Full of Gratitude

by Cate on December 28, 2010

Blizzard 2010Late Christmas afternoon, as Madeline and Nick were getting ready to go off to spend the night with The Ex, Madeline grabbed my hand.

“You’re the best mommy ever.”

I knelt down so I could look her straight in her eyes, deep dark brown ones that are just like her father’s.

“Thank you, sweetheart.  Are you trying to make me cry?”

She threw her hands around my neck and gave me a wet kiss on my mouth.

“No, I’m trying to make you happy.”

Even though she utterly and completely gives me a run for my money on a minute-by-minute basis.

Even though she is a heaping dose of Ramona Quimby mixed in with a healthy amount of Dennis the Menace and a sprinkle of tomboy.

Even though she is full of sass and spunk and a free spirit like no other.

All that magically melts away when she says things like that.  Those are the moments that Mamas cling to when they feel like they’re about to climb the walls.  Like today in Trader Joe’s when I had to fish her out of the orange juice  refrigeration section.  And tonight at A&P when she had us looking all over the store for sunglasses that she had tucked in her jacket the whole time.  And at the restaurant at dinner, when she looked at me with great earnest and wanted to know if we could play in the water after we ate.

Those are the moments that make it worth every single second.

On Christmas morning, as we were opening up presents, Nick handed me a gift bag with what he picked out for me.  At the bottom of the bag with hair accessories, make-up and nail polish, I found a clear plastic tube with a card rolled up inside.

From Nick and MaddieAnd as with Madeline, this heartfelt card, written on his own with no prompting or help from anyone, makes every second worth it.  All the attitude.  The eye rolling.  The push-back. Everything.

All so very worth it.

I’m one lucky Mom.

Project 365
December 27, 2010
, Photos #320-323
ContemplationWhen the kids went out to play in the snow on Sunday, Nick asked me if we could make taking pictures in the snow a new family tradition. I looked at him like he had three heads.

“Nick, I take hundreds of pictures a week. I assure you, we will have pictures of you playing in the snow.”

“No, I mean, can we make it a family tradition?”

Um, ok.

So Over the WindThe blizzard was bad enough, two feet of snow dumped on us Sunday into Monday, but the huge gusts of unexpected wind made it positively unbearable. We couldn’t even open up the back door to let Eli out Monday morning.

Mad at MomI was in trouble, though I don’t remember for what.

Project 365
December 28, 2010, Photos 324-332


DinnerA good friend landed a new job last week, so it was cause for celebration. This nearby hibachi restaurant is just as much a treat for the kids as it was for my friend.

Showing Great RestraintThe “water” she so desperately wanted to play in after dinner. I caught her at one shoe off.

Snow Day #2Day Three of playing in the snow. She will wear a hat if it’s one of his. Pirate hat. Dollar spot at Target. Love that.

I Spy

Too Cute

Blonde Streaks

Happy Dog

Trader JoesWent to Trader Joe’s today. Love that this location is very Jersey, featuring state highways as part of their decor. Oh, that and the cheap cheese. And dried Bing cherries. And awesome reusable cloth tote bags. And Ezekiel bread.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

FireMom December 28, 2010 at 11:42 pm

I love the snow picture where she’s looking down in her pink snowsuit. The wind blowing her hair is perfect.

The story made me weepy. :)


Casey December 29, 2010 at 1:41 am

Love Trader Joes! Plenty out here in California.

Great post on gratitude. My youngest gives me the most challenges and then she’ll come back with similar little nuggets of affection and it completely melts my heart.


Joanne December 29, 2010 at 7:18 am

Aww this is just the sweetest thing Cate! They really are great kids. And you’re a great mom. Lucky ducks.


Sarah Caron December 29, 2010 at 12:02 pm

So sweet! You can’t help but have your heart melt when they say and do such sweet, heartfelt things like that. *Happy sigh*

P.S. where’d you get Maddie’s gloves? My kids desperately need ones like that.


Ramona December 29, 2010 at 12:23 pm

Lot’s of good pictures. But the ones that stand out to me are when Madi is angry at you and Eli. Glad to see that pooch.


Laura December 30, 2010 at 7:02 pm

I love the note from Nick….he is such a sweet child!
I hope he was right and you had a great Christmas!!!!


Cate December 30, 2010 at 11:48 pm

Sarah – those gloves came from Costco (just a few weeks ago, so probably still have). They were a little pricey ($14), but insanely soft inside, and they have a long zipper up the side, so although they’re not her favorite (she much prefers the $1 glove from Target, go figure), these stay on and keep her hands completely dry.

Thanks all, they really are great kids, and it’s nice to have a little reminder in between all the chaos. ;)


Kristen January 3, 2011 at 5:08 pm

They are great kids, Cate…. you are doing a great job as their mom, it is obvious in the amount of love they have for you!

(Love that… don’t you love how they spell at this age?)


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