Sunday, December 20, 2015

Motherhood and miles and cookies


Ayyy...it's been a week. I'm chipping away at my Christmas preparations. On Thursday, which is my day off from work, I had a very well-choreographed plan of attack to get some things off my to-do list. My husband threatened to derail my plans when he announced that I needed to stay home to wait for his deep freeze to be delivered. He's a homebrewer, and he uses the freezer to store his beer. Don't ask--he doesn't freeze it. Anyways, panic ensued. There was no way that was happening. He was not happy, and he ended up rescheduling the delivery to next Saturday.

I'm sure he had no inkling of all the things I had to get done. Here's what he thinks I do on my day off:

www.annetaintor.com
But here's what I did. Of course, I went for a run. Then I went to see Becky for CrossFit. I felt much better and I headed to the mall to power shop. Once I got home, I took my youngest son to get a new phone--it was long overdue--and to get a haircut. We spent a nice couple of hours together, and when we got home he helped me with my Christmas cards. As a reward for helping me, I made his favorite dinner.

Then the rug was pulled out from under me.

I was helping him set up his new phone and the texts started coming in from his friends. I saw some things that I'm sure he didn't want me to see. Actually, I didn't want to see them either. He had a panicky look on his face.

Here we go again. Same song, different station. I felt like someone punched me in the stomach. Just when we thought we were done with all that nonsense--my oldest son has put us through the ringer the past couple of years--here we go again, only this time with #2.

He's my athlete, my honor student. And after what we've been through with #1, I didn't think I'd have to worry about this one.

Apparently, I do.

We grounded him. He accepted his punishment without anger or argument. We talked. I told him how much I hate punishing him. He told me how badly he felt.

I hope he remembers this.

In the meantime, I'm back on the Christmas prep. But first things first. Even though it was bitterly cold, I went for an 8 mile run to the retention pond. Reliable as always, the road helped me reflect and gain perspective. Initially, I was feeling pretty badly about my abilities as a parent. What have I done wrong?

But as I ran and reflected, my perspective shifted. I stopped beating myself up and I started to feel badly for my youngest. Because of what we've had to endure with his brother, maybe my youngest has had to live up to an unrealistic standard. He should be allowed to do stupid things, right? Because that's what teenagers do. I know I did my share. The important thing is that he does whatever he needs to do, stays out of trouble, and gets it out of his system. This blip doesn't mean that he's going down a bad path. He's got good grades and he's active in his sports. He assures me that he's on track.

During my run, I stopped to take a picture and captured the sun in my warrior 1 upstretched arms.


Ready to head home from the pond, I ran directly into the brutal wind. I so wanted to bail on this run, to call my husband or one of my sons to pick me up. But that's not what a warrior does. I finished my run and warmed up when I got home.

I felt empowered for finishing that tough run. And for working through my mama drama. The boys will be ok. So will their mama. Thank you, running.

After that run, I felt so much better and ready to tackle my to-do list.

I baked.
I shopped.
I wrapped.
As always, Christmas is going to come together.

I made lots of cookies Saturday. All my cookies are nut-free because we have nut allergies at our house. Christmas+EpiPen=Emergency Room is a holiday buzz kill. Been there, done that....

You won't miss the nuts in any of these, trust me! I make all the favorites of the men in my house but every year I try a new recipe. Sometimes they end up on the keeper list!
Twix Sugar Cookie Cups
This is a new recipe this year and all I can say is make these.

Peppermint Cookie Bars
A nut-free take on the toffee bars my mom used to make when I was kid. My personal favorite.
Cocoa Snowflakes
My youngest son's favorite. I make a double batch.
Raspberry Strippers
The only "healthy" cookies I make. My husband's favorite.

Molasses sugar cookies
These are my oldest son's favorites.

How's your Christmas prep going? Any glitches you want to share? Are you able to keep up with your workouts? Do you like to bake? What cookies do you make? 

I'm linking up with Holly and Tricia for their Weekly Wrap. Hoping everyone had a good week!









90 comments :

  1. What an amazing Warrior...YOU and the pic that captured it all ;-)My baking has started, but I don't have much of that left to do. The gift wrapping has also started....but there are still a few more odds & ends to that as well. Cards are all addressed, but awaiting that dam* annual letter to be completed/formatted/printed, etc. And, this time next week, we'll be in California (YIKES!!!)....so I have some serious packing to do....

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    1. The gift wrapping still hasn't happened. It will. I'm just happy to have those cookies done. So is my family!

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  2. It's good to hear that running helps you reflect. Being a parent is HARD, but it sounds like you are doing a great job! This will be our first Christmas living as expats, so I have no idea what I'm doing ;) Merry Christmas!

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    1. I wish I felt like I was doing a good job! Sigh. I feel like I'm hanging on a ledge...

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  3. Sorry to hear about texting drama with your son. It gets so hard to figure out the right level of freedom to give them in the teenage years. Sounds like you were very busy. Good job on the run and those cookies look amazing! I pinned the post for cookie reference (yay, finally on Pinterest!! awesome!)

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    1. One of my goals for 2016 is to figure out Pinterest!

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  4. All of those cookies look amazing! I feel like I'm going to have a baking extravaganza when we finally have a kitchen again.

    This weekend was cold here too, we were all talking about how it felt extra cold since it's been so warm lately. Christmas eve is supposed to hit 65 - which is insane!

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    1. It's going to be warm here too for Christmas. Fine by me!

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  5. Parenting is no joke indeed. I'm always here if you need an ear, hug, or someone to share a glass of wine or a run with! Xo

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    1. It's not an easy job, at all! Thanks for the empathy!

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    2. You bet. I know you'll understand when I say I read so many blogs and FB pages about how wonderful parenting is and the bliss of Motherhood, and I have to often shake my head and wonder why I am missing out on all that bliss? Did I get passed up? As much as I love my daughters, they sure to test my will most days. <3

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    3. There's been my share of bliss! Especially when the boys were little. But the teen years have been really tough. This will pass...

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  6. That time on the pavement is therapeutic. I guess that is why I go into such a frenzy when I have to sit out. Sometimes it is crazy how different I can feel after I have a good run. Maybe I am just crazy...lol
    I hope things quiet down with your son.
    The treats look amazing! I have enjoyed my far share already, I need to throw my scale out!

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    1. I keep thinking...what if I couldn't run? Ayyy...I won't think about that.

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  7. One mistake does not a bad teen make. He'll be OK. Your cookies look fantastic. especially the Twix cups. I completely scrapped the candy I was supposed to make. All of the ingredients are still sitting on the counter waiting. Ride 60 miles or create sweets? I rode. It's pretty good therapy too. I did get most of the wrapping done and all of the groceries for Christmas Dinner. I just hope my sister doesn't expect a clean house. At least I'll have someone to run with while she is here! Enjoy your Christmas week Wendy and thanks for linking!

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    1. My sister is Martha Stewart, so at least I'll bring my game in the cookie department! The clean house? That's what dimmers are for...

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  8. Nice pose! Love it. It does sound like you have been crazy busy these days! Remember to breathe!

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    1. I keep thinking about that. And I'm breathing...

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  9. Every child will make some mistakes and should be able to do so....glad you changed your perspective. You made all these cookies???? I'm so impressed....I'm inspired to bake! You had a baking marathon for sure!

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    1. It was a marathon of sorts, wasn't it? Tasty and therapeutic...

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  10. Oh, those treats look good, especially the twix sugar cookie cups! Sorry to hear about the drama with your son. Hope it's all good and he stays on track. Have a great Christmas!

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    1. I highly recommend those Twix cookie cups. O.M.G.

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  11. Seriously. You're a machine. Look at all you accomplished. You and the boys will be ok. It's a feeling I have.

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    1. I think they will be fine too. It just really threw me for a loop. Nothing's ever smooth.

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  12. Parenting is so damn hard!!!! I feel you and my boys are only 6! A run is the cure to all, isn't it? It's so great to gain some much needed perspective out there (and an amazing picture!!) and then come home and just be ready to tackle it all. Good for you! Also, I suck at baking so could you send some of those delicious looking cookies my way? Thank you!!

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    1. So so so grateful the run! It gives me so much!

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  13. GIRL I read this and want to invite you over here. Napping movies popcorn – – relaxing :-)
    This jew is a huge believer :-)

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  14. From everything you've written, I do think this is just a blip. And no doubt oldest son is an influence, as well, what younger brother doesn't want to be like his older brother?

    My husband is on vacation this week. Which makes him think I'm on vacation too. I wish! Not that I'm busy with holiday stuff, but unfortunately I'm busy with Chester & the normal minutiae of my days. And I HATE that the first thing he does in the morning is turn on the tv.

    I love to bake, but I'm already struggling with those extra winter lbs (and winter's just starting and until this weekend it hadn't even been cold so what's up with that?) so very little baking going on.

    What is going on apparently is a stye on the inside of my eye. I didn't know you could get them there! Always something.

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    1. Funny you should mention my youngest wanting to be like his oldest...he told me that's the one thing he doesn't want to do. Glad he's paying attention!

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  15. Girl, you did work! I helped other people do work as the official quality control arbiter of taste(s). I'm very good at my job.

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    1. There's always room for a good quality control person...

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  16. Its amazing how one tough run can leave us feeling empowered and ready to tackle a to do list that feels forever long. Way to find that motivation, Wendy!

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  17. Ugh - I'm sorry about the issues with your son. No fun. I haven't hit that teenage stage yet with mine, but my 5 year old son is super hyper and we're trying to figure out how to manage that before he hits Kindergarten next year. Trying a no dairy diet right now. They'll drive you crazy, right?!

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    1. You aren't kidding. I see all kinds of kids in my clinic. It isn't easy no matter how they behave!

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  18. Wow, amazing job on the cookies and the warrior pose photo! And on the parenting. It sounds like you handled it really well, listened to your son, and then got a lot of perspective on his point of view on the run. He's lucky to have a great mom :)

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    1. I hope he thinks that! He's a pretty great kid. Trying to push him back on the straight and narrow.

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  19. Sorry your son has gotten into a bit of trouble, but it seems like he's learned his lesson. Glad that run was able to help you sort things out! All of your cookies look amazing...I haven't baked a thing, but I've got a ton of goodies at my sister's that I can't wait to dive into, but I have to wait til Christmas Eve!

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    1. I think so! He cleaned up the basement (it looks amazing) and now he's got his freedom back. I hope he behaves...

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  20. I always love the home alone clips. We almost forgot my daughter when we left the house so early for our flight. Have a great Christmas!

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    1. I love that movie! So many good one liners too..

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  21. haha! Oh yes-- waiting for a delivery. The hubs and I have had that discussion before- he know sends stuff to his office or Sat delivery :-)) A girl has to be mobile!

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    1. Seriously! And I only have one day off during the week! It is more relaxing to go to work.

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  22. Running does the same thing for me... it helps me regroup and focus on what really is important. :)

    This is our first week of Christmas break... so I am wrapping, baking, and trying to fit in all the fun holiday memories I can with the boys. :)

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  23. Your baking looks amazing. What a busy busy gal you are. Hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas.

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    1. I'm looking forward to the day after Christmas, when it's all done! Altho I do have to work...

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  24. I think your run gave you the right perspective on your son. We do make mistakes and boys will be boys. Try and take a deep breathe mama it is all going to be ok. I've said it before, this too shall pass.

    You accomplished way more than I did with all your shopping and baking. Oh my the pictures of all your goodies are making my mouth water. I never have enough time to do all I want to do. Wendy, I hope you have a wonderful Christmas this year! I hope you and your family enjoy this time with each other!

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    1. I still need to wrap gifts. My son called me...apparently the dog got into some of the stocking stuffers ugh....

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  25. I am sure, no I KNOW you are a wonderful momma because from all the things you have ever written about your boys, I can tell how much you CARE. And someone who cares as much as you do must be a good parent. You have the perfect perspective- teenagers do dumb stuff. We all have done DUMB stuff, and we turned out okay.

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    1. I agree with Megan. If we didn't do dumb stuff how would we learn ? And since I did some really dumb stuff in high school and college, I am actually pretty tolerant. And I don't tell my kids about the dumb stuff I did... it might give them ideas.

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    2. I did my share of dumb stuff. I'm still embarrassed thinking about my escapades...I don't share much with the boys!

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  26. Parenting is hard. We had some drama Saturday night. My daughter and her friend went to a party. The mother had called to ensure they were going to be at my house, I told them about the holiday party (adults present) and they would be going out for a couple hours. So I was fully responsible. Until my daughter came home. Without her friend. Yeah, that didn't go over too well with me. She finally came home but I didn't address the issue until the next morning, when I was calm and rested. That was a really good choice, because I felt I didn't respond with anger. I was actually pleased how I handled it but boy was I mad Saturday night....

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    1. Ugh...the friend as excuse...that's a tough one. Glad she came home eventually...

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  27. Wow! Those cookies look delicious! I'm eyeing those twix sugar cookie cups and raspberry strippers! Glad you were able to think things through on your run about your son. After all, running is therapy. It is for me! :)

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    1. So many times, the road is my therapist. When else do we busy moms have time to think things through? Without being interrupted?

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  28. Running provides the best perspective on anything in life, doesn't it? Your cookies look incredibly delicious, especially those chocolate snowflake and molasses sugar ones!

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    1. Not much healthy on those plates, but lots of yum! Thankful for running for turning me into a calorie burning machine!

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  29. Love that warrior picture! You are a warrior and a mom, toughest job ever! You were on a roll with those cookies, lucky family with all those treats, now I want to make some! Keep smiling we have almost made it to Christmas!

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    1. The cookies were the easiest part of the weekend. Then the dog ate the stocking stuffers. Yay me, I get to go back to the store...

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  30. Awesome pics lady! My mouth is watering! Sorry about the parenting woes.. sigh.. but awesome on getting everything else done ;)

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    1. That's what we do, right? We get it done.

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  31. It's amazing how working out can give me a whole new perspective or appreciation for things. Those cookies look amazing! You'll have to share the recipes!

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    1. You can click on the captions--I linked to all the recipes.

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  32. Don't beat yourself up! Teenagers will be teenagers. The good news is he knows he did something wrong, he felt badly about it and hopefully he will move forward in the right direction and it won't be nearly as bad as with your eldest. In the meantime, enjoy the holidays and all of those delicious looking baked goodies!

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    1. That's exactly how it played out. Only 2 weeks left of Christmas vacation!

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  33. OMG, those cookies look amazing! I need to get working on mine! We are pretty boring with ours and I stick to my family recipe of chocolate chip cookies. They are always a big hit. But those twix cups? OMG. So sorry you are having more teen drama!!

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    1. Oh, the Twix cups. So GOOD. My son told me they are better than the actual Twix. I'm riding high on that one...

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  34. ahh, parenting. I fear the teen years! Sorry sorry you are going through all of this now. Glad you have an outlet in running. your cookies look amazing btw!

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    1. Fear the teen years! I know I was hard on my parents. I guess I didn't think it would happen to me...

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  35. Holy cookies!!! Wendy, these look amazing!! I can't decide which one I want to try - so I'll take one of each please :)
    You are a rock star for baking all these treats and what a great Mom you are. We work our butts off to be the best parents we can be. Kids are going to make mistakes, but in the end they will be okay. So glad you got a run in to release some stress and breath in some happy thoughts. Merry almost Christmas!!!

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    1. I keep running and eating cookies...

      Merry Christmas Nat!

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  36. Those cookies look relish! And as someone who works with middle and high schoolers, I have to say that you're totally right on the "making stupid choices" thing. It sounds like you're doing everything you can to help him make the best decisions, and that's all you can do. You're an awesome mom and your sons are lucky to have someone who cares so much!

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    1. It's not for the wimpy, raising teens, that's for sure...I can only hope they turn out ok!

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  37. I had a rough day Saturday, too, and just like you my run put everything back into perspective. Don't worry so much - I'm sure you are a great parent! But I had no idea you are such a great pastry chef! I'm so impressed. These cookies look perfect. Have a Wonderful Christmas. I love your blog!

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    1. Haha, I wish I was a pastry chef! But yep, I do like to bake. My family is grateful for that talent!

      Merry Christmas!

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  38. Oh my goodness, those cookies!!! Sorry to hear about the incident with your son but good for you for staying strong in the parenting journey. Congrats on a fantastic run afterwards, too - way to push through, literally!

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    1. Oh the run. Would I be able to parent without running? Doubtful!

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  39. Those cookies look yum! If my BF tried to derail my holiday plans... it would not fly!! Lol! I'm super behind (presents have NOT been bought yet!) So if I had to stay home ... no one would get gifts haha

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    1. I've got the gifts, now I need to wrap! So much to do...

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  40. I want some of those cookies!!!

    If you think parenting is hard, try step parenting - all the grief and few rewards. But that part of my life is over (they are on their own).

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    1. I've heard that's tough. You can't say much to step kids, can you?

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  41. Well crap, kids. I swear there were years when I wondered if we'd make it through their teenage drama. Good news is, we did - and you will, too. Here's hoping round two will be easier.

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