Most of the time, I’m a pretty good mom.Â That’s not to say I haven’t had moments of EPIC FAILURE in that department, but my kids will even admit – to perfect strangers, nonetheless – that as a mom, I’m certainly above the 50th percentile.
And then there are days like today, when I totally nail it…and stick the landing, to boot.Â Hit it out of the park.Â Serve up an ace.Â Out-kick my coverage.Â When it’s a slam dunk.Â When I *know* I rocked it.Â When I get to hear things like, “You’re the BEST MOM EVER!” and then get covered in slobbery smooches and treated to great big bear hugs and rib-crushing squeezes.
So what did I do to deserve these accolades?Â What great feat did I accomplish to deserve such raving reviews from my harshest critics?Â What amazing achievement provided this ego-inflating boost and hoisted me to this grand pedestal?
Well, if you’ll allow me a little chest-thumping and swagger-stepping, I’ll show you.Â It’s this:
Yeah, that’s my beautiful, sweet, spirited, precious, amazing daughter.Â I’m always proud of THAT accomplishment, believe me.Â But really, this time it’s not so much about her but rather what she’s holding.Â She is holding her homework project for this week, which she and I spent most of a rainy Saturday and a sunny Sunday afternoon putting together.
It’s her very own Chocolate Lover’s Cookbook.Â I don’t know what makes me prouder: the fact that she made a cookbook, or that it’s all about CHOCOLATE!!
She came home on Monday with a project list based on the book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. One of the projects was to create a Chocolate Lover’s Cookbook.Â I had just finished making a prayer journal at the Christ Fellowship Women’s Retreat (thanks to the creative and uber-organized Renee Lewis) and thought this would be the perfect way to create something very special for Crisana.Â Something that went beyond “just” a homework project, but something that would become a treasured keepsake, something she could enjoy and add to throughout the years, something I could hold on to and give to her as a housewarming gift in her first apartment…or as a gift for her wedding.
I actually purchased the papers and ribbons, but bought a little extra to give her some creative choices.Â She did a great job helping me cut all the papers, run the letters through the Xyron, adhere the cover and binding, and put all the recipes inside.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have the miracle “YES” glue that Renee had recommended, so we ended up using plain old Elmer’s white glue.Â And that made the paper wrinkly.Â But if beauty is in the eye of the beholder, Crisana thought this was a masterpiece.Â And she absolutely had a blast spreading the white glue with her fingers all over the cover of the composition book.
Inside the front cover, I had every intention of making a Table of Contents or a dedication page explaining when and why this book was created.Â Unfortunately, I ran out of time for this assignment, but when we get the book back, I will be sure to add that inside.Â I want her to always remember the love I spoke to her through every step of this project, and how much I enjoyed the time we spent together making it.
We collected recipes online through email and Facebook, as well as the old-fashioned way, culling through our many cookbooks.Â But I wanted to be sure to include special recipes that our family has enjoyed and that have meaning to her.Â She was so excited to see that we had included Trey’s specialty – these Gobbler Goodies – and the Chocolate Pretzel Rings she helps me make every Christmas.Â She spoke over and over how one day she will tell her children about these recipes and show them what their Uncle Trey looked like when he was a child.
Of course, we were sure to include a bookmark, as well as several recipes from Mom, the Original Chocolate Lover.Â Every recipe is a testimony to the love I have for all things chocolate (except chocolate cake…go figure) but also the love I have for this little girl, who surpasses the sweetness of chocolate, who makes my life far richer than any decadent chocolate dessert, and who fills my heart with far more joy than any candy bar ever could.