. I think we both secretly hoped she would be a girl and I kind of felt it during my pregnancy. Some things you just know. (more…)

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