All this talk of food

We’ve been cooped up for years. Okay, that’s an exaggeration but sometimes the long days feel like years. The cold weather keeps us in and the lack of things to do with a large family, keeps us away from things. Let’s just say, it’s never a good idea to take 5 children into a place like an arcade. It never, ever ends well. So except for a couple of playdates and pre planned adventures, we’ve mostly been throwing the football inside the house (grumble) and watching crap TV. Oh and eating.

I like to take the cold days and bake. The oven helps keep our kitchen warm. It never seems to stay that way. Who ever built the house’s addition, I don’t think they insulated it properly. Everyone loves the bread. We made two loaves yesterday. One was lovely and the other was like a soapy lemon bar. Barf. It called for Lemon Essential Oils, and I added way to much.

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The kids cleaned up to the good loaf in about 27 seconds. Completely warm, covered in butter and honey. Knowing how much they love it, I want to make it for them every day. A labor of love. Unfortunately, I only have enough honey for one more loaf till grocery day. Luckily, well, depending how you look at it, they go back to school today and so not as much bread will be eaten.

We love food. It’s probably why, despite the baby being darn near, two, I’m still carrying the extra 10/20 pounds. I like to cook for the most part. My family isn’t that excited about many of the things I try and make. My husband specifically has issue with meals without meat. I try and avoid those now. But one this we love is guacamole and they say I am pretty darn good at it around here. I might even be the best.

I don’t really have a “recipe” but here is how I make it.

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What you need:

  • 5/6 ripe avocados
  • 1 medium size plum tomato, chopped
  • 1 medium size red onion, chopped
  • 1 medium size jalapeno, chopped and seeded or if you like heat, leave the seeds in
  • 2-4 limes, fresh
  • Cilantro
  • Garlic, cloves or if you’re like me, in a jar
  • Salt
  • Garlic Salt

Cut and peel avocados. Add remaining ingredients and mash with a masher. Stir in lime, salt and garlic salt to taste. Easy.

I tend to use more garlic and lime because I like that tanginess but be sure to taste with the “vessel” you’ll be serving your guacamole with. A salty chip mixed with salt guacamole is a bad idea. So you have a fine line.

And eat it in one day, because I don’t care how many tricks are out there to keep it fresh, I think the metallic taste you get from old guacamole will ruin it as soon as a day after.

It’s our favorite. And I hope you like it too.

Food says “I love you” here. Knowing what keeps my little people’s bellies happy, makes me happy. I love teaching them how to mix and measure and finding out whether one likes coconut while another is more fond of banana. I love how knowing what they like, I can give them some personalized attention, with a cookie or a slice of warm bread or even a bowl of dip while we watch their favorite movies. And it’s these little bits of knowledge that I will tuck away for when they’re far away at college or wherever and need a tiny taste of home. I think food is a big part of happy family memories.

I fondly remember as a child going to my Grandma E’s house. She’s always have lemon cookies and cheese for your broccoli. We’d often have lunch together and talk. I can remember the first time she met my future husband. Twirling the thick noodles of The Blue Parrot and teasing him he needed to eat more. Many of my memories of her are tied to food. And all are good, wholesome and love filled. From pizzelles to Furr’s Cafeteria to a half baked meatloaf my mom made, she finished and we shared to celebrate the birth of my sister. I miss her very much.

Fond memories and food. Such good things. What are your fondest recipes and the memories that go with them?

Hi! I’m Gail, the voice behind Mimicking Motherhood. I started blogging after the birth of my 2nd child as a way to connect with far away family. Things have definitely changed since then. Now, mama to five, this is a place to help connect with other mothers, who feel like me.I love to make and write all while trying to figure out how to be myself in the world of anxiety and depression. Glad you stopped by.

Afraid

findyourself-01Today I got feedback from a Fiverr client that my drawing for them was too childish. I was sort of taken aback by it because if you look through my portfolio, everything is childish. Literally everything.

My proportions are never just right. My color choices are often straight out of a crayola box. There is no doubting my art when you see it. It’s childish. I know that. I know  but the sting of hearing someone didn’t like something I *love* and though, even after looking through my portfolio, that is was too childish, made me feel like I have no idea what I am doing. That I’m too “childish” to do any good.

I put mostly all my photography on the back burner. I pulled my Facebook page after the holidays and stopped both marketing and accepting new clients. I will, only take who I want and do the preschools I love but that’s it. No more weddings. No more babies. Shutting that door was hard for me. Even if it’s still cracked open slightly. I couldn’t take it. I couldn’t make it. I couldn’t watch as I was barely staying afloat. I couldn’t figure out how to market or edit or sell myself. I couldn’t get past my own doubt. Or my idea that I wasn’t good enough. I couldn’t  get paid, I couldn’t charge right, I couldn’t book and I just couldn’t anymore. My feelings got far too tangled inside a business. I should’ve left it a hobby. Because me and business? We do nothing hand and hand.

I failed at my photography business because I sabotaged myself. Well my stupid brain did.

Now, moving forward I’ve fallen back into working graphic stuff. I say stuff because I really have no idea what I am doing most of the time. I am totally, 100% self taught. I watched YouTube and read a lot and I hoped and prayed I was delivering the right file types. And I don’t reach outside the logos I sell on Fiverr because I don’t know how to deliver a business card that’s universal. What if I send the wrong thing and I have done all that work and now they want their money back? And no one ever picks me on 99 Design but I keep at it even though each elimination is like a stabbing. It’s all squished up in my head. It’s like a big, brain shaped road block. Because let’s face it. I’m really, really afraid.

Afraid.

What makes it easy for some and hard for others? I watch people do it all the time. People who are no more trained than me, or talented than me. Most of the time they’re just like me. So why, why aren’t they so afraid they just can’t start? How do they beat the scary monster.

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I’ve applied to a ton of different places. Target, Giant and other local places. I had one interview last year at a place I really, really wanted to work but because of the schedule, we decided it just wouldn’t work for our family. So this, this is my job until my availability opens up or I can figure out how to go 24 hours a day without sleep. Staying home sometimes makes me feeling guilty. I’m not a great housekeeper and there are many days when I make something frozen for dinner. I read too much. Trying to figure out how to start. Trying to make sure I am doing it right so that I don’t end up cleaning up messes from not having any real training. And I like to play trains more than I like to do the dishes. But I don’t work and when we struggle, I often feel like it’s my fault. Because I don’t provide anything but child care and worry.

And I LOVE my art. I love it. I am very proud of it, most of the time. I can’t imagine people don’t get tired of seeing it but I loved to show the process. And I love to hear when it brings other people joy. I just wish I could get away from my monster and use it to really better my family. Because that’s all I want. To make sure my family it okay. I keep taking the classes and reading the books but I am afraid to really jump in. Because I am so afraid to fail.

So I wonder? How did you beat your scary monster. Even if he was just a two dimension, mint green, grinning idiot? How do you get over the scary hill? How can I just do it, go for and stop letting the fear of failing win. Because I really want to leave a mark somewhere, even if it’s just my own notebook, in my desk….

Hi! I’m Gail, the voice behind Mimicking Motherhood. I started blogging after the birth of my 2nd child as a way to connect with far away family. Things have definitely changed since then. Now, mama to five, this is a place to help connect with other mothers, who feel like me.I love to make and write all while trying to figure out how to be myself in the world of anxiety and depression. Glad you stopped by.

Happy New Year, blog-style

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Before the holiday some one hacked my blog. I couldn’t log in and the back up didn’t work and out of frustration, I  just decided to wipe the slate clean and so, here it is. A new start. A new blog. I am hoping to fill it with different things. Like most every year, I am hoping for a happy year. Instead of a sad. Only this year, I realize it’s only me who can make it happy.

Christmas was fun. I am not a Christmas person so to say it was fun is a big leap. We took Devlynn to NYC, we saw all the neat stuff in Philadelphia. We had a new Christmas Eve tradition. I have to share that video with you all.

We started our new year in Orlando, with the entire cast of Disney and it was awesome. I never in a million years thought I would be one of “those” Disney people but I am totally hooked. What they say is right, it is the most magical place on earth. It’s also the most crowded. I don’t think I have ever seen so many people in one place at one time. A bit of a struggle for introverted me but with a good plan, I think we did okay. Collectively, we had no idea it would be that busy. Looking back though, I don’t know why we would of thought otherwise. Every child in America is off school at the time we went, ha ha ha.

Still I wouldn’t change a thing.

We managed to ride all the “must dos”, I think. Pirates or the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, It’s a Small World, Space Mountain. We rode Dumbo, the Barnstorm and the 7 Dwarfs. We we able to half the Epcot countries and saw Nemo and the beautiful aquariums there. The kids and dads got on the ride inside the Epcot ball. Dinosaur, the Lion King show and Everest made the list as well as the Bugs Life show, twice. We saw the safari animals and petted the goats and lambs. We were able to ride the water ride without getting too wet. We sang along with Anna and Elsa, trained to be Jedi, road with Rebels. I about peed my pants on the Tower or Terror and again on the Rockin’ Rollercoaster… and we had dinner with Mickey Mouse. MICKEY MOUSE! We were Space Rangers, swam with Ariel, we road the Speedway and we met a Level 3 (oh Stitch, how Sissy loves you). And I am probably forgetting things, oh wait I am! Splash Mountain, Dole Whips and Tom Sawyer! I cannot believe how much we got done in five days at the parks! There were fireworks too and so much food. It was the best trip. The best.

I honestly never thought I would get my whole family to Disneyworld. As a large family, the entry fee alone is daunting. Even for just a few days. My parents really made a dream of mine come true… I am so very thankful for the memories, even if it came with a new Disney addiction. I have already begun trying to think about how to get them all there again. It was one of the most fun things I’ve ever done. Seeing it through the eyes of bigs and littles. It was fun to be a kid again. It was fun to feel a little well, “normal”. We took our first real family vacation. We didn’t have to say no. I felt like a normal family.

Now, it’s 2016. We’re home. I’m back to being buried under laundry and work. Trying to have a changed outlook but it’s hard and I getting buried under rain clouds. But like every new year, it feels like there is an opportunity for change and new beginnings. I want to try to embrace that. Write more, worry less, create more, worry less. Be me and not ashamed of me. And stop worrying about it all.

New Year, new changes, new me.

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I took down my photography Facebook page. I will still continue to take my big accounts and the occasional small client but I think I’ve burned that candle almost too long. You can only keep a business of life support for so long, before you have to wish it well. I love my preschools but I just cannot keep with the other and so my focus will remain there. Preschools and the like. It’s nice to have those couple gigs a year. I hope to branch away from Fiverr at some point. It’s helped me realize I can do graphic work but it’s also taught me I am worth a lot more then I make. I just need to figure out my next turn on that path. And I want to craft more. Here especially. Because it’s fun to share. It’s fun.

So there it is. 2016. The best vacation ever. The typical New Year post.

 

 

 

Hi! I’m Gail, the voice behind Mimicking Motherhood. I started blogging after the birth of my 2nd child as a way to connect with far away family. Things have definitely changed since then. Now, mama to five, this is a place to help connect with other mothers, who feel like me.I love to make and write all while trying to figure out how to be myself in the world of anxiety and depression. Glad you stopped by.