Greatest Hits of 2012

At the end of the year, WordPress sent me a summary of my year.  Sort of a year in review for the writer.  How many visitors, which posts were the most viewed, et cetera.  They invite you to share the information with your readers.  At first, I thought, “How Silly.  That is like Justin Bieber releasing a Greatest Hits.”  After all, I’ve only just begun (I hope you heard Karen Carpenter just then).  But then I looked at my top five posts from the year and I thought, “Yes, that is a pretty good cross-section of what I have done.”  So I am sharing it with a little back story.  Think of it as a pathetic version of Storytellers.  Cheers!

1 “Hey Girl…I love SAHMs” October 2012

Don’t you love new friends?  Especially those that share your affinity for all things Gosling?  And can make you laugh out loud with a text?  And inspire silly posts?  Me too.  It is no wonder this got a lot of views.  He’s impossible to resist. 

2 Grief and Gratitude  September 2012

I was due to write a new post, but it was September 11th, and I could not write about anything but.  I asked a group of ladies that write about wine if it was okay to venture outside that box.  With their encouragement, I did so.  This is my tribute to a dear, dear friend.

3 OTBN- A Gift from Gundlach Bundschu  February 2012

The first piece of writing I ever put out publicly was a 3rd place poem for a poetry contest at Gundlach Bundschu.  The second piece took first.  It was their encouragement that inspired me to write.  This was a post in which I “shared” the 1997 Cab Franc I received as a prize with my readers.

4 Trends, Schmends-I never gave up on you, Merlot January 2012 

If you have read for very long at all, you know that it is not uncommon to get a hint of psychology in the front and some introspection in the finish.  In Vino Veritas.

5 Molto Bene, Y’all  April 2012

I have loved, loved, loved getting involved in the Texas wine scene.  So many great things being produced, so many great people, and still so much to learn.  Thank you for welcoming me in and for your generous spirits.  This is a piece on a local winery that I grow more fond of with each visit.

So, there you have it.  A little personal stuff, a little humor, a lot of wine.  Some paired, some shared.  Yes, this is a blog about wine, but it is really so much more to me.  Thank you for reading and giving me a place to share, to grow, to learn.

“Hey Girl…I love SAHMs”

Two friends.  Two everyday locations.  Two sightings of Ryan Gosling in two days.  Posted too late for me to stalk.  I know, I know.  Generally, I am not starstruck.  I think about how I would like people to respond to me if I were just trying to grab some breakfast or do some shopping.  I play it cool even through the thrill of recognition.  If the opportunity arises, I interact as I would with any stranger.  But I have a feeling that a Gosling sighting might lead to a rapid descent into giggling school-girl.

It did lead to a hilarious game of “Hey, Girl” from the perspective of a mom of young children.  The conversation began with joking about how we could have our kids “run away” right into him.  He’d say, “Hey Girl, cute kids.”  Our eyes would meet and he’d throw Eva to the wind.  And since we were already in dream land, we continued with the fantasy.  I invite you to play along. Or if you have gotten this far and you are a married male, you’re welcome for the tips.

“Hey Girl, you look so sexy in the yoga pants with a smear of Mac and Cheese.”

“Hey Girl, is that Day 2 or Day 3 hair you got goin’ on?”

“Hey Girl, those stretch marks are just souvenirs, signs of the strength of your body.”

“Hey Girl, don’t get up, I’ve got the dishes.  Then I’ll give you a massage.”

“Hey Girl, you gonna eat those crackers on the floor of your mini van? I’m kinda hungry.”

“…and I’ll vacuum it for you when we get home.  In my boxer briefs.”

“Hey Girl, those aren’t grey hairs, they’re wisdom strands.”

“Hey Girl, do you want these washed in hot or cold?”

“Hey Girl, I love watching you through the windows I am washing.”

“Hey Girl, sorry if my hands are rough.  It is all the dishes I have been doing.”

“Hey Girl, how about some hot tea?  Then we can snuggle and watch Downton Abbey.”

“Hey Girl, cleaning tubs is my specialty.  Relax with this Brunello and trashy magazine.”

Had to get wine in there somewhere, right?  Play along.  What would Mr. G say to you?  And when you read this, Ryan, which I know you will since you read everything written about you, I am right here in Austin and I’d be happy to take you to the hotspots in town.   I know where they have the best playgrounds and children’s menus.  Bet Eva can’t say that.

Mosaics in the Making-non-potable thoughts

As a mother, I have often felt as if my sensory receptors are short circuiting.  It usually happens at about the time I am pretty sure I just stepped on a Lego that I already picked up twice on my way to referee a squall that has most certainly awakened the dead.  In a few brief moments I get a flash of life before children, followed by a version of what I thought motherhood would “look” like (usually a Maria von Trapp-esque sublime moment, happily instructing a crowd of patient cherubs).   And then I am quickly dragged into the ACTUAL present moment in which I’m probably still wearing the tank top I slept in, yoga pants with smears of someone else’s lunch, and I am mumbling something ferocious and unintelligible.  Not how I really want to be seen and certainly not what I have posted on Facebook.

Glennon Melton has a blog that is currently spreading like wildfire, and for good reason.  Momastery is brilliant and, to use her term, “brutiful.”  The first treasure I found was, “Telling Secrets,” about the healing that comes, for us and others, by simply being honest about who we are and where we have been.  In “Don’t Carpe Diem,” Glennon talks about the challenging moments of motherhood and the moments that make it worth the challenge. “Chronos is the hard, slow passing time we parents often live in…Then there’s Kairos time. Kairos is God’s time. It’s time outside of time. It’s metaphysical time. Kairos is those magical moments in which time stands still.”  The beauty of stopping in the midst of the chaos and realizing, “This is the first time I’ve really seen Tish all day, and my God – she is so beautiful. Kairos”

Which naturally led me to thinking about how God looks at his own children.  What if He always sees us in Kairos time?  As we are meant to be, as He created us to be?  A different reality altogether.  Not the idealized version of ourselves, but something even more beautiful.

Or maybe the spin cycle of motherhood is used to smooth out the jagged edges?  Or maybe they aren’t supposed to be smoothed out at all, but to fit perfectly with the other broken pieces.   A mosaic in the making.  We all have moments when we fail, when we feel “less than.”   We lose our tempers.  We choose to focus on what we don’t have, rather than what we do.  We have thoughts and pasts and regrets that we wish we could undo. And yet, grace.  Unmerited favor.  Unconditional love.

What if he sees us without the scars, the fear, and anger?  Without the hurt and disappointment?  What if He sees past the barriers and walls we have carefully built over time and thinks we are so beautiful.  Even in crusty pants and in our less than stellar parenting moments.  Maybe he put us here, in this time, this place, to love others with jagged pieces, a little more smoothly.  To give ourselves and others a little more grace.

The Inaugural SAHMmelier Play and Taste Party starts tomorrow!

A few days ago, a friend (we’ll call her “Mama K)” posted on my Facebook page about wanting to taste the Dreaming Tree wines.  If you missed the post, Dreaming Tree is the collaborative effort of Mr. Dave “Yummy” Matthews and Sonoma winemaker, Steve Reeder.  Mama K said that if his wine was anywhere near as good as his music, we were in for  a treat.  A few days later, I found a bottle and we set up a playdate.

Then we got to brainstorming.  What if we had a few moms join us, then we could all discuss the wine?  Even better, what if several SAHMs and friends, near and far,  joined us and wrote their own reviews? And thus was born, The SAHMmelier Play and Taste Party.

Dreaming Tree Crush is currently on sale at Target for only $9.99 which makes it a perfect candidate for a “Monday Wine.”  Plus, it will be easy to grab a bottle when you are out buying diapers or detergent.  The website has a full tasting notes page on the wine, but I am going to challenge you to NOT look at it until you have tasted and given your own descriptors.  Remember, they don’t have to be “correct.”  Just enjoy the discovery!  We will post our reviews and encourage you to comment with your thoughts on the wine.  Each month we will pick a new wine and announce it a few days before the Taste and Play.  If you have a suggestion for a Monday wine , let us know.

Now, don’t worry.  We are all responsible moms and will only be tasting.  There won’t be time for more than a sip or two amongst the bedlam of little ones anyway.  But, it will be a great social escape at the end of a long day.    So, how about it?  Want to play?