Family Movie Night

by Stefani on 22-October-2008


I really had no idea.

I had NO idea that the language of bread would speak to so many of you. I had no idea that there WERE so many of you!

I’m just so humbled and honored that you stopped by – so glad that you took the time to say hello, and um, between us, I’m a little nervous too, in a happy kind of way.

So many of you have said that you’re going to give our bread a whirl. So, even though I’ve made it a bazillion times now, and I know that it works wonders in our house, I’m kind of nervous about it being baked all over creation.

I do so hope that it turns out well for you all, and that you love it as much as we do.

All of the Blue Yonder gang is a little giddy thinking that “OUR” bread will grace so many tables.

That is very very cool.

Thank you. You’ve made our day, and then some.

So, let me tell you now what made my night.

Every now and again, my boys ask for “Family Movie Night” – this has nothing at all to do with the little red envelope that comes in the mail and always provides some excitement, this is about REAL family movies. The ones that star US.

It’s been a long time since we watched our old movies, so we brought them out tonight, popped up the popcorn and snuggled in under the quilts to laugh and smile and cry a little at our old selves.

Yes, well, I was probably the only one crying.

In tonight’s feature film, Ryder (now almost 4) was a brand new baby. We saw the very first moment that his brother’s laid eyes on him… all the high pitched squeals and loving little head rubs and “really? He’s OURS?” grins.

I cried a lot over that bit, actually.

We saw little bed-heads eating their morning oatmeal, first karate classes, birthdays, days at the lake, and even caught a glimpse of our two black labs, our first babies, that passed away last year.

We laughed so hard that our guys’ personalities were evident, even as they were so small… Ryder rolling and kicking his little legs, eager to be as big as all the other boys, James reveling in making everyone laugh and asking (even at 2!) for a “real guitar” and Luke, the oldest, who is mostly incredibly helpful and encouraging but sometimes crosses the line into doing some parenting of his own.

And all the while I was realizing something that does my mama’s heart so good –

As I watched the old me, balancing a baby on her shoulder while lighting birthday candles for a three year old, as I saw her saying, “honey I’m so glad you love your new baby, but please let’s kiss him and then give him just a little bit of room”; as I took notice of the bean sprouts growing in the window sill and the piles of blocks and books in the corner, as I watched all those boys smiling and laughing and growing and loving, I couldn’t help but think, “I am so proud of her!”

I remember those days, when they were so little – 3 and 2 and brand new. I remember feeling overjoyed, but also a good bit overwhelmed. I remember feeling like I didn’t know how to do parenting “right”. I remember loving them so fiercely that it hurt and at the same time feeling like I could never be the mommy they deserved. But I look at her now, the old me, and I feel like hugging her and saying, “You are doing just fine and you are going to BE just fine, and so are they.”

And you know why that’s good news?

Because sometimes I still have those same feelings.

Am I doing this right?

Am I loving them enough, hugging them enough, honoring each of them individually enough, teaching them enough?

Have I been too busy, raised my voice too often, not noticed the little hand that needed holding, pushed aside the book that needed to be read?

I wonder, as grown men, how they will look back on the job that I did. Will they give me a little grace and know that in all my human frailty I really did try to do a good job?

So when I watch these movies and I see how far we’ve come, how much I’ve learned, how at peace we all are, and when I see the love that has only grown, I know…

We are doing just fine, and we are going to BE just fine.

Tree Hugger

lora October 22, 2008 at 8:00 pm

you’re going to get sick of me saying it, but quit writing such good stuff and I’ll stop… I just LOVE your blog.
This is another wonderful post. Thank you so much for it.

Kelly October 22, 2008 at 8:02 pm

What an amazing story. As the mom of an (almost) 3 year old, and (almost) 1 year old, I need this. I need to hear everything is going to be okay and that even though I feel that I am failing them at times, in fact, they may just turn out okay. You have an amazing way with words, thank you.

Hannah October 22, 2008 at 8:02 pm

Wow, how great to get that reassurance a little bit early! I wonder about my “legacy” at times as well. From reading your blog, it certainly sounds like you have nothing to worry about!

We’ve started a tradition of watching our videos from the past year (they’re generally short snippets) on New Year’s Eve. The kids love it. So do we.

julesofGA October 22, 2008 at 8:04 pm

I made your bread this afternoon!!! It was moist and delicious! Soft butter on a warm fresh slice of Blue Yonder Bread — heaven. Thank you SO much — this recipe is my bread recipe of choice now!

Natalie October 22, 2008 at 8:05 pm

Give that woman an Oscar… or some home movie equivalent of honor and recognition for being the best mom you can be!

kristin at prairie daze October 22, 2008 at 8:19 pm

i actually made the blue yonder bread.

but i used good old butter-flavored crisco.

and. it. worked.

amazing. more of that to come.

thank you, friend.

Deirdre October 22, 2008 at 8:50 pm

Wow, indeed.

I thought the bread recipe was so generous, but this post is even more so.

My youngest is seven months, and I hope and pray that when allowed a glimpse back at these days I will feel proud of who I am/was…there is always more, more I feel I should be doing, could be doing.

Such a gift to read this tonight and think, yeah, we are doing fine.

Amy October 22, 2008 at 9:22 pm

It’s important to take the time to look back. I guess the video camera helps with that. Blogging will give us that as well. I agree that you will all BE just fine indeed.

Cynthia October 22, 2008 at 9:48 pm

Aw, that sounds wonderful. What a sweet reflection.

I’ve been deliberating between a sewing maching and a camcorder for Christmas – I think I’m leaning towards the later now.

Katie October 22, 2008 at 10:27 pm

I wish that we would have had a camcorder when my oldest were small…it is such a treat to look back at the small little beings they were, the funny things they did.

Oh, the memories.

patricia October 22, 2008 at 11:13 pm

I just found your blog this week and it’s thrilled me. You pretty much had me with that rubber band gun tutorial right at the top of your page–I thought, now this is a homeschooling blogger I can relate to!

And then this post. I love the image of you wanting to hug your younger mother self, and tell her she’s doing fine. We do so much nurturing of our kids–how refreshing to consider offering that love to ourselves once in a while.

Your posts are a joy to read; can’t wait for the next one.

Amber October 23, 2008 at 12:48 am

Such a great post – you really do know how to write them don’t you 🙂

Kelly October 23, 2008 at 2:34 am

Watching our home videos and looking through our past photos, ALWAYS, gives me a new perspective, in a positive way! Just have to say, we made your bread, following your new recipe, and let me tell you, we have found a bread, that we all LOVE! We will be replacing our store bought bread, for sure! Thank you! Going to have a toasted slice — with peanut butter — yum! 🙂

Kelly October 23, 2008 at 4:51 am

beautiful, beautiful, beautiful ~

Aunt LoLo October 23, 2008 at 5:40 am

Lovely, as always. BBJ LOVES to watch herself on the computer – I have dozens of little 30-second “bloggable” video clips saved up, and they’re all her favorite.

I made your bread yesterday. Lo Gung said it was the best bread I’d EVER made. I think i can do better. 😉 I mean, I didn’t really let it rise properly (it’s mightily cold up here in my house!) and…I didn’t have any wheat flour. It was like a honey pound cake, but OH so tasty! I wonder if I need the 1/4 cup of shortening if I’m using JUST all-purpose flour? I might cut that back a little next time…but why. 😉 Why mess with a good thing. I’m going to price it out…and we might have a new source of bread in this house!! Thanks, SO much. Lo Gung isn’t much of a bread man, but we ate half the loaf between the three of us last night, warm, smeared with butter and honey, alongside some homemade tomato soup. Yummy!

Sue October 23, 2008 at 6:21 am

Oh, man. Now I’M crying!(Well, I guess I was due a good cry, anyway.)So thank you for that, and for the reassurance that we ARE all going to be just fine. It’s hard enough to remember as parents, but as homeschoolers- Oh, MAN (again.) Well, YOU know…

So glad I found your blog (can’t remember exactly when/how) but not too terribly long ago. I love your writing and have felt such a kinship with you, in general. And then there was the day that we decided to make apple butter and I just happened to ‘pop in’ on Blue Yonder, and YOU were making apple butter! Wow, THAT was exciting;)!And yet another reminder that we’re all moving in the right direction…

So thanks for the little bit of guidance and reassurance that you provide us by sharing a bit of how y’all are doing it over in the Blue Yonder. It is SOOOO appreciated!

Mimi4dagirlz October 23, 2008 at 6:35 am

Like Brad Paisley song..A Letter to ME..
As a mom of grown MEN who yesterday were twin boys…ENJOY every FLEETING moment. and YES you are doing GREAT and You will BE fine…You do get thru and YOU WILL LAUGH out loud…Keep the memories coming…MIMI

jessica October 23, 2008 at 6:52 am

thank you!! i needed this today– so full of the wondering, “am i doing okay?” there are whispers that say yes, but it’s sometimes hard to hear.

but, we’ve got the love and the peace here too and for that i am so thankful!

Lanny October 23, 2008 at 6:54 am

As a mom of a 5, 2 and new baby, I really appreciate your words of encouragement. I’m going to go dust off our video camera-I love family movie night!

Crystal October 23, 2008 at 7:02 am

That’s it! That’s it! I am buying a video camera today. The baby will be 1 in a few days and I cringe at what I have missed… The oldest is 13 and I get sick to my stomach thinking of all the vidoes I should have shot. Better to start now though, than not to start at all. 🙂

Beautiful post.

Kathleen October 23, 2008 at 7:55 am

What a wonderful post, thank you! 🙂

Jody October 23, 2008 at 8:26 am

Such a heartwarming post! I’ve got tears in my eyes just reading this. You are such a good mom!

elissa Finger October 23, 2008 at 8:51 am

oh AMEN to all that, sister! if ONLY i could hold on to that when i am having one of those doubting days!!!!! i may just need to print this post and leave it on my nightstand… or maybe i need to watch some of my old movies….. thanks, girl, you’ve done it again! not only do you know how to love and encourage those boys, but you do it for all of us too….

Holly October 23, 2008 at 9:08 am

Oh, thank you. I am that mama right now, with a three year old and a two week old. The love is so powerful, so much stronger than anything I could have ever imagined…but I wonder every day, is it evident? Do my little ones see it and feel it and know it, or is it hidden behind dishes and that phone call that has already been put off too long and “Hurry, honey, we can’t be late”s? You’ve reminded me to step back and watch. Is my three year old joyful? Is she curious about her world? Does she come to me to be comforted, is she secure in telling me when she’s scared, when she has made a mistake? These are the things I’ll pay attention to today.

Kristy October 23, 2008 at 10:40 am

That feeling keeps me going at the minute.Knowing that my girls are happy and alright.I’m at a stage where my youngest two have come through the hard stages where I felt frazzled at the end of the day but my teenagers are now causing me pain.I just hold onto the knowledge that it’s all a phase and that love will bring us through.

kathy October 23, 2008 at 10:52 am

What a beautiful post, thank you.

Baba October 23, 2008 at 10:58 am

That’s right you are doing just fine! Just always remember it.

Courtney October 23, 2008 at 11:23 am

nice post – thank you

jodie October 23, 2008 at 11:48 am

Well, you’re not the only one crying now. Beautiful!!

Hanna October 23, 2008 at 12:45 pm

oh yes, i think mothers the world around have these same worries and thoughts. These things were going through my head just yesterday. With a 2 1/2 and nearly 1 year old things are a little crazy sometimes and I wonder if I’m any good at this mother thing. Do I give them enough time and attention, am I teaching them enough. There just never seems enough time in the day and too much housework to do!

nancy October 23, 2008 at 12:47 pm

I just love coming to visit and finding such thoughtful words. they touched my heart.

Sarah October 23, 2008 at 1:33 pm

Stumbled here through SouleMama, I think, and am newly in love with your blog! I, too, have three boys (nearly 4, 2 and 6 months) and am really feeling in the throes of it now that #3 is mobile. I’ve started blogging ( to help highlight (for myself, mostly) those moments where the stars align and I feel good about where we’re going. Of course it’s also therapeutic for de-constructing those not so hot parenting days as well.

Thanks for reminding us to trust ourselves, and enjoy the ride!

Kez October 23, 2008 at 2:05 pm

What a beautiful post 🙂 Thanks for the encouragement for *all* mums – because we all go through the same feelings of “am I doing enough?!”

peregrine October 23, 2008 at 2:30 pm

i, personally, really needed to hear this. its what i tell myself but so good to hear from another about themselves. that we, the ones that worry are the ones that probably dont need to worry. i hope.

Cassandra October 23, 2008 at 4:34 pm

Thank you for the happy tears, mama. We’re going to have to pull out our videos now and snuggle in…

YayaOrchid October 23, 2008 at 4:38 pm

Girl, every time I ready your posts from the heart you make me cry! Thank you for the reminder. I think it’s something we ALL need to hear. Even Grandmas like me lose sleep sometimes wondering if maybe I could’ve been a better Mommy.

mama chelly October 23, 2008 at 4:58 pm

I have always believed that no matter how old your children are, you are always brand-spanking-new at parenting THAT child at THAT age. Which means the wondering never ends. I bet my mom still does it and she’s 70 years old.
Thank you for the post and for the delicious bread. We enjoyed every last crumb. (Especially with crunchy peanut butter.)

Jennifer October 23, 2008 at 5:04 pm

Beautifully written–thank you for sharing. I have an almost 3 year old and a 6 month old and there certainly are those overwhelming days. I’ve worked really hard to accept that reality that parenting is a journey and that I was not born knowing how to do it all perfectly! Working on being in the present and not longing for the past or wishing for the future is helping me appreciate and revel in my little bundles more and more each day.

Jennifer October 23, 2008 at 6:38 pm

This time you brought tears to my eyes. You see, I am the old you. Balancing a baby on her shoulder while she lit candles on the year two birthday cake. The blocks on the floor, the piles of books, the exhaustion, the joy and the overwhelmed feeling. All present. I keep telling myself that the joy will win, the overwhelmed feeling I know will not go away, but I do also know that it will lessen. You have touched me in a big way.

Oh, and we will be trying the bread. Just as soon as I figure out how to get my two year old to sleep at nap time…

Maria October 23, 2008 at 9:22 pm

Beautiful. Thank you so much.

Sara October 24, 2008 at 5:57 am

Another great post. Thank you!

I made the bread the night you posted the recipe. I couldn’t wait to get home to try it. The last time I made a loaf in our breadmaker it was a disaster and I swore off bread making forever. Your recipe gave me the confidence to try again – it was my first time ever kneading dough. Surprisingly it wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be. And the bread turned out wonderfully. My family was impressed, and I am grateful to you for the reassurance that making bread from scratch really isn’t all that hard.

Marina (from Denmark) October 24, 2008 at 12:16 pm

My dear how can you possibly be in doubt. I know all of us moms constantly are, but you, you should be an exception. Love for your boys just shines through all the posts you write. So go ahead give yourself a well deserved hug today.

Chelsea Smith October 24, 2008 at 12:48 pm

Thank you for sharing. It really moves me.

taimarie October 25, 2008 at 3:37 pm

lovely words. I laughed out loud at the “honey I’m glad you love your new baby…” line- I think I’ve said it 7 times just today to my two year old!

maya October 26, 2008 at 6:32 pm

oh, i wasn’t expecting this…i am. crying, stefani, geeeez. i know this so well, with three boys with so many layers of needs. i can encourage my friends all day long, but as unschoolers, you know, we take our response-abilities so seriously, even when we’re trying to pass on lightness & ease. so it’s hard to watch them & wonder about how well we’re actually responding, if it’s enough, more than enough, if it’s hurtful or neglectful. thank you, i’m popping in some old videos to see if my younger me has some advice for me today!

Tiffany October 27, 2008 at 9:57 pm

Wow! You capture the escence of motherhood. Thank you for publishing what so many of us feel on a daily basis. I currently have a 5 year old and a 6 month old. Some days I feel like I can conquer the world with the amount of love I have for these two, when others; I question every step. You are a beautiful artist and author. Don’t stop sharing. Love it!

gonzomama October 30, 2008 at 3:53 pm

i sit here typing this with one hand as the other is holding my 2 wk old girl, listening to my 2 yr old help his papa outside and i just have to tell you that every time you write about being a mama i tear up. you have such a gift at expressing your thoughts and i thank you so much for sharing them.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: