Childhood · Nostalgia · Stories

Week 37: Redefining Perfection | Everyday Nostalgia

redefining-perfection-Week 37: Redefining Perfection | Everyday Nostalgia | The Nostalgia Diaries Blog-diaries

My daughter Zoey looks up at me, her face a mixture of excitement and anticipation. In her hands she holds a pastry bag, squeezing it just tightly enough that a bit of the rich, dark chocolate, buttercream frosting inside has begun to escape its shiny, silver, open star tip.

“Can I frost it now, Mommy?” Zoey asks hopefully, her voice faintly twinged with impatience.

The cake that sits on the table in front of her—the one on the business end of the buttercream pastry bag—has been our labor of love for the past two days. After Zoey announced that the only thing she wanted to do this weekend was make a “fancy” cake, I made it my mission to make sure I provided the perfect cake-making experience for her. And after hours of baking, making buttercream frosting from scratch, creating colorful flowers out of flavored Tootsie Rolls, and mixing, rolling out, and covering a two-layer chocolate cake with pale turquoise marshmallow fondant, it appears that we have perfectly executed the task at hand.

It looks simply delectable. Continue reading “Week 37: Redefining Perfection | Everyday Nostalgia”

Childhood · Nostalgia · Stories

Week 36: A Renewed Excitement for Tomorrow | Everyday Nostalgia

A Renewed Excitement for Tomorrow | Everyday Nostalgia | The Nostalgia Diaries

It’s 5 o’clock on a Wednesday, and this early evening hour finds me standing in a schoolyard. Between the bright, white grids of newly-painted foursquare and hopscotch courts staring up at me and the smell of freshly-scattered wood chips tickling my nose, it’s no wonder I’ve just been momentarily transported back to my childhood. Although no one is here other than me, I can picture how this playground looked and sounded just a few hours earlier: The streak of red, green, and navy uniform-clad children filled with happy smiles, the squeak of bare skin against the slide, the metal clang of high-flying swings, and the loud peals of unfiltered, easy laughter.

A few freshly-fallen leaves dance around my feet, and although the breeze that lifts them is warm, there is a slight crispness to it—a good reminder that the official start of fall is just around the corner. Continue reading “Week 36: A Renewed Excitement for Tomorrow | Everyday Nostalgia”

Childhood · Nostalgia · Stories

Going Back in Time: The Story Behind the Hug

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For the past few months, I’ve been fortunate enough to have my 6 word stories featured over on my friend Eli’s awesome blog, Coach Daddy. You may remember that we sang his praises back in July—if you haven’t checked this blog out yet, you really should: it’s quite wonderful.

I love the challenge that these posts pose. How do you sum up something that could potentially take pages to write or an hour spent chatting with a friend over coffee in just 6 words? This is especially hard for me as I am known for my posts that are thousands of words, but the process really forces to you think about the real heart of the story that you’re trying to tell.

When I sent my 6 Words submission over to Eli for this month’s post, he generously tossed out the idea of my daughter Zoey joining in as well. I immediately told him she’d love to be a part of it, simply because the prompt was so fun:

Who would you go back in time to hug? Continue reading “Going Back in Time: The Story Behind the Hug”

Nostalgia · Stories

Week 35: Seasons of Love | Everyday Nostalgia

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My daughter Zoey’s two-year-old smile spreads wide across her face as I lean over and unbuckle her from her carseat.

“Are you ready for some fun?” I ask.

Her response of a giggle fills the car as I lift her free and blow a raspberry kiss against the high curve of her little cheek. We emerge into the brightness of the day and then stand still for a moment, blinking as our eyes adjust to the hot, overhead sun.

It’s late August, and Zoey and I are in Ohio visiting my parents. For me, this trip has become more of a necessity than a luxury given the fact that everything back home seems to be coming apart at the seams: Life has been hard, love has all but faded, and my heart has become a veritable wasteland.

I had miraculously managed to stay relatively strong in spite of the circumstances, but after we boarded the plane and began our trip back East, exhaustion finally swept over me.  Continue reading “Week 35: Seasons of Love | Everyday Nostalgia”

Childhood · Nostalgia · Stories

Week 34: Underneath the Same Big Sky | Everyday Nostalgia

Week 34: Underneath the Same Big Sky | Everyday Nostalgia | A story about loneliness and connections we find in the universe.

I’m standing in front of my mailbox, mindlessly sifting through my Monday mail. Between the grocery store flyers, a postcard reminding me to purchase new tires in preparation for winter weather, and a parking ticket addressed to my apartment’s previous tenant, I’m unimpressed with the day’s delivery.

I’m not paying attention to my surroundings, and as I shut the small metal door of my mailbox, I’m startled to find a man standing next to me. Though I know him—he lives across the small courtyard that separates our apartments—his appearance surprises me and causes the contents of my hands to quickly scatter to the floor below us.
Continue reading “Week 34: Underneath the Same Big Sky | Everyday Nostalgia”