Saturday, May 31, 2014

There you are! I knew you were here somewhere.

Once there was a young mother who gave birth to a little boy. She was so happy, so in love. He was her little man, her big boy. She did everything she could to give him the best life. She cooked for him, she cleaned for him, she kissed all his boo-boos, hugged him passionately, and prayed for his future wife. He could do no wrong in her eyes. The years went by, as they always do, and the boy grew up and she was always there for him, even when the world wasn't. He soon found a wife and created his own family and moved away. She was very sad to be so far away from her boy, not able to see him. She had grown ill and didn't remember like she used to, didn't remember anything at all. She slowly became unable to do much of anything for herself. Her husband had to step in and take care of her every need. This mother became trapped in her own body, unable to recognize the ones she had always loved, the ones she had given her all to, the ones she had taken care of were now taking care of her. Not even the boy who was her beginning and end was recognizable to her anymore. One Sunday afternoon while her husband was holding her up, helping her walk around the house she had made a home, she stopped and reached for a frame. Unable to use her hands to pick it up, her husband held it up for her. She hadn't been able to verbalize a complete thought in quite some time, just reacted with her eyes and would smile. But on this Sunday afternoon she spoke so clearly, letting her husband see his wife that once was. As she looked into this picture frame of her boy she whispered in Greek the words that would leave her husband breathless, "There you are! I knew you were here somewhere." Her husband held her, a little longer than usual, and wept as he realized that his wife is still in that frail body he takes care of everyday. She had been looking for her little boy all these years who isn't nearby to come and see her. There SHE was...he knew that his wife was here somewhere too. And he continued his walk with his wife around the house.

Friday, February 21, 2014

The Unicorn

Tonight my little baby girl Zoe was going to her very first Father~Daughter dance. Oh how she couldn't wait for this night. Her dad had a game to coach so he wasn't able to take her, but She found a willing suitor who not only accompanied her to the dance, but bought her a new dress and shoes for the evening.  Her dad sent her off with a matching bow and I let her borrow a very special necklace, the unicorn. It matched her green dress perfectly and acentuated her eyes. Oh how she sparkled. I remember that unicorn necklace wrapped around my mother's neck. She used to wear it often and I always admired it as a little girl. And as I put it on her tonight my eyes weld up in tears as I thought of my mom. Oh if she was well she'd be here with me right now helping Zoe get ready for her night out. Oh if my sister came over to make it an even more special night she too recognized the necklace and teared up. Tonight may little girl went to the ball with my prince long ago and my hero, my mom. We all saw Stella tonight through our little girl with a big name meaning life. Zoe, bringing life to all of us, even mom.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014


So as you can see I got a full time job this year (because I never post anymore!) and it totally kicked my butt! Our family went through a complete transformation in August, and although I worried how my children would react to this change, I am continually impressed with the ability of my family to rise to the occasion! Finally, after 7 months my life is working, I am surviving and my children continue to amaze me. I never thought this would all work out and we would be able to function as early as we do. My fears overcame me at the beginning of this adventure of going back to work full time. Doubts of being a good mother filled my head. And I felt so badly for my babies having to wake up at 5:45am every day so I could make it to Campus Club by 7:00 and to my school by 7:30. But you know what, every morning there my babies are getting up, slowly but surely, getting dressed, eating, and ready for their day. They amaze do these little bodies just adjust to life? They will be those students in college that can't sleep in and schedule all their classes before 10:00! 7 months and I finally got it down. Groceries, meals, lunches, gymnastics, basketball, soccer, wrestling, ballet, jazz, treats to school for birthdays, chef of the week, 7 dozen cookies for Christmas Decorating class party, teacher gifts, cleaning house, organizing school memory binders times 4, laundry, working out, all of this-finally gelling. Finally working...ahhh it's been a wild ride and I am so thankful for being able to keep up. The hubs and the kids, amaze this mama daily, and I wouldn't be able to do any of it without them!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

It's Been A While...

It's been a while since the last time I had a chance to sit and reminisce on the day, the moment, the minute when life becomes clearer.  Since the last time I wrote, I think I got a full time job, still working at the JC College in town, throwing and planning parties, and baking for whomever requests. Oh, I still have my four kids and the hubs...they are a constant. But today, today was one of those days when the week of too many job requirements, kid's activities, the hubs starting basketball season, and a couple of events and goodies to full-fill made it almost feel as an impossible moment. But as it always happens, everything gets done, everyone is happy, and a new week begins. I had a school dance, a district canned food drive to plan, promote, and show up and work at event, a dinner party to set up, a 144 cookie order to full fill, and a soccer party to attend, all while the hubs participated in the Hanford tournament...needless to say, I was overbooked. But I digress, today was one of those days that made me stop and appreciate a moment, a minute that will last forever. My mom's best friend Popi, my best friend Anna, and my sissy all came together to bake baklava, melomakarina, and gadaifi. All Greek deliciousness that Popi and mom would create every Christmas. And today in my kitchen we kept the tradition alive. My mother would never go to any party during December without a plate of baklava. It was her thing, her way of making everyone feel loved and appreciated. And today, in my kitchen, minus my mother, we kept her tradition alive. Popi even brought my mom's handwritten recipe for my beloved melomakarina. Words cannot express the joy I felt reading her handwriting as she shared her recipe with Popi. Our afternoon was filled with laughter, drinks, and memories that will never be far from my heart. These are the minutes in life that make everything seem so ridiculous, so irrelevant.  So after 5 trays of baklava, two trays of melomakarina, and a tray of gadaifi and a few too many drinks, we hugged and kissed farewell and pass out baklava to all our dear friends. Merry Christmas...
The these two to pieces.

Sunday, October 20, 2013


Dinner will end when I'm dead I guess...or when all my kids leave me and I have no one to cook for! Until then...this is what's cookin' in my kitchen this week!


Stuffed Pepper Soup

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork with Apples and Onions

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Left Overs


Salsa Chicken


Rosemary Chicken

Enjoy...some great recipes here this week! Can't wait!!!!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Karen's Coffee Cake

Tonight I pulled out an old recipe, one I have made a hundred times. But tonight I made it with some tears and a heavy heart. It was a dear friend's of mines recipe, one she was known for and was mentioned at her funeral this past weekend. I remember her bringing it to work one morning and me not being able to STOP eating it. She willingly shared her recipe some 20 years ago, and I have made it ever so often, receiving the same praise she did amongst those who knew her best. So tonight, I dusted off my recipe binder (now I always use pinterest-this binder has become lost in this house) and flipped through the plastic sheet protected recipes I had cut out from magazines and copied from friends. There it was, the recipe in its original form with her hand writing all around it. She shared her tips of how to make it better from all the practice she had with it. It's a simple recipe, doesn't call for much, but the memories from this cake and the sadness of her sudden death make it a very special recipe, one I made tonight to remember my friend. It may say Dee's Coffee Cake on the top of this recipe, but it has become Karen's Coffee Cake tonight and forever more. Cheers to the kitchen and all the memories it holds~I've literally been in it since 3:30.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Weekly Menu October 7-11th

Another week has gone by which only means another week of meal ideas and planning are already upon us! Last week we made the recipes listed and I had to give a one thumbs up and one thumbs down for the chicken family ate it all, but reluctantly...need more flavor for me, but otherwise not too bad. Never got to the one pot wonder pasta, but will attempt this week, I will include a much better version here today, one you can actually read. And I am super excited about the Enchiladas this week! Have some great dinners this week! Here we go again!

One Pot Wonder Pasta I'm adding some basil to this recipe!


Arroz con Pollo
This is a new one for us...I will not be using the olives though.

Crock Pot Honey Sesame Chicken

Honey Garlic Chicken

Have a wedding but making these Enchiladas for the weekend for the family to feast on...
Chicken Enchiladas Recipe from
Chicken Enchiladas