Family is Everything

I’m a strong believer in the phrase “Family is everything”. They will always love you, encourage you, and will be there for you when no one else is. I also vehemently believe that the term “family” does not have to mean blood relation. Some of the closest people to me are dear friends who I love even more than those who share my DNA.

I’m bringing this up is because my daughter recently did a Girl Scout project about her ancestry. While working on it with her, it got me thinking about my own ancestry and the true meaning of family.

For those who know me, you know that growing up I was extremely close to all four of my grandparents. My maternal grandparents were the quiet ones who showed love through cooking a hearty Sunday meal, or taking us out in the backyard to look at my papa’s vegetable garden. My paternal grandparents, however, were loving individuals who opened my eyes to the beauty of culture, travel, and simple pleasures such as that of a Beatles record or a game of cribbage. I vividly remember days spent with all four of these beautiful people who had such a large impact on the person I am today.

With that said, I’m very sad to report that none of my grandparents are on this earth today. Luckily, my three children got to meet most of them, and their stories live on throughout pictures, recipes, and verbal anecdotes. Therefore, I’m happy to share with you below some recent photos and a recipe I discovered & shared with my daughter for her project.

 

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My mother’s father in WW II with his picture of my grandmother always close by

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My paternal grandfather in the 1940’s. He had a wonderful smile 🙂

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My paternal grandmother as a teenager:  such a beauty

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My Nana in her younger years. She was so beautiful.

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My great-great grandfather who was born in southern England and immigrated to Canada in the mid-1800’s. Anyone who has ever seen my father will know that the resemblance between him and his great-grandfather is uncanny.

Irish Soda Bread

This recipe is from my maternal grandmother, Nora . She was born in America but her heritage was 100% Irish. Her family originated in the cities of Cork & Killarney in Southern Ireland.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp caraway seeds
  • ½ cup butter

Directions:

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt. Gently add remaining ingredients and once dough is formed, turn out onto a floured surface. Carefully knead dough and shape into a round loaf. Bake in 350 degree pre-heated oven (on a parchment lined baking sheet) for 45-50 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.

**Note: be sure to place an “x” on the dough with a very sharp knife before baking. This represents the cross, and the purpose is to protect your household. Although my family is traditionally Roman Catholic, it’s a nice way to honor the tradition even if you do not share the exact beliefs**

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In the future I can only hope and pray that my children (& grandchildren) will think of me as fondly as I remember my grandparents.

xoxo Robin 

 

Mommies are Humans Too

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“Mom I need you”

“Mommy I’m hungry”

“Mom can you help me with my shoes?”

Mommy, MOMMY, MOMMMMMYYYYYY

I hear that about 30 trillion times a day. If you’re a fellow mom, I bet you do too.

Now let’s switch gears. When talking to others, instead of introducing myself as “Robin”, I tend to say, “Hi, I’m _______’s mom”.

AND 9 times out of 10, whether I’m with my children or not, they become the sole focus of my conversation.

With that said, I believe it’s safe to assume that my children take up 99.9999% of my time both physically and mentally. But, is .000009% enough energy to allocate to myself? Probably not.

Make that Definitely not.

And…..that’s where we as moms need to make a change. No, we shouldn’t slack off as parents, or spend less time or energy on our children. We love them more than anything and want to make these years memorable. But in all honesty, we can’t forget who we are as people. Our roles are not singular.

This brings me to the main point of my post. When do we as moms (or dads!!!) stop remembering who we are, what we enjoy, what our hopes and dreams are……and put all of that aside to be known only as “so and so’s mom/dad”?

This topic is a difficult one and a sensitive one, but nonetheless, important. It’s something I have been truly struggling with over the last year.

HOWEVER, you and I alike, do not need to wallow or give in and think, “well, being a mom is the only important job in my life”, because IT’S NOT. So, I challenge you (as I challenge myself) to start by making a list of all your hopes and dreams. Sounds corny, I know. But it really isn’t. These dreams, or goals, could be as small as making time to eat breakfast in the morning or as large as a big career change. Then, after making this list, get together with a friend, family member, colleague, professional, or anyone else you feel comfortable with, and map out how you can get started working towards these goals. It doesn’t matter if you only make one ounce of progress, as long as it’s forward progression, it will help you. Good luck friend, I know we can do it!

xo Robin

PS- I’d love to hear from some of you as to what your ideas

and dreams are & what your plans look like. I’ll be sure to post mine too!