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This has been a week. An up and down, topsy-turvy, stomach-dropping-as-I-fly-through-the-days-type week. So, for this week in review, I am listing things I am grateful for that helped me navigate this crazy life over the past 7 days.

This week I am grateful for:

1. Girlfriends
Girlfriends with shoulders to cry on. Girlfriends to share a laugh. Girlfriends who have thrown cartons of yogurt at their significant others when mad. Girlfriends with wise words & life experience.

2. My ice cream maker
I made a profound discovery. Instead of just mixing cocoa into milk and having creamy chocolate milk for dessert, if I pour it into my ice cream maker and let it whir away for about twenty minutes, I get icy chocolate goodness. Mmm-mmm, chocolate milk ice cream… Come right over here and sit down with me.

3. Puppy dog eyes
Puppy dog eyes stare at me and my ice cream. Puppy dog eyes follow the spoon faithfully from my dish to my mouth, hoping a little of the chocolatey goodness will drop. Puppy dog eyes are steadfast and unwavering, deep pools of loyalty and understanding.

4. Top Chef & Project Runway
I waiver between being a contestant, whipping up my modern spin on french onion soup while wearing the cocktail dress I made entirely from balloons, and sitting on the judging panel, conferring with Tom and Padma about the exact shade of sear on a scallop dish and nodding solemnly when Heidi and Michael Kors (how come he is always ‘Michael Kors’ and not just Michael?) pronounce an outfit worthy of a middle-aged principal going to a Lady Gaga concert.

5. The summer sun
Finally, finally, now that the end of August is in sight, summer has arrived in southern California. Waking up to sun streaming through the windows is a glorious way to start the day.

6. Churros
Fried dough coated in cinnamon sugar. If you are human, this needs no explanation. If you are an alien, well- first, it’s pretty cool you’re reading this. Second, come- let me show you the fried and sugar-coated bounty earth has to offer.

7. Little boy hugs
Little hands clasped around my neck, sweet, soft little face cuddled up to mine, cheek to cheek. Every bad moment, every frustration, every tear gets washed away when those strong little arms come around me and hold on tight.

8. Bedtime stories
An extended version of the above. My favorite time of day.

9. Big Dude
He annoys me, he frustrates me, he channel surfs. He watches the same darn documentaries about the history of tanks over and over (normally when I’ve requested his help with emptying the dishwasher). But he is also my biggest supporter, my light from the lighthouse when life gets fogged in. Like any couple, we push each other’s buttons. But we also push each other to be better people. I am very grateful for that this week.

10. Hidden delights
I love spending time at Disneyland because there are so many hidden little details to discover when you really start looking. Hidden fairies nestled between plants in landscaping, walkway lights that are really #2 pencils with lights for erasers. Applying this to everyday life, what hidden little detail transforms an ordinary situation into an extraordinary one when you look beyond the surface? Every situation has the ability to teach and transform, we only have to be open to it. So even though this week was a roller coaster ride, I was able to spot a few hidden delights and treasures along the coaster’s track. I saw them winking in the sunshine, reminding me of the lovely surprises life has to offer.

Guilt Goddess says: A beautiful way to end the week. I want to add a quote from Elizabth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love: “Some days are meant to be counted, others are meant to be weighed.”  Keep making them count, honey.


Looking back at everything I got through this week to give me more guilt-free confidence for the next.  Kind of like my own skewed version of a gratitude journal.

This week I survived:

A week of single-parenting.
(a.k.a. Big Dude scolding me over the phone for losing my patience)
I actually did really good in the patience department this week. A calmer, more go-with-the-flow mom means a preschooler with fewer tantrums and an easier time all around. However, I am only human. And while I purposely practice cultivating patience, I tend to think I was at the end of the line on the day patience was being handed out and I got whatever was left. So, even though I breathed deeply and thought calm, tranquil thoughts, my once-a-night phone conversations with Big Dude went something like this:

Me (on phone with Big Dude):  I set up a new-
Little Dude (interrupting):  Mama!
Me:  Please wait, I’m on the phone… A new spreadsheet to keep track of-
LD:  Mama!
Me (ignoring him):  … your invoicing and posted it-
LD (now tugging at my shirt):  MAMA!!
Me:  WHAT!?!?
Big Dude (on the other end of the phone):  Patience, honey.
Me:  Patience?! Excuse me, mister, are you in Denver on our tenth anniversary with a king-sized bed all to yourself, enjoying steak dinners and bottles of wine with your colleagues, while I’m on day four of Operation Single Parent in which I bathe, clothe, feed, and wipe Little Dude’s butt all on my own? Yeah, that’s what I thought. You just leave the parenting choices to me.

Finding my power, losing it, and finding it again.
I had a profound experience with finding my own power this week. Something clicked inside and I felt myself come relax into who I am a little more.  But then I spent my tenth anniversary eating ice cream on the couch by myself, had another intense special event for my yogurt store and navigated a 4-year-old’s birthday party by myself with Little Dude, trying to keep my social awkwardness and insecurities at bay.

My power waned.

But the beauty of finding the power in the first place is knowing it’s there. I might have forgotten it for a few hours or a few days, but when I got my head on straight and pushed my anxiety out the door, the power and self-confidence were sitting on the couch, waiting for a conversation. I have to start carrying those guys with me. I need a bigger purse.

A grandparent experience for Little Dude.
Ever since my big falling out with my parents, Little Dude has continually said he misses his grandma & grandpa and wants to see them. I do my best to explain the situation, knowing there is something else behind his request besides wanting to see my parents (because his interaction with them consisted of here’s a toy and here’s the tv, don’t bother me for awhile. They were never involved, care-giving grandparents.)

This week, I was able to bring Little Dude with me to a night-time yoga class because it was being held at a friend’s house and her mom would be there to watch her daughter, so she would be able to watch Little Dude, too. I wasn’t sure how Little Dude would do, since he doesn’t know this family all that well. But, it turns out, he was in heaven. He loved the idea of spending time with a grandma- ANY grandma.

My mom guilt got turned down a few notches when I realized that it’s the idea of a grandma- the extended family and sense of belonging- that Little Dude has been missing, not particularly HIS grandma. This thought had crossed my mind before as I’ve watched him envy his schoolmates who get picked up by their grandparents or talk about spending time at a grandparent’s house. But the experience this week helped to confirm it. Now I just have to work on finding him some surrogate grandparental figures.

Guilt Goddess says: I think you did fabulous this week. Ups and downs are expected because (and i know this is a hard concept for you) nothing is ever completely perfect.

Me: Oh, don’t say that. I’ve got more single parenting coming up next week so I’m trying to hang in there.

Guilt Goddess: And you’ll do just fine. Remember your confidence and power. On second thought, go buy that bigger purse so that you can keep them with you.

Looking back at everything I got through this week to give me more guilt-free confidence for the next.  Kind of like my own skewed version of a gratitude journal.

This week I survived:

A wedding on a Wednesday in San Francisco.
A beautiful wedding on a beautiful, sunny afternoon in one of the best cities in the world.  The happy couple exchanged their vows in Shakespeare Garden within Golden Gate Park.  Romantic and lovely, paper butterflies danced from the trees as the guests enjoyed an outdoor picnic in the gentle breeze.  And I managed to look good, even though I showered, dressed and did my hair and makeup in less than twenty minutes.

Freakout & mom guilt surrounding the above.
All the details are here.  Yes, I have issues.

No exercise + gluttony.
As I have mentioned before, I love my exercise.  It’s time to myself and makes me feel good.  This week, all exercise was superseded by Burger Bar, a 7-course traditional Chinese meal at the Four Seas restaurant and multiple cappuccinos and chocolates.  But I did make up for it by dancing my butt off at the reception.  (Of course, that was after stuffing my face with fresh donuts covered in powdered sugar being made by The Donut Lady in the corner of the room.)

Blueberry Tart and Cake Batter yogurt layers

Business on the road & making a yogurt cake for my 1st real customer.
Even though I was only in my office Monday and Friday of this week, everything ran smoothly with my businesses thanks to an awesome staff.  I also made a frozen yogurt cake for my first “official” customer (vs. just making them for family and friends)… all with Big Dude working crazy hours and needing me to be flexible with my schedule to take on the bulk of the parenting duties.  Whew!

Guilt Goddess says:  It was a full week, but you handled it with grace.  Remember that.

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The Guilt Goddess

Giving guilt a voice one post at a time.

I am your average guilt-ridden mother of one (or 2, if I'm being honest and including my husband), trying to balance running my own business, running my household and now writing a blog. Someday I hope to have vanquished all of my myriad pangs of guilt and be living blissfully free from moment-to-moment. But, until that time, my guilt will live here.

Twitter: @guiltgoddess

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