A Simpler Kitchen

IMG_0089

Well, New Year, New Me, right?  Here I am, working away, raising kids, loving my husband, and definitely spending a lot of time on my personal growth.  I have a TON to share, but right now I will just let you know that I am on a new path.

Over the last, I guess 7 years, that I have been writing, I have had a lot of growth.  I became a mother, I changed jobs, am now in a new role as a regional sales director that includes travel, I also was on the radio for almost 6 years.  Talk about a whirlwind.

You know, I felt a lot, during my time in the media, that if someone invited me to their event, I had to offer a favorable review.  I was really torn, and as I got deeper into my life in the media, I started to decline offers.  I knew it was the beginning to an end.  I did not fit the mold and that life was not conducive to a healthy Missy.

When I quit the media, I was barraged with recipe developers and products who want influencers.  I am toying with it, but I think that my blog is not about that.  It is about a real life, being a good spouse, motherhood, a passion for food, and self discovery.

So, I do have a lot to share with you all.  Some of my news will knock your socks off.  Expect more conversation on my swiftly changing life, and some honest offerings of the difficult road I am on.  That is why I am calling this blog The Simpler Kitchen.

Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes……

Some days you just flip the script and walk down another road.  Why did I decide to walk away from radio?  Well for starters the radio station was sold (granted it won’t change hands for 6 plus months) but it takes a situation like this to make you realize you have been trying to talk yourself out of doing radio for about a year…..maybe 2.  I have been on the air for 5 years and 8 months.  For those who don’t know radio – THAT IS A LONG TIME TO NOT BE CANCELLED.

IMG_4313

Here is the deal.  I am exhausted.  I am 46, and I have a full time corporate job  that includes travel and a lot of focus (I LOVE IT!), a husband that does not get NEARLY as much of my time as he deserves and twin 4 year-olds who are straight up magical.  Do I need a secondary career in media? No.  I do not work at the station for a paycheck, but for a hobby.  Yes, that is a luxury, I know it.  Hashtag blessed.

I will do about 3 more shows.  Maybe that.   Wish me luck as I throw myself back into family and food.  Expect a lot of cooking, family fun, home entertaining and dining out.  I might finally begin that garden, start canning beets and go to the coast more often.  Who knows….perhaps I will get in shape?

In the time I have been on the air I have been through a LOT.  I went though a long IVF journey, I became a mother, I have emceed every food event from here to Northern California, and I have loved it all.  But I need a break.  I need to rest.  I need to consider the marathon, not the sprint.

My family deserve it.  So do I.

Changing the blog name.  Changing the Direction of my posts ( back to personal and honest and about the struggles and successes of life) and changing my priorities.

I hope I will not lose you on my journey as I attempt to navigate these crazy waters and in the process uncover the Maki Family Values.

Love you all – thank you for your support!

Moments that define you.

I have a friend named Tami.  She is the person on my shoulder that  whispers in my ear what to do and what not to do.  My conscience.  She is actually  a real person as well, and actually comes in my office and lets me know when I am being too hard, or soft, but rarely that I am being to soft.  So, yeah….I guess I am what you would call a strong leader who needs a soft soul at her side.  That is Tami.  Why am I bringing this up?  Because I wanted to talk about moments that define you and these are moments that you do not have your Tami next to you.  When you actually make a decision, good or bad, and they define you.  The decision becomes a trademark, or an indelible memory that people will never erase and it will be always etched on you, like a tattoo.

For some it is something that sends them to prison.

For some it is something that wins them a Nobel Peace Prize.

I think we have many of these, and sometimes you have defining moments that erase all of the old feelings, or ideas about you.  Think of, perhaps a leader who was racist, until they did some sort of a grand gesture, switched sides, then spend decades working on equality – that person would have had a defining moment and then would always be remembered for the good they did, and perhaps the 20 years prior of hate and pain they caused is erased.  Is that fair?  I guess that is up to you.  These are large scale items.  What I am writing about are the small ones.

I am not sure if you ever know when your moment is coming, so the idea is that you live a life based on making good decisions so that you are defined as good.  I wish I had that to offer.  44 years of great decisions.  Popular choices.  Staying on the right side of the tracks.  I don’t and I will not even try to kid you about it.  I am pretty damned average and have had moments of splendor and moments of weakness.  Both are acceptable in my book, and frankly my book is the one I live from.  The weak decisions shape me, and the splendorous moments lift others, and perhaps the opinion of others in the process, which I am told we are not supposed to care about.  Confusing, right?

I have had many moments.  I decided to move to Portland.  I married Jason.  I decided to switch jobs 4 years ago.  I decided to have kids.

11028052_958281007586077_5455383007387646727_o

Yes, decided because I am infertile and I had to pay a lot of money to have my children.  Yes, I am infertile.  I am okay saying that.  I started trying to have kids when I was 34 and after we went through all of our treatments and achieved pregnancy my Dr told me “we do not like to tell women this, but we are confident that you would never be able to have kids naturally.  You made all the right choices so we did not have to address this, but I think you should know for the future.”  Did this hurt?  Hell no, it justified 50 thousand dollars. (no insurance would cover my treatments)  So, cash money was well spent.

So, to sum it up, my moment that defined me was:  Choosing to be a mother.  

Not everyone’s life changes when they have kids.  We get a lot of comments from people about how much time we spend with our kids.  I think it is sweet, but I am always surprised, maybe embarrassed. Do we seem obsessed with them? ( yes) Are we over the top with family time? (likely) Do we both run home after work and have all sorts of plans every night for what we will do as a family? (always).  But, here is the thing:  I am average.  But maybe, my moment that defined me was not the same as others, and that is okay.

As I wrap up the year I am humbled by the fact that I was given the opportunity to have a family and children.  That my life is easily and clearly laid out in front of me now.  That my priorities are all lined out and I do not have to rely on Tami to keep me in line anywhere but at work.  I have the rest of my life’s greatest work of art in process.  What a privilege to already know what the picture I am painting will be.  Now to focus every day on my greatest work, my priority, my moments that define me.

Happy Holidays dear friends.  Happy holidays indeed.

Life comes fast and bittersweet musings from a mommy

The velocity of life once you have children is astounding.  My daughter just explained that Santa comes through the fireplace.  She was drinking a bottle just a year ago and now she is telling me how things are.  She also let me know that “pwesents go in a big socky” Which is clearly her stocking.  My son can build buildings taller than himself as well as starts his own baths and takes a shower now.  He takes a shower.  Alone.

IMG_7876

I have to stop and reflect on how once they get going, it is like a train on the track.  The train is out of the station and they are off on their journey.  Their life journey.  I am here, I suppose, to keep them safe, feed them, and keep them from going down the wrong track.  I don’t know.  On my best days, I don’t know a damn thing.

I can openly tell you that I am a novice at parenting.  I want to be a pro, read the books, focus on their early childhood education but they are already ahead of me.  They are counting, saying parts of the alphabet, can find their way, on foot, to the park that is half a mile away.  I just follow.  I am officially just following and I can’t get ahead.  I expected this once we hit math in abut 10th grade, but not now.  I did not expect to be so lost at 2.5 years.

I guess they are launching, and this holiday season is the point, I believe,  in my memories that will stick out as a turning point due to them being self sufficient in many ways.  This is what I have been waiting for, what I dreamed of, but it hurts.  It hurts so much to have them so independent.

Being a mother is bittersweet.

I’ve changed. Get over it.

I just shook my head, looked up from my desk and said to myself:  I need air.  I stood up, put my earbuds in and started walking.  I walked a simple mile, through the city, around blocks, over an overpass and back.  I looked up.  I didn’t have a purse or wallet, just my music and me feet.  I thought…..Young Missy would never have done this.

Young Missy.  I actually said Young Missy.

I am back at my desk, pondering a pile of menus that need reviewing…..still trying to find the “sweetspot” for typing with my bifocals, and wishing only one thing.  Wishing that I could stand back up and go for another walk.  My thoughts were taking me to a place that I needed to go.  I was thinking about how much I have changed in the last decade.   Edges are softening and blurring in one area while senses and beliefs are becoming stronger and more acute in others.  This slow, gentle changeover is always in process, but you don’t notice until you have almost made a complete flip flop from your “younger me”.

I find myself apologizing for not being the same Young Missy.  Like I need to apologize for preferring rest, or the company of my children and husband.  I do.  I need rest, I need to see and feel my family on a daily basis.  I do want to drown in the loving environment of our welcoming home.  I don”t want to go out to the movies, I do want to go for a walk with my husband.  I don’t want to go out to dinner in the city, I do want to pick blackberries with my kids.  It is preferable, the walks, the berries, the time on the sofa swing.  So, get over it.

I am fortunate.  I want to be with my family.  I am in love with my husband.  I am the one who could give any of the other stuff up.  Because of this, because my work is not threat to my personal life, I excel in work.  I am able to place it where it belongs, come in and out of it.  While I may not be perfect, I would say I am better than many.

Just as I have learned that friends have seasons, some long, some short, some are surprising disappointments and some are just wonderful surprises that were always there, I learn that Missy has seasons.. I hope the season I am in now is the longest.  The one with few regrets, more forgiving of myself,  a lot more time holding hands and children, and a lot less time wasted.

I am a gentler, yet stronger.  I am playful, yet more thoughtful,  I am rooted, but growing daily.

I am rooted.  Rooted.  This is what Young Missy was never before.

I’ve changed.  Get over it.

IMG_0121

 

 

 

My Ultimate Come-Uppance

“Get your ass in here, we are going to have a come to Jesus RIGHT NOW” The sound of my childhood. I heard that a lot, I wish the lessons had stuck a little better.

Now, I don’t know about you, but having children has been the ultimate source of ego deflation. Don’t get me wrong, I have a healthy amount of self-esteem, however there is some behavior that should have been fixed long ago, and when these two angels danced out of my uterus, the shit hit the fan.

I think of “douchy parent” behavior. This is where BEFORE you have kids, you look at those kids running around the restaurant/store/ANYWHERE, getting into people’s purses, screaming bloody murder, taking all their clothes off and screaming “POO POO” at the top of their lungs, you look at your partner and with disdain say “our kids will never do that”. Well, yes they will you smug fuckers, yes they will.

IMG_7152

This is just the simple stuff. Let’s talk about the big stuff.

I learned that I am not that big of a deal. That is it. Nothing more, but I am just another person on this planet trying to make a living, raise decent humans, and laugh with my husband. That is pretty much it.  That one helps me in many aspects of my life, this newfound knowledge.  I simply do not matter that much.

I am a terrible friend. I just am. Or, perhaps, was. Here is my view at this point in the game of life: “I get that I put myself first for decades. If you want to be my friend at this point, I should probably write you a check for a thousand dollars because you deserve it.” I am not being mean to myself, this is just how it is. I was on a fast track career path, I powered through friends and romantic relationships, I sought out the highs, and ignored the lows. My understanding now is this: The lows are what bring us together. Growing through the lows is what makes the highs so high, and having someone who you have done it with is the foundation of friendship. I have that in my current marriage, but it was hard learned. Life is a series of peaks and valleys. So, my friends, teach your kids to embrace their loved ones in the valleys because the peaks are much better with someone with you at the top.

I no longer judge peoples marriages|relationships. Ever. Bless you for going into the union, and bless you to the end. People do things to each other that are unfathomable but love is something that can be a fire that dwindles for a while, then needs more kindling or logs and reignites into a beautiful flame. Then, for some, it just gets doused out totally. This does not affect me at your house, only at mine. Be happy. Love in the fashion you love and communicate how you need to be loved back. I hope you find that balance and mirrored back to you in someone, and that it lasts forever.

I see things out of different eyes. Eyes of how I wish my kids to see me. I don’t want to gossip. I really don’t and I don’t want to raise gossips. I want my children to make friends that will be with them through thick and thin. I want them to fall in love for the sake of love. That heart exploding, devil may care, I will do anything for that person love, and I need to show how to keep that love alive through my actions towards my husband. I want my children to know they are loved but this world does not revolve around them and that they are specifically tasked with leaving it a better place then they found it. They are a speck of sand on the beach. However, in the same breathe, they will know that Abraham Lincoln was a speck of sand. Martin Luther King was a speck of sand. Eleanor Roosevelt and Maya Angelou were specks of sand. Much like the simple flap of a butterfly wing can start a tsunami, so can they make a change in this world.

So I have learned, in these 2 years how irrelevant I am, and how large my task of simply becoming a better person is. I guess that’s all I have to say about that.