Spring Eats

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Lacrosse season has kicked off, it’s finally starting to warm up and the produce aisle at the grocery store is beginning to look much more colorful. All signs that spring is on its way. Phew.

With a new season upon us, I wanted to take the opportunity to share one of my favorite spring recipes. Of course, I stole this from a friend, but that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable.

Fruit Salsa

  • 1 Golden Delicious apple – peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1 carton of strawberries, diced
  • 1 carton of blueberries
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • 1tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp fruit preserves – I like to use raspberry

It’s easy. Simply wash and cut all fruit as instructed, toss with the other ingredients and serve. Quick, delicious and best of all, it makes my kids happy. The only problem is how quickly it disappears. With the three men in my life, I give it five minutes, tops.

The boys love to eat their fruit salsa with cinnamon chips for extra crunch (and sugar). For the gluten-free lady in the family (i.e. me) it’s also great on a gluten free bagel or with Nut Thins.

Enjoy!

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The Club

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Warning: Grab the tissues.

As I looked ahead to the rest of the week I realized that this #ThursdaysWithTina fell on the second anniversary of my Father’s passing. I thought about writing about it. I started scribbling down the words. And then, I stopped. I support full disclosure and part of my original promise as The Jeweler’s Wife was to be, above all else, honest. That said, there was a part of me that wasn’t ready to go there.

Until today. Until I picked up the phone to hear that a friend had also lost his Dad.

After hearing the news, my mind started to spin. I thought to myself, what could I do for the family? How can I support them? It was decided. I would send a card. Great, but then, what do I write? Are there even words?

I let my mind wander and continued to go back to one theme – welcome to the club. The club that no one wants to join. The one that involves losing a parent.

What a terrible thought, but I couldn’t remove myself from it. As we enter our late 30’s and early 40’s, losing a parent becomes all too common. Sadly, it becomes new normal.

When my dad was sick our hospice nurse told us, “normal is only a setting on a washing machine.” She was right. Once you’ve joined ‘the club’ you want to want to believe that everyone is operating on the same setting as you, but it’s just not the case. Life continues to move around you. At times it doesn’t make sense. At times it’s so, so frustrating. Looking back to when I entered ‘the club’, I remember many moments where I wanted to look people in the eyes and scream, “do you realize I just lost a parent?” I wanted the world to pause. To reflect on what mattered. To grieve with me.

As my Dad’s health declined, we knew the time was coming. Fortunately, I was to be able to step away from work and spend his last three months with him. Those are the days that I wouldn’t trade for anything. As we all sat together in those last days he shared stories, many of which we had never heard before. He gave us more insight into who he was, the life he had lived and as a result helped us better understand ourselves.

Observing my father, I started to realize just how fast time really moves. While I couldn’t slow down the clock, I feel blessed that I had the opportunity to tell him how great of a father he was, to give him that one last hug and to tell him that I loved him. For that I am eternally grateful. Many people don’t get that chance.

This week we will visit the cemetery and release butterflies at my father’s grave. It’s become a tradition that we’ve kept since his funeral. For us, it’s a great reminder of the life that he lived and symbolizes his pain, finally being set free. I know he probably looks down at laughs at us, but it’s our way of coping. It’s our way of dealing with ‘the club’ that we unwillingly joined.

To my friend, that’s what I will write. Find your way to cope. Do what it takes to find peace. While ‘the club’ doesn’t necessarily get easier, learn to be comfortable with the new normal. Share the stories. Remember the moments. Help them live on as best as you can.

Lacrosse: The Hidden Gem of the Sports World

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This past Saturday, our youngest son, Trent, had his first lacrosse game of the season. What a fun sport. Growing up, I heard a lot about baseball, football, hockey, and basketball. But, lacrosse? No one was talking about it.
As a mother of two boys, I’m very familiar with the serious, highly competitive baseball environment, but from what I’ve seen, lacrosse delivers something different. At least at Trent’s age, the sport is fun and laid back. Everyone cheers for everyone. While the coaches still yell, especially Coach Andy (per Trent), the boys on the field remain in high spirits. From the time the game starts until the final moments, you can see the smiles radiating from their faces.
Middies? Attackers? Defenders? Let’s be honest, I don’t really understand the rules of the game, but that doesn’t stop me from cheering loudly every time the ball nears the goal. Because, if there is one thing I do know, it’s that when the goalie lets that ball enter the net, we’ve scored. Yes!
Ignoring the technicalities, from what I’ve observed lacrosse is truly a brotherhood. Regardless of the weather or the score, these young boys fight together until the very end. Sometimes I’m convinced they only hang on to hear their coach yell, “attack your goalie”. Win or lose, when the game is over the kids topple over their goalie, showing their appreciation for their “brother” near the net. Thanking him for standing up to the challenge and for defending the team.
Witnessing a bunch of 5-8 year-old kids showing their love and support for each other is something any mother can appreciate. Just thinking about it makes me melt. Does anyone have a Kleenex?
Maybe it’s just the emotions, but I’m thinking this might warrant a lacrosse jewelry line. I would sport a sparkly lacrosse stick pendant any day.  Well, at least when it’s in season, of course.
Go Lakota Lacrosse! Looking forward to a great season.