Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Boy Who Stole My Heart

Sixteen years ago today, my life changed in ways I never could have imagined and I fell hopelessly, completely in love with the cutest dark haired boy I'd ever seen. As soon as our eyes met, I knew it was forever!

I was 20 years old and I was finally able to hold the baby I'd carried for nine months. Marcus was my first child and while I knew I'd love him, I had no idea how much and how instantly that would hit. Anyone who says that love at first sight is not possible has never been a mom.

I've thought about what I'd write today to share with you.

I thought maybe I'd write about how Marcus came to be. (A short-lived relationship with a dark, brooding, tattooed man on a motorcycle).

I thought I'd list all the things I love about Marcus. (it's a damn long list)

I thought I'd tell you all his amazing qualities and the nice things he does and how much he cares for others (and has every since he was born).

I could tell you about his name and how I couldn't decide until he was three days old (after he was born William Patrick just didn't seem to fit, I had to come up with alternatives)

I thought I'd share a picture and show you how handsome he is (unfortunately the girls think so too, ugh)

I thought I'd share a few embarassing but heart warming stories (like the time he stood in the bathroom door at McDonald's naked screaming for Mom). Yeah, he'd kill me:)

But none of them seemed quite right.

You see, sixteen years ago today as I lay in the hospital, exhausted from labor, I was scared. Terrified that I would never been good enough for this boy. I didn't feel worthy of this blessing and I was scared to death that I'd screw it up.

For nine months, I worried about labor. Would it hurt? Would he be ok? Would he have ten fingers and ten toes? Would I be able to nurse? Would I need a C-section?

But as they placed him on my stomach, that all fell away. I mumbled something and that little baby's blue eyes looked up at me. The books I'd read informed me that he couldn't see very well. But I swear, when he heard my voice, those eyes looked up at me like he recognized me and I knew I was a goner. I'd never be the same! It was also the very instant I knew there was God. I just remember thinking over and over that there's no way he could be explained by science alone!

Marcus was beautiful, with a headful of dark thick long hair. My heart would feel like it was breaking or exploding every time I looked at him and thought "He's mine."

Marcus and I went home three days later and I used to sit and look at him, marvelled at how wonderful it was to be his mom.

And that's what I've done ever since. I look at him now, grown up and I'm still amazed that I'm his mom. I still don't feel worthy. I still worry whether or not I've done a good job.

I worry if I've instilled the right morals and values. I think I have but he's now at the age for those things to be tested.

I worry about whether or not I've taught him all the important things in life.

I knew my life would change when the baby was born. What I DIDN'T know what how much my life would change when Marcus arrived.

Marc has taught me about the important things in life.

Enjoy each day. Too many times, we're so focused on the future that we don't realize the milestone happening today. When our babies sit, we want them to crawl. When they crawl, we want them to walk.

Laugh often and deeply. It's okay to chuckle and enjoy a joke but when was the last time you belly-laughed? Marcus taught me that.

It's about the experiences. We all want our kids to have things and lord knows they'll ask for them. But it's the experiences that count. I can buy Marc an Ipod, I can buy him video games, but the thing he remembers is the time we spent together.

Love unconditionally.

Be a good person.

Yep, my life changed for sure. For the better. Forever. This boy came in and stole my heart. Happy 16th Birthday Marc!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


To me, Easter has always felt hopeful. It's always made me think winter is shaking off the greys and the world is coming back to life with pinks, purples, green, and blues. After months of snowy wintery wonderfulness, I'm ready to move on to flowers blooming, baby animals in the fields, and all the beauty of spring.

I'm ready to put away the heavy coats and sweaters that I loved months before and bring out the flouncy skirts, colorful pretty tops, and sandals.

My cravings for potatoes and cheese and heavy comfort food is quickly replaced with cravings for asparagus, fresh fruit, and more water.

The best way to describe it is Change! I think it's the Sagittarius in me. I really get bored and like to change things up and that's what Spring is. Changing the landscape, the weather, and the "feel" ....

out with the old, in with the new. That's exactly how this Easter felt.

Out with the old (Blonde):

Me and Marc at the Los Lonely Boys Concert middle of February.
And in with the new (dark):

Me, yesterday
So my Easter weekend started on Saturday. My good friend Renee (also my fabulous hair dresser) helped me get a new look for Spring. While my hair "processed" she gave me a manicure and after my hair was done, we did a moisturizing facial. It was a great way to start the spring!

On Sunday, we celebrated Easter with the kids. This is where I admit I'm an awful scrapbooking mom. Can you believe I didn't take a single picture all day long (except this one of my cheesecake):
Yes I know. I win mom of the year.

It didn't work out for us to have all the kids at the same time. So in the morning, we had Easter breakfast with my kids from another mother....Alex, Zach, and Emily. (Don't be offended, I think it sounds better than stepkids). I made Eggs Benedict, hashbrowns, fruit salad, and a Dutch Baby.

If you haven't tried a Dutch Baby, I recommend it. It's super easy and super yummy. It's sort of like a pancake and a crepe. I serve it with fresh fruit, dusted with powdered sugar. Here's my recipe:

Dutch Babies
  • 2 eggs

  • 1/2 cup milk

  • 1/2 cup sifted all-purpose flour

  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg

  • 1 pinch salt

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar for dusting

    1. Place a 10 inch cast iron skillet inside oven and preheat oven to 475 degrees F (245 degrees C).
    2. In a medium bowl, beat eggs with a whisk until light. Add milk and stir. Gradually whisk in flour, nutmeg and salt.
    3. Remove skillet from oven and reduce oven heat to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Melt butter in hot skillet so that inside of skillet is completely coated with butter. Pour all the batter in the skillet and return skillet to oven.
    4. Bake until puffed and lightly browned, about 12 minutes. Remove promptly and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
    After breakfast, Rob and I had a little alone time. Then my boys, Marc and Nate, were home. We got to have dinner together. I made ham, mashed potatoes, deviled eggs, and broccoli. For dessert I made Chocolate-Glazed Coconut Almond Cheesecake from my newest Taste of Home Magazine. That's the picture above. It was delightful. Here's the recipe:

  • 1-1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs

  • 1/3 cup flaked coconut

  • 1/3 cup finely chopped almonds

  • 1/3 cup butter, melted

  • Filling:
  • 3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened

  • 3/4 cup sugar

  • 1 tablespoon coconut extract

  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten

  • 1 cup flaked coconut

  • Glaze:

  • 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • Toasted shaved coconut and chopped almonds, optional

  • Directions
    • Place a greased 9-in. springform pan on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. square). Securely wrap foil around pan.
    • In a small bowl, combine the cracker crumbs, coconut and almonds; stir in butter. Press onto the bottom and 1 in. up the sides of prepared pan. Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
    • In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in coconut extract. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Fold in coconut. Pour into crust. Place springform pan in a large baking pan; add 1 in. of boiling water to larger pan.
    • Bake at 325° for 45-55 minutes or until center is just set and top appears dull. Remove springform pan from water bath; remove foil. Cool cheesecake on a wire rack for 10 minutes; loosen edges from pan with a knife. Cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight.
    • For glaze, place chocolate chips in a small bowl. In a small saucepan, bring cream just to a boil. Pour over chocolate; whisk until smooth. Stir in vanilla. Cool slightly to reach a spreading consistency, stirring occasionally.
    • Remove rim from pan. Spread glaze over cheesecake. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until set. Top with toasted coconut and almonds if desired. Yield: 12 servings
    So Yummy! FYI - Taste of Home is my most favorite recipe magazine. It's always filled with recipes using ingredients I have and filled with tips and things I didn't know. It's really affordable too. If you haven't received an issue, click here and sign up. It's definitely worth it! Oh and they have a great special offer right now - only $5 a year for any one of their three magazine. Their Healthy Cooking magazine is one of my faves!!

    Hope you all enjoyed your Easter.