I Am My Mother’s Daughter

A few days ago, I saw this Huffington Post article about one woman’s role as a daughter now that she’s in her twenties and it got me thinking about my relationship with own my mom.

We’ve sure had our differences throughout the years- There was my sophomore year of high school when she wanted me to “get out more,” and my junior year of high school when she wanted me to get out less. Then there was the time when she grounded me for not coming home one night and subsequently found out (through some cellphone snooping that I am still a little bitter about) that I was (underage) drinking with my friends. Not a shining moment for either of us.

I think the best thing I’ve ever done for our relationship was move out of her house. If that sounds harsh, I definitely don’t mean it that way! Moving out allowed me to grow into my own person, yes, but it’s also helped me appreciate how great my mom really is… And how right she is about, well, everything.

Over the almost 6 years since I moved out of my parent’s house, my relationship with my mom has blossomed. That’s not to say that we didn’t have a good relationship when I lived there, because we did. But having a relationship with someone who lives under the same roof is a lot different than having a long distance relationship with someone. I, like most high school seniors, could not wait to get out of my parent’s house and on to bigger and better things. I’m not sure when I realized that the latter half of that sentence was not entirely true (probably somewhere in between not knowing how to cook a good steak and having to kill a bug by myself at 3 o’clock in the morning), but slowly I’m realizing how many of the things my mom tried to teach me turned out to be useful after all.

So thanks, mom, for teaching me…

… how to make a tuna salad sandwich, even though I told you how seeing the process “disgusted me” because the mayo was so “jiggly.” (That’s a technical term.)

… how to thoroughly clean a dirty dish so it doesn’t have to be washed a second time.

… the importance of having clean underwear.

… to be crafty and creative, although I will never be as crafty as you are!

… the importance of washing my face every day, even though I fought you about it when I was younger.

… that money isn’t everything.

… how to do my laundry.

… to always close my dresser drawers, even though I ended up learning the hard way.

… to be comfortable in the kitchen, and thus unlocking my passion for baking.

… giving me room to make my own mistakes, but never being so far away that you couldn’t help me clean them up.

(This list could go on and on.)

I’m lucky to have such a good relationship with my mom. Now that I’m in my twenties, she’s more of a “best friend” mom than anything. We don’t see eye to eye on everything, but I know that she’s always there for me when I have a question about how to cook something, need life advice or just want to chat. She’s probably the only person who can get through to me when I’m being stubborn (much to Tall Guy’s dismay), and I know she always has my best interests at heart. I love the relationship that we have now because I, too, can be there for her when she needs something, which wasn’t the case when I was a self-absorbed moody teenager. I feel like I know her so much better than I ever have and I’m so happy we’re super close. I wouldn’t trade my relationship with my mom for the world.

So don’t forget to thank your mom this Mother’s Day, and make sure to tell her how much you love her. I promise she never gets tired of hearing it.

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Happy Mother’s Day, mom! I love you.

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I Don’t Want To See You Breast Feeding Your Baby

Apparently Delta has gotten itself in a bit of trouble due to some recent tweets the @DeltaAssist account sent to a mother who asked about breast feeding her 10 week old on a 6 hour flight. Before I even dive into the breast feeding in public debate, I have a question for the mom…

Why are you taking a 10 week old baby, who apparently refuses to feed from a bottle or under a cover, on a SIX HOUR FLIGHT?!

Really though, does that sound like a recipe for disaster to anyone else?

I’m not afraid of boobs, obviously, since I have 2 of my very own. And no, I don’t have a problem with breast feeding- I know it’s what they’re there for in the first place. I just don’t really want to see you doing it. Is that so wrong?

I also don’t want to see a couple making out in public. Does that mean I hate all couples who make out? Obviously not. And I don’t have anything against moms or babies or the fact that babies need to eat and that means sucking on their mother’s breast. But do you have to do that in front of my face? Just like everything, there is a time and a place for breast feeding and it is not in the middle of the food court at the mall, or on a park bench in Rittenhouse Square.

I’m not saying that there aren’t times when you’ll have to do it, but that’s why covers were invented in the first place, isn’t it? I have NO problem with a woman breast feeding a baby in public as long as she’s covering up appropriately. It’s when she refuses to cover up and just expects other people to “deal with it” that I have an issue. I’m not saying that I’m not capable of looking away from her open shirt, because of course I am, but I think that if you insist on feeding your child without a cover, you should make arrangements to do that in a private place. And I don’t really see an issue with that. Yeah, I understand that your tiny human needs to eat every so often or all hell will break loose (literally), but you know that, too. And you knew that before you decided to go out for the day, so you, just like everyone else who is away from their home for an extended period of time, should have planned ahead.

I’m not trying to discriminate here. I don’t want to see ANY breasts in public, period. Really the only exception I have to that is topless or nude beaches. Not that I’ve ever been to one, but it would be pretty crazy to go to a nude beach and be angry at the sight of a naked person, right?

I don’t know, maybe I’m being naive about this situation. I can’t really understand the plight of the breast feeding mom since, you know, I’ve never been one (thank God for that), but I just don’t see why expecting a mom to cover up her boobs when she’s breast feeding is bad. Honestly, wouldn’t you want to cover up when you’re breast feeding? I know I would…

I promise I’m not trying to hate on this mom for having to be in a public place for 6 hours with a basically newborn baby. I know that there are some situations that require you to travel under any and all circumstances because you have to get where you’re going, but was that the case here? And if she knew the law was on her side (which she mentioned in her tweets) and that she wasn’t able to breast feed any other way besides uncovered, why would she even bother asking the airline about their policy in the first place?

Mothers, please, enlighten me if you can…

Olympics Obsessed

It’s finally here! The Olympics Opening Ceremony is TONIGHT!

Even though Sochi is kind of a hot mess,  I’ve been counting down the days to the Olympics and cannot wait to see all of the different events! Everyone is as excited about the Olympics as I am, right?

My Olympics obsession started way back in February 2002 when my dad and I took a trip to the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah. I was pretty young, but I will never forget all of the crazy things we did on that trip. Highlights include… Seeing the US Women’s bobsled team win Gold; taking an old-school train through the countryside to the cross country course; sitting in the very back row at the ski jumping stadium and making friends with the women next to us; getting ice cream from a shop called COWS; trading 3 pins for a green jello pin; seeing Bode Miller on the podium at a Medal Ceremony; my dad and I making the best steak sandwiches I’ve ever had in our tiny hotel room; sitting on the side of a mountain at a skiing event with no jacket on because it was super warm out; getting a t-shirt signed by the Jamaican bobsled team; going to a Dale Chihuly exhibit; seeing a medal women’s hockey game and watching the losing team cry on the ice; and realizing I had the best dad ever when he got tickets to the Medal Ceremony where ‘N Sync was performing. We saw every event except for curling and speed skating and it was, hands down, the best vacation I have ever had (and probably will ever have)! We took millions of pictures, but unfortunately they were all on disposable cameras (do you remember those?) and the prints are now sitting in an album at my parent’s house, so I can’t share them with you, but just take my word that the trip was amazing.

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My dad sent me this picture last week! We bought one of the (super fancy shmancy) 2002 Olympic commemorative ornaments.

So not only do I love watching the Winter Olympics every 4 years because of the fun events (snow cross, anyone?) and the amazing athleticism that these people display, but it brings back really fond memories of my own Olympics experience.

Tune in to the Opening Ceremony tonight on NBC at 7:30 pm! And be sure to check out the NBC Olympics TV schedule so you don’t miss your favorite events!

2013: A Year in Pictures

Disclaimer: I hate New Years. Don’t get me wrong, I love the spirit that the New Year brings and thinking about resolutions, but I hate the hype surrounding everyone’s New Years Eve plans. It’s right up there with birthdays and Valentine’s Day- everyone wants to have the perfect day/night and do something SO SUPER FUN that you’re almost always disappointed that things usually end up being so-so.

Now that that’s out of the way, I wanted to take this opportunity to look back on all of the adventures I had this past year!

I had some good times this past year. What’s your favorite memory of 2013?

HAPPY NEW YEAR! x

A Few of My Favorite Things (Part 4)

I have a crystal clear memory of one Christmas morning when I was very young. I walked out of my bedroom and immediately spotted a present at the end of the hallway. When I turned the corner into the living room, I could see that we had so many presents under our Christmas tree that the present at the end of the hallway was not, in fact, forgotten by Santa, but placed there because he ran out of room everywhere else! We had an unbelievable amount of presents to open that year and it felt like it took us the entire day to get through everything!

Being older and wiser, I now know that there probably were not millions of presents for us to open and it most likely didn’t take all day, but I’ll never forget the way I felt when I walked out and saw all those presents that morning. It was, for lack of a better word, magical.

Christmas never feels as magical as it does when you’re a kid, but I still cannot wait to go home for the holidays every year. Christmas isn’t just about gifts, it’s about family and traditions and trees! And food. Lots of food.

I leave Philly for Boston this Friday night and I could not be more excited. I love everything about spending the holidays at home.

I love our Christmas decorations and the fact that we have a working fireplace that gets used fairly often.
I love my mom’s cooking and brunch on Christmas morning.
I love decorating the tree and re-discovering all of my favorite ornaments every year.

dad and tree

I wasn’t home for last year’s tree buying, so I had to give my text message approval.

I love that our tree topper is a starfish that my parents got when they lived in Aruba way back when.
I love the party we go to on Christmas Eve at my dad’s cousin’s house in Rhode Island.
I love that we always drive around to look at Christmas lights on our way home from that party.
I love the fact that I still wake up first on Christmas morning.
I love that we always open our stockings first and that my mom always puts an orange in the foot of them.
I love hosting a party at our house on Christmas night.
I love that my brother, sister and I take a picture together at our party every year.

Lastly, I love knowing that even though times may change, our Christmas plans are pretty much a constant. We do the same thing, more or less, every year, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Happy holidays! From my family, to yours. x

A Few of My Favorite Things: Part 2

I grew up surrounded by “artsy” people. My mom is one of the craftiest people I know (seriously- you name it, she’s probably made it), and she has a number of friends who are very skilled artists. So my next favorite thing will come as no surprise to those closest to me…

I have a pottery obsession. And a pretty good sized pottery collection. (Note: That’s not my collection below… Mine is much smaller, unfortunately.)

loc pottery

Local Pottery. Pembroke, MA.

I’ve never made my own in any real capacity (high school ceramics class doesn’t count!), but I’m quite happy owning pieces other people have made. It’s rare for me to be able to escape a craft fair without making a pottery purchase, or at least spending a little too much time pouring over the beautiful handmade bowls, plates and mugs.

My love for pottery started a while ago. One of my mom’s good friends actually owns a pottery shop and studio, so it’s all my mom’s fault, naturally. Her friend’s shop, Local Pottery, is the equivalent to pottery heaven. That is especially true during the month of December, when the studio closes and the retail shop takes over the entire space, filling it from floor to ceiling with shiny, smooth, beautiful pottery. And that’s pretty much how it all started… One fateful evening in December so many years ago during the open studio sale opening night party. That’s when I fell in love with my first mug. Later that month, I found that same mug wrapped up under my Christmas tree and a Christmas pottery tradition was born. The rest, as they say, is history.

My love has evolved over the years… I went from mugs to large bowls and platters, and now even have one or two favorite potters. I’ve been given sets of mugs and plates for such major occasions as my 18th birthday and graduation, and close friends and family know that pretty much any pottery gift will be very much appreciated, although my collection has gotten so large that I don’t even have room for it in my apartment! While my mom takes care of the majority of my collection, I’m lucky enough to have most of my pottery mugs sitting in my apartment at this very moment. There’s nothing better than spending a lazy weekend morning sipping coffee out of a beautifully crafted mug.

mug

Can’t get much better than MATCHING pottery. Homemade mini vanilla donuts, too.

If you happen to find yourself near Pembroke, MA, you MUST stop by Local Pottery. And if you live anywhere even remotely close to that area, make the trip out for the December open studio sale, I promise you won’t regret it! Bonus points if you make it to the opening night reception, which is on Friday, December 6th!

Wisdom from my Mom

Here’s a little unsolicited Friday afternoon wisdom from my mom…

“We can never rely on the world to tell us who we are or what our value is. We know our value intrinsically, and we need to understand that is a knowing with a capital K. It comes from God. Trust in the person you know you are.”

(Yeah, she’s a really smart woman.)

Month in Pictures: March

Questions for My Parents

It was a month or so into my freshman year of college when it finally hit me that I actually lived on my own. I needed to staple a paper I had written and it dawned on me that I didn’t have a stapler.. And for the first time ever, I couldn’t just walk down into my dad’s office and use his.

Since then, I’ve of course acquired things like staplers (tape dispensers, oven mits, wine glasses, etc.) on my own, but every now and then I have a “real world” question that I still need mom and dad to answer… And I’m betting you do, too.

My questions sound something like the following:

“How do you cook steak?” (dad)

“Does a can of tuna go bad?” (mom)

“Our fridge makes this helicopter noise sometimes.. That’s not normal, is it?” (mom)

“Do you put seasoning on burgers?” (dad)

“Is this a good grill?” (dad)

“So.. Can you teach me how to garden… Through the phone?” (mom)

“How do you use a lawn mower?” (dad)

“Will things.. critters.. bugs.. whatever.. crawl into my vacuum if I put it in our basement?” (dad)

“One side of our gas stove isn’t working… How do we fix that?… There wouldn’t be gas leaking because of that, though, right?” (mom)

“Are my wood floors waxed?” (mom)

“What’s the difference between olive oil and extra virgin olive oil?” (mom)

“I don’t have to get wet food for the cat, right? She’ll be fine eating dry food forever?” (mom)

What questions have you asked your parents recently?