Two years ago I hosted a little playdate at my house for my then two-year old. The Moms who attended were an old friend I grew up with, a fellow school Mom and my sister-in-law. We were discussing how many women we knew played Bunco with neighbors but none of us had any interest in playing Bunco. I told them what I really wanted was to learn to play poker so I would one day be comfortable walking up to a poker table in a casino and play. They all agreed that would be fun… thus became our “DG Women’s Poker Club”. My sis-in-law recruited a couple male poker players to teach us the game, as long as we fed them food & beer. We were ready.
I love playing cards so it wasn’t too hard for me to pick up. The only thing that threw me was the betting.
We get together once a month… the food is scrumptious, the drinks are much needed and the company is so much fun! Although our younger, single ‘coaches’ have done what they were called on for – I think they enjoy our evenings too much to give us up. Who doesn’t want to drink, eat and play poker with a bunch of hot mamas?
Recently, I made my first attempt to sit down at a poker table at a casino in the Quad Cities. My husband, his friend and his friend’s girlfriend came with me but are blackjack players. I was on my own…. although they were nice enough to walk me to the floor that hosted the poker tables. I was out of my comfort zone immediately. Surrounded by locals dressed in camouflage and trucker hats (who clearly spent most Friday nights at those very tables), I’m not gonna lie… I was nervous. It was clear when I sat down that they weren’t super excited either. I don’t recall the dealer welcoming me to the table like he did the man who sat in the seat next to me (the man originally sitting there left shortly after my arrival). Well here is the good news ladies… I kicked ass. I won $300!! I don’t know if they were too thrown off by my unforeseen skills, my poker face or my large breasts but they couldn’t beat me and they sure as hell weren’t happy about it. But I loved every minute of it. Truth.
One of the things people tell you when you become a mother is to kiss your alone time goodbye. If that is not the most correct statement, I don’t know what is! It even seems like in the moments when you want some quiet or alone time is when your kids are pulling on your apron strings most. You know, the moment when you take an important phone call, need a shower like it’s nobody’s business, or when you are trying to make a meal for ten.
My youngest likes to hang on me, lay on me… just be ON me whenever possible. My mind and my body just need to be left alone sometimes and my favorite thing to do to meet this need is to curl up with a great book. Reading is something I can’t get to unless it’s late at night and most of the time I am dozing off at this time and have to re-read half the paragraphs I’m trying to concentrate on. If on a weekend my husband takes the kids out to spend quality time with them while I get to read for a few hours, he’ll get paid back dearly. Sounds like everyone wins in this scenario!
When you “Take Time for Mama” do you like to curl up with a good book? Are you still a paperback kind-of girl or do you only read electronically now? And are you totally sucked into Hunger Games and/or the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon? I’m always looking for suggestions, so tell me what’s on your nightstand!
Earth Day came and went this year with the same hoopla as every year before it… blah. This is not without good intention. I wanted to take the girls out and work in the yard or just be out enjoying nature, but we all got caught up in everyday life and particularly my eldest’s school project. We won’t get into that though…
I’ve taken small steps to be more Earth-friendly but I need to step up my game. I bought reusable grocery bags but damn if I don’t forget to either put them in the car or simply take them into the store. I need to be more on top of this to help save paper & avoid the plastic. I also am making it a point to turn off lights and electronics in my home when I am not in the room. This will be huge for my family because my daughters have become bad with remembering to do this as well. If I can be better about it, I’m hoping my children can take note and do the same. Lastly, I am pledging to use less water. I am shutting off the faucet when I brush my teeth and am doing the same for all my family members. I’m also going to use less water when washing the dishes… so basically I’m just going to NOT do any more dishes. Problem solved. Wait…what?
What did you do this week to modify your non Earth-friendly behaviors? Even the smallest changes can make a big difference! Share them with us by leaving a note in the comments and/or by linking to your blog below.
The St. Baldrick’s event at Downers Grove South High School was a huge success. In its second year, the students and staff, as well as several outside fundraisers, managed to raise over $65,000, surpassing last year’s $47,000! That is a huge feat for a high school fundraiser. Mikayla’s friend, Nate Pautsch, raised $2,015!!! He was the third highest individual fundraiser. Truly amazing. Love that young man:)
I continue to be a huge fan of the student body at DGS. They are great kids and are SO supportive of each other. Mikayla and Nate did an incredible job getting up in front of over 3,000 people to talk. I’m in awe of their bravery on so many levels. They chose to keep their speech light this year because Mikayla didn’t want to cry. They got some good laughs out of the crowd and kept everyone in good spirits.
The only time I got teary this year was when one student got up to tell his story about losing his brother to cancer when his brother was seven years old. The other time was when all the girls were getting their heads shaved. It just overwhelmed me to see the number of girls increase this year and the memory of watching my sister-in-law shave Mikayla’s head came flooding back…damn, that was a hard moment to get through. The fact that these brave girls were doing it for children like Mikayla was just unbelievable. I wouldn’t have had the guts to do that in junior high or high school. There was also a family that shaved their head together. DGS math teacher, Mike McGinnis, his wife and three sons all gave up the hair on their heads and raised $11,000 doing it!! What an inspiring day!
Lastly, I want to thank everyone who donated to Nate. You all made his head shaving worthwhile and helped a cause that is near and dear to my heart. Children like Mikayla wouldn’t be alive without loving people like you. Thank you.
I’m always looking for something new to serve up on St. Patrick’s Day to go along with my corned beef & cabbage. Two years ago I stumbled upon this recipe at Whole Foods and my family fell in love with it! Give it a try this year…and don’t forget to drink a nice Guinness with it!
POTATO CHOWDER WITH PANCETTA
& AGED IRISH CHEDDAR
- 6 oz. pancetta or bacon, chopped
- 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
- 1 cup chopped celery, including a few leaves
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
- Salt and pepper
- 1 cup (4 oz.) Kerrygold Aged Cheddar Cheese, shredded
In a large saucepan, over medium-high heat, add pancetta and cook, stirring until crisp and brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from pan with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Discard all but 1/2 teaspoon fat from pan. Add onion to pan and stir often over high-heat until very lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Add potatoes, celery and broth. Cover, bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are tender, about 12 minutes. Add buttermilk and pancetta and stir until hot, 1 to 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat, stir in cheese, ladle into bowls and serve immediately.
Do you have any St. Patrick’s Day recipes to share? Something traditional, or something new you’re trying out this year? We’d love to hear about them. Share a link in our comments below!Read More