Weddings, Rosie Memories and Sharing Recipes

I was at a wedding last week, sitting next to a nice couple who I had never met. So to make introductory conversation, I asked the woman if they have kids (often a good place for me to find common ground) and the flood gates opened. We talked all about her FOUR teenagers and my now adult children. I could relate to so many tales she shared about their successes and struggles. 

It is funny how life works, or maybe it’s MY brain … but now, as I look back on those years, I have these rosie memories and think it was a breeze. Haha, I know that is not exactly the reality, but it seems to be a nice way to remember it.  And what I have found to be true is that you realize, in hindsight, that many of the things we angst over as parents were really not that big a deal. 

That must be why being a grandparent is a great job … you have a better perspective and you know generally things will work out, plus all the love and kisses. I am not there yet, but I’m sure it comes with alot of worry too (and little I can do about it).  But I am committed to being an attentive, available and a strong force in their lives.

I remember when my son played water polo growing up. There was this one boy’s grandma, Irma, and she was at EVERY game he ever had. She was such a presence in his life. That sort of multi-generational family support doesn’t seem to be as prevalent today, but I think it’s such a leg up for a child and I love to witness it.

I’ve gotten a bit off track, but back to my wedding table mate … after we covered all the updates about our kids and life (although we had never met before), we moved on to recipes. She swears by this banana bread recipe and jotted it, along with her secret to great baked chicken, down on a torn envelope from her purse.
For the chicken, she cuts up potatoes and tosses them and the chicken in olive oil, lemon juice, salt and oregano. Then she puts it all on a baking sheet and bakes at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or so (more depending on how much chicken).
I thought this and the banana bread below sounded great, and I’m going to give them both a try. I thought maybe you would like to as well.
Banana Coffee Bread

Banana Coffee Bread


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 - 1 cup bananas
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 tsp. soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup walnuts


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Mix together all ingredients
  3. Bake for 30 minutes


  1. Sharon Dodson

    I love it….I’m going to try both…I love chicken…I raise my own, ( only for the eggs ), and I love anything sweet…I’m the mother of three…two sons and a daughter…45…42…39… and…6 Grandsons…I have one with me almost all the time, my daughters…the old saying is true…daughters are true to come back home, where sons aren’t…her and I are very close…and my Grandson, ..out of all of them…he knows me the best…when he’s not here with me, he calls me every day, with his Mom…My life wouldn’t be anything without him..he’s now soon to be ..11.. But, I thank God…everyday for all of them…There’s nothing Grander, than being a Grandparent….Sharon Dodson.

  2. Man, did I ever sweat the small stuff. Like, profusely sweat it. My little dude is 12 now, so now the stuff I sweat is not as small, but just kind of shifted. I was a helicopter then, I’m a helicopter now, and I will probably be some form of age-appropriate helicopter later, too. I can’t help it. But now looking back, there are things I didn’t know until I experience them. You don’t know what you don’t know … and now that I know them, I realize that some of them were worth sweating over, and some of them weren’t. I wish I’d known what not to sweat over back then. I’m better now at taking stock before I angst over it, but ultimately, in ten years when he’s finishing college, I’ll be looking back to today and realizing the things I didn’t have to worry about. I had him when I was 35, so I won’t be a grandma for a good long while, but when I do, I think I’ll be a good resource for him to not sweat the stuff I did!

  3. Mary Sivak

    I am definitely going to try the banana bread .. I bake a lot for my Dad .. he is 95 .. and loves sweets . I also have 2 grandchildren.. one is a strong presence with me, the other one I don’t see that often.
    Thanks for the recipes!

  4. Michelle gray

    I am definitely going to try that banana bread. I am a grandmother to a 10 year old girl and I have a very big presence in her life, and I have found that being a grandparent much easier than parenting. Thanks for another great blog Mary Beth.

  5. Georgia L

    I am a mum of two teenagers. But I am still haunted by memories of my son waking up every hour for the first FOUR years of his life. So I am actually enjoying them now (and hope I haven’t jinxed myself!)

    On the topic of grandparents, I had kids in my late 30s so it may be a while till I get there. But my parents emigrated to Australia when they were young so I never had the joy of growing up with grandparents. I always tell my kids how lucky they are.

    There is a Greek saying that goes “My children’s children are my children twice over”. And what a special bond that is!

  6. Jan Dillon

    Mary Beth, you are correct when you say things look rosier in hindsight, we forget all the trials and tribulations of our children’s former years and come to realise when they are adults that we did a great job raising wonderful, respectful human beings. Now I am the proud Grandmother to 7 wonderful grandchildren, some of them young adults themselves, with the eldest now 23, who have the same values I tried to instill in their parents. I have always been a hands on grandma and been there for back-up to working parents when needed, attended football games and dance recitals and loved every minute. Even though my two youngest grandchildren (9 and 11) live in another state I receive a daily phone call and they excitedly tell me all the things they have been up to, so I still feel a huge part of their lives.
    Being a grandparent is an absolute joy and I am sure when your time comes you will make the best grandma as well.

  7. Stacey AKA BraveWidowMama

    Mary Beth,

    I am neck-deep in teens these days with my son turning 16 and daughter 13 this summer. It’s quite dramatic around my house. Being a somewhat older mom to my younger kids has given me experience. Though, each child has their unique needs. Mama just keeps paddling! That’s all you can do…

  8. After having my surprise baby late in life(40.7) haha I have to say I am proud of myself for not sweating the small stuff! I learned from my older girls that it’s simply not that big of deal. Everything will be ok in the end! All the “young” mothers think I’m so laid back and nonchalant with my 3 year old and I try to tell them not to sweat the small stuff and just enjoy whatever happens! I know that’s easier said than done.
    My girls are also blessed with both sets of grandparents, all 4, within a 5 minute radius of us. They are very supportive and attend everything my girls have. It’s a blessing , I often remind them just how blessed they are! They just don’t realize it .. yet!
    I know you look forward to the day you’ll be a Grand, I know you’ll be GRAND at it!

  9. Joanne Conte

    Being a grandparent is so different from being a parent. Yes, you do worry about them, but if you raised your child right and their partner is cut from the same cloth you need not worry! Joe and I have 4, and each one has his/her own personality. So cool to be gran!

  10. Love how you just meet people everywhere. And become invested in their conversation. I had that multi generational family up bringing and have done my best to provide that for my family. It is so important to savor the traditions and pass them on and hope your family takes on the tradition and continues with it. Love the baked chicken receive also. Once again thank you for continuing the plank blog and your zest for life.

  11. Christie L

    I’m always working on the “don’t sweat it” philosophy! It’s super tough. The older the children get, the easier it becomes, but the more heck I get from the oldest… “You wouldn’t let ME do that EVER!”
    Live and learn!
    Terrific plank as usual, MB.

  12. Angela T

    I can vouch for that banana bread recipe being delicious as my husband bakes it often. During the fall, he will supplement the banana with pumpkin. He prefers to use fresh pumpkin but you can use canned pumpkin as well. It is SO delicious. Also instead of nuts, he changes it up and uses raisins sometimes.

    I’m going to try the chicken recipe! Thank you for always sharing such great recipes! : )

  13. Marianne

    Mary Beth,
    Having had my 3 children pretty young in life (21 with my first), I totally agree with you. You really “sweat” the small stuff! I’m now a Grandmother to two sweet little ones and have the joy of partaking in their lives. I get to see them almost daily and it’s a privilege to help shape their lives. It’s a lot easier to see things clearly coming from my role as Grandmother. I give my daughter and son-in-law the benefit of my life experience (as a parent) whenever necessary and they are generally receptive! I KNOW how fortunate I am to have this time with Hunter and Emi and truly treasure each minute.

  14. You are so true about thinking back about our childrens’ upbringing! At the time, wow! Looking back I realize I was a good mother (yes there were days I doubted that!) and raised 3 very polite, respectful…and NICE human beings.

    Now that I have a grandchild (16 month old little dude) I can see where my husband & I seem to enjoy him very differently than we did our own. We don’t sweat the unimportant stuff, give him his independence (which was REALLY difficult for me to do with my kids!) and just ENJOY him.

    Your time will come and you will realize what all the hype is about being a grandparent!!

  15. Susan Nolen (Suzzy1969)

    Great blog Mary Beth!….these recipes look delicious. I’m definitely gonna make them!….I love to cook anything that involves chicken! Thanks for sharing!…can’t wait to try them both!

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