Hello, sugar! I was saying that a lot on Saturday as I made one batch of cookies after the next. It wasn't such a bad deal, I had a great movie channel on in the living room and caught bits and pieces of Must Love Dogs and The Other Woman, both of which I've never seen. The first was so heartwarming; I love books and movies that touch on the quirkiness of family life. The Other Woman was pretty bad, but Leslie Mann is hysterical, a really great comedic actress. It's worth watching just to see her in action. And my little Abby, who usually holes up in the family room, jumped on the couch and spent the most part of the afternoon watching these movies between stealing fresh baked cookies cooling on the counter.
Have I mentioned she's in the midst of getting an apartment with three of her girlfriends in March? Yes, just north of the city near Wrigley Field (home of the Chicago Cubs. You did hear of Ernie Banks passing? So sad. Mr. Cub.) As she is my last baby...my caboose, I've been feeling really sad about this. I know we raise them only until they get their wings to fly. And all the advice says that we just give them the best we can til takeoff. At first I thought it was silly. A waste of money. Plus, all of her friends and her boyfriend are here south of the city. And I don't want to be the mother that is always bringing up my past to my kids, "Oh, I did this and I did that." Learn from my failures instead of making your own. But I do. :( I made the move to Chicago from the suburbs/country in my early twenties and my gosh, after the first few weeks of excitement, I was so lonely! And I had no money to enjoy much of anything. Yes, there are many free things to do in the city, but we exhausted all the museums and architectural tours on field trips in grade school. And I was so inept at taking care of myself. I remember throwing a can of soup at the wall in a fit of anger because I didn't own a can opener.
So just as I ease back and make up my mind that I have to put on a positive face and support her in all she does, she starts to confide in me that she is worried about money, worried about her apartment-mates, well, all sorts of nagging worries. Abby is a thinker. She's disciplined and hard working. But as the baby, she's been pampered far longer and much more than the rest of my kids. I want her to be prepared. I want to buffer her against all the hard knocks. I want her to have a can opener.
She went away to college for one semester. I cried all the way home after we got her set up in her dorm, and then broke out in huge hives. Every time I walked by her bedroom I thought I would see her in there, doing homework and listening to music. I slowly got used to it and then the phone calls started to come. She was bored. She was lonely, She was scared. She was angry. I drove the three hours down there to pick her up for Christmas break and she was standing on the curb with all of her bags packed. She never went back. She got her degree here on the Chicago campus. I guess I truly know, I'm not worried about my heart, I'm worried about hers.
So, I did good...7 dozen cookies. I got smart and used a small round cookie cutter in addition to the heart shaped one which was so big! Ha! And I decorated a few without the melted white chocolate. Again, you can find the link to this really great sugar cookie recipe here.
I am living with the two biggest health nuts alive right now. Since Abby is gone at work 12 hours per day, she really has to pack a lot of food to bring with. She shops twice a week for fresh fruit and veggies in addition to what I buy when I grocery shop. She usually has two smoothies a day, a salad and various types of nutritional bars. She has a hot meal here with The Husband and I for dinner. And The Husband? Well, I told you he is trying to get fit to go on a big hiking trip, son Jeff, is putting together for the spring. I keep telling Jeff, "You are 32 years old and he is 62. Give him some slack!" But Jeff never lets anyone off the hook. "He has four months to build his endurance." The Husband doesn't know our son and I had this convo. He re-joined the gym last week and has been going every evening. He went out and bought some good work-out clothing, thankfully, he had been wearing the same old lounging pants until I thought they could walk to Goodwill themselves. And he bought a FitBit, the less expensive version that is synchronized with the IPhone. It counts his steps/miles, calories and number of hours he sleeps. It can probably count how many times he peeks in the refrigerator.
Saturday I demanded he take me out to dinner after all of the cooking and baking I had been doing. He totally agreed and I'm sure it was because we had a Christmas gift card for an Italian restaurant nearby. As I was getting ready that night, he bounded into the bedroom in his jogging pants, a zip up athletic jacket and his ear buds around his neck. Jogging in place he said, "I thought I'd run home from the restaurant!" Oh, dear God. The man has lost it. First of all, I informed him, you can't go into a restaurant dressed like Bruce Jenner from the 1980's. Secondly, he wouldn't be able to walk much less run after eating the portions they serve at this place. And thirdly, I wasn't going to try to drive his hot shot, recently bought, two year old Mercedes home when I've never driven it before, never will and don't even know how to get the key in the ignition (I never learned to drive the two seater "Spider" either). He can have his fancy cars. Well, his face fell a bit and he went to change. The man is insufferable.
Me, I'm going to go back to the gym as well, honestly. I have to bide my time, with his joining and having to pay 3 months at a time...well, I'll work that into the budget later this week! ;-) I did promise myself that if it was over 30 degrees today, I would take a long walk outside. I awoke and grabbed my phone to check the temps. 28 degrees. Saved!!
Daughter Emily has cleaned up the bad eating habits going on in her home as well. She keeps this basket on the kitchen counter so she and Mike can make good food choices. She knows a little bit about presentation, too. Makes it look all the more enticing. ;-)
She cooks quite a bit and she's rather good at it. She texts me pictures of what she's up to pretty regularly. This came in a short while ago. A store bought crust with sauteed zucchini and arugula, topped with sliced tomatoes, turkey pepperoni and a bunch of good Italian spices, then finished off with mozzarella and Romano cheese. Now why wasn't I invited over?
I've been meaning to post this picture of Emily, a selfie she took on New Years Eve before they went out. Isn't she cute as a button? I always called her 'chocolate chip eyes', and you can see why. I think she looks so much like my mother. :)
We are not having bad weather at all, just a lot of slush as snow comes down and melts. We are praying for everyone on the east coast...what a monster of a storm they are expecting and we are no strangers to that...so be safe if you are in that area. I'll be back soon.
Joining Tweak It Tuesday with Brenda at Cozy Little House