Pitch-In, Level Up: A Modern Day Commune

Pitch-In Level Up - A Modern Day CommuneThe Cosmo Moms pitch-in on girls’ night every month — whoever already has chips and salsa on hand will call dibs, and the others are left to grab cheese, chicken, and whatever we’re drinking that night. That’s dinner and drinks, with minimal effort.

We do the same thing for our monthly cookouts — I’ll provide hot dogs and buns, everyone else brings what they’ve got on hand to complete the meal. And then we took the pitch-in to a whole new level.

It started small. “Hey, does anyone have a punch bowl I can borrow?” The answer was yes so often, we began to rely on one another. Then, it snowballed. “I’m planning a party for the kids — who’s on crafts?” “I’m at the store, does anyone need anything?”

Now we basically view everyone’s belongings as community property. I’m often lugging the Rug Doctor to 3rd Monday for someone’s carpet 911. I usually bring home something else in exchange — last month it was an extra DVD player for our road trip.

Now, I don’t buy anything major, without checking to see if someone already owns it. There are plenty of everyday items that you don’t really use every day — ladders, tools, luggage racks, party supplies. Why should all of us store these items when we can just pitch-in when they’re needed.

We’ve taken the pitch-in to a whole new level. Because the Cosmo Moms are more than just friends. We’re also a bit of a commune — and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Family of Farmers AmbassadorI received a box of pitch-in themed goodies to facilitate this post as part of the Indiana Family of Farmers Table Talk Ambassadors program, but all opinions are 100% mine. You can read more conversation about Picnics, Pitch-Ins, and Potlucks from other bloggers on the Indiana Family of Farmers blog and on Twitter through the #FarmsMatter hashtag.

Rum Punch and Full Contact Badminton

Full Contact Badminton - It's a Real ThingTonight, 4/5 of the Cosmo Moms gathered for a cookout. Our phones were used as cameras. We avoided screen time. We watched our kids play, mostly beautifully, together while we chatted and drank Rum Punch. It was bliss.

The backyard was set up with games and the kids played full contact badminton (it is too a thing), there was little crying and much laughing and I was completely relaxed. This doesn’t happen very often, so I took note right away. You see, this gathering was not just a celebraton of the beginning of summer, it was our way of bringing the kids together that signified the start of a summer filled with activities together. Because, that’s how we do things – together.

Now for the important stuff. We are revealing the recipe for our rum punch.

Rum Punch Recipe from The Cosmo MomsYou need a large container that you can put in the freezer. We generally use a gallon size ice cream container. You need the entire container – it will be full.

Add 1 bottle of pina colada mix.
1 40 ounce can of pineapple juice
8 oz grapefruit juice
1 can frozen lemonade, thawed

Mix all of that together, then add RUM!

I use Dark Rum and Malibu Coconut Rum. Its about half a bottle of Malibu and 1/3 bottle of Dark Rum. Unless I’ve had a really bad day, then I add more. The answer is usually MORE RUM!

Really, add rum to taste. Freeze for at least 24 hours. Scoop into super fun glasses and top with a splash of 7-UP. (I could have said Lemon Lime Soda, but I really like 7-UP more than the others.) It’s thick, you’ll need a straw.

Enjoy!

Friends, Really

The Cosmo Moms - Friends, ReallyThe word “friends” is over used. We use it as a verb. We call everyone we meet a friend. And, yet all of these people cant be actual friends. Being a friend requires something more than just meeting a few times and more than a general interest in spending time with someone more than once.

Being a real friend requires giving something of yourself – it’s more than sharing a story or two. Friendship requires a sacred space for this other person in your being. That a part of them dwell in your heart and on your mind  – so much so that you plan for their needs along with yours.

And, you would lend them the good dishes without hesitation.

These friends are the ones who get to see your house (and your person) in every state of disarray and don’t worry about any impending judgement. Real friends wouldn’t judge your messy house or your messy life or your messy situation in any way. Because your real friends helped you create the mess in the first place, or they are more interested in your story than your messy existence.

Before JH, I forgot to make real grownup friends. I knew people. I had acquaintances, but none of these people were friends. None of these people got to see the upstairs in my house or my messy hair when I work out or my real crying face (you know the one – the ugly crying face). These internet friends, or old friends from high school that you may be internet stalking on social media, aren’t the people that you count on to be there when life gets hairy. Those relationships have to be cultivated and built over time. These very special people that are friends, deserve and demand your actual time and attention.

I’m lucky to have this group of friends now. But, it started with just one – JH. We knew each other for over a year before we were real friends. It took a few conversations about a book and an invitation to dance class before we really cemented this relationship. We shared a lot of vodka and a lot of stories and a lot of vodka to build this friendship. It took work and time, but it was totally worth it (and really fun).

As our group grew to include GB (although she doesn’t remember the near death experience that brought us together) and HPG (whose journey to motherhood broke our hearts often) and IWK (when she said “Bam! – you’re a princess,” she was part of our tribe), I knew I’d found the people I would gladly run to in the middle of the night if they called.

These ladies – my lighthouses – my safe harbor – are my balance. If the phone rings in the middle of the night, I will answer for them. And, because we spent the time to know each other WELL, sometimes we know to reach out even before being asked. That’s where friendship differs from acquaintanceship.

I don’t discount the people that I’m friendish with or my acquaintances. Maybe one day they will be actual friends. Until then, I’ll be squeezing more limes on all the #3rdMondays for these ladies – my friends.