Mother’s Day Dinner Menu 2017

I've made planning your next Mother's Day dinner easy with this menu of tried and true recipes that you can adapt to feed any size crowd.

Ever since my husband and I got married, we spend at least half of our Sunday evening meals each month at a family member’s home.  The family hosting plans the meal and then asks those who are coming to pitch in and bring something to share.  It’s been a great way to both save on the cost of food and enjoy time with family.  With Mother’s Day coming up, I know many people, including my family, are going to be getting together to celebrate mothers, wives, sisters, aunts, grandmothers and other special women in their life.  This year, my husband and I will be hosting Mother’s Day dinner at our house, which means we get to plan the meal. 

My husband’s family is fairly large and there are over 20 people to feed when everyone gets together.  This can get a little overwhelming, but I’ve gotten fairly good at planning food for so many people in the 9 years my husband and I have been married.  Whether you have a large family or are on the smaller side, I have a Mother’s Day menu that can be adapted to serve any size.  All recipes come from my blog and in the case of dessert, I’m sharing a few options to choose from depending on taste preferences.  Or you can make all of them.  Hey, it’s for Mother’s Day! *wink*

Main Dish

I've made planning your next Mother's Day dinner easy with this menu of tried and true recipes that you can adapt to feed any size crowd.

Green Salad
Carrots and Potatoes (cooked in crock pot with roast) 
I've made planning your next Mother's Day dinner easy with this menu of tried and true recipes that you can adapt to feed any size crowd.

I've made planning your next Mother's Day dinner easy with this menu of tried and true recipes that you can adapt to feed any size crowd.

I've made planning your next Mother's Day dinner easy with this menu of tried and true recipes that you can adapt to feed any size crowd.
I've made planning your next Mother's Day dinner easy with this menu of tried and true recipes that you can adapt to feed any size crowd.
I've made planning your next Mother's Day dinner easy with this menu of tried and true recipes that you can adapt to feed any size crowd.
What are your plans for Mother’s Day this year?  Do you have the same meal each year or does it change?

10 Things Motherhood Has Taught Me

10 Things Motherhood Has Taught Me

Mother’s Day is coming up this weekend and like many women out there, it’s given me some time to reflect and think about my own mother as well as my experiences with being a mother myself.  Today, I’m sharing some things I’ve learned in the four years and four months since I became a mother.

You are a walking dictionary/thesaurus
One of the goals I had when I became a parent was to help my children have a good vocabulary.  What I didn’t know when I made this goal was that by doing so I was also going to become and walking-talking dictionary and thesaurus.  All day long I hear, “Mom, what does (fill-in-the-blank) mean?”  I can’t even count how many times a day I hear these words.  It’s almost become second nature for me to listen to what I say and anticipate when my kids will ask what a words means.  I always giggle to myself when my kids, mostly my daughter (age 4), asks my husband what something means and he has a hard time explaining it in a way she’ll understand.  He doesn’t get quite the same amount of practice that I do. *wink*  As frustrating as it can be at times, I’m grateful that my kids are curious and want to know what words mean and about the world around them.

No matter how hard you try, you will still yell at your kids sometimes
I never though of myself as a yeller.  I still don’t.  But there are days when being a parent is HARD and instead of patience and understanding, I yell.  And then I feel horrible as I watch my children’s faces crumple up and tears well up in their eyes.  *sigh*  I wish someone had told me that there would be days where I would yell at my kids.  The worst is when you yell at them and then find out they were trying to be nice or thoughtful.  I’ve learned that kids are so quick to forgive and I’m grateful to them for that.

10 Things Motherhood Has Taught Me

Your food is not your own
See that plate in front of you?  The food on it isn’t actually yours.  It’s your kids.  At least that’s what they think.  Maybe we’ve conditioned them to think that, since from the time they are young we give them little bites of food from our plate.  Regardless, it seems rare to go through a meal without at least one child asking for some of the food or drink in front of us when we clearly have the same thing in front of us that they do in front of them.  And that chocolate you’ve been hiding?  Forget about it.  Kids have superior hearing and smell when it comes to all things sugar so you better lock it up tight and don’t even think about eating it until you’re sure you’re alone.

Kids are gross
There will be a point (read: many points) where you have to clean up really gross stuff.  If your child has ever exploded out of their diaper, spit up down your shirt, or thrown up right into your outstretched hands, you know what I’m talking about.  There is nothing that could have prepared me for this part of parenting.  Sure, I knew it was there.  People talk about it.  I wasn’t totally naive.  But if I stop and think about some of the gross things I’ve had to clean up…*shudder*

You are your kids hero
As a mother, I make mistakes every. single. day.  I think it goes without saying that no one is perfect.  I’ve had many days when my kids will come up to me and give me a big hug for no reason and say “I love you” or “Mommy, you’re my best friend.”  That.  That right there gives me a little boost to do better and be better because these little people are counting on me.

10 Things Motherhood Has Taught Me

Your love will grow every single day
There are some things in life that you just won’t fully understand until you experience them yourself (and maybe not even then).  I think being a mother is one of those things.  I remember growing up and hearing my parents say, “You’ll understand when you become a parent.”  And I do.  It’s incredible to me that if I think back to the day each of my kids were born, I know that I love them more today than I did then.

Some days you won’t like your kid(s)
On the other hand, there will be days that you just plain don’t like your kid(s).  I’ve had a few of these.  They are usually the days where one or both of my kids are being naughty or talking back or doing any other number of things that frustrate me.  I sometimes think of the movie How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days when Andie and Ben have just broken up and Andie is leaving his apartment and Ben comes running after and suggests couple therapy.  And then Andie says, “I love you, but right now I don’t like you.”  That’s how I feel about my kids some days.

Hearing your children laugh is magic
I really believe that there are few sounds as magical as hearing my children laugh.  Whether it’s because they are being tickled or chased around the house or they are just playing together, I love hearing their laughter.  I wish I could bottle it up and save it for rainy days.

10 Things Motherhood Has Taught Me

A completely clean house is a myth
Keeping my house clean when I have little kids is basically impossible.  I’ve learned I have to settle for certain parts of my house to be clean at different times.  Right now, the kids bathroom and bedroom are clean, but the kitchen and living room are a mess.  Other days, the basement is spotless but my bedroom looks like a tornado just came through.  Just as I get something cleaned up, the kids will pull it out.  It’s like the definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.  However, the house does stay a bit cleaner now that I have a chore chart for my daughter.  Even my son likes to help with putting dishes away or vacuuming under the kitchen table after a meal.

They are observant
I am amazed again and again at how observant my kids are.  Not to mention, my daughter has the memory of an elephant.  Kids truly learn by example and they copy my husband and I in everything we do and say.  They keep us accountable.  It’s always a little funny when my daughter reminds my husband that we “don’t say that word (i.e. stupid, dumb, butt)” or my son points to a chair and asks us to “sit, sit” as we eat our food.

When all is said and done, I wouldn’t trade being a mother for anything in the world.  My kids are wonderful, kind, smart, sweet, thoughtful and curious.  They bring out the best (and worst) in me and remind me that I can always try again to be better.

I hope you all have a wonderful Mother’s Day!

14 Meaningful Gifts for Mother’s Day

Let’s face it: Mother’s Day gifts can be so hard to come up with!  You want to give something meaningful.  You want to be thoughtful.  You want them to like it.  (And not just because it’s from you, but because you want them to really like what you give them.)  I feel like some years, the right gift is obvious.  You see it, or you think of it and it’s a no-brainer.  But most years, at least for me, it isn’t like that.  Heck, I can’t even tell my husband what I want for Christmas or my birthday most of the time!  So I’ve taken some time to think about some Mother’s Day gift ideas that your mom (or maybe you) would like to receive.  Or possibly one of the items you see will help you think of something else that she’d like.

Scrapbook (Traditional or Digital):  Making a scrapbook today is so much easier and faster than it used to be.  With websites and apps, like Chatbook or Shutterfly, all you really need to do is upload your photos, drop them into a template (or design it from scratch) and send it in to be published.  And if you decide to go the traditional route using printed pictures, there are pre-made scrapbooks that you can buy if making one from scratch seems daunting or too time consuming.  (I’ve seen them at JoAnn’s and Hobby Lobby.)

Personalized Mug/Clothing/Kitchen Towel:  Going along with the personalization theme, you can also purchase almost anything with kids and/or grandkids names or images on them.  I’ve seen mugs, shirts, kitchen towels, keychains and various other items.  If you have a certain item you want personalized, check out Etsy and see what is available.  I’d be surprised if you didn’t find something.

Gift Certificate for Massage or Mani/Pedi:  If your mom is the kind that likes massages, manicures and/or pedicures, why not look into purchasing a gift certificate for her at her favorite spa?  There are always good deals on Groupon, Living Social and Amazon Local for any of these items.  The gift of a relaxing day (or at least a few hours) is something I think most women will appreciate.

Image from O Jolie Designs

Personalized/Custom Jewelry:  One year, my sister, step-sister and I pitched in and got my step-mom a necklace with all of the grandkids’ names and birthstone on it.  It was a personal gift and a beautiful way for her to keep her grandkids close.  Plus, we can always add to it as more kids come along.  We purchased ours from one of my favorite Etsy shops for hand stamped jewelry and keepsakes called O Jolie Designs.

Service: Perform an act of service, such as weeding the garden or cleaning out the garage.  You could do it as a surprise or together and use it as an opportunity to talk and bond.

Plan an Activity and Create a Memory:  Last year for Mother’s Day, we took my mom out to the aquarium and spent a few hours with her.  It was special because we were able to create a memory from it and take pictures to remember it.  Maybe your mom likes going on hikes or to the ballet.  Think of an activity you could do together, whether it’s just the two of you, all the siblings, just girls or extended family, and go make some memories.

Accessories for Hobby:  If your mom has a hobby, there is probably something you could buy to go along with it.  Golfing?  New gloves or clubs.  Biking?  A comfy seat or biking shoes.  Cooking?  That new pan or gadget she’s been looking at.  There are so many options that there’s no way I could even begin to list them all, but if your mom has a hobby, there’s probably something she could use to supplement it.

Flowers/Potted Plant:  I know many ladies who like to receive flowers or potted plants as gifts.  You could include a bouquet of her favorite flowers with another gift or have some flowers or a potted plant as the gift itself.

Chocolates or a Favorite Treat:  I know it’s cliche, but there’s a reason it is: lots of women like chocolate.  And I’m not talking a Hershey’s bar.  I’m talking about the really good stuff that you buy from a chocolate store that melts in your mouth.  If chocolates aren’t her thing, buy her favorite treat.  Maybe it’s something that’s hard to find or has special meaning.

Home/Office Decor:  There have been years here and there that I’ve bought or made decor for my mom or step-mom to display.  I know their styles so it hasn’t been difficult to find something I think they’d like.

Book, Journal or Notebook:  For as long as I can remember, my mom has always had a stack of books next to her bed.  She loves reading and has some favorite authors and genres, so finding a book she would like is generally not too difficult.  Along those lines, you could also purchase a journal or notebook for her to keep handy and write her thoughts down.

Poem or Letter:  You could find a poem that describes your mom or how you feel about her, or you could write one yourself.  I’ve done both and each have been received with tears and hugs.  I’ve also written a thank you letter expressing my love and gratitude for them.  If you’re looking for a way to get your mom crying, or at the least a little misty-eyed, go for this option. *wink*

Something made by the Grandkids:  I’ve seen some cute ideas on Pinterest where you have your child draw or paint a picture and you take a picture of them making it.  Then you include both the picture they made and the picture of them in a frame (check out this one).  There are also lots of other ideas involving hand prints/foot prints of each grandchild (like this one here).

Printable Fill-in-the-Blank about Mom/Grandma:  Another fun Pinterest find and so easy and cute.  Grab one of the many free fill-in-the-blank printables for moms/grandmas (like this one) and have your kids finish the sentence.  Then you could put them together in a notebook or with the gift that you give to her.  I love these kind of gifts because there are always a few tears and some laughter involved as they are read.

I hope this list gave you an idea or two or at least got your wheels turning!

What are some of your favorite items to give or receive?