Christmas bright

The other day my disgruntled daughter asked me why I wasn’t like the other moms.

You know.

The ones who greet their children at the door with food after school.

She explained in great detail with arms waving and a look of exasperation in her eyes that other moms baked cookies and brownies and put peanut butter on celery with raisins and cut hearts out of sandwiches.

And one mom even had enchiladas waiting on the stove.

pink Christmas tree bright





Is this an after-school food network special?

bright color Christmas

Christmas bright colors

Isn’t that how being a mom works?

Just when you think you’ve got all the bases covered.

Just when you think you’ve got all the boxes checked.

They go and up the enchilada game.

pink Christmas tree

And so I sighed inwardly and resolved to try harder and then out of curiosity I asked her what snack she wished her mom would have waiting on the counter when she arrived home from middle school.

Cookies,” she promptly replied.

Homemade cookies are my favorite.

Oh good I thought.  That’s easy.

I’m pretty sure that slice and bake count as homemade.

galvanized present

And then she paused.

And added with a dreamy look in her eyes, “And maybe you could put them on a plate.  And add a note.”

“Yes,” she said excitedly, warming to her subject.  “A note.  That would be perfect.  I saw that in a movie once where a mom left her kids cookies on the counter with a note.”

pink ornament tree

I repeated the story to my husband when he got home from work.

I told him about enchildadas and the snacks and celery with raisins and the other moms and the whole cookie plate with the note.

“Can you believe she said she saw it in a movie?” I told him and laughed.

“Who does that?”

Christmas decorating bedroom bright colors

He smiled back at me and his eyes twinkled.

“Wanting life to be a little like a Hallmark movie?  That’s crazy,” he said.

“And it sounds exactly like someone else I know,” he finished with a grin.


He’s right.

I better get baking. 🙂

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  1. Image for Robin Stephens Robin Stephens

    Cookies don't fall far from the cookie sheet, do they? It's definitely a bitter-sweet truth. Sigh.... Happy slicing and baking....and lovenote-writing.

  2. Image for Linda Linda

    She is a romantic! Mine are older now so often make their own. Slice and bake is a regular in our fridge. Sometinmes I even get them baked before they make it home! I just reposted Meg's favorite cookies to make. She started as a middle schooler. Pepperidge Farm cookies just about make the homemade cut! Let's face it. All of us want to be "babied" and loved on from time to time! Merry Christmas! Linda

  3. Image for Leona Leona

    Dear Daughter: If I knew you were coming I'd have baked a cake..........but......instead I decorated your room....because I love you :)......Mom

  4. Image for Terri Terri

    Really??? What is there to say though????? Like Mother ... Like Daughter!!!! lolololololol...... WAAAAY TOO MANY HALLMARK MOVIES!!! (psst... in my humble opinion, I'm with you on the slice and bake cookies... surely that is the same as homemade from scratch.. right???? )

  5. Image for Sharon H Sharon H

    hahaha, that's funny.....and here's a little trick for you. When you DO find time to bake cookies from scratch, make a double or triple batch....scoop them out onto baking sheets just like you were going to bake them, but freeze them instead. Then package them into zippered bags and put into the freezer. Now when you want a few homemade cookies but don't want the fuss, just pull out what you need, place on that baking sheet and bake them up, hot and fresh! Woah....super mom does it again! And, Miz karianne, if you make each batch with a different added ingredient....chocolate chips in one, M&M candies in another, peanut butter chips in yet another batch....well you get the idea... ;) you're welcome

    1. Image for Toni Toni

      You day, before you know it that same daughter will be making you beautiful things or baking you amazing cookies. I agree with another post....she's a romantic. You set the bar for her......but it will all come back to you! I remember when my sons were in about in fifth grade and 8th grade and they wanted to make me Mother's Day dinner (with sideline coaching from my husband). My one son decided I liked a pretty table and so he decorated it with rose petals he had painted with green food coloring and then to be creative (because he knows I like being creative) he colored the mashed potatoes with green food coloring.....kelly green they were..... and it wasn't even St. Patricks day! I did eat them and surely will never forget them!

  6. Image for Trish @TheOldPostRoad Trish @TheOldPostRoad

    GIRLS!!! This too shall pass. My middle daughter was especially this way. Why don't you dress like so-and-so's mom? She is now 19, in her second year of college, and has passed that stage! YES - it does pass! She is much more admiring of me, now. Enjoy your baking, and Merry Christmas! -Trish

  7. Image for Teddee Grace Teddee Grace

    Well, if I'm not mistaken, those photos are of her beautiful room. I think she should be baking cookies for you! How old is she?! I was making scrambled eggs and Jello for lunch for my mother and myself when I was five. She did experience some interesting results. I couldn't read yet but knew my letters. This was back when Jello didn't have sugar or any sweetener added. So I pulled out the bag of pickling salt and put in a good half cup or whatever was required in the Jello. My Mom took one bite, ran outside, spit it out and came back laughing. She just turned 100, so I guess it didn't hurt her health! Tell that girl to pick out her favorite cookie recipe and get baking!

  8. Image for Danielle Danielle

    This made me smile for many reasons. Your daughters want the hallmark movie, which is amazing in today's environment. Even though I am not home when my boys get home from school, I leave a note for them and the nanny. Sometimes they have cookies or other baked goodies as their snacks, but usually it is a healthy snack. The funny thing is my boys usually don't care about the food but more about the note that I left for them. I just love that they appreciate the little things.

  9. Image for Yvonne Shafer Yvonne Shafer

    Your post brought back cherished memories! My mom baked a yellow cake from scratch every day for us (7) to have after school. No frosting, just the delicious cake! It was in a 9x12 pan and was gone in a second! I'm happy to say I have that pan, but don't make the cake every day! Loved your story as usual!

  10. Image for Cecilia Cecilia

    LOL, hey at least cookies on a plate with a note are fairly easy! And you don't have to figure out what she wants. Have fun baking, plating, and note writing. Merry Christmas!

  11. Image for Holly Holly

    Yup. This is me too. I would rather decorate or build something than cook. So glad you can smile at your kids even when what they say might seem unappreciative of all you do. Glad you try to speak their love language. Good luck!

  12. Image for Cherie Cherie

    Awwww, she is forgetting your love language of creating beauty for them with their own refuge/bedroom. She knows. But I love cookies, too! And handwritten notes! Too cute & precious that she wants your love in every way!❤️

  13. Image for Terie Terie

    Yes, that does sound familiar! Both of my daughters did this very same thing- even though I cooked hot breakfasts and made healthy lunches just about EVERY day of their K-12 school years while finishing up 2 1/2 college degrees and working. I still didn't compare to the mom who took in personalized jello mold Easter eggs for EVERY kid in homeroom! Just this morning, I got up early and made pancakes for my 19 year old before her workday. Believe me though- Karianne- they truly do appreciate ALL that you do and even brag about you to their friends! Now my (almost) 24 and (newly minted) 19 year old daughters can't wait to get home and eat home cooked meals and have hot chocolate, cookies, crafting sessions and curling up on the couches with our favorite Christmas movies While it may not be the "perfect" Hallmark movie experience- it is still kinda perfect- just the same.

  14. Image for Kris Kris

    Loved the story... I remember those days fondly, I had string cheese in the fridge and Oreos in the cookie kids are 30 & 26 now. For better or worse, things will change as kids get older. My daughter emailed me recently, she has a new job she hates just slightly less than the previous job and wanted Mom to somehow make it better. Oh, for the days of a kiss, hug, and cookie to make everything better...

  15. Image for susan b susan b

    I buy the "fundraiser" cookies. All I have to do is pull them off the cardboard - no cutting required - and put them in the oven. And yes - I want the happy ending of the Hallmark movies. Lifetime also has Christmas movies - so I can flip there if Hallmark is a repeat. Kind of angry at Hallmark for the "to be continued - Christmas 2016!!!' on The Bridge movie.

  16. Image for Gail Gail

    We all want that perfect life, let them be young and bright eyed. My mom told me either she worked or she baked. Which did I want? Actually made me a great cook and baker, I always had dinner on the table and dessert to go with it when both parents came home, believe it or not I started that at 8 years old. Back then no one thought I was too young or couldn't be trusted. I admit I was an old soul, I was very responsible but I was tired of running a family when I got married.. I felt like I had already done all that good stuff.. Ha ha.. Of course my hubby didn't let me get away with that, he was my high school sweetheart and was used to the cookies and cakes.. Do what you can do for them and don't stress if you just cant get to it.. Life has a way of making you grow up faster than we should. Cookies and a note are memories being made.. I want Choc. Chip and M@M cookies please.

  17. Image for Rowena Philbeck Rowena Philbeck

    Yes,,,those Hallmark movies are what we all want to be!!! That is really cute!! Their for a moment I would feel like a bad mom because I was short changing my kids not having those homemade cookies etc. My kids got them on special occasions and now they expect those chocolate crinkles cookies at I better get started soon making all those dozens..LOL.. Merry Christmas to you and your family!!!

  18. Image for ginni wells ginni wells

    I am sure her room was featured and I am sure your family is faith based. Maybe what is needed a lesson in being grateful for the blessing of a wonderful ,loving ,caring family. At any age it could not hurt.....I see the humor in your post and also see a slightly ungrateful child.

  19. Image for Sandy Sandy

    Chocolate chip cookies are my grandkids' request, so next week when they're on Christmas vacation, we will be busy bakers. But Karianne, have you heard of Cheryl's Cookies? Oh my, the frosted cut outs are my family's favorite. My Christmas order arrived yesterday. The cookies are individually wrapped and labeled and you can freeze them. Checked them out. I noticed the quote in your daughter's bedroom by Ralph Waldo Emerson. I just purchased a plaque with the same quote yesterday. My Christmas gift to myself. And by the way, I too belong to the "I Love Hallmark Movies" club.

  20. Image for Brenna@Domestic Charm Brenna@Domestic Charm

    Oh Karianne, I soooo want to be that mom! And then I realize that it requires time, and baking skills, both of which I don't have. So I'll settle for getting dinner on the table before bedtime. But it is wonderful to dream, isn't it?!

  21. Image for Am Am

    You ll never regret taking time to fulfill her request. The simple things bring kids the greatest joy....your love and your time. Merry Christmas!

  22. Image for Mimi - 247 Mulberry Lane Mimi - 247 Mulberry Lane

    Oh, another kindred spirit in the making! :-) I can remember being her age and telling myself that I would have a glass cake stand and have cakes at the ready for my family (and endless glasses of milk!) based on some show I saw on TV. Well, my kids are grown up now, but we still fondly remember a time in their childhood known as Cake Friday (we sampled a different type of cake from Walmart's bakery every Friday until we had tried each and every kind.) They are coming home next week...guess what they want to eat? ;-)

  23. Image for Jill Wendt Jill Wendt

    I thought the story about your daughter was sweet. I was looking at Christmas cookie recipes on Pinterest last night. Yummy.

  24. Image for Marie from The Interior Frugalista Marie from The Interior Frugalista

    Sorry but those girls may get enchilada's upon their arrival but do they have a beautifully decorated room to go home to like your daughters? Does their Mom host beautiful Teacher Luncheons? Does their Mom invite the entire choir over for a Christmas Luncheon? Nuff said!

  25. Image for kim kim

    My house exactly!!! Oh the Mom guilt we live with everyday!!!! You are a Rockstar! Look at her adorable room and house and play area outside.....etc. etc. etc. I feel guilty reading your blog and not doing all the things you do!!!!! Merry Merry Christmas!!! xoxox Kim

  26. Image for Debbie from MountainMamaOnline Debbie from MountainMamaOnline

    I'm a big fan of Hallmark I can't really blame your daughter for wanting to "live" in one!! However, with an awesome room like that I don't think any of her complaints are valid!!!! Any kid would be so happy to have a room like that they'd make their MOM cookies!! :)

  27. Image for Marisa Franca @ All Our Way Marisa Franca @ All Our Way

    The note said it all -- it really isn't cookies or celery with raisins -- it's that little personal touch. You could stick a chocolate kiss on a plate with a note and I believe she would be in heaven. She has just inherited all of your lovable quirks :-) And I say that in the nicest way. Daughters were placed on earth to challenge us -- eventually they come to realize how very smart we are but it takes a while for them to reach that point. They will turn out terrific -- just like their mom!!

  28. Image for Kris Kris

    I think we all look at other people's lives and think, "oh, if only my family did thus-and-so ...". Thing is, we all only have 24 hours in a day ... you can spend your time baking or helping to create an amazing bedroom for your daughter--but unless you don't require sleep, you can't do it all. But if you want to try, I do have an amazing bar cookie recipe that starts off with a yellow cake mix and is ready in the amount of time it takes you to slice cookies onto a cookie sheet ... tastes better, too. :)

  29. Image for Amy Amy

    Ask your sweet daughter how many other mom's take the time to decorate their daughter's bedroom with their very own Christmas Trees decorated to match her room? I am a decorator as well and always did this for my daughter. Some mom's are good at baking... some mom's have other talents. It might give her something to think about... ?? or not...

  30. Image for Bonnie Schulte Bonnie Schulte

    I guess cookies and children just go together..My youngest son, now 42, still talks about getting off the school bus, and then whooping it up, when he got to our front door, because he could smell the chocolate chip cookies. I never thought then, it would make such a lasting impression ..Happy it did,....good memories

  31. Image for Mindy Whipple Mindy Whipple

    My young adult (now married) daughter and I enjoy the movie life fantasy as well - she has often told me that she wants a soundtrack to life, you know music playing that suits her mood/situation while she travels through life. Isn't that what an iPod is for? : ) Nothing better than a warm from the oven cookie and people to share it with...

  32. Image for Shirley Shirley

    I always love your posts you write so well Karianne. I was stunned to see one of your readers mentioned Elin Hilderbrand. I have just read Winter St which I got from the library. I LOVED it & yesterday picked up The Island. Is she well known in the US.? I'd not heard of her before( I live in England.)

  33. Image for Jan Jan

    This is a perfect story to stash away for when your daughter is raising your grandchildren... Always great to have these in your back pocket! Hallmark rocks!

  34. Image for Sue Sue

    I think your kids live in "Hallmark Heaven" every day. Lucky!!!!!! If I baked cookies, they would be gone before the kids got home.

  35. Image for Vicki Vicki

    Sounds like she has life planned for HER children and she will be a wonderful mom! (Just like someone else WE all know! Lol!)

  36. Image for NormaJean NormaJean

    Yeah, but I bet that "enchilada making" mom doesn't decorate her daughter's bedroom like a magazine layout! Cookies and enchiladas are over-rated anyhow. Happy baking! :)

  37. Image for Donnamae Donnamae

    Too funny! Did you know that....Pillsbury has ready to bake cookies that taste like homemade? Well they do...and I'm not ashamed to admit that! We can't all be Hallmark mothers! ;)

  38. Image for Sarah@tomfo Sarah@tomfo

    I'm dropping by the say MERRY CHRISTMAS lovely lady. You my friend, bake every day... it's inside the walls of your home and the stories you create. Have a fabulous Christmas with your favourites xxx

  39. Image for Rebecca Turner Rebecca Turner

    So cute and funny. I just read this to my granddaughter (who happens to be exactly the same age as your girls.) She thought it was funny too. Occasionally they (my grandchildren) get brownies from me, but more often than not they want to go up to Buckey's for a snack, or through a drive-through. We're always in a hurry and on the go.

  40. Image for june june

    You are such a day brightener especially during a crazy busy time of the year!! Love the story - love all your stories. With a bedroom like that .... hmmmm I would have to think twice about asking for nummy treats at the end of a school day. Cute story...I always made choc chip cookies for my boys - first day of school, last day of school and many times in between. So one time I was stuck in line at the grocery store and making small talk with the little old lady behind me I commented I needed to get home to get cookies baked for my youngest before he gets off the bus...he loves that smell walking in to the house. She said, "honey don't you know about microwaves - heck I would just nuk them he won't know the difference". I still laugh thinking about her but you know what...nothing beats a warm cookie out of the oven. Happy Holiday Baking!

  41. Image for Jane Jane

    This is a darling post, KariAnne...our kids always want to be like the rest. I was always the sort of free spirited type of mother-no rhyme or reason to what I did. My kids asked, "Why can't you be a normal mother?" lol! I never had time to bake, just holidays and birthdays. Now I have all the time in the world and when they come over I send them off with a huge plate of goodies. Better late than never!! Don't stress yourself out. There is a fine line between making your kids happy and driving yourself crazy trying to be perfect. Choose happiness...for you and your family!! :) Jane x

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