Blueberry Oatmeal Coffee Cake

She believed me when I said I was going to be an olympic gymnast.

As I cartwheeled and flip-flopped through the backyard, she yelled ‘go for the gold.’ She knew that allowing me to dream was more important than reminding me I was a foot taller than the average gymnast.

When her middle son decided to become a professional knight at the age of 3, she didn’t even wince. She yelled ‘en garde’ and pointed out the occasional dragon as she and her knight-in-plastic armor (complete with shield and sword) ran errands together. She cherished his imagination far more than she feared the possibility that all pictures taken in 1996 would have a miniature knight present. Sidenote: most  pictures taken in 1996 have a miniature knight present.

She let our basement be the practice location for the neighborhood garage band. She encouraged practicing. Occasionally, she encouraged quieter practicing. She knew that a loud basement was better than an empty basement. Albeit not always pleasant on the ears,  she knew that there were far worse forms of teenage rebellion and that some (keyword: some) rockstar groups really do get their start in a freezing cold basement in Minnesota.

She put big sheets of white paper on the kitchen floor and handed us finger paints when we were little. She let us go wild not getting overly concerned if we got a little paint on the floor or more commonly, a lot of paint on the kitchen floor. She knew that a paint-covered kid was a happy, creative kid.

If we wanted to help in the kitchen, she would always encourage us to stir, chop, sift, and bang on the occasional pot lid. She knew that we would be more apt to eat it, if we helped to make it. I once nearly added 14 cups of oil to a cake recipe instead of 1/4 of a cup. She knew that these types of mistakes are better made early in life.

She has read every parenting book available. Every. Single. One.

She still reads parenting books. Every. Single. One.

She is quick to point out her parenting flaws, mistakes, and failures.

Maybe its time I acknowledge a few of her triumphs.

Thanks for not sweating the small stuff (or at least not letting us know just how much you are sweating the small stuff).

Thanks for believing in us, even when we don’t believe in ourselves.

Thanks for not getting too mad when we mixed all the play dough colors together to form different shades of brown. You were right in knowing that this wasn’t the worst thing a child could do.

Thanks for teaching us how to be creative, how to be imaginative, and how to be spontaneous.

Thanks for being our friend when we need a friend. Thanks for being our parent when we need (but don’t want) a parent.

Thanks for letting us dream big, bigger, and biggest. Thanks for making our dreams your dreams no matter how small or insignificant.

It doesn’t look like I’m going to be an olympic gymnast after all.

Unfortunately, I’m not going to win any medals despite the hours of practice I put in.

However, I can still do a pretty decent cartwheel and I’m still ‘going for the gold.’

And for these reasons (and many more), I am thankful that you are my mother.

happy birthday mom

This is quite simply one of my favorite recipes on the planet. I love this recipe and so does the rest of my family. Try it. You will not be sorry.

Blueberry Oatmeal Coffee Cake
Source: Taste of Home Magazine
Printable Recipe

1 1/3C AP flour
3/4C quick-cooking oats
1/3C sugar
2tsp baking powder
1/2tsp salt
1 egg
1/2C fat-free milk
1/4C canola oil
1/4C reduced-fat sour cream
1C fresh or frozen blueberries (do not thaw if using frozen blueberries)

For the struesel topping:
1/4C quick-cooking oats
2T cold butter
3T brown sugar
2T AP flour

Preheat oven to 400. Lightly spray a 9inch round pan with no-stick spray. In a large bowl, combine oats, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a different bowl, beat egg, milk, oil and sour cream. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until just moistened. Fold in blueberries. Pour batter into prepared round pan.  Set aside. To prepare struesel: Stir together oats, flour, and brown sugar. Cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over batter.

Bake at 400 for 25-30 minutes. Note: the original directions state to bake for 20-25 minutes – it seems to always take me 30+ minutes to finish baking.

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