My Happy Place

Nick Winston CJ Zach

Nick, Winston, CJ, Zach

Look at these handsome guys!

Could I be any happier than to have the opportunity to have them over and cook for them?

Does that make me a little strange?… unusual?…. old-fashioned….?

I was really looking forward to – and totally enjoyed – the opportunity to cook and bake for my youngest son, Nick (far left in the photo above) and a group of his old college buddies (Winston, Zach, and CJ – two of whom are married already!), who decided to get together for a Saturday afternoon of basketball and an evening of pool and poker, with a short break in between to be nourished by Momma ME!

In talking with my friend, Tracy, on our Sunday morning walk yesterday, I remarked upon reflection that it is good to be 52 and not so worried about what is the right or wrong way to be a woman today.

For a while, I tried to be a “modern” business woman – one who enjoys working as much as the rest of “the guys” and has no time for such silliness as cooking and baking….

But I can’t help it….

It is my happy place.

It is in my DNA.

When I was a young girl, if asked what I wanted to be when I grow up, I most often would say, “A Mom.”

Being a mom is a job that should be as equally admired as those that serve as doctors and lawyers and teachers and executives.

It really is a tough job.  Little training is provided.  Little recognition is provided.  The monetary rewards are quite minimal.  The days are long.  Then nights are short.  The worries are many.

But the rewards…..

especially when looking back and knowing you raised your kids to become amazing adults….

well – there really is nothing greater.

So the chance to cherish moments with my “kids” (who aren’t really kids anymore)…

is pretty darn great.

I am most happy when I am cooking or baking or having guests in my home.

I TRULY love my work too.  Don’t get me wrong.

I am extremely fortunate to have a work-life balance that allows me to work as passionately at my job in corporate communications for home health and hospice and enjoy it as much as I do my “life in between” activities.

I also truly and equally admire women who don’t choose to be mothers, but dedicate their lives to noble careers because that is their passion.

But put me behind the kitchen counter with pots steaming and cookies cooling and bread kneading…..


with Charlie by my side napping as the Autumn sunshine streams in the window…

charlie sleeping in the sun

and life is perfect.

I baked some classic chocolate chips cookies,

chocolate chip cookie

and made Zach’s favorite – good old-fashioned peasant food – Haluski.

halushki cabbage

I made some yummy rosemary roasted butternut squash that they all surprisingly LOVED, some freshly baked rustic crusty bread, and some dry rubbed pork tenderloin (recipe in tomorrow’s blog!), as well as some mini pumpkin pies….

mini pumpkin pies

served up with a side of dreamy, creamy whipped cream.

single mini pumpkin pie bite

In the midst of it all, with dishes piled high in the sink…

flour all over the counter….

dough in my hair…

Nick asked,

“Do you REALLY ENJOY doing this?”

“Oh YES!,” I didn’t even hesitate when I replied…

“This is my happy place.”

Thanks, guys, for the wine!
Thanks, girls, for the surprise visit!
Thanks, Merv, for being the grill master and my “partner in crime” through it all.
Thanks for allowing me to nourish your bellies as much as you nourish my heart! ❤

Cheers & Hugs,

72 thoughts on “My Happy Place

  1. Sadly, all jobs that don’t make a lot of money are given low status in our world…and that includes all caregiving, which is vital for human survival. Looks like there’s a lot of love in your world! No amount of money or status can beat that. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Exactly! Being a mom is my mum’s favorite job too, tho i’m yet to take it up :D.
    And, I actually tried out your chocolate chip cookies recipe, (unfortunately I was a bit over in the butter measure) but still, my friend LoVED IT SO MUCH and has been begging me to do it again. So thanks for the recipe 🙌

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh Ameena – then you are a lucky girl – eh? 🙂 And will likely be a wonderful mum someday too. So glad you tried the cookies and they went over well! YIPPEE! Thanks for letting me know. made my day! 🙂


    • Oh Thank you John. Not really amazing, just sharing what I love to do. But don’t look in the corners at the cobwebs and dust bunnies or in my master closet – YIKES! Not a lover of cleaning – haha! Yep- my kids will always be kids to me. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Dawn. As a sign says in my home – The thing I love most about my home is who I share it with 🙂 PS My book Care of the Soul came today, so it is ready for when I finish my current read. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post, Jodi. Good for you for not allowing the perceptions of others to change your views about how important the role of a mother is to her children and family and how cooking and baking for them is as important as any position outside the home. It’s sad that this vital role has somehow been reduced in the eyes of today’s society, where fast food, fast meals and fast conversations are the norm. The stability and sense of family you provide and the example you set by doing things like this will serve your children and their families well for generations to come.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Awwww! It’s morning after sleepless night (9am here)… your post gives me energy and reminded me my happy place – kitchen… cooking, baking… perfect place settings to make beautiful morning for my family! Thank you Jodi for being here! Love!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have always hated how the idea of women’s liberation is sometimes interpreted as women are ONLY free to enter the workplace full-time. I thought it was supposed to be about women having the right to choose the life that is right for them and their unique situation. I’m glad you are choosing to do what is meaningful to you, because that’s what true freedom is all about, in my opinion. Okay, I’m off my soapbox!
    PS How do you make the crust for those miniature pumpkin pies? They look delicious!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Stand tall and proud on that soapbox! 🙂 Thanks, Ann! For the mini pies, I just use my same pie dough recipe as if I was making a whole pie, but cut it into small circles to fit in a mini muffin pan. They are so good to be able to just pop in your mouth. The guys really loved them 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks! I’m going to try making those pies. I love pumpkin pies, but with just my husband and I at home, we never finish a full one. Now I can make a batch of small ones, eat some, and give the others away!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Wonderful post :-)! You are such a kitchen superstar! And I love that you love cooking for others and are generally a super caring person! I can be a bit grumbly in the kitchen. But I did manage to put some love into my caramelized shallots yesterday morning after reading your post. Thank you for that.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: Goji Berry Energy Bars – A Super Food Snack | life in between

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