A Few Thoughts Before Mother’s Day…

CATEGORIES: General News

As many of you know, last year we had the opportunity to participate in a speaking tour called Time Out for Women. A lot of people assumed we were there to talk about our cookbooks or dinner or something, but we were actually there to talk about motherhood—the expectations we set for ourselves based on what we see on the internet and our own experiences as mothers, and also our experiences with our own moms. Since Mother’s Day is on Sunday, we wanted to share a little of what we talked about last year.  This post is a little different than what we normally talk about around here; but we hope you take the time and enjoy the read, and share it with others if you feel so inclined.

If you spend any amount of time browsing the internet, you know what it takes to be an ideal wife and mother. If you read enough blogs or spend enough time browsing Pinterest, you’ll know that you need to…

*Prepare 3 healthy, homemade, preferably organic meals a day.

*You’ll need an elaborately simple system for folding and organizing your laundry.

*Due to a system of charts, your house will never be more than 10 minutes away from being company ready.

*You’ll properly display your family with their coordinating heights and ages in a vinyl decal on your minivan.

*You’ll send your daughters to school every day with a different hairdo, most of which involve mastering curling their hair with a flat iron and twisting elaborate shapes into her hair, fastened with giant bows and flowers that you have on a color-coded hair-bow organizer that you made yourself.

*You’ll never buy eggs from the store—if you’re a good mom, you’ll build your own chicken coop in the backyard and paint it a popular Benjamin Moore shade where your free-range chickens can happily lay their organic eggs.

*You’ll have professional portraits taken on a very regular basis. They should always be taken outdoors, either on abandoned rail-road tracks, in front of an abandoned burnt-down graffitied building that’s clearly unsafe for children, out in nature, but with items that don’t naturally occur in nature, like the big velvet couch that mysteriously appeared in the middle of a wheat field.  Bonus points if you get at least one shot with your family holding hands while walking away from the camera.

*You’ll reupholster all your old furniture in funky, hard-to-find fabrics.

*Your kids clothes will be made from your husband’s old work shirts.

*At some point, you’ll consider redecorating your whole house with owls.

*You’ll definitely make all your own baby food because it’s just as easy as buying it at the store, and everyone knows that your babies will grow up with above-average intelligence and be better-looking in adulthood. Because of your homemade baby food.

*And finally, if you don’t simultaneously bargain shop AND shop at Anthropologie, you might as well not shop at all.

We might be guilty of a few of those things, but it’s easy to see how when we start looking around at what everyone else appears to be doing, we can start feeling a little inadequate.  While the internet and social media are amazing sources of inspiration and creativity, they can sometimes serve simply as a reminder of everything we don’t have and aren’t able to accomplish, especially as mothers.  Too often, they overemphasize the good and under-emphasize the bad.  As we peruse the cyber-world, it’s easy to be left with the impression that everyone else is somehow able to accomplish so much more than we are.

We have seen this first-hand when people compare themselves to the very little part of us that appears on the Internet. Somehow, people have gotten the idea that ALL of the meals in our homes look like the ones we post here on the blog.

Pretty Food from Our Best Bites

Our kids always get 27 pancakes with fresh berries on top, we garnish every individual serving, and we certainly serve all of our food on gorgeous plates with coordinating cloth table linens.

Yeah, not so much.  At my house it’s often more a question of, “Hmm…what else could I possibly serve with ranch dressing today?”

Nuggets and Ranch

And we may or may not be on a first name basis with the drive-through attendants at both Sonic and McDonald’s.


Here’s one of our favorites: a little something I like to call “The 400 Special.”  It’s a great demonstration of the value I place on education and learning in the home.  I send my three young boys to rummage through the freezer and assert their exceptional knowledge of both letters and numbers as they search for anything and everything they can find that says, “bake at 400” on the package.

The Infamous 400 Special from Our Best Bites

And because I also value the nutritional content of our family meals, I sometimes put the dino nuggets on lettuce and call it a Crispy Chicken Salad.

Crispy Dino Salad

The facade of parenting and motherhood faces the same issues on the internet.  When you take a look at blogs and Facebook, you’d think that children are happy and smiling and that all babies lie nakedly wrapped in nets in fur-lined wooden bowls, like nature intended…

Baby Will

But you might not see as many little princesses transforming into evil queens…

Evil Queen

Or little Picasos feeling a little too liberal with their definition of ‘artistic expression’

Art kid 1

Or your Costco-sized bag of flour being turned into a playground for Bob the Builder and all his friends…

Trains in Flour

Or your special kitchen “helper” doing lots of “helping”…

Cheesecake disaster

Or the little chef “making pancakes” in a household item that in no way resembles an actual cooking item.

Eggs in Vaccum

(Yes, that is in fact my vacuum.)

The fact is, motherhood is not all sunshine and rainbows.  And life isn’t always bubbly, happy, color-coordinated, and pin-worthy.


The photo below is my Mother in 1979, holding me, her first daughter.  I often look at this photo and think what an exciting time it must have been in her life.  My parents had just built their first home, in a new city where my Dad would start a job he would excel at for the next 30+ years of life.  She had 2 young children, and would give birth to 2 more in the coming years.  Life was good.

Sara Mom 3

But as hard as we try, we can’t always control every detail of our lives.  My Mom’s life hit some bumpy paths and took unexpected turns.  In her adult years she’s suffered from disease and brain injury that have disabled her over the years.  My mom is a much different woman now than she was when I was a child and as the years go by, my memories of her in her full capacity are largely ones from my childhood.  She started getting sick with a very progressive disease just as I was coming into adulthood.  Knowing a parent when you’re a child yourself is much different than having a relationship with them when you’re an adult, and her life took a drastic turn right at that pivotal time in both of our lives. Today, she is mostly bound to a wheelchair and needs constant care and assistance with basic daily functions.  Even now as I write this blog post, she’s in a hospital, hooked to tubes and pumps and needles.  Her mind is as fragile as her body.  Sometimes she recognizes who I am when I call and sometimes I have to remind her that I’m her daughter.  That my name is Sara.  That I live in Idaho and have three little boys.

Sara's Mom 1

I wonder all the time what life would be like had these circumstances been different.  When I see girls my age out to lunch with their Moms at restaurants, or shopping at the mall together, it tugs on my heart a little bit.  I wish I could know the woman she was years ago now that I’m an adult myself.  I’m intrigued by that woman because I’m in her shoes now; I’m a mother.  I’m raising a family and doing all of the things she did when I was young. I want to remember her like that, I want to know her like that.  I want to ask her all about it and hear advice on how to do this mothering thing right.  Now I pour over photographs and memorabilia about her life.  And as I look back on those things and speak with people who have known her for many years, I realize what a smart, capable, and creative woman she was.  When I was a child she was just doing grown-up stuff.  She led complex organizations and planned huge events.  She created ridiculously magical birthday parties for me and my siblings with amazing cakes- and I can’t help but think, how’d she do that?  She didn’t even have Google, let alone Pinterest!  The woman planned neighborhood parties, PTA Fundraisers, and sewed every Halloween costume I ever wore in my entire life.  By the cyber-standards we measure motherhood today, she was a total rock-star of a Mom.

Sara Mom 2

But here’s the thing.  All of those things I just mentioned?  That’s what I remember when I look back at photos.  When in quiet moments I let my mind wander to the things engraved upon my heart, it’s a different set of memories entirely.  I remember as clear as day how she’d let me pull up a chair and play “ice cream man” while she did the dishes.  I remember her “letting” me match all of the socks in the laundry basket and making a game out of it.  I remember the feeling of her hands as they rubbed my back when I was scared at night.  I remember her talking to me and asking me about my day and my life when we’d drive around on endless errands.  I remember her favorite meal of canned tomato soup and slightly burned grilled cheese because she always sat down with me for lunch when we’d have that.  What I remember, what I treasure, are moments stemming from the most mundane moments of motherly duties: laundry, errands, bed time.  What I know now, that I didn’t know then and I don’t think she knew either, was that it was in those simple moments that she taught me how to be a mother.  If there is one thing I could express to her now, and have her truly understand; it’s how grateful I am for that.  For those moments that so perfectly, and unexpectedly,  prepared me to be a Mom.

Sara and Mom in Pool

From my own circumstances, I feel grateful to have a little bit of an enlightened view of what’s important as a child.  When the moments of my life come where I’m flooded with thoughts of self-doubt or inadequacy because I’m most certainly not hand-sewing all of my kids clothes, raising chickens, or planning a perfectly color coordinated birthday party, I take a deep breath and I think of those little moments with my Mom.  Those memories are a constant internal reminder.  Those memories teach me to calm down, slow down, to listen to my kids, to play with my kids, to do whatever it takes to show them in every way possible that they are loved beyond measure.  In the end I think the truth is spoken in one of my favorite quotes:

Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.  -Robert Brault


My own mom died when I was 9 and there were so many times throughout the years when I wished that she was there, first to see the things that I was doing and then, as I became older (and especially after I became a mom), I wanted her advice, I wanted to know what I was like when I was little, if my kids were like me or if they were just weird (or if those two things aren’t mutually exclusive). Because I was so young when she died, I had a very limited, childlike recollection of who she was and I longed to know her better in a way that my older brother and sisters did.

When my oldest son was about 6 months old, I was going through a rough time adjusting to being a mom for the first time. I didn’t know if the cycle of diapers and naps and feedings and naps and diapers would ever end. Every day looked exactly like the one before it and I was kind of feeling insignificant, like what I was doing didn’t matter.

One day, I opened up my front door and there was a package from my oldest sister. I opened it up and it was every single letter my mom sent my sister when she was serving an 18-month mission for our church years and years before. I spent the next few days reading it, laughing and crying, reading about our family’s highs and lows, realizing that my mom and I write the same and think the same things are funny, getting to know her as a person, hearing my mom’s hopes and fears as a mother echoed in my own hopes and fears as a mother, understanding how she felt about me when I was little. Although it was a weekly task, probably something she sometimes viewed as a chore and solely for the benefit of my oldest sister, something she viewed as small and insignificant has become a great comfort and a blessing to me, and I’m grateful for that.

Kate's mom 3

You guys, stop comparing yourselves to everyone around you and the big, fat half-truth that is the Internet.  Celebrate your strengths and try not to worry too much about the ways you feel inadequate to others. If you’re a mom, remember that motherhood is messy and sticky and dirty and sometimes just flat-out hard and heart-breaking, but it’s also beautiful and fulfilling and full of tiny moments that end up being the ones we hold closest to our hearts.

We wish women everywhere, both young and old, with or without children, a beautiful and blessed Mother’s Day!



  1. Beautiful post. Made me cry. You girls bring a lot of joy and happiness into homes all across the world with your blog, and I bet your moms would both be really proud of you for that.

  2. That was absolutely lovely. Thank you for sharing that Kate and Sara! That was very touching to read – I was moved to tears. Sara, I had no idea your mom has progressed so much in her illness. My thoughts are with both of you this mother’s day. *hugs to both of you!!

  3. I loved this talk when I heard you give it in Phoenix and I adore it even more now as I read it late at night in my living room. Thank you for the reminder of what kind of mom my kids need. I am very guilty of getting caught up in what the internet makes me think I should be, and then I feel guilty and sad when I’m not that. I love this reminder that my kids really don’t care about any of those things, as long as they know they are loved. Thank you for being amazing ladies!

  4. Loved this. Thank you. And oh my gosh… eggs in the vacuum. Laughed so hard. That could totally happen here.

  5. Thanks for putting it in writing for me and reminding me of what I heard and felt twice last year, once on your very first time giving it and once just after that scary moment with Clark. All we can do is the best we can at any given moment, and sometimes that means our best varies from moment to moment.
    But it is okay if my daughter actually does have a chicken coop with free-range chickens, right? And I haven’t begun to decorate anything with owls.

  6. Thank you so much for posting this. How touching, poignant, sweet and heartbreaking all at once. I felt your emotions came through so on point in your writings. This might be the best post you guys have EVER posted on this blog. Thanks for sharing, and introducing us to your mothers and your lives in such a beautiful way.

  7. This is all truth. Every word of it. I have had identical thoughts for many years, and because your reading audience is so large, I am so hopeful that many, many earnest and sincere mothers will take this to heart and be uplifted and feel validated and simply GOOD ENOUGH. Thank you for this.

  8. Thank you for this post…it speaks volumes to me. What amazing mothers and women you both are!! But please do tell how in the world you got those eggs out of the vacuum? ? Loved the flour picture too – all little boys should get a chance to play like that once in awhile!

  9. This post made me cry…but also laugh, especially at that flour picture! My almost-3-year-old dumped out a brand new 5 pound bag of flour on our living room carpet last week, so I am right there with you!

  10. Tears from Missouri this morning. Thank you so much!

    And you 400 special made me laugh. I look at stuff and adjust the baking time/temperature so things all turn out relatively okay all at once. Maybe I’ll start shopping based on cooking temperature. It would make my life easier! 🙂

  11. Great post! One of my hopes is to be able to feel like people can come in to my home at any time, not because it’s company ready but because it probably looks much like theirs does at this very minute and it will feel like home. Complete with papers on the table and dog hair on the rug. THIS is how I live!

    And I love that your mom dressed up with you for Halloween and didn’t even have Google! That made me laugh!

  12. I laughed and cried- thank you for sharing some things that are more personal and so meaningful.

  13. I love this. Such wonderful reminders that being a mother is the most important job we as women can do! Thank you for this reminder this morning.

  14. Totally sobbing, but thank you. Just what I needed to hear. I try to remind myself to just sit and enjoy rocking the little one at night, or watching a movie but my mind is often on what I’m NOT doing. Thank you for everything you guys do!

  15. Beautiful post. I’m not a mother yet, but this post made me think of all the wonderful (little)things my mom did for me. Thanks for this 🙂

  16. I know it’s not your usual fare, but I so enjoyed this post. Thank you, of course, for the awesome recipes and cookbooks and all that. But thank you especially for always keeping it real! Thank you for sharing this part of your lives with a huge, mostly anonymous audience. I so appreciate it!

  17. Wonderful post about your memories, your moms and the less than “perfect” world that we live in. Social media can make us feel inadequate if we let it. I choose not to let it.

    Kate and Sara – Happy Mother’s Day to you!

  18. thanks for this beautiful post and for an honest glimpse into your lives. It’s easy to forget that life on the internet is largely staged and not an honest reflection of anyone’s life. Happy Mother’s Day!

  19. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I was talking to my husband about this exact thing last night and this is just what I needed to read today. I feel like there is too much information out there; it is all so confusing and overwhelming. We just need to figure out what works for our own family and children and be happy with ourselves with the efforts we are making. We need to stop comparing our weaknesses to other people’s strengths.

  20. Sweet post. Laughed & cried. I try to read your blog everyday because I just love it. All of it! So thank you.
    Here’s to wishing all you Mothers out there the Happiest of Mother’s Day!

  21. Beautiful thoughts! I loved hearing them in the TOFW SL broadcast last year and I loved reading them this morning. Happy Mother’s Day to you both and thanks for making the rest of us better moms than we might otherwise be.

  22. Yep – you made me cry…at work!
    Beautiful words -thanks for sharing them today.
    Happy Mothers day to you both!

  23. Wow. Thank you so much for this. It was wonderful to read this and feel uplifted as a mother. It’s always good to know we’re not alone in our struggles and journey as mothers. Thank you.

  24. this is so wonderful…you have me crying at 8 am! what a way to start my day…remembering that even though motherhood is hard (SO HARD), it’s never insignificant. thank you!

  25. I laughed and cried – thanks! Thanks for the reminder that it’s the little things in life that really are the important ones!

  26. Beautiful post! Thanks so much for sharing! It is way too easy to get caught up in thinking that we need to be SUPER MOM…this was a good reminder that we are all just human and doing the best we can…and that is enough.

  27. This was just what I needed to hear. Thank you. I likewise laughed….and cried…and am reminded to just be there with my kids! Thanks!

  28. Loved this! Shared it on Facebook for all my mom friends to read. Got a giggle out of all the ”perfect mom” examples. Tears ran when you told about receiving your mom’s letters. My own mother has terminal cancer and we’re enjoying every moment we get to spend with her while she still feels well. I know my sisters and I will miss her dearly as we continue on our journey in motherhood. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and insights.

  29. Thanks for this great post! I totally agree with you. The most important thing you can do as a mother in to be an example and to be present.

  30. All too often we compare ourselves to everyone else and forget that we are our own worst enemies. Thank you for the simple reminder that we truly are amazing. I hope we each take several moments to remember that.

  31. Happy Mother’s Day to both of you – thanks for all you do! LOVED this post and definitely needed to read it today!

  32. [email protected] says:

    Man I needed this today! I was all set to cancel mothers day!

  33. Oh, Sara. I just want to give you a hug. I lost my mom last May after a battle with a Dementia/Parkinsons Plus disease that stole her away from us little by little. It is heartbreaking to watch, I know, but the good memories will last forever so hold tight to those!

  34. I love your blog, but this is by far my favorite post ever. Thank you for sharing your stories and thoughts. It made a difference for me today.

  35. Thank you for this beautiful post. We all need a reminder that life for everyone is hard, just in different ways; and that what we “present” isn’t always reality.

  36. That list had me laughing like crazy. I died when you talked about redecorating with owls. I’ve joked that next year it’ll be the elephant or giraffe. So random! I love the message you shared. It’s true, the little things are the biggest things, and that blogging totally has this ‘idealism,’ thing going on that’s not real. I’m pinning this post for the next time I need a ‘motherhood pick me up.’

  37. You girls’ message is what I remember most from TOFW in Dallas. (And that I met y’all as you signed my new cookbook!) Thanks for all you do for your readers. This post is perfect. Love you girls! Happy Mothers Day!!

  38. So beautiful and so true! I keep reminding myself that my kids don’t care if my pictures aren’t hung on the wall yet or that I can’t find the chord to my Body Bugg, all they care about is that I’ve paid attention to them today and spent time with them away from unpacking the house. Thanks for the beautiful reminder!

  39. Wow! This is powerful stuff! Thanks for such a beautiful post! I often compare myself to “internet moms” and often feel a little miserable. After this, not anymore! Again, thanks, this post made my day. And, girls, your moms are gorgeous!

  40. Thank you for your heartfelt post. My mother also passed away when I was young and several times a day I wonder if I’m even close to doing anything right or how much therapy my kids will have to be in when they get older.

    Thanks for reminding me that I don’t have to be perfect and that my children will remember the little moments of life we spend together….

    Happy Mother’s Day to you both!

  41. Wow. Thank you for sharing your hearts and wisdom with us. It is true your mom is amazing Sara. I remember vividly your super-fun special birthday parties, like when we got to splash paint those little bunny rabbits and then tie raffia bows around their colorful necks. Not at all messy-ha! 😉 and your Mom’s überpatience with our dance parties and skits. One of my faves is when our power went out at christmastime, it was cold and dark and your mom invited us to camp out at your house and share Christmas with your family. My Mom and sister still talk about that. Love you sister.

  42. Thank you for a beautiful post. May God bless you as you are such a blessing to us in cyberworld!
    Happy Mother’s Day.

  43. Thank you for the giggle and keeping it real. If the rest of us keep it real, too, we would admit that this stuff happens in all of our houses. I’ve indeed had one of “those” weeks…naughty boys, a mouse running in my van (yes my van), a neighbor dog who bit one of my boys and subsequently the sheriff showing up at my door…but at least the week is almost over! Love your blog!

  44. It is grey and rainy where I am today and I woke feeling the same. Thank you I needed to read that.

  45. Thanks for posting this. I’m going to have to steal your “400 special” and add it to “favorite can night” and “second chance buffet.”

    Now I’m off to go comb my daughter’s hair while she screams. I may or may not be able to get something in it. I warned her school teachers on back to school night that she was very opinionated about her clothes and hair styles and there was no reason for CPS to get involved. 🙂

  46. Sara, this is one of the most genuine, beautiful and gut-wrenching things I have ever read. I have such vivid memories of your mom and am deeply pained by the hard luck doled out to her, which seems so unfair for such a loving and talented woman. She is beyond blessed to have her incredible family. She certainly raised an angel in you. You are simply spectacular and have the kindest heart ever.

  47. Oh, I love this post! Thank you for sharing. It makes me better appreciate my mother who I am blessed to still have in my life, in full capacity. I am sure that both of your mothers are proud of you. You’re talented and you share those talents, and you’re REAL – and you share that, too. Happy Mother’s Day to both of you!

  48. I was at Time Out for Women this November in Phoenix and heard both of you speak. I cried then and I cried reading your post now, because it was what I needed to hear so desperately. Thank you for sharing your stories, for being honest and reminding me of the joy that is in motherhood, not the perfect motherhood of the internet, but the imperfect joy of raising young children and finding the happy little moments amongst the chaos.

  49. Thank you for writing this. I bawled my eyes out, and I’m not even pregnant (or remotely close to being such). You both have such a way with words. I am so glad I have been following your blog for the last three years or so. Thank you for being so frank, funny, inspiring and beautiful women. Every time I read your posts I wish I were your next door neighbor! You are a positive influence to women around the world. Happy Mother’s Day to YOU!

  50. So wonderful to realize that when you are still young. In my 20’s I worried whether I was doing my mommy job good enough. In my 30’s I had enough children that I realized it was impossible for things to be perfect, but I could still try and do my best. In my 40’s I realized, its all about Love. Nothing else really matters, and in the end, that’s what you want them to remember most anyhow. And in spite of the regular trials and frustrations we still face they all know that I love them unconditionally and all my worries of my 20’s I realize now were just my lack of experience.

  51. Oh, I needed this post so very much. I lost my mom to breast cancer last year and my remarried almost instantly and has a new family. He refers to it as “his new life” and shuts out his “old life” which includes my brothers and I. With Mother’s Day approaching, I feel like an orphan, and I just want to pout and scream.
    This week I’ve fallen victim to the “Oh I’m failing my own family so much!” because dinners have been mostly drive thru, and my kids have been picking clothes out of the unsorted laundry basket all week, and who knows where my daughters tennis shoes are, so she has worn cowboy boots to school all week. But the things I have been busy with, are worth it. Taking one child to therapy, the other to a doc to finally get that birthmark removed that bugs him so much, attending my husbands baseball game.. I just needed some perspective that my family is #1

  52. Made me cry. I know you guys are much more than your lovely, nutritious (and sometimes equally decadent) food. Thanks for sharing your mothers’ hearts with us today.

  53. I just bawled my head off reading that. Thanks for sharing your personal thoughts. Thanks for reminding me about what’s important.

  54. I loved this post! Thanks for sharing your experiences with your mother. It helps me to value my experience with my mom, even though there are some limitations there sometimes too. Thanks!

  55. Well, thanks for a good morning cry. Especially when I read about Kate’s sister sending the letters. What a sweet act and priceless treasure. Happy Mother’s Day to both if you!

  56. Your post really touched me. I lost my mom just over a month ago – one day before Easter – to cancer. She was my best friend, and I miss her so, so much. On top of that, I’m doing my best to raise my own daughter who’s seven. I adopted her as a single person when she was a baby from Guatemala. She means the world to me, and your advice about enjoying the little things really hit home with me. Way too often, I find myself rushing and scrambling to cross off things on my to-do list, and only half-listening to what she’s saying. Thank you both for reminding me what matters. Your moms both sound like incredibly wonderful and inspiring women; thank you so much for sharing. And Happy Mother’s Day!

  57. That is such a beautiful post, and a great reminder to cherish the small moments, and stop comparing yourself to others. Thank you so much for sharing. Happy Mother’s Day!!

  58. Beautiful post, thanks for sharing, now I feel the need to share it! Well put, both of you…Happy Mother’s Day to you both!!

  59. This was a beautiful, beautiful post. 🙂 And by the way, I think “The 400 Special” is awesome awesome and your kids will certainly remember that memory when they are grown!

  60. My children and grownups with children of their own, and I can tell you that the years are going by much too fast. I appreciate your perspectives, share your love of family, and am grateful to be able to “share” you with my own daughters as they learn to be mothers themselves. Happy Mother’s Day to two of my favorite young women.

  61. Add this post to the millions of reasons I love you ladies and this blog. You feel just like friends to me.

  62. I have loved your cookbooks and blog and use them on an almost daily basis. I have felt encouraged to reach deep inside my self and come up with a few meal ideas on my own. But this is the best thing that has ever come from you. It speaks of hope and encouragement while also helping us understand that the myth of “super wife and mother” is just that — a big fat myth. Thank you from the bottom of my sometimes very tired heart.

    Ann — wife of Edmund, mother to six and grandmother to six

  63. Thank you for your stories. They really hit close to home. My mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at a young age and is in the last stages of it now. When you where talking about wishing your mothers where around now to give you advice and be there for you, I could totally relate. You guys are awesome!

  64. Bawww…..Sara and Kate you made me cry! Love you guys, and Sara I love your Mom. She is an AMAZING woman! (Sorry about that vacuum cleaner….hahaha 🙂

  65. This post definitely brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for writing this. It is always a much needed reminder for me, to remember to not compare myself with others, or to want my life to be “perfect” in those standards. Thanks and Happy Mother’s Day!

  66. Thank you so much for this post! It was the good cry and the reminder I needed. Beautifully and perfectly written.

  67. I felt like crying for you when I saw the eggs in the vacuum… but by the end you really had me crying. So. Beautiful.

  68. I heard you give this talk last year in PHX and I still think about what you said there. Thank you for posting this- it still hits home.

  69. Thank you so much for sharing your memories! I am much older than you girls and still miss my mom every day. Your story brought back some memories that I had forgotten (or at the very least was pushed way back in the old brain) and I am thankful for that.
    You made me smile and you made me cry, both of which are completely NORMAL.. lol.
    Happy Mother’s Day to you both.. And to all the other Amazing mothers out there!

  70. I so totally enjoyed reading this between all the other ups and downs from my computer today, while being MOM. (youu might notice my stay was long)

  71. If only we could look at ourselves and love preserves as we are instead of comparing. Beautifully written.

  72. Great article — very relate-able — but also, it’s so awesome and so full of pictures and fun, that’s it’s almost ironic 🙂

  73. Loved seeing you two when you came to Denver. Thanks for the touching post and a sweet reminder about the joy and sorrow of motherhood.

  74. Thank You! …for sharing your thoughts, for putting into words what I feel every day, for helping me to put life into perspective. It is the little things that count, and you reminded me of that. So, THANK YOU!!!!

  75. Like most others, this had me crying and laughing. I lost my mom when I was 37 (on my birthday) and I miss her all the time. At each stage of our lives, there are things we want to ask our moms, and I’ve gone through many as I’m 53 now. Sarah, I’m so sorry that you have to remind your mom who you are at times. I can’t imagine how difficult that is. I love the pictures you have of her, and the sweet memories you shared. Kate, losing your mom at such a young age had to be so difficult. Bless your sister for sharing those letters with you and giving you the opportunity to have a glimpse of you your mom was. Prayers for a super blessed Mother’s Day to both of you!!

  76. Thank you for writing this… This morning while sitting with your mom at the hospital I read to her your post. It brought tears to her eyes…mine and the nurses in the room. Thankfully your mom is doing better and the staff here just love her. As do I. Your mom wanted me to let you know how much she loves you, and the smile you brought to her face with the love and memories you shared was priceless. Thanks again.

  77. Sara & Kate,
    I heard you speak about this at the Phoenix Time Out For Women this past year. It made me laugh, cry, reflect, relax, & feel gratitude for my extraordinary mother who passed away 3 years ago, & for myself as a mother of 3. Thank you for sharing this again! Wishing you both a wonderful Mother’s Day!

  78. That last part left me crying!

    And oh my gosh, I LOVE the 400 special! If only my boys weren’t allergic to every ingredient in every frozen food known to man. That would totally be me.

  79. Thank you so much for this beautiful post. I find myself worrying a lot about the things I’m not doing as a mom, when in actuality I should just worry about my sweet kids.

  80. I watched you guys do this presentation at TOFW in SLC over the internet. I can still hear you as I read through this. It was what I needed to hear then, and it’s what I need to hear now. Thank you!

    BTW-Kate, you made me tear up as I though about writing weekly letters to my son when he leaves on his mission this summer.

  81. I heard you speak in Denver and you two were my favorite speakers that day. Beautifully written, inspired message; something I feel I need to hear every week. Happy Mother’s day to you!

  82. Thank you for that post! I needed to hear that. It also made me so grateful for my Mom and that she is still a part of my life and I can call her for advice anytime! It made me want to write down memories I have with my Mom (and Dad) so my kids know what they were like before they were Grandma and Grandpa!
    I hope you both have a wonderful Mother’s Day. I love your site and your recipes!

  83. Thank you for sharing things close to your hearts. It was very touching to read and to be reminded of the important things.

  84. Love this post. Yesterday my 4 yr old son made a huge mess in the bathroom with Gentine Violet. Needless to say I now have to repaint the bathroom. I was feeling like only my kids do these huge messes. So thank you for posting the picture of the eggs in the vacum picture. I was so encouraged by this post. Happy Mothersday to both of you!

  85. I kinda have a thing against Time Out For Women but I went anyway…just to see the two of you and I loved EVERY minute of your presentation. Thanks for being SO real…something we women need more of!

  86. “I remember her favorite meal of canned tomato soup and slightly burned grilled cheese because she always sat down with me for lunch when we’d have that. What I remember, what I treasure, are moments stemming from the most mundane moments of motherly duties: laundry, errands, bed time. What I know now, that I didn’t know then and I don’t think she knew either, was that it was in those simple moments that she taught me how to be a mother.”

    That made me cry. Beautiful, you guys!

  87. Although you say this isn’t the usual fare for your website, I know that reading your blog makes me feel normal, and that I can do the things that are most important, because you guys try to, and you honestly share your lives with us. For me, the recipes are a bonus to the laughs and real life experiences you share with the whole world. So brave of you, and so appreciated. Thank you for being a bright light and real life examples. This post was very beautiful and makes me realize that I need to slow down a little, appreciate my mom & family more, and take the time to build those small moment memories with my kids.

  88. THanks! You made me cry. I totally agree with what you shared. Are you presenting with TOFW this year?

  89. I kind of felt like I knew both of you already, but now I feel like I know you both even better. This is beautiful. Thanks for sharing with us.

  90. I love this post. Also the 400 special makes me laugh so hard. I think I’m going to do it. At least the kids will be able to help make lunch. haha

  91. Thank you for this post! The whole thing! I agree with every bit of it! Often I have thought about cancelling my facebook account because at times I do feel inadequate compared to others. I remind myself there is no such thing as perfect kids, perfect family dynamics, a spotless house 24/7 etc. I enjoy your blog and wish you all a Happy Mother’s day!

  92. Thank you for this. My mom died the day after my 18th birthday and I find that times like these, around mother’s day are the hardest. I am so jealous of everyone else who gets to spend time with their mom while I visit her grave. Its nice to hear that I am not alone here. I can relate to both stories. And I hope that one day when my new husband and I have kids, I keep both your advice in mind.

  93. Sara, I am so sorry to hear about your mother’s difficulties…I have a progressive disease myself and two toddling kids and am so worried about what my health will look like when they are older–if I’ll still be able to walk and play with them at the park or if I will have to roll around in a wheelchair myself. I am happy to know that even if that ends up being the case, that they could still have good memories of me when they were young. Being a mother is the hardest, most rewarding work there is. Thanks for your post.

  94. Sara and Kate, you girls are the best! I loved reading about you personal experie
    nces with your mothers. I was on the verge of tears the whole time. Thank you for posting about your reality because it is hard not to compare myself and what I believe is someone else’s reality.
    Sara, I remember meeting your mom and I fell in love with her. She was such a sweetheart and she took an intrest in me as we talked even though I was a stranger. I didn’t know of her struggles and I’m sorry to hear that she sometimes has bad days where she can’t remember who you are. I just want to (((hug yo both)))!
    Kate, I am so grateful for your older sister’s kind heart. What love she demonstrated when she sent you
    that box of letters. That must have been a real treasure for you. Ladies, thank you so much for all you do. You’ve helped me to build up a confidence in the kitchen. I really enjoy making delicious food and that is what I’ve experienced with every recipe I have tried

  95. Thank you ladies, for putting it all into perspective. I received some advice years ago that I try to adhere to as much as humanly possible . . . Never let your child walk into the room without letting them see on your face how much you love them. That is hard to do sometimes, but I think it speaks to how our children remember the things that may seem small, but aren’t really small at all.

  96. Great post! I love the part about family pictures. I don’t get the abandon railroad track thing either. 🙂

  97. Thank you! This was just what I needed to read as I sit here with my bowl of cereal for lunch, paper clutter everywhere, list of pinterest-worthy things I am in charge of preparing for our area’s Mormon Prom, and listening to my son fighting naptime in his crib. I like that you two are willing to be TRULY real. Your food is amazing, but I wouldn’t read your blog if you weren’t so awesome and inspiring.

  98. Wow. I was crying and laughing reading you guys’ post. SO heartfelt and you totally hit the nail on the head. Reminds me of this post http://rachelmariemartin.blogspot.com/2013/01/why-moms-are-heroes.html?m=1
    Thank you all for sharing your hearts with us & helping us realize that everything doesn’t have to be perfect-as in eating organic food 3 times a day & raising your very own chickens! I am Catholic and during this past Lent I spent way less time on FB & Pinterest & realized how much time I had been wasting ‘pinning’ things I wanted to do with my kids (crafts, homemade play-doh, etc.) but not actually DOING any of those things with my kids! I started doing more with my boys-reading books to them, letting my 2.5 yr old help in the kitchen (even when I’d rather do stuff my way-lol) and I started realizing how precious those moments are with my children and how those are the things that are really important & the things that they will remember years from mow. They’re not going to remember whether or not we have a perfectly decorated ‘Pottery Barn’ house or perfectly decorated cup cakes. Thanks girls for keeping it real! 🙂 Happy Mother’s Day to both of you beautiful mothers!

  99. Wow, what a beautiful post! I got read half and was laughing to myself and thinking I have to share this with my friends! Then I kept reading and started crying and thought: I REALLY have to share this with my friends! Thanks for the beautiful message.

  100. This post was beautiful, humorous and insightful. This is exactly how I feel, thanks for doing what you do!

  101. Thank you for the wonderful reminder of what is most important. Motherhood can be tough, but there is no reward like it. I am touched by your stories and view on life. Happy Mother’s Day to you!

  102. Sara and Kate…I love you ladies and I don’t know you personally but I was so so touched by your amazing thoughts about your mothers! I know there are like a million ladies commenting but I hope you read mine too!
    Sara…My mom has MS and its hard to watch her struggle in life but I have fun memories just like you described with your mom!! I’m praying for you! I know how it feels but I’m grateful for your attitude and to think of all the amazing things and memories you did make with your mom!
    Kate, You’re remarks made me cry! I talk often to my sweet Father in law who lost his mom when he was ten years old. He had an amazing mom just like you did! I’m sure she is your angel here on the earth! Thank you the most for reminding me not to compare ourselves with others on the internet! You are wonderful! 🙂
    Love, Brianne

  103. Thank you for this amazing post! I loved it so much. It was exactly what I needed this week. Love you girls!

  104. Thank you for that post. I feel like it came at the best time. For me at least. I have often felt overwhelmed with the things I see on the internet and social media and fear that I’m not doing enough. That maybe my kids got the shaft. Even though I know things aren’t always as they seem and there are two sides to every story, it’s nice to hear it from someone else too!

  105. My mom also died when i was young, i totally related to this. Many of my fond memories were everyday activities that i find so dull as an adult. not on a Disney criuse. And, I’ve always loved your blog because of how self-deprecating you are! It is relieving to the rest of us. Plus, it is a comical relief!

  106. Thank you for your very touching experiences and thoughts on Motherhood. I’m older–most of my kids are and I have often thought how grateful I am that I didn’t feel the pressures to accommodate what the “internet” defines as a good mother. However, my daughter who is a young mother most definitely feels the pressure to be a Super Mom even while her boys are young.
    I am going to point her here…this is inspiring and true. Thank you so much.

  107. Thank you for sharing such personal stories about your moms with us. And thank you for revealing that not everyday is a “magazine-cover-kind-of-day,” so that us moms can celebrate all together that we all have a common thread: we may not be perfect but we’re perfect to our kids, in how much we love them, which is what really matters in life!

  108. By the end of this post, I had tears rolling down my cheeks. So, I wandered back up to the part with the eggs in the vacuum cleaner. Thanks for the laugh and the cry ladies!

  109. Wow! I love this post. Thank you for putting so much of yourselves into your writing and sharing it with me. I had tears streaming down my face as I read this. You two are awesome. Thank you for reminding me to not compare myself with anyone else.

  110. Thank you so much for sharing from your hearts. Mother’s Day has been made lighter and more lovely because of what you shared. Thank you!

  111. Amen, sistas!!! I am often told that I am the unachievable standard to match – which is idiotic. I could make a long list of crap that doesn’t get done around here that I sure wish did. Times I’ve dropped the ball (like daily…sorry about coming at the end of your soccer game, little one). All those things. This is an excellent post. Wisdom I needed to hear today. I hate Mother’s Day, actually. I’m avoiding it this year by being on an airplane.

  112. Thank you! As a stay at home mom to two little kids, I can say I frequently feel inadequate and overwhelmed! But I hope at the end of the day my children know that I love them despite not cooking three home meals a day and having peanut butter smeared across my dishwasher! That my daughter realizes instead of doing my own hair I take the time to do hers bc “princess braids” make her happy! Thank you for letting us know you’re “normal” just like us and every day isn’t sunshine and rainbows!

  113. Absolutely lovely post, Kate and Sara. Thank you for the reminder that being a Mom has so much more to do with the little things. I’m a working Mom and I have REALLY struggled with that because I would so much like to be home, and feel that I am lacking so much in my mothering skills because I’m not around enough. There are moments, however, that are sweeter than anything else. When my daughter wants to talk and snuggle every night before bed, or when I hear her prayers at night, that I know that whatever my struggles are, she knows she’s loved, and that’s the most important part. Thanks again for the reminder.

  114. Thank you for this post. It came at the perfect time for me. It has been a rough week and reading this made me feel better. It also reinforced my thought that I should unplug much much more often. Thank you both again for making me feel better about myself and how I am doing as a mother.

  115. I absolutely loved this post. Thank you so much for posting it. I was bawling by the end. Good thing the UPS man came right when I was at the beginning of the post so he didn’t come knocking on the door of some crazy women with tears streaming down a red-blotchy face.

  116. I laughed… I cried… Thank you both for breaking down the real reason for Mother’s Day. It’s hard to see the forest through the trees of dirty diapers and cleaning up messes but this really made me stop and think. Love your blog! Thank you!

  117. Another reason why I love this blog so much…..keeping it real.
    Happy Mother’s Day to you both. Thank you for blessing my life on a very regular basis.

  118. Beautiful, beautiful, heartfelt post. Thank you so much for sharing and for keeping it real. Wonderful.

  119. I loved this post ladies! It was a great reminder that Motherhood really is about the little things. I hope to be lucky enough to tell my daughter that when she becomes a Mother….a long, long time from now;)

  120. Just had my 3rd, far from home, super busy husband (resident) and feeling so overwhelmed… Perfect post for my heart today! Thank you both!

  121. I couldn’t have read anything more inspiring just before Mother’s Day! I cried through the entire post! Thank you!

  122. Thanks so much. I totally needed those pictures especially. Like, today. I think I’ll just have to have a great weekend now and enjoy my life and kids. You help me keep a lot of perspective.

  123. Thanks for this post. My son decided to turn the upstairs bathroom into a swimming pool last week during his nap. As I sit here typing I can see the cut out holes in the drywall above that now need to be repaired. The eggs in the vacuum cleaner made me feel a little less alone 😉

  124. Thanks for the great post! It was a roller coaster for me! Laughed, cried and reminisced lots. I get to spend the weekend with my wonderful mother who I do NOT take for granted. I take every minute I have with her and gold and it is because of posts like these that compound that gratitude and love. Thanks for sharing your good and bad times. Thanks for keeping it real like you always do. Happy Mother’s Day to both of you!!!

  125. Thank you for a lovely post. I’m a relatively new momma, lucky enough to still have my own momma, but having a child of my own puts the world in a new perspective. You two ladies are pretty awesome, and from all the perfect stuff I see on your site I know you’re the best mommas ever (read with gentle sarcasm, please, though you two do rock!). Happy Mommas Day to everyone!

  126. THANK YOU!!! Not only did I laugh out loud, my husband also laughed out loud….and it’s very hard to get him to laugh at anything posted on FB or pintrest. We especially loved your “400 special” and the picture of your vacuum cleaner filled with eggs. Quite a combo! Happy Mother’s Day to you!!!

  127. WOW! I am sitting here crying and laughing and realizing just how good I have it! Thank you for sharing such wisdom!

  128. Beautiful post ladies! Brought tears to my eyes. You are both amazing tributes to your wonderful mothers. Happy Mother’s Day to you both!!!

  129. Thank you both for your words. I lost my own mother at 14. She was a wonderful fun to be around person, and I want nothing more than to know her as an adult. I never realized all the ways I would continue to miss and long for my mom as the years have gone on. I try not to be jealous of friends, or even strangers, that enjoy relationships and time with their moms. Although I didn’t have a close relationship with my step mom, she passed away last week unexpectedly and I find myself missing her too. Thank you for letting me know I’m not the only one who feels this way. I am so grateful for the chance I have to be a mother. I believe it’s one of the best ways to honor my own, even if my wardrobe seems to be almost exclusively pj’s and showering seems to be optional 🙂

  130. That post was just what I needed and the picture with the eggs…. Priceless. Thankyou for sharing your not so perfect life with me.

  131. As someone who’s not a mother yet, would you believe that I even berate myself for the lame parties I will inevitably throw my children, how they will never have a homemade dress, etc . . . It’s definitely bad when you feel guilt for things that haven’t even happened yet. Thank you for this reminder and for sharing such personal feelings and insights.

  132. Beautiful post. Sometimes I think I don’t have “time” to be a mom, I constantly tell my kids not right now, or later. I need to start realizing that it’s the little tasks that they’ll remember when they’re older. Thank you for the fresh perspective.

  133. I don’t know either of you girls personally (though I wish I did!), but this made my day. I’m a mom of two rascally young boys, and I go through regular bouts of wondering why I just don’t have the energy, creativity, patience, etc. that I assume every mom around me seems to have. Thank you for the reminder that just about every mom feels that way. Nice to know that you amazing ladies, who often seem to have it all together and lead glamorously exciting lives, are real like the rest of us. Thank you for using paper plates, serving chicken nuggets to your kids, and for sharing your lives and talents with those of us who love to cook and love our kids and families, just like you do!

  134. What an amazing and truthful look into motherhood from both your prospective and looking at your mother’s life. I too remember those moments with my mother and have learned from those moments. They have shaped me into the mother I am. And so glad to know all your meals don’t look perfectly garnished! I’ll admit, I was thinking they were all like that and was feeling guilty!

  135. A touching tribute to your Mom’s and to Motherhood in general. Only, I’m at work and I’m crying now…

  136. I started out laughing at your Pinterest comments – so true – and ended up being touched by your personal stories. Beautiful post, thank you for sharing.

  137. Excellent post – the dino chicken nuggets on the salad crack me up! And the insight into your own mothers and childhood were beautiful. Happy Mothers Day to you!

  138. You girls are amazing! That just made my day! You have a way of making us laugh and cry all in the same post!! Happy Mother’s Day to you!

  139. What an amazing, inspiring, and uplifting post. I am so glad to see you serve frozen french fries, and dinosaur chicken nuggets. It makes you feels more human (vs. superhuman) as a mom and that everyone has those days when a gourmet home cooked meal isn’t on the table at 6:00. I always love the insights you give into your lives. You are real and I think that is why I love cooking your food the most, because you are real just like the rest of us crazy moms with kids that have dirty faces and holes in their jeans because it is almost summer time and you don’t want to waste your money on new jeans since it will be warm in a few weeks (we hope). Thanks for reminding us to treasure the small moments that seem so insignificant.

  140. Thanks for the post today! It definitely touched my heart. I appreciate you sharing your story with us. Made we laugh, cry, and smile.

  141. This was very touching and made me tear up reading it. Thank you for the wonderful perspective. When I was browsing for a Mother’s Day card, I found one that said, “Behind every great kid is a mom who’s pretty sure she’s screwing it up.” Isn’t that the truth?

  142. Thank you! Lately it seems that the Mother’s Day messages are much m ore fitting for my experience, and I’m grateful for that.

  143. Oh, I love this. The small moments are the best and the moments that aren’t pin-worthy are the ones we’ll remember most of all.

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