Tuesday, April 21, 2009

April's Write-Away Winner

The Write-Away ContestThank you to Antique Mommy for serving as the judge for this month's contest--I owe her big time for this--how about dropping by her place and telling her thanks? Not only did she have an eye for good writing (she happened to pick my favorite entry as well) she did a great job of mentioning the contest and encouraging entries. I think this is the most the Write-Away Contest has seen yet.

And my thanks to our 58 entrants. I appreciate every one of you too--I hope each of you have a wonderful Mother's Day!

. . . And the winner is:

The Happy Geek with Derrick's Mom

Honorable Mentions

The Chickadee Feeder with Sunday Nap
Mommy Snark with To My Fourth Child
Experience Imagination with Clothes Make the Mom


Here are a list of the entries in the order they were received:

1. Babysteps with It's Official
I am raising science geeks, and thanks to a 50 cent thrift store box of science experiments, I've got the photographic proof.

2. Glacier Racing with What They Hear
I love you. You can't be hungry again. Winnie the Pooh goes on the front, unless he's on the INside. USE YOUR INSIDE VOICE.

3. Experience Imagination with Clothes Make the Mom
Our neighbors are having a tree taken down in their yard today. If I lean my head forward until it's almost touching the monitor, I can watch the workmen outside my window. They are all decked out in hard hats and safety goggles and workboots that probably have steel reinforced toes.

4. Experience Imagination with Unexpected Grief
I didn’t think I’d feel this way. It’s like I’m losing a baby. As if I really have been pregnant these past several days and now I no longer am. I never considered that losing a dream can seem just as traumatic as losing a child—even when it’s only a temporary loss.

5. Experience Imagination with Losing and Letting Go
Dear Mother, I don't know if every mother is like this or if I'm especially morbid. Ever since my daughter was born, I've had visions of losing her to an accident or sudden illness. Maybe everybody has these fears, but if we all share them, we certainly don't talk much about it.

6. Experience Imagination with Daughter of Laughter
Today would have been my mom's 66th birthday. She died just three months after her 49th. Her first grandchild was born a month later. When I think of my mom, I think of big dangley clip-on earrings. I think of painted fingernails and tea with honey. I remember homemade birthday cakes that she and my dad painstakingly decorated with their Wilton decorator set.

7. Semantically Driven with Missing My Son
Just about whenever I go out for the evening I end up talking to whoever will listen about my son. I don’t go out that often without him and you’d think that one night off without all thought of him wouldn’t be that hard but it usually doesn’t happen.

8. Momma Mindy's Moments with How to Torture a Teenager
One day I had to run errands with all the kids still living at home. Had to. I had to take the older kids because they were the ones that needed to go to the bank. I had to take the younger kids because I had no babysitter.

9. Just Mom's Musings with My Peter Pan
"Where are you taking me?" I ask my son as he grabs my hand and enthusiastically leads me to an unknown destination. "To Neverland," he says. "You be Wendy, and I'll be Peter Pan." Peter Pan. The boy who wouldn't grow up.

10. Our Moments Our Memories with Chasing Bubbles, Chasing Dreams
There is chicken thawing on the counter, and laundry in the dryer. Floors to be vacuumed. Blogs to be read. "Mama! Can we blow bubbles? Come outside!" I sigh. Interrupted.

11. Sara in Vermont with A Day at Your Mother's House
You see that the new dog beds you had shipped for Christmas are sitting on top of the dog crates, instead of in them. I was waiting until I cleaned the crates, says your mother. You know this is never going to happen, so you clean the crates and wash the old dog bed covers, and put the new beds within.

12. Mommy Snark with To My Fourth Child
I wouldn't call you an accident. I understand the workings of basic biology... cause, and effect. But then, I didn't really put you there on purpose either. One day, you just were. A part of me, growing, consuming, becoming.

13. The Sojourner with The Things My Momma Taught Me
Today would have been my mother's 69th birthday. That is, if she had not died 20 years ago. My mom was an amazing woman and left us all too soon, but I have so many wonderful memories of her. I also have a lot of unanswered questions, but those will have to remain unanswered for now because there is no one left to answer them.

14. The Chickadee Feeder with Sunday Nap
I have been doing this for a long time. I had been raised to know that the only reason for being in bed in the daytime would be because you’re sick. Besides, I would miss all the action (so-to-speak) if I were in another room. So the living room couch is the place to be when taking a Sunday nap.

15. Finding La Dolce Vita with The Mopine
All mothers have a virtual treasure box they employ for the formidable task of raising a child. Some tools inside the box are visible, like rainbow colored crayons, a special and well loved stuffed animal, or a book that's tattered and bent from being read more times than she dares to count. There are magical mommy kisses that heal the boo-boo.

16. The Mommylogues with It's Possible!
Ok. I must confess one of my many horrible mother moments to tell this story. At the Christmas program for Sunday School, my children were the ones running up part way through the first song. Of two songs. Completely my fault. Although in my partial defense, they started a little early.

17. Chocolate and Garlic with I Am the Velveteen Rabbit
I am the Velveteen Rabbit. Today, Kate was ill. She threw up on me at least five times. I did a lot of laundry. I didn’t have time to shower. The few presentable items of clothing I own (due to my body’s odyssey through pregnancy and nursing) are now distinctly unpresentable.

18. Seeds from My Garden with Lifetime Warranty
When my children were little, it was just natural for me to be there and meet all their needs. It was normal to honor the "warranty". But as they grew up and moved out, I realized that the warranty became a lifetime commitment. Naturally, as a mother I never want them to need anything, yet I have come to realize that I cannot BE everything to them anymore.

19. Blog o' Beth with Okay Mom, You Were Right
Mom, I’m sorry.You were right. One of the most surprising things about becoming a mother is realizing in a lightning-bolt-flash of a moment that your mother had been right. Indeed, she was right about so many things. I want to take a moment and let my mom wallow in her “rightness”.

20. It's Always a Production with An Anniversary
Wednesday was an anniversary (of sorts) for me. June 28th 2003, a sunny Saturday afernoon, my mom lost her battle with cancer. Three years....yet I can still remember the day as though it were yesterday. I was with her on that day. The day my precious precious mom slipped slowly out of my life and into the arms of Jesus.

21. One Thing with Perfektion
When I used to daydream about becoming a mother, I wasn’t completely naive. I knew there was more to it than the highly-romantic Similac commercials made it out to be. After all, I had a mother myself, and although she made the job look like just about the Best Thing Going, I knew it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. I knew it could be trying. I knew it could even be, at times, A Challenge.

22. Divergent Pathways with A Mother's Reach
One summer I learned the extent of my mother's reach: It spanned exactly one continent, one ocean, and one channel, traversing halfway up the UK to a little farming community so small even the buses don't travel there.

23. Divergent Pathways with --And Don't Tell Anyone You're My Mother (She Said Sweetly)
That's not the worst thing anyone's said to me. But it's what my teenage daughter, The Princess, said as she reminded me about volunteering at her school today. Only it's better than that. Because the sentence actually began, "Remember, try to look pretty–and don't tell anyone you're my mom, okay?"

24. Divergent Pathways with Mother of All Weeks
It's my mom's birthday today. She'd be turning 71, if she were still alive. This is always a loaded time for me: Mom's birthday and Mother's Day, both crammed into one emotionally-charged week.

25. Welcome to Married Life with Mother's Day
Mother's Day is one month from today. I am a mother. This will be my third Mother's Day with my little guy. He is a blessing and a treasure. Every day he surprises me with the things he says and does. He brings me hugs and smiles and sticky treasures. I read to him and play with him and dance with him.

26. Green Green Grass of Home with Parenting 101
On the day my first child was born, I said to myself that I would be the best parent ever! I would make all the right decisions and my child would grow up to be the most amazing adult that ever walked the earth- all b/c I was so good at raising her.

27. Summer's Nook with Being a Mother
School would be out in 15 minutes. I had arrived early and pulled into a space facing my sons classroom. Only a moment later the school doors swung open and thirty or so kindergartners swarmed out onto the playground to savor a bit of the warm day, the first we’d had in a week.

28. Becoming Me with The Ledge
He measures 14 inches shorter and weighs 12 pounds less than his sister who drew her first breath more than three years before air brushed against his round face. Those facts hold little significance in Z-man's toddler-sized mind. He is not easily daunted by his limitations...he rarely recognizes their existence.

29. Tara's World with A Gentle Reminder
Every spring I remember a bit of advice passed on from a wiser older woman to my mother. I remember this bit of advice every time my little boys bring me dandelion bouquets with grubby little hands. Little eyes light up when I express my gratitude over a simple love offering.

30. Jewelz Sightings with It's Not My Mother's Voice
Sometimes the regrets of my life, overwhelm me. I wish I could go back to the beginning with what I now know. I ache when I see how the enemy has used my actions to speak to those I love.

31. Mom of 3 Girls with Broken
There once was a little girl. Who lived in a typical house in a nice neighborhood. She had a mother and a father, two sisters and a brother.

32. Drifting Divergence with Totally Full and Yet Half Empty
Tonite 14 and I were working the volleyball concession stand at 15's High School game. I have been able to send him to private school (the right move for him~his sister has NO interest in his school) and people from his middle school kept coming by to say hi.

33. TJ Hirst.com with Why Being a Mom Isn't Hard
No one would argue that a mom’s work is hard. Other moms know how it is. Fathers wouldn’t dare to disagree. Recently, I took time away with a friend, and what did we do? We chatted over parenting struggles. I found myself saying things like, “that sounds hard” or “that is a hard stage”. I said it over and over again, almost without even thinking, until I stopped and heard myself.

34. Dancing with the Daffodils with A Steel Magnolia
My Mom was a steel magnolia long before the popular movie acquainted the masses with the term that describes a southern woman who is strong and independent yet very feminine. In fact, she comes from a long line of steel magnolias that weave a colorful history.

35. Rebecca's Writing Practices with "I Can" Versus "I Can't"
I’ve never had incredible self confidence, and I always second guess my abilities. Taking on the role of mother is still incredibly daunting to me, even eighteen months after my son’s birth. But the process of giving birth has so much to do with how I still approach motherhood.

36. Beanish and Other Languages I'm Learning with A Beanish Birthday
Today, is an auspicious day. Three years ago today, T and I waited in the hospital for The Bean to enter this world so much earlier than she should have. She changed us from the moment we began yearning for her, from our first knowledge of her, from that first breath that she drew, from the first time we held her.

37. I'm So Funny with One Word
There is one word that is always appropriate. This word is there no matter what the circumstance. Joy and pain. Trials and triumphs. Ups and downs. Sickness and health. Obstacles and open roads. Wonder and boredom. Love and annoyance. Hopefully more love. As unbelievable as it may sound, this one word can bring incredible comfort and total terror all in the same utterance.

38. Ceaseless Praises with Who's Grown More?
I have been a mom for 16 months now. Well, 25 months, technically, but when that baby's BORN, that's when everything changes. And do you know who has changed the most in the last sixteen months??? I have.

39. A Look into My World with Nobody Told Me
In the few short weeks since I became a mother, I have wondered why nobody told me what I was in for. While I was pregnant, other mothers advised that I should sleep while I had the chance, and warned that labor and delivery would be the easy part. But nobody really prepared me for what to expect once the journey began.

40. The Happy Geek with Derrick's Mom
We run into each other every week. Her son is in the swimming class after my son. But this week was different. This week I saw her. She was easy to miss. Her son commands attention. He is big, loud and talks all the blessed time. He is a wonderful, loving boy who is profoundly delayed. She is as quiet as he is loud and usually blends into the background.

41. My Neurotic Spot with My Unanswered Prayer
I stood there in my bathroom before leaving for the hospital, looking down at my hands on my stomach and scared in a way I'd never been before. I didn't care if it was normal or not to talk to your stomach, I did it anyway. "Stay put, you just stay right there. Please, little one, just stay in there."

42. Life . . . Exaggerated with Getting over Being Stoic
My mom did an amazing job raising me, if I do say so myself. She has always been thoughtful and caring. From the beginning, she wanted me to grow up right and proper. She taught me right from wrong. She has dozens of close friends and tirelessly keeps up with all of them.

43. My Brown Baby with A Love Letter to My Unborn Child
My dear, sweet first baby, this is the only letter I’ve written to someone who isn’t even alive yet. I wonder what it’s like for you where you are now. I wonder if you’re getting impatient with me and anxious at the same time to come down to this world. I imagine you may be a little nervous too; it’s a scary place sometimes. But don’t worry—I’ll take good care of you.

44. Perspicacity with I'm Regretting Letting You Fly
I don’t remember who answered the phone that night. I suspect it was initially my father, who sleeps closer to the phone and has killer reflexes when woken abruptly at 3am. But it’s my mom’s voice I remember, calm, sleepy but alert. She told me they were praying. She told me to call in the morning. She told me she loved me, and she asked if I wanted her to come.

45. My Back Door with We Put the "Special" in Special Needs
I don't know about your high school, but in mine we would have these inspirational speakers come once or twice a year to encourage us to avoid the trifecta of stupid mistakes you could make in your teenage years: prison, drugs and pregnancy. I only remember one speaker who specialized in avoiding the pitfalls on the road to prison.

46. My Back Door with Cooking Class
Have you ever wondered why there are never any small children helping on cooking shows like Rachel Ray and Emeril? I have seen some children helping but never under the age of nine. It is because the shows would have to be taped from a padded room--you would have to be clinically insane to attempt measuring, stirring and any -ing with the little guys.

47. Eat Your Veggies! with Empty Nesters
College Girl and The Wild One leave for college today. They'll spend about 14 hours on the road in a 2001 Honda Civic, en route to Larry U. The car is packed to the gills, of course! CG's gonna be a Big Bad Senior, while her younger sister will be a Tiny Little Froshie.

48. Whee! All the Way Home with Who Is a Mom?
I wonder if it stops for others, the turning their heads in the direction of the voice of an appropriately aged child of indiscriminate gender. As their children age and leave early childhood and then childhood itself, do they stop spinning in response to the word shouted across the aisles? I don’t recall noticing older women doing it, so I imagine the reaction is less instinctive and more learned.

49. Refresh Moments with A Pregnant Pause
I have two boys--one born under the influence of an epidural, and one born drug-free. I know, you're expecting me to say that I asked the anesthesiologist to marry me, or go on about how you don't really "forget all the pain" in a drug-free birth, but none of that's true. I actually preferred the drug-free birth.

50. The Scholastic Scribe with Happy Mom's Day!
Several of my memories of Mom center around birthday parties and cakes. Having the entire 2nd grade (including the teacher) over for a fete under the crabapple trees in our suburban NY yard; later, after we'd moved to Big D, staying up 'til all hours waiting for Her Eldest (moi) to arrive home from college and greeting me with a Sara Lee Banana Cake (at the time my very fave, but apparently discontinued), candles and all.

51. Morning Mist and Scattered Clouds with Strength for the "Do-Not-Die" Program
Strength. That is a word that epitomizes my Grandmother. She needed it. Little did she know the amount of strength she would need to run her race.

52.On Ruby's Hill with Real Mom
"Mom...when is M going back to his real mom?" At the kitchen counter, back towards the boys, I stop breathing for a split second, compose, compose. Big M is quiet all of the sudden. A rare quiet moment because, Big M is rarely quiet. "I am the real mom". Please let that be the end. I turn around and compose my face to show a calm reaction.

53. BeeMusing with A Mother's Arms
It’s one of her earliest childhood memories - she and her two little sisters standing in the middle of the tiny living room holding tightly to each other. She doesn’t remember what their pajamas looked like, or whether or not they had messy bed hair.

54. Alaska Mom with The Influence of a Mom
"I am just a Mom", she said timidly as she introduced herself. She had been asked by her son to attend a banquet in his honor. One of his professors had asked her what she did for a living. I'm just a mom she said again. Little did that professor know what she had done for her son. She had helped him overcome great obstacles in his life.

55. Inkling Writes with Because That Grin Is for Me
I got a new name on January 7, 2009. My name is Mama, sometimes Mommy, or just that woman who has a reason for getting up in the morning with a smile.

56. Our Own Private Idaho with Little Blue Sleeper
Our neighbor delivered a son about a month ago, and a surprising amount of Alli's pretending revolves around Baby Jack. She calls her brothers Baby Jack, she pretends to be Baby Jack, and all of her dolls have gone from names like Pink Baby and Sareesa to--you guessed it---Baby Jack.

57. Diapers and Divinity with My Life Was an Inspirational Movie
Life as a mother of young children usually bounces back and forth between chaotic and monotonous, but there are occasionally profound moments that remind you of the power and importance behind what you’re doing, and without sounding overdramatic, your place in the universe.

58. My Thoughts on That with Not the Worst Day
This past Thursday was an important day here. It was the day the boy was going to compete in the Math Olympics. He won this honor by getting one of the highest scores on a test the class took. He would be representing his school in the area of third grade computation.


Congratulations to Rory of Bayport, Minnesota won the sterling silver mini medallion from The Fine Art of Family this weekend--just in time for a lovely Mother's Day gift!

Sponsored by Tiny Prints for the holiday party invitations for children.


Just Mom said...

Congratulations everyone!

Thanks for hosting this contest, and thanks to Antique Mommy for judging.

I'm going to enjoy reading all the entries.

a Tonggu Momma said...

I'm so glad the Happy Geek won and I haven't even read the other entries yet. I just remember reading that piece last week and feeling blown away! Plus, she's one of my favorite bloggers.

Jen at Semantically driven said...

Wow 56 entries. Congrats to the winner.

Antique Mommy said...

Yay Happy Geek! I had no idea who the authors were as I read through the submissions, so I didn't know the identify of the winner until this morning. All the entries were excellent and it was an honor and a delight to get to read every single one of them.

Congrats to the winners and to everyone who took the time to share a story.

Beverlydru said...

Thanks for doing this. Can't wait to read all these.

Future Mama said...

Congrats to everyone! What a great contest! This is a fun one to read too so I'll be making my rounds and reading them all :)

MommyJ said...

Thanks so much for the contest. I loved the winning entry, and feel honored to be an honorable mention. :)

Melissa B. said...

Congrats to everyone! As a first-timer, I'm sooooo impressed with all the top-drawer entries!

Hairline Fracture said...

Congratulations to the winner--it was a lovely post.

cat said...

be entertained