*Update: We’ve since moved to Dallas, but I’ll probably always remember this as a special Mother’s Day. In spite of the fact that it was so different from the others, it was still good!
How I Got Through Mother’s Day Without the Kids
Since we’ve moved to Austin, and since everyone in the family lives somewhere else, we just can’t be together on every single important occasion.
That can be a little hard, especially since we spent so many years living near extended family. So, in the way that only he can, my sweet husband made Mother’s Day very special for me this year. No kids in town? No worries. We would have a great day anyway, celebrating the joys of my own motherhood and reminiscing about the blessings we’ve both received from our own moms.
Here’s how my sweet man treated me to a very memorable day. Feel free to try some of his sure-to-please ideas if you’re also facing a day that could get a little lonely.
Photo courtesy CBS Sunday Morning
My husband and oldest child are news junkies. Not me. I’ll risk being called shallow here to say that really, just a few interesting current event tidbits discussed over dinner is all I want. Except when it comes to the news on CBS Sunday Morning. I like to watch the whole show, every minute. Every personality profile is fascinating. Every story is enlightening. I especially love when Jane Pauley is reading the script. She’s like everyone’s calm and classy big sister.
Watching CBS Sunday Morning in your jammies with a big mug of coffee like I like it (one part cream to three parts brewed flavored coffee) is a relaxing experience. And a great way to start Mother’s Day.
Church at Riverbend
Photo courtesy Riverbend Church
There are so many great churches in Austin where people gather to worship. And while I know the church is the people, not the building, still, if there’s a prettier church building in Austin, I’ve not seen it. Worshiping in this beautiful place called Riverbend Church. Today, the message was extra special because the focus was on a mother named Hannah (1 Samuel 1) who cried out to God for a son, and God answered Hannah’s prayer.
The pastor called his wife to the stage to talk about the prayers of a mom, and she said, “A mother can’t not pray.” How true. Moms love their children deeply and are willing to pray all night, fast all day, and do it again and again in order to bring the needs of those children to God on their behalf.
I have read all of Stormie Omartian’s books, including: The Power of a Praying Parent years ago (so motivating) and The Power of Praying for Your Adult Children recently (so comforting). Nobody knows this parental prayer subject like Stormie Omartian, and I consider these books to have affected my prayer life more than anything else. (*Update: We no longer go to Riverbend Church, but are so thankful for the time we spent there and the friends we made.)
Lunch at Whole Foods Market Flagship Store
Photo courtesy Whole Foods Market
One of my favorite Mother’s Day celebrations when the kids were younger included a fried chicken picnic on a rare wind-free spring day in Amarillo. This Mother’s Day lunch at Whole Foods was a picnic of a different kind, but not a bad substitute. While we watched the rain come down, we enjoyed an indoor picnic for two.
The food was truly delicious. Salmon, veggies and an Honest Tea. Whole Foods in Austin is, and probably always be, one of my favorite places. It’s just a hip and happenin’ place. Over lunch, we talked about our mothers and things we appreciated about them. Mike’s mom was 44 when he was born, the last of her four children.
Mike’s mom was funny, endearing and absolutely devoted to her son. However, she and his dad never enjoyed a good marriage. Over our 35 years of our own marriage, we’ve done a lot of hashing out what caused the divorce of our moms and dad. We respect our parents for many good thing about themselves, but occasionally, we have a pretty good laugh about the dysfunction of it all.
That’s what happened today. As we nibbled those last few bites, I learned something new about Mike’s parents that he hadn’t ever told me before. He recalled one time when they drove 50 miles to see a marriage counselor after a big weekend hullabaloo, stopped at a bar on the way home from the session, got tooted, and went on continuing to have regular weekend hullabaloos. In his characteristic way of expressing the difficult with humor, Mike said about that counseling session, “It didn’t take.”
Who knows what you’ll find out over lunch at Whole Foods with a bottle of Honest Tea. (pun intended!)
Two Book Stores
Seriously, this is how I know how much Mike loves me. A browse through BookPeople is a sho-nuff treat for a book lover like me, but my husband doesn’t necessarily fit under that description. He would rather read a newspaper than a book any day, and his second choice would be an informational podcast.
So if he’s willing to meander through category after category and section after section of socks, bookmarks, books and journals, he’s really doing it for ME. And THEN…since I had a 20% off coupon to Barnes & Noble, we went there, too! More meandering. More leisurely looking., and more pictures of books I’d love to read sometime soon. He knows beyond all doubt that there’s absolutely no way I’ll read all the books that evoke my oohs and ahs, but he acts interested and doesn’t say a word about it. Like I said, my man loves me a whole bunch.
Cupcakes at Gigi’s
After seeing Gigi on Undercover Boss, we Googled to see if there was a location close to us, and there was. We’ve been talking about going there, and tried once, but they were all sold out. So, in the rain, we went again today.
Here’s my honest critique about Gigi’s. The cupcakes are very pretty, but the store itself offered less than I expected. A young mom and her little girl bought cupcakes and ate them at a tiny table inside the store. No music, no cute plate, no coffee. They were eating their pretty cupcakes out of a recyclable cardboard bowl. On Mother’s Day. After building it up in my mind, I wanted Gigi’s to be the Cadillac of all cupcake shops, but I was disappointed. Enough said. But, hey, they are very pretty. (*Update: Currently researching for a blog post about Texas cupcakes, so I plan to give Gigi’s another try!)
So, there you have it. I got through Mother’s Day without the kids! Thanks to my man, it was still a fun occasion, filled with sweetness and surprises. Thanks, Honey!
How ’bout You?
Were your kids home for Mother’s Day? Did they treat you at their own home instead? How did you celebrate? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.
Encouraging intentional adventure and a slow stroll around a great book store,