Monday, June 24, 2013

Summer Salad: A Recipe

We hit the jackpot when we moved from big city Dallas to small town East Texas and right next to Ms. Becky. An elderly widow who cooks, bakes, grows her own vegetables, and is generous beyond words. My family is spoiled regularly with her tasty, buttery dishes and indulgent desserts- good old fashion desserts. Last summer, she brought over what she called Summer Salad. A sweet, vinegary mixture of squash, zuchhini, cucumber and sweet slices of onion scattered in. All of Ms. Becky's creations are delicious but this was by far one of my favorite concoctions.

I had an abundance of squash this weekend and with squash not being one of my favorite things to eat, I wondered what the heck I was going to do with it. And yes, the copious squash came from Ms. Becky. I decided fairly quickly that I would whip up summer salad, so I got Ms. Becky on the phone and jotted down the recipe.

"Oh honey, that recipe is about a hundred years old. Like me."

1/3 cup white vinegar
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/8 tablespoon pepper
1/4 onion
2-3 squash/zucchini/cucumber

I actually tripled this recipe to make 5 jars. I poured all of the ingredients, except the vegetables, in a bowl until the salt and sugar dissolved. Then I filled the jars up with the thinly sliced veggies, poured the vinegar mixture in to the top, stuck a lid on and left it in the refrigerator for twenty-four hours before eating. It's the perfect cold, sweet and salty summer snack. You won't see me grilling squash this summer.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Mommy Secret Revisited

I often look back to the days of bringing my first born home, staying up all night, cluster feedings, and bouncing my baby up down to calm her crying. Most days I want to go back and kick myself. I want to go back and grab my new mom self by the shoulders and say "This? This is the easy part!"

Yes, the easy part.

Shortly after my oldest was born I wrote this post on my friend AP's blog. Reading back, I remember exactly what I was feeling. And yes, I will say at the time it was hard. But it was me being hard on myself, not my child.

It's okay to not know what you're doing. It's okay to say, "I don't know what's wrong but let's figure this out!" And those books? All the ones you've carefully read and highlighted through? They don't help. They serve as good references but they are most certainly not one size fits all.

Babies cry. And that's okay. You don't need to shut them up right away. You are not doing anything wrong. They are just doing what babies do.

It's okay not to take your friend's, neighbor's, mother's, or even your doctor's advice. Mother's know their child best and sometimes you'll make the right decision. Sometimes you won't, and that is okay.

Your baby is not that baby. That baby you see and compare him to and wonder if you're doing something wrong because your baby is not doing what that baby is. Your baby was created perfectly to be the child that he is. And you? You are not that mom, but you are everything your baby needs.

The hardest part is knowing that even though it's hard, it's okay.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Are you there, God? It's Me, Patty.

I grew up only going to church once in awhile. Easter, Christmas, funerals. When Grandpa yelled at me. I would go, but it didn't stick. I didn't have a ton of friends that practiced religion on a regular basis so that influence was just not present in my life.

This year has changed me. Maybe because I've matured or because it's my choice (as oppose to Grandpa yelling at me) but I have recently had a strong desire to go to church. Recent events, such as the Newtown and Boston tragedies, have left me feeling so much anxiety for my children. A million questions run through my mind and it's enough to make me crazy. What if that happened to them? What would I do? Am I allowed to club people that try to hurt my children? Am I allowed to kill them? What if that happens to me? And my kids don't have a mother anymore?

(This is the point at which my husband officially thinks I am living the vida loca, if you know what I mean.)

All I can really do is pray. But...I don't go to church. Why would God listen to me? Why would He make time to comfort me if I have never really made time for Him? I am not sure if that's how the whole prayer thing works, but it makes sense in my brain. I don't want to wait until something terrible happens to me or my family to decide we need prayers. (Truth be told, with two children two years old and younger I need Jesus every day at about five p.m but I digress...) This is the year, the year that we load up the infant and toddler and go to church as a family. Even if the toddler has to go potty five times during mass. Even if we have to hold our wiggly baby while receiving communion. Even if we have to remove stickers from the pew that the toddler has so thoughtfully placed. We are going. We are going.

And we do.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


I just deleted every single post from this blog. I kept a couple that I wanted to save, as drafts, but everything else is gone. It's taken me about a year to figure out where I was going with this blog. I wasn't sure if I would just keep updating with the mundane events in our lives or attempt to monetize it, or just delete the whole thing all together. The truth is, I enjoy writing. Whether I am good at it or not is a a different story, but I like sitting down at my computer and typing away.

So with my deleted posts and naked blog, I start anew. Some stories you might have heard, some are brand new. But I finally know what I'm doing.