the kids are alright (we’re ok too) and why it’s important to have girl time…

IMG_2128 every once in a while a few of my friends get together for some much-needed girl time.  we are all moms and sometimes we need to take a  few hours to cut loose without the kids.  once, we made what could have been an ill-fated trip to ikea in portland, but instead it turned into a wonderful day-long road trip with a stop in hood river, great food, beer, conversation and company.  even though things didn’t go as planned, the day turned out better than we could’ve imagined!IMG_2213this weekend we got together at my house on one of the hottest days of the year and we just hung out in my kitchen drinking cucumber freshies, talking about life, sex, kids and having a great time unwinding from life.  we actually all had our kids with us this time and, even though they ranged from 17 months to 15 years, everyone got along splendidly and had a blast playing and watching movies downstairs while we hung out.

the afternoon turned into an impormptu dinner of salmon, rice and corn that my husband cooked for all of us and the kids.  a significant other or two joined us and we had a most lovely evening.IMG_2183when i think about the bond i have with this particular group of women, i realize that the most common factor is that we are all moms.  we are all strong women and our mom-ness doesn’t define us but it is definitely something very important to each of us. it joins us in a kind of unspoken understanding.  it doesn’t phase us that, more often than not, we don’t finish a sentence because someone little interrupts us, or that the conversation can bounce from subject to subject in the blink of an eye with no cohesion.  i love the bond that i have with these women.  we are all so different, but so much the same too.

cheers, girls.  i love you.


p.s. i’m working on getting the cucumber freshies recipe posted along with the apricot goat cheese bites.

a note on friendships…

this post has been banging around in my head for a week now and i think i have my thoughts in order enough to say what i want.  i want to talk a little about friendships.  specifically friendships with other women.  if you know me personally, you probably know i don’t have lots of close girlfriends.  i never have been a woman that surrounds herself with other women; i’ve always felt more comfortable around men.  maybe it is because i was a bit of a tomboy growing up and i feel more comfortable conversing about “guy” things.  whatever it is, i have over the past few years been consciously cultivating friendships with a few women.  soul sisters that understand and accept one another unconditionally.

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these women have been with me and gotten me through some of the hardest and most joyful times in my life: my divorce, marriage, birth of the twins and many jobs come and gone.  they are my rocks and sometimes the reason i roll.  they are never afraid to push me when i need it, hand me a tissue, tell me the truth and laugh at the silly things in life.


some of my friends have been going through some tough things of their own lately and i have been thinking about how women can succeed in life, especially when they have a village of soul sisters to lift them up.  and how i see a lot of stumbling blocks in our way.

sometimes i see blogs that disparage women for being “pinterest moms” and “overachieving” or “lazy” or “working moms” or “stay-at-home moms.”  see what i’m getting at?  it feels like women are being set up for failure.  maybe this is the reason i’ve never had a lot of girlfriends.  there seems to be a lot of drama being created by the media and these bloggers and, maybe, i bought into that…for a while.

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but not anymore.  i decided a few years ago to really work on my relationships with my lady friends.  and i’m so glad i did.  i still think there is drama out there, but i choose to surround myself with like-minded women, who also don’t buy into the drama and bullshit.  we are women who have busy enough lives that we don’t stir up any extra insanity.  we tell the truth – sometimes painfully. we support one another in our endeavors and our trials.  we are different and talented and love and celebrate those differences and talents.  we lift one another up and encourage instead of tearing one another down.  i am so thankful for the women in my life because they are rare gems.  shining lights who brighten the world with their presence.


i am endeavoring to be a better friend and it is something i do not take lightly and it is something i work on every day.  they say that a rising tide raises all ships.  i believe this is true and want to be a part of that rising tide for the women in my life.



a note on mother’s day…



i am blessed to have very strong women in my life.  my mother is a kick-ass stay-at-home mom who ran the parts counter at my dad’s motorcycle shop and also runs her home like a boss and like it is her job (because it totally is) and i grew up next door to my paternal grandparents.  my grandma ruth owned her own drapery business with her sister in the 60’s and 70’s and decorated some of the most prominent homes in the phoenix area.  later, my maternal grandmother moved to phoenix from california, a few mile from our home, and worked at the local library and gardened like the master gardener she was.

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i grew up with these women surrounding me, teaching me to love, live, work and create using my strengths and taking no shit from anyone.  i learned that being a women meant being true to myself and my strengths.  that it was powerful to be a woman.  that there were men in the world that unapologetically respected strong women (thank you daddy, papa earl and my husband christopher) and that i could do anything i wanted.  i learned to bake, cook, sew, garden, hammer nails, use power tools, build anything i put my mind to, fix the house, and build my first car.  all while being captain of the cheer squad, vice president of the student council and salutatorian of the graduating class.

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i could never haver become what i am now if it were not for the example of these women in my life.  my sister is the most amazing mother and college professor.  my mom runs a tight ship at home, showering us with love and light,  and, together with daddy, made our life happy and comfortable. my grandma ruth kept papa earl in line – and that was a feat in itself (miss you so much papa.)  grandma jerry began a life on her own after the sudden death of papa john and made every minute count.  i learned the values of hard work, commitment and love.

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now, i have the example of my mother-in-law, carole (who was and is an amazing single mom) and christopher’s sisters who are all amazing mothers and women.  my nieces are all strong and confident young women.  my best friends, shane, chelle and felicia are amazing, mothers; working like none other to make their families happy and successful.  these are things i try to implement in my life and in how christopher and i raise our boys.  my hope as a mother is to raise my boys with a respect and reverence for the power of women. to treat women no differently than they would men.  to be respectful and kind to everyone, regardless of gender.

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i would not be where i am without the women in my life.  to you i give my thanks, love and heartfelt respect.  thank you from the bottom of my soul.


love and cheers!