Mother’s Day is almost here.
Ah, Mother’s Day, the day I used to look forward to receiving sweet hand-drawn cards and bouquets of flowers tied with string. Picked from the neighbor’s yard, of course.
I’m not going to lie. There were years I secretly wished everyone would leave me alone so I could watch Sex and the City. With a pint of ice cream.
My favorite Mother’s Day brunch memory? Strawberries on a bed of spinach leaves with a side of PB &J served smack in the middle of our family room. Not bad for a 5-year-old and 8- year-old. Today, forget brunch reservations with both of my kids. Raising teenagers, I get excited if they remember to SAY Happy Mother’s Day. On Mother’s Day.
As I look back at Mother’s Days past, sweet memories pop up, like the time I volunteered to sell gifts at Sowam’s School Mother’s Day Sale and by the time my daughter’s class arrived, I had to hand my daughter a $10 bill and turn my back so she could buy me a “surprise” dollar store candle and plastic picture frame. It was precious.
I raise my tea mug in your honor, moms.
And pray you get some time alone. At the very least, I pray you don’t have to do the dishes. I’m sure if you’re like me, you don’t mind doing some stuff on this day because if it weren’t for our children and the temporary insanity that they bring us, we wouldn’t be celebrating the day in the first place.
And we probably would be able to sit and binge-watch Sex and the City followed by cocktails until 2 a.m.
And I digress. Ah, motherhood. I could write a book about it. I actually did, back in 2012.
When I was deep in the trenches of raising my kids, I wrote an award-winning gift book that satisfied my need to share desperate moments of child-rearing with other moms. How to Spread Sanity on a Cracker is a light-hearted mash-up of anecdotes from me and other moms along with easy cheese dip recipes. A pink book full of mommy whines and cheeses.
I don’t know about you, but I experience a much deeper connection with moms when I’m not afraid to admit my imperfections. Through the years, I have found that the more mistakes I make, and the more I laugh at myself, the more willing I am to share my experiences and hopefully, in the midst of it all, put moms at ease.
In celebration of Mother’s Day, I wanted to share an excerpt from my book and host a giveaway.
This is a mommy whine of my very own and a cheese dip from a talented mom. I hope you enjoy it!
An excerpt from How to Spread Sanity on a Cracker:
VENTING 12: Chopped Broccoli and Vagina Tales
WHINE: Vagina Tales from Jackie
It happens nearly every time we get together with other couples. After dinner and a few glasses of wine, we women gradually end up three rooms away from our husbands and start swapping birth stories. Men will brag about their college drinking days, and the women will go on and on about giving birth. I know my husband is sick of me sharing my vagina tales, but I pushed two human beings into this world, so I believe that entitles me to have bragging rights for the rest of my life. It’s an inevitable topic. Had I done whiskey shots while riding on a roller coaster without puking, maybe I’d brag about that, too. After all, nobody tells you what really happens during childbirth. Sure—there are books, doulas, classes, and birthing coaches.
But until you go through it yourself, it’s like trying to learn how to drive a car without getting behind the wheel. It’s not even close. My husband and I went through birthing classes together; we watched the films, practiced breathing, and he placed his hands in a bowl of ice for 10 minutes along with me. It hurt like hell and I whined like a baby, but before I knew it, it was over and we were sitting comfortably in a restaurant in downtown Seattle nibbling on pad Thai. Needless to say, I had a tough time delivering my first child. No one told me it would feel like I had been run over by an eighteen-wheeler and would have to wear maxi pads the size of Texas for six weeks. But after it was over, I was in full-blown honeymoon stage, holding this unbelievable child that looked like ET’s little brother. I was in love. And I thought we were in the clear, until we brought him home.
CHEESE: HOT BROCCOLI DIP from Rebeca
My top recipe for this year is Hot Broccoli Dip, which is a variation of a recipe I found through Cabot. It’s very similar to spinach dip, with a few differences that can really make it stand out at any party.
1 (10-ounce) package of frozen chopped broccoli
8 ounces of Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar, Vintage Choice
Cheddar, or other premium extra sharp cheddar, grated
4 ounces of cream cheese
1 cup of parmesan cheese (add more to taste, if desired)
½–1 teaspoon of garlic powder (to taste)
½ teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
Place frozen broccoli in microwave-safe bowl; cover loosely with plastic wrap and microwave until hot and tender, about 9 minutes (do not add any water). Mash broccoli with potato masher until large chunks are gone. Add cheddar, cream cheese, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, and pepper to bowl. Cover again and microwave just until cheeses are melted, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Stir until smooth. (If mixture seems thin, it will thicken upon cooling.) Serve with crackers.