Buds and Blossoms

Our peonies are blooming! Oh, what a glorious sight! The only sad part about these beauties, is that they have little to no fragrance. But as one friend said, what they lack in fragrance, they certainly make up for in their stunning color.

These peonies reminded me how we sometimes expect things to be a certain way because of their outward appearance. When we purchased these bulbs years ago, we probably would have passed them by had we known this variety was missing the signature fragrance we have come to love. But if we passed them by, we would have missed these gigantic showy blooms greeting us in May. Now they are a showpiece in our garden, and I look forward to them every year.

I took a walk around the yard after church today, and just had to take a few more photos of some of the flowers in bloom. Our daughter planted foxglove under our mailbox and beneath the cherry tree. They are all in full bloom now, as are the yellow Knock Out roses. We weren’t sure they would survive their first winter, but they came back stronger than ever and are bursting with roses!

All these gorgeous flowers come as a reward for enduring the long, cold winter. I’m certain springtime blossoms are appreciated even more by those living in the snow belt states!

It’s hard to believe a week ago we were struggling to hit 50 degrees and even turned our heat back on at night. It’s currently 88 degrees today in Ashburn, VA, with increasing humidity. You would think after living here for over 20 years we would be accustomed to this leap into summertime temperatures each spring. But I’ll sure take this over the damp, rainy days of April!

Wherever you are, and whatever your weather may be, I hope you are enjoying a lovely spring day.

Have a blessed week ahead!

You Surpass Them All

Happy Mother’s Day!

Today is the very best day to focus on the blessings in my life, and the beautiful family that the Lord has given me.

This will be the most quoted scripture of the day, but Proverbs 31:28-29 sums up the blessings of being a wife and mother . . .

My day began with Sunday worship, followed by a surprise Mother’s Day brunch, alone with my husband.

This was the view from our window seat overlooking a soggy West Market Street from Casa Nostra. (Definitely worth checking out, NoVa friends!)

I neglected to take a photo of my first course Caesar salad, but it set the stage perfectly for the main course of pan-seared salmon with ricotta gnocchi and a pesto cream sauce. And, no Italian brunch would be complete without Tiramisu. It was a decadent meal!

I returned home and was showered with Mother’s Day cards from both children, flowers, goodies and a Kohl’s gift card. (My son knows me well 😉.) And no Mother’s Day would be complete without a long, lazy nap.

My own mother and late mother-in-law are examples of women who deeply loved and sacrificed for their families. They were both raised during the Depression and knew the meaning of hardship. I believe this helped them raise their families on a shoestring budget, while creatively stretching every dollar. They were frugal shoppers, skilled seamstresses, and round-the-clock nurses. Multi-tasking wasn’t a term in the 60’s and 70’s, yet they were the pioneers. Many mothers left their homes when the kids went off to school, and took up careers of their own.

Mother’s Day looked very different when we were kids. I don’t remember bringing Mom breakfast in bed, but she usually got a break from cooking. That meant going out to dinner or ordering takeout, which was a special treat for our family.

And even though it was a holiday in her honor, like all other moms, she still did a lot of the usual tasks that day in preparation for the week ahead. In that spirit, I made my weekly run to Wegman’s today, and am knee-deep in laundry as I type.

So, thank you to all the moms who came before my generation, setting the bar and guiding our feet in paths toward the future. You have inspired us, guided us, and made us proud to bear the title of mother — or mentor — to the children in our lives. 💕