Saturday, May 28, 2011

Weekend Reflection: On Eternity

Beach of ameland

"To see a World in a grain of sand, And a Heaven in a wild flower: Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand, And Eternity in an hour."

--William Blake

May we all pause to appreciate the beauty in His broad hand of creation all around us, and to ponder the meaning of that in our lives. May we take ourselves out of that place of worry, of hustle and bustle that pulls us from His purpose. Let us withdraw from pettiness to reflect on the wonder of sand and wildflowers. Soak in all of the beauty and wonder, and cast your thoughts heavenward this weekend.

Friday, May 27, 2011

On Forgetting...

Linking up with The Gypsy Mama today for another fabulous 5 Minute Friday! Five Minute Friday is where we write on a given prompt for 5 minutes flat. It's always fascinating to see what comes rushing in. Give it a try!

This week the prompt is: "On Forgetting." Here we go:


Richard, tall and proud at age 84. Eyes twinkling with a hint of a smile at their corners--entire life lived, memories slipping away day by day. "The Man with the Silver Tongue" they called him since he was gifted with knowing just what to say and exactly how to say it. He soaked up every ounce of life, loved his wife, raised up five fine children: 4 girls, 1 boy. A successful man with wit and humor, forgetting all the good times and bad, the laughter, the tears and everything in between.

Alzheimer's: the silent robber that creeps in day by day erasing our loved ones and leaves only traces of who they once were.

Cherish the sweet memories you have, for in forgetting, others are left to take up the responsibility of remembering, of becoming the memory keepers, guardians of days long ago, echo of voices past.


This was written in honor of my husband's grandfather who I had the privilege of knowing for a brief time before he passed away. When I met him his Alzheimer's had already advanced to a stage where he had trouble articulating what it was he wanted to say, but his charming face and twinkling eyes still shone brightly. Sadly I never knew him prior to the disease's onset, but his family members (memory-keepers) have wonderful stories about him, and I can picture in my mind's eye how he once had been--tall, handsome, charming, funny, witty.

When I first read this prompt it immediately called to mind one of my favorite songs, "Bookends" by Simon and Garfunkel. I knew I wanted to write about how important it is to preserve our cherished memories for future generations to pass on. On how remembering is good medicine, and holds everything we value in life--our friendships, our passions, our loves. It's very fitting as we remember loved ones gone before us in our nation's history this holiday weekend. Have a wonderful holiday everyone!

I'll leave you with this hauntingly beautiful song:

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Cultivating Humility

Cultivating humility is such a tremendously difficult thing to do...or at least, it is for me. I come from a long line of proud and self-righteous family members. In my family defending one's position and being right was of the utmost importance. My family was quick to accuse, slow to submit and even slower to forgive (much less to forget). Growing up in this environment I find myself so quick to defend, and I have to really fight against this tendency. Pride rears its ugly head and I hop on the high and mighty horse without a second thought.

I'll never forget the time I really hurt someone, a friend, because of my pride. At the time I didn't even see the situation for what it truly was, but looking back its glaringly apparent. It all started out with plain old nasty gossip. Though I was genuinely concerned for my friend and the choices she was making in her life, I handled this concern in an immature way--I talked about her behind her back. I broke the cardinal rule of trust. Though I wasn't trying to intentionally cut her down, it got out of hand and I got carried away. Then the worst happened: it got back to her. At this point I ought to have humbled myself and simply apologized, which I initially did. But in response to her hurt and anger (which were 100% justified) I started to get angry. I started feeling wronged by the rejection of my apology. And in all of my self-righteous anger I started pointing the proverbial finger at her, with accusations of wrong-doing while defending my own sinful actions. Pride came rushing in and I only made a terrible situation worse. Looking back on my friend and on the choices I made I wish I had been able to just take a step back, pray for the strength to humble myself and repair things as best I could. But too much damage had been done and the friendship was forever lost.

Why is it so easy to give in to the temptation of pride? I will forever carry sorrow in my heart for my shameful actions and words. Whenever I think of pride and of the damage it causes, I immediately come back to this sad memory. I will always ache for the hurt I caused my friend so many years ago and in a way I'm glad for that, because it serves as a constant reminder to me of the very real and negative consequence of pride.

One of the nasty things about pride is that it seldom comes alone. It usually brings along with it a boatload of other sins: a hard heart, anger, condescension, gossip, boasting, attention-seeking...the list goes on and on and to put it simply--it ain't pretty.

So, how are we to combat pride? Are we slaves to this puffed-up vanity and self-regard? Is there any way to mediate this ugly side of ourselves? I find Mother Theresa to be a huge inspiration to me in this area. To her Missionaries of Charity, Mother Theresa recommended prayerful reflection on the following list:

1. Speak as little as possible about yourself.
2. Keep busy with your own affairs and not those of others.
3. Avoid curiosity.
4. Do not interfere in the affairs of others.
5. Accept small irritations with good humor.
6. Do not dwell on the faults of others.
7. Accept censures even if unmerited.
8. Give in to the will of others.
9. Accept insults and injuries.
10. Accept contempt, being forgotten and disregarded.
11. Be courteous and delicate even when provoked by someone.
12. Do not seek to be admired and loved.
13. Do not protect yourself behind your own dignity.
14. Give in, in discussions, even when you are right.
15. Always choose the more difficult task.

Are you feeling a bit taken aback by this list? How tremendously difficult some of these things are to put into action! Though it's difficult and requires much prayer, discipline and grace (always grace) I find trying to live my life in this way so freeing and... joyous. This is pretty revolutionary stuff. In our individualistic society that encourages us to stand out, to be tall and proud, to pamper ourselves and self-indulge this list is in drastic opposition to all of that. To accept insult and injury?! To give into unmerited censure??? To speak little about ourselves? You mean, life isn't all about...US? Revolutionary indeed. And ironically more powerful than any self-serving, self-glorifying pursuit on earth.

Another thing that brings me down from that proverbial high horse of pride is to consider the awesomeness of the Lord. To reflect on the vastness of the universe, of His boundless knowledge and power immediately takes me down a peg or two. How little and insignificant we are next to Him! I try to cultivate this sense of wonder and awe so that I may remain mindful of my teeny tiny part in His Grandscape. Trying to see myself as a mere cog in the great machine of His Creation serves as a reminder that my life and all that I do is for Him. What brings us to this place of wonder and awe is different for everyone. For me it is nature--opening my eyes to appreciate a vast night sky of stars, the roaring ocean storm or a summer day so serene and tranquil I feel my heart might burst. How perfect and amazing His creation is, and I am so humbled and blessed to be living in it! What a blessing is is to become smaller--to get out of the way-- so that He can become bigger.

I encourage you to reflect on humility and prayerfully consider the ways in which you can glorify the Lord through "becoming smaller." Thinking in this vein often brings my mind to the Prayer of St. Francis:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

I love the emphasis of this prayer on becoming instruments of the Lord for His glory. The desire is solely on giving and serving others. I pray that I may live my life in this way--always seeking ways to bless others and being an instrument of the Lord.

Let us ask the Lord to reveal to us the ways in which we can truly be instruments of His peace. I encourage you not to just read this prayer but to really pray it. Let the words soak in.

Where there is despair, let me bring hope. His hope to others who desperately need it.

Where there is darkness let me bring light. His light to those in darkness.

Grant that I may console those who hurt. That I may love others the way He calls us to.

In a society that encourages us to be everything, this prayer is a request that we empty ourselves of our own desires to become an instruments of the Lord--to make music for His flock. I encourage you to cultivate humility along with me. And I pray that we may all become instruments of His peace, music makers of His glory.

"Not to us, O LORD, not to us but to your name give glory."
--psalm 115

Raising HomemakersSimple BPM

Monday, May 23, 2011

One Thousand Gifts (part 12)

Inspired by Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts, I am making a list of 1000 things I am thankful for. Everyday miracles, gifts from above. Here is my continuing journey:

211. golden raspberry bush's little white blossoms

212. Seeing Immaculee Ilibagiza speak--testimony of inspiring faith, message of profound forgiveness and love

image source

213. Evening out with Kevin and wonderful Mother-in-law who watched kids for us

214. fresh mixed berries

215. smell of apple cake baking in the oven

216. cold egg rolls!

217. kind loving words from husband offered spontaneously

218. discovering new section of local library full of wonderful books!

219. Breve Creme coffee creamer made with real cream-so yummy!

220. son's high fever breaking

221. waking up healthy!

222. male cardinal tenderly feeding his mate

223. driving alone at night with the radio loud

224. homemade bruschetta

225. heaven clouds out my front window

226. sun poking through the clouds after 6 straight days of rain

227. sitting by sunlit window--warmth and gentle breeze on my face

228. Big beautiful gentle horse with intelligent eyes. Feeling his hot breath and soft lips tickling my fingers. Awe of God's creation

229. damp cool fragrant air of Spring night wafting through bedroom window

230. loving husband who puts children to bed while I take a much needed nap

231. pumpkin seeds germinating, miracle of growth and new life

...more to come

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Friday, May 20, 2011

Motherhood:Warts and All!

Lately my daughter Megan (now 18 months old) has been all about the picture books. She looooooves to identify things she recognizes on pages, which generally speaking, is the most adorable thing ever. However, sometimes she...ahem, takes a few... shall we say liberties. Let me provide a few examples:




Totally cute, right? And we all have a good laugh at these. But then there's some pictures that are just um, well a little harder to find the humor in. Let me clarify:


(Note the label below the picture to get an idea of where this is going. Yeah, it gets worse. At least this granny has a somewhat youthful glow!)


(Ok, I've aged another 30 years in this one...but keep reading!)


(Ack! This lady has got to be at least 100 years old!!!! White perm. Stripey apron. None of it good. But wait! The best is yet to come!)


Yeah. That's right. A TROLL. Megan thinks Mommy


Well, Megan, I'm choosing to blame YOU and your sleepless nights for any resemblances I bear to grandmas and creatures of the night!

(P.S. Just kidding, Mommy still loves you. Even though you think she looks like a club-swinging monster. With warts. And bad hair. And flies swarming all around. And we won't even discuss what appears to be hanging out of the back of that loin cloth.)

And can I just say how completely unfair it is that Kevin gets to be handsome, young, rugged ax-swinging L.L.Bean flannel shirt donning cool guy?!

Aaaaaaah well...sometimes ya just gotta laugh at the weird moments that occur in a house full of five-and-unders! We trolls, er...moms make our own fun, don't we? Just thought I'd share a bit of the wacky laughs we've been having this week. And now back to my regularly scheduled club's almost dinnertime. ;)

Monday, May 16, 2011

One Thousand Gifts (part 11)

Inspired by Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts, I am making a list of 1000 things I am thankful for. Everyday miracles, gifts from above. Here is my continuing journey:

174. chocolate milk

175. smell of roasted chicken

176-186. trip to Old Sturbridge Village: bleating sheep, dusty roads, sticky stripy candy sticks, tin hearts made by proud little boys, bayberry candles, hoop games, gardens full of busy bees, waterpumps, old coins, little girls in bonnets

187. boys playing soccer on windy field

188. bunny nibbling clover in backyard

189. catbirds at feeder

190. waking up before alarm; extra quiet time in morning

191. sky all streaked with pink and orange at sunrise, fiery orb climbing above treetops

192. world transforming into leafy greenness

193. azalea in bloom

194. whole family piling into big bed for a snuggle

195. daughter's delighted squeals over bubbles

196. big brother feeding his sister yogurt-precious sibling moment

197. bounce house birthday party-sweaty hyper happy boys!

198. proud blue-jay cocking head in curiosity

199. fragrant smell of spice cabinet-pungent and exotic

200. digging in the garden--smell of rich moist earth

201-209. day at the farm: honeybees, making beeswax candles, trotting calves with lanky limbs, baby chicks kept warm under lamp, wooly sheep, muddy pigs, hungry tortoise, good friends

210. windows all open-smell of fresh air throughout the house

more to come...

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Friday, May 13, 2011

O Death Where is Thy Sting?

It's been 6 days since mom killed herself. With rope tethered to basement beam, last breath choked out, mom strangled away the paranoia, the depression, the bottomless well of despair that gripped her for untold years. Gone from this world, no warning, no goodbye.

For two days no one knew she was gone. And yet, hadn't she already been gone for years? When was the last time she had smiled her beautifully contagious smile? Laughed her laugh so full and loud you wanted to cover your ears and join in all at once? How long had it been since a conversation wasn't bloated with manic monologues of conspiracy, mafia tormentors, government schemes? When exactly did that sparkle of light leave her eyes?

Departure of personality is an insidious thing, slowly creeping in day by day, year after year. You begin to mourn without even realizing exactly what it is you've lost, the changes occur so slowly. But at some point you know that a gaunt hollow shell has taken over, invaded the life force of the one you love and you are powerless to stop it, though you try and you try. You cling to faded hope that somehow, someway the tunnel of madness will end in light. Tired and weary you pray on your knees that the carousel of hospitalizations, medications, depression and paranoia will cease spinning round and round. Dizzying centrifuge of eroding hope, of "solutions" that never work.

But still, I never thought it would come to this.

Six days ago the phone call came. The burning words of my sister, brand of fury and shock,

" She's dead. She killed herself. She's gone."

The words ring in my ears. Like a wild animal I want to claw at something. Scratch and tear my way free from the gaping wound in the pit of my stomach. Inexplicable feeling of nausea, light-headedness, heart pounding. Shock numbing my brain, rendering me incapable of forming thoughts or words. Like a stranger outside of myself I slam shut the torrent of pain.

I can't fall apart.

Not yet.

Not in front of the kids. I must shield them from this. I will shield my children from this pain. From the lingering haunt of my broken childhood that follows me here, to this place of unspeakable grief. She killed herself. She's gone.

Moments later my husband rushes through the door. He already knows what has happened, sparing me from having to say the words. The words that play on loop in my head, "She's dead. She killed herself. She's gone." My husband takes care of things. Makes the necessary phone calls, whisks kids away so I can be alone.

Alone to grapple with the thoughts of death and of ropes.

She's gone.

I can't cry. It feels so wrong to not cry. Why can't I feel anything? Like a grief-stricken zombie I wander into the backyard. It is dusk. I stare into the darkening woods with the realization that mom is no longer in this world. Gone from this night fall. Gone from this moonrise. How can everything look so normal when nothing is normal anymore? How does the sun still set as if nothing has happened? Birds chirp and merrily search for worms in happy oblivion while I am here in this yard, in these woods while policemen with blue gloves conduct investigations take down mom's body.

My sister and I zombie-walk through the necessary arrangements. There are decisions that need to be made: Casket, flowers, prayer cards, scripture verses. These decisions feel oddly easy. Casket: light wood, cheerful. (Cheerful? Why should anything about this appear cheerful?!) Flower arrangements: Peonies, Mom loved those. (Why should flowers even matter when Mom hadn't thought of gardening for years?!) Prayer cards: Prayer of Saint Francis. (Prayer cards? Where was mom's faith when she decided to give up on life?!) We make decisions to create the illusion of natural, peaceful death while the reality of the situation is anything but peaceful or natural. Mom hung herself. This is the reality. What are we even celebrating here? These questions run through my head, but no answers come. With suicide, the answers never come.

The funeral director discusses obituary and calling hours and I am blunt when I ask about an open casket,

"What about her neck?"

"It depends on what was used: electrical cord, rope, chain-"


"There will be marks, you'll have to cover those. A scarf should do. With this type of death, sometimes the jaw breaks, and there's swelling. But we'll do our best. I haven't seen the body yet."

The body.

Mom is a body.

And the thoughts come. Dark thoughts. Thoughts you can't stop yourself from wondering.

Did she struggle?

Did she change her mind when it was too late?

What were her final thoughts?

More questions without answers.

We go to mom's house to select an outfit, an outfit with a scarf. The house looks like she's still living in it-- as if she had just stepped out for a walk. Bills on the table. Leftovers in the fridge. Laundry hanging to dry.


But there are other things. Strange things. Boobie traps. Scraps of paper with paranoid scrawl. Binoculars by the window.

Oh Mom.

Why couldn't we save you? Why wouldn't you move out when we pleaded with you? Why couldn't you realize the paranoia wasn't real? Why? Why? Why?

We go to the basement, to the spot. There's the lawn chair she used-the one we had sat in at countless family gatherings and picnics. There's a hole in the beam where the hook had been. And there's a shoe. All that is left from this suicidal scene is a lawn chair, a hole and a shoe. Somehow these ordinary household things seem strange to me, as if some foreign items belong in this scene of dark questions without answers. Because you just don't expect something so extraordinary to occur with ordinary household items of lawn chairs and ladder hooks.

We look for clues, for notes, for anything that might give us some answers. We come up mostly short, but we do find a message written on the envelope containing her will. She writes that she wants us to be happy. To live and enjoy our lives. She tells us she will look down on us from above. And she writes something else. A verse from scripture, just two lines,

"O death where is thy victory. O death where is thy sting."

Despite everything my mom endured-the pain, the suffering, the paranoia, the depression, the dissent into madness, she longed for immortality with God. And although I'll never have the answers as to what went through her mind on that fateful day when she took her life, I know she ended it with the full belief that she would see God's face.

And then the tears come. The tidal wave of pain. The gut-wrenching grief over a life wrecked by mental illness, ending in a lawn chair, a hole and a shoe. I cry over the boobie traps and I cry over binoculars. I cry over the loss of hope and the lack of goodbye.

My mother, so beautiful, so loving, so tormented by her own demons. She tried to protect us from her madness our entire lives, but could never quite conceal it fully.

My sister and I cry and we hug and we hold on tight to the memories of who mom was beneath the madness. We hold on tight to the memories of chinese checkers, of county fairs with cowboy hats, of trips to the mall for orange juliuses and greasy pizza. Because that's who mom really was. She was a woman who adored her daughters and adored the happy simple aspects of life. And so we cling to these things and cement them in our minds to keep her alive in our hearts. We cherish these things because that's what mom would've wanted. She'd have wanted us to remember the happy times. And we comfort ourselves with the knowledge of mom's faith. The faith she carried her entire life--the faith she passed along to me. My most cherished gift of all is from my mom.

Though I cling to the happy times, the days of grief are tough. Nights are especially hard. Dark thoughts plague me in the night and I sob into my pillow.

Will mom truly meet God?

Isn't suicide an unforgivable sin?

Will God show her mercy because she was mentally ill?

These thoughts plague me night and day and I cannot escape the worry that Mom is not with God. I need to know in order to make peace with this horrible death. I need to know that she is ok. I need to know so I can be there for my boys who need me. I beg God each night to help me. I pray fervently for Mom's soul. I pray for her soul and I pray for sleep and for peace and for the healing of this gaping wound in my heart.

God hears my prayers. And He answers them.

One week later I dream. I dream the most beautiful dream:

There's Mom and she's in heaven and there's flowering trees and green mountains and she's wearing white and laughing and eating coconut cake at a picnic. She's glowing with joy and she tells me there's no pain. She tells me there's only joy and assures me that life never ended for her. She shows me there was light and peace and she is happier than words can express. She tells me I don't need to miss her because she is always there with me. She wants me to be happy. She looks so amazingly beautiful--the pain of mental illness completely gone from her face. She walks so gayly, so free! My heart sings with gladness and my soul rejoices.

She is with Him!

I awake in such a state of glee. My heart is so light, still basking in her joy. And I know then and there that everything will be ok. Better than ok.

Everything will be amazing.

Only God can take a nightmare and transform it into day. Only God can heal the heart of a broken-hearted daughter. He gives us exactly what we need. He knew I needed that dream, and He gave me that amazing gift. The grace and the love of the Lord knows no bounds. He made the world in 6 days and healed my shattered world in just as many. Nightmare ended, peace restored.

O death where is Thy Victory, O death where is Thy sting?


Today is the 3 year anniversary of my mother's suicide. I share my story in the hope that it might find someone out there who is mourning, that they, too, might know the peace that the Lord can bring. In the face of unspeakable tragedy there's a wellspring of amazing grace that we can dip into whenever we need it. The Lord gives us that and more. I am eternally grateful for the gift of faith my mother passed to me, the gift that helped me through the tragedy of losing her. I could not have gotten through those darkest hours without His grace and love. Pour your heart out to Him and trust in Him. He will meet you there.

Mom on my wedding day in 2003

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: American Gothic Edition

Last week we enjoyed a homeschool day at Old Sturbridge Village. This picture just cracks me up. reminds me of something somehow...

What do you think, any resemblance? ;)

(By-the-way this is totally one of those pictures Luke will be begging me not to pull out someday to show to his girlfriend! Mwahahahahahaha! :p)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Motherhood Should Come With...

Linking up with The Gypsy Mama again today for another Five Minute Friday! Five Minute Friday is an opportunity to write on a given topic for 5 minutes flat. No editing, no worries. It's so much fun! Give it a try!

The topic for today is "Motherhood Should Come With..." Here goes!

Start. instruction manual, a super hero cape and a role model--someone there to cheer you on and look up to when you have questions with no apparent answers.

Motherhood should come with a prayer to utter for grace, mercy and love. And a foreshadowing of the ways in which you'll stretch, grow, stumble and fall; fall on your knees with exhaustion and frustration and fall on them again before Him in thanksgiving for the life lessons, gifts and boundless love that motherhood brings.

Motherhood should come with friends. Friends who stumble and fall right there along with you. And friends who fall before Him, too, with gratitude in their hearts. Friends to share motherhood's seasons with, and friends who help the stretching and the growing to take place.

Motherhood should come with faith, because no mother should have to go through life's joys and trials without it.

Motherhood should come with a heart full of trust, a song of hope and a dream for the future.


Just beginning my journey of motherhood in 2005 when my first son Luke was born.

Wishing all of you moms out there a fabulous Mother's Day this weekend!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Safe Keeping

She gives me things to hold. Precious treasures to watch over. Guardian of all that is ordinary and all that is dear. Safe keeping of things great and small. Placing her trust in me that I will hold them safe--store them for when she comes looking. Trusting with wreckless abandon--heart filled to the brim with love and security. I'm struck by how easily trust comes to her. I long to trust like this.

I hold these precious things for my daughter. Tiny treasures.

Dragon's wing.


Little doll.

I am my daughter's keeper. Palm outstretched--ready to hold, to keep safe.

She places her treasure in my hands and toddles off on another adventure-nary a doubtful glance cast behind. Such trust. Such love. Like Peter gliding across water, never faltering.

A mother is always extending her loving hand. Our Father extends His hand to us. His loving palm outstretched to hold our treasures dear. Always present. Ever trustworthy and ready to keep us safe.

We are His precious treasures.

Pour yourself into His trustworthy hands. Trust that he will keep you safe.

His hold is firm, never letting go.

My daughter, not yet two, teaching me how to love and to trust. Ordinary mother moment pregnant with wisdom. Salve to my hardened heart that fears. Such a simple lesson, yet so difficult to learn. Lesson that needs repeating over and over until we grasp it.

She brings me things to hold. I give my heart for Him to hold.

What do you give to His outstretched hand?

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Simple BPM


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Great Guacamole (hold the cilantro, please!)

At our house guacamole doesn't last long. Aside from the obvious health benefits (avocados happen to be one of nature's super foods!) guac packs some serious YUM into each scoop. And one of my favorite things about making my own guacamole is that it doesn't contain any cilantro! (One of the strange and random things about me is that I LOATHE cilantro. I blame genetics!) I also load mine up with tomatoes, onion, lime juice, garlic and plenty of cumin. I've gotten so used to my own guacamole that most other guacs out there taste rather bland in comparison! So, if you like a lotta flavor and aren't cilantro's BFF give this recipe a try! It's super simple, fun and great to make with kids! Here's how:

You Will Need:

-3 ripe avocados
--2 large tomatoes (or 3 medium), diced
--2 cloves of fresh garlic finely, minced
--approx. 2 T. chopped onion (I use a little more if vidalia are available. YUM!)
--1 tsp. ground cumin
--juice from 1 lime or approx. 2 T. bottled lime juice
--salt and pepper to taste
(Optional: Add a few drops of Tobasco sauce or dash of cayenne pepper if you like a little heat. Finely minced jalapeno is great in there, too. I usually leave these out b/c my little munchkins can't take the heat. Nor do they get out of the kitchen. (Ha-ha...get it?! Sorry. I'm a slave to those corny jokes, I tell ya!)

1. Mash avocados with fork (or put your kids to work! Make sure to avoid stab wounds!)

2. Transfer mashed avocado to bowl and add remaining ingredients. Stir well!

Tip: I LOVE using this Pampered Chef Garlic Press for recipes calling for minced fresh garlic. I know these tools spark a lot of controversy amongst serious garlic lovers but I'm definitely on the "pro-press" side of the debate! Simply put, it's just awesome. :)

I'm also a big fan of fresh coarsely ground black pepper! (Have I mentioned yet that my guacamole would not make a good first date food?!)

3. Mmmmm...and now for the best part: Grab a chip and DIG IN!!
Sooooooooooooo goooooooooooood!

And the best part: 100% cilantro free!

But if you absolutely must desecrate my recipe and add cilantro, I suppose that would be ok! ;)


**Warning: if you and your ilk love guacamole as much as my family does I highly recommend making a double batch! This lasts about, oh ten minutes before being completely devoured around here!

linked at:

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