It's All in the Eyes of the Beholder

As I reflect on this past week, what strikes me the most is how things can look so differently to different people or even to ourselves by taking a step back and reevaluating a situation with fresh eyes.

My first glimpse into this involved food.  I had every intention of making my children some mac n cheese and grilled chicken  because I honestly just didn't have the energy to fight about dinner after my baby being sick for an entire week.  Well, when the time came to cook dinner, I enlisted my 4 year old's help to make some Creamy Asparagus Soup.  In the midst of making this, he exclaimed, "Mom, this soup looks like slime!" to which I replied, "Well, that's because it's SLIME SOUP!"  Now, if you told me that I had to eat slime soup, I would immediately be turned off and think to myself, there is no way I'm eating that.  However, to 4 and 5 year old little boys, this sounded fantastic.  It is an understatement to say that I can't believe that they gobbled up their slime soup in record time!

My second glimpse actually occurred upon self examination after one of my non-finer moments.  The baby was up all night with, what we found out later, was a double ear infection, and the kids were out of school for a snow day (this was the second day that week that they had missed because of snow/conferences/etc and the baby had literally had me home bound the entire prior week being sick.)  I will spare you the details, but you can imagine my reaction to my boys when they woke up my baby, that I had worked so hard to get to sleep, from her nap...the loudness that came out of me was at least as loud as they were being...I know, counterproductive behavior at its finest.  A friend dropped by some soup, and it was that act of kindness that had me changing my attitude.  My friend was out in the snow delivering soup to me, and I was inside turning into Hurricane Amy (category undetermined.)  I turned the focus on me.  It wasn't that my kids were being a disaster...they were just being kids, excited about a snow day, and unable to go out and play in the snow because of their sick sister.  I was the problem that needed fixing.  After a self-induced mommy time out, getting the baby back to sleep, and having "Dance Party USA" to channel all of our energy, we were back on track...thank goodness because my delicious Bean, Spinach and Quinoa Burritos that my husband and I LOVED were not loved as much by my children...if the friend had not dropped by the soup (which we are eating tonight, by the way,) and if my attitude was still rotten, and if dinner had turned out the way that it had, we all probably would've gone to bed in tears :/

We had such a fun end of the week filled with a night by the fire enjoying exceptional comfort food, Slow Cooker Chicken with White Wine Sauce, a girls night out for me while my family ate Brazilian Fish Stew, a night out with couple friends, and a friend's 40th birthday party.  Being around friends is always a blast, and these three nights were no exception:

My girls night was therapeutic in that I got to see my friends open up about their kids, about what they're going through, about where they see themselves and their families and the directions they're going.  Then it was fun to see those women relate to each other through shared experiences, dreams, etc.  I love seeing my friends without their kids around because it lets you see them not just as "my child's friend's mom" but as a person who is passionate not only about her family but about so much more!

On our couples date, I saw my competitve streak rear its head through the eyes of those with whom I was playing a very intense game of darts.  I don't know that many people here know that I have this fierce competitive nature (ask my husband who may or may not find me in our basement by myself trying to beat the high score on our basketball arcade game...that was purchased for MY CHILDREN!)  I am happy to report that, although my team fell behind, I did land 3 bullseyes!!  I had some great conversations about my new identity as a "blogger" (the guys didn't really know what to think of this, I don't think ;),)and about my past life as a corporate girl.  I even got a half-hearted job offer at dinner on Friday night.  (Don't worry, I won't hold you to it!)  It made me realize that not many people have seen me in my competitive mode or my nerdy, math-loving, business world persona as I have not been working in a professional capacity since we moved here.  It was just nice to remember that there is more to know and see about me outside of the mama and wife roles that I have assumed in recent years...and it was fun to laugh at myself in the process.

I saw reflections of years gone by and of things to come at the 40th birthday party.  It was so fun to watch my friend with her family and friends that she's known for seemingly forever and with those of us who are newer on the friendship scene.  I got to see my friend through others' eyes...her mom's, her two best friends, and through the lens of a camera in pictures of her at different stages.  I especially loved seeing her children reflected in the images of her in her childhood pictures.

All of that to say, there are so many views from which to enjoy the world and to see people.  I was fortunate enough this week to see myself and others through my own and other people's lenses.  What a gift to take the time to do that every once in a while.  It is amazing the beauty that can be either seen or experienced in every situation if we all take the time to get to the right vantage point.

 I am going to continue to try and work on making it easier to find recipes on this blog of mine, so bear with me as I try out different formats.  This week my goal is to use up everything in my pantry and freezer and only go to the grocery store for the staples, so stay tuned ;)  

Happy Cooking!

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