Nine years as a mom? Really?

Watching Lance turn 9 has been a treat. And a study in amazement, disbelief (9??? ALREADY???)

Our first family photo

One of my dear friends is fond of saying, “Every age is my favorite age.”

I get it. Because that’s how I have felt every minute of the last nine years—ten, really, because the moment I learned I was pregnant with my firstborn, I was in thrall with the very idea of being a mother. From the moment Lance was born, I was in thrall with the idea of being his mother. And there hasn’t been a minute of his life that I haven’t found something to wonder at, to marvel at—even in the inevitable moments of exasperation and frustration.

This morning, talking to my mother-in-law, I shared the fact that Lance’s birthday party guests are all friends he’s known since birth.

And I noted that he had a couple of play dates this weekend that were so easy—the kids getting along seamlessly, the parents having the ability to trust them to entertain themselves, that I wanted to just freeze him at this age. “At least you know it won’t last forever,” she remarked, wryly.

Still, I could remember how every year has been a good year, how lucky we are to have been blessed with a child who has been healthy and happy for his entire life, who has known the security of a safe, loving home, supportive parents and a village of people around him invested in his success as a human being. The tween years may loom, but these facts, I hope, will carry us forward through the challenge of helping him grow into each phase.

As I toured an online album of his first weeks of life, I found myself reliving the profound amazement, disbelief and gratitude that this precious little person had been entrusted to us. That feeling has never faded, but sometimes it takes a backseat to the daily juggle of school-homework-karate-dinner-bedtime.

On this day, I want to wish our Lance a Happy 9th Birthday, a year filled with wonder and fun. His curiosity amazes me, his passion for all things tech-y, his ability to push himself to do things that scare him, to absorb the lessons life hands him, to talk about his feelings, to devour books—big, long, complicated books, to tell jokes—good ones, to find the humor in almost any situation, to be able to dive into his religious studies with interest, to have a clear idea of what he wants, and to have a handful of friends who truly “get” him is more than I knew how to wish for him in those early days of his life.

Ski jumper!

Pizza chef!

My rider of bikes, skier of mountains, teller of jokes, giver of hugs, cooker of meals, lover of dogs, guardian of little brother, and cuddlier of mom and dad—I can’t wait to see what you do next. Happy 9th birthday, kiddo. You’re the best!

Why I obsess (intermittently) about cooking

Readers of this blog, and of my FB page/Twitter feeds, will notice that I am a little obsessed with the fact that I’m a crappy cook. My husband, bless him, repeatedly lets me off the hook for this, “Nobody expects you to cook dinner…so don’t.” And I find that when I heed this, I do better. I plan on a few low-pressure dinners a week—picking up prepared stuff at Whole Foods—sushi, rotisserie chicken, sides; baking a frozen lasagna (I like Michael Angelo’s, because it tastes fresh, believe it or not); making “cheater’s flatbread” from Pillsbury Pizza Dough in the can, with some goat cheese, rosemary , EVOO, and balsamic and tossing a salad to go with it. Then, when I have the time and patience, I’ll put together a low-key, low-effort dinner. Garlic roasted chicken and tomatoes, roasted cauliflower tossed with red peppers, pine nuts and balsamic was a recent hit.

But in case you are wondering why I put so much pressure on myself, it’s because not only is my husband a killer amateur chef, but so are some of my best friends . Just check out this post from my pal Florida Keys Girl, and note that we were the guests at the first dinner party. Yum. She did leave out that more than a splash of wine wound up on my white jeans—for which Florida Keys Girl was quick to provide a spray of WineAway. My new favorite product.  (I could have cared less, FlKeys Guy, if you’d actually ruined them, given that they were $17 pants from TJ Maxx, but you didn’t!)

Wine Away Signature Pack

(photo borrowed from Go there and buy this stuff. It’s awesome.)


Best leftover turkey idea, yet!

So, of course, I’m looking forward to the awesome meal Ski Dad will prepare for Thanksgiving. But what I’m ever-so-curious about is what on earth we’re going to do with all the leftover turkey? Well, if we have our thinking caps on, we’ll make some of the Deer Valley Turkey Chili that is a signature menu item at Deer Valley Resort. And if we’re really smart, we’ll borrow a page from the idea books at the Deer Valley Grocery Cafe, a year-round restaurant that carries take-and-heat versions of resort favorites, and a dine-in menu that’s clever and fun. I’m yakking about the best-ever application of Turkey Chili I ate at the DV Grocery Cafe, today, on my Deer Valley Resort Blog. Read it and…drool. I give you….. Turkey Chili Nachos.