Sunday, April 15, 2012

Our Easter Reality Show

My sister-in-law shared this oh-so-true article with me recently.

For sure, I have, at times, measured myself against the impossible yardstick that is Facebook, Pinterest, and the world of mommy blogs.

Take my recent Pinterest exploration for brown bag lunches. Emily and Drew needed to pack their lunch for a daycare picnic. Simple, right? Apparently not for a breed of super-moms who practice the art of making decorative bento box lunches. It’s food too pretty to eat made by moms with way more talent than me:

via Pinterest

I hope Emily and Drew didn’t mind their mommy didn’t make them a bento box. I hope they were okay with the fact that I just ended up cutting their ham and cheese with Easter-theme cookie cutters before tying their individual bags with pink and blue ribbons. (For the record, I did curl the ribbons)!

So, when I am feeling like my croissants aren't fluffy enough—heck, who am I kidding? I don’t bake croissants!

So, when I feel like I am too fluffy—there that’s more like it—I try to remember that the world any one of us projects online is just that—a projection.

Some choose to project just the highlight reel; others the bloopers. And somewhere in the middle of all of that projection is reality.

For me, I try to cut a wide swath and bring you a little bit of both.

In the interest of keeping it real, I thought I would share with you some of the fabulous Easter ideas I had pinned/planned that just didn’t happen or didn’t happen like I planned.

Easter cookies

Pinterest doesn't care about your skills or lack thereof; it taunts you all the same. I recognize my own limitations, though, which is why I have a Pinterest board entitled, "When I Learn to Bake." I had planned to start small with a batch of sugar cookies, which would look like this, of course:

Via Pinterest

After amassing all the necessary supplies and creating an enchanting little script in my mind of mommy and babies happily baking, we only half- fulfilled this fantasy production.

Easter cake

Okay, so I didn't really plan to bake a cake like this, but wouldn't it have been cool ending to our Easter day?

Via Pinterest

No spoilers here! While Mommy didn't deliver a winning (baking)performance, Grandma provided a happy ending when she whipped up this cute cake for the grandkids.

Dyed eggs

Again, we had all the props for a classic holiday tale: eggs, stickers, dye tablets, and even this kit that claimed to work like magic.
Image Credit

After googling instructions for boiling eggs (don't judge), we were ready to go. Our friends, Tamia and Tamara, and cousin, Kaelyn, joined us for the debacle fun.

I think the lesson I learned from this experience is there is no such thing as magic. We may have made more progress in a shorter period of time if we had just ditched the idea of "no spill" and just jumped into the whole egg coloring experience the old-fashioned way--mess and all.

Egg shakers

This idea was born from the realization that we needed a way to recycle the invasion of plastic eggs that had overtaken our house. My plan was to combine these two ideas:

via Pinterest


via Pinterest


one huge, unopened bag of rice in the pantry, an unopened package of neon food coloring, and 208 plastic eggs STILL under my couch.

Cotton ball bunny

Anyone need extra cotton balls?
via Pinterest

Despite the things we didn't do, my babies didn't mind or even notice.

I've come to learn that 22 month old toddlers don’t know the difference between Easter and Thanksgiving. The way I see it, I have enough craft supplies and baking materials to take us to Halloween.

What? You haven't heard the story of the cotton ball bunny who plays with plastic eggs in the pumpkin patch while eating sugar cookies?


Carolina said...

Hi Melissa! I found your blog through Kerry at It's The Little Things. I love this post, because many times I do feel a bit inadequate as a mom and also as a creative housewife. Thank you for pointing all this stuff out!! I love your blog, your children are just gorgeous! I look forward to knowing more about you and your cute family.

RoryBore said...

That's why I limit my Pinterest time just confirms that I am at heart a slacker.
but it's true, kids don't care about the pretty- they just want the darn cookie.
but I do love grandmas' bunny cake - simple and looks like it was made with love. and those are the best!

Miss Megan said...

HA! So true!! The girls don't know the difference either. I don't know why we insist on putting so much pressure on ourselves to be supermom and create all of these cool things! I do it too and it's crazy!
And BTW...I have to google how long to boil eggs every time before I make it boil for 5 minutes then set for 15, or boil 10 then set for 10? Or is it boil for 15 then cool immediately?! WHO KNOWS! LOL!
And I still have two massive bags of plastic Easter plan was simply to have an Easter Egg hunt. But no, we didn't even get that far! And the girls didn't care one bit - HA!
Carry on momma! I will be happy to hang out in the imperfect momma clan with you! =)

Julia said...

Great, great post, Melissa! It's so easy to feel like I HAVE to do that stuff. I find myself falling into the trap of "well, I'm a stay at home mama, so I need to prove that I engage the girls in complicated crafts/learning opportunities to feel like I'm earning my keep".

That is the biggest lie!

My worth is not wrapped up in any of that. And I have to remind myself of that ALL the time. My worth is in Jesus. I am just as valuable, just as worthy, if I read my children stories, and crawl around on the ground with them. No shots at mamas that do do this stuff, but I have to remind myself not to stress about it if things aren't perfect. Sometimes whipping out a cookie cutter is about as fancy as I can get :)

You're right----they don't know the difference. They'd just a assume play in the dirt than dye Easter eggs, or help frost/decorate cookies. It's not about the activity----it's about the time you spend with them. Making our own memories----regardless of if they're Martha Stewart-worthy :)

So grateful to you for reminding me of this perspective today.

MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs) said...

Cut yourself some slack, Girlfriend! I completely agree that 22-month olds don't really get such concepts yet. You have at least six months to learn to bake / sew / weave baskets / and sculpt cheese into cartoon characters.


Our girls were thrilled with Easter-shaped cookie cutter-sandwiches. After that, I made sure to go right back to regular squares, though...sure don't wanna set that bar too high and be expected to hit it every day! HA!

KERRY said...

Carolina is a sweetheart btw!
Ahhh Melissa, I am so glad that someone posted about this, just yesterday I was weeping in self pity about how I don't feel like I have it all together like all of the other mummy bloggers out there! He actually said what you said, that most people project an image that they want others to see. But not you my friend, thank you for not being perfect, because to me, that's good enough xo

Olusola said...

Preach it Melissa. There's a lot of online "perfection" that has me rolling my eyes.

The Pepperrific Life said...

You've hit the nail on the head, girl! Yes, I hate how people put on a facade online. That's why I've stopped Facebooking altogether :). I'm sticking to blogging, where people seem to be more real.

Kathy Radigan said...

It's lovely to look at the Pinterest boards and the facebook posts about he color themed baskets and the amazing cakes, but when all is said and done all the kids really remember is if you actually helped them look for the eggs and giggled with them and blew bubbles. I love your mom's cake!! I bet the kids were delighted too!! Much love!! xo

Cathy said...

I think if we look back to what mattered to us as children then it all becomes more clear.

Besides, if the kids catch on to the fact that we have unattainable expectations of ourselves, they'll eventually use it as leverage in the blame game. (ie. "Oh mommy, we only had a 4 foot tall Christmas tree this year instead of a 6 foot one." said with sideways crushed look that makes mom panic on top of feeling guilty: I mean what if they start drinking because of that?!)

Dvr Dame said...

I've convinced myself that the moms who have magnificent pinterest photos have 24/7 babysitters and never sleep.

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