I can’t believe we are at the end of a year, and every year I reflect on how lucky and blessed I truly am. My kids are what make me complete and I could not be who I am without them. As most moms, I reflect on what I could have done better and what I am doing well and I move from there. The new year means a new you, and new ways to make a difference!
Yes, I love french fries and I love when we get them. Do you remember the show Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous? Robin Leech would say …. “champagne kisses and caviar dreams”, well this is my version: FRENCH FRY KISSES & KETCHUP DREAMS, as many moms know, French Fries can be a gourmet meal for kids and never ever forget the HEINZ Ketchup(I am from Pittsburgh after all!)
Being a mom is not something that you can be born into, brought into, it is something that you learn as you go, and you make plenty of mistakes. You live, you learn, you love and you keep everything else in line along the way. Some weeks, it is an emotional roller coaster that we live in as moms and I make sure to cherish the good the bad and the ugly because each day is one that will never repeat itself. I make every hug count, every kiss special and every “I LOVE YOU” heartfelt.
What are French Fry Kisses? French Fry Kisses are something that I hold near and dear to my heart and in my home they are the ultimate in FAMILY! French Fry Kisses are like the little food that my kids crunch in my ear, the grapes that the pop in their mouth making a hollow noise, or the slurping of fresh watermelon just so I can hear. These are things that a mom and a dad can appreciate. French Fry Kisses are like a gold card, a second that we take our favorite thing: french fries, seek out the LONGEST one and then keep part in our mouth and nibble till our noses touch, just one second to say, we are family! This is just when there are our favorite McDonald Fries in our home–it has become a steadfast tradition since my daughter and I started it, when she was about 3. This is a Tradition, and the kids love it! Each child offers up one fry! Just our way of defining fun, quirky moments.
With the end of the year up and coming, I tend to reflect as any mom does on what I could do, what things have made my life better and things that my kids have loved, but what is really standing out are the traditions, that we have and we have more than I ever realized. What I am noticing is the kids don’t remember what they got each year for the Holiday but they remember what we have done to pre-celebrate and celebrate the holiday. The time spending, the events that we create, the music we listen to all lend themselves to what we define as ‘family and holiday time’. Gifts come and go, love is forever and traditions hold and pass down, so much more sustainable than a gift in wrapping paper.
The traditions create me to think about more about what it is that makes these times so important, and I have got it now! It took me a while to get a clue as to what made these times together so special, and truly they are, here is how you can get the most our of your French Fry Kisses & Ketchup Dreams.
With our world of technology and life flying by with unimaginable speed I often rush to listen through what the kids are saying without really listening.
How many times have you listened to you kids? Do you really S-T-O-P what you are doing when they are talking about something that happened in their lives, or do you passively listen while they spill their little hearts out about things that happened, while you peruse through your emails and texts? Or are you casually listening while watching a program on the television? The value of listening could not be greater because you can learn so much through your children. Unplug, put the phone down, turn off the television, listen with your ears and eyes. The stories you will hear are those that you will tell their kids about when ‘mommy and daddy were little’. Listen to the words these little people speak, they are the new world up and coming and they are already forming, they need you. Unplugging will bring you more value than anything on the television or phone. Our occasion, events and traditions are all around listening, hanging out, talking and spending time, nothing else but because everyone listens and shares it makes that time more important than any monetary item the kids will ever receive.
SEEING NOT JUST LOOKING
If you a mom or a dad, you know that time passes quickly and hands that are little quickly grow in to hands that are big. Look at those little hands, take that precious moment, to look at their little hands, enjoy the youth in their fingers, see the ‘bitten’ nails, the marker stains, the pen writing on their hands, the size of their hand, next to yours, all things that you will be able to forever envision and replay in your mind. Really look at the gift that stands before you because before you are seeing, looking will be what happens as they grow, and you will ‘watch’ their lives evolve, so See now and participate. I note that during our traditional events, I notice more about my kids because I am seeing.(perfect curls, long fingers, beautiful youthful complexions and warm kind hearts).
SPEND TIME NOT MONEY
Buying everything for the kids does not make them happier, it just makes them have more things and they many not play with what they have. I don’t think there is much more to say here, other than traditions don’t have to cost you money to make them special. Traditions grow from your love of being a parent, deciding what will define your family. Make traditions and they will last a lifetime, and they will grow and blossom as the kids add to each tradition. Our best times are around our center island eating and drinking after coming home from late night events. We love sharing what we saw, noticed, felt and it is nothing more than a snack! The toys, while they may be wanted, are not what are always needed, because there is no replacement for time that is well spent as a family.
With the new year ushering its way to your doorstep, reflect, regroup and remember because memories are for a lifetime. I use the word NEW in NEW Year to sew the work for the upcoming year.
N is for not knowing the path and just taking it to where it leads(almost living like a kid with your kids)
E is for every moment, every occasion, capture the moment by looking, listening and learning through your kids
W is for words, — the words that your kids speak, listen to them they define them and teach you all about who they are becoming.
The aforementioned is all the truest form of French Fry Kisses & Ketchup Dreams! Here’s to a new year and a new you!
From Pittsburgh Frugal Mom Family to yours, French Fry Kisses & Ketchup Dreams.
**This is not a sponsored post, and while I usually refrain from mentioning brand, in this case, credit where credit is due for great things that kids love. Remember, so many kids think of McDonald’s as a Four Star Restaurant!:)