My Latest Project

Today's subject is outside the realm of my normal blogging material, but I'm going to share it anyway.

Wait …

Do I ever have normal blogging material?

I think not.

In which case … it doesn't really matter, does it?

I'm in the midst of an emotional two weeks right now.

We put my son on a plane for college last Saturday.  I bawled, and bawled, and bawled.

This is his second year in college.  You'd think I'd be used to saying good-bye, but if you're a parent who has ever sent your kid to live 3,000 miles away, you know there is no such thing as getting used to it.  My son stored most of his belongings with college friends prior to summer break so he didn't need us to fly back with him and help him get settled this year.

My daughter, however, will be departing this week to ALSO live 3,000 miles away for school.  Of course, she's going to be in an entirely different state than my son because they have to make things as difficult and as expensive for their parents as possible.  I will be taking my youngest son (still at home) back east later this week to help get her moved into her apartment.  I will do the supervising and my fifteen year old son will do the lifting.


I only have one working arm.

Having two kids move to the other side of the country within a ten day time span has been emotional chaos, plain and simple.

Two years ago, with the best of intentions, I bought a family recipe book for my daughter.  She was in her first college apartment and the timing seemed appropriate for a gift related to cooking.


It's a beautiful book.  You're supposed to fill it up with family recipes to share with those you love.

Hmmm … I see nothing in the above photo about eating a low-carb diet?

This particular book came with beautiful recipe cards, lined pages, and tab dividers to make it easy to compile.


My only complaint about the book I chose, is there are simply not enough pages in it.  Yesterday, I ordered a few sets of page refills so I'll be able to add more recipes in the future.

Many years ago, my mom gave me a similar book and I treasure it to this day.  I love that the recipes are in her handwriting.  I love the time she took to put the book together for me.  The book itself, makes me feel cherished.  I also use it more than any other cookbook I've ever owned.  The recipes are full of comfort and familiarity, warmth and love.

And yet …

The book I bought for my own daughter has sat here, untouched, for two years.

Once I purchased the book, I quickly realized the amount of writing that would be involved.  I wanted to write the recipes in my own handwriting, as my mother did for me, not type them.  It's hard to explain, but seeing the recipes in my mom's handwriting is almost like hearing her speak.  I wanted to give the same gift to my daughter.

I quickly realized the project would involve more than my injured arm was capable of at the time.  I've learned to do many things left-handed since my accident, but writing is not one of them.  Although my right hand is not damaged, it takes arm-power to move my hand for any length of time.  I'm in very short supply of arm power.

In fact, I think it would be accurate to say I have NO arm power.

My daughter's cookbook has been left abandoned, filling me with the guilt of unfulfilled promises.

She leaves this week.

I decided I would get the book done prior to her departure come hell or high water.  I set a goal to work on the book every day until she leaves.  I even bought an archival quality, waterproof, fade proof, non-bleeding (all that!!) pen and I'm working diligently on her recipe book.  I'm slowly making progress, despite taking frequent breaks whenever my arm rebels.


I hope someday this cookbook will mean as much to her as the one from my mother now means to me.

This book is truly a labor of love.

© Twenty Four At Heart

15 Responses to “My Latest Project”

  1. Deidre

    I am sure she will!
    My mom made me a photo album of me. Since a few days before I was born until now. I know it took her hours and hours to compile and choose photographs and I love it.
    Also, It never gets easier saying goodbye to mom and dad when you travel thousands of miles away.

  2. Karen

    What a great idea, and I have done the same thing… I bought the book a few years back and it still sits empty in my closet. You’ve inspired me to get it out and get going.

  3. WebSavvyMom

    –>My mom has kept a typed version of her recipes and those of friends for years and updates it every year. I just print out a new one and put it in a binder. I’ve shared it with numerous friends and everyone seems to enjoy it. (If you’d like a copy, let me know.)

  4. Jan

    Oh, now that is a lovely gift! I’m sure she’ll cherish it for many, many years.
    I took the easy way out – I blog the “family” recipes. (It’s quite gratifying to check my stats and Feedjit link and see that our older girls are searching my site for them, too!) That being said, I’ve been considering printing them out on some sort of waterproof or water resistant material and putting them in a binder (so more recipes can be added), but am unsure of how to have this done. Any suggestions?

  5. Jill

    What a great gift! Oh I would have loved receiving something like that from my mom … Your daughter will totally cherish it.
    Best of luck as you take your daughter to school. I can’t even imagine how difficult it must be to have both your kids gone … and apart from even each other!

  6. missy

    I did the same thing for both of my now adult children. I always thought it was a great start in helping them on their way around the kitchen with some of their favorite family dishes. Maybe it was also a way of helping me let go just a bit!

  7. Lex (@laprimera)

    Just beautiful! I’d better start on my children’s books now. My oldest is 8. A good 10 years ought to give me enough time. 🙂

  8. Judy S

    I can completely relate to handwriting the recipes.
    My Mom passed away in November of 2003 and that Christmas I typed all the recipes from her recipe book into the computer and printed them off on pastel floral paper. I gave a book of them to my brother/sister-in-law and sister/brother-in-law, but I kept the original. Mom’s recipes, in her handwriting, in her small orange 3-ring binder (orange was her favorite color).
    I made meatloaf this past weekend using her recipe — it put a smile on my face to see her handwriting, a smile that erased the ache in my heart when I ran my fingers over her words.
    Congrats for all the extra effort you’re doing to get this done for your daughter. I hope the pain is gone when it’s time to do it for the sons! 🙂

  9. OCShannon

    My mil did this for us as a Christmas gift one year. It was so special. Your daughter will treasure it forever and then pass it on to her kids someday.

  10. Poppy

    What a fabulous gift. Not only is it an awesome keepsake for her but will help her COOK when she moves out 🙂
    When I first did I kept looking for the ‘left overs’. Took me awhile to figure out the cooking part and it was frequently thanks to a long distance phone call to mom.
    Must make one of these for each of my daughters..

  11. Jess

    This is such a perfect gift to give a daughter. Had my mom made one for me, it would just have the directions on “How To Burn Water”…

  12. mel

    I think this is the sweetest and most thoughtful gift ever. I actually got the idea of making one for my girls from cooking blogs like Pioneer Woman because she talks about her mother’s recipe book , etc. I’ve started picking recipes that I love and trying to make them more often so that when I do finally put together a book like you have they remember the way they felt when they ate those meals at home. Seriously, great gift.

  13. Kristen

    My mom did something similar, but she did type them up for me. They got put into sheet protectors, which is awesome for the kitchen. Maybe you should share a recipe or two?


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