Category: motherhood

inspiration, motherhood, parenting

twenty five

“Becoming a mother is life altering.” I hear that. I read that. I laugh at that.

Obviously, we are not talking breaking news here. Yes, becoming a mother alters you life. Forever.


“Alter” is nice, polite. A pleasant word for change; a slight, sweet modification, perhaps. The perfect dress that just needs to be slightly altered, a hem. Pin, tuck, sew. There…perfect. Altered.

In regards to pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood, “alter” is more of a tsunami in the Bermuda Triangle of physical body change, emotional mental upheaval and a soulful evolution that grounds your life’s existence on this planet.

Alter? That is precious, but it doesn’t even come close.

25 years ago today, my life was not altered. My life was shattered. Shattered into a million, brilliant beautiful pieces of light, that have since rained down over me, reflecting all that is good and true and funny and beautiful in this world.

A million, brilliant laughs with a million, brilliant happy tears.

A constant brilliant shower of an authenticity, a shining light that I had never known, yet recognized immediately. 

Strong, intelligent, beautiful, courageous, assured, nurturing, wise, creative and the funniest goddamned person I know.

Whatever she does, wherever she goes, she and I will always carry that moment inside us. When the million brilliant pieces of light shattered, rained down from the heavens, blew gracefully through the early morning warm summer Texas breeze and whispered, “mom”.

Happy Birthday, Jordan Adeline.

July 8, 2015

twenty five

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decorating, motherhood, parenting

The Californians

So, I spent an “awesome” week in “Marina Del Rey” with my daughter, Jordan. (Say it like the SNL skit, “The Californians” for full effect.)

We, of course, had our lists of songs, videos, movies, trailers, tweets and memes to share with one another. Pour us a couple of cocktails and the two of us are off babbling like third graders on some sort of wild, extreme show and tell.

That is what I love best about our mother daughter relationship. We get each other. We are movies and music and NFL and superheroes and pirates and comic con wanna-goes. We do not shop, but if forced to, it has to be fast. In a mall or department store, we will lose the ability to verbally communicate in about 30 minutes. We don’t pour over fashion mags or celeb rags. But, we can go into full-blown geek mode with showing each other the latest mind-blowing “Star Wars” or “Avengers” meme. We swoon over food and cocktail recipe porn on Pinterest.

Mostly, we are simply entertained by making each other laugh. That is our relationship. We don’t bicker. We laugh. We do not argue. We laugh. We do not judge each other. We simply laugh. We are in a constant celebration of the 23 years of sheer entertainment we have continued to provide each other. We are pretty damn proud of ourselves. Even when we are the only ones laughing.

There is always the perfect movie or TV line for every situation, that serves as a salve to every hardship we have ever had to encounter. Laughter is our comfort food and our favorite cocktail. Well, more like the perfect garnish to our favorite cocktail.



There are those that know us and understand. There are those that know us and think we are freaks.  Jordan and I have never fought, yelled or bickered. Ever. And it is all her. She was born with the temperament of a wise, seasoned traveler. The patience she showed me, Helen Keller-ing my way into new mother hood at 23 was mind-boggling. (It would prove to serve me well with my son.)

Jordan brought out my bravery, honed my confidence and taught me that competitiveness was overrated and would bring nothing but stress and possibly Yellow Jack Fever! (I dramatize. We’re from the south and big fans of Bette Davis’ Jezebel. And … Read the rest

motherhood, Uncategorized

Friday Funny

So, My Girl is off in Los Angeles. With her Boston University Film/TV Degree in tow, she landed a job in record time and she is pursuing her dream. Making movies.

Making me laugh is one thing that Jordan does best. Always. She is the funniest person I know. A dry, sharp wit ever since she could speak.

There hasn’t been a trauma or drama where she couldn’t make her mama laugh.

Since it’s Friday and I’m missing her so badly, I am sharing her recent Mother’s Day card.

Man, I love that girl.
Man, I love that girl.

 What can I say? She makes me laugh.

Happy Friday, Jordan. And, Cheers! It’s almost 5:00. Well, in Texas anyway.

photo Jennifer Granger Photography
photo Jennifer Granger Photography

 … Read the rest

books, motherhood, parenting

the end of teenager-dom





The Boy turned 20 this week. My baby is 20.

Just like when I turned 30. 40. Reflection is inevitable.

Larkin and I have had more than the lion’s share of teenager-dom. 17 years. 17 years straight of raising crazy, wonderful, lying, beautiful, self-centered, manipulative teenagers. As Jordan aptly replied, “Puh, teenagers…they’re the worst.” Right?!

I see them. My contemporaries. Celebrities and dignitaries my age. Damn, they look good. But, did they have to raise teenagers for 17 straight years?! I am making frown lines on my brow, as I type.

When you hold those babies in the hospital, gently brushing their faces with the scant wisp of your forefinger, you never imagine the teenage years. The time period in which you will become the un-coolest, dumbest, “you don’t understand” version of your parents. Simpletons, really, just trying to manage on the same planet with the mood-changing creatures you created. A creation you honestly question a few times as they change plans, yet again, miss curfew or simply roll their eyes for the umpteenth time.

Tick, tock. The bells toll.





Joshua is 20. He is filled with a wisdom and a deep soul that I have seen before. He is swimming the pools of his father’s waters. I am in awe. Cautiously optimistic, yet still in awe.

Jordan, graduated from Boston University. Moving to L.A. Headed to Hollywood with determination, wit and wisdom, far beyond her years. Strength and grace. She is simply amazing.

Nicole, an entrepreneurial success, just like her dad. A talented, creative photographer in Austin. Making her own magic happen.

Monica, our oldest. Determined, charging her path, claiming her career as a successful Houston lawyer. Never doubted it for a minute.

Together, the four of them, all in their 20’s. (At least for a few month’s anyway.) Each live in a different city, across 3 states. One goes down, the other three rally. They are lucky. We are lucky. And grateful.

Dear Children,

I raise my glass to the four of you. We made it. You grew up. You matured and/or are maturing. Each of you, your own pace. I won’t name names.

Thank God you are not the same kids you were from 1996-2013. May those goofy, clueless, lovable souls live on, deep within your hearts. Personally, I hold every one of those stay up all night and worry years, Read the rest

empty nesters, health, home, lifestyle, motherhood, recipes

For Julia


When I began this post, I didn’t realize I would be posting it on the 100th Birthday of Julia Child. A recipe post is very apropos. Her legacy lives on in every food blog, every recipe “Pin” and every Instagram picture we share. Creating good food is an art and social media has helped up become part of this Food Appreciation culture.

Julia encouraged us all to simply TRY. She is the Godmother to all of us, the kitchen goddesses and gods everywhere, that play in our kitchens each day cooking, baking, entertaining and sharing our love of food.  Happy Birthday, Julia!


Everywhere I go, people are kicked into high gear “Back to School” mode. Especially this past week, as I have been helping my sister and her teacher/friend/colleague decorate their classroom. (Jen, what the ‘h’ do you call Carolyn?) As you can see, I have had to turn on my “teacher speak” since working at a place that molds and shapes young minds. Not easy when a hammer, nails and a power sander are involved. That is how my sister and her teacher friends speak…”What the “H”?!…”Don’t be such a ‘B’!”

That is why I could never be a teacher. I would yell, “What the HELL?” Then, open the TOP drawer of my desk for my flask. Why even bother hiding it in the bottom drawer? I have raised four children. I know exactly where the stash should be hidden: Within reach.

I remember those getting ready days. All the forms to fill out, the summer reading to cram in, the packets to pour over, trying to wind down summer sleep schedules for the brutal early mornings around the corner. I lived it. I loved it.

I do not miss it.

I listened to my sister and her friends going over “first day” itineraries and lesson plans. As I worked quietly on the bulletin boards, all I could feel was relief and gratitude wash over me. Relief, that I do not ever have to receive an email from “EDLINE” again and Gratitude, that the good Lord up above gave me the strength to survive emails from “EDLINE”.

(FunFact: Edline is an online service for students and parents to keep up with grades and assignments under the guise of being helpful, when really all it does is stress you out entirely.)

Being an empty … Read the rest

lifestyle, motherhood, Uncategorized

Reflections at 46

Reflections at 46

This is me.

Those silver highlights running through my hair are from endless grocery store runs, dinner on the table every night, science projects, Halloween costumes and birthday parties fit for a king.

Those lines on my forehead are from late night fevers, broken bones (some unnoticed for a day or two), stitches, college decisions, and the constant question: Am I doing this right?

The puffiness under my eyes from the late nights of waiting to hear that car in the driveway, or hear that boyfriend or girlfriend NOT go in your room, roughly 3,240 school mornings (never late!) the shared tears over broken hearts, bad decisions and sappy movies.

The smile lines around my mouth, as I watched Christmas mornings, prom pics in the front yard, graduations, college acceptances, fearlessness, gumption and leaving home to conquer the world.

The laugh lines around my eyes are the evidence of true living. Laughter is my default mode. I am thankful to have them; there to remind me of how much fun it has been. God, how we laugh.

Today I celebrate 46 years and I am thankful for every one.

For my birthday, I am so pleased to have my Pilates mentor and trainer, Joseph Vargas, PhD, guest post this wonderful piece on aging.

Aging gracefully.  

If by that we mean, “Just let it happen, don’t fight it”  then, hell, no!   I ain’t going down without a fight! Aging chronologically is inevitable and should be welcomed.  After all, we should all get better with age, right?  But, the truth, “getting better with age” does not just happen.

Getting better with age psychologically is the result of examining our lives (previous decisions, choices, actions etc.) and learning from them and honing ourselves into “better”.

Getting better with age physiologically means makes wiser and wiser choices as to how we fuel and exercise this gracious and forgiving vehicle which we inhabit all the years of our lives; being smarter and appropriately more attentive to it than in our wilder days (or should I spell that “daze”?).  Ah, good times ,yes.  And, even better times can be here now and in our future.

Whenever you see someone who’s “older” and looks fit and whose posture (both attitudinal and physical posture) is striking, you can BET that it didn’t “just happen”. Those individuals were interactively involved in this dance we Read the rest


For My Boy-Child

Happy 19th Birthday, Joshua! I love you, mom.

Boy Child’s Heart


There is a particular section, in a boy child’s heart

Whose love sits purest, among definite cell part

Ignited in the womb, started never to cease

Delivered in a room, our love beginning to speak

Natural love comfort comes from

Maternal’s beauty, driving thunderstorm

Onward and So forth

Brought in, just to give out

Her most beloved creations

Then, to raise right and send out

The most genuine version

Of possible variations

I hope to one day be a Job Well Done

But for now,

and always

My mother is loving

And I am her loving son.

 -Joshua Stallings 


 … Read the rest

motherhood, parenting

Because I’m a Mom

From the moment my daughter Jordan walked into my room in pain, I was “on”. That is what moms do, it’s one of our strengths. I don’t turn into a panicky mom. I use humor and laughter to get through. We dressed in minutes, made it to the car and laughed all the way to the 24 hour ER clinic, in between breathing through sharp stomach pains, of course.

It was odd for me to have the admitting and attending nurses address all questions to my daughter, not me. She is 21, now. An adult. She was amazing to watch as she described her condition over and over to the various health professionals. After an hour and a CAT scan, it was determined she needed to have surgery…quickly. Now, the phone calls.

I am a Latina. From a long line of strong, Tejana women. Once the phone calls start, widespread prayers, candles and vigils spring into action. I am the ONE who has to keep it together. I don’t fall apart. There are others who will, but not me. Because I am a Mom, I am the rock. I am the comic relief. My husband and I opted to drive our girl to the hospital ourselves. My parents and my sister met us there. (Mexicans do not wait alone in waiting rooms.) The Boy, our son Joshua, waited with friends. My oldest stepdaughter joined us, as well. Everyone was concerned, but understood it was a routine surgery but, still…it IS surgery, as my mother reminded me.

Jordan and I had a few good laughs in pre-op, before they wheeled her away. Our “thing” is quoting movie/TV lines. We did lines from “Arthur”, “Friends” and to keep it a little dark, “Steel Magnolias”…”Open your eyes, Shelby…open, open open your eyes”.)  I’m sure some people think we can be inappropriate at times, but humor has ALWAYS been our default mode.

In the waiting room, my husband was way more unnerved than I expected. She is Daddy’s girl, alright. I had to keep him up. My parents, who have been through their medical nightmare this past year with Dad’s heart attack and surgery, were worried. My sister, the awesome “cool aunt”, was helpful and attentive to my parents, so I could concentrate on my husband. Separately, in the waiting room, there was a young woman, who upon receiving good news from a doctor … Read the rest