For nearly thirty years, I had hoped my mother in-law would love and embrace me. I wished she would tell me I was a good wife to her son and a good mother to her grandchildren. I wanted to hear her tell me what a good job I was doing as a stay-at-home mom.
We’ve all heard the mother-in-law stories. Well, my mother-in-law was one of those mothers-in-law.
She could be negative and harsh at times. Over the years, there were times when her words stung and brought tears to my eyes. Her somewhat abrasive nature was matched by a tender side that only some got to see.
These past few years, our family watched as my mother-in-law struggled with her health and became more and more frail. Last week, she fell and broke her hip.
My husband and son, along with my brother-in-law and nephew, were out of town hunting for 10 days.Since it was a long-planned trip, and we didn’t want to ask them to come home unless it was necessary. So my sister-in-law and I stepped in to make sure Mom was taken care of each and every day. Surprisingly, she didn’t seem to mind this. In fact, she had given her sons her blessing to keep hunting—which, if you knew her, was actually quite profound and a gift.
As we waited for Mom’s surgery, we helped her eat, combed her hair, and washed her face. When surgery day came, we had to face some hard realities concerning the risks. After surgery, it took all day for her to come out of recovery—and that’s when our concern started to grow. Mom’s heart rate was irregular, so they transferred her to the CCU.
For six days, my sister-in-law and I kept her company, brought flowers, food, and visitors and watched from a distance as Mom interacted with all of us, and with the nursing staff (who were phenomenal!).
Instead of being one to complain, Mom was just so gracious and thankful—and she made us laugh out loud once, when she asked a nurse, “Is that guy a Mexican?” (Those of you who don’t know my mother in law won’t get it, but those who did will be laughing alongside us. I wanted to ask her, “Are you German?!”)
In her typical way, Mom picked through her pills and took out the ones she did not “like.” Yet, all the while, she graciously understood she needed the daughters’ help. And she let us help.
In those six days, I learned how to brush dentures and put them back in, and how to comb hair and feed soup to someone lying on her side. I learned how to rub lotion on swollen knees, and massage gnarled, worn out feet that have walked many miles.
There was a strange phenomenon that happened during those days. My mother-in-law asked for a kiss each time I visited—and told me she need four hugs and four kisses a day. After anyone did anything for her, she said, “Thank you.”
She spoke of Dad and how much she missed him, and she cried each time she did so. She asked the nurses whether they had seen him during his own hospital stay two years ago. She spoke of the loss of her grandson Trevor.
She recalled all her visitors and her conversations with each one. She was very aware and coherent. She told me she prayed for each of us, by name, each day, and gave thanks before her meals.
But, for me, the clincher was that each time I was there, she would ask the nurses, “Do you know the restaurant Tracycakes? Have you been there?” And then she would say, “This is my daughter-in-law. She owns it.”
For the first time, perhaps ever, I realized Mom was proud of me! By the time the week was done, she had introduced me countless times as her daughter-in-law who owns Tracycakes. And although I was getting somewhat embarrassed, I will cherish that always.
In her last days, she made sure I knew that she loved me.
Thank you, Mom, for that gift. As you entered heaven, I’m sure there was a great deal of noise as Dad greeted you with open arms and maybe even a dance. You will be missed.
“So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.”
- John 16:22
Four years ago and young girl walked into Tracycakes Bakery Cafe and asked if we were hiring.
A resume was dropped off and we saw this as an opportunity to leave fingerprints on a staff that would in turn leave her fingerprints on the community of Abbotsford, one person at a time!
We hired Olivia four years ago. She was just a young impressionable gal who was aiming to please and please she did!
She was an employee who embraced the culture before we even knew we had one. She was a goal setter, a people pleaser, a show up on time and get- to- work employee which is rare in this economy and industry. She was a gem and we knew it!
As an employer, I could ask her to complete tasks from cleaning the bathrooms, to baking our lovely cupcakes, to greeting guests with the most soft greeting, to dishes and anything in between and she would gladly reply, “Of course!”
An “Olivia” not every employer gets to have the fortune of employing, yet we were blessed to have her for four years.
She recently moved on as some do, but we will never , never have a wonderful you.
Thanks Olivia for your care, consideration, enthusiasm, joy, diligence, and care to detail, love of others, contagious concern, and drive to be all you can be.
You have left your mark at Tracycakes Bakery Café and your apron cannot be filled~ ever.
We will hang it in honor of You and your fingerprints left at Tracycakes Bakery Café.
Here’s to O.N.
Much love ~
Tracy and team
Taking my business to the next level
Being one of four fortunate business women who were chosen to be a part of the Women President’s Organizations annual conference was nothing short of extraordinary.
Marsha Firestone graciously allowed four Gro Your Biz women in business to join this ever growing and ever incredible conference held this year in Dallas Texas.
I quickly learned that taking my business to the next level while fueling economic growth would take some serious “two –step” on my part as I have lots to learn!
Lynda Applegate gave us an insight to how she linked the know-how with the people with the resources to create business models that can transform how we work, play and learn.
One of the things she said that struck home with me was , “ Never lose your gut instinct” which resounded with me as I often listen to that and what impacted me most is our ability to use this “instinct” which is so very different from our male counterparts.
“The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” Alan Keys
When I think about the future and all the potential of not only myself but all women (and yes, even some men!) I am awestruck and enthusiastically want to take a two- step bogie to get to where I believe I can go!
The photo, above depicts the relentless pursuit of opportunity without regard for resources currently controlled and this is how I see myself today courageously embarking on growing my business with the support of the Gro Your Biz members and also the WPO Members.
Community gives me the courage to do so.
I attended a session titled Heart, Head and Hand: The science of persuasive communication and learned that I already do much of what was taught naturally as I share my “story” and have been known to be a “good listener”. This session just reaffirmed what I already do naturally but was re-framed for me in a way of “offering a little gift of myself to my listener” and looking for the “gift” they would give me in communication.
By speaking from the heart, we connect in a real and meaningful way to our listener, whether that is a client, an employee, our friend or family member. It connects them to me.
Our Keynote address speaker, Marshall Goldsmith spoke on “What got you here won’t get you there” and shared effective strategies on how to develop myself to the next level and taught me to understand why the challenges that come with increased success are crucial to the success of my company. Some take home thoughts would be:
Find REAL Meaning.
Be fully engaged
Build positive relationships
Set clear goals
Make progress toward goal achievement
Our real values are what we do, not what we say.
The real clincher was the thought of what my 95 year old self would say to me today?
Would “she” give me personal advice or professional advice? Most likely both, and today I will set my course and work backwards from the 95 year old me and listen to what ”she” would say.
In the evening, there is a reception honoring the 50 fastest growing women owned/led companies and we arrive to a room full of 800 formally dressed women who are honoring the 50 women who have accomplished that and it is nothing short of awe-inspiring.
My heart was stirred to keep “two-stepping” my way towards my business goals.
Some “Lessons I learned along the way” from Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole can be summed up in this quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson : “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
Some insights include what she learned from her father who said, “Doing for others is just the rent you pay for time on this earth.”As I ponder these quotes, “everyone has a right to SOAR” and also, “Remember to lift others as you climb!” I can learn that while I am busy setting goals and achieving them I need to be mindful of those I need to take along with me on the climb. It takes a team to do what I do, and it is not all about me.
I found this seminar to be the most inspiring as I was reminded of what we, as woman can do in the future and have done in the past, such as the Women’s Rights and Anti Slavery Activist, Sojourner Truth who changed a nation by ensuring women’s rights to vote and fought for equality for all. The story goes something like this:
“The tumult subsided at once, and every eye was fixed on this almost Amazon form, which stood nearly six feet high, head erect, and eyes piercing the upper air like one in a dream. At her first word there was a profound hush. She spoke in deep tones, which, though not loud, reached every ear in the house, and away through the throng at the doors and windows and she ended with this statement that echoes throughout the course of history, ““Den dat little man in back dar, he say women can’t have as much rights as men, ’cause Christ wan’t a woman! Whar did your Christ come from?” Rolling thunder couldn’t have stilled that crowd, as did those deep, wonderful tones, as she stood there with out-stretched arms and eyes of fire. Raising her voice still louder, she repeated, “Whar did your Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothin’ to do wid Him.”
Harriet Tubman who was an American bondwoman who escaped from slavery in the South to become a leading abolitionist before the American Civil War. She led hundreds to freedom in the North as the most famous “conductor” on the Underground Railroad, an elaborate secret network of safe houses organized for that purpose.
Her words spoke to me “I was the conductor of the Underground Railroad for eight years, and I can say what most conductors can’t say; I never ran my train off the track and I never lost a passenger.”– Harriet Tubman
These kinds of women are the kind that shows up each and every year at the WPO annual conferences and each one has a story to tell. Each women present has gone where no “woman” has gone before and left a trail for us to follow. Each woman shares from her heart her successes and failures and as we do so we free ourselves as women to be who we are. I listened to one woman share her struggles at home and with tears in her eyes speak of leaving her three teenage children with her husband and how she could only come to one day of the seminar as the family structure required so much of her and how she wondered if she was appreciated. I encouraged her and told her that indeed she was and one day, they would say “Thanks Mom”. I listened to some women share their current struggles and how the finances were a going concern for the business. I listened to laughter and shared many times with these amazing women who shared from the heart. I felt pain for one woman in particular who had just gone through a horrendous event and I understood what it meant to be a woman. I learned that women are capable and we have the propensity to care for one another in a way that men cannot and that is what makes us special and unique in business and we should not try to be like men, but fully embrace all we are and use our gifts to make this world better, one women, one moment, one meeting at a time and that is what I learned as I journeyed along the way doing the two step in Texas with women in the WPO.
On being Mom
One day you’re just but a girl and then a baby is placed in your arms and you become a mother.
Do you recall that moment when your wee one was placed in your arms?
I do, except mine was anything but tiny.
Weighing in at 9lbs 10 oz and 23 ½” long, a boy was placed in my arms and my life was forever changed.
Two years later, another gift—a girl this time, weighing less (thankfully) and with a smile that still lights
up the world.
Five more years passed and another blessing, a girl who—at 9 lbs. 11 oz., beating her brother’s record—
wanted to be sure I knew she had arrived.
During the years of being a mom I learned that you love from the depth of your soul, no matter what.
I learned that children are the best teachers and that God uses them in our lives to help us to become
I have wonderful memories of being a soccer mom, a basketball mom, a ballerina mom (short-lived,) a
skating mom, a motocross mom, a school mom, a mom to all their friends, the cookie mom, the come-
on-over-for-dinner (again) mom, the come-and-live-at-our-house mom, the wedding planner mom, and
the Sunday dinner (every week) mom.
I wouldn’t change a single moment—with the exception of letting go of the little things and embracing
more spontaneous moments like wrestling, laughing until your gut hurts, tousling more hair, and letting
the house get dirty (well, maybe just a little).
I would tell myself that life goes by quickly, so embrace each moment. And I’d make sure I let my kids
see my eyes light up each time they walked in the door.
For Mother’s Day, why not take the time to embrace your kids, since they make us exactly who we are-
Make a reservation at Tracycakes Bakery Cafe and spend time with the ones who helped make you who
you are—or order High Tea to go! (I see a picnic in your future!)
From a girl to a mom and now to a nana…the next chapter has begun!
Spring is in the air! Aside from blooming flowers and the sun starting to peek out, spring also means a start to our wedding season! Tracycakes can help to make your wedding extra sweet with our signature cupcakes. Customize your cupcake tier topped with a cutting cake or your individually boxed cupcake wedding favours to suit your colour theme and flavour preferences. We LOVE weddings and want to be a part of yours!
Are you looking for somewhere extra elegant to host a bridal shower? We would love to be a part of your next event! Leave the hard work to us, just show up and sit back and spoil that bride while we take care of everything else!
Here are some photos of some wedding cupcakes we have done recently!
A special shout out to Ashley Martens Photography for these lovely photos!
Happy spring to you!
We received an amazing story from one of our customers and we had to share!
We love hearing stories like this because it makes us realize that we are achieving our goal of making the world sweeter, one bite at a time. Who knew a cupcake could make such a difference?
Here is our story!
Valentines Day Cupcakes and smiles
I wanted to take a moment to relay a story to you and to brag to you about two of your staff members.
I live and work onNorthern Vancouver Islandand was stuck in a control room at work on Valentine’s Day. I wanted to purchase a dozen cupcakes for my sweetheart but had to get them from your shop in Abbotsford to her place of work. I called several friends and was unable to secure transportation for them
I called Tracycakes and in talking with Melissa, I explained my predicament and was wondering if they could be delivered; – something that you are not set up for and on possibly one of your busiest days of the year!
She came right out with a “Can Do!” attitude and asked me to hold on while she double checked on it, but was pretty certain that somehow your shop could make it happen. And they did.
Tess in the bakery dropped everything and accomplished the mission and everything arrived to the typical Tracycakes ooohs and aaahs…
But this is what I am really writing about; – the rest of the story.
At my sweetheart’s work, there is a young mother who had to tell her two children (aged 8 and 9) that money was tight and they were making do with hand made Valentine Cards and that there would be no sweets this year. The little girl was quite upset and cried but didn’t complain. Her brother understood and comforted her.
At the end of the day there were two Tracycakes Valentine’s Day cupcakes left and were offered to this young mother. It was then that the above story came out.
She brought them home and absolutely surprised her kids with this gift. This time the brother broke into tears and his little sister comforted him.
Its funny how the chain of events unfolds in our lives and what a simple request and some effort by amazing staff who really care, can end up with so much joy in the hearts of two young children.
It is obvious that at times, we don’t know what we do. We are unaware of the change that we can affect and the differences that we can make.
Thank you to you and your staff for being a part of those smiles that day.
Did you know you can order your Tracycakes to go? Whether you want sweets and treats—or fresh, delicious eats—we’ll cater to your needs. From bridal showers to business meetings, our menus offer something for everyone.
We also cater high tea for weddings. This includes delivery and setup of the high tea on tiers but does not include rental of china or other dishes. Please contact us for pricing.
Enjoy homemade goodness, made fresh for you!
Valentines Day is just around the corner! Make sure you reserve a spot in our “My Love & Me” high tea! It would be a delightful way to spend the afternoon or evening with your hubby, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, friend, sister, or even your Mom! We will be serving up scrumptious finger sandwiches, heart shaped scones and brownies, romantic chocolate covered strawberries, irresistible cream puffs, cupcakes OF course and all this will be served along side a steaming pot of tea or even some Red Velvet Wine if you decide to up the romance factor a bit!
Enter our contest for your chance to WIN a high tea for two!
See our website for more details about our high tea! (date, time, cost ect)
How can you win?
LIKE our Tracycakes fanpage on facebook!
SHARE this link to our blog post on your page and share why you want to win high tea for two and who you would bring! (share the link from our Tracycakes fanpage!)
Check back on February 12th to see if you have won! We will post the winner on our blog and our facebook page. Good luck!
We have collaborated a contest with two amazingly creative businesses! Spruce Collective (a lovely home décor shop that sells vintage treasures) and Mikaela Ruth Photography (a superbly talented local photographer).
The giveaway is a chance for you to win a Afternoon Tea Party at Spruce Collective in Abbotsford! The grand winner will get to invite 7 of their luckiest friends to join them for afternoon tea (made by us of course!). Their will be decadent finger sandwiches, scones, tea , our famous cupcakes and much more! Mikaela Ruth Photography and Cheddar Booth will be on hand to document your most fabulous tea party.
So how can you win this contest?
- Like each sponsor on Facebook (CheddarBooth, Mikaela Ruth Photography, Spruce Collective & Tracycakes) and comment on at least one of their contest posts, telling us why you want to win and who you want to bring
- Share the contest link on your Facebook page(s) for an extra entry
- Tell your friends…the more friends that enter, the better the odds that they’ll invite you
- So a summary. Like, comment, share! Good luck!
There’s more! If you don’t win the grand prize tea party, you’ll still be in the running for additional prizes from each amazing sponsor: $300 off your next CheddarBooth booking, a party-themed gift basket from Spruce Collective, $200 off a photo session with Mikaela Ruth Photography , and coupons for cupcakes and high tea at Tracycakes!
We look forward to spoiling the winner with one decadent afternoon! The winner will be announced on Valentines Day!
Tracycakes Bakery Cafe