*Update: Since the first publication of this post, we’ve moved to Dallas, but I’ll always have sweet memories of this first Mother’s Day in Austin without the kids. In spite of the fact that it was so different from the others, it was still so good!
How I Made it 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.
Coffee Like I Like It…and CBS Sunday Morning
My husband and oldest child are news junkies.
Not me. I’ll even go so far as to risk being called shallow here to say that really, just a few interesting current event tidbits discussed over dinner is all I want. Or need.
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
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: Church was a huge part of our Austin experience. We ended up at a different church than where we began, but we’ll always be thankful for the things we learned at Riverbend and the friends we made while there.)
Lunch at Whole Foods Market Flagship Store
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 to grab a bite to eat in downtown Austin. It’s also a great place to people-watch, especially on a day when you want to blend right into the crowd yourself.
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.
Her name was Obie. She was funny, endearing and absolutely devoted to her son. However, while he was well cared for, Mike’s mom and dad never cared all that much for each other.
Over our 35 years of our own marriage, we’ve done a lot of hashing out what caused the divorce of our moms and dads. 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 his parents’ counseling session: “I guess it didn’t take.”
Who knows what you’ll find out over lunch at Whole Foods with a bottle of Honest Tea. (See what I did there?)
Two Book Stores
Seriously. This is one huge way 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 share my zeal for that experience. If it weren’t for me, he might never step foot in a book store! And he sure wouldn’t wander up and down the aisles if he did.
Nope, my man 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.
Can you believe I didn’t buy any books, though?
I did find a few cute gifts for other people, though, and, of course, I took pictures of books I want to read later, including the following titles. Have you read any of them?
Go Big or Go Home by Scott McCreery
First Women: The Grace and Power of America’s Modern First Ladies by Kate Anderson Brower
1001 Ways to Live Wild: A Little Book of Everyday Adventures by Barbara Ann Kipfer
The Book of Awesome by Neil Pasricha
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 tried again today. This time, we were successful.
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 watching the show about Gigi’s success, I wanted this to be the Cadillac of all cupcake shops, but it just wasn’t what I had envisioned.
However, they do have very pretty cupcakes.
(*Update: Currently researching for a blog post about Texas cupcakes, so I plan to give Gigi’s another try!)
How ‘Bout You?
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.
What about 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.