June 10, 2015

Maddie's Nest

Last week Maddie invited me and Em over for a girls day. She made us an amazing brunch. That's puff pastry, topped with bacon and a cheddar/gruyere/creme fraiche sauce, topped with eggs and chives. Amazing. My girl can cook. And set a lovely table. Then we played a game and watched The Help and ate Minnie's Chocolate Pie that I brought for dessert. Those of you who have seen The Help will remember the significance of Minnie's pie.

It was a perfect day. I love spending time with my girls. I am so grateful for them and for my relationship with them as well as their relationship with each other.

Within minutes of walking in the door, Emma was asking Maddie if she could come stay for a day or two. Eight years apart but always the best of friends and I know that will just continue to grow for them. I'm so envious of their sisterhood.

Maddie's apartment is unlike any college girl's apartment I've ever seen. I immediately feel at home there. That might be a combination of the fact that so many things in her apartment used to live in my house, plus the fact that we love the same things. It's so great. Except when it's not, like when we are antiquing together. She is still bragging about the blue mirror in her bedroom that she snatched right out from under my nose and the chenille throw on her bed that she bought before I could. It's okay though. I just remind her about my vintage quilts and it shuts her right up! ;)

Emma made herself right at home. Who could blame her?

I love the colorful details everywhere. I love that I see influences of home everywhere I turn. I love that I see projects she has done in my studio. I love that I see cards I have made her over the years and that she surrounds herself with reminders of home.

Because what could be more important than family and home? I think those are two lessons we have instilled in her that have absolutely stuck.

Here's her Wakie Uppie Pillow I made her and underneath is a tablecloth that she patched with some of the cutest embroidery and fabric.

I feel unreasonably proud when I see things like this.

She has turned out to be an amazing young woman. All those lessons that we thought were going in one ear and out the other, stuck! I want to give you Mommas, that might be struggling with a hard parenting phase, hope. There was a particular point in her teenage years when I wasn't sure what was going to become of our girl. Those days were stressful and filled with worry and heartache.

But now here we are and I couldn't be more proud. She is thoughtful, respectful, grounded and beautiful inside and out. She still occasionally has to learn a lesson the hard way but God knows she got that trait honestly.

People tell us all the time how alike we are and I think that is one of the greatest compliments I could receive. Fortunately she thinks so too. I think the comparison secretly makes her happy.

Maddie works really hard. She goes to school full time and is finishing up her psychology degree, works two jobs, has a boyfriend of almost 5 years and always makes time for her family.

This girl did not take to independence as naturally as others. We had to push her out of the nest and there were people who weren't shy about voicing their opinions on that subject. We live in a time of helicopter parenting but that has never been our style. We don't believe in doing for our girls what they can do for themselves. I always say that I am raising adults not children. I don't want my children living at home and unable to fend for themselves well into their 20's. Or 30's. Ahem. So we gave her a deadline and it was a bumpy adjustment but she has been gone for 2 1/2 years now and has come into her own. She knows that no matter what happens in her life, she can take care of herself. She gained the confidence she needed. I think that is particularly important for girls. She also knows without any doubt that she always has a home to come back to in an emergency.

Plus she gets to live her days in the cutest apartment in the world with the weirdest, most intense, unpredictable, neurotic cat I've ever had the pleasure of knowing.


  1. she's a great kid, her guy seems like a great guy, she has an amazing family, and of course you're crazy about her! you've taught her everything she knows! also, i hope it wasn't a super authentic minnie's pie recipe ...

  2. Well Jen, it sure is a cute cat! Matches the colorful apartment. You must be magnificent parents. Pat yourself on the back. The helicopter parenting drives me up the wall.

  3. A lovely post about a mother and daughter and sister. You've done a great job, Jen and I remember your posts about how tough it was at times. Maddie sounds like a well-adjusted, happy, and loving adult. Bravo!


  4. You have beautiful girls, inside & out. As I've said before, I hope that my little lady will turn out to be as true to herself and grounded as your girls.

  5. You give me hope for when my Annie moves out, Jen. Thank you for this post.

    And her apartment is absolutely adorable!

    Good job, mom ;)


  6. How wonderful! I envy your having your daughters. I have 4 wonderful sons....but I would have loved a daughter as well. That breakfast sounds wonderful.

  7. Maddie sounds like she's doing just fine...and is very hard-working. I love her apartment...and that dish she made for you guys? I'm impressed!

  8. L O V E Maddie's adorable apartment! She has her beautiful Momma's style and good taste. Bravo to you both!

  9. Maddie? Please adopt Mama T. I want to live at your house.
    p.s. I have blue mirror envy.

  10. Oh I just LOVE this post. It gives me hope! ha ha!

    Being blessed with all boys has been a challenge for me. Two have entered into their teenage years, and are finding their way in these hormonal years. Like you say, there are some days I wonder if anything I say doesn't just go in one ear and out the other.....but then you get a comment from a family member, a neighbour, or a complete stranger about how well mannered they are, and what a delight and credit to me they are, and I feel then that I must be doing something okay. It sort of gives me hope that they are heading in the right direction. I guess, it would just be nice if occasionally it was less of a battle with them both to get things achieved! Having said that, as early teens they have earned their right to be hormonal and mopey! They still have a lot to learn but I like to feel confident that in the latter stages of the teenage years, they will blossom into as finer young adults as your girls are.

    You have done such a wonderful job Jen with your girls. What a credit they are to you both xxxx

    p.s .......and I get you with the 'leaving the nest' malarky. Even more so with boys! I think they need a good boot to get going with the whole independence thing or they'd be with you forever!!!!!!!!!

  11. Oh my, I can relate t this in so many different ways!!!! It's like my story many years ago. Our oldest daughter is now a very dedicated mother of three and loving wife. My husband and I often say we wish we knew then what we know now! Also there's a 10 year age difference between our daughters. They too are very close. The youngest lives in NYC but with this wonderful technology they keep in touch daily. Love, love, love your daughter's cute apartment. It's in your daughter's genes to make the best of life. You're a shining example.

  12. You are such an amazing mom!!! So true what you say about helicoptering. I worked in a High School for many years in the office and saw so much of that. Loving our children is important, but helping them to become responsible adults is also important. I have a 25 yr old daughter who finished nursing school, went and got herself a job at a hospital, bought a home and started a beautiful life so I can relate! It was so hard to let her go, I would have loved to keep her home with me and keep her as my little girl, but am loving who she has become! I so love Maddie's apartment! Very sweet and cozy! You have certainly got reason to be a very proud mom!! Thank you for sharing this very private part of your life with us! Hugs!

  13. Oh my word -- what a beautiful brunch and apartment! She's a lovely girl and you are indeed blessed to have such sweet girls! Love to hear how she earned and worked hard at her independence! Congrats to you and your hub for doing such a good job and being a wonderful example! Love this post!

  14. Watching our children thrive is one of the greatest pleasures of parenting.

    Our son will be married in just 5 weeks and we are giddy with happiness with his choice. We have never seen our son happier in his entire life. We are thrilled that they live close enough to stop in for dinner. They are both committed to family - her parents live just a few blocks from us. There were many crazy times when he was a teenager, but he has become such a wonderful adult and we are proud to be his parents.

    Both girls are looking so much like you!

  15. Such a beautiful post about mother daughter relationships.... Your daughter sounds like a beautiful young

  16. Oops....beautiful your lady who has an eye for everything lovely.

  17. Bumpy road or not, it is the person Maddie is now that counts. Beautiful job with both girls!

  18. Wonderful post! Totally gorgeous Apt., yep see Moms influence, adorable!! And oh so cute kitty! Lori


  19. The photo of the girls is precious.
    What beautiful words written about your daughter. Treasures.


Thank you for taking the time to say hello today! I always love to hear what you have to say.