Category Archives: Mothers Day

Mother To Our Children

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The Cinnamon Girl is a mother to a blended family. I brought two, she brought one. That was ten years ago and I can say having been closer to the situation than anyone, that all three of our children have known The Cinnamon Girl as a mom.

What would a kid want in a mom if they could design her from scratch? Here is what I think:

I think they would want a mom who supports them in all that they do, who lets them know how special they are. I think they would want a mother who encourages them. The Cinnamon Girl has seen our children through freshman football and trumpet playing and softball tryouts and student council and job searches, college searches and homework assignments. And everything in between.

I think they would want a mom with a terrific sense of humor. The Cinnamon Girl does not only know how to laugh, she knows how to make our kids laugh.

I think they would want a mom with shoulders on which to cry. Each of them has had reason to turn to her in sorrow. Each felt better for doing so. The Cinnamon Girl makes the small hurts go away, the big hurts small and the impossible hurts easier to manage.

I think they would want a mom who is smart. I have seen it, time-and-again, seen The Cinnamon Girl give our children wise and wonderful advice. She gives them knowing advice. She gives them the advice they need. And she does not do this unless they ask her to do it.

I think they would want a mother who has their backs. Um, yeah. The Cinnamon Girl Has. Our. Kids’. Backs. Of that, there is no doubt. Do not cross a mother who is a lawyer. Do not do it.

I think they would want a mother who does not take the small stuff too seriously and who knows that the big stuff is not always as serious as it seems at first glance. The Cinnamon Girl has been so wonderful with our kids in these sorts of situations – the kinds that arise when you are a mom. They cannot be avoided. The Cinnamon Girl does not avoid them, she handles them with grace and confidence.

I think they would want a mom who loves them. If my children doubt this about The Cinnamon Girl, they have not been paying attention.

Happy Mother’s Day, my love.


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Mother’s Day 2017

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The Mater is a terrific mother. She has been for my entire life and I know that kind of thing does not just happen. I know that more now that I have been a father for 20 years. Being a good parent means being engaged, working at it, knowing it is a role that does not go away.

It has never gone away with my mother.

When I think of her now and what her legacy is, it is impossible not to think of her grandchildren who love her and adore her. And she loves and adores them.

It seems to me that they can do no wrong in her eyes and, likewise, she can do no wrong in theirs.

They love their grandma, no doubt.

But remember, kids, my sisters and I were here first. She’s our mom before she’s your grandma!

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. You have been all a kid could ask for…

… and so much more.

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Link’n’Blogs – 5.12.17 – Superhero Moms

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I loved Lincoln Logs when I was a kid. Though I never entertained the idea that I would be a designer, engineer or architect, something about putting together these wooden and plastic pieces was simply simple fun. Connecting to ideas through the blogosphere seems similar to this pursuit, hence the title of this weekly post. Each Friday, I intend to post something interesting I’ve read out there on the internets. Hopefully others will find these posts as thought provoking as I have.

Mother’s Day is Sunday and there are more than a few famous moms in comic books. Click the photo below and take a look!


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A Mother’s Day With Cinnamon

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My wonderful wife, The Cinnamon Girl, is one of the most talented storytellers I know. This is not an exaggeration shared through love colored glasses, it is a fact. I have seen her take over a dinner party with this ability, making people laugh until they cry. I have watched her take over many a classroom with it, inspiring students and engaging them with her wit and smarts. Frankly, I love when she tells stories because she’s so good at it.

She fascinates and entertains our children. That’s another statement of fact and it’s also not something that I am exaggerating. She treats them as equals, as young adults and they more than appreciate that. They like being entertained by her, by her stories and her offhanded irreverence. They understand she has important things to say to them. They feel her love for them.

We have three wonderful kids, and that’s primarily because of what a wonderful mother she is. She has helped them grow and helped them find their places in the world. What a gift she is to them.

I simply couldn’t ask for a better partner in every way.

I couldn’t ask for our children to have a better mother.

I couldn’t ask for a better wife.

Happy Mother’s Day, Cinnamon Girl!

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Happy Day, Mom – Mother’s Day 2016

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And mama, when I was a child, I lost hours in her smile. Baking cookies in the kitchen, spillin’ paint on her tile. She’d read me bible stories and sleep with me awhile. And I first saw God in her eyes. – Colorado Time

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Me and Mom on a Las Vegas trip. 2013.

I went to an all boys high school, as most who’ve read this blog know. All boys high schools are wonderful places, many of which (including the one I attended) pride themselves on the sense of brotherhood they create in their graduates – the idea that the bonds formed between young men are special, strong and formed for a lifetime. At their best, all boys schools do generate this type of loyalty and they help boys understand – on at least a basic level – what it means to be a man. But, sometimes because of the very nature of their structure and the make- up, they have a harder time teaching young men about women.

Upon matriculating from all boys high schools, some graduates struggle with the reality that the young woman sitting next to them in college classes is just as smart (smarter?), just as confident (braver?) and just a capable (you get the idea) than they are.

I didn’t have that issue when I hit college. Why? In large part because of my mother.

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Me and Mom in my dorm room. 1991.

My mother is a very smart, very passionate person. As my sisters (both wonderful mothers in their own rights, by-the-way) and I were growing up, we were very blessed to have a mother like her. She loved us and we knew it. She asked for us to be our best and we tried to be for her – no one wanted to disappoint Mom.  She was full of laughter  and teased us (me most of all as I remember it) with  joyful exuberance. During our childhoods, she embraced us in comfort, gave us our character as people, made us us who we are today.

And my mom has has never been reticent to share her opinions, which is the most important reason that I always understood the power of women and never doubted the inherent equality between women and men. What a blessing to have been taught that crucial lesson at such a young age.

She remains ready to opine, and I often seek out what she thinks about what is going on in my life – about career choices, about parenting my own children, about the big questions we all confront and we want to ask our moms. Sometimes, when I realize that I haven’t asked her opinion, I think I know why I haven’t – it’s because I know what she will say and it’s usually what I don’t want to and very much need to hear.

My mom is the matriarch of our family. She is the center of it. She is the person who first showed me good and God in our world.

She is my mom. I am highly blessed.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.


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EduQuote of the Week: May 2 – May 8, 2016

door quotes

A mother’s love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity, it dates all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path.

– Agatha Christie


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And There Came Mothers Day

I originally posted these comments about the moms in my life two years back… they still say what I want to say…


When I think back on growing up, it seemed my mother, The Mater, rarely had a moment of peace. She had three children, two of us close in age, one of us five years younger and I can only imagine that just when my older sister and I completed one stage of life – learning to walk, potty training, you name it – mom had to be ready for my little sister to come upon the same thresholds – to, literally, walk in our footsteps. That must have happened through our childhoods and into our young adulthoods, too. High school choices. Graduations. Marriages. Grandchildren. Every event followed by another.

My mom must not have had a moment to breathe or a moment for herself.

Take one today, Mom. Think about what you’ve done and all that you’ve accomplished. We are not who we are without you. Supportive, caring, loving, ever present – you were those things for us when we were growing up and you are those things for us now. You and Dad made a great team, but all three of us know that you were the quarterback – you had the plan. Hell, Dad knew it, too: “Go ask Mommy” he would say. He was saying that up until he died.

I still do. I still go ask Mommy. I’m more stubborn than I should be when I get the answers, but I suspect I will always keep asking you the questions.

Happy Mothers Day, Mom.

Happy Mothers Day, too, to the mother of my children. They are the best thing we did together, without question.

The Step-in-Law is one of the most generous people I have ever met. She is also amazingly quick with a story – about parenting, about teaching, about her childhood – and those stories leave me and anyone within earshot in stitches. She knows more about life than I could ever hope to learn. And she’s happy to share that knowledge!  Happy Mothers Day to you, Step-in-Law.

My grandmothers – gone now – also were formative for me. It was, in fact, The Mater’s Mater who convinced me to stay at the university I had selected when I wanted to come home my freshman year. Had I departed, Sous Chef and Stretch wouldn’t be around. And my father’s mother needs a blog post entirely to herself some day. Talk about larger-than-life.

Nothing I do as a parent and nothing I am as a man is possible without The Cinnamon Girl.  The manner in which she raises our children, the mother she was to HJ, jr before I ever came along, the confidence she has in parenting – all of it inspires me. She is kind and funny with the kids. They never know what she is going to say. She treats them as adults, and that’s appropriate. She sets boundaries for them that allow them to reach, but also keep them safe. The Cinnamon Girl has incredible instincts. She knows when to leave the kids alone – to let them figure things out for themselves. She knows when to go to them and comfort them or engage them. She knows how to challenge them while always letting them know that they are loved and they are safe. She is an incredible role model for them – especially for Sous Chef (one of my great joys is seeing the young woman my daughter is becoming because of the influence of my wife). She has a distinct relationship with each of our kids.

She loves them.

And they love her.

She is also an incredible caretaker of me, of our kids, of her own mother.

The Cinnamon Girl is someone who never gets a moment’s rest. She deserves a moment. She deserves more than that.

I am blessed with these wonderful mothers in my life. Completely blessed.

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