Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Family and Froberg's

What a week it has been! We've gotten in lots of family time in the past week, and I am so very thankful for it. One of the biggest difficulties (for me at least) of being a working mom is that I don't always have a lot of time for my family. Now more than ever, I am working all day, a bit more each evening, and even during the weekend. Plenty of people handle the working mom thing with grace. I'm not that girl. More on that later.

Last Wednesday, we got to spend one last dinner with my brother before he headed out of town. We spent a little time at our house and then headed to Chuy's for dinner. Thanks to Megan and my mildly decent reminder to myself, I remembered to take pictures. They were all on my iPhone, and most of them are blurry, but something is better than nothing...

These are three of my most favorite boys.

Cullen gave Nana some high fives.
And a big bear hug for Uncle Chris.
Seeing my brother was such a great reminder of how important family is to me. I loved that Cullen really formed a strong bond with Chris while he was in town, and I honestly teared up a bit yesterday when Cullen asked if we could go play with Uncle Chris. I can't wait until Chris, Jess, Ben & Claire are closer to home and available for more regular play dates.

After dinner, we headed home so that I could get started on a chocolate peanut butter cake. This cake was a bit ridiculous and just like a Reese's. I don't really like peanut butter, but I have found the best chocolate cake recipe ever. EVER. I might make this chocolate cake for myself for my birthday with a different frosting. Either way, it came out beautifully, and my customers were happy. Match made in heaven for me.
Thursday night, my friend Tera came into town. Her husband was here on business, so she came in to have dinner with me. I'm really blessed to have a friend who could make the trip just for a meal. Of course, we walked the Galleria for a while where we tried on clothes and played at the Tesla display. If I could convince myself to drive a sedan, I might be happy to look at one. Until then, I'll take fun pictures of Tera in the display models.
Saturday morning, I went in for possibly the most amazing massage of my life with my friend, Camille. I came home relaxed and refreshed. Then I ate Chick Fil A for lunch and watched the Baylor game with my awesome little family and some extended family. Because... We are a Baylor family. Sic'em.

 Sunday morning, we headed out to Froberg's to pick strawberries. I was so excited to have another family day for our little family, and Cullen was excited to pick strawberries. James was agreeable to go on the trip. I figured that was the most I could ask for. It seemed like he had a good time with it once it was all said and done.

On the long meander out to the strawberry fields, James and Cullen sang the theme songs from "The Jungle Book" and "Toy Story." It was like I wasn't even there.
Cullen spent a lot of time holding the bucket and staring while we picked berries.
Then he suddenly got interested.
And off he went to pick his own! 
He made sure to investigate each one before putting it into the bucket. 
And he was so proud when he pulled a particularly big one from the plant! 
For those farther away berries, Cullen got a little help from Daddy. 
And he only got himself caught in the taller grass once. I'm pretty sure it was just a strawberry safari for him. 
 Cullen was even willing to take a picture with Mommy. 
And then he showed off his awesome bucket of strawberries. 
At this point, I am probably averaging an intake of one pound of strawberries per day. At this rate, I should be done with them on Friday, and none should go to waste. I also might turn into a strawberry, but how bad would that really be?

In other news, Cullen is really starting to enjoy family dinners. Even if he has already eaten, he wants to sit down when James and I eat, and he always asks for food. The other night, he ate rice during our dinner out of a tiny Mickey Mouse bowl with a huge Pampered Chef spoon. If he eats, I'm happy. If we eat as a family, I'm even happier. 
Cullen also enjoys showing off his organization skills. If you mess up his row of trucks, he will cut you. Not really, but he might throw a tantrum and scratch the heck out of James' face. Not that we know this from experience. Because my angel of a child would never do such a thing. 
In other Scout news, I feel like I'm moving on up in the business world. I am now officially requiring deposits to reserve your date. A special thanks to a wedding that cancelled on me... I hate having to require a deposit, but if people aren't going to respect my time, I have to do a little something to protect myself.

Last night, I had dinner with Amy. Amy and I always have fun when we're together, and we usually share some wine and good talks. Last night was no exception. We laughed a lot, we talked about the important things, we talked about the less important things, and we talked about fulfillment as a mom.

Something that is really tough for me is the judgement I've received from some stay at home moms. I am a huge fan of doing what works for your family when it comes to deciding to work or stay home. I have good friends who have made both choices. Some of my friends who work, work because they love what they do. Some of my friends who work, work because their family needs the second income. As moms and as women, we need to start supporting one another. Is that so hard?

Once we've made the decision to stay home or work, there are so many other decisions to be made. And, let's be honest here, I still struggle with the working mom decision every single day. As women become moms, we tend to lose our identity from our pre-mom stage. At home, we can't just be the wife anymore. We are the wife, the mom, the chauffeur, the chef, the waitress, the maid, the laundress, etcetera etcetera ad nauseum. Losing our identity becomes so difficult. Don't get me wrong. I love my son more than words. I just want my own identity. I love being known as "Cullen's mom," but like so many women out there I want more. I want to give back and contribute. I want to do more than just survive. Now that I've figured out that much, I just need to figure out what to do and how to do it.

Never a dull moment in our home.

xoxo Ashley

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