It's almost March, which means all the St. Patrick's stuff has started to show up on store shelves (side note: when did St. Patrick's Day become an actual holiday?). This got me thinking about luck.
"You're so lucky." If you live on this planet, those words have probably been uttered to you before in regard to something you have or have achieved. Those words really make me crazy. And while I know that people never say them with ill-intent, it's always a shock to my system to hear those words.
Luck: (noun) success or failure apparently brought about by chance rather than one's own actions.
I'm not sure about you, but I don't feel like most of the things in my life came about by chance. Aside from an initial chance encounter, most of the things in my life have come about through hard work and sacrifice.
"You are so lucky to be a stay-at-home mom." I would venture to say that this has nothing to do with luck and everything to do with a series of decisions I made during my life, including the decision to marry a husband who recognized the importance of having a parent stay home with young children if it was feasible.
"You are so lucky to have a solid marriage." Ummm, marriage is hard work. Luck stopped the day my husband and I crossed paths in our university's student center. Every day thereafter has been the product of choices made by each of us to keep our relationship thriving. Speaking of...
"You are so lucky to have landed such an incredible man." Why yes, my husband is pretty freaking incredible. I'd like to think I am too. And I'd like to think that, again, luck had nothing to do with me landing him. My stellar personality and ridiculously good looks (just kidding haha) must have had nothing to do with it, right? But seriously, did I have nothing to do with it? Saying this implies that he basically picked me out of a hat. And considering we dated twice, I'd say that most certainly wasn't the case.
"You are so lucky to have your little boy." To this I'd say, read about our struggle with infertility. Has God blessed me immensely with this little boy of mine? YES. Am I grateful to have him wake up every morning? Yes. Did he come to us by pure chance and luck? NO.
"Your husband is so lucky to have the job he has." I think this one may bother me most of all, and I know I have spoken to many friends who feel this way as well. My husband works his butt off - sometimes at the expense of his own well-being. His success can be attributed to any number of factors, but luck is certainly not one of them. And his success also has just a tiny bit to do with his having a supportive wife at home.
Anyway, I'm pretty sure that there is not a whole lot that anyone in this life has that can be attributed solely to luck. At some point along the way, a decision was made about something or other that led to whatever this person has or does not have. And I'm going to say I'm fairly certain luck has nothing to do with it.
So next time you're about to tell someone how lucky they are, don't. Some alternatives: "You're so fortunate," or "You've been blessed" (as cliched as that may be, it's still less insulting than "you're lucky."
Just keeping it real.
This post is not sponsored.
Growing up, Christmas was never over on December 25th. First of all, my dad is just a little obsessed with Christmas (love you Dad). And also, in both our faith and culture, January 6th is the end of the Christmas season (fun fact: this is where The Twelve Days of Christmas originated - 12 days between December 25 and January 6).
In The Catholic Church, January 6th is celebrated as the Feast of the Epiphany of Our Lord Jesus Christ. In many parts of Europe and Latin America, traditionally, the feast of the Epiphany is just as important as Christmas Day itself. Modern day tradition dictates that the Feast of the Epiphany is when the wise men came bearing their gifts to the King.
Growing up, we always knew it as "El Dia de los Reyes" and up until we moved out of the house, my parents always made sure to have a little something for us on this day. My grandmother and my aunt also always made certain that we celebrated this day (my aunt is actually the one who sent Caleb those little kings). I think it's a beautiful tradition that continues to celebrate the real meaning of Christmas. There are different traditions across cultures, and this week I saw a lot of my friends asking questions about this day - many weren't even aware that this was a "thing," so I just wanted to share a little bit about the tradition.
It's actually quite simple. We leave our shoes out the night before. Some people leave a box with grass for the camels as well. Overnight, the wise men come by and leave a small gift by the shoes. This year they left a Mr. Potato Head (which Caleb is obsessed with), and the adorable wise men in the photo above to complete his Nativity set from the Itty Bitty Line from Hallmark.
A simple tradition that can go a long way in helping to explain how important the birth of Jesus was (and extending Christmas a few days isn't so bad, either).
Feliz Dia de los Reyes!
This is the busiest time of the year, right? So I'm crazy for telling you to stop, breathe, and enjoy the moment. But I'm not. As a matter of fact, even though I have things to do, I felt compelled to sit down and tap this out for you. Because if I don't tell you, will anyone?
Last week, I was like you... make lists and checking them twice. Finishing Christmas shopping, wrapping gifts, editing photo sessions, preparing for a vacation with two legs on opposite sides of the country. Forgetting. Forgetting what Christmas is all about. I was being swallowed up by Christmas. I was bickering and I was not spending enough time with my son and my husband.
And then God, in his infinite wisdom, sent me a sign that said, "SLOW DOWN." What might that sign be, you ask? Caleb and I both got sick. The most convenient way of slowing down? Definitely not. But it gave me a chance to pause. It gave me a chance to think about what I was giving importance to this season. And I wasn't giving importance to the right things.
But getting sick made me stop. It made me spend time with Caleb. Real, quality time that I had been neglecting. As much as it pains me to say it, I had been letting him run amok and then freaking out because I had to pick up after him a thousand times a day and correct his behavior BECAUSE I WASN'T PAYING ATTENTION TO HIM.
So I napped with him. We sat on the couch and colored together (relax, they were Ultra Washable markers). I watched Frozen with him and we made commentary on the movie together (yes, Frozen fever is currently happening in my house). I sat and ate lunch with him and talked to him through the meal.
And while he still had a few moments of toddler rambunctiousness (if that's even a word), overall, his behavior was so much better, even though he was sick. And I realized, I've been a terrible mom lately. I've been so busy and I allowed the busyness of the season to catch up with me.
Last night, after nearly coughing up my lung, I decided to take a steamy bath, and while I was sitting in there, I realized that getting sick had been my biggest blessing in disguise this Christmas season. So I prayed, and I gave thanks, and this morning I woke up with a renewed sense of thankfulness and joy. Joy to last me through Christmas and far beyond. Because really, while we pile all these unnecessary things on ourselves, we are forgetting the meaning of Christmas. And whether that meaning for you is the birth of a Savior, or the closeness of family and loved ones, I'm pretty sure it's not about being busy. And let's be real - I still have a to-do list. But I'm a lot less stressed about getting it done. Because at the end of the day, it always gets done - because you're pretty amazing.
So in the next few days, mama, take a break. Enjoy your kids. Make a mess with them. Take a bubble bath. Snuggle up on the couch with your significant other. Watch your favorite Christmas movie - together, without thinking of the 75,000 things on your to-do list. There will be time to check things off your list tomorrow. And if the gifts don't get wrapped? Tell them Santa ran out of wrapping paper. ;)
Thanksgiving is a few short weeks away! I know this seems a little early to post a Thanksgiving recipe, but we had a Friendsgiving on Saturday and I made this stuffing and I wanted to share it with you in case you were on the hunt for a yummy side dish to take to a Thanksgiving potluck.
Thanksgiving is actually my favorite favorite holiday. I have very fond memories of having a late Thanksgiving lunch with my family sitting around one big table at my parents' house. Afterwards we would all sit around in a food-induced coma and play board games. Those were some of the greatest afternoons we spent together.
Two years ago, my maternal grandmother (who is 99!) moved to a city 4 hours away to live with my aunt, my mother's only sister. We went up to visit them the week before Thanksgiving and my aunt made this amazing stuffing. Since I hosted Thanksgiving last year, I asked her for the recipe because I definitely knew I wanted to make this. The original recipe didn't include carrots or parmesan cheese, but I added those in because I felt like the color would just make it so much better and because, well, cheese.
I'm pretty sure that the simplicity of the ingredients in this recipe is what makes it so good. It uses fresh ingredients and the flavors all melt together beautifully. I feel like this is a dish I'll be making for many years to come when Thanksgiving rolls around. It was a hit last year and it was a hit at our friendsgiving celebration.
Classic Bread Stuffing
(makes 10 cups)
If you decide to make this, I'd love to hear your thoughts and how it turned out for you below!
About this Mom
A Miami wife and mom documenting her days with her toddler and all that comes along with it.