Inland SoCal Moms | Encouragement for Moms – Super Mom

I stared at the bag of potatoes, wishing they were self-peeling. Only three hours before on the way home from our work meeting my best friend complained about the mess she was destined to return home to. I thought about what a wonderful homecoming I was bound to have since my husband was off from work today. Somehow she walked into a clean house, dinner cooking, and a dozen roses. I returned home to chaos, disagreements, and pork chops and potatoes that wouldn’t cook themselves.

Shape of the heart

The house phone rang. I hoped it was my husband, apologizing again for the mistake he made and wanting to proclaim his love to me. Instead, it was my mother-in-law. I sighed. They’d be in town tomorrow. What was so urgent that she needed to call in the middle of my already horrible day?

“We’re in town!” my mother-in-law chimed.

“A day early?!” The moment the words left my mouth I realized how horrible they sounded.

“Are we?” She laughed. “Oh well. We’re here.”

“Great.” I plastered a smile on my face to attempt to feel happy. “You can come over for dinner. How about 6?”

I glanced at the three pork chops defrosting. Hopefully they had a big lunch and weren’t hungry.

I hung up and took a quick inventory of the house. I had wisely told the children they could put off their chores until tomorrow morning so everything would be clean when Grandma and Grandpa arrive, but, of course, the children were out with their father and not due home for close to an hour.

I became a whirlwind of activity. In the midst of peeling potatoes, I called my husband.

“Your parents are here.”

“A day early?”

I ran down the groceries I needed him to get. “And see if they have a Macy’s gift card. You still need to get your mom a present.”

With my music blaring, I kicked myself into Superwoman mode. In one hour I vacuumed, swept, decluttered the dining room and kitchen tables, washed all the dishes in the sink, cleaned the kitchen counters, and had the pork chops and potatoes cooking.

“Wow,” my husband exclaimed when he walked in. “Impressive.”

Fifteen minutes later when the in-laws arrived, the children had the table beautifully set and dinner was on it.

“You feel hot!” my mother-in-law said when I hugged her. “Are you sick?”

“Just been running around all day.” I smiled.

But, of course, the work wasn’t done. Once everyone sat down, the serving began. I was up and down to fetch salt and pepper, more napkins, and butter. As the other adults enjoyed their meals, I helped the kids serve themselves. I wanted to relax and enjoy the conversation after I finished eating, but just as potatoes don’t peel themselves, neither do dishes wash themselves. It’s true – a mother’s work is never done.

“You owe me.” I plopped down beside my husband on the couch after his parents had left.

“I do. The house looks amazing. Dinner was great. Thank you.”

I sighed, leaning against him. I had been so mad at him earlier, but then I didn’t have time to remain angry. It was definitely for the best.

On days that I feel more like a maid than a mother, a disciplinarian instead of a homeschool mom, and laundry service rather than a devoted wife, I need to remember that all of these undesirable tasks are my way of showing love to my family. Sometimes my reward is flowers and “thank you”, but other times the reward comes in their laughter and smiles. The reward comes when my kids help one another rather than lash out at each other. It comes in knowing that my labor, though overwhelming at times, is making life better for them. After an evening of serving my joy came from the joy in my kids’ hearts and conversations with Grandma and Grandpa. Sometimes the biggest blessing comes in being the blessing.
Take time to look past the dishes and remember the great dinner conversations. As you scrub the kitchen floor yet again to remove the mud, jelly, or who-knows-what-that-is from the tile, be grateful for the little hands and feet that left the mess. Your work for them is your gift of love, even if they don’t realize it. That’s what being a mom is all about.

FREE Cooking Classes for Junior Chefs at Williams-Sonoma

Do you have a child who loves to cook?  During the month of July Williams-Sonoma is hosting FREE cooking classes for Junior Chefs.  The recipes are held in all the stores.


Photo Credit: Williams-Sonoma

Learn how to make fruit tarts, spiralized snacks, summer salads & milk shakes.  There is also a class to make ice cream & ice pops tomorrow which has a couple of spots still available.  Class times vary and size is very limited.  Make sure to call your local Williams-Sonoma to register.  Details here:  Williams-Sonoma Jr Chef Classes

Tour de Fork at Victoria Gardens

We’re excited to support the 2nd annual Tour de Fork at Victoria Gardens on Thursday, June 26th.   The second annual Tour de Fork at Victoria Gardens will benefit three local charities, including Rancho Cucamonga Community & Arts FoundationRancho Cucamonga Library Foundation and Rancho Cucamonga Animal Care & Services.  100 percent of the event proceeds will go directly to these organizations.


The event provides participants with a great way to enjoy local cuisine and give back to charity.  2014 Tour De Fork event tickets are now on sale.  Tickets are limited to the first 500 people, and must be purchased prior to the event date. Each ticket entitles a guest to unlimited food tastings, as well as five alcoholic beverage tastings.

Ticket pricing is as follows:

  • $40 per ticket if purchased at the Rancho Cucamonga Cultural Center Box Office
  • $42 per ticket if purchased online
  • $50 per ticket if purchased the week of the event

For event details, participating restaurants and to purchase tickets online visit:

Here are our photos from the 2013 event.

2013 Participating Restaurants:

N7 Creamery

Corner Bakery

California Pizza Kitchen

Crepes de Paris

Johnny Rockets

King’s Fish House

T.G.I. Friday’s

P.F. Chang’s China Bistro

Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que

Slater’s 50/50

Special Guest Restaurants:

Antonino Italian Restaurant and Bar

Haandi Indian Cuisine

Aria Restaurant and Lounge

Magic Lamp Inn Steakhouse

Things to Do in the Inland Empire With Your Pre-Teen

Once kids reach a certain age, there begins the lament of “There’s nothing to do,” or “I’m bored,” on a weekly, daily, or (on really bad days) an hourly basis.  While my usual philosophy to these cries is to assign a chore, once kids reach a certain age you can’t take it for granted when they want to hang out with you because it won’t last much longer.  To that end, here is a collection of fun stuff you can do with your pre-teen here in the Inland Empire.

Like a classic with staying power, skate parties, sessions, and rinks are still around because it’s simple fun, gets your blood pumping, and comes with dance music!  Our area offers us Skate Express in Chino, Cal Skate in Grand Terrace, Roller City 2001 in Riverside, and Roller City Plus in Fontana.  The Inland Empire area also brings us quite a few ice skating rinks like IceTown in Riverside, Ontario Center Ice Arena and Ontario Ice Skating Center both totally different places in Ontario, and last but not least Desert Ice Castle in Cathedral City.


Laser tag can also offer an exciting time or a good party.  We have Laser Quest in Chino, Laser Island in Upland, and Triple O Lazer Tag in Moreno Valley.  Paintball takes this notion up a notch, Jungle Island Paintball & Airsoft Park in Lake Elsinore comes complete with a Little Warrior Arena especially for kids 6-12.  Along with Action Star Games Paintball Park in Colton and SC Village Paintball & Airsoft Park in Corona both with a minimum age requirement of 10, the inland has your pre-teen covered.  

If heart racing is how you like your fun, try indoor go kart racing at K1 Speed in Ontario, San Bernardino Raceway, or Pole Position Raceway in Corona.  Adams Motorsports Park in Riverside not only has outdoor kart racing but a Racing Academy with classes for ages 5-95 and a plethora of other motorsports available to watch.  The Auto Club Speedway in Fontana offers a quite a few races and other events to watch as well.

If your family enjoys watching sports together, save money on gas and support a local team.  Minor league baseball teams like The Inland Empire 66ersRancho Cucamonga Quakes, and Lake Elsinore Storm, have been around for years and offer tons of fun and great deals for families.  If baseball isn’t your thing, try heading to the Citizens Business Bank Arena to watch the Ontario Reign hockey team or the Ontario Fury arena soccer team or any number of other special events.

Lately my pre-teen has been singing “Let It Go” all day non stop on repeat so that must mean its time to take her to a show!  The Inland Empire has TONS to offer in terms of local theatre.  From a show at Landis Performing Arts Center in Riverside to California Theater of the Performing Arts in San Bernardino or the Lewis Family Playhouse in Rancho Cucamonga the inland has got you covered.  Plus there is even more theater in our community if you can appreciate all of it that exists on a smaller scale as well.  These theaters include but are not limited to: the Yucaipa Little TheatreLifeHouse Theater in Redlands, Redlands Theatre FestivalOld Town Temecula Community TheaterChino Community Theatre and the list goes on.  There are players and productions ALL OVER the Inland Empire.


With the weather warming up, the days are quickly approaching when places like The Cove Waterpark in Riverside, Soak City in Palm Springs, Splash Kingdom in Redlands will be opening.  A brand new Drop Zone water park in Perris is set to open by Memorial Day.  There are a few local parks that also offer water play including Celebration Park in Moreno Valley, Doty Trust Park in Riverside, or Citrus Park in Corona.  Days vary as to when they “turn the water on” so check with your local park for the days and times. 


View from Rancho Jurupa Park.

If you have an outdoorsy kid that loves to camp, fish, hike, bike, or just generally explore may I suggest Rancho Jurupa Park in Riverside or Lake Perris in Moreno Valley if you need to add boating to that list.  The former has a splash pad and miniature and disc golf courses and the latter not only offers you the opportunity to boat but to watch the occasional boat race.  To be honest though, growing up here some of my favorite parks were the San Bernardino County Regional Parks, Prado (for the tadpoles) and Guasti (for the pool) in particular.  Some city parks can offer up some great experiences too like Fairmount Park in Riverside (hungry ducks anyone?), look around and find one the whole family can enjoy!

things_to_do_inland_empire_riverside_fairmount_parkThe last thing I wanted to share was that good old Fiesta Village, an IE classic for almost 45 years, has kart racing, laser tag, a water park, outdoor rollerskating, and batting cages along with all the other fun stuff like mini-golf, arcade games, and amusement rides that accompany your typical Family Fun Zone.  There are reasons a classic remains a classic.