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the unconventional mother…

It has been a while since my last post. I wish I had a wonderful excuse. Sadly, I do not.

I have been busy, but not overly so.

Maybe it is the heat.  It has been in the 100s most of this week. We have all moved a little more sluggishly than normal.

Our upcoming trip to Vermont has me distracted with excitement. I have missed my family madly and my  two oldest children even more. They will spend the summer out here, in the Midwest, and are looking forward to all of the fun things we have planned. I am looking most forward to seeing their beautiful faces every day, and getting to hug them as many times as I can in the seven weeks they will be here.

When I got married at a young age, and had children, I never thought I would be added to the statistic of the “divorced“. I had dreams and hopes of raising my children in a loving family. Unfortunately this was not to be. Divorce is never a pretty thing, but mine was especially ugly, and after many a battle, we were left torn apart. Not only as a family but also as individuals. My children have always been absolutely wonderful in every sense. They have been through many changes, and somehow always smile through it all. They are brilliantly smart, artistic and well rounded. I could not have asked for more.

I met the wonderful man I am with today, while going through my emotionally and physically draining divorce, and we were blessed with a beautiful little boy.

A second chance at a family. It has never been conventional. Time share between homes for my oldest  was not always easy, but we were making it work.

And then two years ago an extremely sad event hit us all like a ton of bricks. My husband’s brother took his own life, and left us all devastated. Since his family was out here, 1700 miles from where we were at the time, we were faced with a very life changing decision.  His parents needed him near them during what was surely the hardest year any of them had ever faced. We decided to move to be closer to them for a few years, until we could figure out a better solution for everyone.

As I mentioned my divorce was a very ugly one. My Ex made the kind of money that afforded him a damn good lawyer. And since I had been a stay at home mother, I was basically on my own. Even though my children were my life, and I was the best mother I could be, a judge thought that my Ex was entitled to primary custody. His lawyer put a up a good fight, one that I, alone with no one to help me fight, did not stand a chance against. (I have always felt it came down to money, and the fact that the Judge and Lawyer were “friends” – that is another story for another day). Of course there is much more to this drawn out event in my life, but I have always struggled with the views of others regarding this matter. Because they assume that I MUST have done something to not get full custody. This is not the case.I guess in a way I have been labeled the Taboo Mother.

This was all six years ago. My children adapted much better than I. But we figured out a way to make it work.

I feel as if I am rambling, but wanted to give some background as to why my children did not move out west with us.

We talked about the move with our children for months before it happened. They were ok with what was going to happen. At the time I thought I would be ok, I knew that I would see them every few months. It is not nearly enough. Being a mother is something that has taught me so very much about love. About who I am as a person. I have learned that the only people who love you unconditionally, are the children you are blessed to bring into this world.

Life is rarely what we expect. There are surprises around every bend.

Right now, the twelve days I have to wait to see my babies, feels like a lifetime to me.

 

note: I changed the title of this post, because evidently “taboo mother” has a very alternative meaning from the one in which I was referring to. (go ahead, google it) 🙂 And I was getting a lot of search hits for this term, and very lewd comments….so a title change was called for.

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Posted by on pmpSun, 19 Jun 2011 14:36:52 +000036Sunday 4 , 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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linguini with white wine clam sauce

Every time I make this dish it reminds me of my grandparents.  I don’t remember my grandfather cooking very often, but this is one dish he always helped my grandmother make. Eating it always brings me back to our kitchen, where as a little girl, I would sit and watch them work as a team to create this simple yet flavorful meal. It was always made with lots of garlic and a ton of love.

White Wine Clam Sauce – serves 4

Ingredients

1 bulb of garlic, minced

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup white wine

13 ounces clams – minced (you can use fresh or canned – if using fresh you will need about 1/3 cup clam juice as well – if using canned do not drain)

4 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped  – or 2 tablespoons dry

Juice from half a lemon

Directions

Bring large pot of water to a boil.

In medium saucepan, over medium heat, combine oil, white wine and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and add garlic,clams (and clam juice) and parsley. Simmer for 15 minutes.

While sauce is cooking, cook linguini. (about 8-9 minutes for firm pasta). Drain pasta, and top with clam sauce and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

 
6 Comments

Posted by on pmpMon, 13 Jun 2011 22:09:26 +000009Monday 4 , 2011 in Recipes

 

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birthday brunch

Omelette on flatbread with fresh mozzarella, herbs&pineapple salsa

This was one of my gifts from the other half of WE. Brunch. What this man does with eggs is nothing short of amazing.  Tonight he is taking me out for Cajun food. I kind of have a crush on this man.

 
11 Comments

Posted by on pmpThu, 09 Jun 2011 17:08:02 +000008Thursday 4 , 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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he puts the happi in our ness

I have noticed a few bloggers participating in the Project Marriage and since father’s day is fast approaching I thought I would participate.

We are not the most conventional family, nor did we meet in a conventional way. We have been through more in six years than most will go through in 50 years of marriage. But through all that we have been through; laughter, tears, death, love, birth, and stumbling more than a few times along the way, I would not trade what we have for the world.

 

 

I love that this man can make me laugh when I am at my lowest. 

His smile lights up the room and my world.

He is silly, stubborn, fun, forgetful, is always running late, makes the best egg burritos in the universe, knows how to fix just about anything, gives the best hugs and makes our kids giggle like no one else can. (He will even go on rides that spin and go in circles,50 times in a row, because he is that kind of dad)  We don’t always see eye to eye, and we argue over the silliest things but we always make it a point to say I love you at the end of the day.

 

,

 
15 Comments

Posted by on pmpFri, 03 Jun 2011 13:33:02 +000033Friday 4 , 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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let’s bake something…

…..(my baking adventure with a 4 year old foodie)

This afternoon my little chef in the making wanted to bake “something”. I asked him what he wanted to make.

“Brownies”.

Isaac loves to bake and cook. And at 4 years old knows more culinary terms than some adults I know. He is not just satisfied with stirring when he is assisting me, he has to be an active participant in all aspects of whatever it is that we are creating.  I knew a boxed mix  would just not cut it. The last time we made those, he deemed them “boring” because there was “not enough stuff to add”.  Hmmm….an easy recipe that wont take forever and not make a giant mess. (I have things to do today) I knew just what to do. I searched the shelf of my  beloved Bon Appetit magazines.

I found a recipe I had not tried yet. It seemed easy enough and would not take THAT long. (and it didn’t, after I rescued the magazine from behind the couch, it slipped off the top. I almost had a panic attack. My couch weighs a million and three pounds. I may be many things, but super woman is not one of them. Thankfully the ends of the couch recline, and I was able to shimmy my arm just far enough to reach the mag. Crisis diverted)

I had my assistant go wash his hands, while I preheated the oven and gathered our ingredients. While he was washing up, he “accidentally” spilled all the hand soap down the drain and all over the counter. (at this point we are already running about 30 mins behind MY schedule).  I head to the bathroom to clean up soap (I know seems redundant doesn’t it) and then I smell something burning. Hmmm that is weird, I have not even put anything in there yet. I open the oven to investigate said smell. And what do I find? A sheet pan with remnants of chicken from last night. (ugh I should have known) You see, my husband has a horrible habit of leaving things in the oven when he is done with them. (does anyone else have this problem) I often turn on the oven only to be met with a awful charred smell moments later. SO ANNOYING.(but to give him credit, he usually cleans the kitchen every night after dinner, even though he almost always forgets that small detail).

Ok…back to the recipe.

We finally got our brownies underway.

COCOA BROWNIES with BROWNED BUTTER

This recipe is from the February 2011 issue.  Alice Medrich who is a chocolate expert (what a wonderful thing to be an expert at!) created this recipe. I left out the nuts called for in this recipe. If you prefer nuts the original recipe calls for 1 cup of walnut pieces.

Ingredients:

10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch pieces (I actually did not do this, I put them in the pan as is, minus wrapper of course)

1 1/4 cups sugar

3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (spooned into cup to measure, then leveled)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons water

2 large eggs

1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon unbleached flour

Preheat oven to 325 degrees (make sure there is nothing in the oven). Line 8×8 baking pan with foil, pressing foil firmly against pan sides and leaving 2 inch overhang. (give or take. I think i had way more then 2 inches of overhang). Coat foil with nonstick spray.

Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Continue cooking until butter stops foaming and browned bits form at bottom of pan, stirring often, about 5 mins.

waiting patiently for butter to brown

FINALLY

browned butter

Remove from heat, pour into medium bowl. Immediately add sugar, cocoa, water, vanilla and salt. Stir to blend.

Let cool 5 minutes. Add eggs to mixture 1 at a time, beating vigorously to blend after each addition. When mixture looks thick and shiny:

add flour and stir until blended. Beat vigorously 60 strokes (honestly we did not count how many strokes we made)

Transfer to prepared pan. Bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out almost clean. (a few moist crumbs attached) about 20-25 minutes. Cool in pan. Using foil overhang, lift brownies from pan. Cut and devour!

These are amazing. My new favorite brownie.  Even though it took longer then I wanted, so worth it! I got to spend quality time with one of my guys, and he had a blast. Nothing boring about these brownies!!!

And there is definitely NOTHING boring about this guy!!!

 
8 Comments

Posted by on pmpFri, 08 Apr 2011 15:33:53 +000033Friday 4 , 2011 in Recipes

 

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