Thursday morning is playgroup morning in our house. It typically goes like this,
- 7:00: Have Sweetpea go to the bathroom, change Tayers diaper, and try to allow Sweetpea the freedom a three year old needs in their independence of "I wanna do it."
- 7:30: (takes that long because of the independence & finally asking for help) Go downstairs get milk for both girls, pick up Tayers because she needs her morning snuggles, start on breakfast.
- 7:45: Girls are at the table eating and I'm trying to make a cup of coffee.
- 8:15-8:30: We're finally done with breakfast and clean up ensues.
- 8:45: change Tayers again and debate whether she will only have one nap that day, if two, hurry and put her to bed
- 9:00-9:15: clean up dishes, tell Sweetpea that I need a shower while she stays on the main floor dancing around imagining her life if she lived in Strawberryland.
- 9:45: I'm ready, but trying to get the girls ready (once again dependent upon Tayers nap). Get snacks together
- 10:15: somehow between 9:30 and 10:15 I have no idea where 45 minutes went, so I give into any expectation of getting to playgroup at 10:00.
- 10:20ish: We finally make it to playgroup
That's typical Thursday morning; however, Tayers slept much longer and I was very casual & laid back letting go of any expectation I had on myself or my girls. And although we were an hour late upon arrival, I find that I am a better mama for it. So as we were pulling out onto the main road around 11:00 I was reflecting upon my day yesterday. If you were to have called me or unexpectedly dropped by for a visit around 1:00 yesterday, I would have met you in tears. It was one of those afternoons where I was finding myself to be short with my girls, missing connection times with my oldest, and feeling altogether crummy. The feeling which crept up was "these girls would be better off without me." Of course, I know that's not true, but we have these days.
All I could see were my failures, my areas of weakness and everything I lacked. It's hard to get over these moments, because even though I know I'm forgiven when I ask for it--it still doesn't erase guilt right away. But this morning pulling out onto the main road I was thinking about what I had read about a particular mother. She would normally overreact to her three and a half year old's behavior or shenanigans, but she was implementing different behavior patterns for herself, choosing to act and not react and to live with the end in mind. This made me realize that there are many times when I have overreacted as a mama and I can recall many instances I'm not proud of, but it doesn't relegate me to being that person forever. As it says in the Bible, "his mercies are new every morning." That's relieving for me to not just know, but realize it and apply it.
Mothering is not for the faint of heart and it is probably the most self-realization journeys I will ever walk on. If you're in this parenting boat, your past doesn't dictate your future, even if you feel like the mess is too huge. If you're marriage is weathering hard storms, your past doesn't dictate your future, even if you feel like the mess is too huge. If you're old & gray and you don't know if it's even worth it, your past doesn't dictate your future, even if you feel like the mess is too huge. No matter where you are on life's journey, your past doesn't dictate your future, because there is always time for a new beginning.
If you're new beginning is getting your health life back on track, then maybe stop reading right now and go to a different site. Because this chock full blondie is a different beginning, but one that will remind you that life is sane (in that small window of devouring them).
Chock Full Blondies (printable recipe)
Recipe is adapted from Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey. You can add different nuts. The original recipe said to bake it for 30-35 minutes, but it took a lot longer than 35 minutes. It was more like 45 on my oven and I have an oven thermometer. When using a toothpick, insert it in the middle and pull it out. If there are a couple crumbs left--that's perfect. You basically don't want to pull out a toothpick with wet batter on it.
3 cups dark brown sugar
1 cup (8 oz) unsalted butter
4 eggs, room temperature
1 Tb vanilla extract
1 tsp salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 baking soda
1 1/2 cups almonds, toasted & coarsely chopped
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
4 Heath or Skor bars, broken into bite-sized pieces OR a 14-oz bag of mini-heath bars
- Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9x13 inch pan with nonstick spray. Melt butter with brown sugar over medium heat in a heavy bottom pan. Stirring occasionally until butter is melted. Once it's melted, let it gently bubble for about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
- In a large bowl, combine eggs, vanilla & salt whisking them altogether and set aside. In small bowl, combine flour & baking soda together.
- Once the sugar & butter mixture is cooled, add it to the egg mixture and combine. Add the flour mixture to the wet and combine till all the flour has been thoroughly mixed in. Add all the nuts & bolts (white chocolate chips, chocolate chips, almonds, broken toffee bars, & coconut). Stir till combined.
- Pour into greased pan and cook for 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out relatively clean. Cool on a wire rack and cut into however big slices you would like.