Tag: ordinary

An Ordinary 48 Hour Weekend-Is It Just Like Yours?

Posted on April 4, 2015 by

Get ready, weekend.
My boys are both in their beds. When I check on the little one, he still looks like my three-year-old Bob The Builder. I’ll still make him an Easter basket today.

My furry 16 pounds of fury is curled up, quietly snoring by my side.

Fresh Sumatra steams within arm’s reach.

My girl is waking up in a tent in a Utah state park, ready for a day of climbing and paddle boarding adventures. I’m gazing at her senior portrait and trying not to wish she was here. 4 more weeks, but who’s counting after 12…

The crow’s cacophony woke me up – I’m glad they’re off on their adventures, replaced by the morning song of the mockingbird wafting through my open window.

A train whistles in the distance.

The wind has stopped for now; a reprieve before the storm rolling in tonight-just in time for Easter. Soon, Mom will arrive with a ham and potatoes and her beautiful smile. The boys will be happy.

mockingbird

Get set, weekend.
One girlfriend is baking 60 apple pies today to send her boy to China this summer. Another friend is missing her daughter’s 21st. My ski mama bestie is tearing it up on the mountain we love for her birthday.

Today, my weekend to-do list shouts out laundry and dishes and fill the bird feeders and grocery and mail L a package. Ironing (seriously, who irons?). Clean the house. Walk the dog. Hard boil the eggs and make pull-apart cinnamon rolls for Easter morning. I’ll probably dye them all by myself this year.

Easter eggs

And those virtual piles of never-ending Steinbeck essays (58 to be exact, but who’s counting after 93). Crap. That’s 6.76 hours right there…

And then there’s church. And weekend baking. Maybe yoga and a bike ride if I’m lucky and have some free time…

The sun is up now. Damn, I missed the lunar eclipse. The boys are all still sleeping. The dog is still snoring by my side. The mockingbirds are still singing, but my coffee mug is empty.

It’s an ordinary weekend. But chicks with coffee can do anything.

I’ve got 48 hours…is it just like yours?

GO!

 

photo credit: DSC_0088 via photopin (license)
photo credit: Mocking Bird via photopin (license)
photo credit: Easter Eggs III via photopin (license)

primark

Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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Real Love In Real Life

Posted on February 16, 2015 by

Author: Bagande

I haven’t read Fifty Shades of Grey or any of the sequels.

I don’t plan on seeing the movie, and I’m getting tired of all the media hype. Watching women coo and drool and act like what is depicted on those pages and projected on the screen is real love in real life is making me angry.

It’s no coincidence the movie opened on Valentine’s Day – media strategists are clever that way. And it’s bad enough that people feel the pressure to perform and produce on a day created to sell flowers and chocolate, but to add in this portrayal of romance and ‘love’ as some sort of meter for what real love looks like is shameful. And confusing. And frightening.

It’s commercialism at its finest.

In real life, we should be doing the exact opposite. We should be showing what real love looks like, for our sons and daughters and friends and anyone struggling with how to find, define and experience love in real life, outside of the screens and seductions of the media.

Valentine’s Day has never been one of my favorite holidays – I wrote about my youthful experience of feeling like it was supposed to be something – to mean something. I’ve been in love with the same man for nearly 30 years, and I have to say that my definition of real love has definitely changed since that day in my early twenties. Now that I’m a mom, and I’m watching the hype about love and relationships, I’m acutely tuned in to what my teenage son and daughter witness as examples of real love – and I can assure you, it’s not any shade of grey.

In my world, real love looks like this:

* a dad spending the day on the ski hill, coaching other people’s kids so his own can have the opportunity to race.

* a mom painting her son’s bedroom, painstakingly primering over childhood scribbles so he can have a more ‘teenage’ place to be.

* a teenage boy spending the entire day with his mom, doing errands and chores, so she isn’t alone.

* a college-aged couple taking a road trip to Vail, cheering on the U.S. Ski team and enjoying being together under the blue sky in the mountains.

* a furry black dog, nuzzling your hand in search of some affection.

* a young couple strolling along the creek on a sunny morning, pointing out how ducks swim.

* a father and son buying wood fencing at Home Depot, planning a vegetable garden for their backyard.

* a teenage girl bringing her teacher a red rose, just to say thank you.

* baristas at Dutch Bros decked out in pink t-shirts and tutus, gleefully pouring coffee and serving it with a smile.

* parents driving to Vegas and Mammoth and Antioch and Los Angeles early in the morning and late at night so their child can ski and play hockey and make that soccer tournament and they will be right there cheering them on.

That’s what real love looks like. It’s not on Pinterest or the movie screen. It’s not in the pages of a book about submission and domination, or in a box of expensive chocolates.

It’s in real life.

And it’s really, really good.

 

Bagande (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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Friday Photo: It’s Just Like Life

Posted on November 13, 2014 by

fall trees in California

It was the juxtaposition here that caught my eye; the hovering between the change of seasons, between permanence and the fleetingness of the moment. I ride by these trees every day, hurrying to school, never stopping to look up or notice.

It wasn’t until this month, when the light changed and the air cooled that I really noticed them – that I really stopped, looked up, and paused. It was the position, really, between the durability of the palm with its strong backbone, its wide, graceful fronds against the fragility of the pistache, finger-thin branches freeing themselves of vibrant red and yellow and orange debris.

It’s just like life.

One minute, we’re enduring life, riding the bumps and bruises and crests of the moment. We’re holding fast, occasionally throwing our arms up in glee, knowing that the immutability of what we know to be real is there to keep us safe. Strong. Comforted.

And right next to us, close enough to touch, a blaze is extinguished. A force at once vibrant and animated, slowly shedding its color in preparation for the next season. The next stage. To go dormant, to conserve its energy for what is yet to come. Fragile. Fleeting.

Both equally exquisite. Both equally elusive. Both equally extraordinary.

It’s just like life.

So I stopped my bike and snapped a photo.

Friday photos are a snapshot of life, a moment in time, an image that lingers. They’re my attempt at capturing the extraordinary in the ordinary – taking a pause to breathe in the moment in this wild and fleeting life.

p.s. – I think you might enjoy these Friday Photo moments from weeks gone by, when I captured a last gasp of summer, Dia de los Muertos and a harvest. Click over and take a look, and please, let me know what you think.

Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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Something – Anything – Pumpkin

Posted on November 5, 2014 by

Trader Joe's pumpkin bread

It all started with a need for something-anything- pumpkin.

A simple request from my girl, far away in her dorm room, sent me rushing through Trader Joe’s, dodging the UCD freshmen scavenging for their Friday night snacks. Jammed up in the produce section, I can see the hunger in their eyes – already the cafeteria has tapped their taste buds out. They’re dreaming about real food, the kind mom used to make. I see their longing for the day when they can go back to their own apartments, bags of groceries ready to indulge their home-cooked fantasies.

“What are you hungry for?” I heard them ask each other. Must be freshmen. Their voices had a hollow ring to them, as if they weren’t sure a) what their new roommates would think acceptable, and b) how they would cook it like mom used to. They had the wide-eyed look that only 18-year-olds who are used to having mom do their grocery shopping get. They are the ones who linger just a bit too long in the produce section, intimidated by the choice of pre-washed bagged mixed greens or an entire head of organic red leaf. I often hesitate there myself, just in case they want some ‘mom’ advice. Sometimes they ask – usually they don’t.

English: Trader Joe's produce

I feel it in their body language, the bravado of a puffed out chest behind their shopping cart, attempting to believe that yes, they can do this. Methodically, they place their items in the bright red carts. There’s no rhythm there – that comes with years of experience navigating the aisles.

And I wonder, is my girl this girl who walks away? Does she pause over the frozen ravioli section and then casually toss two bags in her cart, only to be shut down over the myriad of red sauce choices? Does my girl scan the produce section with laser focus, or does she hope for help in the shape of a forty-something woman holding a latte and shopping list?

On a care-package mission, I turned the aisle and there it was: the pumpkin display. No one in my house craves pumpkin now that she’s gone. I toss the yellow box of pumpkin bar mix in the cart. Why not pumpkin bread, too? In it goes, without hesitation. Tears crack the corners of my eyes. Somehow, I will fit it all in the care package. I have to.

I watch the students with a wistful smile, knowing their parents might be just like me, wondering and wishing they could get a glimpse into the ordinary moments in their life as an 18-year-old away from home for the first time. The look so young. Have they ever been grocery shopping before? Did their mothers teach them to compare prices, or how to pick a ripe melon? My inner mama is surging. I feel her panic. Did I teach her before she left? Is she making her smoothies and eating enough protein?

Standing in the frozen foods section, I feel an obligation rise up in me – a sense of duty to all those moms out there.  Somehow I must let them know their kid is OK, that they’re choosing the produce over the sweets and six-packs. How can I make known that they have a jacket on, and remembered their reusable grocery bags? I want to somehow tap these kids on the shoulder and beg them to just send one text, simply snap one photo of this ordinary moment – something – anything –  to let their parents know they’re smiling and happy and making friends. To give them a glimpse of the extraordinariness of their life…their growing up.

But I don’t say anything – that would be creepy, I hear my daughter’s voice in my head. Instead, I squeeze my eyes together, willing back the tears, and hope that 600 miles away, some mom in a grocery store feels my call, looks into my girl’s eyes, and smiles.

I’m ready now. I can do this. The pumpkin will arrive safely, like a hug from home.

p.s. – if you’d like to make your own pumpkin bread, click here for our favorite recipe!

Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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Friday Photo: A Day Taken For Granted

Posted on October 31, 2014 by

October, 2000

October, 2000

This is a day I cradle in the tender palms of my memory, a day taken for granted for its beauty, it’s fleetingness.

This is a day I likely smiled and laughed through part of, a day I possibly looked forward to and couldn’t wait to end.

This is a day when she was four and he was three and their entire futures were misty dreams before me, a day when there were no goodbyes or good lucks or glimpses of their life caught only on a screen.

This is a day of blessings, of bliss, of life pulling at my heartstrings.

This is a day of mothering, a day if only I could start again.

Friday Photos are glimpses into the extraordinary in my ordinary life. They are inspirations, remembrances and reflections that anchor this life, and honor all the brilliant moments that otherwise might pass me by.

Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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