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…..

kitchen

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,
Jodi